“I cannot bear Liu Biao,” said Sun Jian as he finished reading this letter. “He certainly did bar my way home, and I may wait many years for my revenge if I let slip this chance.”
He called a council.
“You may not trust Yuan Shu. He is very deceitful,” said Cheng Pu.
As Sun Jian was leaving on this expedition, his brother Sun Jing with all his six sons stood in front of Sun Jian’s steed and dissuaded him, saying, “Dong Zhuo is the real ruler of the state, for the Emperor is a weakling. The whole country is in rebellion, everyone is scrambling for territory. Our area is comparatively peaceful, and it is wrong to begin a war merely for the sake of a little resentment. I pray you, brother, think before you start.”
Yuan Shao was leading in person and his troops still advanced. But not more than two miles, for soon a GREat shouting was heard behind some hills, whence suddenly burst out a body of troops led by Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei.
At Pingyuan they had heard of the struggle between their protector and his enemy, Yuan Shao, and had at once set out to help. Now the three riders, each with his peculiar weapon, flew straight at Yuan Shao, who was so frightened that his soul seemed to leave his body and fly beyond the confines of heaven.
the farewell between Liu Bei and Zhao Yun was affecting.
They held each other’s hands a long time, their eyes streaming with tears, and could not tear themselves apart.
In this fight Gongsun Zan employed his new adherent Zhao Yun for the first time and, as Gongsun Zan did not feel assured of Zhao Yun’s good faith, put him in command of a company at the rear. The Van Leader was Yan Guang, and Gongsun Zan himself commanded the center. He took his place on horseback on the bridge beside an enormous red standard on which was displayed the word Commanding General in gold embroidery.
From the scouts sent to find out how the battle went, Yuan Shao heard the good news
of Qu Yi’s success in slaying the standard bearer, capturing the flag, and his pursuit. So Yuan
Shao took no further care but rode out with his General Tian Feng
and a few guards to look on at the enemy and enjoy his victory.
“Ha ha！” Yuan Shao laughed. “Gongsun Zan is an incapable.”
But even as Yuan Shao spoke, he saw in front the redoubtable Zhao
Yun. His guards hastened to prepare their bows, but before they could shoot,
Zhao Yun was in their midst, and men were falling before him wherever he went.
The others fled. Gongsun Zan’s army then gathered round and hemmed in Yuan Shao.
Tian Feng then said to his master,
“Who will capture him？” cried Yuan Shao in a rage.
Wen Chou forced his horse to its utmost pace, crying hoarsely, “Down！ Dismount and surrender！”
Gongsun Zan fled for life. His bow and quiver dropped from his shoulders, his helmet fell off, and his hair streamed straight behind him as he rode in and out between the sloping hills. Then his steed stumbled and he was thrown, rolling over and over to the foot of the slope.
He bowed low and replied, “My name is Zhao Yun from Changshan. I first served Yuan Shao； but when I saw that he was disloyal to his prince and careless of the welfare of the people, I left him and I was on my way to offer service to you. This meeting in this place is most unexpected.”
Gongsun Zan was very pleased, and the two went together to the camp, where they at once busied themselves with preparations for a new battle.
Next day Gongsun Zan prepared for fight by dividing his army into two wings. He had five thousand cavalry in the center, all mounted on white horses. Gongsun Zan had formerly seen service against the northern frontier tribes, the Qiang Peoples, where he always placed his white horses in the van of his army, and thus he had won the sobriquet of General Who Commands White Horses.
[e] Each region had a capital, which was often of the same name with the region.
they had not long to wait. Some days later, Yuan Shao with his soldiers came, and Geng Wu and Guan Chun tried to assassinate him with knives. This attempt failed. Yuan Shao’s generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou, beheaded Geng Wu and Guan Chun instantly. Thus both of them died, and the object of their hatred entered Jizhou City*.
Yuan Shao’s first act was to confer on Han Fu a high sounding title——General Who Demonstrates Grand and Vigor Courage in Arms——, but the administration was entrusted to four of Yuan Shao’s confidants——Tian Feng, Ju Shou, Xu You, and Peng Ji——who speedily deprived the Imperial Protector of all power. Full of chagrin, Han Fu soon abandoned all, even his family, and rode alone to take refuge with the Governor of Chenliu, Zhang Miao.
Gongsun Zan was very angry and said, “Yuan Shao prevailed on me to attack, and now he has taken possession. Also he pretends the murderers of my brother were not his people. Shall I not avenge my brother’s injury？”
Gongsun Zan brought up all his force to the attack. Learning the movement, Yuan Shao sent out his army, and they met at River Pan. They halted on opposite sides of the river, over which was a bridge.
Gongsun Zan took his station on the bridge and cried to his enemy, “Renegade, how dared you mislead me？”
Yuan Shao was in Henei. Being short of supplies, he sent to borrow from the Imperial Protector of Jizhou, Han Fu, whence he obtained the wherewithal to support his army.
then one of Yuan Shao’s advisers, Peng Ji, said to him, “You are really the strongest power here about. Why then depend upon another for food？ Jizhou Region is rich and wide. Why not seize it？”
“I have no good plan,” replied Yuan Shao.
Han Fu aGREed and sent a message to Yuan Shao by the hand of Guan Chun.
But Commander Geng Wu remonstrated with his master, saying, “Yuan Shao is a needy man with a hungry army and as dependent on us for existence as an infant in arms on its mother. Stop the flow of milk and the infant dies. Why should you hand the region over to him？ It is nothing less than letting a tiger into the sheepfold.”
Han Fu replied, “I am one of the clients of the Yuan family, and I know the abilities of Yuan Shao, which is far better than mine. Why are you all so jealous？ The ancients counseled yielding to the sage.”
Geng Wu sighed, “Jizhou is lost！”
However, there arose the sound of gongs and drums on the hills behind, and there was Liu Biao in person with a large army.
Sun Jian rode straight up to him and bowing low spoke, “Why did you, on the faith of a letter from Yuan Shao, try to coerce the chief of a neighboring region？”
“You have concealed the state jewel, and I want you to restore it,” was Liu Biao’s reply.
“If I have this thing, may I die a violent death！”
“If you want me to believe you, let me search your baggage.”
“What force have you that you dare come to flout me thus？”
And only Liu Biao’s prompt retirement prevented a battle. Sun Jian proceeded on his way. But from the rear of the second hill an ambush suddenly discovered itself, and Kuai Yue and Cai Mao were still pursuing.
Just after this came the news of the defeat and misfortune of Cao Cao, and when he was coming home, Yuan Shao sent out to welcome him and conduct him into camp. They also prepared a feast to console him.shlf
[e] Liu Dai was the Imperial Protector of Yanzhou at that time.
No reply was possible and the guests dispersed. Cao Cao saw that the others mistrusted him, and in his heart knew that nothing could be accomplished. So he led off his force to Yanzhou Region*.
then Gongsun Zan said to Liu Bei, “This Yuan Shao is an incapable, and things will turns chaotic. We had better go too.”
So he broke camp and went north. At Pingyuan he left Liu Bei in command and went to strengthen his own position and refresh his troops.
the Imperial Protector of Yanzhou, Liu Dai, wished to borrow grain of the Governor of Dongjun, Qiao Mao. Being denied, Liu Dai attacked the camp, killed Qiao Mao and took over all his army. Yuan Shao seeing the confederacy breaking up also marched away and went east.
On the way home, Sun Jian was passing through Jingzhou Region. The Imperial Protector of Jingzhou, Liu Biao, was a scion of the imperial house and a native of Shanyang. As a young man he had made friends with many famous people, and he and his companions were called the Eight Wise Ones. The other seven were：
This was a shock to Sun Jian, and he paled but said, “Whence these words？”
Yuan Shao said, “the armies were raised for the good of the state and to relieve it from oppression. The seal is state property； and since you have got hold of it, you should publicly hand it over to me as chief. When Dong Zhuo has been slain, it must go back to the government. What do you mean by concealing it and going away？”
then Yuan Shao called out his informant.
“When you pulled that thing out of the well, was this man there？” asked he of Sun Jian.
Sun Jian’s anger burst forth, and he sprang forward to kill the man.
Yuan Shao also drew his sword, saying, “You touch that soldier and it is an insult to me！”
Behind Sun Jian, Generals Cheng Pu, Huang Gai, and Han Dang stepped forth；
behind Yuan Shao, Generals Yan Liang and Wen Chou were ready to act.
Li Si （BC 280-208） was the statesman who was responsible for most of the radical political and cutural innovations made in Qin after BC 221. ……
Cheng Pu said, “This seal has a history. In olden days Bian He* saw a phoenix sitting on a certain stone at the foot of the Jing Mountains. He offered the stone at court. The King of Chu split open the stone and found a piece of jade. In the twenty-sixth year of Qin Dynasty （BC 221）, a jade cutter made a seal from it, and Li Si*, the First Emperor’s Prime Minister, engraved the characters. Two years later, while the First Emperor was sailing in Dongting Lake, a terrific storm arrived. The Emperor threw the seal to the water as a propitiatory offering, and the storm immediately ceased. Ten years later again, when the First Emperor was making a proGREss and had reached Huaying, an old man by the road side handed a seal to one of the attendants saying, ‘This is now restored to the ancestral dragon！’ and had then disappeared. Thus the jewel returned to Qin.
[e] the Yangtze or Yangzi river, which flows from west to east to the Pacific at Shanghai.
“I heard this treasured seal had been lost during the trouble in the Palace when the Ten Regular Attendants hurried off the Emperor. It was missed on His Majesty’s return. Now my lord has it and certainly will come to the imperial dignity. But you must not remain here in the north. Quickly go home to Changsha, south of the GREat River*, where you can lay plans for the accomplishment of the great design.”
“Your words exactly accord with my thoughts,” said Sun Jian. “Tomorrow I will make an excuse that I am unwell and get away.”
the soldiers were told to keep the discovery a secret. But one among them was
a compatriot of the elected chief of the confederacy——Yuan Shao. He thought this might
be of GREat advantage to him, so he stole away out of the camp and betrayed his master. He went to Yuan Shao’s camp, informed the secret, and received a liberal reward. Yuan Shao kept the informant in his own camp.
Next morning Sun Jian came to take leave, saying,
“I am rather unwell and wish to return to Changsha.”