Stories from Ancient China: Chen Shu Gu Interrogates a Thief

When Chen Shu Gu was posted to Pucheng County as governor in the Song Dynasty of ancient China, many residents lost possessions and some people were arrested, however it was very hard to tell who the real thief was. Shu Gu told the alleged culprits: "There is a bell in a certain temple, which can identify thieves very effectively." The bell was transported to the rear of the courtroom and the suspects were put in front of the bell. Shu Gu said: "When the bell is touched, the people who did not steal will not make the bell ring, however the people who did steal will."

Then Shu Gu and the officials paid homage to the bell and then had it surrounded with curtains. Meanwhile, Shu Gu had someone paint ink on the bell. The suspects were asked to stretch out one of their arms and touch the bell through the curtain and then their hands were examined. Amongst those people, only one person did not have an ink mark on his hand. After interrogation, he was indeed found to be the thief and had not dared to touch the bell because of fear of been caught.

The old saying says: "One would not fear the ghost knocking at the door in the night if they don't do anything wrong." The people who believe in retributive justice will not commit major evil deeds. However when the evil Chinese Communist Party came to power they started to destroy people's religions and beliefs that if you do somethign bad there will be a consequence. Nowadays many people do bad things on a whim and are simply unafraid of retribution because they don't believe in the principle and because of their lack of belief in the existence of the heavens.

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