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Chapter 1

How Hua Guan Suo got his start in life

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 1
Since the time when Pan Gu divided heaven and earth,
After the Three Emperors and Five Rulers and lords of Xia and Shang,
The Zhou Dynasty overthrew King Zhou and made the empire prosper,
Generation succeeding generation for eight hundred years.
At the time of King Lie of Zhou the empire was in chaos;
The various kingdoms during the Spring and Autumn period swallowed each other up.
The Emperor of Qin gained sole hegemony over the cities of the
He burned the Classics, buried the scholars, and destroyed the sacred texts.
In the West he constructed Ebang Palace and in the East he filled up the sea;
In the South he garrisoned the Five Ranges and in the North he built the Great Wall.
He hoped to pass on the mandate to be Son of Heaven from generation to generation,
But when he traveled to Shaqiu his imperial enterprise collapsed.

The Second Emperor Hu Hai was handed on the precious throne;
Zhao Gao killed him and his fate returned to the clouds.
The Third Emperor Ziying was young and weak.
The empire was in disorder and gradually troops arose.
Chu and Han set up King Huai as emperor;
They divided their troops in two places in order to overthrow Qin.
The first to reach Chang'an was to be the Son of Heaven,
The one to reach Xianyang later would be a loyal minister.
Gao Zu arrived first and got everything.
The Hegemon King grew wroth in his heart.
He killed King Huai of Chu and broke faith;
He broke the covenant and tried to snatch away the mandate of Han.
The King of Han appointed [Han Xin] as Commander in Chief,
Number one man among one million troops.
He arrayed his troops in front of Nine-li Mountain.
The Hegemon King's ambitions went down to defeat when he was surrounded in a last-ditch stand.
By the Wu River he killed himself with a dragon spring sword;
His eight thousand troops scattered amid the sounds of the songs of Chu.
In Chang'an the Han Son of Heaven inaugurated the state.
A prominent nose and a dragon's face: truly a sage ruler.
Emperors Hui, Wen, Jing, Wu, Zhao, and Xuan,
Emperor Yuan and Ai and Ping—eleven sovereigns.
In the middle Wang Hang conceived his traitorous plan,
Plotted and usurped the House of Liu for eighteen years.
Who could have known that again there would be Liu Guangwu
Who rose in righteous rebellion in Nanyang and mustered an army?
He apprehended the traitorous usurper Wang Hang
And in the Tower Bathed by Water hacked him to pieces.
The restoration set up Liu Guangwu;
The Later Han established their capital at Luoyang.
The country was pacified, the state settled, and there were no wars;
Rains forthcoming and winds in season, the Great Peace was attained.
The mandate was transmitted to the Emperors Ming, Zhang, He, and Shang,
And to Sovereigns An, Shun, Chong, Zhi, Huan, and Ling.
At the end of Han when the empire split into three, Emperor Xian of the Liu family
Lost mountains and rivers and the ministers of his ancestral altars.
In Guanxi the Yellow Turbans revolted;
Wei, Shu, and Wu carved up the realm of Han.
Cao Cao of the state of Wei established his capital in Ye.
Sun Quan was sovereign in the area of Wu.
Liu Bei took possession and ruled in Xichuan,
A golden branch and precious leaf left behind from Han.
As chief military advisor he had Zhuge Liang;
Valiant Zhang and Guan were good men.
All at Peach Spring Cave in Qingkou—
Guan, Zhang, and Liu Bei pledged themselves as brothers.
The three swore brotherhood and divided the empire;
In Ziya Temple they burned incense.

Prose

The three men Guan, Zhang, and Liu Bei swore an oath of brotherhood in Jiang Ziya Temple. They swore an oath to Heaven. They killed a white horse and sacrificed to Heaven. They killed a black ox and sacrificed to Earth."We seek only to die on the same day; we do not desire to have been born on the same day. When elder brother is in straits the brothers will come to his rescue. When the brothers have troubles, elder brother will go to their aid. If one of us fails to fulfill this promise, may Heaven not cover him nor Earth bear him up, may he be banished to the uttermost reaches of the Netherworld, and may he never be reincarnated in human form." Liu Bei said, "I have only myself. You two have families to think about. I am afraid you will have second thoughts." Duke Guan said, "I will do away with my family and go together with elder brother." Zhang Fei said, "How can you lift your hand to kill the members of your own family? Elder brother, kill the members of my family, and I will kill yours." Liu Bei said, "You have spoken correctly."

Verse

Then Zhang Fei wasted not a second.
Taking a bronze jeweled sword in his hand
He came to Xieliang County in Puzhou,
Where straight to his elder brother's house he went.

Whenever he met one he killed one;
Whenever he met a pair he killed two.
He killed eighteen people.
Out came Guan Ping, a lad of few years,
Who cried out, "Uncle, look on me with pity.
Let me live to be your stableboy and groom."
Zhang Fei liked him on sight.
"Letting this child live pleases me."
He let his elder brother's wife Hu Jinding escape.
At that time the two of them then returned to the road;
They bestirred themselves and went back to Peach Spring Town.
The three brothers then set out on their journey,
Heading toward Prosper Liu Mountain
To promote the cause of Heaven and be generals.
We will speak no more of the three men swearing an oath of brotherhood together,
But return to sing of a woman.
She went back to the Hu household
And came to see her father and mother, the two of them.
"My husband has gone off into the mountains.
Guan, Zhang, and Liu Bei pledged themselves brothers.
They killed the whole family, high and low;
I was the only one they allowed to escape.
I am three months pregnant.
Who will the child who is to be born depend on?"

Prose

Her father said, "Even though your husband has left you, do not fret. Stay at home and wait a while and we'll take care of it." When the ten moons were up, she gave birth to a boy.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 2

Verse

With a snap of the fingers she had been pregnant for ten moons;
A young gentleman was born in the house.
We will not speak of drinking tea at the third-day birth celebration,
Nor will we discuss the feast a month after birth.
His mother cherished him as if he were her life's breath;

His grandfather loved him like a pearl in his palm.
"Later when my son has grown up
Then he will go to seek his father and claim his patrimony."
Time flew like an arrow hastening man to old age;
Days and months passed like a shuttle, nighttime succeeding day.
The child grew to be seven years old.
It was the time of the Lantern Festival and they went out to view the lanterns.
His mother took the boy along and went
Inside the city walls of Puzhou to look at the red lanterns.
The serving boy and the maid servant followed them.
All over town they looked at the decorated lanterns.
While the serving boy and the maid servant were occupied with looking around,
The young gentleman disappeared amidst the confusion.
We will not sing of the mother searching in vain;
We will sing only of the child getting separated from his mother.
Mixed with the crowds he went outside the gates and walls of Puzhou
And was led by someone to the countryside
To the Suo family, who [had earlier promised] to give up a cherished son.
In their household he was treated more favorably than he would have been at court.
They sent him to school in order to educate him,
And two years went by as he devoted himself to his studies.
The child grew to be nine years old
When an adept of Qiuqu Mountain
Came to sit in the Suo family manor
To see the wealthy respected gentleman.

Prose

Unexpectedly one day Adept Huayue of Streaked Rock Cave on Qiuqu Mountain, being at leisure, arrived in front of Squire Suo's manor. He asked, "Is the squire at home?" Before he had finished speaking, who should he see but Squire Suo coming out. When they had politely greeted each other, the squire invited him to come inside the house for tea. When they had finished their tea the adept asked, "Squire, what about the child you promised five years ago to give up to study Daoism?" Squire Suo said, "I have an adopted child. Respectfully I substitute him for my own child to leave home to study Daoism." The adept said, "Fine." Then they called for the boy to come out. The adept liked him at first sight. He changed the name of the child to Young Suo. They bade farewell to the squire, and the two left.

Verse

At that time all were happy in the household.
The child was dressed up as the real Young Suo.
And forthwith following the adept, he left.
Going forward they came to a mountain forest.
Young Suo studied the Dao in the mountains;

He learned the skills of decocting pills and refining medicine.

Prose

Each day the adept taught him basic knowledge. First he taught him the ways of the Three Stratagems of Duke Huang. Next he learned the texts of the Six Tactics of Lu Wang. He learned the eighteen martial arts complete in every respect. Without realizing it time flew like an arrow. Days and months passed like a shuttle, and he grew to be eighteen years old. He had studied in the mountains for nine years. Spring had just begun, and the scenery was beautiful. The mountains were fresh and the water sparkling, and the mountain stream flowed down. The teacher called to the young Daoist, "I am thirsty. I would like to drink some water. I do not want a mountain stream's spring water nor well water nor river water. I only want the water springing out from a place in the middle of a rock in the mountains. Take a dipper and go search out for me a place where the rock has split and bring a ladle-full back."

Verse

Young Suo thus spoken to said, "Very well."
He got up and set out for the mountain forest.
The time was just the third month of spring.
Every family was at a grave weeping in the hills and forests,
Crying for their fathers and crying for mothers out in the wilds.

When the young Daoist heard them, he was sorely grieved.
"I have been in the mountains all these years.
Where are my father and mother?"
The young Daoist thought it over and felt upset.
A crash from the rocks gave him a start.
Then Young Suo lifted his head and looked:
The rock on the mountain had split and parted in two.

Prose

What should he see but water coming out of the place in the rock where the rock split. Young Suo said, "My teacher wants this very water to drink." He took up the coconut shell dipper in his hand and dipped. What should he see but nine lizards playing in the water. They had been dipped up by the youth in the coconut shell dipper. Even as he watched, he didn't see the lizards any more; he saw only a dipper of clear water. Young Suo said, "How about that! I will go ahead and drink this water, and afterwards I will dip another dipper and give it to my teacher to drink."

Verse

The young Daoist picked up the coconut dipper of water in his hand,
Then sought the way back to return to the Buddhist temple.
All alone he set out on the road.
In front of the mountains he came upon Black Pine Forest.
Through the forest the sound of a stroke on the gong echoed,

And out rushed outlaw bandits.
The bandit king wore on his shoulders a striped red cloak;
He displayed a steel blade in his hand.
He advanced and blocked the narrow road.
"You must buy your passage with gold."
When the young Daoist saw him he was afraid.
"Where would one who has entered religious life get jewels or silver?"

Prose

Young Suo said, "I have no weapon in my hand. How can I deal with him?" For the moment he placed the coconut dipper of water at one side. He saw a dead tree. The Daoist youth used his hand to shake it. With heroic will he uprooted the dead tree and tore off its branches. He brandished it in his hand and fought.

Verse

When the young Daoist saw him he got upset and annoyed.
He brandished the dead tree, roots and all, in his hand.
He leaped forward ten feet in a "dragon roiling the water" pose;
He jumped back eight feet in a "tiger turning his body" pose.
With one blow he struck aside three or five;
With three blows he dispatched ten or more men.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 3
The outlaw then grasped his sword and flourished it;
The young Daoist then used his cudgel and brandished it.
The two fought for a long time;
The outlaw bandit was defeated.

The outlaw ranks were defeated and all the troops fled.
The young Daoist returned to the cave.

Prose

The youth returned to the mountain cave and saw his teacher. He gave the water to his teacher to drink and said to his teacher, "I saw people who had gone up to the western graves crying for their fathers and mothers. I felt very sad. I beg of you sincerely, teacher, tell me where my father and mother are!" His teacher said, "Allow me to explain to you. Your family lives in Xieliang County in Puzhou. The Suo family manor is your home. You must want to go find your father and mother. If you want to go, go down the mountain, make a trip there, and return." When the young Daoist heard these words he lowered his head and bowed.

Verse

He said good-bye to his teacher who had left his family to become a Daoist.
Two streams of tears flowed from the teacher's eyes.
"Be careful and take care of yourself leaving the mountain forest.
Go down the mountain and search out your father and mother.
Do not be an ingrate who forgets kindness."

We will not sing of his journey on the road.
Going south he came to the gate of a manor.
He went straight to the Suo family manor.
When he saw an elderly gentleman,
The young Daoist went forward and hastened to bow.
"Where is the Suo family manor?"
The old man heard the young Daoist inquire.
"What is your reason for coming to ask me?
I am Squire Suo;
I do not know who you, sir, are."
When the young Daoist heard these words his tears fell in streams of pearls.
He came forward, raised his head, and cried, "Grandfather!
I speak of the events of nine years ago.
I am the one who left home to become a Daoist.
My teacher in the mountains told me all;
He told me to return home to gaze upon my two parents."
As soon as the old gentleman saw him he said,
"You must be Young Suo.
It has been nine years since you left home.
We are so happy that you have come to our manor today.
If you can stay a while, then come into the main hall
And meet the entire household, high and low."

Prose

Squire Suo said, "Allow me to explain to you: you are not a child of my family. Recently I inquired and learned that your maternal grandfather is Squire Hu. Your mother is Hu Jinding. Your father is Guan Yunchang. Eleven years ago in the city while looking at the lanterns I found you and brought you to my house. When you were nine years old you left home to study Daoism. How would it be if now I would take you to go find your mother?"

Verse

The young Daoist, thus spoken to, repeatedly said good, good,
Agreeing with the old gentleman.
At that time they prepared and set out on the road.
They left the manor and started on their journey.
When they had marched one li they marched another li;

They went one stage and then another stage,
Until they reached the Hu family manor.
The serving boy went inside to announce them:
"Today there is a Squire Suo of the Western capital.
I do not know what he has come to say."
The squire, so informed, directed that they be invited in.
He invited them into the main hall.
After they had finished, each one ceremoniously greeting the other,
They set out seats and sat on both sides.
When the tea was finished he called for a cup of wine.
After they had had three cups of wine he spoke of the matter.
"When has your foot trod this humble earth before?
What is the reason for your arrival at my manor today?"
When Squire Suo saw that a question had been addressed to him, he said, "Honorable Squire, pray listen to my explanation.
Eleven years ago your son was lost.
I found and kept him for two years.
At first I did not know that he was your son;
Not until later did I find out he was a member of your family.
Subsequently he went to Qiuqu Mountain to study the Dao,
And he was away exactly nine years.
Having found out that he is a son of the Guan family,
I have brought him back to your manor to seek his maternal grandfather."
The squire thus spoken to raised his head and looked.
"The boy is not a member of my family."

Prose

Squire Hu said, "I do have a grandson. His father is tall. Why is this child so short? For now we'll not pay attention to that. I'll have my daughter come out. She will certainly recognize whether or not he is her son."

Verse

When his daughter in her room heard what was said,
She went straight to the hall to see her father.
As soon as the squire saw her he said,
"Daughter, listen now to this explanation:
Eleven years ago your son was lost.

Today they say that he was one who left home to study the Dao.
My child, you will recognize true and false.
If he is your son, you are his mother."
His daughter came forward and looked closely.
Truly he was the second son of the Guan family.
Eyebrows, eyes, face, and mouth:
Father and son made of the same mold.
She pulled her son to her, crying,
"A full twelve years you have been away from your mother.
Today the clouds are dispersed and the moon is seen anew;
An old mirror once again is round and bright."
Son and mother were happy to see each other again.
Grandfather said, "Woman, do not mistakenly identify someone today."

Prose

Squire Hu said, "Daughter, is he really your son?" His daughter said, "I have a secret way of identifying him. When he was little there was a protuberance behind his ear." As soon as he looked, Squire Hu saw she was right. Just as...


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 4
...she had said, there was a protuberance behind his ear. Clearly, he was her own true son. [The boy said,] "While my foster father Suo is here, I will take a name. My teacher is Adept Huayue of Streaked Rock Cave on Qiuqu Mountain. I will take a character from each to be my name."

Verse

"The first for my being a son of the Guan family;
Secondly I will take Foster Father Suo's family name.
I want the surname of my teacher in the mountains.
Call me Hua Guan Suo."
Bowing, he took leave of his benefactor the squire;

He also bowed to his elderly grandfather
And paid his respects to his mother.
They feted the young second son of the Guan family.
Only when the wine had reached the third cup did they put down their wine cups.
Everyone had drunk till each was flushed and mellow.
The youth Hua Guan Suo was drunk.
Squire Suo, you should be informed.
Deep in the mountains X X X [1]
We will speak no more of the benefactor surnamed Suo.
The sun sank behind the mountains;
The various relatives and neighbors all returned home.
The next morning at the fifth watch when it was very light,
Who should appear but a serving boy reporting some news:
"In front of the manor the sound of a stroke on the gong echoed.
Outlaws from the Taihang Mountains
Have all surrounded the great manor.
They demand gold and silver to reward their troops.
If those in the manor say they are not willing,
Then they will set fire to the front of the manor."
The squire was frightened witless.
"How can we make these bandits retreat?"

Prose

The squire called the serving boy and told him to go inside and get some gold and silver ready and give it to the general to buy some wine to drink. The serving boy quickly carried a box of gold and silver to the front of the manor. The serving boy said, "Here is a bit of wine money for you, General." The outlaw said, "To give each of the 100,000 men in my army one ounce will take 100,000 ounces. Who do you expect me to distribute this paltry sum to? You bring out more, and then all will be well. If you don't bring it out, I'll set fire to the front of the manor."

Verse

The youth Guan Suo asked,
"What is the reason for the gong sounding and the drum echoing?"
His mother thus questioned replied,
"There is an outlaw who has led his troops here today,
Demanding gold and silver, wealth and jewels."

A gong sounded and a drum echoed and reverberated in front of the manor.
Guan Suo hearing it felt upset and annoyed.
"Mother, now you can rest easy.
It's not that your son is a braggart.
I will make the outlaw bandits retreat."
Guan Suo then went to the main hall,
Where the whole family was sunk in despair.

Prose

Guan Suo said, "Grandfather, why are you troubled?" Grandfather said, "Today there are brigands in front of the estate demanding gold and silver with which to reward their troops. I collected a container of gold and silver and gave it to one, but he sneered upon it as too little and intends to start a fire and burn down the manor. This is the reason I'm worried." Guan Suo said, "This scoundrel is not to be borne. Grandfather, do you have any weapons in the house?" Grandfather said, "Your father originally had all sorts of weapons and armor which are now placed in my storehouse. Feel free to take whatever you want." Guan Suo, at that time following his grandfather's instructions, went into the storehouse and brought out a full suit of armor and a decorated cap. Grandfather said, "I will also give you two precious things to keep by your side." At that time he instructed the serving boy to go bring the nine-strand red cotton lariat and a speckled bamboo sheath. Grandfather charged him, saying "Child, inside this speckled bamboo sheath is contained a yellow dragon spear." Guan Suo armed himself from head to foot. From the rear stable he chose a fine steed. In his hand he took up the speckled bamboo sheath. How was Guan Suo dressed?

Zan verse

He wore a
four-seamed helmet
that shone fiercer than fire.
He wore a suit
of yellow dragon armor

that shone bright as the sun.
He wore a
crimson gauze robe
dyed red as blood.
He tied on a
shiman belt;
clouds came out of the animal's mouth.
He bent a
yellow decorated bow;
the ends were long and the center short.
He stuck in a quiverful of
wolf-tooth arrows
that twinkled like golden stars.
He held hanging a
bamboo jointed whip
like the switching tail of a dragon steed.
He fastened on a
mighty battle sword;
the blaze jabbed like silver.
He grasped a
yellow dragon spear;
his weapons were like fierce animals.
He rode a
high-spirited horse
and rushed out of the gate of the manor.

Verse

They mustered a troop of a hundred retainers from the manor.
There were also serving boys and servitors.
Some held spears and cudgels,
Some pitchforks, rakes, or broom sticks.
Guan Suo in front of the ranks yelled loudly,

Startling the bandit bravos.
The robbers carefully looked him over.
"Whose family of status in this young man from?"
Long red phoenix eyes and eyebrows black,
Red cheeks, small mouth, lips deep red;
How can a young man be so handsome?
Rubbed with rouge and made of powder.
The outlaw at that time yelled loudly,
"Young general, you should be informed:
Peacefully surrender to me in front of the mountain;

Be my caretaker of gold and jewels.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 5
If you utter the least word of refusal,
I'll pulverize you to dust with my axe.
If in three rounds you overcome me,
I will withdraw my men and horses.

If you lose to me during the course of three rounds,
You will die beneath this axe."
He advanced, but before he had even finished speaking,
Guan Suo was infuriated, there in front of the manor.
In his hand he brandished the speckled bamboo sheath,
Ready to strike the outlaw bandit.
The outlaw brandished a Xuanhua steel axe.
And the two men exchanged blows to determine the outcome.
Back and forth without victory or defeat;
Three rounds, four tilts without losing or winning.

Prose

The two men fought for thirty rounds. When they had been sparring for a long time the outlaw bandits with ferocious glee fell upon Guan Suo all at once. Neither side gained the advantage in battle. Suddenly bandits showed up in front of the ranks [with swords?] in their two hands.

Verse

The angry general broke open the speckled bamboo sheath
And drew out the yellow dragon spear.
He brandished the decorated spear and people lost heart.
He drew out the yellow dragon spear
And terrified the two outlaw bravos.

Afterwards he used Lu Wang's Six Tactics;
He demonstrated his mastery of all the Twenty-eight Moves.
First he employed Duke Huang's Three Stratagems.
The outlaws also flourished their swords
As the three of them exchanged blows to determine the outcome.
When men fight, horses also fight—
Real men on horseback fighting one another.
When they had fought about ten-odd rounds,
The young man of the Guan family looked to be losing.
He feinted with his sword and fled,
With the outlaws following behind him.
"Donkey-mouthed braggart, you talk big.
Today you will lose to us."
Guan Suo fled on ahead.
Behind the outlaws were catching up.
He yelled, "Now!"
Like a flying immortal he slipped down on the horse and hid by the stirrup;
He flipped up and leaped back onto his steed.
He wanted all his preparations to be complete;
From his waist he took out the red cotton lariat.
He held the red cotton lariat of nine strands;
He tossed it into the air and it was invisible.
Whirling near the ground it was like a wheel revolving,
Then like a great fish meeting wind and wave,
Like a spider spinning a web to catch a dragonfly.
He yelled, "Ruffians! Where do you think you're going?"
One horse carried a pair of men.
Guan Suo captured the bandit generals.
He took them up to the gate of the manor
And shoved them onto the level ground.
He tossed down his yellow dragon spear
And placed his left foot on the bandits' chests.
In his hand was a jeweled bronze sword.
"Tell your names peaceably in front of the ranks
And we'll let bygones be bygones and discuss it no more.
If you leave out the least little bit,
I'll cut you in half with a stroke and make dead men of you."
At this time the outlaws said in a loud voice,
"If you spare what remains of our lives, we will submit and serve you."
When Guan Suo heard this he was pleased.
Then he freed the two outlaws.
"My father is the commander in chief of Xichuan."
The outlaws then asked to hear the whole story.
When Guan Suo heard this he smiled,
Declaring, "You two brothers,
Who does not recognize my name when I say it?
You shall be informed today of my name and surname.
My elder uncle is the Prince of Han Liu, the First Sovereign;
My younger uncle is Zhang Fei, who turned back the river.
My elder brother is the pillar of state General Guan Ping;
Moreover there is the military advisor Zhuge Liang.
Now I intend to go to Xichuan
To seek my father Commander Guan."
The bandits, so spoken to, lowered their heads and bowed.
"Why did you not inform us earlier?
We will follow elder brother to go to Xichuan
Together to seek Commander Guan."
The youth Hua Guan Suo was delighted
And asked, "You two brothers,
What are your surnames, what are your names, and where do you live?
What are the native places from which you come?"
The outlaws came forward and said,
"Elder and younger brother will inform you today.
You will know our names and surnames:
Mountain-plucker Xu and Cloud-grabber Zhao.
We twelve men swore an oath of brotherhood;
All will come to give their allegiance to you our elder brother."
Guan Suo, thus spoken to, felt pleased.
Great and small, twelve brothers
All at one time gave their allegiance to the one surnamed Guan.
They took off all their battle dress and armor,
And all bowed to Hua Guan Suo.
The youth Guan Suo felt pleased.
He bivouacked and set up camp and stationed his troops;
He rested the heroic army of one hundred thousand troops.
The two brave generals went up to the gate of the manor.
Together they went straight into the main hall
Where they bowed to his mother and bowed to his grandfather.
Grandfather and Mother felt pleased.
Then they directed that wine be served in the main hall.
Great and small, the group of officers came to drink wine;
One by one from the first he asked their names.

Prose

Guan Suo then asked, "What are your names?" Mountain-plucker Xu and Cloud-grabber Zhao then said, "The other ten's names are Dragon-capturer Zhang, liger-catcher Ma, Fly Across the River, Jump Across the Sea, Repulse the River, Jui the Terrifier, Lou the King of Hell, Stone Jupiter, Fly on the Grass, and Walk on Ice.

Verse

At that time they spoke their names and surnames;
One by one from the first so that they could be recognized.
The twelve generals all surrendered and submitted—
One hundred thousand armed troops
To aid their elder brother Hua Guan Suo

Who was going to Xichuan to claim his patrimony.
Grandfather and Mother felt glad.
From the storehouse they took out precious and rare things
And gave them to the hundred thousand soldiers.
They prepared a feast and drank three cups.
The next day at the fifth watch when the sky was very light,
Guan Suo came forward to see his grandfather.
"I plan to go to Xichuan;
I will take along Mother to seek my father."
Grandfather, so spoken to, enjoined him with resounding voice,
"Watch over your mother Dame Hu.
Go to Xichuan to seek your father and claim your patrimony.
Do not cause your mother alarm.

Be a man, both brave and bold.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 6
Do not be one who dreads the blade and avoids the sword,
And do not go by the manor of the Bao family,
The famous robbers and outlaws."

Prose

Grandfather said, "Child, ahead is the Bao family manor. On the mountain is their Booty-dividing Pavilion. To the right of it is their Boasting Tablet. You should beware of it. People say, 'Better cross over three rivers than pass by the Bao family manor. Better eat three catties of ginger than tangle with Bao Sanniang.' Along the road on your journey you must be careful."

Verse

After Grandfather had repeatedly enjoined him,
He bowed and said farewell to his old grandfather.
He said farewell to all the elders in the family and
Mustered his troops, and they set out on their journey.
The sound of a heaven-shaking stroke on the gong echoed,

And he led one hundred thousand troops off toward Xichuan.
In charge of the army was Chief Commander Hua Guan Suo,
And the two fierce generals were his escort.
He unfurled a flag with the words "Filial and Obedient" on it,
Going to Xichuan to claim his patrimony.
They came to Wild Pig Mountain;
In front of the mountain the scenery was startlingly beautiful.
We will not sing of marching in the daylight and stopping at night;
We need not discuss eating when they were hungry and drinking when they were thirsty.
Just when the general turned his head to look,
Suddenly in front of the mountain they heard the sound of a bronze drum.
Hardy men numbering not more than three thousand,
Blood-dipped deep red thin silk kerchiefs.
The bandit king wore golden chain mail armor,
And in his hand he held a steel blade like a door leaf.
In front of the mountain he blocked the narrow road.
He said, "You must buy your passage with gold.
If you utter so much as half a refusal,
This blade will be merciless."
When Guan Suo heard this, he felt upset and annoyed.
"Where would I get any gold to give you?"
Before he had finished talking,
The bandit on his horse became angry.
Brandishing his great blade he held it up in his hand;
With leveled lance he came out at him on his horse.
On both sides they beat decorated frame drums,
And the two in the center fought for all they were worth.
Guan Suo then flourished his lance;
The bandit also brandished his great blade.
Every thrust of the spear aimed straight at the throat;
Every stroke of the knife came right toward the face.
Eight horse hooves dashed in confusion;
Four arms lashed back and forth.
When they had fought about ten-odd rounds,
Out came another bandit.
This affronted Cloud-plucker Xu,
Who took up a Xuanhua sword and emerged from the formation.
The two generals fought the other two;
A pair of men battled a pair.
Guan Suo suddenly thought up a scheme.
Reigning in his horse, he turned and went like a wind-blown cloud.
When the two bandits came together in pursuit,
Guan Suo clamped them fast underarm, one on each side.
Three thousand men and horses all surrendered.
Then he asked the outlaws what their names were.
The outlaws told their names and surnames.
The two Songs, Dump Water and Twist Dragon,
Gave their allegiance to elder brother Hua Guan Suo.
They burned the Booty-dividing and Treasure-collecting Pavilion.
He rewarded the various generals with gold and silver.
They were going together with him to Xichuan to seek his father.
Then in front of the mountain he arrayed a feast.
The group of officers at the feast drank and the cups went round.
Just when the feast came to an end,
A man came to report that something had happened:
"Men and horses from parts unknown are here;
All are troops in silvery bright metal armor."
General Guan Suo transmitted an order:
"Wait in front of the mountain until we find out what the matter is."
A valiant general on horseback,
In his hand he held a three-pointed blade.
Guan Suo in a loud voice then asked;
Shouting he asked, "Who is the general?"
The general on horseback replied,
"I am the mighty Temple God Song."

Prose

Temple God Song said, "I have received an imperial command from Sun Quan of the State of Wu to take twenty-four peach red brocade silk banners, a suit of Southern Seas red dragon fish scale armor, and a leopard thunder horse, these three treasures, to offer to Cao Cao of the Great State."

Verse

When Guan Suo heard this, he smiled.
He told the general, "Listen well.
If you leave the three kinds of treasures for me,
I will spare what remains of your life.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 7
If you utter so much as a word of refusal,
Look out for my yellow dragon lance!"
This affronted Temple God,
Who laughed coldly two or three times.

"You haven't even lost your milk teeth yet,
Nor has baby fuzz grown on your head.
You're not even as big as my fist on your horse,
You insufferable insulting ignoramus."
The youth Guan Suo felt depressed.
He flourished his yellow dragon lance.
The two generals contended to see which was the better,
Surging back and forth as they tried to outwit each other.
Each displayed valor and used the martial arts,
And there was neither loser nor winner.
Near the end of thirty rounds,
A cry of "Help!" in the dust and dirt.
The whole army looked closely at the battle.
The loser was the man of great strength, Temple God.
He called out, "General, stop chasing me.
Spare me what remains of my life."
Guan Suo said, "Where would you go
Unless you mount to the heavens or ride the clouds?"
He was just about to catch up with Temple God,
When he made a circle and turned completely around,
Which affronted the fierce outlaw general.
He passed in front of the mountain and sighted true.
His left hand grasped a bow and his right held arrows.
He took careful aim at Hua Guan Suo.
He fitted an arrow and pulled the bowstring back past his earlobe,
And he released one wolf-tooth arrow.
Skillful youth Hua Guan Suo,
Like a flying immortal slid down on the horse and dodged.
He caught hold of the wolf-tooth arrow,
Gnashing his jaws with an ominous sound.
Guan Suo again pursued the outlaw general;
Back the other way he chased Temple God.
From his waist he took out his red cotton lariat,
Like a spider spinning a web to catch a dragonfly.
Temple God was on the verge of escaping,
When his whole body was enveloped in the nine-strand lasso.
Twenty-four golden hooks
Hooked into Temple God, the man of great strength.
"At first you said, 'He's no bigger than my fist.'
How could you know I have the strength of a thousand catties?"
He pulled out his three-foot Dragon Spring sword
And destroyed the mighty Temple God.
Three thousand men and horses all surrendered;
He had seized the three kinds of priceless treasures.

Prose

Guan Suo said, "Bring over the three kinds of treasures for me to see. I will give the twenty-four peach red brocade silk pennants to my mother to make a tent. The leopard thunder horse should be properly looked after in the rear stable. The Southern Seas red dragon fish scale armor I will wear myself. But who can put it on for me?" Dragon-capturer Zhang said, "Elder brother: In the Bao family manor there is one Sanniang who can put this armor on for you." Guan Suo said, "I will go ask her." In front of the manor on the mountain stood the Booty-dividing Pavilion. At one side stood the Boasting Tablet. On the tablet was inscribed, "To the one who out-battles me, I will give myself as a wife. The one who loses to me I will cut into ten thousand pieces." Guan Suo said, "How old is Bao Sanniang?" Dragon-capturer Zhang said, "She is exactly eighteen." Guan Suo said, "I don't believe she's all that formidable."

Verse

When Guan Suo heard this he felt pleased.
He led fifty thousand soldiers.
"In the first place I want her to help me put on my armor,
And in the second place to be my wife.
If I overcome Sanniang,

Together we will go to Xichuan to claim my patrimony."
A heaven-shaking stroke on the bronze gong echoed.
He was off to the Bao manor to take a wife.
When they arrived at the Bao manor,
He spoke to those in his command.
Then he shattered the Boasting Tablet
And set fire to and burned the Booty-dividing Pavilion.
The lesser soldiers who guarded the pavilion he captured
And killed each one of them with one stroke.
He killed nineteen underlings
And left one man to go to the manor to report the news.

Prose

Guan Suo said, "Tell the bandit king that if he marries Sanniang to me we'll forget everything. If he will not marry her to me then I'll set fire to the manor." Guan Suo feared that the underling would not transmit the message. He took a brush and wrote on the underling's back. He wrote, "Message to Bandit King Bao. Do not take offense. It goes without saying that you are strong. I have no paper just now on which to write a letter. I have borrowed your underling's backbone. My message is as follows:
Ever since the beginning of the world people have talked of the Taihang Mountains;
When has anyone ever heard of any Bao Sanniang?
I don't believe she is all that formidable.
What's the need for a woman to talk so big?

No matter how terrific she is, she's still only a woman.[2]
I'm not interested in sitting down and dividing the loot.
Bring on the decorated candles and I'll be the groom."
The underling, when he was released, returned to the manor.
In front of the main hall he bowed several times.
Then the underling said to Bandit King Bao,
"A not inconsiderable calamity has occurred.
In front of the mountain there is a column of men and horses,
Horses and men from parts unknown.
They burned our Booty-dividing Pavilion
And also smashed the stone tablet to dust."
When the bandit king heard this, he felt upset and annoyed.
He called over the underling and asked him about the matter.
The underling then took off his clothes,
Telling him, "There are words written on my body."
All was well until he saw the words.
When he saw his back he got angry.
"Do not let my sons learn of this.

I myself will lead horses and men in front of the manor."


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 8
Bandit King Bao mounted a black piebald horse.
He took up his head-high hafted blade
And led out his troop of men and horses.
He went in front of the mountain to see what men they were.

The old general Bandit King Bao called in a loud voice,
"I ask who you troops who have come are.
Other people's galls are big but still inside their bodies;
Today your gall is so big your body is inside it.
You did not report and salute me in front of the mountain;
You burned my Booty-dividing and Treasure-collecting Pavilion."
When Guan Suo in camp heard these words,
He put on his complete suit of general's gear.
He rode a high-headed horse,
And his long spear was like flying clouds.
He lifted the door of the tent with his spear and took a look.
In front of his lines he gave a battle cry and yelled to the outlaws,
Calling, "Father-in-law, do not fret.
Your son-in-law today is without ulterior motives.
Father-in-law, post haste return to the manor.
Pass on my words to Sanniang surnamed Bao;
Tell her to lead men and horses herself.
I will fight with her to determine victory and defeat."
Bandit King Bao Kai felt upset and annoyed.
He yelled, "Upstart, who do you think you are?"
When the two men had fought for a long time,
Hua Guan Suo seemed to be. getting the worst of it.
Great General Bandit King Bao hastily went in pursuit.
He was just about to catch up with the man surnamed Guan,
When Guan Suo in flight turned his head and looked.
"He has fallen eight or nine parts of ten for my trick."
And fitted a wolf-tooth arrow to the string.
He pulled the bow ends as far as they would go,
until It was like a new moon hanging in the heavens.
He let go one wolf-tooth arrow.
Bandit King Bao was struck by the arrow and flipped over.
Bandit King Bao yelling in pain
Hastily dismounted and entered the manor,
Startling Bao Feng and Bao Yi.
The two came forward and saw their father.
They asked, "Why are you so upset?
What is the reason for all the yelling in front of the hall?"
Bandit King Bao said, "I am in great pain."
He said to his two sons,
"There is a youth, Hua Guan Suo,
Who has insulted us father and sons.
I went out in front of the manor and exchanged blows with him.
I was struck by a wolf-tooth arrow."
The two brothers hurriedly donned their armor,
Putting on their complete suits of general's gear.
Each holding a spear hurriedly went out,
Out in front of the manor to be avengers.
They rode high-headed horses
And led three hundred underlings.
Loudly they called, "Men and horses in front of the mountain,
Come out of your battle formation right now.
If you quietly surrender in front of the mountain,
We'll let bygones be bygones and discuss it no more.
If you beat us in three rounds,
We will give Sanniang to you to be your wife.
If you lose to us you will die under our blades."
The two men strove their utmost to determine victory and defeat.
When the two had fought for a long time,
Bao Yi also went out brandishing his blade,
And two generals fought one.
This affronted Hua Guan Suo.
Feinting with his spear he reined in and turned his horse.
Elder and younger brother followed at his heels.
If he wanted to mount to Heaven, there was no way in;
If he wanted to enter the earth, earth had no door.
Guan Suo up ahead seemed only bent on flight.
Behind him the generals were catching up.
He gave a yell and cried, "Now!"
Guan Suo slid down on the horse and dodged from sight.
He flipped back up onto the high-headed horse.
Wanting all his preparations to be complete,
He stuck the long spear in his hand into its rest.
On horseback he easily captured the two of them.
Guan Suo took them to the general's headquarters,
And item by item from the beginning inquired into the affair.

Prose

Guan Suo said, "If you give your younger sister to me to be my wife, I will spare you two men's lives. If you are not willing, I'll cut you in two with one stroke of my blade." The two men wanted to save their lives and so could but promise him. "Please, general, calm yourself and cease your anger. Put aside your fearsome air. If we are permitted to return home the matter will be decided neither by our father nor by our younger sister. We ourselves will marry Sanniang to you." Guan Suo was pleased at this. Then he ordered that wine be brought, each man three cups of wine and ten large steamed buns.

Verse

Guan Suo at that time asked in a loud voice,
"Brothers-in-law, hear what I say:
One brother-in-law can be a go-between;
One on behalf of the manor will act as guarantor.
Today I will arrange for sheep and wine.

Send your younger sister out of the gate of the manor soon."
Elder and younger brother quickly mounted their horses.
Troubled and dispirited they made their way back.
They returned to the manor and spoke to their father the bandit king.
Bandit King Bao Kai became even more angry.
"You two brothers were defeated too.
How can you be avengers in front of the manor?"
Bandit King Bao loudly wailed,
Startling a woman into coming out from the room.
The girl came to the main hall.
She bowed deeply and asked what was the matter.
"Why have you cried out so loudly in front of my door?
Tell your daughter what has happened."

Prose

Bandit King Bao said, "Allow me to inform you, daughter: in front of the mountain there is a young man of eighteen who looks just exactly as though he is rubbed with rouge and made of red powder. Our Booty-dividing Pavilion was...


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 9
...burned by him, and he smashed the Boasting Tablet. I have already fought with him for over one hundred rounds. I was wounded by an arrow. Your two brothers also went and together exchanged blows with him and were also defeated. Your brothers had no plan to deal with him. They promised you to him for a wife. I don't know what your feelings about this are."

Verse

When Sanniang heard this she became angry.
Then she said, "Who do my brothers think he is?
Even if he has three heads and six arms,
He's not worth the dust on the tip of my boot."
Sanniang then said, "There's nothing to worry about.

Father, do not be distressed.
Your daughter herself will go out of the manor to take a look.
I will capture the outlaw bandit."
Her father, thus spoken to, said, "Good.
In fighting him you should be careful."
Then he ordered that battle dress and armor be brought out.
Sanniang put on a general's garb.
She took off her pearl cap and put on an iron hat,
Undid her silk gown and tied on an iron suit;
The breast plate covered her snow-white breast.
Her helmet enclosed the cloudlike hair at the sides of her temple.
She tucked her four-skirted robe into her trouser legs,
Fearing that it would interfere with [her movements].
Her waist was slender and she rode with practiced ease a spirited horse.
Her red brocade battle robe sparkled in the sunlight.
To her left she bore a curved bow of prodigious power;
On her right she carried a hundred wolf-tooth arrows in her quiver.
Without a hand touching the saddle she flew onto the horse,
Holding a pair of sun and moon blades in her hands.
In front of the manor the sound of a stroke on the gong echoed,
Mustering up three thousand horses and troops.
"What injury have we done you
That you come to our manor and insult my family?"
A minor officer went to the commander's tent,
And reported to Hua Guan Suo:
"Out in front is Mistress Bao Sanniang,
In front of the manor seeking battle to determine victory and defeat."
When Guan Suo heard this, he felt pleased.
He put on full general's garb.
On his head he wore a lacquered silk cap embossed with gold,
With a precious pearl inlaid in the center.
A crimson robe covered his golden armor.
Front and back he wore bronze mirror breastplates;
At his waist he tied a jewel decorated shiman belt.
He wore new cloud-heel boots polished to a sheen.
On the crown of his head he wore a single pom-pon,
Which was made to bob and turn by his movements.
To his left he bore a curved bow like an autumn moon;
On his right he carried a hundred wolf-tooth arrows in his quiver.
On his knee he placed his Dragon Spring sword;
At his waist he tied his red cotton nine-strand lariat.
When the general had gotten himself all dressed,
He looked just like the heavenly god Hua Guang.
Mistress Bao Sanniang looked him over.
"Not unworthy this man Hua Guan Suo."
On his red phoenix forehead hair so black,
Red cheeks and small mouth, lips daubed with red—
Truly a man exactly like a general.
His rouged face made up with water
Delighted Mistress Bao Sanniang,
Who saw he was no ordinary man.
Sanniang at that time called in a loud voice,
"What province and county are you from?
You burned our Booty-dividing Pavilion
And spared my two elder brothers.
You also wounded my father, with an arrow,
And yet expect us to let bygones be bygones.
Speak up smartly with your name.
Originally what province are you from?"
Guan Suo, thus spoken to, smiled.
"Mistress Bao Sanniang, listen to this.
When I say my name who does not recognize it?
I really am a famous person.
My father is a Tiger General in Xichuan
With one hundred thousand soldiers under his command.
My elder uncle is the Prince of Han, Liu the First Sovereign.
My younger uncle is Zhang Fei, who turned back the river.
My elder brother is the pillar of state Guan Ping.
Moreover there is the Military Advisor Zhuge Liang.
Whoever may be famous and courageous generals,
All of them are adherents of the Guan family."
This delighted Sanniang, Mistress Bao.
"Not unworthy this man Hua Guan Suo."
General Guan Suo called in a loud voice,
"I have good words you should hear.
Return home and tell your father that
I want you today to become my mate."
This affronted Sanniang, Mistress Bao.
She ground her jaws ominously.
"If you want Sanniang to be your wife,
Our marriage will be consummated only under the sword."
When Guan Suo heard this he felt upset and annoyed.
In front of the troops he yelled and reviled the woman.
Mistress Bao Sanniang flourished her matched swords.
Her whole face became bright red.
Guan Suo also flourished his spear,
With every thrust of the spear seeking to kill the woman.
One going and coming, a battle of dragons.
Two goings and comings, phoenixes turning over.
Three, it was like the subduing of the River-mother at Mount Gui.
Four, it was like Fan Kuai settling matters at Hong Men.
Five, it was like Wu Yuan battling for the altars of the state.
Six, it was like Hui[an] Moksha, the [battling]Buddhist monk.
Seven, it was like [the Thunder God of the] Ninth Heaven going into the clouds.
Eight, it was like Nezha subduing the rebel army.
Nine, it was like a scaly dragon snapping its chains.
Ten, it was like a fierce tiger breaking into a Buddhist temple.
They fought for a long time, while
The battle seesawed back and forth.

General Guan Suo said, "Good!


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 10
Not unworthy, this Sanniang surnamed Bao. "
But she had affronted the young Hua Guan Suo.
"You're not worth the tip of my boot or the heel of my foot.
I could kill you with a single thrust of my spear,

But it would be a pity to harm such a flower-like body."
When the two of them had fought for a long time,
Sanniang surnamed Bao was losing.
He was about to catch up to Sanniang when
He made a circle and came all the way around.
See Sanniang, Mistress Bao:
At her waist a weapon that is always by her side.
She took out the flying claws and gripped them in her hand,
Looking closely at Hua Guan Suo.
Guan Suo with iron-womb bow in hand
Fitted a wolf-tooth arrow to the string.
Sanniang let fly her golden claws, and
They headed straight for Hua Guan Suo.
His left hand held the bow grip;
His right hand drew the bowstring and he took aim.
Sanniang vainly struck with her golden claws, for
He shot in two the rope that held them,
And they did not hit the youth General Guan Suo.
The two fought to determine the outcome while
The whole army on horseback watched the fray,
This pair of heroes fighting each other.
When they had been fighting for a long time,
Guan Suo trailed his spear and headed out of the battle formation.
Sanniang followed behind and hurried to catch him.
She was about to catch up to the man surnamed Guan when
General Guan Suo turned his head and looked.
"She has fallen eight or nine parts for my trick."
He feigned a thrust with his spear, reined in and turned his horse.
Guan Suo used his wits to try to capture the general.
Sanniang then said, "I will not chase you.
You will loose the red cotton nine strand lariat."
General Guan Suo reined in his horse.
"Foiled, the baggage saw through my trick!"

Prose

Guan Suo said, "Why don't you come and chase me?" Bao Sanniang said, "I know you will let loose the red cotton lariat." Guan Suo said, "Neither have you lost nor have I won. I have a gold coin. Let's hang it up. On the gold coin are four characters. I will shoot four arrows onto the four characters and one in the eye of the gold coin. If I make all the shots, that means you lose." Sanniang said, "I will split your five X arrows. X X X X X X.[3] If I do not split your arrows, then I will lose."

Verse

Guan Suo, thus spoken to, quickly said, "Fine."
He hung the gold coin up in mid-air.
His curved bow he took up in his hand,
And picked out five string of pearl arrows.
His left hand held the bow grip;

His right hand drew the bowstring past his ear.
Handsome and hard to capture on canvas was the man grasping the arrows.
Faster than sight the sound of his bowstring;
Five arrows like a string of pearls went by.
When they looked closely at the surface of the gold coin,
There was not one character that had not been squarely hit.
Mistress Bao Sanniang felt pleased.
"I will match you with five arrows like a string of pearls."
Her left hand took up the richly decorated bow;
Her right hand took up five string of pearl arrows.
The bow pulled wide like a sinuous python in the mountains;
The arrow sprang away like a dragon from a deep pool.
Faster than sight the sound of her bowstring;
Five arrows like a string of pearls went by.
When they looked closely at the surface of the gold coin,
She had cleanly split apart the shafts of the arrows.
When Guan Suo saw this, he felt pleased.
"This woman isn't half bad."
The two of them again mounted their high-headed horses, and
For the space of three rounds they fought to prove who was better.
Guan Suo then flourished his spear.
The woman also brandished her jeweled blade.
The two again battled for thirty rounds,
But there was not the least sign whatsoever of defeat.
Guan Suo then in a loud voice called,
"Woman, do not pursue this one surnamed Guan."
Mistress Bao Sanniang already knew that
He would let loose the red cotton nine-stranded lariat again.
The woman called, "I'm not afraid of you."
She hit her horse and applied the whip and followed behind,
Catching up so close that his horse's tail was in her horse's mouth.
He turned over and slipped down on the horse and hid by the stirrup.
From his waist he took out the red cotton lariat.
He flipped up and mounted his dragon-scaled horse again.
He yelled, "Sanniang, stop trying to escape.
The red cotton lariat will show who is better."
Sanniang also took out a red cotton lariat
And hastily flung it up in mid-air.
Both were snared by red cotton lariats,
Pulled partway out of the saddles beneath them.
When Dragon-capturer Zhang saw this, he felt angry.
In the tent he took out his precious carved bow,
And fitted to the bow a metal-tipped arrow.
When it left the bowstring he called, "Fly true!"
The arrow cut apart the red cotton lariats,
Permitting Lady Bao to fall back into her saddle.
Then she was quickly grabbed by Guan Suo
And taken straight to the central army camp.
"Woman, I'm not bragging.
Today you have lost to me."
When Sanniang saw this she sang out loudly,
"General, spare me, a woman.
Do not despise me because of the ugliness of my appearance.
I am willing to be someone who makes your bed and provides your cover."
The young gentleman Guan Suo felt pleased.
Right away he went to the manor to pay his respects to his father-in-law.
Everyone returned to the imposing manor.
Bao Feng and Bao Yi came to meet them at a distance.
He met his two brothers-in-law
And in the manor he prepared to pay his respects to Bandit King Bao.

Prose

Sanniang went to see her father. Bandit King Bao asked, "My daughter, what of the outcome?" Sanniang reported, "I report to you, Father: I fought but couldn't beat him. He is no one else. His father is one of the five fighting tiger generals; his elder uncle is Prince Liu the First Sovereign. His younger uncle is Zhang Fei, who turned back the river. I fought over one hundred rounds with him and lost to him. I promised to unite with him as man and wife. I do not know what your feelings are, Father." Bandit King Bao said, "In the past Lian Kang's father and I promised our children in marriage. Later he begat Lian Kang and I begat you, fair daughter. He wanted to marry you last year. You said to wait again until this year. If now you want to marry Guan Suo, what would you have me say to him when he comes?

Verse

Old general Bandit Bao felt perplexed about
How to ward off the man from Camp Yaoling.
Sanniang said, "It needn't be a problem.
I have some good words you should hear, Father.
Since I prefer to be united to the youth Hua Guan Suo,

There is no need for that ugly-faced Lian Kang."
Bandit King Bao, thus spoken to, went along with it.
He prepared a feast in front of the hall.
Sons and daughter and relatives greeted each other.
Then he invited in Hua Guan Suo.
When Guan Suo met him, he lowered his head and bowed.
He bowed to his father-in-law Bandit King Bao.
The entire family great and small met each other.
At the head of the main hall they drank three cups.
In the middle sat Hua Guan Suo;
Below him were the many other leaders.
All came to offer congratulations to Bandit King Bao.
Each of the leaders drank three cups.

Hard on the heels of happiness came sadness.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 11
The gatekeeper came forward and announced the arrival of an army.
He called, "Crown Prince Lian Kang has arrived.
What shall we do? How can we cope with him?"
Bandit King Bao went to the rear of the hall.

Then he called, "Sanniang, listen to the situation.
You have never met General Lian Kang.
Do you know what he and his father look like?
He sprouts a pair of red bumps on his head.
He has two steel blades like door leaves."
Bao Feng and Bao Yi felt perplexed.
"How can we make this general retreat?"
Sanniang thought secretly about General Lian Kang,
An ugly man ten feet tall.
She looked at the youth Hua Guan Suo
Adorned with rouge and made of powder.
Sanniang then said to her father,
"Since I prefer to be united to the youth Hua Guan Suo,
I do not want that ugly-faced Lian Kang."

Sanniang said, "Father, you must not worry. Send someone out in front of the manor to see what the real situation is. If it is Crown Prince Lian Kang who has arrived, then invite him to come in. If it is not the Crown Prince I have something to say to be taken back to him." At that time he instructed an underling to go out the gates of the manor and ask if the Crown Prince was here or not. He had only told the two men Liu Deng and Song Wenda to come to the front of the manor. Bandit King Bao said, "Ask them to please come so I can inquire about the situation."

Notes

  1. Gail Oman King says she can't translate this sentence completely
  2. The message to Bandit King Bao is all written in 7-character couplets. A line of this couplet seems to be missing.
  3. Gail Oman King says she can't translate the "多萁做劈前 了, nor the preceding 侠 between "five" and "arrows".

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