“Suppose I send you to him,” said Dong Zhuo.

“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.”

Li Ru left the chamber. When he got outside, he cast his eyes up to heaven, saying, “We are dead people, slain by the hand of this girl!”

When a scholar of history reached this episode he wrote a verse or two:

[hip, hip, hip] Just introduce a woman,

Conspiracies succeed;Of soldiers, or their weapons,

There really is no need. They fought their bloody battles,

And doughty deeds were done;

But in a garden summer house The victory was won. 

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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.”

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He angrily rebuked his son, saying, “Dare you make love to my

He angrily rebuked his son, saying, “Dare you make love to my beauty?”

He told the servants to turn Lu Bu out, shouting, “Never let him enter here again!”

Lu Bu went off home very wrath. Meeting Li Ru, he told Li Ru the cause of his anger.

the adviser hastened to see his master and said, “Sir, you aspire to be ruler of the empire. Why then for a small fault do you blame the General? If he turns against you, it is all over.”

“then what can I do?” said Dong Zhuo.

  “Recall him tomorrow; treat him well; overwhelm him with gifts and fair words; and all will be well.”

  So Dong Zhuo did so. He sent for Lu Bu and was very gracious and said, “I was irritable and hasty yesterday owing to my illness and I wronged you, I know. Forgive me.”

  He gave Lu Bu three hundred ounces of gold and twenty rolls of brocade. And so the quarrel was made up. But though Lu Bu’s body was with his adopted father Dong Zhuo, his heart was with his promised bride Diao Chan.

  Dong Zhuo having quite recovered went to court again, and Lu Bu followed him as usual. Seeing Dong Zhuo deep in conversation with the Emperor, Lu Bu, armed as he was, went out of the Palace and rode off to his chief’s residence. He tied up his steed at the entrance and, halberd in hand, went to the private apartment to seek his love. He found Diao Chan, and she told him to go out into the garden where she would join him soon. He went, taking his halberd with him, and he leaned against the rail of the Phoenix Pavilion to wait for Diao Chan.

After a long time she appeared, swaying gracefully as she made her way under the drooping willows and parting the flowers as she passed. She was exquisite, a perfect fairy from the Palace of the Moon.

Tears were in her eyes as she came up and said, “Though I am not the Minister’s real daughter, yet he treated me as his own child. The desire of my life was fulfilled when he plighted me to you. But oh! to think of the wickedness of the Prime Minister, stealing my poor self as he did. I suffered so much. I longed to die,

only that I had not told you the real truth. So I lived on,

bearing my shame as best as I could but feeling it mean still to live.

Now that I have seen you, I can end it all. My poor sullied body is

no longer fit to serve a hero. I can die before your eyes and so prove how true I am!”

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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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On one occasion Dong Zhuo spread a GREat feast for all

On one occasion Dong Zhuo spread a GREat feast for all those assembled to witness his departure; and while it was in progress, there arrived a large number of rebels from the north who had voluntarily surrendered. The tyrant had them brought before him as he sat at table and meted out to them wanton cruelties. The hands of this one were lopped off, the feet of that; one had his eyes gouged out; another lost his tongue. Some were boiled to death. Shrieks of agony arose to the very heavens, and the courtiers were faint with terror. But the author of the misery ate and drank, chatted and smiled as if nothing was going on.

Another day Dong Zhuo was presiding at a GREat gathering of officers who were seated in two long rows. After the wine had gone up and down several times, Lu Bu entered and whispered a few words in his master’s ear.

  Dong Zhuo smiled and said, “He was always so. Take Minister Zhang Wan outside.”

  the others all turned pale. In a little time a serving man brought the head of their fellow guest on a red dish and showed it to their host. They nearly died with fright.

  “Do not fear,” said Dong Zhuo smiling. “Minister Zhang Wan was in league with Yuan Shu to assassinate me. A letter he wrote fell by mistake into the hands of my son, so I have had him put to death. You gentlemen, who have no reason, need have no fear.”

  the officials hastened to disperse. One of them, Minister of the Interior Wang Yun, who had witnessed all this, returned to his palace very pensive and much distressed. The same evening, a bright moonlight night, he took his staff and went strolling in his private garden. Standing near one of the creeper trellises, he gazed up at the sky and the tears rolled down his cheeks. Suddenly he heard a rustle in the Peony Pavilion and someone sighing deeply. Stealthily creeping near, he saw there one of the household singing girls named Diao Chan.

  This maiden had been brought up in his palace, where she had been taught to sing and dance. At twenty-one, she was then just bursting into womanhood, a pretty and clever girl whom Wang Yun regarded more as a daughter than a dependant.

After listening for some time, Wang Yun suddenly called out, “What mischief are you up to there, you naughty girl?”

the maiden dropped on her knees in terror, saying,

“Would thy unworthy handmaid dare to do anything wrong?”

“then what are you sighing about out here in the darkness?”

“May thy handmaid speak from the bottom of her heart?”

“Tell me the whole truth. Do not conceal anything.”

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“But you are now in his service. We shall surely meet again,

“But you are now in his service. We shall surely meet again,” said Liu Bei.

  Both men wept freely as they separated.

  Now Yuan Shu in Nanyang, hearing that his brother had come into Jizhou, sent to beg a thousand horses. The request was refused and enmity sprang up between the brothers. Yuan Shu also sent to Jingzhou to borrow grain, which Imperial Protector Liu Biao would not send. In his resentment, Yuan Shu wrote to Sun Jian trying to get him to attack Liu Biao. The letter ran like this:

  “When Liu Biao stopped you on your way home, it was at the instigation of my brother. Now the same two have planned to fall upon your territories southeast of the GREat River, wherefore you should at once strike at Liu Biao. I will capture my brother for you and both resentments will be appeased. You will get Jingzhou, and I shall have Jizhou.”

“I cannot bear Liu Biao,” said Sun Jian as he finished reading this letter. “He certainly did bar my way home, and I may wait many years for my revenge if I let slip this chance.”

He called a council.

“You may not trust Yuan Shu. He is very deceitful,” said Cheng Pu.

  “I want revenge on my own part. What care I for his help?” said Sun Jian.

  He dispatched Huang Gai to prepare a river fleet, arm and provision them. Big warships were to take horses on board. The force soon set out.

  News of these preparations came to Liu Biao, and he hastily summoned his advisers and warriors.

  Kuai Liang told him to be free from anxiety, and said, “Put General Huang Zu at the head of the Jiangxia army to make the first attack and you, Sir, support him with the forces from Xiangyang. Let Sun Jian come riding the rivers and straddling the lakes: What strength will he have left after arriving here?”

  So Liu Biao bade Huang Zu prepare to march, and a GREat army was assembled.

  Here it may be said that Sun Jian had four sons, all the issue of his wife who was of the Wu family. Their names in order were Sun Ce, Sun Quan, Sun Yi, and Sun Kuang. Sun Jian had a second wife who was the sister of his first wife. And the second wife bore him a son and a daughter, the former called Sun Lang, the latter Sun Ren. Sun Jian had also adopted a son from a Yu family and named him Sun Hu. And he had a younger brother named Sun Jing.

As Sun Jian was leaving on this expedition, his brother Sun Jing with all his six sons stood in front of Sun Jian’s steed and dissuaded him, saying, “Dong Zhuo is the real ruler of the state, for the Emperor is a weakling. The whole country is in rebellion, everyone is scrambling for territory. Our area is comparatively peaceful, and it is wrong to begin a war merely for the sake of a little resentment. I pray you, brother, think before you start.”

Sun Jian replied, “Brother, say no more.

I desire to make my strength felt throughout the empire, and shall I not avenge my injuries?”

“then father, if you must go, let me accompany you,” said the eldest son Sun Ce.

This request was granted, and father and son embarked to go to ravage the city of Fankou.

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Liu Biao was friends with all these. He had three famous persons

Liu Biao was friends with all these. He had three famous persons who helped him in the government of his region. They were Kuai Liang and Kuai Yue from Yanping, and Cai Mao from Xiangyang.

  When Yuan Shao’s letter detailing the fault of Sun Jian arrived, Liu Biao ordered Kuai Yue and Cai Mao with ten thousand soldiers to bar the way. When Sun Jian drew near, the force was arranged in fighting order and the leaders were in the front.

  “Why are you thus barring the road with armed troops?” asked Sun Jian.

  “Why do you, a servant of Han, secrete the Emperor’s special seal? Leave it with me at once and you go free,” said Kuai Yue.

  Sun Jian angrily ordered out General Huang Gai. On the other side Cai Mao rode forth with his sword set to strike. But after a few bouts Huang Gai dealt Cai Mao a blow with the iron whip on the armor just over the heart. Cai Mao turned his steed and fled, and Sun Jian got through with a sudden rush.

However, there arose the sound of gongs and drums on the hills behind, and there was Liu Biao in person with a large army.

Sun Jian rode straight up to him and bowing low spoke, “Why did you, on the faith of a letter from Yuan Shao, try to coerce the chief of a neighboring region?”

“You have concealed the state jewel, and I want you to restore it,” was Liu Biao’s reply.

“If I have this thing, may I die a violent death!”

“If you want me to believe you, let me search your baggage.”

“What force have you that you dare come to flout me thus?”

And only Liu Biao’s prompt retirement prevented a battle. Sun Jian proceeded on his way. But from the rear of the second hill an ambush suddenly discovered itself, and Kuai Yue and Cai Mao were still pursuing.

Sun Jian seemed entirely hemmed in.

[hip, hip, hip]What does a man

to hold the state jewel for,

If its possession lead to strife?

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Yuan Shao was not satisfied. He wrote to Jingzhou

Yuan Shao was not satisfied. He wrote to Jingzhou Region and sent the letter by a trusty hand to tell Imperial Protector Liu Biao to stop Sun Jian and take away the seal.

Just after this came the news of the defeat and misfortune of Cao Cao, and when he was coming home, Yuan Shao sent out to welcome him and conduct him into camp. They also prepared a feast to console him.shlf

  During the feast Cao Cao said sadly, “My object was for the public good, and all you gentlemen nobly supported me. My plan was to get Yuan Shao with his Henei troops to approach Mengching; and my force at Qiao to keep Chenggao; while the others of you to hold Suanzao, to close the passes of Huanyuan and Daigu, and to take possession of the granaries, to control the points of vantage, and thus to secure the Capital District. I planned for Yuan Shu with his Nanyang army to occupy the counties of Danshi and Xilin and go into Wu Pass to help the three supports. All were to fortify their positions and not to fight. Advantage lay in a diverse military coalition that could show the empire a possibility of dealing with the rebellion. We could have convinced the people to side with us against Dong Zhuo. Victory would have been ours at once. But then came delays and doubts and inaction, and the confidence of the people was lost, and I am ashamed.”

[e] Liu Dai was the Imperial Protector of Yanzhou at that time.

No reply was possible and the guests dispersed. Cao Cao saw that the others mistrusted him, and in his heart knew that nothing could be accomplished. So he led off his force to Yanzhou Region*.

then Gongsun Zan said to Liu Bei, “This Yuan Shao is an incapable, and things will turns chaotic. We had better go too.”

So he broke camp and went north. At Pingyuan he left Liu Bei in command and went to strengthen his own position and refresh his troops.

the Imperial Protector of Yanzhou, Liu Dai, wished to borrow grain of the Governor of Dongjun, Qiao Mao. Being denied, Liu Dai attacked the camp, killed Qiao Mao and took over all his army. Yuan Shao seeing the confederacy breaking up also marched away and went east.

On the way home, Sun Jian was passing through Jingzhou Region. The Imperial Protector of Jingzhou, Liu Biao, was a scion of the imperial house and a native of Shanyang. As a young man he had made friends with many famous people, and he and his companions were called the Eight Wise Ones. The other seven were:

[hip, hip, hip].1. Chen Xiang from Runan.2. Fan Pang from Runan.3.

Kong Yu from Luting.4. Fan Kang from Bohai.5.

Tan Fu from Shanyang.6. Zhang Jian from Shanyang.7.

Cen Zhi from Nanyang [yip, yip, yip]

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Yuan Shao was not satisfied. He wrote to Jingzhou

Yuan Shao was not satisfied. He wrote to Jingzhou Region and sent the letter by a trusty hand to tell Imperial Protector Liu Biao to stop Sun Jian and take away the seal.

Just after this came the news of the defeat and misfortune of Cao Cao, and when he was coming home, Yuan Shao sent out to welcome him and conduct him into camp. They also prepared a feast to console him.shlf

  During the feast Cao Cao said sadly, “My object was for the public good, and all you gentlemen nobly supported me. My plan was to get Yuan Shao with his Henei troops to approach Mengching; and my force at Qiao to keep Chenggao; while the others of you to hold Suanzao, to close the passes of Huanyuan and Daigu, and to take possession of the granaries, to control the points of vantage, and thus to secure the Capital District. I planned for Yuan Shu with his Nanyang army to occupy the counties of Danshi and Xilin and go into Wu Pass to help the three supports. All were to fortify their positions and not to fight. Advantage lay in a diverse military coalition that could show the empire a possibility of dealing with the rebellion. We could have convinced the people to side with us against Dong Zhuo. Victory would have been ours at once. But then came delays and doubts and inaction, and the confidence of the people was lost, and I am ashamed.”

[e] Liu Dai was the Imperial Protector of Yanzhou at that time.

No reply was possible and the guests dispersed. Cao Cao saw that the others mistrusted him, and in his heart knew that nothing could be accomplished. So he led off his force to Yanzhou Region*.

then Gongsun Zan said to Liu Bei, “This Yuan Shao is an incapable, and things will turns chaotic. We had better go too.”

So he broke camp and went north. At Pingyuan he left Liu Bei in command and went to strengthen his own position and refresh his troops.

the Imperial Protector of Yanzhou, Liu Dai, wished to borrow grain of the Governor of Dongjun, Qiao Mao. Being denied, Liu Dai attacked the camp, killed Qiao Mao and took over all his army. Yuan Shao seeing the confederacy breaking up also marched away and went east.

On the way home, Sun Jian was passing through Jingzhou Region. The Imperial Protector of Jingzhou, Liu Biao, was a scion of the imperial house and a native of Shanyang. As a young man he had made friends with many famous people, and he and his companions were called the Eight Wise Ones. The other seven were:

[hip, hip, hip].1. Chen Xiang from Runan.2. Fan Pang from Runan.3.

Kong Yu from Luting.4. Fan Kang from Bohai.5.

Tan Fu from Shanyang.6. Zhang Jian from Shanyang.7.

Cen Zhi from Nanyang [yip, yip, yip]

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Cao Cao said, “This moment was most propitious

Cao Cao said, “This moment was most propitious in the utter confusion that reigned——palaces burned, the Emperor abducted, the whole world upset, and no one knowing whither to turn. The villain will soon be ended, and a single blow could exterminate Dong Zhuo. Why not pursue?”

But all the confederate lords seemed of one mind, and that mind was to postpone action. So they did nothing.

“Those unworthy people cannot discuss worthy thing!” cried Cao Cao.

then, he and his six generals——Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, Cao Ren, Cao Hong, Li Dian, and Yue Jing——and ten thousand troops started in pursuit.

the road to the new capital led through Yingyang. When Dong Zhuo reached it, Governor Xu Rong went to welcome the cavalcade.

  Li Ru said, “As there is some danger of pursuit, it would be well to order the Governor of this place to lay an ambush outside the city. He is to let the pursuers pass and be ready to cut off their retreat, when our army beats them off. That will teach any others not to follow.”

  then Dong Zhuo ordered Lu Bu to command the rear guard. Very soon they saw Cao Cao coming up, and Lu Bu laughed at his colleague’s foresight. He set out his troops in fighting order.

  Cao Cao rode forward, crying, “Rebels, abductors, drovers of the people, where are you going?”

Lu Bu replied, “Treacherous simpleton, what mad words are these?”

then from Cao Cao army rode forth Xiahou Dun with his spear set, and Lu Bu and Xiahou Dun engaged. The combat had hardly begun when Li Ru with a cohort came in from the left. Cao Cao bade Xiahou Yuan meet this onslaught. However, on the other side appeared Guo Si and his company. Cao Cao sent Cao Ren against Guo Si. The onrush on three sides was too much to withstand, and Lu Bu’s army was overwhelming, so Xiahou Dun had to retire to the main line.

Thereupon Lu Bu’s armored troops

attacked and completed the defeat.

The beaten army of Cao Cao turned toward Yingyang.

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