“What does this mean?” said Liu Bei.Tao Qian said, “there is

“What does this mean?” said Liu Bei.

Tao Qian said, “there is trouble on every side, and the kingly rule is no longer maintained. You, Sir, are a member of the family and eminently fitted to support them and their prerogatives. I am verging on senility, and I wish to retire in your favor. I pray you not to decline, and I will report my action to the court.”

Liu Bei started up from his seat and bowed before his host, saying, “Scion of the family I may be, but my merit is small and my virtue meager. I doubt my fitness even for my present post, and only a feeling of doing right sent me to your assistance. To hear such speech makes me doubt. Surely you think I came with GREed in my heart. May God help me no more if I cherished such a thought.”

  “It is a poor old man’s real sentiment,” said Tao Qian.

  Time after time Tao Qian renewed his offer to entrust the region of Xuzhou to Liu Bei, but Liu Bei kept refusing.

  In the midst of this came Mi Zhu, saying, “The enemies had reached the wall, and something must be done to drive them off. The present matter could await a more tranquil time.”

  Said Liu Bei, “I ought to write to Cao Cao to press him to raise the siege. If he refuses, we will attack forthwith.”

  Orders were sent to the three camps outside to remain quiescent till the letter could reach Cao Cao.

It happened that Cao Cao was holding a council when a messenger with a war letter was announced.

the letter was brought in and handed to him and,

when he had opened and looked at it,

he found it was from Liu Bei.

This is the letter, very nearly:

www.sh419ec.com

But a terrific thunder storm came on at the time

But a terrific thunder storm came on at the time of inhumation, and the ground was flooded. The coffin was rived asunder, and the poor remains knocked out by thunders. A second time they buried the coffin, but a similar thing happened in the night. And yet a third time in another place but the earth rejected the remains. Meanwhile the thunder-fire had entirely consumed them. So it may be said justly that Heaven was exceedingly angry with Dong Zhuo.

So now Li Jue and Guo Si wielded the real power of the scepter, and they were hard upon the people.

They also removed the attendants from the Palace and replaced them by their own creatures,

who maintained a most perfect watch over every movement of the Emperor so that he was GREatly hampered and embarrassed.

All appointments and demotions were made by the two rebels. For the sake of popularity they especially summoned Zhu Jun to court, made him Minister of the Inner Bureau and associated him with the government.

  One day came a report that the Governor of Xiliang, Ma Teng, and the Imperial Protector of Bingzhou, Han Sui, with one hundred thousand troops, are rapidly approaching the capital with the intention of attacking the rebels in the name of the Emperor.

  Now these leaders from the west had laid careful plans.

Ma Teng and Han Sui had sent trusty friends to the capital to find out who would support them.

They had conspired with three officials——Court Counselors Ma Yu and Chong Shao,

and Imperial Commander Liu Fan——to be their inside allies and plot against the rebels.

These three obtained from the Throne two secret edicts conferring the ranks of Commander Who Conquers the West on Ma Teng and Commander Who Guards the West on Han Sui.

With these powers the two commanders joined forces and began their march.

  the four leaders of the party in power——Li Jue, Guo Si, Fan Chou, and Zhang Ji——held a consultation with their generals as to how to meet the attack.

  Adviser Jia Xu said, “Since the attackers are coming from a distance, our plan is to fortify and wait till shortage of food shall work for us. In a hundred days their supplies will be consumed, and they must retire. We can pursue and we shall capture them.”

Li Meng and Wang Fang rose and said, “This plan is bad. Give us ten thousand troops, and we will put an end to both of them and offer their heads before your ensign.”

“To fight forthwith means defeat,” said Jia Xu.

Li Meng and Wang Fang cried with one voice,

“If we fail, we are willing to lose our heads. But if we win,

then your head is forfeit.”

www.hnytpm.com

the person who collided with the irate Dong Zhuo was

the person who collided with the irate Dong Zhuo was his most trusty adviser Li Ru. Li Ru had not fallen in spite of the shock and at once scrambled to help Dong Zhuo to regain his feet and led him inside to the library, where they sat down.

“What were you coming about?” said Dong Zhuo.

“Happening to be passing your gates, I heard that you had gone into your private garden to look for your adopted son. then came Lu Bu running and crying out that you wanted to kill him, and I was coming in as fast as I could to intercede for him when I accidentally collided with you. I am very sorry. I deserve death.”

“the wretch! How could I bear to see him toying with my fair one? I will be the death of his yet.”

  “Your Graciousness is making a mistake. It is the ‘plucked tassel’ story over again. But if you remember the banquet of old time where all guests were to tear the tassels of their hats. In that banquet, King Zhuang of Chu made no fuss about the liberties taken with his queen, although the hat-tassel in her hand betrayed the culprit Jiang Xiong. His restraint stood him good stead, for the same Jiang Xiong saved his life when he was hemmed in by the soldiers of Qin. After all Diao Chan is only a handmaid, but Lu Bu is your trustiest friend and most dreaded commander. If you took this chance of making the girl over to him, your kindness would win his undying gratitude. I beg you, Sir, to think over it well.”

  Dong Zhuo hesitated a long time. He sat murmuring to himself. Presently he said, “What you say is right. I must think over it.”

  Li Ru felt satisfied. He took leave of his master and went away. Dong Zhuo went to his private rooms and called Diao Chan.

“What were you doing there with Lu Bu?” said he.

She began to weep, saying, “Thy handmaid was in the garden among the flowers, when he rushed in on me. I was frightened and ran away. He asked why I ran away from a son of the family and pursued me right to the pavilion, where you saw us. He had that halberd in his hand all the time.

I felt he was a vicious man and would force me to his will,

so I tried to throw myself into the lily pond,

but he caught me in his arms and held me so that I was helpless.

Luckily just at that moment you came and saved my life.”

www.neuventure.cn

Shisun Rui said, “the moment is favorable. The Emperor has

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.

pakco.cn

the person who collided with the irate Dong Zhuo

the person who collided with the irate Dong Zhuo was his most trusty adviser Li Ru. Li Ru had not fallen in spite of the shock and at once scrambled to help Dong Zhuo to regain his feet and led him inside to the library, where they sat down.

“What were you coming about?” said Dong Zhuo.

“Happening to be passing your gates, I heard that you had gone into your private garden to look for your adopted son. then came Lu Bu running and crying out that you wanted to kill him, and I was coming in as fast as I could to intercede for him when I accidentally collided with you. I am very sorry. I deserve death.”

“the wretch! How could I bear to see him toying with my fair one? I will be the death of his yet.”

  “Your Graciousness is making a mistake. It is the ‘plucked tassel’ story over again. But if you remember the banquet of old time where all guests were to tear the tassels of their hats. In that banquet, King Zhuang of Chu made no fuss about the liberties taken with his queen, although the hat-tassel in her hand betrayed the culprit Jiang Xiong. His restraint stood him good stead, for the same Jiang Xiong saved his life when he was hemmed in by the soldiers of Qin. After all Diao Chan is only a handmaid, but Lu Bu is your trustiest friend and most dreaded commander. If you took this chance of making the girl over to him, your kindness would win his undying gratitude. I beg you, Sir, to think over it well.”

  Dong Zhuo hesitated a long time. He sat murmuring to himself. Presently he said, “What you say is right. I must think over it.”

  Li Ru felt satisfied. He took leave of his master and went away. Dong Zhuo went to his private rooms and called Diao Chan.

“What were you doing there with Lu Bu?” said he.

She began to weep, saying, “Thy handmaid was in the garden among the flowers, when he rushed in on me. I was frightened and ran away. He asked why I ran away from a son of the family and pursued me right to the pavilion, where you saw us. He had that halberd in his hand all the time.

I felt he was a vicious man and would force me to his will,

so I tried to throw myself into the lily pond,

but he caught me in his arms and held me so that I was helpless.

Luckily just at that moment you came and saved my life.”

61ggg.com

This is what Kuai Liang said, “Sun Jian is now gone

This is what Kuai Liang said, “Sun Jian is now gone, and his children are but youths. Seize this moment of weakness to break into Changsha, and it is yours in one beat of the drum. If you return the corpse and make peace, you give them time to grow powerful, and evil will ensue to Jingzhou.”

“How can I leave Huang Zu in their hands?” said Liu Biao.

“Why not sacrifice this blundering warrior for a region?”

“But he is my dear friend and to abandon him is wrong.”

So Huan Ji was allowed to return to his own side with the understanding that Sun Jian’s dead body should be given in exchange. Sun Ce freed his prisoner, brought away his father’s coffin, and the fighting ceased. Sun Jian was interred in the plains of Que. When the ceremonies were over, Sun Ce led his army home again.

[e] the Yangtze or Yangzi river, which flows from west to east to the Pacific at Shanghai.

  In Changsha, the southern territory of the GREat River*, Sun Ce set himself to the task of ruling well. Being humble and generous, he invited to his side humans of wisdom and valor and so bore himself that all the best and bravest of the country gathered about him.

  Meanwhile, Dong Zhuo at Capital Changan, when he heard of the death of the turbulent Sun Jian, said, “An evil that pressed hard upon my heart has been removed!”

  He asked what children Sun Jian had left, and when they told him the eldest was but seventeen, he dismissed all anxiety from his thoughts.

  From this time forward his arrogance and domineering spirit waxed worse and worse. He styled himself “Imperial Rector,” a name full of honor, and in all his behavior aped imperial state. He created his younger brother, Dong Min, Lord of Huazhou and made him Commander of the Left Army. A nephew, Dong Huang, was made Court Counselor and placed in command of the Palace Guard, and everyone of his clan, young or old, was ennobled. Eighty miles from the capital Dong Zhuo laid out a city called Meiwo, an exact replica of Changan, with its palaces, granaries, treasuries, and magazines, and employed a quarter of a million people to build it. Here he accumulated supplies sufficient for twenty years. He selected eight hundred of the most beautiful maidens and sent them to dwell in his new city. The stores of wealth in every form were incalculable. All his family and retainers found quarters in this new city.

Dong Zhuo visited his city at intervals of a month or so,

and every visit was like an imperial proGREss,

with booths by the roadside to refresh the officials and courtiers who

attended him to the northwest Royal Gate and saw him start.

www.ezon.bj.cn

This bold speech gave new courage to his soldiers

This bold speech gave new courage to his soldiers who now fought fiercely and with such success that Zhao Yun could nowhere force his way in. Yuan Shao was soon reinforced by the arrival of his main body and Yan Liang, and the two armies pressed forward. Zhao Yun could only just get Gongsun Zan safe out of the press. Then they fought their way back to the bridge. But Yuan Shao’s troops still came on and fought their way across the bridge, forcing multitudes of their adversaries into the water, where many were drowned.

Yuan Shao was leading in person and his troops still advanced. But not more than two miles, for soon a GREat shouting was heard behind some hills, whence suddenly burst out a body of troops led by Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei.

At Pingyuan they had heard of the struggle between their protector and his enemy, Yuan Shao, and had at once set out to help. Now the three riders, each with his peculiar weapon, flew straight at Yuan Shao, who was so frightened that his soul seemed to leave his body and fly beyond the confines of heaven.

  His sword fell from his hand and he fled for his life. He was chased across the bridge when Gongsun Zan called in his army, and they returned to camp.

  After the usual GREetings Gongsun Zan said, “If you had not come to our help, we should have been in very bad case.”

  Liu Bei and Zhao Yun were made acquainted with each other, and a warm affection sprang up from the very first so that they were always together.

  Yuan Shao had lost that battle, and Gongsun Zan would not risk another. They strengthened their defenses, and the armies lay inactive for over a month. In the meantime news of the fighting had reached Capital Changan, and Dong Zhuo was told.

  His adviser, Li Ru, went to see his master and said, “the two active leaders of today are Yuan Shao and Gongsun Zan, who are at grips at River Pan. Pretend you have an imperial command to make peace between them, and both will support you out of gratitude for your intervention.”

  “Good!” said Dong Zhuo.

  So he sent the Imperial Guardian, Ma Midi,

and the Minister of the Inner Bureau, Zhao Qi, on the mission. When these men were arriving at the

North of Yellow River, Yuan Shao sent out to welcome them thirty miles from his headquarters

and received the imperial command with the GREatest respect. Then the two officers went to

Gongsun Zan and made known their errand. Gongsun Zan sent letters to his adversary

proposing friendship. The two emissaries returned to report their task accomplished.

Gongsun Zan drew off his army. He

also sent up a memorial eulogizing

Liu Bei, who was raised to

the rank of Governor of Pingyuan.

the farewell between Liu Bei and Zhao Yun was affecting.

They held each other’s hands a long time, their eyes streaming with tears, and could not tear themselves apart.

Zhao Yun said with a sob,

“I used to think Gongsun Zan a true hero,

but I see now that he is no different from

Yuan Shao. they are both alike.”

www.denier.com.cn

On Yuan Shao’s side Yan Liang and Wen Chou were

On Yuan Shao’s side Yan Liang and Wen Chou were Leaders of the Van. Each had one thousand of archers and crossbowmen. They were set out half on either side, those on the left to shoot at Gongsun Zan’s right and those on the right to shoot at his left. In the center was Qu Yi with eight hundred bowmen and ten thousand of foot and horse. Yuan Shao took command of the reserve force in the rear.

In this fight Gongsun Zan employed his new adherent Zhao Yun for the first time and, as Gongsun Zan did not feel assured of Zhao Yun’s good faith, put him in command of a company at the rear. The Van Leader was Yan Guang, and Gongsun Zan himself commanded the center. He took his place on horseback on the bridge beside an enormous red standard on which was displayed the word Commanding General in gold embroidery.

  From sunrise to noon the drums rolled for the attack, but Yuan Shao’s army made no move. Qu Yi made his bowmen hide under their shields. They heard the roar of explosions, the whistling of arrows, and the rattle of the drums, as Yan Guang approached from the other side, but Qu Yi and his men lay closer than ever and never stirred. They waited till Yan Guang had got close on them and then, as the sound of a bomb rent the air, the whole eight hundred men let fly their arrows in a cloud. Yan Guang was quite taken aback and would have retired, but Qu Yi rode furiously toward him, whirled up his sword and cut him down.

  So Gongsun Zan’s army lost that battle. the two wings that should have come to the rescue were kept back by the bowmen under Yan Liang and Wen Chou. Yuan Shao’s troops advanced right up to the bridge. Then Qu Yi rode forward, slew the standard bearer, and hacked through the staff of the embroidered banner. Seeing this, Gongsun Zan turned his steed and galloped away.

  Qu Yi followed. But just as he caught up the fugitive, there came prancing forth Zhao Yun, who rode directly at him with spear ready to strike. After a few bouts Qu Yi was laid in the dust. Then Zhao Yun attacked the soldiers and turned the tide. Plunging forward on this side, dashing in on that, he went through as if there were no antagonists and, seeing this, Gongsun Zan turned and came again into the fight. The final victory was on his side.

From the scouts sent to find out how the battle went, Yuan Shao heard the good news

of Qu Yi’s success in slaying the standard bearer, capturing the flag, and his pursuit. So Yuan

Shao took no further care but rode out with his General Tian Feng

and a few guards to look on at the enemy and enjoy his victory.

“Ha ha!” Yuan Shao laughed. “Gongsun Zan is an incapable.”

But even as Yuan Shao spoke, he saw in front the redoubtable Zhao

Yun. His guards hastened to prepare their bows, but before they could shoot,

Zhao Yun was in their midst, and men were falling before him wherever he went.

The others fled. Gongsun Zan’s army then gathered round and hemmed in Yuan Shao.

Tian Feng then said to his master,

“Sir, take refuge in this empty building here!”

But Yuan Shao dashed his helmet to the ground, crying,

“The brave one rather faces death in

the battle than seeks safety behind a wall!”

bjhshtsteeL.com

When the news got abroad, more than thirty officers

When the news got abroad, more than thirty officers of Jizhou left their employment and the city. However, Geng Wu and Guan Chun hid in the suburbs to await the arrival of Yuan Shao.

[e] Each region had a capital, which was often of the same name with the region.

they had not long to wait. Some days later, Yuan Shao with his soldiers came, and Geng Wu and Guan Chun tried to assassinate him with knives. This attempt failed. Yuan Shao’s generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou, beheaded Geng Wu and Guan Chun instantly. Thus both of them died, and the object of their hatred entered Jizhou City*.

Yuan Shao’s first act was to confer on Han Fu a high sounding title——General Who Demonstrates Grand and Vigor Courage in Arms——, but the administration was entrusted to four of Yuan Shao’s confidants——Tian Feng, Ju Shou, Xu You, and Peng Ji——who speedily deprived the Imperial Protector of all power. Full of chagrin, Han Fu soon abandoned all, even his family, and rode alone to take refuge with the Governor of Chenliu, Zhang Miao.

  Hearing of Yuan Shao’s invasion, Gongsun Zan sent his brother, Gongsun Yue, to see the usurper and demand his share of the region.

  “I want to see your elder brother himself. He and I have things to discuss,” said Yuan Shao.

  Thus Gongsun Yue was sent back. But after traveling some fifteen miles on the homeward road, Gongsun Yue saw a group of soldiers appear.

  “We are guards of Prime Minister Dong Zhuo!” cried the soldiers.

  Instantly, Gongsun Yue was killed by a flight of arrows. Those of Gongsun Yue’s followers who escaped carried the news to their late master’s brother.

Gongsun Zan was very angry and said, “Yuan Shao prevailed on me to attack, and now he has taken possession. Also he pretends the murderers of my brother were not his people. Shall I not avenge my brother’s injury?”

Gongsun Zan brought up all his force to the attack. Learning the movement, Yuan Shao sent out his army, and they met at River Pan. They halted on opposite sides of the river, over which was a bridge.

Gongsun Zan took his station on the bridge and cried to his enemy, “Renegade, how dared you mislead me?”

Yuan Shao rode to the other end of the bridge and,

pointing at Gongsun Zan, replied,

“Han Fu yielded place to me because he was unequal to the rule.

What concern is it of yours?”

sjjhzm.com.cn

At the close of the last chapter Sun Jian was surrounded

At the close of the last chapter Sun Jian was surrounded. However, aided by Cheng Pu, Huang Gai, and Han Dang, he eventually fought his way through, though with the loss of more than half his troops. Sun Jian he returned to the South Land, southeast of the GREat River*. Henceforward Sun Jian and Liu Biao were open enemies.

Yuan Shao was in Henei. Being short of supplies, he sent to borrow from the Imperial Protector of Jizhou, Han Fu, whence he obtained the wherewithal to support his army.

then one of Yuan Shao’s advisers, Peng Ji, said to him, “You are really the strongest power here about. Why then depend upon another for food? Jizhou Region is rich and wide. Why not seize it?”

“I have no good plan,” replied Yuan Shao.

  “You could secretly send a letter to Gongsun Zan, asking him to attack, promising him your support. Imperial Protector Han Fu of Jizhou, being incapable, must ask you to take over his region, and you will get it without lifting a finger.”

  So the letter was sent. When Gongsun Zan saw therein the proposal to make a joint attack and divide the territory, he aGREed to give his help. In the meantime Yuan Shao had sent to warn Han Fu of Gongsun Zan’s threat. Han Fu sought advice from Advisers Xun Chang and Xin Ping.

  Xun Chang said, “Governor Gongsun Zan of Beiping is commanding a huge and strong army. If he came to attack us, we could not stand against him, especially if he had the help of Liu Bei and his brothers. At present, Yuan Shao is bolder than most, and he has many able and famous leaders under him. You cannot do better than ask him to assist in administering this region. Yuan Shao will certainly treat you with generosity, and you need have no fear from Gongsun Zan.”

Han Fu aGREed and sent a message to Yuan Shao by the hand of Guan Chun.

But Commander Geng Wu remonstrated with his master, saying, “Yuan Shao is a needy man with a hungry army and as dependent on us for existence as an infant in arms on its mother. Stop the flow of milk and the infant dies. Why should you hand the region over to him? It is nothing less than letting a tiger into the sheepfold.”

Han Fu replied, “I am one of the clients of the Yuan family, and I know the abilities of Yuan Shao, which is far better than mine. Why are you all so jealous? The ancients counseled yielding to the sage.”

Geng Wu sighed, “Jizhou is lost!”

When the news got abroad, more than thirty officers

of Jizhou left their employment and the city. However,

Geng Wu and Guan Chun hid in the suburbs to await the arrival of Yuan Shao.

[e] Each region had a capital, which was often of the same name with the region.

www.sjjhzm.com.cn