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The Story of Hua Guan Suo/卷2

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Chapter 2

How Hua Guan Suo claimed his patrimony

Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 12
Then the underling quickly went out to invite
Liu Deng and Song Wenda to enter.
When the two reached the head of the main hall,
They bent their bodies like bows and bowed two or three times.
They said, "The Crown Prince extends his most cordial greetings.
He wants to marry Sanniang.
He wants her to go back with him and preside over his camp.
Great king, you must not refuse the one who has come."
The old general Bandit King Bao had no words to reply.
"How can I manage to get this young gentleman to retreat?"
Up at his side came Hua Guan Suo,
Who told the two generals,
"Send word to Lian Kang, the Crown Prince,
To turn around his men and horses and go back before he comes any farther.
Sanniang has been married to a general of the Han Dynasty.
Guan Suo today has become her husband."

Prose

Bandit King Bao said, "May I trouble you two to transmit a message to Crown Prince Lian Kang. My daughter was married today to Guan Suo, a general of the Han Dynasty. Indeed you must not blame me." Liu Deng and Song Wenda returned to their own camp and saw Crown Prince Lian Kang. "Allow us to inform you, Crown Prince. At present there is a certain Guan Suo at his house. Bandit King Bao said, 'Transmit to the Crown Prince that my daughter Sanniang today was married to a general of the Han Dynasty named Guan Suo. Tell the Crown Prince not to blame me.'"

Verse

When Lian Kang heard this, he was annoyed.
"How can I bear these insulting ignoramuses?
This Bandit King Bao is utterly unreasonable!"

He ground his jaws with an ominous sound,
Then called his brother named Lian Xun.
"You guard the camp entrance in the mountains."
The Crown Prince then mustered men and horses.
Double-quick he took command of his troops and set out to demand an explanation.
Liu Deng and Song Wenda were generals of the vanguard.
The three men set out at the head of the three armies.
A stroke of the bronze gong called the troops to assemble.
Three blows on the decorated drum and they advanced on their way,
Straight to the Bao family manor.
"They'd better send Sanniang right out to me.
I'll marry her so she can preside as mistress over my camp."
In front of the manor he came and called, "People of the Bao family,
I'll make you, father and sons, dead men."
When Bandit King Bao heard this, he felt distressed.
"You're just a whit late."

Prose

While Bandit King Bao was in the throes of distress, Guan Suo said, "Father-in-law, you must not trouble yourself over how to make that freak Lian Kang retreat."

Verse

General Guan Suo quickly got dressed,
Putting on his complete suit of general's gear.
"I will go out and do battle with him."

Hurriedly he mounted his dragon-scaled horse.
With his gold whip he pointed at the enemy lines and cursed.
Then he grasped his yellow dragon spear in hand.
"If you're a match for me, Hua Guan Suo,
I'll give you Sanniang to be your wife."
In a loud voice he called, "Hey you, ugly Lian Kang,
If you're a match for me, Hua Guan Suo,
I'll give you Sanniang to be your wife.
If you lose to Hua Guan Suo,
I'll shatter your body into ten thousand pieces and make you a dead man."
When Lian Kang heard this, he felt distressed.
He put on his complete suit of general's gear.
When Guan Suo saw him, he laughed gleefully.
Putting on his armor he waited for his enemy in front of the gate.
On both sides they began to beat decorated leather drums.
The two men fought in deadly earnest to settle the outcome.
On the sidelines Sanniang was thrown into consternation,
Only fearing that the one surnamed Guan would lose.
When they had fought for ten-odd rounds,
From the kicked-up dust and dirt came a cry of "Help!"
The three armies on the wall took a look,
But they didn't know which side's man had been killed.
Not until a black wind passed by
And blew away the dust and dirt could they see what was what—
Crown Prince Lian Kang was difficult to resist.
Trailing his sword Guan Suo yelled, "Help!"
This affronted Sanniang named Mistress Bao.
She mounted her horse and trailing her sword, emerged from the lines.
The youth Guan Suo felt distressed.
Holding aloft his sword he signalled the rear men to action.
Officers great and small slapped their horses and pursued.
The old general, trailing his sword, also came out of the formation.
This affronted the youth Hua Guan Suo,
Who caught up with ugly Liang Kang.
With one downward thrust to the breast he called, "Got you!"
How could Lian Kang, once hit, survive?
Ugly Lian Kang fell off his horse and died.
Guan Suo went off again to chase and kill horses and men.
Liu Deng and Song Wenda then bowed,
Repeatedly calling "Elder brother" three or five times.
"Spare us two brothers,
And we will repay you for your kindness."
They killed until it was almost dark;
They all gave allegiance to Hua Guan Suo.
Great and small the crowd of officers were all happy;
A blow rang from the gong and they collected the army.
Then they arrayed a feast in the hall,
And very liberally he rewarded the troops.
The wine was exhausted to the last cup before they quit,
And each man went down to camp to rest himself.
When the moon was bright and the stars few, just at midnight,
Guan Suo consummated his marriage.
Carved flowers adorned the gold-flecked bed curtains;
By the blue-green standing screen lay brocaded clothes.
Beneath mermaid silk woven into a hibiscus cover

Two lovers' heads lay side by side on the coral pillow.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 13
We will not speak of the five watches of the night;
At daybreak horses and men bestirred themselves.

Together they came to the head of the main hall.
Guan Suo from the beginning explained the circumstances:
"I cannot stay long at the manor.
I want to go to Xichuan to seek my father."
He bowed to his father-in-law and mother-in-law;
He also bowed to his pair of brothers-in-law.
When he had finished taking leave of the whole family,
He set out at the head of his numerous officers,
Taking along his comely bride Sanniang,
And also his mother also went along as they set out on their journey.
Great and small the group of officers transmitted the general's orders.
From the side there came out a pair of men,
Generals Song Wenda and Liu Deng.
They came to inform Hua Guan Suo:
"Since Crown Prince Lian Kang has been killed,
Lian Xun's great camp should not be allowed to remain.
Elder brother, you lead men and horses
And go to attack the Great Camp at Yaoling."

Prose

Bao Feng and Bao Er said, "What you say is quite right. If when you cut off grass you eliminate the root, it will not sprout and grow. If when you cut grass you do not eliminate the root, with the coming of spring it will sprout and grow again."

Verse

Guan Suo raised his head and said, "Let's go!"
He called up the officers of the three armies,
Mustered the men and they all advanced

To go smash the Great Camp at Yaoling.
The sound of a heaven-shaking blow to the gong echoed.
He led one hundred thousand troops and went out the gates of the manor,
Leaving the Bao family manor.
They went leisurely on their way like wind-blown clouds.
Just as the three armies were proceeding along the raod by which they had come,
In the distance they saw the Great Camp at Yaoling.
Liu Deng and Song Wenda said,
"Elder brother, listen to our suggestion.
Send one of the officers who surrendered to go ahead in haste
And say, 'Elder brother succeeded in taking a wife.'
When Lian Xun hears this, he will come forward to meet us.
Then we'll rush the gates of the Great Camp at Yaoling."
When Guan Suo heard this, he said, "Good,"
And ordered a mounted courier to advance to the camp.
Lian Xun taking along sheep and wine
Set out with his officers to meet Madame Bao.
When he arrived in front of the army he looked closely,
Only to discover that it was Guan Suo with horses and men.
Lian Xun galloped his horse, turned his head, and looked.
At his rear the three armies pursued him into the camp.
Guan Suo quickly waved his red flag,
So that the three armies, men and horses, all were informed.
At the sound of a stroke on the gong they all set to
And fought their way into the gates of the Great Camp at Yaoling.
When they met one they killed one,
All told killing several hundred young soldiers.
Great and small the group of officers all surrendered their allegiance
And agreed to follow their elder brother surnamed Guan.
King of Hell Ma and Jupiter Dang,
A pair of raw gold and finest iron men,
A leopard-head fiery-mane piebald-face horse.
Great and small, numerous leaders
All bowed to the youth Hua Guan Suo.
Lian Xun the Crown Prince was nowhere to be seen.
Poor Lian Xun
Rode all alone into the mountain forest.
Guan Suo spoke to the generals and said,
"We must not tarry long in front of the mountain.
Great and small officers get everything ready
To go to Xichuan to seek my father."
A stroke to the brass gong resounded in the sky,
And he led forth one hundred thousand young soldiers.
The men and horses of the army went like clouds,
Marching down the road like wind-blown clouds.
Just as the three armies were proceeding along the road by which they had come,
Ahead a petty officer reported someone coming.
"Marching forward we will come to Lutang Camp.
Now there is an army blocking the road,
And they will not allow our forces to pass by the gates of their camp.
They said to go west on the side road to the east."
Guan Suo, thus informed, felt angry.
"Who is the head of Lutang Camp?"
The minor officer then said to the general,
"There are two female generals in the camp
Named Wang Tao and Wang Yue.
The two are blocking the road."

Prose

Guan Suo said, "How old are the women generals?" The minor officer said, "One is sixteen and one is eighteen. They are the daughters of Grand Secretary Wang. Alone, they hold sway over Lutang Camp." Guan Suo said, "Are they married or not?" The minor officer said, "If anyone can get the better of either of them, she will be given him as a wife. Until now no one has been a match for them." Guan Suo was secretly pleased [and thought] "In the first place, I want them for secondary wives. In the second place, I can borrow their men and horses to go to Xichuan to seek my father." [He spoke aloud:] "Armies, deploy your ranks and block off Lutang Camp. I will pit myself against them."

Verse

A stroke of the gong and they set up camp
And rested the one hundred thousand soldiers.
It was announced to Wang Tao and Wang Yue:

"Bandits have surrounded the gates of the camp."
Wang Tao and Wang Yue were greatly troubled.
The two put on general's garb
And led their troops out of Lutang Camp,
Young men, horses, and troops.
The woman general in front of the troops called out loudly,
Asking, "Who is the general who has come?"
When Guan Suo in front of the ranks heard this question,
He yelled, "You ignorant baggage,
Who would fight on a narrow road?
Today I'll settle victory and defeat with you.

In three rounds you will lose to me in front of the ranks,


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 14
And offer up your Great Camp Lutang."
Guan Suo then flourished his spear;

Wang Tao brandished the sword in her hand.
His spear parried each thrust of her sword;
Her sword fended off each stab of his spear.
The two had battled about ten rounds
When Hua Guan Suo grew annoyed.
He reversed his spear and wheeled his horse.
His antagonist pursued the one surnamed Guan.
She yelled, as she thrust with her sword, "Hit home!"
Guan Suo dodged and it didn't touch him.
Meanwhile he parried both the swords
And by her blue waistband he seized the woman.
Guan Suo leaped off his high-headed horse,
Put his foot on her chest, and demanded the truth.
Then he asked, "Woman, what is your name?
That today you should single-handedly hold sway over the camp."
The female general at once called in a loud voice,
"General, spare me.
Wang Tao and Wang Yue, we two female generals
By ourselves lead fifty thousand soldiers.
If you, sir, spare me,
I am willing to be one who makes your bed and puts on your covers."
When Guan Suo heard this, he felt pleased.
"You can help me seek my father in Xichuan."
Guan Suo in front of the ranks called out in a loud voice,
Calling, "Wang Yue, woman."
Wang Yue at that time replied, saying,
"I also willingly today give my allegiance.
Since elder sister today has surrendered.
How can I manage alone as head of the troops?
I know well that it is folly to struggle;
Far better straight off to give allegiance.
Elder sister today will be your wife,
And I will be one who holds aloft the stars and lifts up the moon."
When Guan Suo heard this, he felt pleased.
He led his men, horses, and troops,
And the two camps combined to make one camp.
They all entered Great Camp Lutang.
At a blow on the gong that echoed in the vicinity,
They bivouacked, set up camp, and stationed their troops.
The generals came to the head of the main hall.
He asked his mother Dame Hu to come out.
The three elder and younger sisters met each other,
And they all bowed to their mother-in-law Dame Hu.
He rewarded the army and when it was done,
Guan Suo in front of the hall spoke of the matter.
"I cannot tarry long at Lutang.
I must go right away to Xichuan to seek my father."
The twelve generals readied men and horses.
There were one hundred fifty thousand armored men.
In charge of the troops was Commander Hua Guan Suo.
The two men Song Wenda [and Liu Deng] acted as vanguard.
They led the armies and left Lutang.
Across the grassy wilderness they marched forward.
We will sing no longer of Guan Suo on the march,
But instead talk of Commander in chief Guan, the Prince of Jingzhou.
Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Liu Bei, the three men
Were lords in Prosper Liu Camp:
Number one, the Military Advisor, Zhuge Liang,
Number two, Prince of Jingzhou, Commander in chief Guan,
Number three, Zhang Fei, who turned back the river with a yell,
Number four, Huang Zhong, the Marquis Who Quells Disorder.
Jiang Wei the Brave, brilliant strategist,
He was a great general without compare.
In all the Three Kingdoms there was no match for Ma Chao.
Moreover there was Guan Ping the wonderful.
[Liu Bei] commanded one hundred thousand men and horses,
Along with three thousand superior officers.
Fifty-four districts had all submitted to him.
They drove out Prince Liu Zhang.
Duke Guan sat in the army command tent.
He called over Guan Xi his groom.

Prose

Duke Guan said, "Ask Military Advisor Zhuge to interpret a dream for me." The groom Guan Xi then went. The Military Advisor just then was talking with Prince Liu. [Guan Xi] did not dare to go in. He returned. Duke Guan said, "Just request Pang Tong to come and interpret my dream." The groom Guan Xi immediately went and got Pang Tong. When they had finished their tea, Duke Guan said, "I had a dream last night. It was just at the third watch. In my dream I saw the gold pillar in front of the Emperor's hall break in two. The Empress's dressing mirror broke into two halves. The water in the pond that the horses drink from in front of the palace steps all dried up. A tree blossomed, and I was about to pluck a flower when they all shriveled up and completely disappeared. What good or evil does this dream portend?" Pang Tong said, "When the roof breaks the pillar follows. When a dressing mirror breaks, two people will separate. When the water in a pond dries up, it is difficult to drink water. When all the flowers on a tree bloom, the fruit will be late." Pang Tong said, "This dream portends that right at noon one of you three brothers will have a misfortune." Duke Guan said, "Who will have a misfortune?" Pang Tong said, "The one whose luck has run out will have a misfortune."

Verse

When Duke Guan heard this, he felt perplexed.
Who knew who it was who would have misfortune?
When the military advisor named Pang Tong had gone,

Again he asked the Military Advisor Zhuge Liang to come.
The two men sat at the head of the main hall.
Tea over, Zhuge Liang asked why he was called.
Duke Guan in the hall explained from the beginning.
"What is the meaning of the four dreams I had last night?"
From the beginning he told it all to the Military Advisor.
"Military Advisor, interpret the meaning of the dreams."

Prose

Military Advisor Zhuge said, "As for these four dreams: When the roof breaks, the pillar follows. When a dressing mirror breaks, the two sections are bright. When the water in the pond dries up, horses can cross it easily. When you see...


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 15
...flowers fall, the fruit is ready. This dream means that at noon today one of you three brothers will gain a brother." Duke Guan asked, "Which of us will gain a brother?" The Military Advisor said, "The one who is lucky will gain one." When he had finished speaking, Military Advisor Zhuge Liang said farewell and left. Duke Guan alone by himself was lost in perplexity. He said, "Which one should I believe?"

Verse

Duke Guan in the hall felt perplexed.
"Which man should I trust today?
The Military Advisor says one of us will gain a brother,

While Pang Tong says one of us will suffer misfortune.
I'll just have to wait until half-past twelve
To find out whether our fortune today is good or ill."
Just as Duke Guan finished speaking,
The doorkeeper ascended the hall and reported some news.
"There is a general who has come here.
He wants to see the Commander named Guan."
When Duke Guan heard this, he instructed that the man be invited in.
He came straight up to the head of the hall.
The two men in front of the hall quickly greeted each other formally.
Then he asked, "What is the general's name?"
This man bowed and then quickly said,
"I am no ordinary man."


Prose

"I am of the former royal house of Lü. My surname is Yao and my given name Bin. Just now, though, I have been in the service of the Prince of Wu. Because of some trifling mistake, [I have been dismissed from his service?] I know that you, General, are magnanimous and broad-minded, and that you like to swear brotherhood with people. Today I have come to lead the dragon and prepare the horse for you, General." Duke Guan said, "I am not really in the habit of swearing brother-hood with people. But it is really extraordinary the way you have turned up today in response to my dream. The Military Advisor's interpretation of the dream was exactly right." Duke Guan said, "Are your intentions in swearing brotherhood trustworthy or not?" Yao Bin said, "General, burn some incense and I will swear to Heaven."

Verse

When Duke Guan heard this, he felt pleased.
They mingled their blood and swore an oath of brotherhood.
He killed an ox and slaughtered a horse in the main hall.

Tea and food were prepared, and they drank some rounds.
He invited all the brothers to come.
The group of officers had a rousing time and the wine poured free.
After they had had three cups of wine and five courses,
Zhang Fei then explained the situation.
"This man Yao Bin once rebelled,
And he caused a rebellion of the followers of the Prince of Wu.
Today he has come on purpose to become a brother.
A person acting with conscious intent can dispose of those who are not alert."
Duke Guan replied, "That doesn't matter.
I can see that Yao Bin is a good man."
At that time he did not believe Zhang Fei's words.
"Aside from Zhang Fei is there no one else in the world?"
The great feast he had prepared was all over,
And Commander Guan was drunk.
Since twilight was just drawing to a close,
The Commander kept Yao Bin to stay overnight.
He waited until the third watch when everyone was gone,
And Duke Guan was sleeping in the main hall.
Yao Bin then conceived a treacherous plot.
He got out of bed and looked for a way out,
Hade his getaway and left the army command tent.
From the rear stable he would roust a horse and take to the road.
He was a natural double for Commander Guan;
His dress and his build were just like those of the General.
He wore the Commander's clothes
And had a whip in his hand.

Prose

Yao Bin said, "Prepare my horse for me. Without bothering to tell my brothers, I'm going to go outside the walls to make a patrol and then come back. Open the gate for me and get out my sword." Yao Bin took it in his hand but realized that his strength wasn't adequate. "I'll just ride bareback with nothing but a whip and be back in a jiffy."

Verse

Yao Bin rode the roan horse
And went out of the gate of Great Camp Prosper Liu.
Headed for the southwest off he went.

Yao Bin the horse thief got away.
We will sing no longer about Yao Bin stealing the horse;
Instead we will sing about Commander Guan.
When Duke Guan awoke from his drunkenness the sky was light.
At his side he did not see the man surnamed Yao.
He called for all the officers and leading generals
To come to the hall and summon Yao Bin.
Then he ordered his officers and attendants
To hurry back to the rear stable to search,
But his red horse was not to be seen in the stable.
Commander in chief Guan, Prince of Jingzhou, was beside himself.
Zhang Fei then said, "You didn't believe me.
I told you Yao Bin was not an upright man."

Prose

The groom Guan Xi said, "It was around the second watch. I thought it was the commander who had gotten up to go out on patrol. All the time it was Yao Bin stealing a horse." Duke Guan still didn't believe it. He went toward the front hall and when he didn't see his clothes, and he said, "After all, he really has stolen my horse and gone. Instruct a man to report to Prince Liu how things are."

Verse

The First Sovereign Prince Liu transmitted an order:
"Troops spread out on each road and pursue the man.
Zhang Fei rode his horse and went out the south gate in pursuit.

Huang Zhong then went out the north gate to follow.
The one who took responsibility for the west gate was Commander Guan.
Jiang Wei went quickly out the east gate.
Many low-ranking officers individually went after him.
All went out of Great Camp Prosper Liu.
We will speak no more of the generals taking to the road in pursuit;
Instead we will sing of Hua Guan Suo.

The red sun went down behind the mountain and it was late.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 16
Twilight returned to the camp.
The horse thief Yao Bin crossed by the mountain

Just as some soldiers from the camp were on their way out.
A private reported to Hua Guan Suo,
"There is a general at the gate of the camp.
He sits astride the horse Red Hare,
A fine general and big man."
Guan Suo, on hearing this description, said,
"Must it not be my father, Commander in chief Guan?"
And went in person out of the camp gates to look closely.
Then he asked, "What is your name, general?"
Yao Bin at that time quickly dismounted,
Dismounted and left the saddle and spoke his surname.
"I am Commander Guan, Prince of Jingzhou.
I have come expressly to find out who you are."
Guan Suo invited him to enter the main hall and be seated.
He reported it to his mother Dame Hu.
His mother at that time came to identify him.
"Do not mistakenly recognize someone in the hall."

Prose

Guan Suo said, "Mother, today Father has arrived." His mother said, "Son, do not make a mistake. I will look and see for myself beside the flag in front of the tent. Watch me and respond accordingly." [Then she called,] "My son, it really is not your father." Suo said, "I have only heard it said that he who rides on a roan horse and is ten feet tall and has a full beard is my father. Wait just now for me to interrogate him." Just when he had said this, what should happen but a low-ranking soldier came in to report.

Verse

When Guan Suo heard this, he was suspicious.
"It is not my father Commander in chief Guan."
In front of the mountain a group of troops passed by.

The banners of the commander said it was Zhang Fei who backed up the river.
When Guan Suo was informed of this, he felt happy.
He slapped his horse and flew off going like a wind-blown cloud.
He caught up with his uncle General Zhang Fei
And invited him to enter the gates of the camp.
Zhang Fei dismounted his black steed
And recognized the horse thief.

Prose

Guan Suo said, "Uncle, you have come. Please come and sit at the head of the tent." Guan Suo then bowed and said, "Uncle, I am the second son of the Prince of Jingzhou. My name is Guan Suo. Recently I have sought and found my mother Dame Hu. We have come together to seek my father Commander Guan. Today I am able to see you, Uncle." Zhang Fei said, "That is only Yao Bin. He stole your father's roan horse. Today I have come expressly in pursuit of him. What is he doing here? You should grab him right away." Yao Bin at this point tried in a panic to escape. Guan Suo said, "Where do you think you're going?" There and then he was grabbed by Guan Suo. He said, "All along you were nothing but a horse-thieving crook who disguised himself to look like my father."

Verse

Guan Suo at that time quickly took hold of him,
Grabbing Yao Bin the horse thief.
"You stole my father's roan horse.

You pretended to be Commander Guan, Prince of Jingzhou."
He called out, "Attendants, do your stuff!"
They cut off Yao Bin the horse thief's head.
He set out wine to entertain General Zhang Fei.
Zhang Fei immediately explained the situation.
"If you want to seek your father Commander Guan,
I will take you to the mountain to claim your patrimony."

Prose

Guan Suo then asked his mother to come out and see him. Dame Hu saw him and said "Brother-in-law, eighteen years ago you killed my whole family. You took my oldest son Guan Ping with you and let me escape. I was pregnant and before long gave birth to this child. Now he has grown to be eighteen years old, and he has studied completely all the arts of war. Just now he has come here expressly to seek his father and claim his patrimony. Would you please go ahead and act as a witness and take him to see his father the Prince of Jingzhou." Zhang Fei said, "Elder brother has gone west in pursuit of Yao Bin. Right now I will return first and meet elder brother to explain to him. You can come along later."

Verse

He entertained Zhang Fei who then went on ahead,
Taking the roan horse with him.
We will sing no longer of Zhang Fei and Guan Suo;

We will take up the Prince of Jingzhou at the head of his troops.
A great sword held in hand,
He went in pursuit of Yao Bin but didn't spot him.
In front of the mountain he saw Prime Minister Cao,
Leading three thousand horses and men.
The Prince of Jingzhou mounted his high-headed horse
And waved his state-pacifying sword.
He called loudly, "Prime Minister Cao in front of the mountain:
I have some good words you should hear.
Freely allow me to go past the mountain,
And we'll let bygones be bygones and discuss it no more."
Cao Cao deputed General Zhang Liao
To go down the mountain and grab the man surnaraed Guan.
When they had battled nearly thirty rounds,
Brandishing his blade he made straight for his face.
But the Prince of Jingzhou was not in the least afraid.
On horseback he brandished his great sword.
Cao Cao on the mountain raised a red flag.
Ugly Cao Cheng, one of his subordinates,
Brandished his great battle-axe Achiever.
The three men all rushed for the man surnamed Guan.
Just at this time, when the Prince of Jingzhou was getting worried,
From the west there sounded a stroke to the drum.
A mass of men appeared with lances extended and spears in their hands.
River-router Zhang Fei arrived leading his army.
From the top of Mount Dongmi Cao Cao observed them.

"Who is this general?—


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 17
A young horseman astride a spirited horse,
His hand grasping a yellow dragon spear."

The troops under General Zhao Yun also arrived from Changsha.
In addition there was Guan Ping who also brought up his army.
The troops and horses of Cao Cao of the Great State fled,
Losing two out of every three men.
Commander Guan, Prince of Jingzhou, was delighted.
A stroke on the bronze gong and they gathered the army.
Great and small the group of officers were gladdened.
At the head of his men, astride the roan horse,
General Zhang Fei came up from one side.
"Elder brother, this is a happy event of great importance.
I inform you that your son is very brave and courageous.
Guan Suo son of Guan Yu Marquis of Hanshou ting
Even recovered the roan horse.
He grabbed Yao Bin the horse thief."
When Guan Suo heard this, he quickly bowed.
He bowed to his father, Commander in chief Guan.
The Prince of Jingzhou said, "I am not your father."
He cursed and said, "You are an enemy falsely claiming a relationship."
Zhang Fei came forward quickly and said,
"Elder brother, acknowledge the young man.
Acknowledge your own son, General Guan Suo.
He is not one who dreads the blade and avoids the sword."
The Prince of Jingzhou said, "Say no more about it."
He clapped his hands and shook his head and wouldn't acknowledge him.
The great and small officials were unable to persuade him.
He got on the roan horse and was about to start off.
Before he had yet finished speaking,
Guan Suo's heart grew angry.
"Where do you think you're going today?
Why won't you acknowledge your own family?
Acknowledge your own son today as you should,
And I will be one who protects you from spear and sword.
If you say you will not acknowledge me,
Then I will take to Mount Heng and become a bandit.
I will surrender allegiance to Prime Minister Cao of the Great State.
I will lead men in battle and start war.
I will come to attack the Iron Fortress, Camp Prosper Liu.
I will capture the Five Tiger Generals."
Zhang Fei came forward and explained again in detail.
He told him to acknowledge Hua Guan Suo.
He began by telling how he was separated from his mother when he was only seven,
Separated from his mother at seven and given to someone else.
He went into the mountains to study the arts of war,
And investigated thoroughly military books and writings on battle strategy.
Before he knew it he grew to be eighteen,
When he descended the mountain to seek his mother surnamed Hu.
When the Prince of Jingzhou heard these words,
Tears flowed from his eyes and fell in streams
When husband and wife met once again.
Guan Suo then bowed to his loving father.
Husband and wife were reunited and son met father—
This sort of happy event is no ordinary thing.
Then he bowed to his uncle General Zhang Fei
And also bowed to his elder brother Guan Ping.
He met many great generals,
And also gave a bow of greeting to the minor officers.
The Prince of Jingzhou took along Hua Guan Suo.
He led his soldiers, horses and men
Straight to Prosper Liu Mountain.
There on city walls and towers he stationed his troops,
One hundred fifty thousand brave soldiers in all.
He took in Hua Guan Suo,
He took in his wife Madame Hu,
Straight to the gate of Duke Guan's mansion.
After Madame Hu had had a chance to rest,
Guan Suo and Mrs. Hu met the enlightened sovereign.
Duke Guan led them to the audience hall,
Where they bowed and met Prince Liu the sovereign of Han
And met the group of officials, civil and military.
Prince Liu asked about the situation.

Prose

The First Sovereign said, "Sir, who is this man?" Zhang Fei said, "When we swore our oath of brotherhood at Peach Spring, I killed elder brother's entire family. You took Guan Ping along with you. My sister-in-law gave birth to this child who is now eighteen years old. He is completely versed in both civil and military skills. He sought and found his mother in his maternal grandfather's home and today together with his mother he has come to seek his father and claim his patrimony." When the First Sovereign met him, he liked him very much, and he said, "This son of yours is exceptional." He provided a feast for him there in front of the throne and offered congratulations to Duke Guan. They ate a five-course feast and drank wine until they were half-drunk. Just as they were in the midst of drinking and feasting, suddenly a courier came before the court to report. "Outside there is a bandit approaching the city, proclaiming, "I am Lian Xun the Hideous, specially come to avenge my brother."

Verse

Just as the group of officials were all drinking wine,
A man came to report to the Han ruler,
Announcing, "My king, I tell you of a calamity.

Lian Xun has raised men and horses."
The First Sovereign Emperor Prince Liu was worried sick.
"Who incited this bandit?"
He rides astride a metallic beast,
And in his hand he wields a gold-banded staff.
His head sprouts a pair of red horns,
And the hair on his neck is like an array of needles.
He can stay under water for seven or eight days,
And he can march for half a week without eating.
To the tip of his head his height is ten feet.
He has come to get revenge for Crown Prince Lian Kang.
He came in front of the troops and cursed in a loud voice,
"That insufferable, insulting Guan Suo.
He killed my elder brother General Lian Kang
And stole away my sister-in-law Madame Bao.
Today I am going to avenge this grievance.
I am not to be compared with ordinary men."
When Zhang Fei heard this, he felt upset and annoyed.
He took up his sword and emerged from the lines to do battle with him.
Lian Xun the Hideous quickly came out of battle formation.

He called, "General, you just listen."


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 18

Prose

Lian Xun said, "General Zhang Fei, you go back and transmit a message to the Pacification Commissioner, the Prince of Jingzhou. Tell him to give me back a life for my elder brother Crown Prince Lian Kang's life. It's nothing to do with you. I am not seeking a quarrel with you. Just have the Prince of Jingzhou come out to parley with me." Zhang Fei heard what he said and forthwith returned to camp and saw the Prince of Jingzhou. Zhang Fei said, "I report to elder brother: Lian Xun said that leading men and horses you killed Crown Prince Lian Kang and destroyed the Great Camp at Yaoling. He didn't pick a fight with me. He only demanded [satisfaction?] from you for the death of Crown Prince Lian Kang." The Prince of Jingzhou then went out in front of his lines. He saw Lian Xun and said, "You ought not to bear unjustified grudges against others. When have I ever come to the gates of your camp? It's got nothing to do with me." Lian Xun the Hideous said, "You killed Crown Prince Lian Kang and destroyed the Great Camp at Yaoling. You also burned all my army provisions. And you wrote on the wall, 'If you want revenge, come to the Iron Fortress Camp on Prosper Liu Mountain and look for Duke Guan to avenge the injury.' If it isn't you, who is it?"

Verse

When the Prince of Jingzhou heard this, he felt angry.
"When did I ever go to his place leading horses and men?
Even though Lian Xun blames me today,

It hasn't the slightest thing to do with me."
Lian Xun firmly gripped his gold-banded staff,
And rushed forward at the man surnamed Guan.
The Commander saw how fiercely he came.
Seated on his horse he had no choice but to brandish his sword.
They had fought for nearly fifty rounds when he said,
"How can I resist this knave?"
The Prince of Jingzhou reined in his horse, turned, and went,
Fleeing straight toward the gate of the Han camp of Prince Liu.
Holding onto the saddle he dismounted his high-headed horse.
Then he called Guan Ping.
"Who told you to provoke General Lian Xun into coming here?
You patricidal beast! You nobody!"
Guan Ping came forward and quickly bowed,
Repeating again and again, "I didn't do it."
His words were hardly spoken when Guan Suo arrived
To see his father, Commander in chief Guan.
The Prince of Jingzhou said, "General Guan Suo,
Lian Xun has led horses and men here,
Saying, 'You destroyed the Yaoling Camp
And killed Crown Prince Lian Kang.'
He has led three thousand men and horses
And has come straight here to act as an avenger.
I myself fought with him,
But after several rounds I was the loser."
When Guan Suo heard this he felt angry.
He said, "Father, you just rest easy.
It is I who destroyed the Yaoling Camp,
And I am the one who killed Lian Kang.
At the Bao manor I won Sanniang by battle.
The provisions were all set afire by me."
The officers great and small all paled.
The Commander in chief, the Prince of Jingzhou, was startled to death.
When the Prince of Jingzhou heard this, he felt perplexed.
"How can we make this ruffian retreat?"
Guan Suo said, "That's no problem.
Father, you just relax now.
If I can't capture this Lian Xun,
How will I ever make it to the territory of Xichuan?"
In front of his lines he pointed at him and cursed in a loud voice,
Calling, "Lian Xun, come out of your battle formation.
The person who killed Lian Kang is I.
Bao Sanniang is with me.
The provisions were burnt up by me.
It is written very clearly on the wall."

Prose

Guan Suo said, "I am none other than the second son of the Prince of Jingzhou. My name is Guan Suo. The one who destroyed your Great Yaoling Camp and killed Crown Prince Lian Kang and won Bao Sanniang by battle is I." When Lian Xun heard this, anger and hatred arose from within him.

Verse

Lian Xun the Hideous heard for himself,
And hearing, his anger turned to fury.
"You are the youth Hua Guan Suo,

So overbearing and insulting.
You killed Lian Kang and destroyed my camp.
You've got some nerve, you scurrilous beast.
On your horse you're not even as big as my fist.
I could swallow ten of you.
If you were a lump of iron from Bingzhou,
You wouldn't even make very many nails.
Even without my metallic beast or my renowned iron staff,
I can take care of you with my bare hands.
My left hand will grab you by the hair;
My right hand will snap you in two at the waist,
And I'll break your backbone and your legs into the bargain.
Your three souls and seven spirits will return to the clouds.
I'll make your body a target;
I'll tear out your living heart and liver and eat them with my wine."
This infuriated the young Hua Guan Suo,
Who cried loudly, "Lian Xun, listen to this.
If you willingly surrender to me today,
We'll let bygones be bygones and discuss it no more.
If you make the slightest sound of refusal,
You'll have to reckon with your parent Guan Suo!"
This infuriated Lian Xun, who shouted,
"You scurrilous, insolent scoundrel!"
He waved his long long staff.
"Give me back a life for my elder brother the Crown Prince.
Today I am going to avenge this wrong.
The space of three rounds will tell the tale."

On both sides they struck decorated frame drums.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 19
Guan Suo then wielded his spear.
The pair of men then sparred in the center.

Lian Xun also brandished his staff.
It was a draw; there was neither loser nor winner.
The two fought so furiously they blended into one.
The two men battled for a long time.
The metallic beast roared and the ground resounded like thunder.
Guan Suo's horse was frightened by the metallic monster.
It tucked its tail and raised its hackles and neighed.
Guan Suo was no match for the metallic beast.
His horse was afraid of the monster and fled like a wind-blown cloud.
Whenever he came close to grabbing Lian Xun,
His horse was unwilling to go forward.
Lian Xun quickly struck with his staff;
Guan Suo brandished his sword in the air.
Badly upset was Lian Xun.
"How can I be an avenger?"
Desperately anxious was the young Hua Guan Suo.
"How can I capture this knave?"
They had fought for quite a long time,
And their whole bodies were dripping with the sweat of battle.
Both sides retired from the field for men and horses to rest.
It was a draw; there was neither loser nor winner.
General Guan Suo felt upset.
Sitting on the silver folding chair he had something to say.
"It is not that I myself lacked skill.
My ancestors' spirits failed to aid me."
Just when the general was feeling discouraged,
Jiang Wei, on patrol, arrived at the gate of the camp.

Prose

Guan Suo rose and met his uncle. Jiang Wei arrived at the camp, entered the tent, and sat down. Jiang Wei said, "Did you win or lose?" Guan Suo said, "I'll tell you, Uncle: I couldn't handle him. It wasn't that I didn't have it in me. My horse was afraid of his metallic beast and wouldn't go forward. There were several times when I could have seized lian Xun, but my horse always turned around and refused to go forward no matter how hard I whipped him." Jiang Wei said, "Your father's roan horse is also a king among animals. If you get this horse, you can surely capture him." Guan Suo said, "That's certainly true, but how can I get him?" Jiang Wei said, "Don't worry. Just don't go fight with him. In a little while I'll come and let you know."

Verse

When Jiang Wei finished speaking he went his way
And headed over to Prince Liu's Han camp.
Just as he was about to arrive at Prince Liu's camp,

He spied his elder brother, Commander in chief Guan.
But Jiang Wei turned and slipped away
And headed to the rear stable to see the dragon steed,
Putting a drug into its feed.
Then he went back and entered the tent
And sat down inside the command tent.
The Prince of Han was feasting the group of officials.
Just when all the officers were drinking and feasting,
Someone came to report to the man surnamed Guan.
"The roan horse has fallen over in the rear stable.
His body isn't moving a bit."
The group of officials great and small stood up.
Worried sick was the Prince of Jingzhou, Commander in chief Guan.
When Jiang Wei saw this, he smiled.
"He has fallen eight or nine parts of ten for my trick."
They came to the rear stable and took a look—
Sure enough, the horse had fallen down on the ground.
Jiang Wei went forward and took a look.
"Elder brother, keep calm.
I diagnose that the horse hasn't yet acclimated itself to the environment.
I, Jiang Wei, will act as veterinarian."

Prose

Jiang Wei said, "Elder brother, this horse hasn't had any exercise for a long time. He has eaten something poisonous in his fodder that has made his flesh and bones swell. I have medicine to counteract the poison. After he takes it, it will go to work. If he is taken out to an open area and put through his paces three or five times, the poison will be gone."

Verse

When the Prince of Jingzhou heard this, he felt glad.
Jiang Wei acted as a veterinarian.
Not long after he had given him the medicine,

The horse slowly began to lift up his body,
And they called on some enlisted men to help him to his feet.
Jiang Wei was delighted.
Having told Jiang Wei to take the horse out for a ride,
The Prince of Jingzhou, Commander in chief Guan, was overjoyed.

Prose

Jiang Wei said, "Elder brother, there isn't much room in here to ride around in. I will go out the camp gates toward the wide open spaces. After I've put him through his paces three or five times, he will be all right."

Verse

The Prince of Jingzhou nodded and said, "Fine."
Jiang Wei mounted the horse and took to the road.
He went out of Prosper Liu, the Han camp.

Astride the roan horse he took off,
And before long he arrived at the camp of the three armies.
Hua Guan Suo was overjoyed.
"Uncle Jiang Wei, stay with us awhile."
Behind him they closed the gates to the camp.
Jiang Wei called saying, "General Guan Suo,
Don't get me into trouble over this Lian Xun business."
"Uncle, do not trouble yourself today.
In an hour I'll have caught him."
General Guan Suo quickly mounted the horse.
He called loudly, "Lian Xun, come out of your camp."
When Lian Xun heard this, he felt angry.
He took up his gold cudgel staff in his hand.
Then Lian Xun mounted his metallic beast
And came to have it out with Guan Suo.
Guan Suo quickly flourished his spear,
Driving straight for his throat.
The struggle grew long,
Which made Hua Guan Suo furious.
Lian Xun realized it would be difficult to outdo him.
"How can I be an avenger?
It would be better to surrender to Prime Minister Cao
And lead a great column of troops in war."

He tried to get away and return to his home,


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 20
But Guan Suo blocked him so he had no escape route.
Lian Xun the Hideous was very annoyed.

In front of their lines they fought on for supremacy.
Guan Suo did not attack the whole army,
But merely called out, "Hey, Lian Xun, you monster!"
From his waist he took out the red cotton lariat
And lassoed Lian Xun and pulled him down off his horse.
He had affronted the young Hua Guan Suo,
Who grabbed him by the head and gouged out his eyes.
He poked out both of his two eyes;
He killed him and his fate returned to the clouds.
The twelve fierce generals raised men and horses
To all come to the aid of Hua Guan Suo.
As their swords chopped down, heads fell to the ground everywhere.
Spears, swords, uniforms, and armor lay scattered in profusion.
Blood flowed deep in the low places.
Corpses tripped up the front men in the ranks.
Three thousand underlings were put to the sword,
All of them nothing but a dream of the Southern Branch.
They wiped out Lian Xun's men and horses.
At the sound of a blow on the gong they reassembled their troops.
Jiang Wei was overjoyed.
"Hua Guan Suo has more than lived up to his name!"
Beneath the canopy of the powder-blue gauze tent
Was Jiang Wei, the great man of Han.
The youth Guan Suo lowered his head and bowed.
He bowed and thanked his uncle Jiang Wei.
"We must not tarry long in front of the mountain.
I will lead my men and horses back.

Prose

Jiang Wei said, "Nephew, I will ride the horse and go return it to your father. You take your time and return after me with your soldiers and horses."

Verse

When Guan Suo heard this, he quickly said, "Fine.
You, Uncle, start first and ride on ahead."
Jiang Wei mounted the roan.

He started on his journey and went like a wind-blown cloud.
In no time at all he arrived at the camp of Prince Liu.
He dismounted and came forward to see the Commander in chief.
The Prince of Jingzhou said, "Let's have more wine.
Jiang Wei has proven worthy of his name."
The words were hardly out of his mouth
When a man came to announce to the Commander in chief,
"The youth Guan Suo has returned."
The Prince of Jingzhou told him to come in the door of his tent.
Guan Suo came forward and bowed.
The General, Prince of Jingzhou, asked about the man surnamed Lian.
"Today when you fought, who won and who lost?"
Guan Suo spoke up and explained the circumstances.
"I killed Lian Xun.
His three thousand troops and horses all bit the dust."
Prince Liu, the First Sovereign, called for wine to be poured.
"Hua Guan Suo has proven worthy of his name.
Now that the House of Han has gained this general,
Why should we fear Cao Cao of the Great State?"
Just as the group of officers gathered to drink wine,
A man came to announce there was a messenger.
When the Prince of Han, the Son of Heaven, heard this,
He ordered a junior officer to go out of the court to welcome him.

Prose

Just as they were drinking in the court what should they see but a man from Duke Cao of the State of Wei who came to deliver a letter. The First Sovereign said, "Bring the letter for the Military Advisor to read." He broke open the letter cover. The contents read as follows: "Today Cao Cao of the State of Wei respectfully informs the Imperial Uncle, the Prince of the State of Han, that he has borrowed the walled city of Fallen Phoenix Slope and set up a small feast. I dare ask that the First Sovereign, the Imperial Uncle, condescend on the fifteenth day of the eighth month to meet with the noble lords of the eight regions for a banquet and a discussion. Pray do not disappoint us by failing to attend."

Verse

The messenger was treated with three cups of wine
And a snack consisting of two steamed buns.
We will sing no more about the departure of the messenger.

The Prince of Han, the Son of Heaven, in deep perplexity pondered to himself.
Then he asked the Military Advisor Zhuge Liang,
"Can it be that Duke Cao is scheming rebellion?"
"I respectfully reply, oh Prince of Han, Liu the First Sovereign,
And you officers, great and small, listen to the circumstances:
Early this morning I observed an aura of death,
An aura of death arising in a single cloud."

Prose

Military Advisor Zhuge Liang said, "My king, you must put in an appearance. Even though some calamity is portended, it will cause no problem, and you will not lose one soldier or horse. Including you, my king, just three men should go on this mission. Jiang Wei will precede you, Guan Suo will act as a groom at the rear, and you, my king, will be in the middle. I have a plan." He instructed Zhang Fei: "You must muster five thousand stalwart soldiers and take along Guan Suo's subordinate commanders, the twelve stalwart generals of the Talhang Mountains. Ten li from Fallen Phoenix Slope conceal your five thousand soldiers in ambush. When you see a signal flare go off in the city, then lead the troops to come to the emperor's rescue."

Verse

When the First Sovereign heard these words, he quickly said, "Fine,"
Agreeing with the Military Advisor Zhuge Liang.
The two subordinate generals would follow at his heels.

At a good time on an auspicious day then they set out on their journey.
Guan Suo hid a dagger on his person,
And Jiang Wei temporarily acted as an outrider.
Zhang Fei's troops and horses were to hide in ambush behind them.
At the sound of the signal gun in Cao Cao's camp he would order his men into action.
They waited until the next day at dawn.
Prince Liu, the First Sovereign, then set out on his journey.
We will not sing anything about their climbing of mountains and crossing of rivers
Until Fallen Phoenix Slope lay in front of them.
They sent a messenger into the city ahead of them.
Cao Cao of the Great State came out some distance to welcome them.
He met and ushered in the Prince of Han, Liu the First Sovereign,
Directly to the main hall in his official residence.

Prose

Prime Minister Cao met Liu the First Sovereign. After they had greeted...


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 21
...each other he said, "It has been a difficult and wearisome journey here for you, First Sovereign." Then he asked the First Sovereign, "How many men and horses did you bring with you?" The First Sovereign said, "There are only three men and horses." Prime Minister Cao smiled coldly. Two noble lords rose and came to meet the First Sovereign. There were the Prince of Shangliao, the Prince of Xialiao, and Emperor Lü Gao of Jiangnan. There was Prince Liu Zhang together with the emperors of petty states, the noble lords of the eight regions, and twenty-four fierce generals. All together they met the First Sovereign and invited him to enter the headquarters and sit down. The various officers performed the prescribed twenty-four prostrations and paid formal obeisance to him. Then they prepared a feast. Drums and music dinned the heavens. There was music and singing and dancing. Female entertainers waited upon them.

Verse

Duke Cao that day prepared a feast,
Spread a great banquet and invited the nobles.
They drank wine until they were half drunk and ate five courses.

Duke Cao thereupon spoke up.
"We want neither variety performers nor female entertainers.
We want only a dance with a qinqfeng sword." <center>

Prose

Duke Cao said: "Great Prince and Lü Gao, now that we possess the entire realm, east, west, south, and north, stretching in all directions, where is there for the rulers of petty states to go? Today the noble lords and you, Great Prince, are here. Why not combine all the small states into one country? If the three of us can agree, provisions can be made for our retainers." The First Sovereign said, "I will transmit an imperial command."

Verse

They did not wait for Prince Liu to transmit the imperial command.
From the side an official came out.
The Prince of Shangliao said, "Speak no more.

In our present discussion we must be reasonable.
He is the Prince of Han, Liu, the First Sovereign.
How could he be willing to be lord of a petty state?"
Duke Cao nodded and said, "Right."
Then he asked the various officials, military and civil,
"Which of you generals will sword dance?"
Lü Gao danced very neatly.
Gradually, after he had danced for quite a long time,
The point of his blade came to hover over the man surnamed Liu.
From the side emerged General Jiang Wei,
Who came forward and shouted abuse at Lü Gao.
"This Lü Gao is unreasonable."
At the rear the man surnamed Guan was angered.

Prose

Emperor Lü Gao said, "Which officer is mettlesome enough to dare to come and do a sword dance with me?" The Prince of Han said, "Prime Minister Cao, choose someone so that the two of them can dance together." Duke Cao said, "Have the First Sovereign's aide-de-camp dance with Lü Gao." Jiang Wei said, "Tell the young groom to do a dance with Lü Gao."

Verse

The boy today would do a sword dance.
He wanted to kill all the military and civil officials.
Head to foot he was no taller than four and a half feet,

And he was dressed no differently than a cowherd.
Emperor Lü Gao smiled.
He called to Prince Liu, the Sovereign of Han,
"If this boy comes to dance with me,
How can he possibly be a match for me?
With my foot I'll kick him three or five li.
How dare he come and dance with me before the assembled generals?"
The boy replied, "Don't take me lightly.
This cowherd dares to risk his life against you.
Granted, you've shown your skill, but it will avail you nothing.
I'm not afraid of a pipsqueak like you no matter how great you think you are."
Lü Gao said, "This is too much to take.
You motherless, insulting little devil.
Your body isn't as big as my fist.
How dare you come to determine loser and winner with me."

Prose

As soon as Prime Minister Cao saw him, he got very angry. The group of officials spoke, saying, "He's really quite a kid!" The boy said, "I beg to inform the great prince that he is the emperor of his country, while I am but a soldier. Our positions are not equal. I fear that in the course of some maneuver, if I should do harm to his life, it would create a problem. I propose that the two of us should enter into a written agreement with regard to the terms of this contest. Each of us will append his own signature and hand it to the Prime Minister to hold. This document will be evidence of our agreement and the various officials will be witnesses." The group of officials in unison expressed their approval. In no time at all they had written the agreement, and the two men sword danced.

Verse

In front of the banquet they struck decorated frame drums.
The two men fenced quite brilliantly.
As they got into the thick of the fight,

Each man strove to do his best.
Even after the two men had danced for a long time,
Neither of them had gained the advantage.
To a man the group of men in the main hall
All offered wine to the boy.
Guan Suo said, "I will not drink wine.
We will sword dance again and hazard victory or defeat."
When the two men had danced for a long time,
The boy grew furious.
He lunged, feinted, and made a single thrust with his sword.
Then, leaping out of the way, he shouted, "Down you go!"
When the group of officials suddenly raised their heads and looked,
Lü Gao's head had fallen and blood stained his body.
When Duke Cao saw this, he was angry;
Civil and military, the two groups were all astonished.
Just as the group of officials were in a state of consternation,
A man with a white flag again announced to the man surnamed Cao,
"Military Advisor Zhang Lin has arrived in person."
The group of officials great and small all rose
And came to meet Zhang Lin.
He left the saddle and dismounted, his feet coming to rest on the ground.
Each person then proceeded to exchange greetings with him,
But he was depressed and did not seem happy to see them.

Great and small the officials stayed their steps.


Hua Guan Suo zhuan image page 22
He sat on a silver folding chair and rested himself.

Prose

Zhang Lin said, "Prime Minister Cao, you did not come to see me. Why didn't you invite me?" Cao Cao said, "I didn't know your whereabouts, General, so I did not come to invite you. Stop asking." When Zhang Lin heard this, he laughed loudly. "Considering that this group of officials is all here, why didn't you invite Emperor Lü Gao?"

Verse

Iron Pate Zhang Lin was distressed,
And his whole face became bright red.
"When you didn't invite me that didn't matter.

But why didn't you invite Lü Gao?"
The great general Zhang Lin opened his mouth and said,
"Where is Emperor Lü Gao?"

Prose

Prime Minister Cao said to him: "Allow me to explain things to you, Military Advisor, but it's a long story." Zhang Lin said, "Why is it such a long story?" Duke Cao said, "There is a boy in the entourage of the Prince of Han who did a sword dance with Lü Gao. They made a written agreement on the terms of the contest, to which each of them appended his signature, and they exchanged copies, agreeing not to forfeit a life for a life. In this fashion the two men then competed in a sword dance. In the thick of the fight Emperor Lü Gao was cut in two with one stroke by the boy. What can we do about this calamity?"

Verse

Cao Cao of the Great State was most troubled.
"What can we possibly do about this?"
Iron Pate Zhang Lin's heart was anxious.

He ground his jaws ominously.
"How could it have been Emperor Lü Gao's fate
To fall a victim to the sword?"
Then he asked, "Where is the Prince of Han?
Today we'll see how things really are."
When he saw the boy he cursed him in his heart.
"How did you ever kill Lü Gao?"
Then he called to his subordinates to look sharp.
"I will undertake to be his avenger!"
From the side, out came General Jiang Wei,
Who reviled the man Zhang Lin.
"For nothing have you grown to your present height and years.
You have eyes but when did you ever recognize [the true worth of) anyone?"
Guan Suo at that point called loudly.
He called, "Zhang Lin: It is I
Who killed Lü Gao the Emperor.
He wasn't worth the tip of my boot or the heel of my foot.
Each of us wrote our signature,
And Duke Cao of the Great State acted as witness.
Duke Cao invited Liu the First Sovereign to come,
And the group of officials at the scene drank a round.
The insufferable Lü Gao the Emperor,
He insulted me in front of the banquet guests
And urged me to do a sword dance with him in front of the entourage.
With one stroke of my sword his fate returned to the clouds.
Today there is this group of officials here as witnesses.
It has nothing at all to do with you."
This Zhang Lin's heart was anxious.
He ground his jaws with an ominous sound.
"You may have gotten away with killing Lü Gao,
But I'll make your fate return to the clouds along with his!"
Guan Suo at that time replied, saying,
"It is not my nature to fear even great generals such as you.
I have never wronged you.
The moth flies into the fire and burns itself up.
I am a general of Prince Liu of Great Shu.
Do you dare to come and sword fight with me?
Have done with this chattering and yamnering.

Leave it to ability to decide who is the hero."

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