He called together his officials to consult.One of them,

He called together his officials to consult.

One of them, Cao Bao, said, “Now the enemy is upon us: We cannot sit and await death with folded hands. I for one will help you to make a fight.”

Tao Qian reluctantly sent the army out. From a distance he saw Cao Cao’s army spread abroad like frost and rushed far and wide like snow. In their midst was a large white flag and on both sides was written Vengeance.

When he had ranged his troops, Cao Cao rode out dressed in mourning white and abused Tao Qian.

  But Tao Qian advanced, and from beneath his ensign he bowed low and said, “I wished to make friends with you, Illustrious Sir, and so I sent Zhang Kai to escort your family. I knew not that his rebel heart was still unchanged. the fault does not lie at my door as you must see.”

  “You old wretch! You killed my father, and now you dare mumble this nonsense,” said Cao Cao.

  And he asked who would go out and seize Tao Qian.

  Xiahou Dun undertook this service and rode out. Tao Qian fled to the inner portion of his array; and as Xiahou Dun came on, Cao Bao went to meet him. But just as the two horses met, a hurricane burst over the spot, and the flying dust and pebbles threw both sides into the utmost confusion. Both drew off.

  Tao Qian retired into the city and called his officers to council.

  “the force against us is too strong,” said he. “I will give myself up as a prisoner and let him wreak his vengeance on me. I may save the people.”

  But a voice was heard saying, “You have long ruled here, and the people love you. Strong as the enemy are, they are not necessarily able to break down our walls, especially when defended by you and your people. I have a scheme to suggest that I think will make Cao Cao die in a place where he will not find burial.”

these bold words startled the assembly, and they eagerly asked what the scheme was.

[hip, hip, hip] Making overtures for friendship,

Tao Qian encountered deadly hate. But,

where danger seemed most threatening,

he discovered safety’s gate. [yip, yip, yip]

the next chapter will disclose who the speaker was

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At this time Chen Gong was in office in Dongjun

 At this time Chen Gong was in office in Dongjun, and he was also on friendly terms with Tao Qian. Hearing of Cao Cao’s design to destroy the whole population, Chen Gong came in haste to see his former companion*. Cao Cao, knowing Chen Gong’s errand, put him off at first and would not see him. But then Cao Cao could not forget the kindness he had formerly received from Chen Gong, and presently the visitor was called to his tent.

 

Chen Gong said, “they say you go to avenge your father’s death on Xuzhou, to destroy its people. I have come to say a word. Imperial Protector Tao Qian is humane and a good man. He is not looking out for his own advantage, careless of the means and of others. Your worthy father met his unhappy death at the hands of Zhang Kai. Tao Qian is guiltless. Still more innocent are the people, and to slay them would be an evil. I pray you think over it.”

Cao Cao retorted angrily, “You once abandoned me and now you have the impudence to come to see me! Tao Qian slew my whole family, and I will tear his heart out in revenge. I swear it! You may speak for your friend and say what you will. I shall be as if I heard not.”

Intercession had failed. Chen Gong sighed and took his leave.

He said, “Alas! I cannot go to Tao Qian and look upon his face.”

So Chen Gong rode off to the county of Chenliu to give service to Governor Zhang Miao.

Cao Cao’s army of revenge laid waste whatever place it passed through, slaying the people and desecrating their cemeteries.

When Tao Qian heard the terrible tidings,

he looked up to heaven, saying,

“I must be guilty of some fault before

Heaven to have brought this evil upon my people!”

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Remonstrance and appeal being vain, Ma Midi retired

Remonstrance and appeal being vain, Ma Midi retired. But he said to his colleagues, “Is Wang Yun then careless of the future? Worthy people are the mainstay of the state; laws are the canons of action. To destroy the mainstay and nullify the laws is to hasten destruction.”

As was just said Wang Yun was obdurate. Cai Yong whose offense was an expression of gratitude was thrown into prison and there strangled. The people of that day wept for Cai Yong, for they refused to see any offense in what he had done, and death was a harsh punishment.

[hip, hip, hip] Dong Zhuo, the dictator, Tyrannized the state, Fell and his sole mourner Shared his direful fate. Zhuge Liang in seclusion Was content to dream, Felt his worth and never Helped a traitor’s scheme. [yip, yip, yip]

  Those generals——Li Jue, Guo Si, Fan Chou, and Zhang Ji——whom Dong Zhuo had left to guard Meiwo fled when their master was slain and went into the county of Shanxi in Liangzhou Region. Thence they sent in a memorial entreating amnesty. But Wang Yun would not hear of it.

  “Four of them were the chief instruments of Dong Zhuo’s agGREssions. Now though a general amnesty were proclaimed, these men should be excluded from its benefit,” said Wang Yun.

  the messenger returned and told the four there was no hope of pardon and they could only flee.

  then their adviser, Jia Xu, said, “If we throw away our arms and flee singly, then we shall fall easy victims to any village beadle who may seize us. Rather let us cajole the Shanxi people to throw in their lot with us and make a sudden onslaught on the capital and so avenge Dong Zhuo. If we succeed, we control the court and the empire. There will be enough time to run away if we fail.”

  the plan was adopted, and they spread abroad the story that Wang Yun intended to massacre the county.

Having thus thrown the people into a state of terror, they went a step farther and said, “There is no advantage in dying for nothing. Revolt and join us!”

So they cajoled the people into joining them and gathered a host equal to one hundred thousand. This horde was divided into four parts, and they all set out to raid Capital Changan. On the way they fell in with a son-in-law of their late chief,

Imperial Commander Niu Fu,

who marched five thousand troop from Xiliang. Niu Fu

had set out to avenge his father-in-law,

and he became the Van Leader of the horde.

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Wang Yun took into his confidence two colleagues

Wang Yun took into his confidence two colleagues, Minister Shisun Rui and Imperial Commander Huang Wan.

Shisun Rui said, “the moment is favorable. The Emperor has just recovered from his illness, and we can dispatch an able talker to Meiwo to persuade Dong Zhuo to come here to discuss affairs. Meanwhile we will obtain a secret decree as authority for Lu Bu to lay an ambush just inside the Palace gates to kill Dong Zhuo as he enters. This is the best plan to adopt.”

“But who would dare to go?” said Huang Wan.

  “Li Su, General of the Imperial Tiger Army, would go. He belongs to the same region as Lu Bu and is very angry with the Prime Minister for not advancing him. His going would assure us the plan would be completed.”

  “Good,” said Wang Yun. “Let us see what Lu Bu thinks of it.”

  When Lu Bu was consulted, he told them that this Li Su’s persuasion had led him to kill Ding Yuan, his former benefactor.

  “If Li Su refuses this mission, I will kill him,” said Lu Bu.

  So they sent for Li Su.

  When Li Su arrived, Lu Bu said, “Formerly you talked me into killing Ding Yuan and going over to Dong Zhuo. Now we find Dong Zhuo means evil for the Emperor and is an oppressor of the people. His iniquities are many, and he is hated by gods and humans. You go to Meiwo, say you have a command from the Emperor to summon the Prime Minister to the Palace. He will come, and he will be put to death. You will have the credit of being loyal and restoring the Hans. Will you undertake this?”

  “I also wish to slay him,” was the reply. “But I could not find anyone to assist me. How can I hesitate? Your intervention is directly from Heaven.”

  And Li Su snapped an arrow in twain as register of his oath.

“If this succeeds, what glorious rank will be yours!” said Wang Yun.

Next day Li Su, with a small escort, set out for Meiwo and announced himself as bearer of a decree. He was conducted into Dong Zhuo’s presence. After he had made his obeisance, Dong Zhuo asked what the decree was.

“His Majesty has recovered and wishes his ministers to meet him in the Palace to consider the question of his abdication in your favor. That is what this summons means.”

“What does Wang Yun think of the scheme?”

“Wang Yun has already begun the construction of the Terrace of Abdication and only awaits my lord’s arrival.”

“Last night I dreamed a dragon coiled round my body,”

said Dong Zhuo GREatly pleased,

“and now I get this happy tidings!

I must not neglect the opportunity.”

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A wave of fierce wrath rolled up in Lu Bu Banging the table

A wave of fierce wrath rolled up in Lu Bu. Banging the table he shouted and roared.

His host ostentatiously tried to calm him, saying, “I forgot myself. I should not have spoken like that. Do not be so angry, I pray!”

“I will kill the wretch, I swear it! In no other way can I wash away my shame.”

“No, no! Do not say such a thing,” said Wang Yun, putting his hand over the other’s mouth. “You will bring trouble on poor me and my family.”

  “When one is born GREat, one cannot be patient for long under another person’s domination,” said Lu Bu.

  “It needs someone GREater than the Prime Minister to limit the scope of such talents as yours.”

  Lu Bu said, “I would not mind killing the old wretch were it not for the relation in which we stand. I fear to provoke the hostile criticism of posterity.”

  Wang Yun shook his head, saying, “Your name is Lu Bu; his is Dong Zhuo. Where was the paternal feeling when he threw the halberd at you?”

  “I had been misled if you had not said that,” said Lu Bu hotly.

  Wang Yun saw the effect of his words and continued, “It would be a loyal deed to restore the House of Han, and history would hand down your name to posterity perpetually fragrant. If you lend your aid to Dong Zhuo, you will be a traitor and your name will be tainted through all ages.”

  Lu Bu rose from his place and bowed to Wang Yun.

  “I have decided,” said he. “You need not fear, Sir.”

“But yet you may fail and bring upon yourself misfortune,” said Wang Yun.

Lu Bu drew his dagger, pricking his arm, and swearing by the blood that flowed.

Wang Yun fell on his knees and thanked him.

“then the Han sacrifices will not be cut off,

and you will be their savior. But this must remain a secret,

and I will tell you how the plot shall be worked out.”

Lu Bu took leave with GREat emotion.

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Lu Bu said, “I am but a simple officer in the palace of a minister

Lu Bu said, “I am but a simple officer in the palace of a minister. You are an exalted officer of state. Why am I treated thus?”

“Because in the whole land there is no hero your equal. Poor Wang Yun bows not to an officer’s rank; poor Wang Yun bows to his ability ”

This gratified Lu Bu mightily, and his host continued to praise and flatter and ply him with wine and to talk of the virtues of the Prime Minister and his henchman.

Lu Bu laughed and drank huge goblets.

Presently most of the attendants were sent away, only a few kept to press the guest to drink.

When the guest was very mellow, Wang Yun suddenly said, “Let her come in!”

Soon appeared two attendants, dressed in white, leading between them the exquisite and fascinating Diao Chan.

“Who is this?” said Lu Bu startled into sobriety.

  “This is my little girl, Diao Chan. You will not be annoyed at my familiarity, will you? But you have been so very friendly, I thought you would like to see her.”

  Wang Yun bade Diao Chan present a goblet of wine, and her eyes met those of the warrior.

  Wang Yun feigning intoxication said, “My little child begs you, General, to take a cup or two. We all depend upon you, all our house.”

  Lu Bu begged Diao Chan to sit down. She pretended to wish to retire. Her master pressed her to remain, saying that she might do so since the guest was a dear friend. So she took a seat modestly near her master.

  Lu Bu kept his gaze fixed upon the maid, while he swallowed cup after cup of wine.

  “I should like to present her to you as a handmaid: Would you accept?” said Wang Yun.

the guest started up.

“If that is so, you may rely upon my abject gratitude,” said Lu Bu.

“We will choose a propitious day ere long and send her to the palace.”

Lu Bu was overjoyed. He could not keep his eyes off Diao Chan, and loving glances FLASHed from her liquid eyes.

However the time came for the guest to leave, and Wang Yun said,

“I would ask you to remain the night, but the Prime Minister might suspect something.”

Lu Bu thanked him again and again and departed.

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then spoke the Governor of Henei, Wang Kuang, “We have been

then spoke the Governor of Henei, Wang Kuang, “We have been moved by a noble sense of right to assemble here. Now must we first choose a chief and bind ourselves to obedience.”

then said Cao Cao, “For four generations the highest offices of state have been filled by members of the Yuan family, and their clients and supporters are everywhere. As a descendant of ancient ministers of Han, Yuan Shao is a suitable man to be our chief lord.”

Yuan Shao again and again declined this honor. But they all said, “It must be he! There is no other!”

And then he aGREed.

So the next day a three-story altar was built, and they planted about it the banners of all parties in five directions of space. And they set up white yaks’ tails and golden axes and emblems of military authority and the seals of leadership round about.

All being ready, the chief lord was invited to ascend the altar. Clad in ceremonial robes and girded with a sword, Yuan Shao reverently ascended. There he burned incense, made obeisance and recited the oath:

  “the House of Han has fallen upon evil days, the bands of imperial authority are loosened. The rebel minister, Dong Zhuo, takes advantage of the discord to work evil, and calamity falls upon honorable families. Cruelty overwhelms simple folks. We, Yuan Shao and his confederates, fearing for the safety of the imperial prerogatives, have assembled military forces to rescue the state. We now pledge ourselves to exert our whole strength and act in concord to the utmost limit of our powers. There must be no disconcerted or selfish action. Should any depart from this pledge, may he lose his life and leave no posterity. Almighty Heaven and Universal Earth and the enlightened spirits of our forebears, be ye our witnesses!”

the reading finished, Yuan Shao smeared the blood of the sacrifice upon his lips and upon the lips of those who shared the pledge. All were deeply affected by the ceremony and many shed tears.

This done, the chief lord was supported down from the high place and led to his tent, where he took the highest place and the others arranged themselves according to rank and age. Here wine was served.

Presently Cao Cao said, “It behooves us all to obey the chief we have this day set up, and support the state. There must be no feeling of rivalry or superiority based upon numbers.”

Yuan Shao replied, “Unworthy as I am, yet as elected chief I must impartially reward merit and punish offenses. Let each see to it that he obeys the national laws and the army precepts. These must not be broken.”

“Only thy commands are to be obeyed!” cried all.

then Yuan Shao said, “My brother, Yuan Shu,

is appointed Chief of the Commissariat.

He must see to it that the whole camp

is well supplied. But the need of the moment is a

van leader who shall go to River Si Pass and provoke

a battle. The other forces must take up strategic positions in support.”

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He Jin was panic stricken and looked about for a way to escape

He Jin was panic stricken

and looked about for a way to escape,

but all gates had been shut. the eunuchs closed him in,

and then the assassins appeared and cut He Jin into halves.

[hip, hip, hip] Closing the days of the Hans, and the years

of their rule were near spent, Stupid and tactless was He Jin,

yet stood he highest in office, Many were they who advised him,

but he was deaf as he heard not, Wherefore fell he

a victim under the swords of the eunuchs. [yip, yip, yip]

So He Jin died. Yuan Shao and Cao Cao waited long.

By and by, impatient at the delay,

they called through the gate, “Thy carriage awaits, O General!”

For reply the head of He Jin was flung over the wall.

A decree was proclaimed:

“He Jin has contemplated treachery and therefore

has been slain! It pardons his adherents.”

Yuan Shao shouted, “the eunuchs have slain the

High Minister. Let those who will slay

this wicked party come and help me!”

then one of He Jin’s generals, Wu Kuang,

set fire to the gate. Yuan Shu at the head of his

guards burst in and fell to slaying the eunuchs

without regard to age or rank. Yuan Shao and

Cao Cao broke into the inner part of the Palace.

Four of the eunuchs——Zhao Zhong, Cheng Kuang,

Xia Yun, and Guo Sheng——fled to the Blue Flower

Lodge where they were hacked to pieces.

Fire raged, destroying the buildings.

Four of the Ten Regular Attendants——Zhang Rang,

Duan Gui, Cao Jie, and Hou Lan——led by Zhang Rang

carried off the Empress, Emperor Bian,

and Prince Xian of Chenliu toward the North Palace.

Lu Zhi, since he had resigned office,

was at home, but hearing of the revolution

in the Palace he donned his armor,

took his spear, and prepared to fight.

He saw Eunuch Duan Gui hurrying

the Empress along and called out,

“You rebel, how dare you abduct the Empress?”

the eunuch fled. The Empress leaped

out of a window and

was taken to a place of safety.

General Wu Kuang burst into one of the

inner halls where he found He Miao, sword in hand.

“You also were in the plot to slay your own

brother,” cried Wu Kuang.

“You shall die with the others!”

“Let us kill the plotter against

his elder brother!” cried many.

He Miao looked around: His enemies

hemmed him in on every side. He was hacked to pieces.

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Zhu Jun saw that the advice

Zhu Jun saw that the advice was good

and followed it. As predicted the rebels ran out,

led by Han Zhong. The besiegers fell upon them as they fled, and Han Zhong was slain.

The rebels scattered in all directions. But the other two rebel chieftains, Zhao Hong and

Sun Zhong, came with large reinforcements, and as they appeared very strong, the imperial

soldiers retired, and the new body of rebels reentered Wancheng.

Zhu Jun encamped three miles from the city and prepared to attack. Just then there arrived a

body of horse and foot from the east. At the lead was one general with a broad open face, a body

as an alert tiger’s, and a torso as a lofty bear’s. His name was Sun Jian. He was a native

of Fuchun in the old state of Wu, a descendant of the famous Sun Zi the Strategist*.

When he was seventeen, Sun Jian was with his father on the River Qiantang and saw a party of

pirates, who had been plundering a merchant, dividing their booty on the river bank.

“We can capture these!” said he to his father.

So, gripping his sword, he ran boldly up the bank and cried out to this side and that

as if he was calling his men to come on. This made the pirates believe the soldiers

were on them and they fled, leaving their booty behind them. He actually killed

one of the pirates. In this way be became known and was recommended for office.

Then, in collaboration with the local officials, he raised a band of one thousand and

helped to quell the rebellion of one Xu Chang, who called himself the Sun Emperor

and had ten thousand supporters. The rebel’s son Xu Hao was also slain with his father.

For this Sun Jian was commended by Imperial Protector Zang Min in a memorial to the

Throne, and he received further promotion to the post of

magistrate of Yandu, then of Xuyi, and then of Xiapi.

When the Yellow Scarves rebellion began, Sun Jian gathered together the youths of his

village, some of the merchant class, got a troop of one thousand five hundred of

veteran soldiers and took the field. Now he had reached the fighting area.

Zhu Jun welcomed Sun Jian gladly and ordered him to attack the south gate of Wancheng.

The north and the west gates were simultaneously attacked by Liu Bei and Zhu Jun, but the

east gate was left free to give the rebels a chance of exit. Sun Jian was the first to mount the

wall and cut down more than twenty rebels with his own sword. The rebels ran,

but the leader Zhao Hong rode directly at Sun Jian with his spear ready to thrust. Sun Jian

leaped down from the wall, snatched away the spear and with it knocked Zhao Hong from

the horse. Then Sun Jian, mounting Zhao Hong’s horse, rode hither and thither, slaying as he went.

The rebels fled north. Meeting Liu Bei, they declined to fight and scattered.

But Liu Bei drew his bow, fitted an arrow, and shot their leader Sun Zhong, who fell to

the ground. The main army of Zhu Jun came up, and after tremendous slaughter,

the rebels surrendered. Thus was peace brought to the ten counties about the Nanyang area.

Zhang Ba uses magic,

“Zhang Ba uses magic,” said Zhu Jun.

“Tomorrow, then, will I prepare counter magic in the shape of the blood of slaughtered swine and goats.

This blood shall be sprinkled upon their hosts from the precipices above by soldiers in ambush. Thus shall we be able to break the power of their shamanic art.”

So it was done. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei took each a thousand troops and hid them on the high

cliffs behind the hills, and they had a plentiful supply of the blood of swine and goats and all

manners of filthy things. And so next day, when the rebels with fluttering banners and rolling

drums came out to challenge, Liu Bei rode forth to meet them. At the same moment that the

armies met, again Zhang Ba began his magic and again the elements began to struggle together.

Sand flew in clouds, pebbles were swept along the ground, black masses of vapor filled the sky,

and rolling masses of foot and horse descended from on high. Liu Bei turned, as before, to flee

and the rebels rushed on. But as they pressed through the hills, the trumpets blared, and the hidden

soldiers exploded bombs, threw down filth and spattered blood. The masses of soldiers and horses in

the air fluttered to the earth as fragments of torn paper, the wind ceased to blow, the thunder subsided,

the sand sank, and the pebbles lay still upon the ground.

Zhang Ba quickly saw his magic had been countered and turned to retire. Then he was attacked on the

flanks by Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, and in rear by Liu Bei and Zhu Jun. The rebels were routed. Liu Bei,

seeing from afar the banner of Zhang Ba The Lord of Earth, galloped toward it but only succeeded in

wounding Zhang Ba with an arrow in the left arm. Wounded though he was,

Zhang Ba got away into the city of Yangcheng, where he fortified himself and was besieged by Zhu Jun.

Scouts, sent out to get news of Huangfu Song, reported: “Commander Huangfu Song had been

very successful, and Dong Zhuo had suffered many reverses. Therefore the court put Huangfu

Song in the latter’s place. Zhang Jue had died before Huangfu Song’s arrival. Zhang Lian had

added his brother’s army to his own, but no headway could be made against Huangfu Song,

whose army gained seven successive victories. And Zhang Lian was slain at Quyang. Beside

this, Zhang Jue’s coffin was exhumed, the corpse beheaded, and the head, after exposure,

was sent to Capital Luoyang. The common crowd had surrendered. For these services Huangfu

Song was promoted to General of the Flying Chariots* and the Imperial Protector of Jizhou*.

“Huangfu Song did not forget his friends. His first act after he had attained to power was to

memorialize the Throne concerning the case of Lu Zhi, who was then restored to his former

rank for his meritorious conducts. Cao Cao also received advancement

for his services and is preparing to go to Jinan to his new post.”