Yuan Shu, confused and frightened, had no word to reply.

Yuan Shu, confused and frightened, had no word to reply.

He ordered the death of the slanderer to placate Sun Jian.

then suddenly they told Sun Jian, “Some officer has come riding down from the Pass to see you, General. He is in the camp.”

Sun Jian therefore took his leave and returned to his own camp, where he found the visitor was Li Jue, one of the much trusted commanders of Dong Zhuo.

“Wherefore come you?” said Sun Jian.

Li Jue replied, “You are the one person for whom my master has respect and admiration, and he sends me to arrange a matrimonial alliance between the two families. He wishes that his daughter may become the wife of your son.”

  “What! Dong Zhuo, that rebel and renegade, that subverter of the Throne! I wish I could destroy his nine generations as a thank-offering to the empire! Think you I would be willing to have an alliance with such a family? I will not slay you as I ought, but go, and go quickly! Yield the Pass and I may spare your lives. If you delay, I will grind your bones to powder and make mincemeat of your flesh!”

  Li Jue threw his arms over his head and ran out. He returned to his master and told him what a rude reception he had met with. Dong Zhuo asked his adviser Li Ru how to reply to this.

Li Ru said, “Lu Bu’s late defeat had somewhat blunted the edge of our army’s desire for battle. It would be well to return to the capital and remove the Emperor to Changan, as the street children had been lately singing:

[hip, hip, hip]“A Han on the west, a Han on the east. The deer (emperor) in Changan shall worry least.”[yip, yip, yip]

Li Ru continued, “If you think out this couplet, it applies to the present juncture. Half the first line refers to the founder of the dynasty, Liu Bang the Supreme Ancestor, who became ruler in the western city of Changan, which was the capital during twelve reigns. The other half corresponds to Liu Xiu the Latter Han Founder who ruled from Luoyang, the eastern capital during twelve latter reigns. The revolution of the heavens brings us back to this starting moment. Thus if you remove to Changan, there will be no need for anxiety.”

Dong Zhuo was exceedingly pleased and said, “Had you not spoken thus, I should not have understood!”

then taking Lu Bu with him, Dong Zhuo started at once for Capital Luoyang.

Here he called all the officials to a GREat council in the

Palace and addressed them, “After two centuries of rule here,

the royal fortune has been exhausted, and I perceive that the aura of rule has

migrated to Changan, whither I now desire to move

the court. All you had better pack up for the journey.”

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the heat of battle ranged to the frozen pole star.

the heat of battle ranged to the frozen pole star.

Worn out, feeling his strength fast ebbing, Lu Bu thought to flee,

He glanced at the hills around and thither would fly for shelter,

then, reversing his halberd and lowering its lofty point,

Hastily he fled, loosing himself from the battle;

With head low bent, he gave the rein to his courser,

Turned his face away and fled to Tiger Trap Pass.

the three brothers maintained the pursuit to the Pass. Looking up they saw an immense umbrella of black gauze fluttering in the west wind.

  “Certainly there is Dong Zhuo,” cried Zhang Fei. “What is the use of pursuing Lu Bu? Better far seize the chiefest rebel and so pluck up the evil by the roots!”

  And he whipped up his steed toward the Pass.

Burning The Capital, Dong Zhuo Commits An Atrocity;
Hiding The Imperial Hereditary Seal, Sun Jian Breaks Faith.

Zhang Fei rode hard up to the Pass, but the defenders sent down stones and arrows like rain so that he could not enter, and he returned. The eight lords all joined in felicitations to the three brothers for their services, and the story of victory was sent to Yuan Shao, who ordered Sun Jian to make an immediate advance.

thereupon Sun Jian with two trusty generals, Cheng Pu and Huang Gai, went over to the camp of Yuan Shu.

Tracing figures on the ground with his staff, Sun Jian said, “Dong Zhuo and I had no personal quarrel. Yet now I have thrown myself into the battle regardless of consequences, exposed my person to the risk of wounds and fought bloody battles to their bitter end. And why? That I might be the means of ridding my country of a rebel and——for the

private advantage of your family. Yet you, heeding the

slanderous tongue of certain counselor, formerly withheld the

supplies absolutely necessary to me, and so I

suffered defeat. How can you explain, General?”

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An ancient poet has told of this famous fight in these lines:

An ancient poet has told of this famous fight in these lines:

the fateful day of Han came in the reigns of Huan and Ling,

their glory declined as the sun sinks at the close of day.

Dong Zhuo, infamous minister of state, pulled down the youthful Bian.

It is true the new Xian was a weakling, too timid for his times.

then Cao Cao proclaimed abroad these wicked deeds,

And the GREat lords, moved with anger, assembled their forces.

In council met they and chose as their oath-chief Yuan Shao,

Pledged themselves to maintain the ruling house and tranquillity.

  Of the warriors of that time matchless Lu Bu was the boldest.

  His valor and prowess are sung by all within the four seas.

  He clothed his body in silver armor like the scales of a dragon,

  On his head was a golden headdress with pheasant tails,

  About his waist a shaggy belt, the clasp, two wild beasts’ heads with gripping jaws,

  His flowing, embroidered robe fluttered about his form,

  His swift courser bounded over the plain, a mighty wind following,

  His terrible trident halberd FLASHed in the sunlight, bright as a placid lake.

  Who dared face him as he rode forth to challenge?

the bowels of the confederate lords were torn with fear and their hearts trembled.

then leaped forth Zhang Fei, the valiant warrior of the north,

Gripped in his mighty hand the long serpent halberd,

His mustache bristled with anger, standing stiff like wire.

His round eyes glared, lightning FLASHes darted from them.

Neither quailed in the fight, but the issue was undecided.

Guan Yu stood out in front, his soul vexed within him,

His GREen-dragon saber shone white as frost in the sunlight,

His bright colored fighting robe fluttered like butterfly wings,

Demons and angels shrieked at the thunder of his horse hoofs,

In his eyes was fierce anger, a fire to be quenched only in blood.

Next Liu Bei joined the battle, gripping his twin sword blades,

the heavens themselves trembled at the majesty of his wrath.

these three closely beset Lu Bu and long drawn out was the battle,

Always he warded their blows, never faltering a moment.

the noise of their shouting rose to the sky, and the earth reechoed it,

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the fighting then ceased, and after their return to camp another

the fighting then ceased, and after their return to camp another council met.

Cao Cao said, “No one can stand against the prowess of Lu Bu. Let us call up all the lords and evolve some good plan. If only Lu Bu were taken, Dong Zhuo could easily be killed.”

While the council was in proGREss again came Lu Bu to challenge them, and again the commanders moved out against him. This time Gongsun Zan, flourishing his spear, went to meet the enemy. After a very few bouts Gongsun Zan turned and fled; Lu Bu following at the topmost speed of Red Hare. Red Hare was a five-hundred-mile-a-day horse, swift as the wind. The lords watched Red Hare gained rapidly upon the flying horseman, and Lu Bu’s halberd was poised ready to strike Gongsun Zan just behind the heart. Just then dashed in a third rider with round glaring eyes and a bristling mustache, and armed with a ten-foot serpent halberd.

[e] Yan was a state in the Warring States period. Located in the northeast, and north of Qi. ……

  “Stay, O twice bastard!” roared he, “I, Zhang Fei of Yan*, await you!”

  Seeing this opponent, Lu Bu left the pursuit of Gongsun Zan and engaged the new adversary. Zhang Fei was elated, and he rode forth with all his energies. They two were worthily matched, and they exchanged half a hundred bouts with no advantage to either side. Then Guan Yu, impatient, rode out with his huge and weighty GREen-dragon saber and attacked Lu Bu on the other flank. The three steeds formed a triangle and their riders battered away at each other for thirty bouts, yet still Lu Bu stood firm.

then Liu Bei rode out to his brothers’ aid, his double swords raised ready to strike. The steed with the flowing mane was urged in at an angle, and now Lu Bu had to contend with three surrounding warriors at whom he struck one after another, and they at him, the FLASHing of the warriors’ weapons looking like the revolving lamps suspended at the new year. And the warriors of the eight armies gazed rapt with amazement at such a battle.

But Lu Bu’s guard began to weaken and fatigue seized him. Looking hard in the face of Liu Bei, Lu Bu feigned a fierce thrust thus making Liu Bei suddenly draw back. Then, lowering his halberd, Lu Bu dashed through the angle thus opened and got away.

But was it likely they would allow him to escape?

They whipped their steeds and followed hard. The soldiers

of the eight armies cracked their throats with thunderous cheers

and all dashed forward, pressing after Lu Bu as he made for the

shelter of the Tiger Trap Pass. And first among

his pursuers were the three brothers.

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Lu Bu was a conspicuous figure in front of the line

Lu Bu was a conspicuous figure in front of the line. On his head was a triple curved headdress of ruddy gold with pheasant tails. He wore a warring velvet-red robe of Xichuan silk embroidered with thousand flowers, which was overlapped by golden mail adorned with a gaping animal’s head, joined by rings at the sides and girt to his waist with a belt fastened by a beautiful lion-head clasp. His bow and arrows were slung on his shoulders, and he carried a long heavy trident halberd. He was seated on his snorting steed Red Hare. Indeed Lu Bu was the man among humans, as Red Hare was the horse among horses.

“Who dares go out to fight him?” asked Wang Kuang turning to those behind him.

In response a valiant general from Henei named Fang Yue spurred to the front, his spear set ready for battle. Lu Bu and Fang Yue met: Before the fifth bout Fang Yue fell under a thrust of the trident halberd, and Lu Bu dashed forward. Wang Kuang’s troops could not stand and scattered in all directions. Lu Bu went to and fro slaying all he met. He was irresistible.

Luckily, two other troops led by Qiao Mao and Yuan Yi came up and rescued the wounded Wang Kuang, and Lu Bu pulled back. The three, having lost many troops, withdrew ten miles and made a stockade. And before long the remaining five commanders came up and joined them. They held a council and aGREed Lu Bu was a hero no one could match.

  And while they sat there anxious and uncertain, it was announced that Lu Bu had returned to challenge them. They mounted their horses and placed themselves at the heads of eight forces, each body in its station on the high ground. Around them was the opposing army in formation, commanded by Lu Bu, innumerable horse and foot, with splendid embroidered banners waving in the breeze.

they attacked Lu Bu. Mu Shun, a general of Governor Zhang Yang, rode out with his spear set, but soon fell at the first encounter with Lu Bu. This frightened the others. Then galloped forth Wu Anguo, a general under Governor Kong Rong. Wu Anguo raised his iron mace ready at his rival. Lu Bu whirling his halberd and urging on his steed came to meet Wu Anguo. The two fought, well matched for ten bouts, when a blow from the trident halberd broke Wu Anguo’s

wrist. Letting his mace fall to the

ground he fled. Then all eight of the

lords led forth their armies to

his rescue, and Lu Bu retired to his line.

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“If you hold a mere magistrate in such honor then I simply

“If you hold a mere magistrate in such honor, then I simply withdraw,” said Yuan Shu.

“Is a word enough to defeat a grand enterprise?” said Cao Cao.

then he told Gongsun Zan to lead the three brothers back to their own camp, and the other chiefs then dispersed. That night Cao Cao secretly sent presents of meat and wine to soothe the three after this adventure.

When Hua Xiong’s troops straggled back and told the story of defeat and death, Li Ru was GREatly distressed. He wrote urgent letters to his master who called in his trusted advisers to a council.

  Li Ru summed up the situation, saying, “We have lost our best leader, and the rebel power has thereby become very GREat. Yuan Shao is at the head of this confederacy, and his uncle, Yuan Wei, is holder of the office of Imperial Guardianship. If those in the capital combine with those in the country, we may suffer. Therefore we must remove them. So I request you, Sir Prime Minister, to place yourself at the head of your army and break this confederation.”

Dong Zhuo aGREed and at once ordered his two generals, Li Jue and Guo Si, to take five hundred troops and surround the residence of Imperial Guardian Yuan Wei, slay every soul regardless of age, and hang the head of Yuan Wei outside the gate as trophy. And Dong Zhuo commanded two hundred thousand troops to advance in two armies. The first fifty thousand were under Li Jue and Guo Si, and they were to hold River Si Pass. They should not necessarily fight. The other one hundred fifty thousand under Dong Zhuo himself went to Tiger Trap Pass. His counselors and commanders——Li Ru, Lu Bu, Fan Chou, Zhang Ji, and others——marched with the main army.

Tiger Trap Pass is fifteen miles from Capital Luoyang. As soon as they arrived, Dong Zhuo bade Lu Bu take thirty thousand soldiers and make a strong stockade on the outside of the Pass. The main body with Dong Zhuo would occupy the Pass.

News of this movement reaching the confederate lords. Yuan Shao summoned a council.

Said Cao Cao, “the occupation of the Pass would cut our armies in two; therefore, we must oppose Dong Zhuo’s army on the way.”

So eight of the commanders——Wang Kuang, Qiao Mao, Bao Xin, Yuan Yi, Kong Rong, Zhang Yang, Tao Qian, and Gongsun Zan——were ordered to go in the direction of the Tiger Trap Pass to oppose their enemy. Cao Cao and his troops moved among them as reserve to render help where needed.

Of the eight, Wang Kuang, the Governor of Henei,

was the first to arrive, and Lu Bu went to give battle with

three thousand armored horsemen. When Wang Kuang had

ordered his army, horse and foot, in battle array,

he took his station under the GREat banner and looked over at his foe.

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“This man looks no common person. And how can the enemy

“This man looks no common person. And how can the enemy know he is but a bowman?” said Cao Cao.

“If I fail, then can you take my head,” spoke Guan Yu.

Cao Cao bade them heat some wine and offered a cup to Guan Yu as he went out.

“Pour it out,” said Guan Yu. “I shall return in a little space.”

  Guan Yu went with his weapon in his hand and vaulted into the saddle. Those in the tent heard the fierce roll of the drums and then a mighty sound as if skies were falling and earth rising, hills trembling and mountains tearing asunder. And they were sore afraid. And while they were listening with ears intent, lo! the gentle tinkle of horse bells, and Guan Yu returned, throwing at their feet the head of the slain leader, their enemy Hua Xiong.

  the wine was still warm!

  This doughty deed has been celebrated in verse:

the power of the man stands first in all the world,

At the gate of the camp was heard the rolling of the battle drums;

then Guan Yu set aside the wine cup till he should have displayed his valor,

And the wine was still warm when Hua Xiong had been slain.

Cao Cao was GREatly excited at this success.

But Zhang Fei’s voice was heard, shouting, “My brother has slain Hua Xiong. What are we waiting for? Why not break through the Pass and seize Dong Zhuo? Could there have been a better time?”

Again arose the angry voice of Yuan Shu, “We high officials are too meek and yielding. Here is the petty follower of a small magistrate daring to flaunt his prowess before us!

Expel him from the tent, I say.”

But again Cao Cao interposed,

“Shall we consider the station of

him who has done a GREat service?”

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“Who dares go out to give battle?” said Yuan Shao.

“Who dares go out to give battle?” said Yuan Shao.

“I will go,” said Yu She, a renown general of Yuan Shu, stepping forward.

So Yu She went, and almost immediately one came back to say that Yu She had fallen in the third bout of Hua Xiong.

Fear began to lay its cold hand on the assembly.

then Imperial Protector Han Fu said, “I have a brave warrior among my army. Pan Feng is his name, and he could slay this Hua Xiong.”

  So Pan Feng was ordered out to meet the foe. With his GREat battle-ax in his hand, Pan Feng mounted and rode forth. But soon came the direful tidings that General Pan Feng too had fallen. The faces of the gathering paled at this.

  “What a pity my two able generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou, are not here! then should we have someone who would not fear this Hua Xiong,” said Yuan Shao.

  He had not finished when from the lower end a voice tolled, “I will go, take Hua Xiong’s head, and lay it before you here!”

  All turned to look at the speaker. He was tall and had a long beard. His eyes were those of a phoenix and his eyebrows thick and bushy like silkworms. His face was a swarthy red and his voice deep as the sound of a GREat bell.

“Who is he?” asked Yuan Shao.

Gongsun Zan told them it was Guan Yu, brother of Liu Bei.

“And what is he?” asked Yuan Shao.

“He is in the train of Liu Bei as a mounted archer.”

“What! An insult to us all!” roared Yuan Shu from his place. “Have we no leader? How dare an archer speak thus before us? Let us beat him forth!”

But Cao Cao intervened. “Peace,

O Yuan Shu! Since this man speaks

GREat words, he is certainly valiant.

Let him try. If he fails, then we may reproach him.”

“Hua Xiong will laugh at us if we send a

mere archer to fight him,” said Yuan Shao.

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When all were seated in the tent Yuan Shao said,

When all were seated in the tent Yuan Shao said,

“The brother of General Bao Xin, disobeying the rules we made for our guidance, rashly went to attack the enemy: He was slain and with him many of our soldiers. Now Sun Jian has been defeated. Thus our fighting spirit has suffered and what is to be done?”

  Everyone was silent. Lifting his eyes, Yuan Shao looked round from one to another till he came to Gongsun Zan, and then he remarked three men who stood behind Gongsun Zan’s seat. They were of striking appearance as they stood there, all three smiling cynically.

  “Who are those men behind you?” said Yuan Shao.

  Gongsun Zan told Liu Bei to come forward, and said, “This is Liu Bei, Magistrate of Pingyuan and a brother of mine who shared my humble cottage when we were students.”

“It must be the Liu Bei who broke up the Yellow Scarves rebellion,” said Cao Cao.

“It is he,” said Gongsun Zan, and he ordered Liu Bei to make his obeisance to the assembly, to whom Liu Bei then related his services and his origin, all in full detail.

“Since he is of the Han line, he should be seated,” said Yuan Shao, and he bade Liu Bei sit.

Liu Bei modestly thanked him, declining.

Said Yuan Shao, “This consideration is not for your fame and office. I respect you as a scion of the imperial family.”

So Liu Bei took his seat in the lowest place of the long line of lords. And his two brothers with folded arms took their stations behind him.

Even as they were at this meeting came in a scout to say

that Hua Xiong with a company of mail-clad

horsemen was coming down from the Pass.

They were flaunting Sun Jian’s captured purple

turban on the end of a bamboo pole.

The enemy was soon hurling insults at those

within the stockade and challenging them to fight.

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Hua Xiong bade Hu Zhen lead five thousand out against Sun Jian

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.

When news of the disaster reached Yuan Shao,

he was GREatly chagrined and called

all the lords to a council.

They assembled and Gongsun Zan was the last to arrive.

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