Li Jue sent one of his officers, General Wang Chan of the Tiger Army, to arrest Huangfu Li； but Wang Chan had a sense of right and esteemed Huangfu Li as an honorable man. Instead of carrying out the orders, Wang Chan returned to say Huangfu Li could not be found.
Jia Xu tried to work on the feelings of the barbarian tribes. He said to them, “The Son of Heaven knows you are loyal to him and have bravely fought and suffered. He has issued a secret command for you to go home, and then he will reward you.”
the tribesmen had a grievance against Li Jue for not paying them, so they listened readily to the insidious persuasions of Jia Xu and deserted.
then Jia Xu advised the Emperor, “Li Jue is covetous in nature. He is deserted and enfeebled. A high office should be granted to him to lead him astray.”
So the Emperor officially appointed Li Jue Regent Marshal. This delighted him GREatly, and he ascribed his promotion to the potency of his wise witches’ prayers and incantations. He rewarded those people most liberally.
But his army was forgotten. Wherefore his commander, Yang Feng, was angry.
Yang Feng said to General Song Guo, “We have taken all the risks and exposed ourselves to stones and arrows in his service, yet instead of giving us any reward he ascribes all the credit to those witches of his.”
“Let us put him out of the way and rescue the Emperor,” said Song Guo.
“You explode a bomb within as signal, and I will attack from outside.”
So the two aGREed to act together that very night in the second watch. But they had been overheard, and the eavesdropper told Li Jue. Song Guo was seized and put to death. That night Yang Feng waited outside for the signal and while waiting, out came Li Jue himself. Then a melee began, which lasted till the fourth watch. But Yang Feng got away and fled to Xian.
But from this time Li Jue’s army began to fall away, and he felt more than ever the losses caused by Guo Si’s frequent attacks. Then came news that Zhang Ji, at the head of a large army, was coming down from Shanxi to make peace between the two factions.
Kong Rong pressed rewards upon Taishi Ci, but he would accept nothing and departed. When his mother saw him, she was pleased at his success saying she rejoiced that he had been able to prove his gratitude, and after this he departed for Yangzhou.
Liu Bei went away to his friend Gongsun Zan and laid before Gongsun Zan his design to help Xuzhou.
“Cao Cao and you are not enemies. Why do you spend yourself for the sake of another？” said Gongsun Zan.
“I have promised,” Liu Bei replied, “and dare not break faith.”
“I will lend you two thousand horse and foot,” said Gongsun Zan.
“Also I wish to have the services of Zhao Yun,” said Liu Bei.
Gongsun Zan aGREed to this also. they marched away, Liu Bei’s own troops being in the front, and Zhao Yun, with the borrowed troops, being in rear.
In due course Mi Zhu returned saying that Kong Rong had also obtained the services of Liu Bei. The other messenger, Chen Deng, came back and reported that Tien Kai would also bring help. Then was Tao Qian’s heart set at ease.
But both the leaders, though they had promised aid, GREatly dreaded their antagonist and camped among the hills at a great distance,
E Lai, whose physical strength was extraordinary, was a general of King Zhou, the last king of Shang Dynasty.
“This is old E Lai* again！” said Cao Cao.
He gave Dian Wei a post in the headquarters and besides made Dian Wei presents of an embroidered robe he was wearing and a swift steed with a handsome saddle.
Cao Cao encouraged able people to assist him, and he had advisers on the civil side and valiant generals in the army. He became famous throughout the East of the Pass.
Now Cao Cao’s father, Cao Song, was living at Langye, whither he had gone as a place free from the turmoil of the partisan struggles. Cao Cao wished to be united with him. As a dutiful son, Cao Cao sent the Governor of Taishan, Ying Shao, to escort his father to Yanzhou. Old Cao Song read the letter with joy, and the family prepared to move. They were some forty in all, with a train of a hundred servants and many carts.
their road led through Xuzhou Region where the Imperial Protector, Tao Qian, was a sincere and upright man who had long wished to get on good terms with Cao Cao but, hitherto, had found no means of effecting a bond of union. Hearing that the family of the GREat man was passing through his region, Tao Qian went to welcome them, treated them with great cordiality, feasting and entertaining them for two days； and when they left, he escorted them to his boundary. Further he sent with them one General Zhang Kai with a special escort of five hundred.
the whole party reached the county of Huafei. It was the end of summer, just turning into autumn, and at this place they were stopped by a tremendous storm of rain. The only shelter was an old temple and thither they went. The family occupied the main rooms and the escort the two side wings. The men of the escort were drenched, angry, and discontented.
then Zhang Kai called some of his petty officers to a secret spot and said, “We are old Yellow Scarves and only submitted to Tao Qian because there was no other choice. We have never got much out of it. Now here is the Cao family with no end of gear, and we can be rich very easily.
Dong Zhuo turned to Li Su and asked what these things portended.
“It means that you are going to receive the abdication of the Hans, which is to renew all things： To mount the jeweled chariot and sit in the golden saddle.”
And Dong Zhuo was pleased and convinced with this answer. During the second day’s journey a violent gale sprang up, and the sky became covered with a thick mist.
“What does this mean？” said Dong Zhuo.
the wily Li Su had an interpretation for this also, saying,
“You are ascending to the place of the dragon： There must be bright light and lurid vapor to dignify your majestic approach.”
Dong Zhuo had no more doubts. He presently arrived and found many officials waiting without the city gate to receive him,
all but Li Ru who was ill and unable to leave his chamber.
He entered and proceeded to his own palace, where Lu Bu came to congratulate him.
“When I sit on the throne, you shall command the whole armies of the empire, horse and foot,” said Dong Zhuo.
That night Dong Zhuo slept in the midst of his escort. In the suburbs that evening some children at
play were singing a little ditty, and the words drifted into the bedchamber on the wind.
[hip, hip, hip]“the grass in the meadow looks fresh now and GREen, Yet wait but ten days, not a blade will be seen.”[yip, yip, yip]
the song sounded ominous but Li Su was again prepared with a happy interpretation：
“It only means that the Lius are about to disappear, and the Dongs to be exalted.”
[e] the staff, the cloth, and the mouths formed the Chinese characters, implied the name of Lu Bu.
Next morning at the first streak of dawn,
“Suppose I send you to him,” said Dong Zhuo.
Stunned, she pleaded with tears, “What have thy handmaid done？ My honor of serving only Your Highness could not bear being given to a mere underling！ Never！ I would rather die.”
And with this she snatched down a dagger hanging on the wall to kill herself.
Dong Zhuo plucked it from her hand and, throwing his arms about her, and cried, “I was only joking！”
She lay back on his breast hiding her face and sobbing bitterly.
“This is the doing of that Li Ru,” said she. “He is much too thick with Lu Bu. He suggested that, I know. Little he cares for the Imperial Rector’s reputation or my life. Oh！ I could eat him alive.”
“Do you think I could bear to lose you？” said Dong Zhuo.
“Though you love me yet I must not stay here. That Lu Bu will try to ruin me if I do. I fear him.”
“We will go to Meiwo tomorrow, you and I, and we will be happy together and have no cares.”
She dried her tears and thanked him. Next day Li Ru came again to persuade Dong Zhuo to send the damsel to Lu Bu.
“This is a propitious day,” said Li Ru.
“He and I standing in the relation of father and son. I cannot very well do that,” said Dong Zhuo. “But I will say no more about his fault. You may tell him so and soothe him as well as you can.”
“You are not being beguiled by the woman, are you？” said Li Ru.
Dong Zhuo colored, saying, “Would you like to give your wife to some body else？ Do not talk about this any further. It would be better not to.”
Hua Xiong bade Hu Zhen lead five thousand out against Sun Jian.
Cheng Pu with the snaky lance rode out from Sun Jian’s side and engaged. After a very few bouts, Cheng Pu killed Hu Zhen on the spot by a thrust through the throat. Then Sun Jian gave the signal for the main army to advance. But from the Pass, Hua Xiong’s troops rained down showers of stones, which proved too much for the assailants, and they retired into camp at Liangdong. Sun Jian sent the report of victory to Yuan Shao.
Sun Jian also sent an urgent message for supplies to the commissary.
But a counselor said to the Controller Yuan Shu, “This Sun Jian is a very tiger in the east. Should he take the capital and destroy Dong Zhuo, we should have a tiger in place of a wolf. Do not send him grain. Starve his troops, and that will decide the fate of that army.”
And Yuan Shu gave ears to the detractor and sent no grain or forage. Soon Sun Jian’s hungry soldiers showed their disaffection by indiscipline, and the spies bore the news to the defenders of the Pass.
Li Ru made a plot with Hua Xiong, saying, “We will launch tonight a speedy attack against Sun Jian in front and rear so that we can capture him.”
Hua Xiong aGREed and prepared for the attack. So the soldiers of the attacking force were told off and given a full meal. At dark they left the Pass and crept by secret paths to the rear of Sun Jian’s camp. The moon was bright and the wind cool. They arrived about midnight and the drums beat an immediate attack. Sun Jian hastily donned his fighting gear and rode out. He ran straight into Hua Xiong and the two warriors engaged. But before they had exchanged many passes, Li Ru’s army came up from behind and set fire to whatever would burn.
Sun Jian’s army were thrown into confusion and fled in disorder. A melee ensued, and soon only Zu Mao was left at Sun Jian’s side. these two broke through the Pass and fled. Hua Xiong coming in hot pursuit, Sun Jian took his bow and let fly two arrows in quick succession, but both missed. He fitted a third arrow to the string, but drew the bow so fiercely that it snapped. He cast the bow to the earth and set off at full gallop.
then spoke Zu Mao, “My lord’s purple turban is a mark that the rebels will too easily recognize. Give it to me, and I will wear it！”
So Sun Jian exchanged his silver helmet with the turban for his general’s headpiece, and the two men parted, riding different ways. The pursuers looking only for the purple turban went after its wearer, and Sun Jian escaped along a by-road.
Zu Mao, hotly pursued, then tore off the headdress which he hung on the post of a half-burned house as he passed and dashed into the thick woods. Hua Xiong’s troops seeing the purple turban standing motionless dared not approach, but they surrounded it on every side and shot at it with arrows. Presently they discovered the trick, went up and seized it.
This was the moment that Zu Mao awaited. At once he rushed forth, his two swords whirling about, and dashed at the leader. But Hua Xiong was too quick. With a loud yell, Hua Xiong slashed at Zu Mao and cut him down the horse. Hua Xiong and Li Ru continued the slaughter till the day broke, and they led their troops back to the Pass.
Cheng Pu, Huang Gai, and Han Dang in time found their chief and the soldiers gathered. Sun Jian was much grieved at the loss of Zu Mao.
the Magistrate ordered Cao Cao to the prison till the morrow when
he could send Cao Cao to the capital and claim the reward. He gave the soldiers wine and food as a reward.
About midnight the Magistrate sent a trusty servant to bring the prisoner into his private rooms for interrogation.
“they say the Prime Minister treated you well. Why did you try to harm him？” said Magistrate.
“How can swallows and sparrows understand the flight of the crane and the wild goose？ I am your prisoner and to be sent to the capital for a reward. Why so many questions？”
the Magistrate sent away the attendants and turning to the prisoner said, “Do not despise me. I am no mere hireling； only I have not yet found the lord to serve.”
Said Cao Cao, “My ancestors enjoyed the bounty of Han, and should I differ from a bird or a beast if I did not desire to repay them with gratitude？ I have bowed the knee to Dong Zhuo that thereby I might find an opportunity against him, and so remove this evil from the state. I have failed for this time. Such is the will of Heaven.”
“And where are you going？”
“Home to my county. thence I shall issue a summons calling all the bold people to come with forces to kill the tyrant. This is my desire.”
thereupon the Magistrate himself loosened the bonds of the prisoner, led him to the upper seat, and bowed, saying, “I am called Chen Gong. My aged mother and family are in the east county of Dongjun. I am deeply affected by your loyalty and uprightness, and I will abandon my office and follow you！”
Cao Cao was delighted with this turn of affairs. Chen Gong at once collected some money for the expenses of their journey and gave Cao Cao a different dress. Then each took a sword and rode away toward Qiao.
Three days later at eventide they reached Chenggao. Cao Cao pointed with his whip to a hamlet deep in the woods and said, “There lives my uncle, Lu Boshe, a sworn-brother of my father. Suppose we go and ask news of my family and seek shelter for the night？”
“Excellent！” said his companion Chen Gong, and they rode over, dismounted at the farm gate and entered.
Lu Boshe GREeted them and said to Cao Cao,
“But this is the banquet chamber,
and state affairs should be left outside.
The matters can be fully discussed tomorrow.”
His fellow guests persuaded Ding Yuan to leave,
and after his departure Dong Zhuo said,
“Is what I said just and reasonable？”
[e] Yi Yin was was helper and prime minister of King Tang,
the founder of Shang Dynasty. After King Tang’s death, Yi Yin
served his sons and grandson. Soon after Tai Jia,
King Tang’s grandson, ascended the throne, he committed many faults,
and Yi Yin, acting as regent, exiled Tai Jia to Tong Palace——the burial place of King
Tang. After three years Yi Yin returned him the throne.
Tai Jia eventually became an enlightened emperor.
Shang Dynasty lasted for 650 years （BC 1700-1050）。
It was this act of Yi Yin rather than his services
in building up an empire that has made him immortal.
Whether he did right in temporarily dethroning
the king was open to question, until a final verdict was rendered
by Mencius who thought that his ends amply justified his means.
This historical event attests the extent of the
power exercised by a prime minister in those days. ……
[e] Huo Guang （BC ？-68） a general and regent of Han.
After Emperor Wu died, Huo Guang became regent to
three successive emperors, and the second one had been
the Prince of Changyi, who was on the throne for only
twenty-seven days. Huo Guang had the Prince of Changyi
declared unfit to rule and deposed him. Even though Huo Guang
contributed much to the empire’s stabilization,
after he died, he was distanced by the
emperor and most of his family
were executed for conspiracy charges. ……
“You are mistaken, Illustrious Sir,” said Lu Zhi.
“Of old Emperor Tai Jia of the Shang Dynasty was
unenlightened. Wherefore the sage Minister Yi Yin*
immured him in the Tong Palace till he reformed.
Later the Prince of Changyi ascended the throne,
and in twenty-seven days he committed more than
three thousand categorical faults. Wherefore Regent
Marshal Huo Guang* declared in the ancestral temple
that the Prince of Changyi was deposed. Our present
Emperor is young, but he is intelligent, benevolent,
and wise. He has not committed a single fault. You, Sir,
are an imperial protector of a frontier region and not a
metropolitan official and have had no experience in state
administration. Neither have you the
At the farm they had but one sorry nag and
this they saddled for the Emperor. The young
Prince was taken on Min Gong’s charger. And thus
they left the farm. Not beyond one mile from the farm,
they fell in with other officials and several hundred
guards and soldiers made up an imposing cavalcade.
In the cavalcade were Wang Yun, Minister of the Interior；
Yang Biao, Grand Commander； Chunyu Qiong,
Commander of the Left Army； Zhao Meng, Commander
of the Right Army； Bao Xin, Commander of the Rear Army；
and Yuan Shao, Commander of the Center Army.
Tears were shed freely as the ministers met their Emperor.
A man was sent on in front to the capital there
to expose the head of Eunuch Duan Gui.
As soon as they could, they placed the Emperor on
a better steed and the young Prince had a horse to
himself. Thus the Emperor returned to Luoyang,
and so it happened after all as the street children’s ditty ran：
[hip, hip, hip] Though the emperor doesn’t rule,
though the prince no office fills,
Yet a brilliant cavalcade comes along from
Beimang Hills. [yip, yip, yip]
the cavalcade had not proceeded far when
they saw coming towards them a large body of
soldiers with fluttering banners hiding the sun and
raising a huge cloud of dust. The officials turned pale,
and the Emperor was GREatly alarmed. Yuan Shao rode out in advance.
From under the shade of an embroidered
the Emperor was too panic stricken to respond,
but the Prince of Chenliu rode to the front and cried, “Who are you？”
Yuan Shu bade his soldiers scatter and seek out all
the families of the eunuchs, sparing none.
In that slaughter many beardless men were killed in error.
Cao Cao set himself to extinguish the fires.
He then begged Empress He to undertake the
direction of affairs, and soldiers were sent to
pursue Zhang Rang and rescue the young
Emperor and the young Prince of Chenliu.
Meanwhile, Zhang Rang and Duan Gui had
hustled away the Emperor and the Prince.
They burst through the smoke and fire and traveled
without stopping till they reached the Beimang Hills.
It was then the third watch. They heard a
GREat shouting behind them and saw soldiers in
pursuit. Their leader, Min Gong, a commander in
Henan, was shouting, “Traitors, stop, stop！”
Zhang Rang, seeing that he was lost,
jumped into the river, where he was drowned.
the two boys ignorant of the meaning of all
this confusion and terrified out of their senses,
dared not utter a cry. They crept in among the rank
grass on the river bank and hid.
The soldiers scattered in all directions but f
ailed to find them. So they remained till the
fourth watch, shivering with cold from the
drenching dew and very hungry.
They lay down in the thick grass and
wept in each other’s arms, silently,
lest anyone should discover them.
“This is no a place to stay in,”
said Prince Xian. “We must find some way out.”
So the two children knotted their clothes
together and managed to crawl up the bank.
They were in a thicket of thorn bushes, and it was
quite dark. They could not see any path. They were
in despair when, all at once, millions
of fireflies sprang up all about them and circled
in the air in front of the Emperor.
“God is helping us,” said Prince Xian.
they followed whither the fireflies
led and gradually got into a road. They walked
till their feet were too sore to go further,
when, seeing a heap of straw near the road,
they crept to it and lay down.
This heap of straw was close to a farm house.
In the night, as the farmer was sleeping, he saw
in a vision two bright red suns drop behind his
dwelling. Alarmed by the portent, he hastily