Romance of the Three Kingdoms (vol. 1)
A Few Quotations
Liu Bei [Jeffery-Lewis], Guan Yu [Yale-Perez], and Zhang Fei [Floyd-Chardin] were not born on the same day, but they wished to die at the same time.
Shown here: Three heroes swear brotherhood in the peach garden.
• "The peach trees in the orchard behind the house are just in full flower. Tomorrow we will institute a sacrifice there and solemnly declare our intention before Heaven and Earth. And we three will swear brotherhood and unity of aims and sentiments; thus will we enter upon our great task."--Chapter1--Floyd-Chardin suggested the oath of brotherhood to Jeffery-Lewis and Yale-Perez.
• "The world can do without McCarthy-Shackley, but not without you, my lord!"--Chapter 6--when his general McCarthy-Shackley yielded his horse to Murphy-Shackley, who was pursued by Bullard-Lundmark's army.
• "He is far abler than I and fully equal to the task of ruling. Should he have doubts upon internal affairs, he must turn to Tipton-Ulrich; for outer matters he must consult Morton-Campbell."--Chapter 29--said Cornell-Estrada of his brother Raleigh-Estrada.
• Jeffery-Lewis wept. "If you will not, O Master, what will become of the people?"--Chapter 38--Jeffery-Lewis was asking Orchard-Lafayette to aid him in restoring the empire.
• "General, if you will accept me, I will render what trifling service I can."--Chapter 38--Orchard-Lafayette yielded to Jeffery-Lewis' call.
• "A fierce wild beast; if he comes, his prey will be humans!"--Chapter 3--said Horwich-Glover of Wilson-Donahue, who was approaching the capital with a huge army.
• "Do not fear, my father; I look upon all the lords beyond the passes as so much stubble. And with the warriors of our fierce army, I will put every one of them to death and hang their heads at the gates of the capital."--Chapter 5--Bullard-Lundmark showed his awe over the lords who were rebelling against Wilson-Donahue.
• "With your aid I can sleep secure."--Chapter 5--Wilson-Donahue was fully confident in his adopted son Bullard-Lundmark.
• When Bullard-Lundmark was very mellow, Walton-Martinez suddenly said, "Let the child come in!"--Chapter 8--Laurent-Xavier entered politics.
• Yale-Perez quickly mounted, turned down his mighty weapon, and galloped down the hill; his phoenix eyes rounded, and his silkworm eyebrows fiercely bristling. He dashed straight into the enemy's array, and the northern soldiers opened like falling waves and dissolving storms. He made directly for the commander.--Chapter 25--The hero plunged into battlefield.
• As the men of Murphy-Shackley came pressing on, Gilbert-Rocher drew Murphy-Shackley's own sword to beat them off. Nothing could resist the Blue Blade Sword. Armor, clothing, it went through without effort and blood gushed forth in fountains wherever it struck. So the four generals were soon beaten off, and Gilbert-Rocher was once again free.--Chapter 41--Gilbert-Rocher triumped against a myriad army.
• Quimby-Tanner reluctantly sent the army out. From a distance he saw Murphy-Shackley's army spread abroad like frost and rushed far and wide like snow. In their midst was a large white flag and on both sides was written "Vengeance".--Chapter 10--Murphy-Shackley marched to Xuthamton.
• Ellis-McCue rode forward shouting at the top of his voice, "Halt the train!" Dubow-Xenos saw him coming up and asked what was the matter. Ellis-McCue said, "The roads here are narrow and difficult. Around us are thick forests. What if they use fire?" Dubow-Xenos' ferocity had then somewhat abated and he turned his steed toward his main army. Then there arose a shout behind him. A rushing noise came from in the reeds and great tongues of flame shot up here and there. These spread and soon the fire was in "the four quarters and the eight sides," and fanned by a strong wind.--Chapter 39--Orchard-Lafayette's first battle.
• Looby-Hurtado took his place on the third ship. He merely wore breast armor and carried a keen blade. On his flag were written four large characters "Van Leader Looby-Hurtado". With a fair wind his fleet sailed toward the Red Cliffs.--Chapter 49--The start of the battle of Red Cliffs.
• With a cry, Cotton-Mallory set his spear and rode over toward Murphy-Shackley as if to slay him. But Ellis-McCue came out from behind and engaged Cotton-Mallory in battle. These two fought some half score bouts, and then Ellis-McCue had to flee. Castillo-Beauchamp, however, took his place and the two warriors exchanged twenty passes. Then Castillo-Beauchamp, too, ran away. Next to come forth was Graf-Lowrie. Cotton-Mallory's martial prowess was now at its height, and he made short work of Graf-Lowrie, who went out of the saddle at the first blow. Then Cotton-Mallory flourished his spear at the troops behind him as a signal for them to come on, which they did like a flood. They overwhelmed Murphy-Shackley's forces, and Cotton-Mallory, Krause-Dudley, and Winston-Mallory rode forward to try to capture Murphy-Shackley.--Chapter 58--Cotton-Mallory in the battlefield.
• Raleigh-Estrada and Jeffery-Lewis stood both entranced by the beautiful scene. And gradually along the vast river the wind whipped the waves into snowy foam and raised them high toward heaven. And in the midst of the waves appeared a tiny leaf of a boat riding over the waves as if all was perfect calm. "The northern people are riders and the southern people sailors; it is said quite true," sighed Jeffery-Lewis.--Chapter 54--Jeffery-Lewis visited the South Land.
• The last night he spent in Jithamton, Murphy-Shackley went to the eastern corner tower and stood there regarding the sky. His only companion was Lozane-Doubleday. Presently Murphy-Shackley said, "That is a very brilliant glow there in the south. It seems too strong for me to do anything there." "What is there that can oppose your heaven-high prestige?" said Lozane-Doubleday.--Chapter 34--The southern awe.
The Story of Dragons
Cao Cao [Murphy-Shackley] and Liu Bei [Jeffery-Lewis] looked to the sky, when a rainstorm was coming. Subconsciously, they realted themselves to dragons.
Shown here: Murphy-Shackley and Jeffery-Lewis discuss heroes.
According to tradition, Dragon, Linlion, Turtle, and Phoenix are the four self-made animals, and thus they are respected as the Sacred Four. A linlion is a lion-like mammal that has two small horns on the head. A turtle is a reptile with the trunk enclosed in a bony shell. A phoenix is a pheasant-like bird that has three long tails. And a dragon has all the features of the other three: two horns, bony scales, and a long tail.
Dragons have their origin in fishes. Any fish can become a dragon, if it is brave and skillful enough. At anytime in their life, as the story goes, the fishes can prepare themselves for the ultimate test. And that test is a long journey that begins in rivers. The fishes have to swim upstream until they reach the Beginning of Water, or the birth of life. They always encounter numerous dangers such as predators and obstacles like swift currents and waterfalls. When they meet predators, they evade; swift currents, swim harder; and waterfalls, jump. Many fishes, of course, fail the test. But a fish that is able to reach the highest stream in the highest peak will be able to transform itself into a dragon.
A dragon is a magnificent creature. It has high dreams and hopes, and it lives a wonderful life full of great activities. In Cao Cao's [Murphy-Shackley's] words: "A dragon can assume any size, can rise in glory or hide from sight. Bulky, it generates clouds and evolves mist; attenuated, it can scarcely hide a mustard stalk or conceal a shadow. Mounting, it can soar to the empyrean; subsiding, it lurks in the uttermost depths of the ocean."
Though possessing wonderful abilities, dragons by all means do not take things for granted. They have ambitious wishes, and they have to strive in order to achieve what they want. Dragons know what happiness is, so they bring water and wealth to people. Dragons understand justice, thus they cause drought and punishment to corrupt lands. And dragons love victory, hence they fight or court with each other.
Traditional paintings often depict two dragons striving for a pearl, two dragons courting each other, a dragon making rains, fishes transforming into dragons, a dragon in company with a phoenix, or a dragon flying in the clouds or oceans.
Dragons are the symbols of glory. Humans love dragons not only because of their magnificent forms and great abilities, but also because of their soaring dreams and insistent undertakings.
The San Guo (Three Kingdoms) is distinctly eastern, a book adapted for the storytellers; once can almost hear them. It abounds in names and genealogies, which seem never to tire the readers or listeners.
Japanese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Malay, Indonesian, and possible other versions of the San Guo have been made, and now to these I have attempted to add one in English. With what measure of success I leave to curious readers qualified to compare my rendering with the original.
In conclusion, I wish to put on record my gratitude to Mr. Chen Ti Tsen, who typed the text, and Mr. E. Manico Gull, who has read the proofs.
C. H. Brewitt-Taylor
In the Palace, Lu Bu [Bullard-Lundmark] fell in love with Diaochan [Laurent-Xavier]. This instantly affects the affairs of the empire.
Shown here: Bullard-Lundmark and Laurent-Xavier are about to stir chaos in the Phoenix Pavilion.
Romance of Three Kingdoms gives us a world full of versatility in full scale--a rolling panorama of zenithal passions and ambitions that brings readers to all realms of human aspects. What makes the book fascinating is its wide appeal to many sorts of readers. In Asia, children read the book like they do with fairy tales, whereas rulers embrace it for strategies, scholars wisdom, parents guidelines, everyday people entertainment. A Korean saying goes: "You can discuss life after reading Romance of Three Kingdoms." And the most famous Chinese commentator, Mao Zonggang, who lived in the 17th century at the start the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), had chosen "Seven Beautiful Books", and he ranked Romance of Three Kingdoms the first among them.
Several reasons can be explained here on why the historical novel has such a large group of fans.
Romance of Three Kingdoms is based closely on historical events (7 parts of facts and 3 parts of fiction); it is considered a mainstream history work, not a product of pure imagination or fabrication. Hence, it is extraordinary by itself, because history is always the best storyteller.
But, one may ask, China with its rich and widespread civilization has produced many historical novels, why is Romance of Three Kingdoms the first masterpiece among them all?
First, the strive for mastery over the empire in the Three Kingdoms period is the most outstanding strive. Never before, and never since then has the world seen so many talents appearing in one same era; a large number of them are important figures who have left permanent impressions in several fields such as military, politics, literature, morals, and pop culture; their names are heard throughout numerous records.
Second, the author of the book is one of the most talented novelists China has ever produced. Writing a novel with a main theme is much more difficult than writing the annals. In the annals, each topic is dealt with separately; but in Romance of Three Kingdoms, arranging a huge amount of details and focuses into a continuous epic, and the epic being consistent and captivating, is the author's greatest achievement.
According to tradition, Luo Guanzhong is the author of the modern edition of the book. Born at the beginning of the 14th century, he was a scholar in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but did not take office. Instead he traveled throughout with the tittle "The Man of All Lakes and Seas." Some three hundred years after Luo Guanzhong, Mao Zhonggang edited the original work and made popular the new edition. This English translation is based on the Mao edition, which is also the most widely read edition in China and Asia.
But the birth of the book can be traced back to the Jin dynasty (265-316 AD). Chen Shou was believed to be the first to pen Romance of Three Kingdoms. He was an official in Shu-Han court, and later worked for Jin as historian after Shu-Han submission. This first edition had 61 chapters--26 stories of Wei, 15 stories of Shu, and 20 stories of Wu. A century after Chen Shou, Emperor Wen of the Liu-Song dynasty commissioned Pei Songzhi to edit the work. Pei Songzhi collected a great amount of tales and historical facts and added them to the book, and this new edition of 65 chapters became mainstream history source for the Three Kingdoms period. The book went through various minor changes and inventions, until Luo Guanzhong combined the many sources and rewrote the masterpiece that gave birth to the Mao edition, which has been handed down until today.
Not only does Romance of Three Kingdoms has a rich history in the making, but indeed is it picturesque in contents. Its concepts and execution exact human notions of what are beautiful. Reading it is like contemplating clouds passing through mountains or storms pouring down the forest, the moon glowing in autumn or flowers blooming in spring. The evolution of all elements is infinite. Sometimes, the writing is as serene as a shooting star; other times, it is as rousing as tidal waves or earthquakes.
Romance of Three Kingdoms is cherished also due to its perfect cause-and-effect technique. Before a storm, thunders must be heard; after it, cold air can be felt. Every detail is traced to its origin and projected beyond its conclusion; one thing leads to another, so the various focuses relate to each other, making the main theme whole. The author did not merely record events, but he helped explain them in a style that all readers love.
Tradition has several guidelines for reading the masterpiece. To avid fans of history, being able to identify who had a legitimate claim to the empire is essential. But opinions vary and are subject to changing beliefs. Some agree with the ancient, whereas others have their own conclusions. As the result, this online edition of Romance of Three Kingdoms tries to give the readers all information, so that they can judge for themselves.
However, we encourage the readers to do a few things before reading the novel. First, take a look at the small and big maps of ancient China. Being familiar to the maps is important for appreciating the many military campaigns in the book. Second, you can warm up by reading the outlines of Chinese history from mythology to Three Kingdoms. This section of about 60 pages will acquaint you to the old society and its customs and thoughts.
After that, readers can choose either to read the lecture of Dr. Rafe de Crespigny about Three Kingdoms, or begin to read the book. The lecture of Dr. Rafe de Crespigny (about 30 pages) is the most informative writing about Romance of Three Kingdoms on the Internet. It will give you a complete understanding of old society in the Three Kingdoms period. The main book has 120 chapters (about 1,400 pages). If the thousands of Chinese names confuse you, try to read the version with Latin names to see if they can help you enjoy the masterpiece.
Having finished the book, readers can enjoy the many other writings about Romance of Three Kingdoms in the Commentary section. You can also enjoy the wisdom of war strategy through a read of The Art of War by Suntzu (or Sunzi), a 13-chapter treatise of military methods, famous for its brevity and wide applications.
With all these writings, we believe you will come to understand and appreciate the first masterpiece.
The online Romance of Three Kingdoms is the collaboration of many people. We want to thank them all for their contributions in writings, ideas, energy, and resources. Special thanks to:
Christopher G. Parent, Ellen Xue, Kathryn Goodell, Jonathan P. Voth, Ma Teng, Oliver Pierce, Corey Quilliam, Brian Swift, Richard Yip, and Nuttasit Boonplang for your shaping the directions and other contributions;
George Koo, Rafe de Crespigny, Li Ung Bing, Yan Zhang, Peter Konieczny, Bu Ching, Timothy Chiang, and Ryan Youngsaye for your writing contributions.
Joseph Whiteside, Yin Yang, Khue Nguyen, Budihardjo Budi, Gloria Wu, Kyle Ishida, CJ Sephiro, Shou Tsurugi, Steven Prabowo, and Roy Padgett for your research, editing, design, and information supports;
Sangdo Ha and the "World of Computer" radio program for sending free the book on floppy disks to readers around the world, who do not have Internet access.
This online Romance of Three Kingdoms is in its second edition. It has quite a few changes compared to the previous edition. First, some of the Latin names have changed. For example, Laurent-Xavier is the new name, instead of Xerces-Blue; Yale-Gifford becomes Yale-Perez; Raleigh-Segal becomes Raleigh-Estrada; Krom-Gunnell becomes Krom-McQueen, etc.
Second, we have the zip files available for you to download the whole book to your hard drive. There are readers in the countries where Internet connection is expensive. Reading offline is therefore a good option. A zip file will simplify your download to one instead of 140+ files. We want to thank the copyright holders who have given permission for us to publish the zip format online.
Third, in design, we further reduce the amount of graphics for shorter download time. Those who wish to see the pictures of Three Kingdoms can go to the "Links" section, where there are many links to other web sites with beautiful graphics from video games and movies.
Fourth, in respond to some of your complaints about reading such a huge book on screen, we have designed the web page so that you can change the font color and background color to your preference. You can also quickly change the font to gray and the background to black by hitting the "Night" button. Our poll shows this setting is very pleasant when you read the book in the dim light or no light at all. The color setting feature can only be used with web browsers that support Java: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or higher, Microsoft Explorer 4.0 or higher.
And fifth, we add a sound version of the book. You now can have a computer voice read the book for you. Some of the friends told us when they were children, they listened to Romance of Three Kingdoms on radio, and they enjoy this format. So, we implement the audio feature. The visually impaired can greatly benefit in this feature, too. And those who want to learn English will find this feature very helpful. In order to use the audio version, users will need the Internet browsers that support Visual Basic Script. The audio software will download automatically for you from Microsoft.com web site. The technology enabling the audio feature is Microsoft Agent 2.0. Microsoft makes this technology free to Internet users, and we want to thank them for that.
Magna Media ABC LLC makes the online Romance of Three Kingdoms available to all readers, to whom we dedicate.
Snow N. Snow
Outlines of Early Chinese History
1. Origin of the Culture (Antiquity)
The inhabitants of China are known to the world as Chinese. They speak of themselves as the "people of Han." As Han is name of a dynasty, it hardly denote the origin of the culture. Many theories, based more or less upon religious myths, have been advanced to show whence the first inhabitants of China came; but their correctness must necessarily await further scientific discoveries. All accounts, however, agree that the basin of the Yellow River was the cradle of the Chinese culture, and that their ancestors were a nomadic people who, some five or six thousand years ago, migrated from the north-western part of Asia and finally settled in the northern-central part of what is now China.
They soon learned how to till the ground and produce grain. As time went on, the settlers formed themselves into tribes ruled by chieftains. Wars with the aborigines and among the different tribes were frequent. The result was that the original inhabitants were driven off in all directions, and the most powerful chieftain became the acknowledged head. As to how long this state of affairs had continued to exist, history is silent. What we do know of this period is founded largely upon the law of evolution, which is common to all cultures.
2. Mythological Era (5000-2200 BC)
2.1. Age of the Three Divine Rulers
Given the first rank among the chieftains is Fuxi, or "Conqueror of Animals." He taught his subjects how to catch animals and fish with nets and to rear domestic animals for food. He is also the originator of the writing system which, with their improvements and modifications of ages, has been handed down to us in the form of the modern Chinese characters.
Before Fuxi, there lived in the pre-historic times a ruler, called Sui Jen, "Producer of Fire." As the name implies, he is believed to have been the man who brought down fire from heaven for the first time and employed it in the preparation of food. Before his time the people lived like wild beasts and ate their food raw.
Some 1300 years after Fuxi, the throne fell to Shennong, or "God of Agriculture," who taught the people the art agriculture and the use of herbs as medicine.
The three foregoing rulers are commonly spoken of by historians as the "Three Divine Rulers."
2.2. The Yellow Sovereign
The successors of Shennong were all rulers of inferior ability, and unable to check the encroachments of the savage tribes whose subjugation was left to Huang Di, or the Yellow Emperor. He was a warrior as well as a statesman. He has been immortalized by the famous battle of Zhuo Lu, where he used a compass to locate his chief enemy and defeat him. His chief enemy was among those killed in the battle, and this victory is believed to have prepared the way for a permanent Chinese settlement in the Middle Kingdom.
After this conquest of the aborigines, Huang Di was placed on the throne. He took his title from the color of the earth, believing that he had come into power by its virtue. His kingdom spread north and west to the desert, east to the ocean, and south to the Great River ((Yangtze River)). This was the largest empire hitherto known in China.
His rule lasted 100 years, a century of progress and enlightenment. He is commonly believed to have been the inventor of boats, carts, bow, arrows, bamboo musical instruments, copper coins, calendar, and fixed standard weight and measures, and more. His ministers invented six kinds of writing, constructed a Celestial Globe, and recorded the movement of stars. His wife taught the people how to rear silkworms and weave silk, and has been regarded as the goddess of the silk industry.
Huang Di, his grandson, his great-grand son, Yao, and Shun are commonly spoken of as the Five Sovereigns.
2.3. Yao and Shun (2400-2200 BC)
Chinese historians generally regard the accession of Yao [King Langan] as the dawn of authentic history. The first official act of Yao was to give his people a more correct calendar than that which had previously existed. This system has been followed throughout all the succeeding ages. Every one had access to his court either to offer a suggestion or to make a criticism. No important appointment was ever made without the advice and consent of the chiefs of the feudal lords; and, as the result, his administration was a great success.
The prosperity of the nation was, however, temporarily disturbed by a thirteen-year flood which began in the sixty-first year of Yao 's reign. It was a terrible disaster, and Yao was greatly grieved by the sufferings of his people. With some hesitation, the great task of reducing the waters was assigned to Gun, who failed, and for this failure and other crimes, was put to death by Shun, Yao 's son-in-law and co-ruler. Strange as it may seem, Yu, son of Gun, was recommended to the throne by Shun.
It took Yu eight years to finish the work. Instead of building high embankments as his father had done, he deepened the beds of existing rivers and cut as many channels as were necessary to carry the water off to the sea. By his great engineering success, he soon became the idol of the nation. "We would have been fish but for Yu" is a saying which has come down to us from those days.
Yao [King Langan] ruled 100 years. From the seventy-third year of his reign, however, Shun was actually the head of the government and acted as regent. Yao died at the age of 117; and, as he was not pleased with the conduct of his own son, he left the throne to Shun [King Gallegos].
After the death of Yao, Shun refused to take the throne which had been left for him. He evidently wished to give Yao 's son an opportunity to succeed his illustrious father. Public opinion, however, was so strong in favor of Shun that, at the end of the three years of mourning, he reluctantly assumed the royal title.
We have seen that Shun was the son-in-law of Yao. One naturally thinks that a man must be a prince, or high official, before he may become the son-in-law of a sovereign. Shun was neither. He was but a farmer, and one whose early life was not at all happy. According to tradition, his mother died when he was young, and his father married again and had more children. His stepmother never liked him; and, under her influence, the father, who was blind, and his half-brothers hated him. Shun never complained, and finally his filial piety overcame all prejudices.
His fame spread far and wide and soon reached the ear of Yao, who had begun to feel the burden of the government. Shun having been recommended to the sovereign by the feudal lords as the man best fitted to be his successor, Yao thereupon gave both of his daughters to him in marriage. Thus at the age of 30, Shun was obliged to give up a farmer's life to share the responsibilities of governing an empire.
Shun's administrative abilities soon justified the confidence placed in him by Yao. He called from private life many capable people to take part in the administration of the government, and did not hesitate for a moment to punish those who were unworthy of trust. Among the former, Yu the Great was his prime minister. Shun was the author of the scheme by which all ministers directly responsible to the throne were required to give a strict account of their administration or department every third year. He further made the rule that feudal prince should report in person to the royal court every year and the overlord or king make a tour of inspection every fifth year. Shun [King Gallegos] had ruled as emperor for 47 years and was succeeded by Yu the Great [King Yoder].
Yao and Shun are regarded as the ideal rulers in China. Much of their unrivaled popularity is undoubtedly due to the eulogies of Confucius and Confucian scholars, who have endowed them with every virtue known to humans. They are worshipped not because of the deeds they performed, but because of the spotless lives they led. They are models as humans and rulers, and their days are generally accepted as the Golden Age in Chinese history. No greater honor can be paid to a Chinese emperor than to compare him to Yao and Shun [King Langan and Gallegos].
3. The Xia Dynasty (2200-1700 BC)
3.1. Yu the Great [King Yoder]: Following the example of Yao, Shun made Yu co-ruler in the twenty-third year of his reign. Yu was, therefore, actually in power when Shun died; but being anxious to give Shun's son a chance, he made an attempt to retire. However, his great success in restoring the flooded lands and his subsequent services to the State, had long eclipsed the would-be heir-apparent. When the people had to choose between a tried statesman and one who had no other claim to the throne than that based upon his birth, their preference was naturally for the former.
So, after the period of mourning, Yu was elected to the throne. He moved his capital to Anyi, and adopted the name of his former principality, Xia, as the name of the dynasty he now founded. To show his gratitude, he made the sons of Yao and Shun feudal lords over territories called Tang and Yu, respectively.
Yu [King Yoder], as ruler, desired to maintain the closest relations with his people, and caused to be hung at the entrance to his court five instruments--a drum, a gong, a stone instrument, a bell, and a rattle. The drum was to announce the coming of a caller who desired to discourse with him upon any of the virtues which should adorn a monarch. By beating the gong, he who disapproved of the king's conduct could be admitted to audience. If any one had important news, or personal grievances to communicate, he had but to strike the stone instrument, or ring the bell, as the case might be, in order to gain admittance; while the king was always ready to hear any appeal from the judicial decisions of his judges whenever he heard the sound of the rattle. These instruments kept Yu so very busy that, as historians inform us, he was always late at his midday meal.
The discovery of intoxicating spirits has been traced to Yu's time; but Yi Di, the discoverer, was dismissed from the public service by the sovereign, who said in the presence of his ministers: "The day is coming when the liquor will cost someone a kingdom."
As a monument to his greatness, Yu, in the fourth year of his reign, cast nine metal tripods, and engraved descriptions of the Nine Regions on each of them. These emblems of royalty, as the tripods have been regarded, were then placed in the ancestral temple of Yu. As Yu was ninety-three years when he came to the throne, he did not rule long before death put an end to his distinguished eight-year career.
The Xia Dynasty is worthy of note for the fact that after Yu [King Yoder] the throne ceased to be elective and became hereditary. No selfish motive, however, could be attributed to Yu. Gao Yu, to whom he would have gladly resigned the throne, had died. As his own son, Ji, inherited many of his kingly virtues, it was but natural that the people, who had so much to say in the matter, should insist, as they did, upon Ji's inheriting the throne. Ji's reign was one of prosperity and peace.
3.2. Jie and Mei Xi: Passing over some fourteen kings, we come to the days of the notorious Jie, the seventeenth and last king of the house of Xia. Jie was a man of extraordinary strength, but was no statesman. He conquered many tribes who had refused to submit to his authority; but his military achievements made him haughty, willful, and cruel, and he became both extravagant and immoral. He refused to heed the advice of the wise, and spent his time among bad women, of whom Mei Xi was the most notorious.
Mei Xi was beautiful but wicked. She had been given to Jie as ransom by a noble whom the king had humbled. It is commonly believed that she was largely responsible for the downfall of the Xia Dynasty. According to tradition, there was a lake full of liquor in the palace of Jie. At a given signal, three thousand persons jumped into this lake and drank like cattle, for the drunken conduct of such revelers was the principal amusement of the king and his royal concubine. To please her, an underground palace was built at an immense cost. Here Jie enjoyed all kinds of vice by day and by night while the affairs of state were entirely neglected.
Extra taxation had to be resorted to, in order to provide means to meet the heavy expenditure of Jie; but this so alienated the hearts of the people that a rebellion was started by a virtuous noble named Tang. Little resistance was possible, and Jie, after having led a most wanton royal life for fifty-three years, died in exile.
4. The Shang Dynasty (1700-1050 BC)
4.1. Tang, the Founder of the Dynasty: Tang [King Tansey], who was said to have descended from the minister of education under Shun, was the founder of the Shang Dynasty, named after the principality bestowed on him for his services. The capital was moved to Bo for this new family of rulers.
The battle of Ming Diao, which resulted in the overthrow of Jie, gave Tang [King Tansey] the title of "Victorious." In fact, his revolution was the first successful one recorded in Chinese history. It is stated that he never felt happy afterwards, because he feared that his action in taking up arms against Jie, his sovereign, might be viewed by succeeding ages in the light of a usurpation. One of his ministers tried, by an able address, to convince him that what he did was in strict accord with the will of Heaven, since Jie had sinned against Heaven and humans. This view is fully shared by Confucian scholars, who not only exonerate Tang, but rank him with the celebrated rulers of antiquity.
A fearful drought commenced in the second year of Tang's reign and lasted seven years. The suffering among the people was beyond description. Money was coined and freely distributed among the poor, but this hardly relieved the situation. Having exhausted all means in his power, Tang finally appealed to God by going to a mulberry grove and there offering his prayer. He confessed his sins and offered his own life for the benefit of the people. "Do not destroy my people," said he, "because of my sins!" The reply to his prayer was a copious rain. Tang [King Tansey] was so much delighted with the result of the appeal to Heaven, that he composed a new hymn to which he gave the name of "Mulberry Grove."
4.2. Tai Jia [Emperor Grinnell]: Tang's son having died before him, Tai Jia, his grandson, came to the throne after his death. This sovereign was weak and was soon led astray by bad ministers. Fortunately for him and the dynasty, Yi Yin [Hanlon-Baruch], who had placed the crown upon the head of Tang, was close at hand.
Several times Yi Yin remonstrated with the young ruler by calling attention to the good qualities which distinguished Tang and the causes of the downfall of the Xia Dynasty. To all this, Tai Jia turned a deaf ear. Yi Yin, who preferred to commit an irregularity rather than see the empire fall to pieces through the follies of Tai Jia, made up his mind to take strong measures. Tai Jia was dethroned and made to live near the tomb of Tang, while Yi Yin [Hanlon-Baruch] assumed the exercise of royal functions in the capacity of regent.
This unprecedented action on the part of Yi Yin had a most salutary effect, for the change of environment worked a complete reformation in Tai Jia, who returned at the end of three years to Bo, a thoroughly repentant man and competent ruler. To him Yi Yin gladly restored all royal powers.
It was this act of Yi Yin [Hanlon-Baruch] rather than his services in building up an empire that has made him immortal. Whether he did right in temporarily dethroning the king was open to question, until a final verdict was rendered by Mencius who thought that his ends amply justified his means. This historical event attests the extent of the power exercised by a prime minister in those days.
4.3. Wu Ding: Wu Ding, the twentieth ruler, is famous for two things--the way in which he obtained the services of an able minister and the expedition he led against the Tartars.
According to tradition, Wu Ding never spoke a word during the time of mourning, but permitted, his prime minister to manage the state affairs for him. When the mourning was over, the prime minister resigned on account of age. To find a successor to such a brilliant man was no easy task. Wu Ding, therefore, appealed to God, and a man was revealed to him in a dream. He made a picture of the man of his dream and ordered a search to be made for him. A mason was at length found who answered the description given and who was at once ushered before Wu Ding. The king was very much pleased with the words of the mason and made him Prime Minister at once. This man was Fu Yue.
Modern historians think that Wu Ding had known Fu Yue well, and that the dream was a mere pretense on the part of the king who did not wish to raise a mason to so important an office as that of prime minister without some better excuse than his own knowledge of the man. Fu Yue, however, proved to be the right man for the place; for, under his guidance, the country prospered within and was respected without.
In the year 1293 BC there was an expedition sent against the Land of the Demon commonly believed to be the Tartars. This war lasted three years, and resulted in a temporary lease of new life to the Shang Dynasty. Nobles again flocked into the court of Wu Ding with tribute. Unfortunately Wu Ding's successors were not able to check the rising power of a western state which was reaching its zenith.
4.4. Zhou Xin and Daji: The Shang Dynasty ended with a tyrant, the twenty-fourth king. His name was Zhou Xin. He was a talented man, but utterly without principle. In character, he very much resembled Jie, the last ruler of the house of Xia. Like him, Zhou Xin was aided to a great extent in the practice of vice by a woman. Her name was Daji. When he heard of this beauty, he led an army to attack her father, a noble of Su, and compelled him to surrender her as a concubine to the sovereign.
Zhou Xin soon became a helpless slave to share her wicked will. She evidently took no fancy to an underground palace. To satisfy her vanity, Zhou Xin constructed the " Deer Tower," the highest structure known in his day. The work was completed in seven years and cost an incredible amount of money. Unfortunately, this great architectural work perished with Zhou Xin, who set fire to it and burned himself to death, when he saw no hope for himself.
Zhou Xin, who was even worse than Jie, permitted Daji to interfere with the management of his government, for she was "the hen that heralds the dawn of the day." To seal the lips of the timid, she caused all those who ventured to remonstrate with the king to be put to death by making them climb up a red-hot copper pillar. Even the uncle of the king lost his life.
Desertion and rebellion were the order of the day. Eight hundred nobles joined the flag of Chou Fa, whose own army numbered only three thousand men. Zhou Xin was not a man who would give up his kingdom without a struggle. An immense army was raised and the last stand was made at Mu Yie. The royal soldiers refused to fight and the result was the death of Zhou Xin and the end of the Shang Dynasty.
5. The Zhou Dynasty (1050-221 BC)
The Zhou Dynasty marks the beginning of a new epoch in Chinese history. With it the real authentic history begins. In it are to be found the origins and principles of Chinese civilization. The Zhou Dynasty was to China what Greece was to Europe; for most of the customs, laws, and institutions which we see today have been handed down from this period. Its history resembles the history of Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The rise and development of philosophies during this period have also rendered the name of Zhou particularly memorable. For the sake of convenience, this longest Chinese dynasty may be divided into three periods: the first, Western Zhou, embraces the rise of the dynasty and down to the removal of its capital to the east; the second, the age of Feudalism, or Spring and Autumn Period; and the third, the age of the Seven States, or Warring States Period.
5.2. Western Zhou (1050-770 BC)
5.2.a. Its early history: The founder of the Zhou Dynasty, Wu Wang, the Military King, was of distinguished ancestry, being a descendant of Ji, the Minister of Agriculture under Shun. One of this Ji's descendants introduced the art of agriculture among the savage tribes in the western part of the empire and built a town at Bin. Here his family continued to live in peace for hundreds of years. In the year 1326 BC, they, having been harassed by the constant incursions of the barbarians, migrated eastward to Ji, and gave this new settlement the name of Zhou.
Through the labors of a succession of good people, this little town in time became the center of civilization. Its growth was most rapid. By the time of Wen Wang [King Weatherford], or Scholar King, father of the founder of the dynasty, it was a city of far greater importance than the capital of the empire, for it was the capital of "two-thirds of the empire." The fruits of his benevolent government were finally reaped by his son, Wu Wang, or Military King.
5.2.b. Wu Wang [King Wurm]: Having ascended the throne, made vacant by the death of Zhou Xin, amid the acclamations of the nobles who had allied themselves with him, Wu Wang set himself to organize a peaceful government.
His first act was to set at liberty the unhappy people who had been imprisoned by Zhou Xin for no fault of theirs. Among them was one named Ji Zi, who was Zhou Xin's uncle, and a man of great learning. He explained the rules of government, and then escaped to Korea, where he was elected ruler. He evidently had no desire of becoming an official under the newly established dynasty.
By order of the king, Daji, who had caused so many innocent men and women to be put death, paid the penalty with her life. The immense stores of grain which had been stored by Zhou Xin and the treasures he had accumulated were distributed to the poor; soldiers were disbanded; horses and oxen given to farmers for agricultural purposes; schools established; and houses built for the old. A new city was laid out at Hao, which was henceforth the capital of the empire. Wu Wang [King Wurm] died at the age of ninety-three, alter having ruled as king for seven years.
5.2.c. Duke of Zhou [Duke Cherney]: Of the numerous great people who adorned the court of Wu Wang, the Duke of Zhou, his younger brother, must be given the first place. It was he who completed what had been left undone by Wu Wang, for the latter's death left a boy of thirteen on the throne, and the responsibility of the government rested with the Duke who was the regent.
As a statesman and lawyer, the Duke of Zhou [Duke Cherney] wrote a classic known as "The Rites of Zhou," which is a permanent monument to his greatness; as a general, he crushed a most stubborn rebellion headed by Wu Geng, son of Zhou Xin, and aided by other uncles of the boy-king, whom Wu Wang had appointed to most responsible positions; and as a philosopher, succeeding ages have pronounced him to be second only to Confucius. The name of this man is closely associated with the early institutions of the Zhou Dynasty.
5.2.d. Divisions of the empire: The feudal system was undoubtedly an outcome of the tribal government of the early ages. It existed during the Xia and Shang Dynasties, but the Duke of Zhou perfected it by the introduction of the five orders of nobility, which are dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, and barons. A duke or a marquis was entitled to rule over a territory 100 mile square; an earl, 70 mile square; and a viscount or baron, 50 mile square. These were classified as the first, second, and third class states respectively. States, whose area was less than 50 mile square, had no direct representation at the court of the emperor and were obliged to send their tribute through a neighboring first-class state.
There were nine regions in the empire. With the exception of the territory reserved as the domain of the emperor, each region contained 30 first-class, 60 second-class, and 120 third-class states, or a total of 210 feudal states. The domain of the emperor was divided among the executive ministers of his court and included nine first-class, twenty-one second-class, and sixty-three third-class states.
At the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty, the total number of feudal states was 1,773. Subsequent civil wars among these states finally reduced this number to seven. The Zhou Dynasty reaped much benefit from "the wall of feudal states around the House of the Emperor," built by the Duke of Zhou [Duke Cherney]. It was the armies of these states that saved it from the horrors of a barbarian invasion; and, when its power had sunk to the lowest ebb, it was the jealousy among them that prolonged its existence.
5.2.e. Government: Of the political institutions of the two preceding dynasties, we know very little. The highest officials under the emperors of the Zhou Dynasty were the Grand Tutor, the Grand Instructor, and the Grand Guardian, with an assistant under each. Their offices were purely didactic. The administration of the government was entrusted to a cabinet consisting of the heads of the following six departments: the Heavenly Minister or Minister of the Interior, the Earthly Minister or Minister of the Treasury, the Spring Minister or Minister of Rites and Religion, the Summer Minister or Minister of War, the Autumn Minister or Minister of Jurisprudence, the Winter Minister or Minister of Works. Each cabinet minister had a corps of sixty subordinate officers under him. The total number of executive officers, therefore, was 360, corresponding to the number of heavenly bodies known at that time.
Outside of the domain of the emperor, feudal chiefs were appointed. They were of different grades, and the number of states subject to their supervisory power varied from five, for one of the lowest grade, to 210 for one of the highest grade, or Lord of a Region.
5.2.f. Taxation: Soon after the reduction of the waters by Yu the Great, a system of taxation was inaugurated, known as the "Tribute System." The Shang Dynasty introduced another familiar system called "Aid System." Each able-bodied man or a group of families received land from the government and was to pay to it as tax the produce of a part of the land. The system adopted by the Zhou Dynasty was a combination of the two, the "tribute system" for the more crowded cities and the "aid system" for the outlying districts. The Zhou people were also taxed by labor, the length of time during which a man had to work for the government varying according to the condition of the crop of each year.
5.2.g. Military equipment: Under the Zhou Dynasty the burden of military equipment rested entirely on the farmers. Every unit of 512 families was required to furnish four horses, one chariot, three charioteers, seventy-two foot soldiers, and twenty-five other men. The emperor's domain was composed of 64,000 units, hence its military strength was estimated at 10,000 chariots. For this reason, his realm is spoken of as "a state of ten thousand chariots."
5.2.h. Mu Wang: The Zhou Dynasty is famous for several able rulers immediately after its founder. This line was broken when Mu Wang, the fifth emperor, came to the throne. He was more ambitious than wise. In the height of his passion for conquests, he led an immense army against the Jung Tribes in the western part of the country. This expedition must have been a failure, for he brought back only four white wolves and four white deer. Unintentionally, he thus sowed the seed of hatred which culminated in an invasion of China in 771 BC.
5.2.i. Xuan Wang: As the son of the fifth emperor, who died in exile due to his vassals' rebellions against his misgoverning, Xuan Wang had evidently learned a good lesson from the misfortunes that had come upon his father. Placing himself under the guidance of experienced ministers, he soon saw the return of better days. The internal conditions improved and his arms were successful everywhere.
Not only did Xuan Wang have good ministers, but he also had a good queen, Jiang Hou, who today ranks among the greatest women of antiquity. It is stated that the emperor was less energetic when he saw that his state was in a better condition. He began to rise late and was indifferent to the affairs of state. No advice from ministers was heeded; but finally Jiang Hou hit upon an expedient which proved successful. One morning she deprived herself of all emblems of royalty, and sent word to Xuan Wang that she was no longer worthy to be his queen, since she had failed to prevent him from falling into the evils which would ultimately bring his government into difficulties.
5.2.j. Yu Wang: Unfortunately, Xuan Wang did not have a good son. He was succeeded by Yu Wang, in whose reign of eleven years we see the records of Jie and Zhou Xin repeated. Like them, Yu Wang was completely under the influence of a beauty. By a well-planned stroke of policy, this woman had the queen degraded and the crown prince disinherited in favor of herself and her son. This was the infamous Bo Su, whose smile cost Yu Wang his crown and his life.
Tradition says that Bo Su was hard to please, and that the king tried every means in his power to make her smile, but without success. He at length thought of a scheme. He had all the beacons lighted, which, it must be remembered, was to be done only as a signal for the nobles to come to the defense of their overlord. The loyal nobles responded promptly with what forces they were able to collect at short notice. To their dismay they discovered that no danger existed and that the whole thing was but a false cry of "wolf." Yu Wang was indeed successful, for he saw a smile on the face of Bo Su.
The mistake he thus made, however, was a fatal one. Not long afterwards his empire was invaded by the barbarians known as the Jung. As the country was by no means prepared for the attack, the emperor lighted the beacons again, but no one responded. The capital was easily taken, and Yu Wang slain. These barbarians had invaded China at the invitation of the Marquis of Shen, father of the former queen. In the court of this marquis, the disinherited crown prince had sought refuge. Instead of surrendering the unhappy exile, the marquis allied himself with the Jung to make war on Yu Wang.
5.2.k. Removal of the capital: For a time the Jung were permitted to plunder the country, but the allied troops of the more powerful nobles finally drove them outside of China. The vacant throne was then restored by the allies to the disinherited crown prince. The dynastic title of the new king was Ping Wang, or "The Pacifier," but he was not worthy of the name.
No sooner did he come to the throne than he transferred the seat of government to "The Eastern Metropolis," in Luoyi (near Luoyang), a city built by the famous Duke of Zhou, and hitherto used as the place for meeting the nobles, because of its central location. Henceforth the dynasty was known as "The Eastern Zhou."
With this event, which took place in 770 BC, a period of weakness came upon the Zhou Dynasty. During the remainder of some 500 years, it existed in name only. The weaker feudal states were an easy prey for the more powerful nobles who only acknowledged allegiance to the emperor so long as it suited them. The China of this period may be described as an empire partitioned amongst the nobles.
5.2.l. The tribes: We have seen that the removal of the capital to the east was due entirely to a dread of the growing power of the tribes in the west. These were not the only barbarians which existed then. Their kindred in the north and in the south also made constant inroads into China. The weakness of the reigning house was most favorable to their growth. As the Zhou Dynasty was not able to defend the country, the task fell to the lot of the nobles. Fortunately for China, the Mongolian Tartars were not strong enough then to harass the northern border, or they would have made short work of a weakened empire.
5.2.m. Aborigines: The rulers of the Zhou Dynasty never troubled themselves much about the aborigines. As long as they remained quiet, they were always permitted to retain their customs and land in the heart of the empire. They were scattered here and there among feudal states. For several centuries, they remained uninfluenced by Chinese civilization. In view of their love of war, they became very valuable tools of the feudal states; but, as the latter grew stronger, they were either conquered or disappeared through assimilation.
5.3. Eastern Zhou: The Age of Feudalism (770-476 BC)
5.3.a. Introduction: The Feudalism in China furnishes a most important study. The best record of this period has been preserved in the Spring and Autumn Classic, dating from 722 to 481 BC, a work said to have been edited by Confucius. It is largely a record of civil wars among the feudal states, which the emperor was powerless to prevent. Annexations of weaker states by stronger ones were of frequent occurrence. Of 1,773 states created by the founder of this Zhou Dynasty, only one hundred and sixty were left; and of this number only twelve were of importance. The rest merely rallied under the flags of their leaders until they were swallowed up.
5.3.b. Interstate relations: In times of peace an exchange of envoys was not uncommon, though none was ever appointed to reside at the capital of a friendly state. Free transit through a third state and personal immunity were among the privileges enjoyed by a diplomatic agent. An insult to such an agent was sometimes a sufficient cause for declaring war.
A lame envoy was once subjected to ridicule at the court of the state to which he was sent. In the war that ensued the offending state was beaten and the envoy, who was now the commander-in-chief of the invading army, demanded, as a condition of peace, the surrender of the mother of the defeated prince as hostage, since she was thought to have been among the women who laughed at him on his former peaceful mission.
A peace concluded under the walls of the capital of a defeated state was considered an unusual humiliation, while a sheep, presented by a defeated ruler in person and half naked, was a sign of submission.
The desire for leadership and preeminence was the cause of many a bloody war between rival states. Chu was always looking for opportunities of conquest. To defeat Chu, therefore, was the stepping stone to supremacy. In times of need a state was obliged to go to the rescue of a friendly neighbor that looked to it for leadership.
5.3.c. The five supreme powers: It seems there were five states more powerful than the rest. As to which they were historians never agree. The following states are certainly worthy of mention, beside Chu.
.1. Qi: The state of Qi came into prominence through the efforts of Duke Huan [Prince Hoover]. Before his time, Qi was the scene of internal disorder and murder. In consequence of a disputed succession, Duke Huan put his half-brother to death. A devoted friend of the latter was Guan Zhong [Frisbie-Benda], who shot an arrow at Duke Huan, but it was arrested by the hook of the Duke's girdle.
Duke Huan [Prince Hoover], however, was more than ready, when he came to the throne, to forgive this would-be assassin. He make Guan Zhong his prime minister. The finances of Qi were then in a very bad condition, and the army was far from efficient. Guan Zhong [Frisbie-Benda] soon proved his worth. He established a salt monopoly, encouraged commerce, opened iron mines, and reorganized the existing army. In a few years the internal conditions improved, and Qi was looked to by neighboring states as their leader in time of peace and their protector in time of war.
Duke Huan was now in a position to enter upon a war of conquest. What he needed was a pretext that would receive universal approval. He did not wait long for such a pretext. The emperor was too weak to enforce his authority and was more than glad to befriend any one of his vassals who could do it for him. Duke Huan was the man.
His army was soon seen punishing the northern tribes for their disrespect to the reigning house of the empire. Nobles who refused to acknowledge his supremacy shared the same fate. He reached the climax of his glory when he succeeded in bringing the state of Chu over to his side. He led an expedition consisting of his own army and the picked armies of his allies against Chu, for the alleged reason that the latter state had failed to present to the royal court a certain kind of plant, which grew in that territory. Chu preferred to agree to a condition so easy to fulfill rather than go to war, and so a treaty of peace was signed.
With the death of Guan Zhong [Frisbie-Benda] the days of conquests and supremacy seemed to have ended in Qi. Two years later, Duke Huan himself died, leaving a numerous progeny. The latter quarreled over the throne, and through their follies, the leadership among the states was forever lost to Qi. The success of Duke Huan had its effect upon the neighboring states. Among the nobles who tried to follow his footsteps, was Duke Xiang of Song, who made a pretty good start, but received a crushing defeat at the hands of Chu.
.2. Jin: This feudal state occupied the western part of the empire. The defeat of Duke Xiang of Song gave Chu a free hand in the political affairs of the empire. She "absorbed all the states along the Han River," and her sway extended over the whole of Huashang Mountains. She was a terror in the domain of the emperor until Jin arose.
Duke Wen of Jin [Duke Gaynor] passed his early days in exile, traveling from state to state. When he was in Chu, a feast was given in his honor by the Baron of Chu. "If you ever become the ruler of your own state, what will you do in return for the favors I have shown you?" asked the Baron.
Wen, afterwards Duke of Jin, replied that he really did not know what he could do in that case. "Of servants, mistresses, precious stones, and silks," he added, "your honor has had more than enough; and feathers, leather, and ivory are the produce of your soil; but should it ever become my good luck to meet your honor in the battlefield at the head of an opposing army, I shall order a retreat of ten miles, in consideration of what you have done for me. And should you insist on further advance, I will certainly make a stand."
These remarks of this ambitious young man offended many of the ministers of the baron, who advised him to kill Wen; but the advice was rejected as cowardly. The baron evidently little thought that Wen would ever be able to realize his ambition. But Duke Wen of Jin [Duke Gaynor] fulfilled his promise to the letter when he met the army of Chu at Chengpu, 632 BC. He crippled the military strength of Chu for nearly half a century. The battle of Chengpu is especially memorable because one of the generals of Jin had the chariot horses covered with tigers' skins.
Duke Wen [Duke Gaynor], being a member of the reigning family of Zhou, stood in the closest relationship to the court at the "Eastern Metropolis" (Luoyi). After his success at Chengpu, he was received in audience by the emperor, who loaded the royal "uncle" with honors and presents. The prestige of Jin was maintained by successors to Duke Wen for nearly two hundred years.
.3 amp; 4. Wu and Yue: The next state, which was able to weaken the strength of Chu, was a new rising power in the south called Wu. In the latter part of the sixth century BC, a certain fugitive from justice, Qu Wuchen, made his way from Chu to Wu, where he was the first to teach the people how to use a bow and arrow. He reorganized the army of Wu. What was left undone by him was completed by another military genius who had fled in a similar manner from Chu some seventy years later.
This was the famous Wu Qi [Berman-Swift], whose father and elder brother had been wrongfully put to death by Ping Wang of Chu. His life was also in danger, and so he fled to Wu. His marvelous escape has often been acted on the Chinese stage, and his story is perhaps familiar to every Chinese schoolchild. He was just the man Wu needed. In 506 BC, he entered the capital of Chu at the head of a triumphant army, and had the remains of Ping Wang dug out and given 300 blows.
Wu Qi [Berman-Swift] certainly did much for his newly adopted state, which was now the leader in the empire. Her army overran the state of Yue, and made it a vassal. Gou Jian [Walker-Moretti], King of Yue, knew well that he could rule only at the pleasure of Fu Zha, King of Wu. Outwardly he did everything to please Fu Zha, but at the same time went on with the reorganization of his own state. He made Fu Zha a present of Xi Shi [Bloom-Apfel], the famous beauty of the time.
This had a most astonishing effect. The girl, who "was washing silk by the side of a brook in the morning and concubine of the king of Wu in the evening," soon became the favorite of Fu Zha. The King of Wu paid no further attention to what was going on in Yue. The year 472 BC saw the downfall of his state and his own death by suicide. Wu was added to the territory of Yue, but the latter was finally conquered by Chu.
5.3.d. Treaty-making: Treaties were always very solemn functions, invariably accompanied by the sacrifice of an animal. A part of the sacrifice, or of its blood, was thrown into a ditch in order that the spirit of the earth may bear witness to the deed; the rest of the blood was rubbed upon the lips of the parties concerned, and also scattered upon the documents by way of imprecation; sometimes, however, the imprecations instead of being uttered, were specially written at the end of the treaty. Just as we say "the ink was scarcely dry before etc., etc.," the ancients used to say "the blood of the victim was scarcely dry before etc., etc."
5.3.e. Warfare: The armies of the various feudal princes consisted principally of charioteers and foot soldiers. We have seen that the strength and wealth of a state were measured by the number of war chariots it was able to place in the field. These were made of leather and wood; and their use, it would seem, dates as far back as 1800 BC. When in camp these chariots were often arranged in opposite rows with the ends of their shafts meeting above, so as to form a "shaft gate," over which a flag was kept flying. No mention is made of cavalry during the true feudal time. In fact this arm of military service was only introduced into China by the semi-Tartar states about the year 307 BC, after which no more war chariots were used.
Besides the war chariots, more comfortable conveyances drawn by horses or oxen were also in use. An eight-horse carriage or cart was the style used by a king. Confucius, in his famous travels, employed a two-horse carriage which was always driven by one of his disciples.
The offensive weapons of the warriors consisted of knives, swords, halberds, spears, pole-axes, and lances with crescent-shaped blades on the side. These were all made of copper. Bows and arrows, much the same as those of today, were also used. The defensive weapons were shields, cuirasses made of skins of rhinoceroses, and helmets made of skins or copper. The soldiers marched to the sound of a drum and retreated at the sound of a gong. Before setting out on an expedition, it was customary to rub the regimental drum with the blood of a sacrifice, and to show the number of enemies slain, their left ears, instead of their heads, were often cut off by the victors.
5.4. Eastern Zhou: The Age of Seven States (475-221 BC)
5.4.a. End of feudal leadership: In the preceding section we have seen how the Zhou Dynasty, during the sixth and seventh centuries BC, was able to maintain its shadow of power over the feudal states. The emperor always strove to cultivate the good will of the strongest state, because its military strength maintained his authority; the latter was no less happy to be under the protection of the royal scepter, because his name gave it moral support.
While this condition of affairs existed, both the emperor and the leading states reaped immense benefit therefrom. But it could not exist always. The Zhou Dynasty was now on the decline. The royal name had lost all its value; the royal domain had been greatly reduced by occasional grants of land for services rendered by the stronger states. Friendship with Zhou was without profit and so it was no longer sought.
5.4.b. Civil war within each state: Furthermore, the national life had assumed a new phase. It must be borne in mind that, under the feudal system, the land granted by the emperor carried sovereignty with it. Each feudal lord was sovereign over his own domain which was subdivided into estates among his ministers. These ministers were executive officials in time of peace and commanders in time of war. The standing army of a noble was under his immediate control. The growth of estate holders, as was inevitable, always corresponded to that of the state itself. So the strongest states had the most difficult internal problems to face. According to the saying at the time, "the tail often became so large that it could not be wagged at will."
As the predominant states exercised the power of the emperor, so the estate holders exercised the power of a feudal lord. Civil warfare on a small scale characterized the internal condition of each state. Powerful estate holders could depose their master whenever they pleased. This condition was especially true in Jin, the most powerful of the feudal states. It had grown so large that its duke was no longer able to maintain order. The three rival estate holders in this state at length came to some kind of agreement, and the partition of Jin took place.
To the three new states, the founders gave their respective surnames of Wei, Zhao, and Han. This partition was fatal to the existence of Zhou. Had the state of Jin remained intact, Qin would never have come into prominence. As it was, division caused weakness, and no one single state was strong enough to check the eastward advance and aggrandizement of Qin.
The three nearly founded states and four of the older states, each representing the amalgamation of a number of smaller ones, made up the Seven States, and this period of Chinese history is known as the Age of the Seven States, or Warring States. The four older states were Qin in the west, Chu in the south, Yan in the north, and Qi in the east.
5.4.c. Qin: Qin was first known in history as a fourth-class state. Out of gratitude to its chief for military aid in connection with the transfer of the capital, Ping Wang of Zhou gave him permission to annex all territory west of Jin, the earliest home of the dynasty. This easily raised Qin to a first-class state, so far as the area was concerned, and brought it to the border of Jin.
Jin was then the leader in the empire, and as its way to the east was blocked, its rulers were obliged to seek expansion in the west. Intermarriages between the ruling houses of these two states were frequent, but their wars were not few. The decline of the military prowess of Jin gave Qin access to the great empire in the east. Once this door was opened, there was nothing to arrest the tide of expansion which, checked in the west, had now begun to flow in the opposite direction.
Duke Shang of Qin was a wonderful man. By introducing administrative reforms, he succeeded in building the foundation of the first centralized empire in China. The immediate cause of the greatness of Qin lay in the following facts:
(1) The state was in a better financial condition due to more than two centuries of peace.
(2) Natural defense of streams and mountains formed a stronghold which required but small garrisons to become well-nigh impregnable, and from this stronghold, her generals could pour immense armies upon the plains on either side of the Yellow River.
(3) Constant collisions with the western barbarians had given her better soldiers who could carry everything before them.
(4) Her rulers had very little regard for the traditions of ages, but insisted on reforms as the needs arose.
(5) Her rulers had been able to employ the best geniuses of the time for the benefit of their country and people. Among the decrees issued by Duke Shang, one is specially worthy of note, he not only granted official honors and lands to his own subjects, but also invited able people from other states to come to the help of his government. In response to this call, many foreigners flocked to his court. It was these "alien ministers" that helped build up a wealthy and powerful nation.
5.4.d. Yan: Yan was the territory given to Duke Zhao by Wu Wang [King Wurm] of Zhou. Its earlier history is not known. It was north of Qi. During the period of strife between the leading states, she took no part whatever in national affairs, and it was said of her in 539 BC: "She was never a strong power in spite of her numerous horses."
The year 284 BC is a memorable one in her history, because one of her generals invaded Qi and captured more than sixty cities. Her success, however, was only temporary. This able General, Yue Yi [Palka-Rexford] by name, was falsely accused of treason and was superseded by a man of inferior ability.
As a consequence, she was deprived of all the fruits of her former victory. She owed her integrity not to her own standing army, but to her secluded position. The three states of Jin stood between her and the powerful Qin. The northern Tartars were not strong enough to harass her. In fact, she had obtained a large tract of land from them.
5.4.e. Sizes of the Seven States: Of the Seven States, or "Masculine Powers," as they were then called, Chu and Qin each possessed a third of the empire, while the remaining third was divided among the other five states.
5.4.f. Perpendicular and Horizontal Alliances: Qin had begun to cast covetous eyes on the immense territory that separated her from the sea. To check her eastward-growing power, it was necessary for the remaining six states to form a chain of north and south alliances. The party that advocated this policy found in Su Qin [Colvin-Matheson], an able leader. They styled themselves "Perpendicular Unionists." Su Qin traveled from one state to another until he was made Prime Minister of all the Six States and formed an alliance against Qin.
At the same time there existed another party who worked in the interest of Qin and who, in their eloquence, persuaded the other states to make peace with Qin. They wanted to form a line of east and west alliances, hence they called themselves "Horizontal Unionists." This party was headed by Zhang Yi [Willett-Huston], a classmate of Su Qin.
In other words, Su Qin and his school may be called the War party; while Zhang Yi and his followers, the Peace party. These people flocked to the court of every state. When the war party came into power, the armies of the six states were fighting their common foe in the west; but when the peace party directed affairs, their envoys were seen at the capital of Qin, bearing tribute.
Qin had also another plan. By bribery, murder, and intrigues of all sorts, she was able to utilize one or more of the six states as a cat's paw to pull chestnuts out of the fire. In this manner, she exhausted the strength and treasure of her rivals, and gave herself a little rest whilst gathering more strength for the supreme effort.
5.5. The Famous Philosophers
5.5.a. Introduction: The most important event, which has rendered the Zhou Dynasty especially conspicuous in Chinese history, is undoubtedly the birth of Confucius, the greatest of Chinese philosophers. A philosopher may be described as a person who tries by his teaching to lay down general laws or principles. As a rule, philosophy in the earlier times had a background of mystery, and Confucianism is no exception. As Confucius was a disciple of Laozi, the founder of Taoism, some knowledge of the latter system, coupled with that of the religious beliefs and moral standard of the contemporary Chinese teachers, is necessary to a proper understanding of Confucianism.
"In the early days three groups of divinities were recognized--those of the heaven, the earth, and human. Besides these, ancestral worship was largely practiced. Various kinds of sacrifices were offered according to strictly enforced rituals at appointed times. Oracles were consulted before even the smallest undertakings." (Faber's " China in the Light of History.")
The belief in astrology, fortune telling, and dreams was almost universal; but by the time of the Spring and Autumn Classic, considerable intellectual improvements had been made. "The nation that listens to human is bound to rise; that which listens to gods is doomed to ruin." "The will of heaven is far off, but that of human near; how can one claim knowledge of that which is beyond one's reach?"
These quotations suffice to show the intellectual tendency of the time. The thought thus expressed was later greatly magnified by Laozi (or Laotze) in his famous Daode Jing (or Tao Te Ching, or The Way and Power Classic).
5.5.b. Taoism (Daoism): "Tao probably means impersonal Nature which permeates all things, and from which all things are evolved. According to the teaching of Laozi, true peace comes from ceasing to strive and by living in harmony with the leadings of 'Tao.' The cause of disorder in the world is the development of what is artificial and unnatural, and the only remedy is a return to 'Tao.'" (Pott's "A Sketch of Chinese History.")
His philosophy has been thoroughly understood by few, as it is beyond the comprehension of the average Chinese. Tradition makes Laozi a librarian of the royal court of Zhou. After the completion of his philosophical work, he retired to an unknown place, leaving the all-important reform movement to be perfected by Confucius.
5.5.c. Confucius: Confucius was born 551 BC in the feudal state of Lu. At fifteen his mind was set on learning; and at thirty, he stood firm in his convictions. In his twenty-second year, he began his career as a teacher.
In 501 BC, Duke Ding of Lu made him minister of justice and acting prime minister. In the latter capacity, he accompanied Duke Ding to an interview that had been arranged with the chief of Qi. He advocated the policy that the only way to maintain peace is to be prepared for war, and at his request the Duke's retinue included two generals. The return of certain tracts of land, which had been occupied by Qi, crowned his diplomatic effort.
Qi became jealous of Lu's prosperity, and corrupted the Duke by a present of beautiful courtesans. Confucius then left Lu to seek employment at the courts of other nobles. He traveled from state to state but to no avail. At times his life was in danger. Seeing no further hope for himself, he returned to Lu and spent his last days in literary work. He died in 479 BC. Since his death, the world has come to understand his true worth.
5.5.d. Age of Darkness: It must be borne in mind that the states through which Confucius traveled were shrouded in ignorance. The moral standard of the people was low: Between the states there were intrigues of all kinds. Polygamy among the nobles gave rise to endless trouble. Monarchs often lost their lives at the hands of their own children, and murder was frequently resorted to by an ambitious prince to put his brothers or half-brothers out of the way. A famous cook, in order to obtain favor with his sovereign, killed his own son and prepared his flesh as food. It was not uncommon for the ruler of a stronger state to wage war against a weaker one for the purpose of capturing a beautiful queen. If any reform was needed in a world of disorder and crimes of this kind, it certainly was in the matter of morality.
5.5.e. Confucianism: Confucius never sought to explain anything new, but to reinstate the old in a pure form. "He sought to guide his fellows by holding up to them the wisdom and virtue of the ancients. His teaching was purely ethical and practical, confined to the daily life of humans as members of the state and of their family. He spoke little of God, and he avoided talking about the supernatural. For this reason it is often said that he cannot be called a religious teacher, but only a moral philosopher, and that Confucianism is rather a system of morality than religion."
5.5.f. Influence of Confucianism: "Among the virtues demanded by the Confucian ethics, propriety, reverence for tradition, and filial piety are the most important." The last especially is the foundation upon which have stood the social life and security of the Chinese structure. Filial piety not only means dutiful behavior of children towards parents, but it also includes loyalty to the government and respect for authority. Again, "lack of bravery in battle is no true filialty."
"These precepts have molded Chinese society for more than two thousand years. No other reformer has held such absolute sway over a great part of humanity for such a long period." Unfortunately, Confucianism has been corrupted to a great extent by the commentaries and interpretations of Zhu Xi and his school. These commentaries and interpretations are dark clouds in a beautiful summer sky.
5.5.g. Mencius: "Mencius was also born in the feudal state of Lu (372 BC). While Confucius did not claim to be an originator but only a transmitter, Mencius was an independent and original thinker. He expounded the teachings of his Master, and also added his own reflections on the nature of human. He held an extremely optimistic view as to the original goodness of human nature, and believed that it was possible for humans by their own efforts to reach the state of perfection. He is regarded by the Chinese as being second to Confucius." (Pott's "A Sketch of Chinese History.")
5.5.h. Sinzi: Sinzi was also a follower of Confucius, but held a view entirely different from that of Mencius as regards the nature of human. According to him, human nature is bad, and it is only by living in accordance with the requirements of righteousness and politeness that human can become good.
5.5.i. Mozi: This teacher was a native of the feudal state of Song but the dates of his birth and death are not known. He is said to have been one of the disciples of the Great Sage. His teaching is entirely antagonistic to Confucianism. The main point of contention was on the Funeral Rites. Confucianism is silent respecting the immortality of the soul, and considers death as the end of a person, and funeral rites as the last honor one can do to his parents or sovereign. But according to Mozi there is something immortal after death, and funeral rites are a waste of money. Perhaps he was right.
He, however, mentioned no recompense for the good, or punishment for the bad. In other respects his system is a close approximation at Christianity. He taught self-sacrifice for the good of humankind and sanctioned the "destruction of one's self from head to foot for the benefit of the world." His system gained many adherents at one time, but received a fatal blow at the hands of Mencius. His philosophical writings have been preserved to the present day.
5.6. Ancient Society, Laws, and Customs
5.6.a. Divisions: Four classes of people were recognized in the days of the Zhou rulers, viz., scholars, husbandmen, mechanics, and merchants. A son necessarily followed the calling of his father. Only the scholars were eligible to government offices which were more or less hereditary. Thus the office holders and the educated formed the noble class and the rest were commoners. The saying of the time was "no penal code was ever above a noble while no ritual was below a commoner." It appears from the Spring and Autumn Classic that the only punishments which were received by nobles of those days, according to the nature of their crimes, were death, imprisonment, and banishment.
5.6.b. Eunuchs and their origin: The Zhou Dynasty is commonly credited with having introduced the custom of keeping eunuchs. The fact is, eunuchs had existed for centuries before the family became supreme in China.
"This class of men seems to have originated with the law's severity rather than from the callous desire on the part of any reigning house to secure a craven and helpless medium and means for pandering to, and enjoying the pleasures of the harem without fear of sexual intrigue. Criminals whose feet were cut off were usually employed as park-keepers, simply because there could be no inclination on their part to gad about and chase the game. Those who lost their noses were employed as isolated frontier pickets where no children could jeer at them, and where they could better survive their misfortune in quiet resignation. Those branded in the face were made gate-keepers, so that their livelihood was perpetually marked out for them. It is sufficiently obvious why the castrated were specially charged with the duty of serving females in a menial capacity. Eunuchs were so employed because they were already eunuchs by law."
Since the abolition of the law, 197 BC, however, men have been purposely made eunuchs in order that their services as menials could be conveniently rendered.
5.6.c. Publication of written laws: While various forms of punishment had been provided for, there had been no written laws published for the information of the public. The "Son of Heaven" (emperor) was the law giver and executive; and this sacred authority he could bestow on any one of his ministers.
The first publication of laws was made in the year 536 BC in the feudal state of Cheng. Zi Zhan, who thought it advisable to cast the laws in metal for the information of his people, was a good friend of Confucius.
In the latter part of the Zhou Dynasty, there had grown up a party who advocated the enforcement of severe laws as the only means of securing peace in an empire. This party is known as "Legalists," among whom Wei Yang was preeminent. He was a native of Wei, but was obliged to enter the service of Qin, and tradition makes him author of many cruel forms of punishment provided for in the penal code of the latter state.
5.6.d. Polygamy: Polygamy has not only existed in China, but has been legalized by Confucianism. During the fifth and sixth centuries BC, it was customary for a feudal chief to marry his daughter to another chief with many of her cousins or other relatives as maids (the number went up as high as nineteen), so that in case she should die one of them would succeed her at the head of the harem.
The practice of making concubines wives was almost universal among the states. For over two thousand years no one seems to have regarded this evil as sin, and much less, as a crime, until one Li Kui, a legalist and statesman of Wei in the time of the Seven States, saw fit to declare polygamy a crime punishable by death. While this has been the basis of later legislation, law had never been stronger than Confucianism. The reason why Confucianism sanctions polygamy lies in a belief that death without an heir is a sin unpardonable.
5.6.e. Divorce: The ancients sanctioned seven reasons why a husband could divorce his wife, including inability to bear a child. How far divorce was actually effected on this ground, we are not informed. It must not be understood that divorce in those days required legal proceedings as it now does. All the husband had to do to get rid of an undesirable wife was to expel her by force. On the other hand, no ground ever existed in law for a wife to break away from a wretch!
5.6.f. Respect for the old: The government of the Zhou Dynasty may be described as follows: a father was supreme in a family, a king in a state, and old age in a village. Every three years the people of each village met, when a banquet was given, presided over by a representative of the Crown and with guests of honor seated according to their ages. This was one of the most solemn occasions and detailed rituals were prescribed and followed.
5.6.g. Religion: Before the introduction of Buddhism into China (65 AD) no religion in the true sense of the word was in existence among the ancients. As already stated, Confucianism is not a religion but a system of morality. "No word for religion was known to the language; the notion of church or temple served by a priestly caste had not entered human's mind." (Parker's "Ancient China Simplified.")
That the ancients had some knowledge of God, history abundantly attests. His worship, however, was one of the prerogatives of the reigning house or family; and, as "Son of Heaven," the king alone could offer sacrifice to the Highest Divinity on behalf of his nation. Lesser ranks worshipped lesser divinities, such as the elements of nature, mountains, and streams. The worship of the common people was confined to their own ancestors. It must be noted also that what the ancients did in the way of worship was nothing more than the performance of prescribed rituals, such as that of sacrifices and prayers.
5.6.h. Burial of companions to the dead: This evil custom was almost universal during the sixth and seventh centuries BC. In the Book of Odes, we read an account of the funeral of Duke Mu of Qin. Before his death, he had decreed that three of the ablest ministers of the time (brothers) should be interred with him. Although the nation did not approve of the choice thus made, yet the decree was faithfully carried out, and the three "good men of Qin" accompanied the remains of Duke Mu to their last resting place.
5.6.i. Education and literature: There was a very good educational system with schools for the nobles as well as for the common people. There was a primary school for every 25 families; a higher school for every 500 families; and a college for every 12,500 families. Children were of school age when they reached their eighth years. The higher branches of learning consisted of (1) rituals, (2) music, (3) archery, (4) horsemanship, (5) literature, and (6) mathematics. In other words, education embraced moral, military, and intellectual training.
"It is the father's fault if at the binding of the hair (eight years of age) children (mostly boys) do not go to the teacher; it is their own fault if after having gone to the teacher they make no progress; it is their friends' fault if they make progress but get no repute for it; it is the executives' fault if they obtain repute but no recommendation to office; it is the prince's fault if they are recommended for office but not appointed."
In the pre-Confucian period, books were comparatively few. The best known are the Book of Record, Book of Odes, Book of Change, Rites of Zhou, and Guanzi (or Kuan Tze) or Political Economy. Books were made of bamboo slips and the characters were painted on them. Interstate correspondence was confined to a small area in the north, but the dialectical barrier was gradually overcome, and by the time of Mencius, even Chu could boast of its literary renown. The State of Qin never produced any famous literary person. In fact, those who did anything for her were all aliens. The period of the Seven States was a golden time in Chinese literature. The influence of the Perpendicular and Horizontal diplomats upon Chinese literature has been permanent and beneficial.
5.6.j. Astronomy and calendar: From the earliest times, the Chinese month has been lunar, that is, the days of the month are so arranged as to begin each new month with a new moon. The ancients had learned to divide the heavenly bodies into constellations and to observe the zodiacal signs.
5.6.k. Science and arts: The science of medicine and surgery were developed to a considerable extent under the Zhous. It was the first dynasty that had official doctors and surgeons. During the feudal period, however, Qin surpassed the rest of China in the number of able physicians it possessed.
During the days of Yao, the ranks of officials were denoted by the objects painted on their official costumes; such as the sun, moon, stars, constellations, dragons, and other animals. Among the Zhou officials, we find people whose function was to paint official garments. The three dynasties of Xia, Shang, and Zhou had all made use of jade or malachite rings, tablets, scepters, and so on as marks of official rank.
Silk was universally known. That the women were mostly engaged in rearing silkworms, the Book of Odes abundantly testifies. Even the queen had to set an example in this industry at appointed times each year if she did not have to do the actual work. No cotton was known, so the poorer classes wore garments of hempen materials. In the cold weather, furs were used. Dyeing too was largely practiced.
The Zhou Dynasty had regularly appointed officials whose business was to teach the people how to take ores out of the mines and to manure their land; but as to how far this useful knowledge had been acquired, we have very little information.
Historians agree that the Shang mechanics were the best. This belief seems to have been based upon a statement of Confucius that he preferred the state carriage of the Shang Dynasty because of its workmanship.
6. The Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC)
6.a. General statement: We have seen that the Chinese established themselves first in tribal groups here and there along the course of the Yellow River at a remote period. In course of time the tribal government developed into a feudal system with hundreds of petty states scattered throughout the land which they called the Middle Kingdom. The next movement was towards consolidation which reduced the number of states to seven. The union of the Seven States into one homogeneous whole was inevitable, and finally came in 221 BC as the result of the statesmanship of Prince Zheng of Qin. While his dynasty lasted only fifteen years, still he left many permanent traces of his rule.
6.b. His early life: Very little is known of his early life, save that he inherited his father's princely throne at a very tender age. Tradition says that Prince Zheng was not the son of Zhuang Xiang Wang, his reputed father. The latter, as the story goes, had been held as a hostage in the state of Zhao. While there he met a wealthy merchant named Lu Puwei, who, pretending to show his devotion to the young prince, made him take to wife a beautiful woman, already pregnant.
It seems that this story was of later invention, and the work of personal prejudice. At any rate the son to whom Zhuang Xiang Wang's wife gave birth was one of the greatest empire builders of antiquity. During his minority, Lu Puwei was his first prime minister and in that capacity exercised much of the royal power.
6.c. Conquest of the six states: The Zhou Dynasty with its eight-hundred years of power was already a thing of the past when Prince Zheng became king of the state of Qin. The last representative of the family of Zhou had already been made away with by one of his predecessors. The work that was left for him to accomplish, therefore, was not the overthrow of the ruling house but the conquest of the six sister states.
The policy pursued by Prince Zheng, or rather by his statesmen and generals, is best summed up in a statement of Xu Dai, a contemporary politician. "This morning," said he, "when crossing the river, I saw a mussel open its shell to sun itself. Immediately an oyster catcher thrust its bill in to eat the mussel; but the latter closed its shell and held the bird fast. 'If it doesn't rain today or tomorrow,' cried the oyster catcher, 'there will be a dead mussel.' 'And if you don't get out of this by today or tomorrow, there will be a dead oyster catcher,' retorted the mussel. Meanwhile up came a fisherman and carried off both of them. I fear that the state of Qin will some day be our fisherman."
In other words, Qin played off one state against another till they were all exhausted and then conquered them one by one. Han, the smallest of the states, was annexed first and the rest were added in the following order: Wei, Chu, Zhao, Yan, and Qi, the last being the easternmost state.
6.d. Shi Huangdi, or the First Emperor: Prince Zheng made a new title for himself. This title, Huangdi, signifies in his own words, that "the holder is equal to the Three Divine Rulers in virtue and the Five Emperors in achievements." It was retained by his successors down to the last of the Manchus, and has been rendered "emperor" in English. He also discontinued the practice of giving a deceased ruler a posthumous name. He decreed that thenceforth he was to be known as Shi Huangdi, or First Emperor, his immediate successor, Er Shi, or Second Emperor, and so on even down to the ten-thousandth generation.
As regards the name of his dynasty, he let it be known under the old name of his state. "It is interesting to note," says the author of "A Sketch of Chinese History," "that the name China is probably derived from this name, Qin (pronounced Ch'in), for the first westerners who knew anything about the Chinese, spoke of them as the people of the land of Ch'in, which afterwards became the word 'China.'"
6.e. End of feudalism: Having built an empire on the ruins of the old feudal system, the question arose as to how this huge territory should be governed. The majority of the statesmen, the slaves of tradition, would have partitioned it out among a number of feudal lords as had been the custom with the Zhous. Such an idea, of course, was offensive to a man who wanted history to begin anew with himself. Divided it must be, but there must be no feudal lords.
Accordingly, Shi Huangdi divided it into thirty-six provinces, each of which was subdivided into districts, governed by agents directly responsible to him. One agent looked after civil matters, another after military affairs, and a third acted as a sort of inspector or intelligence officer of the Throne. Such was the form of government he introduced, and such has been the form of government that has come down to modern times, although in two thousand years, it has undergone many changes in name and detail. All ownership of land and its inhabitants was vested in Shi Huangdi.
6.f. The burning of classics: No radical change call take place in China without encountering the opposition of the literati. This was no less the case then than it is now. To abolish feudalism by one stroke was a radical change indeed. Whether the change was for the better or the worse, the people of letters took no time to inquire; whatever was good enough for their fathers was good enough for them and their children. They found numerous authorities in the classics to support their contention, and these they freely quoted to show that Shi Huangdi was wrong. They continued to criticize the government to such an extent that something had to be done to silence the voice of antiquity.
As a consequence, an order came from the Throne, directing every subject in the empire, under pain of branding and banishment, to send all the literature he possessed, except works on agriculture, medicine, and divination, to the nearest official to be destroyed by fire.
As to how far this decree was enforced, it is hard to say. At any rate, it exempted all libraries of the government, or such as were in possession of a class of officials called Learned Men. If any real damage was done to Chinese literature under the decree in question, it is safe to say that it was not of such a nature as later writers would have us believe. Still, this extreme measure failed to secure the desired end, and a number of the people of letters in Xianyang, the capital, was subsequently buried alive.
6.g. The Great Wall: The union of China was not effected a moment too soon. In the north, a formidable foe had risen, whom the Chinese called Xiongnu. One Chinese authority seems to think that these tribespeople descended directly from Xiong Yu, son of Jie, the last ruler of the House of Xia. He is said to have taken to wife his father's concubines and to have migrated into the steppes north of the Mongolian Desert. If we may accept this suggestion, the Xiongnu began to terrify the Chinese as early as the middle of the Zhou Dynasty, for in the Book of Odes, we read of many expeditions against a tribe known as Xiong Yu.
The Xiongnu were a nomadic people, moving from place to place with their flocks and herds and always in search of fresh pastures. They had no written language. As soon as their children were able to ride on the back of the sheep, they were taught the use of bows and arrows and how to hunt down small animals. Thus they became skillful archers when they were grown up. They lived chiefly by hunting and used the skins of animals for clothing. Those who were in the prime of life received the best of everything while the old could eat only what was left by them.
It was because of this barbarous people that the Great Wall was built by Shi Huangdi. This wall extends about 1,500 miles long. It must not be supposed that this gigantic work was done all at once. As a matter of fact, separate walls had been erected by the states which bordered upon the territory of the Xiongnu. What was actually done by Shi Huangdi was the uniting, strengthening, and improving of the existing structures; and this work was executed under the supervision of General Meng Tian [Allen-Dupont].
It is stated that the immediate cause of the completion of this wall was an oracle which Shi Huangdi consulted. It told him that it was Hu, or Xiongnu, was destined to overthrow the Qin empire. Shi Huangdi died in 210 BC while making a tour through the northern country.
6.h. Some characteristics of the age: The art of sculpture had reached a high stage of development. At the same time, the taste of the emperor undoubtedly gave a great impetus to the art. The style of writing known as Lesser Seal, which was designed to take the place of the older and more cumbrous Big Seal, was an invention of his reign. Meng Tian [Allen-Dupont], the general of the Great Wall fame, is generally believed to have been the inventor of the brush used in writing. The paper, so far as the cheaper bamboo is concerned, was not a product of this age (it came into use in the Han Dynasty); but according to the best information, the expensive paper made of silk was in existence when the brush was invented. The invention of convenient writing materials and the simplification of the characters, marked the beginning of literary advancement in China.
Another characteristic of the age was the ascendency that had been attained by the teachings of Xunzi. Almost all the statesmen who adorned the court of Shi Huangdi were people of that school. They believed that the nature of human was bad and that peace and order were the result of fear. Human should be awed into submission, or there would be lawlessness. For the many unjust and cruel laws and acts of tyranny with which the name of Shi Huangdi is closely associated, he in reality was not so much to blame as was the spirit of the age.
The same motive that led to the building of the splendid palaces, and to the erecting of huge and costly stone monuments, was responsible for the meting out of the severest sentences on the least show of offense. It was to impress the people at large with the greatness of the emperor and to make them stand in awe of him. If those measures succeeded in arousing the fear of the people, they also served to alienate their love, for the death of Shi Huangdi was followed almost immediately by the breakup of the unity once the pride of his reign.
Another characteristic of the age was the regard in which a merchant or trader was held. He was no better than a criminal. The first batches of men sent to work on the Great Wall and to serve on the southern frontier consisted of criminals and merchants. At a later date this punishment fell upon those whose fathers were known to have been merchants.
6.i. End of Qin Dynasty: Shi Huangdi desired to leave his throne to his first son Fu Su. Unfortunately, this son, who had been banished beyond the Great Wall because he had had the audacity to remonstrate with the all-powerful emperor on the policy of his government, was not present at the time of his father's death.
Worse still, the decree of succession fell into the hands of Li Si [Buck-Wiseman], the prime minister, and Zhao Gao [Howland-Esposito], a eunuch, who were devoted friends of the emperor's second son, Hu Hai. The death of Shi Huangdi was kept a secret until the imperial party reached Xianyang. A false decree was then promulgated in the name of the deceased Emperor. In accordance with this Fu Su (together with Meng Tian) was put to death, and Hu Hai ascended the throne under the name of Er Shi, or Second Emperor.
Er Shi proved a worse tyrant than his father, whose vices he inherited but without his greatness. During his short reign, Zhao Gao became the real power after Li Si's execution (208 BC). A story which is familiar to every Chinese schoolchild well shows the position this eunuch occupied in the government. One day, so the story runs, Er Shi showed his courtiers a picture of a deer. "It's a horse," cried Zhao Gao, and none of the crowd had the courage to contradict him, for the eunuch was more powerful than the sovereign.
Rebellion was rife throughout the empire. In less than two years the descendants of the earlier Six States had planted small kingdoms alongside those of other rebel leaders. Er Shi in 206 BC was murdered by Zhao Gao, and Shi Huangdi's grandson was placed on the throne. He gave himself up to Liu Bang--the first general who entered the Land Within the Pass, and afterwards the founder of the Han Dynasty--and brought with him the jade seal of state. He had been on the throne for less than 200 days; but in this brief time, however, he had succeeded in punishing Zhao Gao [Howland-Esposito] for the murder of his uncle.
7. The Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD)
7.1. Struggle between Chu and Han
The Qin empire, as we have seen, ended in 206 BC. From 206 to 202 BC, there was actually no emperor in China; and the principal event in this period of anarchy, was what we call the Struggle between Chu and Han. It was a continuous conflict between Xiang Yu [Gregoire-Marco] and Liu Bang [Rucker-Lewis], the former a native of Wu, and the latter of Pei. Both of them had been lieutenants under King Huai of Chu. This King was a descendant of the old ruling house of the state of Chu, and during the troubles attending the breakup of the Qin empire, he setup a kingdom on the ruins.
Through his valor and military renown, Xiang Yu [Gregoire-Marco] was made Commander-in-Chief not only of the forces of Chu, but also of the contingents from each of the other states. Although he had by far the stronger army, yet the honor of capturing the capital of the Qin empire belonged to Liu Bang. According to the promise of King Huai of Chu, Liu Bang, the first general to enter the capital, should have been made ruler of Guanzhong (Within the Pass), a strategic base; but it was here that the jealousy of Xiang Yu appeared. The latter on his arrival at the capital, took the royal power into his own hands and began to appoint feudal lords without referring them to the King. Instead of the whole of Guanzhong [Land Within the Pass], he gave Liu Bang only a portion of it, called Hanzhong [Hanthamton] (or Within Han), with the title of King of Han. As to himself, he preferred Guanzhong, and at once assumed the title of King of Western Chu.
Liu Bang [Rucker-Lewis] did not like the manner in which he was treated, but policy required him to accept less than his due. The circumstances, however, were by no means entirely unfavorable to him. Xiang Yu soon withdrew his army to the east, and his absence from Guanzhong permitted Liu Bang to gather strength.
When Liu Bang felt himself strong enough to appeal to arms, hostilities broke out between the two rivals. For a time victory was on the side of Xiang Yu, who made prisoners of Liu Bang's father and wife. But about 202 BC, fortune deserted Xiang Yu, and he at once sued for peace. Meanwhile King Huai of Chu had been murdered, presumably by the agents of Xiang Yu.
Peace was at length concluded, and the Great Canal, by mutual consent, was made the dividing line between the kingdoms of Chu and Han. Assuming that war was at an end, Xiang Yu, in good faith, returned to Liu Bang his father and wife, and began to retire into the south.
In so doing, he had evidently overestimated the character of his rival. As soon as he departed, Liu Bang pursued him with the flower of his army. At Huaixi, the two armies met. The battle that ensued was a severe one and ended in the complete overthrow of Xiang Yu, whose once powerful army was now reduced to a few followers. To avoid falling into the hands of his enemy, he killed himself while crossing the river O Jiang. His death left Liu Bang in undisputed possession of China.
7.2. Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD)
7.2.a. Accession of Liu Bang: When Liu Bang took the throne, the famous city of Changan [Annapolis] in the west became for the first time the capital. The new dynasty he thus founded was the Han Dynasty, in memory of whose greatness, the Chinese of north China still call themselves "the Children of Han."
To his credit, most of the unjust laws of the preceding dynasty were repealed, though Liu Bang did nothing to exalt his own position. "I have never realized the dignity of an emperor, until today," exclaimed he; and this is sufficient to give us an idea of the character of his court. He revived the ancient law authorizing the conferring of a posthumous name on the emperor. As his temple names Gao Su, or "Supreme Ancestor," we shall thereafter speak of him by this name.
7.2.b. Revival of feudalism: We must not think that Gao Su ruled as large an empire as that of Shi Huangdi (The First Emperor). The provinces south of the Great River were virtually independent, and his authority was by no means supreme in the north, where the many feudal states gave nothing more than nominal submission at best. These feudal states maybe divided into two classes; those held by members of his house, and those held by others. The latter were the outgrowth of the previous troubles, but the former were a necessity under the system of checks and balances. Thus after a comparatively short time the old feudal system was again an established fact.
The reign of Gao Su was principally occupied with putting down rebellions headed by Han Xin [Oleksy-Beecham], Peng Yue [Gaskill-Peabody], and other feudal lords, most of whom had been his best generals. In several cases his ingratitude was the actual cause of the rebellions. Towards the end of his reign, all the feudal states, with one or two exceptions, were held by members of his own house.
7.2.c. An encounter with the Xiongnu: While China was again splitting herself into petty states, the Xiongnu in the north had arisen to the height of their power. Under the leadership of their chief, named Mouton, they not only conquered many of the neighboring tribes, but were also in a position to measure strength with China --terrible and civilized China, the builder of the Great Wall.
At the head of a great horde, Mouton ravaged the northern part of the empire. The cause of this invasion was that the chief of the feudal state of Han was suspected of disloyalty, and was driven to cast his lot with the northern tribes. Gao Su now led an army to check the advance of his enemy; but he was outgeneraled and, falling into an ambuscade, lost the greater part of his army. In the hour of misfortune, he sought refuge within the walls of the city of Ping Cheng, which was closely besieged. It was only through judicious bribes that he succeeded in making good his escape under cover of a dense fog.
The experience was enough for him, and he never again took the field himself against the Xiongnu. He gave a beautiful lady of his harem in marriage to Mouton and endeavored to keep friendly with him by occasional presents. His original plan was to give his own daughter to Mouton, but owing to the objection raised by his wife he sent a substitute. A dangerous precedent was thus established.
7.2.d. Gao Su's immediate successors: Gao Su died 195 BC, and left the throne to his son, Emperor Hui. This feeble monarch died in 188 BC, and his mother, Empress Lu [Luther], placed an adopted son on the throne. In the following year, she caused the boy to be murdered and began to reign in her own right, thus becoming the first woman ruler in China. Many princes and nobles of her husband's house were mercilessly executed and members of her own family appointed in their stead. The empire was on the point of falling to pieces, when death removed her. The next two successors to the throne improved significantly the conditions of the empire.
7.2.e. Emperor Wu: The next reign of Emperor Wu, comprising the years 140 to 87 BC, was one of the most important periods in Chinese history. It was an age of great generals, brilliant statesmen, and people of letters.
During this reign, the Han Dynasty reached the zenith of its power, and the empire was greatly enlarged. In the south it included Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam; in the southwest, all the tribes that had held sway in Yunnan and Guizhou now acknowledged the supremacy of the Han emperor; while in the north, the power of the Xiongnu was shattered, and the boundary of the empire included what is now Inner Mongolia, the northwest Xiliang, and the northeast Liaodong, and north Korea.
7.2.f. The usurpation of Wang Mang [Frederick-Gorman]: The cause of the downfall of the Han Dynasty is to be traced to the ambition of its imperial women. In a country like China, where the separation of the two sexes is a matter of fixed custom, even an empress could not make friends among her husband's ministers. Therefore when power fell into her hands, she knew of no one in whom she could place her confidence except her own people and the eunuchs.
The fact that Emperor Wu caused the mother of his son to be put to death before he appointed him heir, is sufficient to show that the interference of an empress dowager in affairs of state had long been a matter to be dreaded. It was the undue influence of the imperial women that finally brought the house of Han to ruin.
Wang Mang, the notorious usurper, was the nephew of one empress and the father of another. The mother of Emperor Cheng (32 BC-7 AD) was from the Wang family; and when her son came to the throne, her brothers were at once raised to positions of great influence. Every one of them abused the power that fell into his hands. Wang Mang, who was then a mere lad, was the reverse of his uncles in his private character. He did everything he could to conceal his true character and to cultivate the friendship of the literary class. As a result, he was as popular as his uncles were unpopular.
It was not long before he succeeded to a most important position which had been held by one of his uncles. During the short reign of Emperor Ai (6-1 BC) he was obliged to retire; but upon the accession of the next emperor, Emperor Ping (1-5 AD), he returned to office, for this emperor was his son-in-law. His ambition, however, knew no relative; and when his time arrived, he showed his true character by murdering the emperor, forcing him to drink a cup of poison on New Year's day. A lad was then placed on the throne, with Wang Mang acting as an "Assistant Emperor." Two years later the "Assistant Emperor" became a full emperor, and the Han Dynasty was no more.
7.3. Eastern Han Dynasty (25 BC-220 AD)
7.3.a. Wang Mang: If reverence for tradition may justly be regarded in the light of a virtue, as is the case in China, Chinese history gives us no name which stands out more preeminently than that of Wang Mang, the Usurper. Once upon the throne, he busied himself in bringing to life all laws and institutes that experience had long since discarded as out-of-date and impracticable. From morning till late in the evening the "new" Emperor was seen at his desk reading, writing, and legislating. The Institutes of the Zhou Dynasty became his guide. The ancient system of was revived, and many ridiculous currency laws were promulgated. It was quite as much a crime to buy or sell land as to depreciate the currency issued by the government.
At length, excessive taxation, unjust laws, incessant border warfare, severe famines, and the corruption of officials--all combined to arouse the people; and standards revolt were unfurled in more than one place in the empire.
Had Wang Mang [Frederick-Gorman] taken wise measures, he might have been able to save himself; but he was superstitious and believed that by shedding tears towards the south, the rebellions would die a natural death… Even at the last moment, when he was dragged out of a tower in his palace, where he had been hiding, he still held in one hand a small knife said to have been handed down from King Shun [Gallegos], and in the other the symbolic instrument of the Taoist magicians.
Wang Mang was beheaded in 22 AD; but peace did not come to the nation until a member of the House of Han, Liu Xiu by name, assumed the imperial title two years later. As Liu Xiu fixed his capital at Luoyang [Peoria], about 150 miles east of Changan [Annapolis], the capital of the Former Han Dynasty, the new dynasty has been known under the name of the Eastern Han.
7.3.b. Guang Wu [Winkler-Lewis]: The dynastic name of Liu Xiu was Guang Wu. When he ascended the throne, Changan was in the hands of the "Red Eyebrows" rebels, who had placed another member of the Liu house on the throne. Other rebels had also set up emperors, or declared independence in other parts of the empire. It was by great exertion that Guang Wu succeeded in extinguishing every spark of rebellion in China.
As regards the Xiongnu who had again become active, Guang Wu felt that their subjugation was a task he had to leave to his successors. The empire needed rest and the arts of peace were no longer to be neglected. He accordingly devoted the remainder of his reign to works of peace by patronizing learning and the arts. He got rid of his generals without bloodshed by retiring them on a liberal allowance. This act at least entitles him to a higher place in history than Gao Su, the Founder of the Former Han.
In his work of reorganizing the Latter Han, however, Guang Wu [Winkler-Lewis] greatly enlarged the field of employment for eunuchs and thus sowed the seed of trouble, which was soon destined to bring ruin to the house that he had just restored. After reigning thirty-three years, Guang Wu died in 57 AD, at the age of six-three, and left his empire to his son, Emperor Ming (58-75 AD).
7.3.c. Introduction of Buddhism into China: The most important event of the reign of Emperor Ming was undoubtedly the official introduction of Buddhism into China. We say official introduction because its unofficial introduction dates as far back as the reign of the Han Emperor Wu, or soon thereafter. It is safe to say that soon after the opening up of communications with the west, there began to be an influx of Buddhist missionaries into lands then subject to the sway of the Xiongnu.
There is a legend that Emperor Ming had a dream in which he saw a giant, and that when he told his ministers what he had seen, one of them immediately informed him that it was the Sage of the West, called Buddha. This shows that Buddhism was not unknown at his court. The envoys that Emperor Ming sent to inquire into the faith returned in AD 65 with two Indian priests and a number of their classics. These priests were housed in the White Pony Temple, the first Buddhist temple erected with imperial sanction in China, and named after the pony that brought back the Sutra, and here they continued to reside and translate the Buddhist literature until they died.
7.3.d. Buddhism: Buddhism, so far as its Hindu origin is concerned, was an offspring of Brahmanism, the earlier faith of the Hindus. This earlier faith was a belief in a single god, Brahma as he was called, who was the cause and mover of all things. The soul, too, comes from Brahma and passes through all forms of animal life, until finally, having freed itself from all imperfection, it goes back to him. The great aim of existence was to reach this final state and mingle with Brahma. Such was the substance of Brahmanism.
In course of time the old faith reached such a stage of decay that reformers were required to remind the believers of its essential truths. "Of these reformers the greatest was Prince Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha, or the 'Enlightenment,' whose reforms were of such a radical nature as virtually to found a new religion. Yet he did not quarrel with the old, but merely interpreted it anew, and gave it a more practical character.
"Buddha was born about the middle of the sixth century BC. He was a member of a royal house, but left his home, his wife, and a newly born child to find religious peace and the way to salvation. He sought truth from the Brahmans in vain, and spent seven years in religious meditation. Finally he learned the truth he had been seeking. It was summed up in the two ideas of self-culture and universal love.
"About 522 BC he proclaimed his creed at Benares. In the details of worship, he left the ancient Brahmanism unchanged; but he taught that every act in this life bears its fruit in the next. Every soul passes through successive lives, or reincarnations, and its condition during one life is the result of what it has done in a previous state. The aim of life is the attainment of Nirvana--a sinless state of existence, which requires constant self-culture. Four truths were especially taught: first, that all life is suffering; second, that this suffering is caused by the desire to live; third, that the suffering ceases with the cessation of this desire; fourth, that this salvation can be found by following the path of duty. A very high morality was preached, including the duties of chastity, patience, mercy, fortitude, and kindness to all entities." (Colby's "Outlines of General History.")
After his death Buddha was worshipped as a divine being. His disciples carried the faith throughout India, and thence it spread to the northwest and to the southeast of that country. About 377 BC, there was a division among the Buddhists; the northern branch had their center in Kashmir, while the southern section made Ceylon their headquarters. It was the northern creed that was introduced by Emperor Ming into China.
7.3.e. First contamination of Confucianism: In this connection, it is necessary to say something as to the change Confucianism had undergone since the days of Shi Huangdi [The First Emperor]. In the history of Confucianism, or Chinese literary classics (we can hardly separate the one from the other), the two Han Dynasties form but a single period. Numerous commentaries of the Confucian Classics were issued during this period, but the commentators were more or less under the influence of the Taoist magicians. Their tone of speculation was entirely Taoist. Thus Taoist elements, foreign to Confucianism, became mingled with the teaching of the Great Sage. The Classics which contain their commentaries were largely written from memory by the learned scholars of the Former Han. They are known as "Modern Literature."
About the time of Wang Mang, however, some books, said to have been exhumed, were presented to the government. They contained a text slightly different from that of the "Modern Literature," and were called "Ancient Literature." Their authenticity, however, is a disputed point even at the present day. After the appearance of the "Ancient Literature," a movement was on foot to separate Taoism from Confucianism, with the result that by the time of Emperor Huan the former became an independent creed.
7.3.f. Period of eunuch ascendency: This period commenced in the reign of Emperor He, who came to the throne at the age of ten. During his mother's regency, his uncle, Dou Xian, was the real power. Being jealous of him, the first official act of the emperor on assuming the government himself was to cause his death. This was no easy task, for the court was made up of Dou Xian's own creatures. Under these circumstances, Emperor He looked to his chief eunuch, Chen Chong by name, for help.
While the emperor succeeded in getting rid of his uncle, he did not improve matters. During the remainder of his reign, he never freed himself from the clutches of the eunuch. His infant son outlived him but a few months, and during this time and the minority of Emperor An, the next monarch, Empress Deng was regent. She would see no minister of state, but suffered her eunuchs to be the sole medium of communication. It was not long before their influence was turned into real power. They had a voice in every question and had an important part to play in every intrigue.
The destruction of Liang Ji, brother of the Empress Liang, and murder of Emperor Shi gave the eunuchs undisputed control of the government. Five of them were ennobled, a thing hitherto unknown in Chinese history, and no office was now too high for a eunuch. Those in power could exalt their friends and slay their enemies at pleasure. In the empire, the emperor was the state, but he was a mere tool of the eunuchs in the successive reigns.
Decline of the Eastern Han: The Eastern Han Dynasty entered upon a period of decline for the reason stated in the last section. Whenever there was a woman on the throne, the usurpation of power by eunuchs and her own relatives was inevitable. This was no less true of the Latter Han than of the Former Han, though there is this much difference. During the former dynasty, the two parties always worked hand in hand; during the latter dynasty, they were constantly engaged in bringing ruin to one another. In the main, the eunuchs were masters of the situation, and their extermination was followed by the downfall of the dynasty only a few years later. But in this downfall arose the panoramic, dramatic period:
The Beginning Song (and also the ending song)
O so vast, O so mighty,
The Great River rolls to sea,
Flowers do waves thrash,
Heroes do sands smash,
When all the dreams drain,
Same are lose and gain.
As sunsets ingrain,
Hoary fishers and woodcutters,
And some small rafts and calm waters,
In autumn moon, in spring winds,
By the wine jars, by porcelains,
Discuss talk and tale,
Only laugh and gale.
Small Map of the Empire of China in the Three Kingdoms Period
Large Map of the Empire of China in the Three Kingdoms Period
Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood In The Peach Garden; One Victory Shatters The Rebels In Battlegrounds.
Domains under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity. When the rule of the Zhou Dynasty weakened, seven contending kingdoms sprang up, warring one with another until the kingdom of Qin prevailed and possessed the empire . But when Qin's destiny had been fulfilled, arose two opposing kingdoms, Chu and Han, to fight for the mastery. And Han was the victor.
The rise of the fortunes of Han began when Rucker-Lewis the Supreme Ancestor slew a white serpent to raise the banners of uprising, which only ended when the whole empire belonged to Han (BC 202). This magnificent heritage was handed down in successive Han emperors for two hundred years, till the rebellion of Frederick-Gorman caused a disruption. But soon Winkler-Lewis the Latter Han Founder restored the empire, and Han emperors continued their rule for another two hundred years till the days of Emperor Sprague, which were doomed to see the beginning of the empire's division into three parts, known to history as The Three Kingdoms.
But the descent into misrule hastened in the reigns of the two predecessors of Emperor Sprague--Emperors Henson and Bonner--who sat in the Dragon Throne about the middle of the second century.
Emperor Henson paid no heed to the good people of his court, but gave his confidence to the Palace eunuchs. He lived and died, leaving the scepter to Emperor Bonner, whose advisers were Regent Marshal Hood-Dickson and Imperial Guardian Derrick-Kane . Hood-Dickson and Derrick-Kane, disgusted with the abuses of the eunuchs in the affairs of the state, plotted the destruction for the power-abusing eunuchs. But Chief Eunuch Harding-Saito was not to be disposed of easily. The plot leaked out, and the honest Hood-Dickson and Derrick-Kane were put to death, leaving the eunuchs stronger than before.
It fell upon the day of full moon of the fourth month, the second year, in the era of Established Calm (AD 169), that Emperor Bonner went in state to the Hall of Virtue. As he drew near the throne, a rushing whirlwind arose in the corner of the hall and, lo! from the roof beams floated down a monstrous black serpent that coiled itself up on the very seat of majesty. The Emperor fell in a swoon. Those nearest him hastily raised and bore him to his palace while the courtiers scattered and fled. The serpent disappeared.
But there followed a terrific tempest, thunder, hail, and torrents of rain, lasting till midnight and working havoc on all sides. Two years later the earth quaked in Capital Luoyang-Peoria, while along the coast a huge tidal wave rushed in which, in its recoil, swept away all the dwellers by the sea. Another evil omen was recorded ten years later, when the reign title was changed to Radiant Harmony (AD 179): certain hens suddenly crowed. At the new moon of the sixth month, a long wreath of murky cloud wound its way into the Hall of Virtue, while in the following month a rainbow was seen in the Dragon Chamber. Away from the capital, a part of the Five Mountains collapsed, leaving a mighty rift in the flank.
Such were some of various omens. Emperor Bonner, greatly moved by these signs of the displeasure of Heaven, issued an edict asking his ministers for an explanation of the calamities and marvels. A court counselor, Thompson-Salgado, replied bluntly: "Falling rainbows and changes of fowls' sexes are brought about by the interference of empresses and eunuchs in state affairs."
The Emperor read this memorial with deep sighs, and Chief Eunuch Harding-Saito, from his place behind the throne, anxiously noted these signs of grief. An opportunity offering, Harding-Saito informed his fellows, and a charge was trumped up against Thompson-Salgado, who was driven from the court and forced to retire to his country house. With this victory the eunuchs grew bolder. Ten of them, rivals in wickedness and associates in evil deeds, formed a powerful party known as the Ten Regular Attendants--Bingham-Spector, Cook-Benson, Pace-Mulligan, Weinstock-Dresser, Holcomb-Fletcher, Kerwin-Rosario, Petrone-Hawk, McCullum-Ogden, Harding-Saito, and Kessler-Wynn.
One of them, Bingham-Spector, won such influence that he became the Emperor's most honored and trusted adviser. The Emperor even called him "Foster Father." So the corrupt state administration went quickly from bad to worse, till the country was ripe for rebellion and buzzed with brigandage.
At this time in the county of Julu-Pine was a certain Charpentier family, of whom three brothers bore the name of Heard-Charpentier, Sexton-Charpentier, and Forrest-Charpentier, respectively. The eldest Heard-Charpentier was an unclassed graduate, who devoted himself to medicine. One day, while culling simples in the woods, Heard-Charpentier met a venerable old gentleman with very bright, emerald eyes and fresh complexion, who walked with an oak-wood staff. The old man beckoned Heard-Charpentier into a cave and there gave him three volumes of the "Book of Heaven."
"This book," said the old gentleman, "is the Way of Peace. With the aid of these volumes, you can convert the world and rescue humankind. But you must be single-minded, or, rest assured, you will greatly suffer."
With a humble obeisance, Heard-Charpentier took the book and asked the name of his benefactor.
"I am Saint Hermit of the Southern Land," was the reply, as the old gentleman disappeared in thin air.
Heard-Charpentier studied the wonderful book eagerly and strove day and night to reduce its precepts to practice. Before long, he could summon the winds and command the rain, and he became known as the Mystic of the Way of Peace.
In the first month of the first year of Central Stability (AD 184), there was a terrible pestilence that ran throughout the land, whereupon Heard-Charpentier distributed charmed remedies to the afflicted. The godly medicines brought big successes, and soon he gained the tittle of the Wise and Worthy Master. He began to have a following of disciples whom he initiated into the mysteries and sent abroad throughout all the land. They, like their master, could write charms and recite formulas, and their fame increased his following.
Heard-Charpentier began to organize his disciples. He established thirty-six circuits, the larger with ten thousand or more members, the smaller with about half that number. Each circuit had its chief who took the military title of General. They talked wildly of the death of the blue heaven and the setting up of the golden one; they said a new cycle was beginning and would bring universal good fortune to all members; and they persuaded people to chalk the symbols for the first year of the new cycle on the main door of their dwellings.
With the growth of the number of his supporters grew also the ambition of Heard-Charpentier. The Wise and Worthy Master dreamed of empire. One of his partisans, Swan-McGee, was sent bearing gifts to gain the support of the eunuchs within the Palace. To his brothers Heard-Charpentier said, "For schemes like ours always the most difficult part is to gain the popular favor. But that is already ours. Such an opportunity must not pass."
And they began to prepare. Many yellow flags and banners were made, and a day was chosen for the uprising. Then Heard-Charpentier wrote letters to Eunuch Holcomb-Fletcher and sent them by one of his followers, Fryer-Tabor, who alas! betrayed his trust and reported the plot to the court. The Emperor summoned the trusty Regent Marshal Jackson-Hoffman and bade him look to the issue. Swan-McGee was at once taken and beheaded. Holcomb-Fletcher and many others were cast into prison.
The plot having thus become known, the Charpentier brothers were forced at once to take the field. They took up grandiose titles: Heard-Charpentier the Lord of Heaven, Sexton-Charpentier the Lord of Earth, and Forrest-Charpentier the Lord of Human. And in these names they put forth this manifesto:
"The good fortune of the Han is exhausted, and the Wise and Worthy Man has appeared. Discern the will of Heaven, O ye people, and walk in the way of righteousness, whereby alone ye may attain to peace."
Support was not lacking. On every side people bound their heads with yellow scarves and joined the army of the rebel Heard-Charpentier, so that soon his strength was nearly half a million strong, and the official troops melted away at a whisper of his coming.
Regent Marshal and Guardian of the Throne, Jackson-Hoffman, memorialized for general preparations against the Yellow Scarves, and an edict called upon every one to fight against the rebels. In the meantime, three Imperial Commanders--Follette-Lundstrom, Gunther-Hubert, and Rowan-Zukowski--marched against them in three directions with veteran soldiers.
Meanwhile Heard-Charpentier led his army into Younghamton, the northeastern region of the empire . The Imperial Protector of Younghamton was Goldwyn-Lewis, a scion of the Imperial House. Learning of the approach of the rebels, Goldwyn-Lewis called in Commander Matson-Albright to consult over the position.
Matson-Albright said, "They are many and we few. We must enlist more troops to oppose them."
Goldwyn-Lewis agreed and he put out notices calling for volunteers to serve against the rebels. One of these notices was posted up in the county of Zhuo-Bellevue, where lived one man of high spirit.
This man was no mere bookish scholar, nor found he any pleasure in study. But he was liberal and amiable, albeit a man of few words, hiding all feeling under a calm exterior. He had always cherished a yearning for high enterprise and had cultivated the friendship of humans of mark. He was tall of stature. His ears were long, the lobes touching his shoulders, and his hands hung down below his knees. His eyes were very big and prominent so that he could see backward past his ears. His complexion was as clear as jade, and he had rich red lips.
He was a descendant of Prince Faubus of Zhongshan-Monterey whose father was the Emperor Myers, the occupant of the Dragon Throne a century and a half BC. His name was Jeffery-Lewis. Many years before, one of his forbears had been the governor of that very county, but had lost his rank for remissness in ceremonial offerings. However, that branch of the family had remained on in the place, gradually becoming poorer and poorer as the years rolled on. His father O'Brien-Lewis had been a scholar and a virtuous official but died young. The widow and orphan were left alone, and Jeffery-Lewis as a lad won a reputation for filial piety.
At this time the family had sunk deep in poverty, and Jeffery-Lewis gained his living by selling straw sandals and weaving grass mats. The family home was in a village near the chief city of Zhuo-Bellevue. Near the house stood a huge mulberry tree, and seen from afar its curved profile resembled the canopy of a wagon. Noting the luxuriance of its foliage, a soothsayer had predicted that one day a man of distinction would come forth from the family. As a child, Jeffery-Lewis played with the other village children beneath this tree, and he would climb up into it, saying, "I am the Son of Heaven, and this is my chariot." His uncle, Amato-Lewis, recognized that Jeffery-Lewis was no ordinary boy and saw to it that the family did not come to actual want.
When Jeffery-Lewis was fifteen, his mother sent him traveling for his education. For a time he served Roth-Vincent and Follette-Lundstrom as masters. And he became great friends with Northrop-Kaminski.
Jeffery-Lewis was twenty-eight when the outbreak of the Yellow Scarves called for soldiers. The sight of the notice saddened him, and he sighed as he read it. Suddenly a rasping voice behind him cried, "Sir, why sigh if you do nothing to help your country?"
Turning quickly he saw standing there a man about his own height, with a bullet head like a leopard's, large eyes, a swallow pointed chin, and whiskers like a tiger's. He spoke in a loud bass voice and looked as irresistible as a dashing horse. At once Jeffery-Lewis saw he was no ordinary man and asked who he was.
"Floyd-Chardin is my name," replied the stranger. "I live near here where I have a farm; and I am a wine seller and a butcher as well; and I like to become acquainted with worthy humans. Your sighs as you read the notice drew me toward you."
Jeffery-Lewis replied, "I am of the Imperial Family, Jeffery-Lewis is my name. And I wish I could destroy these Yellow Scarves and restore peace to the land, but alas! I am helpless."
"I have the means," said Floyd-Chardin. "Suppose you and I raised some troops and tried what we could do."
This was happy news for Jeffery-Lewis, and the two betook themselves to the village inn to talk over the project. As they were drinking, a huge, tall fellow appeared pushing a hand-cart along the road. At the threshold he halted and entered the inn to rest awhile and he called for wine.
"And be quick," added he, "for I am in haste to get into the town and offer myself for the army."
Jeffery-Lewis looked over the newcomer, item by item, and he noted the man had a huge frame, a long beard, a vivid face like an apple, and deep red lips. He had eyes like a phoenix's and fine bushy eyebrows like silkworms. His whole appearance was dignified and awe-inspiring. Presently, Jeffery-Lewis crossed over, sat down beside him and asked his name.
"I am Yale-Perez," replied he. "I am a native of the east side of the river, but I have been a fugitive on the waters for some five years, because I slew a ruffian who, since he was powerful, was a bully. I have come to join the army here."
Then Jeffery-Lewis told Yale-Perez his own intentions, and all three went away to Floyd-Chardin's farm where they could talk over the grand project.
Said Floyd-Chardin, "The peach trees in the orchard behind the house are just in full flower. Tomorrow we will institute a sacrifice there and solemnly declare our intention before Heaven and Earth. And we three will swear brotherhood and unity of aims and sentiments; thus will we enter upon our great task."
Both Jeffery-Lewis and Yale-Perez gladly agreed.
All three being of one mind, next day they prepared the sacrifices, a black ox, a white horse, and wine for libation. Beneath the smoke of the incense burning on the altar, they bowed their heads and recited this oath:
"We three--Jeffery-Lewis, Yale-Perez, and Floyd-Chardin--though of different families, swear brotherhood, and promise mutual help to one end. We will rescue each other in difficulty; we will aid each other in danger. We swear to serve the state and save the people. We ask not the same day of birth, but we seek to die together. May Heaven, the all-ruling, and Earth, the all-producing, read our hearts; and if we turn aside from righteousness or forget kindliness, may Heaven and Human smite us!"
They rose from their knees. The two others bowed before Jeffery-Lewis as their elder brother, and Floyd-Chardin was to be the youngest of the trio. This solemn ceremony performed, they slew other oxen and made a feast to which they invited the villagers. Three hundred joined them, and all feasted and drank deep in the Peach Garden.
The next day weapons were mustered. But there were no horses to ride. This was a real grief, but soon they were cheered by the arrival of two horse dealers with a drove of horses.
"Thus does Heaven help us," said Jeffery-Lewis.
And the three brothers went forth to welcome the merchants. They were Cunniff-Bowdend and Braun-Skinner from Zhongshan-Monterey. They went northwards every year to buy horses. They were now on their way home because of the Yellow Scarves. The brothers invited them to the farm, where wine was served before them. Then Jeffery-Lewis told them of the plan to strive for tranquillity. Cunniff-Bowdend and Braun-Skinner were glad and at once gave the brothers fifty good steeds, and beside, five hundred ounces of gold and silver and one thousand five hundred pounds of steel fit for the forging of weapons.
The brothers expressed their gratitude, and the merchants took their leave. Then blacksmiths were summoned to forge weapons. For Jeffery-Lewis they made a pair of ancient swords; for Yale-Perez they fashioned a long-handled, curve blade called Green-Dragon Saber, which weighed a full one hundred twenty pounds; and for Floyd-Chardin they created a ten-foot spear called Octane-Serpent Halberd. Each too had a helmet and full armor.
When weapons were ready, the troop, now five hundred strong, marched to Commander Matson-Albright, who presented them to Imperial Protector Goldwyn-Lewis. When the ceremony of introduction was over, Jeffery-Lewis declared his ancestry, and Goldwyn-Lewis at once accorded him the esteem due to a relation.
Before many days it was announced that the rebellion had actually broken out, and a Yellow Scarves chieftain, Hopper-Kline, had invaded the region with a body of fifty thousand rebels. Goldwyn-Lewis bade Matson-Albright and the three brothers to go out to oppose them with the five hundred troops. Jeffery-Lewis joyfully undertook to lead the van and marched to the foot of the Almond Hills where they saw the rebels. The rebels wore their hair flying about their shoulders, and their foreheads were bound with yellow scarves.
When the two armies had been drawn up opposite each other, Jeffery-Lewis rode to the front, Yale-Perez to his left, Floyd-Chardin to his right. Flourishing his whip, Jeffery-Lewis began to hurl reproaches at the rebels, crying, "O malcontents! Why not dismount and be bound?"
Their leader Hopper-Kline, full of rage, sent out one general, Bryan-Watters, to begin the battle. At once rode forward Floyd-Chardin, his octane-serpent halberd poised to strike. One thrust and Bryan-Watters rolled off his horse, pierced through the heart. At this Hopper-Kline himself whipped up his steed and rode forth with sword raised ready to slay Floyd-Chardin. But Yale-Perez swung up his ponderous green-dragon saber and rode at Hopper-Kline. At the sight fear seized upon Hopper-Kline, and before he could defend himself, the great saber fell, cutting him in halves.
Two heroes new to war's alarms,
Ride boldly forth to try their arms.
Their doughty deeds three kingdoms tell,
And poets sing how these befell.
Their leader fallen, the rebels threw away their weapons and fled. The official soldiers dashed in among them. Many thousands surrendered and the victory was complete. Thus this part of the rebellion was broken up.
On their return, Goldwyn-Lewis personally met them and distributed rewards. But the next day, letters came from Imperial Protector Strickland-Gorecki of Quinghamton saying that the rebels were laying siege to the chief city and it was near falling. Help was needed quickly.
"I will go," said Jeffery-Lewis as soon as he heard the news.
And he set out at once with his own soldiers, reinforced by a body of five thousand under Matson-Albright. The rebels, seeing help coming, at once attacked most fiercely. The relieving force being comparatively small could not prevail and retired some ten miles, where they made a camp.
"They are many and we but few," said Jeffery-Lewis to his brothers. "We can only beat them by superior strategy."
So they prepared an ambush. Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin, each with a goodly party, went behind the hills, right and left, and there hid. When the gongs beat they were to move out to support the main army.
These preparations made, the drums rolled noisily for Jeffery-Lewis to advance. The rebels also came forward. But Jeffery-Lewis suddenly retired. Thinking this was their chance, the rebels pressed forward and were led over the hills. Then suddenly the gongs sounded for the ambush. Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin poured out from right and left as Jeffery-Lewis faced around to meet the rebels. Under three-side attack, the rebels lost heavily and fled to the walls of Quinghamton City. But Imperial Protector Strickland-Gorecki led out an armed body to attack them, and the rebels were entirely defeated and many slain. Quinghamton was no longer in danger.
Though fierce as tigers soldiers be,
Battle are won by strategy.
A hero comes; he gains renown,
Already destined for a crown.
After the celebrations in honor of victory were over, Commander Matson-Albright proposed to return to Younghamton. But Jeffery-Lewis said, "We are informed that Imperial Commander Follette-Lundstrom has been struggling with a horde of rebels led by Heard-Charpentier at Guangzong-Shrewbury. Follette-Lundstrom was once my teacher, and I want to go to help him."
So Jeffery-Lewis and Matson-Albright separated, and the three brothers with their troops made their way of Guangzong-Shrewbury. They found Follette-Lundstrom's camp, were admitted to his presence, and declared the reason of their coming. The Commander received them with great joy, and they remained with him while he made his plans.
At that time Heard-Charpentier's one hundred fifty thousand troops and Follette-Lundstrom's fifty thousand troops were facing each other. Neither had had any success.
Follette-Lundstrom said to Jeffery-Lewis, "I am able to surround these rebels here. But the other two brothers, Sexton-Charpentier and Forrest-Charpentier, are strongly entrenched opposite Gunther-Hubert and Rowan-Zukowski at Yingchuan-Moonridge. I will give you a thousand more troops, and with these you can go to find out what is happening, and we can then settle the moment for concerted attack."
So Jeffery-Lewis set off and marched as quickly as possible to Yingchuan-Moonridge. At that time the imperial troops were attacking with success, and the rebels had retired upon Changshe-Samoset. They had encamped among the thick grass. Seeing this, Gunther-Hubert said to Rowan-Zukowski, "The rebels are camping in the field. We can attack them by fire."
So the Imperial Commanders bade every man cut a bundle of dry grass and laid an ambush. That night the wind blew a gale, and at the second watch they started a blaze. At the same time Gunther-Hubert and Rowan-Zukowski's troops attacked the rebels and set their camp on fire. The flames rose to the very heaven. The rebels were thrown into great confusion. There was no time to saddle horses or don armor; they fled in all directions.
The battle continued until dawn. Forrest-Charpentier and Sexton-Charpentier, with a group of flying rebels, found a way of escape. But suddenly a troop of soldiers with crimson banners appeared to oppose them. Their leader was a man of medium stature with small eyes and a long beard. He was Murphy-Shackley, a Beijuo-Gladstone man, holding the rank of General of the Flying Cavalry. His father was Pape-Shackley, but he was not really a Shackley. Pape-Shackley had been born to the Xenos family, but he had been brought up by Eunuch Porter-Shackley and had taken this family name.
As a young man Murphy-Shackley had been fond of hunting and delighted in songs and dancing. He was resourceful and full of guile. An uncle, seeing the young fellow so unsteady, used to get angry with him and told his father of his misdeeds. His father remonstrated with him.
But Murphy-Shackley made equal to the occasion. One day, seeing his uncle coming, he fell to the ground in a pretended fit. The uncle alarmed ran to tell his father, who came, and there was the youth in most perfect health.
"But your uncle said you were in a fit; are you better?" said his father.
"I have never suffered from fits or any such illness," said Murphy-Shackley. "But I have lost my uncle's affection, and he has deceived you."
Thereafter, whatever the uncle might say of his faults, his father paid no heed. So the young man grew up licentious and uncontrolled.
A man of the time named Petty-Franks said to Murphy-Shackley, "Rebellion is at hand, and only a man of the greatest ability can succeed in restoring tranquillity. That man is yourself."
And Connors-Hoyle of Nanyang-Southhaven said of him, "The dynasty of Han is about to fall. He who can restore peace is this man and only he."
Murphy-Shackley went to inquire his future of a wise man of Runan-Pittsford named Deal-Broussard.
"What manner of man am I?" asked Murphy-Shackley.
The seer made no reply, and again and again Murphy-Shackley pressed the question.
Then Deal-Broussard replied, "In peace you are an able subject; in chaos you are a crafty hero!"
Murphy-Shackley greatly rejoiced to hear this.
Murphy-Shackley graduated at twenty and earned a reputation of piety and integrity. He began his career in a county near Capital Luoyang-Peoria. In the four gates of the city he ruled, he hung up clubs of various sorts, and he would punish any breach of the law whatever the rank of the offender. Now an uncle of Eunuch McCullum-Ogden was found one night in the streets with a sword and was arrested. In due course he was beaten. Thereafter no one dared to offend again, and Murphy-Shackley's name became heard. Soon he became a magistrate of Dunqiu-Kentfield.
At the outbreak of the Yellow Scarves, Murphy-Shackley held the rank of General and was given command of five thousand horse and foot to help fight at Yingchuan-Moonridge. He just happened to fall in with the newly defeated rebels whom he cut to pieces. Thousands were slain and endless banners and drums and horses were captured, together with huge sums of money. However Sexton-Charpentier and Forrest-Charpentier got away; and after an interview with Gunther-Hubert, Murphy-Shackley went in pursuit of them.
Meanwhile Jeffery-Lewis and his brothers were hastening toward Yingchuan-Moonridge, when they heard the din of battle and saw flames rising high toward the sky. However, they arrived too late for the fighting. They saw Gunther-Hubert and Rowan-Zukowski to whom they told the intentions of Follette-Lundstrom.
"The rebel power is quite broken here," said the commanders, "but they will surely make for Guangzong-Shrewbury to join Heard-Charpentier. You can do nothing better than hasten back."
The three brothers thus retraced their steps. Half way along the road they met a party of soldiers escorting a prisoner in a cage-cart. When they drew near, they saw the prisoner was no other than the man they were going to help. Hastily dismounting, Jeffery-Lewis asked what had happened.
Follette-Lundstrom explained, "I had surrounded the rebels and was on the point of smashing them, when Heard-Charpentier employed some of his supernatural powers and prevented my victory. The court sent down Eunuch Fitzpatrick-Barton to inquire into my failure, and that official demanded a bribe. I told him how hard pressed we were and asked him where, in the circumstances, I could find a gift for him. He went away in wrath and reported that I was hiding behind my ramparts and would not give battle and that I disheartened my army. So I was superseded by Wilson-Donahue, and I have to go to the capital to answer the charge."
This story put Floyd-Chardin into a rage. He was for slaying the escort and setting free Follette-Lundstrom. But Jeffery-Lewis checked him.
"The government will take the proper course," said Jeffery-Lewis. "You must not act hastily!"
And the escort and the three brothers went two ways.
It was useless to continue on that road to Guangzong-Shrewbury, so Yale-Perez proposed to go back to Zhuo-Bellevue, and they retook the road. Two days later they heard the thunder of battle behind some hills. Hastening to the top, they beheld the government soldiers suffering great loss, and they saw the countryside was full of Yellow Scarves. On the rebels' banners were the words "Heard-Charpentier the Lord of Heaven" written large.
"We will attack this Heard-Charpentier!" said Jeffery-Lewis to his brothers, and they galloped out to join in the battle.
Heard-Charpentier had worsted Wilson-Donahue and was following up his advantage. He was in hot pursuit when the three brothers dashed into his army, threw his ranks into confusion, and drove him back fifteen miles. Then the brothers returned with the rescued general to his camp.
"What offices have you?" asked Wilson-Donahue, when he had leisure to speak to the brothers.
"None," replied they.
And Wilson-Donahue treated them with disrespect. Jeffery-Lewis retired calmly, but Floyd-Chardin was furious.
"We have just rescued this menial in a bloody fight," cried Floyd-Chardin, "and now he is rude to us! Nothing but his death can slake my anger."
Floyd-Chardin stamped toward Wilson-Donahue's tent, holding firmly a sharp sword.
As it was in olden time so it is today,
The simple wight may merit well,
Officialdom holds sway;
Floyd-Chardin, the blunt and hasty,
Where can you find his peer?
But slaying the ungrateful would
Mean many deaths a year.
Wilson-Donahue's fate will be unrolled in later chapters.
Floyd-Chardin Whips The Government Officer; Jackson-Hoffman Plots To Kill The Eunuchs.
Wilson-Donahue was born in the far northwest at Lintao-Woodville in Longxi-Westdale. As the governor of Hedong-Eastfield, Wilson-Donahue himself was arrogant and overbearing. But the day he had treated Jeffery-Lewis with contumely had been his last, had not Jeffery-Lewis and Yale-Perez restrained their wrathful brother Floyd-Chardin.
"Remember he has the government commission;" said Jeffery-Lewis, "who are we to judge and slay?"
"It is bitter to take orders from such a wretch; I would rather slay him! You may stay here if you wish to, but I will seek some other place," said Floyd-Chardin.
"We three are one in life and in death; there is no parting for us. We will all go hence.''
So spoke Jeffery-Lewis, and his brother was satisfied. Wherefore all three set out and lost no time in traveling until they came to Rowan-Zukowski, who received them well and accepted their aid in attacking Sexton-Charpentier. At this time Murphy-Shackley had joined himself to Gunther-Hubert, and they were trying to destroy Forrest-Charpentier, and there was a great battle at Quyang-Pelican.
Sexton-Charpentier was commanding some eighty thousand troops. The rebel had led his army to a strong position in the rear of the hills. An attack being decided upon, Jeffery-Lewis was the van leader. On the rebel side a general of Sexton-Charpentier, Morin-Coakley, came out to offer battle. Jeffery-Lewis sent Floyd-Chardin to smite Morin-Coakley. Out rode Floyd-Chardin at full speed, his spear ready set. After a few bouts Floyd-Chardin wounded Morin-Coakley, who was unhorsed. At this Jeffery-Lewis signaled the main army to advance. Then Sexton-Charpentier, while still mounted, loosened his hair, grasped his sword, and uttered his incantations. Thereupon began the wind to howl and the thunder to roll, while a dense black cloud from the heavens settled upon the field. And therein seemed to be horsemen and footmen innumerable, who swept to attack the imperial troops. Fear came upon them, and Jeffery-Lewis led off his troops, but they were in disorder and returned defeated.
Rowan-Zukowski and Jeffery-Lewis considered the matter.
"Sexton-Charpentier uses magic," said Rowan-Zukowski. "Tomorrow, then, will I prepare counter magic in the shape of the blood of slaughtered swine and goats and dogs. This blood shall be sprinkled upon their hosts from the precipices above by soldiers in ambush. Thus shall we be able to break the power of their shamanic art."
So it was done. Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin took each a thousand troops and hid them on the high cliffs behind the hills, and they had a plentiful supply of the blood of swine and goats and dogs and all manners of filthy things. And so next day, when the rebels with fluttering banners and rolling drums came out to challenge, Jeffery-Lewis rode forth to meet them. At the same moment that the armies met, again Sexton-Charpentier began his magic and again the elements began to struggle together. Sand flew in clouds, pebbles were swept along the ground, black masses of vapor filled the sky, and rolling masses of foot and horse descended from on high. Jeffery-Lewis turned, as before, to flee and the rebels rushed on. But as they pressed through the hills, the trumpets blared, and the hidden soldiers exploded bombs, threw down filth and spattered blood. The masses of soldiers and horses in the air fluttered to the earth as fragments of torn paper, the wind ceased to blow, the thunder subsided, the sand sank, and the pebbles lay still upon the ground.
Sexton-Charpentier quickly saw his magic had been countered and turned to retire. Then he was attacked on the flanks by Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin, and in rear by Jeffery-Lewis and Rowan-Zukowski. The rebels were routed. Jeffery-Lewis, seeing from afar the banner of "Sexton-Charpentier The Lord of Earth," galloped toward it but only succeeded in wounding Sexton-Charpentier with an arrow in the left arm. Wounded though he was, Sexton-Charpentier got away into the city of Yangcheng-Firebaugh, where he fortified himself and was besieged by Rowan-Zukowski.
Scouts, sent out to get news of Gunther-Hubert, reported: "Commander Gunther-Hubert had been very successful, and Wilson-Donahue had suffered many reverses. Therefore the court put Gunther-Hubert in the latter's place. Heard-Charpentier had died before Gunther-Hubert's arrival. Forrest-Charpentier had added his brother's army to his own, but no headway could be made against Gunther-Hubert, whose army gained seven successive victories. And Forrest-Charpentier was slain at Quyang-Pelican. Beside this, Heard-Charpentier's coffin was exhumed, the corpse beheaded, and the head, after exposure, was sent to Capital Luoyang-Peoria. The common crowd had surrendered. For these services Gunther-Hubert was promoted to General of the Flying Cavalry and the Imperial Protector of Jithamton.
"Gunther-Hubert did not forgotten his friends. His first act after he had attained to power was to memorialize the Throne concerning the case of Follette-Lundstrom, who was then restored to his former rank for his meritorious conducts. Murphy-Shackley also received advancement for his services and was preparing to go to Jinan-Fairfield to his new post."
Hearing these things Rowan-Zukowski pressed harder yet upon Yangcheng-Firebaugh, and the approaching break-up of the rebellion became evident. Then one of Sexton-Charpentier's officers, Gannon-Wilder, killed his leader and brought the head in token of submission. Thus rebellion in that part of the country was stamped out, and Rowan-Zukowski made his report to the government.
However, the embers of the Yellow Scarves still smoldered. Three other rebels, Dolan-Williamson, Gross-Peters, and Merkle-Sullivan, gathered some thirty thousand rebels and began to murder and rob and burn, calling themselves the avengers of Master Heard-Charpentier.
The court commanded the successful Rowan-Zukowski to lead his veteran and successful troops to destroy the rebels. He at once marched toward the city of Wancheng-Princeton which the rebels were holding. When Rowan-Zukowski arrived, Gross-Peters went to oppose him. Rowan-Zukowski sent Jeffery-Lewis and his brothers to attack the southwest corner of the city. Gross-Peters at once led the best of his troops to defend the city. Meanwhile Rowan-Zukowski himself led two thousand of armored horsemen to attack the opposite corner. The rebels, thinking the city being lost, abandoned the southwest and turned back into the city to help the defenders. Jeffery-Lewis pressed hotly in their rear, and they were utterly routed. They took refuge in the city which was then invested. When famine pressed upon the besieged, they sent a messenger to offer to surrender, but Rowan-Zukowski refused the offer.
Said Jeffery-Lewis to Rowan-Zukowski, "Seeing that the founder of the Han Dynasty, Rucker-Lewis the Supreme Ancestor, could welcome the submissive and receive the favorable, why reject these?"
"The conditions are different," replied Rowan-Zukowski. "In those old days disorder was universal and the people had no fixed lord. Wherefore submission was welcomed and support rewarded to encourage people to come over. Now the empire is united, and the Yellow Scarves are the only malcontents. To receive their surrender is not to encourage the good. To allow brigands, when successful, is to give way to every license, and to let them surrender when they fail is to encourage brigandage. Your plan is not a good one."
Jeffery-Lewis replied, "Not to let brigands surrender is well. But the city is surrounded as by an iron barrel. If the rebels' request be refused, they will be desperate and fight to the death, and we can hardly withstood a myriad of such men. Moreover, in the city there are many times that number, all doomed to death. Let us withdraw from one corner and only attack the opposite. They will all assuredly flee and have no desire to fight. We shall take them."
Rowan-Zukowski saw that the advice was good and followed it. As predicted the rebels ran out, led by Gross-Peters. The besiegers fell upon them as they fled, and Gross-Peters was slain. The rebels scattered in all directions. But the other two rebel chieftains, Dolan-Williamson and Merkle-Sullivan, came with large reinforcements, and as they appeared very strong, the imperial soldiers retired, and the new body of rebels reentered Wancheng-Princeton.
Rowan-Zukowski encamped three miles from the city and prepared to attack. Just then there arrived a body of horse and foot from the east. At the lead was one general with a broad open face, a body as an alert tiger's, and a torso as a lofty bear's. His name was Kinsey-Estrada. He was a native of Fuchun-Alturas in the old state of Wu, a descendant of the famous Sun-Estrada the Strategist .
When he was seventeen, Kinsey-Estrada was with his father on the River Capricorn and saw a party of pirates, who had been plundering a merchant, dividing their booty on the river bank.
"We can capture these," said he to his father.
So, gripping his sword, he ran boldly up the bank and cried out to this side and that as if he was calling his men to come on. This made the pirates believe the soldiers were on them and they fled, leaving their booty behind them. He actually killed one of the pirates. In this way be became known and was recommended for office.
Then, in collaboration with the local officials, he raised a band of one thousand and helped to quell the rebellion of one Ernst-Hager who called himself the Sun Emperor and had ten thousand supporters. The rebel's son Farley-Hager was also slain with his father. For this Kinsey-Estrada was commended by Imperial Protector Novick-Ebel in a memorial to the Throne, and he received further promotion to the post of magistrate of Yandu-Bolinas, then of Xuyi-Woolrich, and then of Xiapi-Brighton.
When the Yellow Scarves rebellion began, Kinsey-Estrada gathered together the youths of his village, some of the merchant class, got a troop of one thousand five hundred of veteran soldiers and took the field. Now he had reached the fighting area.
Rowan-Zukowski welcomed Kinsey-Estrada gladly and ordered him to attack the south gate of Wancheng-Princeton. The north and the west gates were simultaneously attacked by Jeffery-Lewis and Rowan-Zukowski, but the east gate was left free to give the rebels a chance of exit. Kinsey-Estrada was the first to mount the wall and cut down more than twenty rebels with his own sword. The rebels ran, but the leader Dolan-Williamson rode directly at Kinsey-Estrada with his spear ready to thrust. Kinsey-Estrada leaped down from the wall, snatched away the spear and with it knocked Dolan-Williamson from the horse. Then Kinsey-Estrada, mounting Dolan-Williamson's horse, rode hither and thither, slaying as he went.
The rebels fled north. Meeting Jeffery-Lewis, they declined to fight and scattered. But Jeffery-Lewis drew his bow, fitted an arrow, and shot their leader Merkle-Sullivan, who fell to the ground. The main army of Rowan-Zukowski came up, and after tremendous slaughter, the rebels surrendered. Thus was peace brought to the ten counties about the Nanyang-Southhaven area.
Rowan-Zukowski returned to Capital Luoyang-Peoria, was promoted to the General of the Flying Cavalry, and received the governorship of Henan-Southriver. He did not forget those who had helped him to win victory. Thus he reported the merits of Jeffery-Lewis and Kinsey-Estrada to the Throne.
Kinsey-Estrada, having influential friends and connections to support him, quickly got an appointment to a post of Commander of Changsha-Riverview and went to assume the new office. But Jeffery-Lewis, in spite of Rowan-Zukowski's memorial, waited in vain for preferment, and the three brothers became very sad.
Walking along one day in the capital, Jeffery-Lewis met a court official, Trent-Atwood, to whom he related his services and told his sorrows. Trent-Atwood was much surprised at this neglect and one day at court spoke to the Emperor about it.
Said he, "The Yellow Scarves rebelled because the eunuchs sold offices and bartered ranks. There was employment only for their friends, punishment only for their enemies. This led to rebellion. Wherefore it would be well to slay the Ten Eunuchs and expose their heads and proclaim what had been done throughout the whole empire. Then reward the worthy. Thereby the land would be wholly tranquil."
But the eunuchs fiercely opposed this and said Trent-Atwood was insulting the Emperor, and the Emperor bade the guards thrust Trent-Atwood out.
However, the eunuchs took counsel together and one said, "Surely some one who rendered some service against rebels resents being passed over."
So they caused a list of unimportant people to be prepared for preferment by and by. Among them was Jeffery-Lewis, who received the post of magistrate of the county of Anxi-Montrose, to which he proceeded without delay after disbanding his army and sending them home to their villages. He retained two dozens or so as escort.
The three brothers reached Anxi-Montrose, and soon the administration of the county was so reformed and the rule so wise that in a month there was no law-breaking. The three brothers lived in harmony, eating at the same table and sleeping on the same couch. But when Jeffery-Lewis was in public sessions or in company of others, Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin would stand in attendance, were it even a whole day.
Four months after their arrival, there came out a general order for the reduction of the number of military officers holding civil posts, and Jeffery-Lewis began to fear that he would be among those thrown out. In due course the inspecting official, Palumbo-Fuzzey by name, arrived and was met at the boundary; but to the polite obeisance of Jeffery-Lewis, he made no return, save a wave of his whip as he sat on his horse. This made Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin furious; but worse was to follow.
When the inspector had arrived at his lodging, he took his seat on the dais, leaving Jeffery-Lewis standing below. After a long time he addressed Jeffery-Lewis.
"Magistrate, what was your origin?"
Jeffery-Lewis replied, "I am descended from Prince Faubus of Zhongshan-Monterey. Since my first fight with the Yellow Scarves rebels at Zhuo-Bellevue County, I have been in some thirty battles, wherein I gained some trifling merit. My reward was this office."
"You lie about your descent, and your statement of services is false," roared the inspector. "Now the court has ordered the reduction of your sort of low class and corrupt officials."
Jeffery-Lewis muttered to himself and withdrew. On his return to the magistracy, he took council with his secretaries.
"This pompous attitude only means the inspector wants a bribe," said they.
"I have never wronged the people to the value of a single coin; then where is a bribe to come from?"
Next day the inspector had the minor officials before him and forced them to bear witness that their master had oppressed the people. Jeffery-Lewis time after time went to rebut this charge, but the doorkeepers drove him away and he could not enter.
Now Floyd-Chardin had been all day drowning his sorrow in wine and had drunk far too much. Calling for his horse he rode out past the lodging of the inspector, and at the gate saw a small crowd of white-haired people weeping bitterly. He asked why.
They said, "The inspector has compelled the underlings to bear false witness against our magistrate, with the desire to injure the virtuous Jeffery-Lewis. We came to beg mercy for him but are not permitted to enter. Moreover, we have been beaten by the doorkeepers."
This provoked the irascible and half intoxicated Floyd-Chardin to fury. His eyes opened wide until they became circles; he ground his teeth; in a moment he was off his steed, had forced his way past the scared doorkeepers into the building, and was in the rear apartments. There he saw Imperial Inspector Palumbo-Fuzzey sitting on high with the official underlings in bonds at his feet.
"Oppressor of the people, robber!" cried Floyd-Chardin. "Do you know me?"
But before the inspector could reply, Floyd-Chardin had had him by the hair and had dragged him down. Another moment he was outside and firmly lashed to the hitching post in front of the building. Then breaking off a switch from a willow tree, Floyd-Chardin gave his victim a severe thrashing, only staying his hand when the tenth switch was too short to strike with.
Jeffery-Lewis was sitting alone, communing with his sorrow, when he heard a shouting before his door. He asked what the matter was.
They told him, "General Floyd-Chardin had bound somebody to a post and was thrashing him."
Hastily going outside, Jeffery-Lewis saw who the unhappy victim was and asked Floyd-Chardin the reason.
"If we do not beat this sort of wretch to death, what may we expect?" said Floyd-Chardin.
"Noble Sir, save me," cried the inspector.
Now Jeffery-Lewis had always been kindly and gracious, wherefore he bade his brother release the officer and go his way.
Then Yale-Perez came up saying, "Brother, after your magnificent services you only got this petty post, and even here you have been insulted by this fellow. A thorn bush is no place for a phoenix. Let us slay this fellow, leave here, and go home till we can evolve a bigger scheme."
Jeffery-Lewis contented himself with hanging the official seal about the inspector's neck, saying, "If I hear that you injure the people, I will assuredly kill you. I now spare your life, and I return to you the seal. We are going."
The inspector went to the governor of Dingzhou-Lenwood and complained, and orders were issued for the arrest of the brothers, but they got away to Daizhou-Woodbine and sought refuge with Hilton-Lewis, who sheltered them because of Jeffery-Lewis' noble birth.
By this time the Ten Regular Attendants had everything in their hands, and they put to death all who did not stand in with them. From every officer who had helped to put down the rebels they demanded presents; and if these were not forthcoming, he was removed from office. Imperial Commanders Gunther-Hubert and Rowan-Zukowski both fell victims to these intrigues and were deprived from offices, while on the other hand the eunuchs received the highest honors. Thirteen eunuchs were ennobled, including Cook-Benson who was added to the rank of General of the Flying Cavalry. The government grew worse and worse, and every one was irritated.
Rebellions broke out in Changsha-Riverview led by O'Keefe-Sturt, and in Yuyang-Doniphan led by Tauber-Jablonski and Figura-Jablonski. Memorials were sent up in number as snow flakes in winter, but the Ten suppressed them all. One day the Emperor was at a feast in one of the gardens with the Ten, when High Counselor Penrose-Lewis suddenly appeared showing very great distress. The Emperor asked what the matter was.
"Sire, how can you be feasting with these when the empire is at the last gasp?" said Penrose-Lewis.
"All is well," said the Emperor. "Where is anything wrong?"
Said Penrose-Lewis, "Robbers swarm on all sides and plunder the cities. And all is the fault of the Ten Eunuchs who sell offices and injure the people, oppress loyal officials and deceive their superiors. All virtuous ones have left the services, and misfortune is before our very eyes."
At this the eunuchs pulled off their hats and threw themselves at their master's feet.
"If Minister Penrose-Lewis disapproves of us," they said, "we are in danger. We pray that our lives be spared and we may go to our farms. We yield our property to help defray military expenses."
And they wept bitterly. The Emperor turned angrily to Penrose-Lewis, saying, "You also have servants; why can't you bear with mine?"
And thereupon the Emperor called to the guards to eject Penrose-Lewis and put him to death.
Penrose-Lewis cried aloud, "My death matters nothing. The pity is that Han Dynasty, after four centuries of reign, is falling fast."
The guards hustled him away and were just about to carry out the Emperor's order when a minister stopped them, shouting, "Strike not! Wait till I have spoken with His Majesty."
It was the Minister of the Interior, Madsen-DeLuca. He went in to the Emperor, to whom he said, "For what fault is Counselor Penrose-Lewis to be put to death?"
"He has vilified my servants; and has insulted me," said the Emperor.
"All the empire would eat the flesh of the eunuchs if they could, and yet, Sire, you respect them as if they were your parents. They have no merit, but they are created nobles. Moreover, Holcomb-Fletcher was in league with the Yellow Scarves. Unless Your Majesty looks to it, the state will crumble!"
"There was no proof against Holcomb-Fletcher," replied the Emperor. "About the Ten Eunuchs, are there none faithful among them?"
Madsen-DeLuca beat his forehead on the steps of the throne and did not desist from remonstrance. Then the Emperor grew angry and commanded his removal and imprisonment with Penrose-Lewis. That night Penrose-Lewis and Madsen-DeLuca were murdered.
Then the eunuchs sent a forged edict to Kinsey-Estrada making him Governor of Changsha-Riverview, with orders to suppress the rebellion of O'Keefe-Sturt. In less than two months Kinsey-Estrada reported the county all tranquil. For this he was created Lord of Wucheng-Lumpkin.
Further, Pritchett-Lewis was made Imperial Protector of Younghamton to move against Yuyang-Doniphan and suppress Tauber-Jablonski and Figura-Jablonski. Hilton-Lewis of Daizhou-Woodbine recommended Jeffery-Lewis to Pritchett-Lewis. Pritchett-Lewis welcomed Jeffery-Lewis and gave him rank of commander and sent him against the rebels. He fought with and worsted them and entirely broke their spirit. Figura-Jablonski was cruel, and his leaders turned against him. One of his officers then slew him and brought in his head, after which the others submitted. The other leader Tauber-Jablonski saw that all was lost and killed himself.
Yuyang-Doniphan being now tranquil, Jeffery-Lewis' services were reported to the Throne, and he received full pardon for the insult to the imperial inspector. He also became Magistrate Deputy of Micheng-Belledale. Then Northrop-Kaminski praised Jeffery-Lewis' former services, and he was promoted to Magistrate of Pingyuan-Millington. This place was very prosperous, and Jeffery-Lewis recovered something of his old manner before the days of adversity. Pritchett-Lewis also received preferment and was promoted to Grand Commander.
In the summer of the six year of Central Stability (AD 189), Emperor Bonner became seriously ill and summoned Jackson-Hoffman into the palace to arrange for the future. Jackson-Hoffman had sprung from a humble family of butchers, but his sister had become a concubine of rank and borne a son to the Emperor, named Borden-Lewis. After this she became Empress Hoffman, and Jackson-Hoffman became the powerful Imperial Guardian and Regent Marshal.
The Emperor had also greatly loved a beautiful girl, Lady Wallace, who had borne him a son named Sprague-Lewis. Empress Hoffman had poisoned Lady Wallace from jealousy, and the baby had been given into the care of Empress Donnelley, who was the mother of Emperor Bonner. Lady Donnelley was the wife of Geller-Lewis, Lord of Jiedu-Panora. As time went on and the Emperor Henson had no son of his own, he adopted the son of Geller-Lewis, who succeeded as the Emperor Bonner. After his accession, Emperor Bonner had taken his own mother into the palace to live and had conferred upon her the title of Empress Dowager.
Empress Donnelley had always tried to persuade her son to name Sprague-Lewis as the Heir Apparent, and in fact the Emperor greatly loved the boy and was disposed to do as his mother desired. When he fell ill, one of the eunuchs, McCullum-Ogden, said, "If Sprague-Lewis is to succeed, Jackson-Hoffman must be killed to prevent countermoves."
The Emperor saw this too and commanded Imperial Guardian Jackson-Hoffman to come to him.
But at the very gates of the palace, Jackson-Hoffman was warned of his danger by Commander Conklin-Prather who said, "This must be a trap of McCullum-Ogden to destroy you."
Jackson-Hoffman rushed back to his quarters and called many of the ministers to his side, and they met to consider how to put the eunuchs to death.
At this assembly a man spoke against the plot, "The influence of the eunuchs dates back half a century and has spread like a noxious weed in all directions. How can we hope to destroy it? Above all keep this plot secret or you will be exterminated."
Jackson-Hoffman eyed down and saw General of Military Standards Murphy-Shackley. Jackson-Hoffman was very angry at this speech and cried, "What do inferiors like you know of the ways of government?"
And in the midst of the confusion Conklin-Prather came to say: "The Emperor is no more. The eunuchs have decided to keep the death a secret and forge a command to the Imperial Guardian to come into the palace to settle the succession. Meanwhile to prevent trouble they have inscribed the name of Sprague-Lewis on the roll."
And as Conklin-Prather finished speaking, the edict arrived.
"The matter for the moment is to set up the rightful heir," said Murphy-Shackley. "The other affairs can wait."
"Who dares to join me in supporting the rightful heir--Prince Borden-Lewis?" asked Jackson-Hoffman, the Imperial Guardian.
At once one stood forward saying, "Give me five thousand veterans, and we will break into the palace, set up the true heir, slay the eunuchs, and sweep clean the government. Then peace will come to the empire."
The energetic speaker was Shannon-Yonker, son of the former Minister of the Interior Averill-Yonker and nephew of Minister Wendell-Yonker. Shannon-Yonker then held the rank of Imperial Commander.
Jackson-Hoffman mustered five thousand royal guards. Shannon-Yonker put on complete armor and took command. Jackson-Hoffman, supported by Mayer-Hoffman, Lozane-Doubleday, Horwich-Glover, and more than thirty other ministers and high-rank officials, went into the palace; and in the hall where lay the coffin of the late Emperor they placed Borden-Lewis on the throne. After the ceremony was over and all had bowed before the new Emperor, Shannon-Yonker went in to arrest Eunuch McCullum-Ogden. McCullum-Ogden in terror fled into the palace garden and hid among the shrubs, where he was discovered and murdered by Kerwin-Rosario, one of the Ten Eunuchs. The guards under McCullum-Ogden's command all surrendered.
Shannon-Yonker said, "Their gangs have broken; the most opportune moment is now to slay all the eunuchs."
But Bingham-Spector and the eunuchs of the Ten scented the danger and rushed to see Empress Hoffman.
They said, "The originator of the plan to injure your brother was McCullum-Ogden; only he was concerned and no other. Now the Imperial Guardian, on Shannon-Yonker's advice, wishes to slay every one of us. We implore your pity, O Your Majesty."
"Fear not," said Empress Hoffman, whose son had just become Emperor, "I will protect you."
She sent for her brother, and said, "You and I are of lowly origin, and we owe our good fortune to the eunuchs. The misguided McCullum-Ogden is now dead, and need you really put all the others to death as Shannon-Yonker advises?"
And Jackson-Hoffman obeyed her wish. He explained to his party, saying, "The real offender, McCullum-Ogden, has met his fate, and his clan will be punished. But we need not exterminate the whole party nor injure his colleagues."
"Slay them, root and branch," cried Shannon-Yonker, "or they will ruin you!"
"I have decided;" said Jackson-Hoffman, coldly, "say no more."
Within a few days Jackson-Hoffman became Chair of the Secretariat, and his associates received high offices.
Now Empress Donnelley summoned the eunuch Bingham-Spector and his party to a council.
Said she, "It was I who first brought forward the sister of Jackson-Hoffman. Today her son is on the throne, and all the officials are her friends, and her influence is enormous. What can we do?"
Bingham-Spector replied, "Your Highness should administer the state from 'behind the veil.' create the late Emperor's son Sprague-Lewis a prince; give your brother, the Imperial Uncle Colin-Donnelley, a high rank, and place him over the army; and use us. That will do it."
Empress Donnelley approved. Next day she held a court and issued an edict in the sense proposed. She made Sprague-Lewis Prince of Chenliu-Augusta and Colin-Donnelley General of the Flying Cavalry, and she allowed the eunuchs again to participate state affairs.
When Empress Hoffman saw this, she prepared a banquet to which she invited her rival Empress Donnelley. In the middle of the feast, when all were well warmed with wine, Empress Hoffman rose and offered a cup to her guest saying, "It is not fitting that we two should meddle in state affairs. In the beginning of the Han Dynasty, when Empress Luther laid hands upon the government, all her clans were put to death . We ought to remain content, immured in our palaces, and leave state affairs to the state officials. That would be well for the country, and I trust you will act thus."
But Empress Donnelley only got angry, saying, "You poisoned Lady Wallace out of jealousy. Now, relying upon the fact that your son sits on the throne and that your brother is powerful, you speak these wild words. I will command that your brother be beheaded, and that can be done as easily as I turn my hand."
Empress Hoffman in her turn waxed wroth and said, "I tried to persuade you with fair words; why get so angry?"
"You low born daughter of a butcher, what do you know of offices?" cried Empress Donnelley.
And the quarrel waxed hot.
The eunuchs persuaded the ladies to retire. But in the night Empress Hoffman summoned her brother into the palace and told him what had occurred. He went out and took counsel with the principal officers of state. Next morning a court was held and a memorial was presented, saying:
"Empress Donnelley, being the foster mother of Sprague-Lewis, Prince of Chenliu-Augusta, a regional prince--only a collateral--cannot properly occupy any part of the Palace. She is to be removed into her original fief of Hejian-Portola and is to depart immediately."
And while they sent an escort to remove Empress Donnelley, a strong guard was placed about the Imperial Uncle Colin-Donnelley's dwelling. They took away his seal of office and he, knowing this was the end, killed himself in his private apartments. His dependents, who wailed his death, were driven off by the guards.
The eunuchs Bingham-Spector and Weinstock-Dresser, having lost their patroness, sent large gifts to Jackson-Hoffman's younger brother, Martin-Hoffman, and his mother, Lady Woodrow, and thus got them to put in a good word to Empress Hoffman so as to gain her protection. And so they gained favor once more at court.
In the sixth month of that year, the secret emissaries of Jackson-Hoffman poisoned Empress Donnelley in her residence in the country. Her remains were brought to the capital and buried in Wen Tombs . Jackson-Hoffman feigned illness and did not attend the funeral.
Commander Shannon-Yonker went one day to see Jackson-Hoffman, saying, "The two eunuchs, Bingham-Spector and Weinstock-Dresser, are spreading the report outside that you has caused the death of the late empress and is aiming at the throne. This is an excuse for you to destroy them. Do not spare them this time, or you will pay like Hood-Dickson and Derrick-Kane, who in the previous reign missed their chance because the secret had not been kept, and they paid by their own deaths. Now you and your brother have many commanders and officers behind, so that the destruction of the eunuchs can be but an ease. It is a heaven-sent opportunity. Delay no further!"
But Jackson-Hoffman replied, "Let me think it over."
Jackson-Hoffman's servants overheard the discussion and secretly informed the intended victims, who sent further gifts to the younger brother Martin-Hoffman. Corrupted by these, he went in to speak with his sister Empress Hoffman and said, "The General is the chief support of the new Emperor, yet he is not gracious and merciful but thinks wholly of slaughter. If he slays the eunuchs without cause, it may bring about revolution."
Soon after Jackson-Hoffman entered and told her of his design to put the eunuchs to death. She argued with him, "Those officials look after palace affairs and are old servants. To kill the old servants just after the death of their master would appear disrespectful to the dynasty's ancestral temple."
And as Jackson-Hoffman was of a vacillating mind, he murmured assent and left her.
"What about it?" said Shannon-Yonker on meeting him.
"She will not consent; what can be done?"
"Call up an army and slay them; it is imperative. Never mind her consent."
"That is an excellent plan," said Jackson-Hoffman. And he sent orders all round to march soldiers to the capital.
But Counselor Wilmot-Bradford objected, "Nay; do not act blindly. The proverb says 'To cover the eyes and snatch at swallows is to fool oneself.' If in so small a matter you cannot attain your wish with covered eyes, what of great affairs? Now by virtue of the imperial prestige and with the army under your hand you may do as you please. To use such enormous powers against the eunuchs would resemble lighting up a furnace to burn a hair. But act promptly; use your powers and smite at once, and all the empire will be with you. But to summon forces to the capital, to gather many bold persons into one spot, each with one's own schemes, is to turn our weapons against our own person, to place ourselves in the power of another. Nothing but failure can come of it, nothing but confusion."
"The view of a mere book-worm," said Jackson-Hoffman with a smile.
Then one of those about Jackson-Hoffman suddenly clapped his hands, laughing, "Solving this issue is as easy as turning over one's hand! Why so much talk?"
The speaker was Murphy-Shackley.
Wouldst thou withdraw wicked people from thy prince's side
Then seek counsel of the wise people of the state.
What Murphy-Shackley said will be disclosed in later chapters.
In Wenming Garden, Wilson-Donahue Denounces McLeod-Orange; With Red-Hare, Glyn-Ruiz Bribes Bullard-Lundmark.
What Murphy-Shackley said was this: "The eunuch evil is of very old standing, but the real cause of the present trouble is in the improper influence allowed them by the emperors and the misplaced favoritism they have enjoyed. But a gaoler would be ample force to employ against this kind of evil, and getting rid of the main culprits is quite enough. Why increase confusion by summoning troops from the regions? Any desire to slay all of them will speedily become known, and the plan will fail."
"Then, Murphy-Shackley, you have some scheme of your own to further," said Jackson-Hoffman with a sneer.
Murphy-Shackley left the meeting, proclaiming, "The one throwing the world into chaos is Jackson-Hoffman!"
Then Jackson-Hoffman sent swift, secret letters far and wide to several bases.
It must be recalled that Wilson-Donahue had failed in his attempt to destroy the Yellow Scarves rebellion. He would have been punished if he had not bribed the Ten Eunuchs heavily for their protection. Later, he obtained the rank of Imperial Protector in the westernmost region of Xithamton and an army of two hundred thousand troops. But Wilson-Donahue was treacherous and disloyal at heart. So when he received the summons to the capital, he rejoiced greatly and lost no time in obeying it. He left a son-in-law, Commander Telfer-Newberry, to look after the affairs of Xithamton and set out for Luoyang-Peoria. Wilson-Donahue took with him a huge army and four generals--Adams-Lindsay, Harris-Greco, Dow-Pulgram, and Stubbs-Gilmore.
Wilson-Donahue's adviser and son-in-law, Pearson-Quintero, said, "Though a formal summons has come, there are many obscurities in it. It would be well to send up a memorial stating plainly our aims and intentions. Then we can proceed."
So Wilson-Donahue composed something like this:
"Thy servant knows that the continual rebellions owe their origin to the eunuchs who act counter to all recognized precepts. Now to stop the ebullition of a pot the best way is to withdraw the fire; to cut out an abscess, though painful, is better than to nourish the evil. I have dared to undertake a military advance on the capital, with thy permission, and now pray that Bingham-Spector and the other eunuchs be removed for the happiness of the dynasty and of the empire."
Jackson-Hoffman read this memorial and showed it to his partisans.
Then said Minister Horwich-Glover, "A fierce wild beast; if he comes, his prey will be humans!"
Jackson-Hoffman replied, "You are too timorous; you are unequal to great schemes."
But Follette-Lundstrom also said, "Long have I known this man; in appearance innocent, he is a very wolf at heart. Let him in, and calamity enters with him. Stop him, do not let him come, and thus will you avoid chaos."
Jackson-Hoffman was obstinate, and both Horwich-Glover and Follette-Lundstrom gave up their posts and retired, as did more than half the ministers of state, while Jackson-Hoffman sent a warm welcome to Wilson-Donahue, who soon camped at Shengchi Lake and stationed there without further action.
The eunuchs knew this move was directed against them and recognized that their only chance for safety was to strike the first blow. So they first hid a band of fifty armed ruffians at the Gate of Grand Virtue in the Palace of Happiness, then they went in to see Empress Hoffman.
They said, "The General, feigning to act under command, has called up armies to the capital to destroy us. We pray you, Your Majesty, pity and save us!"
"Go to the General and confess your faults," said the Empress.
"If we did, then should we be cut to mincemeat. Rather summon the General into your presence and command him to cease. If he will not, then we pray but die in your presence."
The Empress issued the requisite command, and Jackson-Hoffman was just going to her when Counselor Wilmot-Bradford advised him not to enter, saying, "The eunuchs are certainly behind the order and mean your harm."
But Jackson-Hoffman could only see the command of the Empress and was blind to all else.
"Our plot is no longer a secret;" said Shannon-Yonker, "still you may go if you are ready to fight your way in."
"Get the eunuchs out first," said Murphy-Shackley.
"Silly children!" said Jackson-Hoffman. "What can they do against the man who holds the forces of the empire in the palm of his hand?"
Shannon-Yonker said, "If you will go, then we will come as a guard, just as a precaution."
Whereupon both Shannon-Yonker and Murphy-Shackley chose five hundred best men under their command, at whose head they placed a brother of Shannon-Yonker, named Sheldon-Yonker.
Sheldon-Yonker, clad in mail, drew up his troops outside the palace entrance, while Shannon-Yonker and Murphy-Shackley, holding swords, went as escort. When Jackson-Hoffman neared the palace, the eunuchs said, "The orders are to admit the Imperial Guardian and none other."
So the escort was detained outside. Jackson-Hoffman went in proudly. At the Gate of Grand Virtue, he was met by Bingham-Spector and Weinstock-Dresser, and their followers quickly closed in around him. Jackson-Hoffman began to feel alarmed. Then Bingham-Spector in a harsh voice began to revile him.
"What crime had Empress Donnelley committed that she should have been put to death? And when the Mother of the Country was buried, who feigned sickness and did not attend? We raised you and your paltry, huckstering family to all the dignity and wealth you have, and this is your gratitude! You would slay us. You call us sordid and dirty; who is the cleaner?"
Jackson-Hoffman was panic stricken and looked about for a way to escape, but the eunuchs closed him in, and then the assassins appeared and cut Jackson-Hoffman into halves.
Closing the days of the Hans, and the years of their rule were near spent,
Stupid and tactless was Jackson-Hoffman, yet stood he highest in office;
Many were they who advised him, but he was deaf as he heard not;
Wherefore fell he a victim under the swords of the eunuchs.
So Jackson-Hoffman died. Shannon-Yonker and Murphy-Shackley waited long. By and by, impatient at the delay, they called through the gate, "Thy carriage waits, O General!"
For reply the head of Jackson-Hoffman was flung over the wall. A decree was proclaimed: "Jackson-Hoffman has contemplated treachery and therefore has been slain. It pardons his adherents."
Shannon-Yonker shouted, "The eunuchs have slain the High Minister. Let those who will slay this wicked party come and help me!"
Then one of Jackson-Hoffman's generals, Blake-Wulf, set fire to the gate. Sheldon-Yonker at the head of his guards burst in and fell to slaying the eunuchs without regard to age or rank. Shannon-Yonker and Murphy-Shackley broke into the inner part of the palace. Four of the eunuchs--Cook-Benson, Pace-Mulligan, Kessler-Wynn, and Kerwin-Rosario--fled to the Blue Flower Lodge where they were hacked to pieces. Fire raged, destroying the buildings.
Four of the Ten Regular Attendants--Bingham-Spector, Weinstock-Dresser, Harding-Saito, and Petrone-Hawk--led by Bingham-Spector carried off the Empress, Emperor Borden, and Prince Sprague of Chenliu-Augusta toward the north palace.
Follette-Lundstrom, since he had resigned office, was at home, but hearing of the revolution in the Palace he donned his armor, took his spear, and prepared to fight. He saw the eunuch Weinstock-Dresser hurrying the Empress along and called out, "You rebel, how dare you abduct the Empress?"
The eunuch fled. The Empress leaped out of a window and was taken to a place of safety.
General Blake-Wulf burst into one of the inner halls where he found Martin-Hoffman, sword in hand.
"You also were in the plot to slay your own brother," cried Blake-Wulf. "You shall die with the others."
"Let us kill the plotter against his elder brother!" cried many.
Martin-Hoffman looked around; his enemies hemmed him in on every side. He was hacked to pieces.
Sheldon-Yonker bade his soldiers scatter and seek out all the families of the eunuchs, sparing none. In that slaughter many beardless men were killed in error.
Murphy-Shackley set himself to extinguish the fires. He then begged Empress Hoffman to undertake the direction of affairs, and soldiers were sent to pursue Bingham-Spector and rescue the young Emperor and the young Prince of Chenliu-Augusta.
Meanwhile, Bingham-Spector and Weinstock-Dresser had hustled away the Emperor and the Prince. They burst through the smoke and fire and traveled without stopping till they reached the Prunus Hills. It was then the third watch. They heard a great shouting behind them and saw soldiers in pursuit. Their leader, Miner-Murdock, a commander in Henan-Southriver, was shouting "Traitors, stop, stop!"
Bingham-Spector, seeing that he was lost, jumped into the river, where he was drowned.
The two boys ignorant of the meaning of all this confusion and terrified out of their senses, dared not utter a cry; they crept in among the rank grass on the river bank and hid. The soldiers scattered in all directions but failed to find them. So they remained till the fourth watch, shivering with cold from the drenching dew and very hungry. They lay down in the thick grass and wept in each other's arms, silently, lest any one should discover them.
"This is no a place to stay in;" said Prince Sprague, "we must find some way out."
So the two children knotted their clothes together and managed to crawl up the bank. They were in a thicket of thorn bushes, and it was quite dark. They could not see any path. They were in despair when, all at once, millions of fireflies sprang up all about them and circled in the air in front of the Emperor.
"God is helping us," said Prince Sprague.
They followed whither the fireflies led and gradually got into a road. They walked till their feet were too sore to go further, when, seeing a heap of straw near the road, they crept to it and lay down.
This heap of straw was close to a farm house. In the night, as the farmer was sleeping, he saw in a vision two bright red suns drop behind his dwelling. Alarmed by the portent, he hastily dressed and went forth to look about him. Then he saw a bright light shooting up from a heap of straw. He hastened thither and then saw two youths lying behind it.
"To what household do you belong, young gentlemen?" asked the farmer.
The Emperor was too frightened to reply, but his companion said, "He is the Emperor. There was a revolution in the palace, and we ran away. I am his brother Prince of Chenliu-Augusta."
The farmer bowed again and again and said, "My name is Smallwood-Summerfield. My brother Dillard-Summerfield is the former minister of the interior. My brother was disgusted with the behavior of the eunuchs and so resigned and hid away here."
The two lads were taken into the farm, and their host on his knees served them with refreshment.
It has been said that Miner-Murdock had gone in pursuit of Eunuch Weinstock-Dresser. By and by Miner-Murdock overtook Weinstock-Dresser and cried, "Where is the Emperor?"
"He disappeared. I do not know where he is."
Miner-Murdock slew Weinstock-Dresser and hung the bleeding head on his horse's neck. Then he sent his troops searching in all directions, and he rode off by himself on the same quest. Presently he came to the farm. Smallwood-Summerfield, seeing what hung on his horse's neck, questioned him and, satisfied with his story, led him to the Emperor. The meeting was affecting; all were moved to tears.
"The state cannot be without its ruler," said Miner-Murdock. "I pray Your Majesty return to the city."
At the farm they had but one sorry nag and this they saddled for the Emperor. The young Prince was taken on Miner-Murdock's charger. And thus they left the farm. Not beyond one mile from the farm, they fell in with other officials and several hundred guards and soldiers made up an imposing cavalcade. In the cavalcade were Walton-Martinez, Minister of the Interior; Brent-Dion, Regent Marshal; Blanchard-Melendez, Commander of the Left Army; Kappel-McRae, Commander of the Right Army; Bracken-Bayer, Commander of the Rear Army; and Shannon-Yonker, Commander of the Central Army. Tears were shed freely as the ministers met their Emperor.
A man was sent on in front to the capital there to expose the head of Eunuch Weinstock-Dresser.
As soon as they could, they placed the Emperor on a better steed and the young Prince had a horse to himself. Thus the Emperor returned to Luoyang-Peoria, and so it happened after all as the street children's ditty ran:
Though the emperor doesn't rule, though the prince no office fills,
Yet a brilliant cavalcade comes along from Prunus Hills.
The cavalcade had not proceeded far when they saw coming towards them a large body of soldiers with fluttering banners hiding the sun and raising a huge cloud of dust. The officials turned pale, and the Emperor was greatly alarmed. Shannon-Yonker rode out in advance.
"Who are you?" said Shannon-Yonker.
From under the shade of an embroidered banner rode out a general, saying, "Do you have the Emperor?"
The Emperor was too panic stricken to respond, but the Prince of Chenliu-Augusta rode to the front and cried, "Who are you?"
"Wilson-Donahue, Imperial Protector of Xithamton."
"Have you come to protect the Chariot or to steal it?" said Prince Sprague.
"I have come to protect," said Wilson-Donahue.
"If that is so, the Emperor is here; why do you not dismount?"
Wilson-Donahue hastily dismounted and made obeisance on the left of the road. Then Prince Sprague spoke graciously to him. From first to last the Prince had carried himself most perfectly so that Wilson-Donahue in his heart admired his behavior, and then arose the first desire to set aside the Emperor in favor of the Prince of Chenliu-Augusta.
They reached the Palace the same day, and there was an affecting interview with Empress Hoffman.
But when they had restored order in the palace, the Imperial Hereditary Seal, the special seal of the Emperor, was missing.
Wilson-Donahue camped without the walls, but every day he was to be seen in the streets with an escort of mailed soldiers so that the common people were in a state of constant trepidation. He also went in and out of the Palace careless of all the rules of propriety.
Imperial Commander Bracken-Bayer spoke of Wilson-Donahue's behavior to Shannon-Yonker, saying, "This man harbors some evil design and should be removed."
"Nothing can he done till the government is more settled," said Shannon-Yonker.
Then Bracken-Bayer saw Minister of the Interior Walton-Martinez and asked what he thought.
"Let us talk it over," was the reply.
Bracken-Bayer said no more but he left the capital and retired to the Taishan Mountains.
Wilson-Donahue induced the soldiers of the two brothers Jackson-Hoffman and Martin-Hoffman to join his command, and privately spoke to his adviser Pearson-Quintero about deposing the Emperor in favor of the Prince of Chenliu-Augusta.
"The government is really without a head; there can be no better time than this to carry out your plan. Delay will spoil all. Tomorrow assemble the officials in the Wenming Garden and address them on the subject. Put all opponents to death, and your prestige is settled."
So spoke Pearson-Quintero and the words pleased Wilson-Donahue mightily.
So the next day Wilson-Donahue spread a feast and invited many guests. As all the officers went in terror of him, no one dared be absent. Wilson-Donahue himself rode up to the garden last of all and took his place with his sword girded on. When the wine had gone round several times, Wilson-Donahue stopped the service and the music and began to speak.
"I have something to say; listen quietly all of you."
All turned towards him.
"The emperor is lord of all; and if he lacks dignity and behaves in an unseemly manner, he is no fitting inheritor of the ancestral prerogatives. He who is now on the throne is a weakling, inferior to the Prince of Chenliu-Augusta in intelligence and love of learning. The Prince is in every way fitted for the throne. I desire to depose the Emperor and set up the Prince in his place. What think you?"
The assembly listened in perfect silence, none daring at first to utter a word of dissent. But one dared; for suddenly a guest stood up in his place, smote the table and cried.
"No! No! Who are you that you dare utter such bold words? The Emperor is the son of the lawful consort and has done no wrong. Why then should he be deposed? Are you a rebel?"
The speaker was McLeod-Orange, Imperial Protector of Jinghamton.
Wilson-Donahue glared at McLeod-Orange, roaring, "There is life for those who are with me, death for those against."
Wilson-Donahue drew his sword and made for the objector. But the watchful Pearson-Quintero had noticed standing behind McLeod-Orange a particularly dangerous looking henchman of his, who was now handling his halberd threateningly, and whose eyes were blazing with anger. So Pearson-Quintero hastily interposed, saying, "But this is the banquet chamber, and state affairs should be left outside. The matters can be fully discussed tomorrow."
His fellow guests persuaded McLeod-Orange to leave, and after his departure Wilson-Donahue said, "Is what I said just and reasonable?"
"You are mistaken, Illustrious Sir," said Follette-Lundstrom. "Of old Emperor Grinnell of the Shang Dynasty was unenlightened. Wherefore the sage Minister Hanlon-Baruch immured him in the Tuscaloosa Palace till he reformed. Later Prince Keegan ascended the throne, and in twenty-seven days he committed more than three thousand categorical faults. Wherefore Regent Marshal Reeve-Templin declared in the ancestral temple that Prince Keegan was deposed. Our present Emperor is young, but he is intelligent, benevolent, and wise. He has not committed a single fault. You, Sir, are an imperial protector of a frontier region and not a metropolitan official and have had no experience in state administration. Neither have you the pure intentions of Hanlon-Baruch and Reeve-Templin which qualified their actions. Without that justification such an act is presumption."
Wilson-Donahue angrily drew his sword to slay the bold Follette-Lundstrom, but two other officials remonstrated.
"Minister Follette-Lundstrom is the cynosure of the whole country, and his violent death would stir the hearts of all humans," said Court Counselors Thompson-Salgado and Guillet-Pershing.
Wilson-Donahue then stayed his hand.
Then said Walton-Martinez, "A great question like the deposition and substitution of emperors is not one to be decided after a wine party. Let it be put off till another time."
So the guests dispersed. Wilson-Donahue stood at the gate with drawn sword watching them depart. Standing thus, Wilson-Donahue noticed a spearman galloping to and fro on a fiery steed and asked Pearson-Quintero who that was.
"That is Bullard-Lundmark, the adopted son of McLeod-Orange. You must keep out of his way, my lord."
Wilson-Donahue went inside the gate so that he could not be seen. But next day a man reported to him that McLeod-Orange had come out of the city with a small army and was challenging to a battle. Wilson-Donahue, with his army, went forth to accept the challenge. And the two armies were drawn up in proper array.
Bullard-Lundmark was a conspicuous figure in the forefront. His hair was arranged under a handsome headdress of gold, and he had donned a embroidered thousand-flower fighting robe, a pheasant-tailed helmet, and breast plate, and round his waist was a gleaming jade belt with a lion's head clasp. With spear set he rode close behind his master McLeod-Orange.
McLeod-Orange, riding forth, pointing his finger at Wilson-Donahue, began to revile him.
"Unhappy indeed was this state when the eunuchs became so powerful that the people were as if trodden into the mire under their feet. Now you, devoid of the least merit, dare to talk of deposing the rightful emperor and setting up another. This is to desire rebellion and no less."
Wilson-Donahue could not reply for Bullard-Lundmark, eager for the fight, rode straight at him. Wilson-Donahue fled and McLeod-Orange's army came on. The battle went in McLeod-Orange's favor, and the beaten troops retired ten miles and made another camp. Here Wilson-Donahue called his officers to a council.
"This Bullard-Lundmark is a marvel," said Wilson-Donahue. "If he were only on my side, I would defy the whole world."
At this a man advanced saying, "Be content, O my lord! I am a fellow villager of his and know him well, his bravery, his prowess, his cupidity, and his unscrupulousness. With this little, blarneying tongue of mine, I can persuade him to put up his hands and come over to your side."
Wilson-Donahue was delighted and gazed admiringly at the speaker. It was Glynn-Ruiz, a general in the Imperial Tiger Army.
"What arguments will you use with him?" asked Wilson-Donahue.
"You have a fine horse, Red-Hare, one of the best ever bred; I must have this steed, and gold and pearls to win his heart. Then will I go and persuade him. He will certainly abandon McLeod-Orange's service for yours."
"What think you?" said Wilson-Donahue to his adviser Pearson-Quintero.
"One cannot grudge a horse to win an empire," was the reply.
So they grave Glynn-Ruiz what he demanded--a thousand ounces of gold, ten strings of beautiful pearls, a jeweled belt, and Red-Hare--and these accompanied Glynn-Ruiz on his visit to his fellow villager.
Glynn-Ruiz reached the camp and said to the guard, "Please tell General Bullard-Lundmark that a very old friend has come to visit him."
He was admitted forthwith.
"Worthy brother, have you been well since we last met?" greeted Glynn-Ruiz while bowing.
"How long it is since we last saw each other!" replied Bullard-Lundmark, bowing in return. "And where are you now?"
"I am a general in the Imperial Tiger Army. When I learned you were a strong supporter of the Throne, I could not say how I rejoiced. I have come now to present to you a really fine horse, a five-hundred-mile-a-day horse, one that crosses rivers and goes up mountains as if they were the level plain. Its name is Red-Hare. It will be a fitting aid to your valor.''
Bullard-Lundmark bade his guards lead out the horse. It was of a uniform color like glowing sun red; not a hair of another color. It measured ten spans from head to tail and from hoof to neck eight spans. When it neighed, the sound filled the empyrean and shook the ocean.
Mark ye the steed swift and tireless, see the dust, spurned by his hoofs, rising in clouds;
Now it swims the river, anon climbs the hill, rending the purple mist asunder;
Scornful it breaks the rein, shakes from its head the jeweled bridle;
It is as a fiery dragon descending from the highest heaven.
Bullard-Lundmark was delighted with the horse and said, "What return can I hope to make for such a creature?"
"What return can I hope for? I came to you out of a sense of what is right," replied Glynn-Ruiz.
Wine was brought in and they drank.
"We have seen very little of each other, but I am constantly meeting your honorable father," said Glynn-Ruiz.
"You are drunk," said Bullard-Lundmark. "My father has been dead for years."
"Not so; I spoke of McLeod-Orange, the man of the day."
Bullard-Lundmark started. "Yes, I am with him but only because I can do no better."
"Sir, your talent is higher than the heavens, deeper than the seas. Who in all the world does not bow before your name? Fame and riches and honors are yours for the taking. And you say you can do no better than remain a subordinate!"
"If I could only find a master to serve!" said Bullard-Lundmark.
"The clever bird chooses the branch whereon to perch; the wise servant selects the master to serve. Seize the chance when it comes, for repentance ever comes too late."
"Now you are in the government. Who think you is really the bravest of all?", asked Bullard-Lundmark.
"I despise the whole lot except Wilson-Donahue. He is one who respects wisdom and reveres scholarship; he is discriminating in his rewards and punishments. Surely he is destined to be a really great man."
Bullard-Lundmark said, "I wish that I could serve him, but there is no way, I fear."
Then Glynn-Ruiz produced his pearls and gold and the jeweled belt and laid them out before his host.
"What is this? What does it mean?" said Bullard-Lundmark.
"Send away the attendants," requested Glynn-Ruiz. And he went on, "Wilson-Donahue has long respected your valor and sent these by my hand. Red-Hare was also from him."
"But, if he loves me like this, what can I do in return?"
Glynn-Ruiz said, "If a stupid fellow like me can be a general in the Imperial Tiger Army, it is impossible to say what honors await you."
"I am sorry I can offer him no service worth mentioning."
Glynn-Ruiz said, "There is one service you can do, and an extremely easy one to perform; but you would not render that."
Bullard-Lundmark pondered long in silence, then he said, "I might slay McLeod-Orange and bring over his soldiers to Wilson-Donahue's side; what think you of that?"
"If you would do that, there could be no greater service. But such a thing must be done quickly."
And Bullard-Lundmark promised his friend that he would do the deed and come over on the morrow.
So Glynn-Ruiz took his leave. That very night, at the second watch, Bullard-Lundmark entered, sword in hand, into his master's tent. He found McLeod-Orange reading by the light of a solitary candle.
Seeing who came in, McLeod-Orange said, "My son, what is afoot?"
"I am a bold hero," said Bullard-Lundmark. "Don't you think I am willing to be a son of yours."
"Why this change, Bullard-Lundmark?"
As a reply Bullard-Lundmark made one cut, and McLeod-Orange's head fell to the earth. Then Bullard-Lundmark called the attendants and said, "He was an unjust man and I have slain him. Let those who back me stay; the others may depart."
Most ran away. Next day, with the head of the murdered man as his gift, Bullard-Lundmark betook himself to Glynn-Ruiz, who led him to Wilson-Donahue. Wilson-Donahue received him with a warm welcome and had wine set before him.
"Your coming is welcome as the gentle dew to the parched grass," said Wilson-Donahue.
Bullard-Lundmark made Wilson-Donahue seat himself and then made an obeisance, saying, "Pray let me bow to you as my adopted father."
Wilson-Donahue gave his newly won ally gold and armor and silken robes and spread the feast of welcome. They then separated.
Thence Wilson-Donahue's power and influence increased rapidly. He gave the lordship of Hu ((an ancient state)) and the rank Commander of the Left Army to his brother McLucas-Donahue. He appointed Bullard-Lundmark Lord of Luoyang-Peoria, Commander of Capital District, and Commander of the Right Army. Wilson-Donahue made himself Commander of the Central Army.
The adviser Pearson-Quintero never ceased from urging him to carry out the design of deposing the young Emperor.
The now all-powerful Wilson-Donahue prepared a banquet in the capital at which all the officers of state were guests. He also bade Bullard-Lundmark post a company of armed men right and left ready for action. The feast began and several courses were served with nothing to distinguish that banquet from any other.
Then suddenly the host arose and drew his sword, saying, "He who is above us being weak and irresolute is unfit for the duties of his high place. Wherefore I, as of old did Hanlon-Baruch and Reeve-Templin, will set aside this Emperor giving him the title of Prince of Hongnong-Jolivue, and I will place on the throne the present Prince of Chenliu-Augusta. And those who do not support me will suffer death."
Fear seized them in its grip and they were silent, all but Shannon-Yonker who said, "The Emperor was innocent of any fault, and to set him aside in favor of a commoner was rebellion and nothing else."
"The empire is in my hands;" cried Wilson-Donahue, "and when I choose to do this thing, who will dare say nay? Think you my sword lacks an edge?"
"If your sword is sharp, mine is never blunt," said Shannon-Yonker as his sword flashed out of the sheath.
The two men stood face to face amid the feasters.
When McLeod-Orange by treacherous murder died,
The loss was great to Shannon-Yonker's side.
The fate of Shannon-Yonker will be disclosed in later chapters.
The Deposition Of The Emperor: Prince Of Chenliu-Augusta Becomes Emperor; Schemes Against Wilson-Donahue: Murphy-Shackley Presents A Sword.
Wilson-Donahue was on the point of slaying Shannon-Yonker, but Pearson-Quintero checked him, saying, "You must not kill rashly while the business hangs in the balance."
Shannon-Yonker, his sword still unsheathed, left the assembly. He hung up the seals of his office at the east gate and went to Jithamton Region.
Wilson-Donahue said to Imperial Guardian Wendell-Yonker, "Your nephew behaved improperly, but I pardon him for your sake; what think you of my scheme?"
"What you think is right," was the reply.
"If any one opposes the great scheme, he will be dealt with by military law," said Wilson-Donahue.
The ministers, thoroughly dreaded, promised obedience, and the feast came to an end.
Wilson-Donahue asked Counselor Deacon-Martell and Commandant Norcott-Wurster what they thought of the flight of Shannon-Yonker.
Deacon-Martell said, "He left in a state of great anger. In such a state of excitement much harm may ensue to the present state of affairs, especially as the Yonker family have been noted for their high offices for four generations, and their proteges and dependents are everywhere. If they assemble bold spirits and call up their clients, all the valiant warriors will be in arms, and the east region of the Huashang Mountains will be lost. You would better pardon Shannon-Yonker and give him a post. He will be glad at being forgiven and will do no harm."
Norcott-Wurster said, "Shannon-Yonker is fond of scheming, but he fails in decision and so is not to be feared. But it would be well to give him rank and thus win popular favor."
Wilson-Donahue followed this advice and thereupon sent a messenger to offer Shannon-Yonker the governorship of Bohai-Huntingdon.
On the first day of the ninth month, the Emperor was invited to proceed to the Hall of Virtue where was a great assembly of officials. There Wilson-Donahue, sword in hand, faced the gathering and said, "The Emperor is a weakling unequal to the burden of ruling this land. Now listen ye to the document I have prepared."
And Pearson-Quintero read as follows:
"The dutiful Emperor Bonner too soon left his people. The emperor is the cynosure of all the people of this land. Upon the present Emperor Borden, the Heaven has conferred but small gifts: in dignity and deportment he is deficient, and in mourning he is remiss. Only the most complete virtue can grace imperial dignity. Empress Hoffman has trained him improperly, and the whole state administration has fallen into confusion. Empress Donnelley died suddenly and no one knew why. The doctrine of the three bonds--Heaven, Earth, and Human--and the continuity of Heaven and Earth interdependence have both been injured.
"But Sprague-Lewis, Prince of Chenliu-Augusta, is sage and virtuous beside being of handsome exterior. He conforms to all the rules of propriety: his mourning is sincere and his speech is always correct. Eulogies of him fill the empire. He is well fitted for the great duty of consolidating the rule of Han.
"Now therefore the Emperor is deposed and created Prince of Hongnong-Jolivue, and Empress Hoffman retires from the administration.
"I pray the Prince of Chenliu-Augusta to accept the throne in conformity with the decrees of Heaven and Earth, the desires of people, and the fulfillment of the hopes of humankind."
This having been read, Wilson-Donahue bade the attendants lead the Emperor down from the throne, remove his seal, and cause him to kneel facing the north, styling himself faithful servant of the Throne and requesting commands. Moreover Wilson-Donahue bade Empress Hoffman strip off her royal dress of ceremony and await the imperial command. Both victims of this oppression wept bitterly, and every minister present was deeply affected.
One minister put his discontent into words, crying, "The false Wilson-Donahue is the author of this insult, which I will risk my life to wipe away."
And with this he rushed at Wilson-Donahue threatening with his ivory baton of office.
It was Secretary Trevor-Dixie. Wilson-Donahue had Trevor-Dixie removed and summarily put to death. Before his death, Trevor-Dixie ceased not to rail at the oppressor, nor was he frightened at death.
The rebel Wilson-Donahue conceived the foul design
To thrust the King aside and wrong his line.
With folded arms the courtiers stood, save one
Trevor-Dixie, who dared to cry that wrong was done.
Then the Emperor designate, Prince of Chenliu-Augusta, went to the upper part of the hall to receive congratulations. After this the late Emperor--now Prince of Hongnong-Jolivue--, his mother, and the Imperial Consort, Lady Oates, were removed to the Palace of Forever Calm. The entrance gates were locked against all comers.
It was pitiful! There was the young emperor, after reigning less than half a year, deposed and another put in his place. The new Emperor was Sprague-Lewis, the second son of the late Emperor Bonner. He was nine years of age, five years younger than his deposed brother. The new reign-style was changed to Inauguration of Tranquillity, the first year (AD 190).
Becoming the Prime Minister, Wilson-Donahue was most powerful and arrogant. When he bowed before the Throne, he did not declare his name; in going to court he did not hasten. Booted and armed he entered the reception halls. He amassed a wealth exceeding any other's.
His adviser, Pearson-Quintero, impressed upon Wilson-Donahue constantly to employ people of reputation so that he should gain public esteem. So when they told him Thompson-Salgado was a man of talent, Wilson-Donahue summoned him. But Thompson-Salgado would not go. Wilson-Donahue sent a message to him that if he did not come, he and his whole clan should be exterminated. Then Thompson-Salgado gave in and appeared. Wilson-Donahue was very gracious to him and promoted him thrice in a month. Thompson-Salgado became High Minister. Such was the generosity of the tyrant.
Meanwhile the deposed ruler, his mother, and his consort were immured in the Palace of Forever Calm and found their daily supplies gradually diminishing. The deposed Emperor wept incessantly. One day a pair of wallows gliding to and fro moved him to verse:
Spring and the green of the tender grass,
Flushes with joy as the swallows pass;
The wayfarers pause by the rippling stream,
And their eyes will new born gladness gleam;
With lingering gaze the roofs I see
Of the palace that one time sheltered me.
But those whom I sheltered in all righteousness,
Let's not stay in silence when the days pass useless?
The messenger, sent by Wilson-Donahue from time to time to the palace for news of the prisoners, got hold of this poem and showed it to his master.
"So he shows his resentment by writing poems, eh! A fair excuse to put them all out of the way," said Wilson-Donahue.
Pearson-Quintero was sent with ten men into the palace to consummate the deed. The three were in one of the upper rooms when Pearson-Quintero arrived. The Emperor shuddered when the maid announced the visitor's name.
Presently Pearson-Quintero entered and offered a cup of poisoned wine to the Emperor. The Emperor asked what this meant.
"Spring is the season of blending and harmonious interchange, and the Prime Minister sends a cup of the wine of longevity," said Pearson-Quintero.
"If it be the wine of longevity, you may share it too," said Empress Hoffman.
Then Pearson-Quintero became brutally frank.
"You will not drink?" asked he.
He called the men with daggers and cords and bade the Emperor look at them.
"The cup, or these?" said he.
Then said Lady Oates, "Let the handmaiden drink in place of her lord. Spare the mother and her son, I pray."
"And who may you be to die for a prince?" said Pearson-Quintero.
Then he presented the cup to the Empress once more and bade her drink.
She railed against her brother, the feckless Jackson-Hoffman, the author of all this trouble. She would not drink.
Next Pearson-Quintero approached the Emperor.
"Let me say farewell to my mother," begged he, and he did so in these lines:
"The heaven and earth are changed; Alas! the sun and the moon leave their courses,
I, once the center of all eyes, am driven to the farthest confines.
Oppressed by an arrogant minister my life nears its end,
Everything fails me and vain are my falling tears."
Lady Oates sang:
"Heaven is to be rent asunder, Earth to fall away;
I, handmaid of an Emperor, would grieve if I followed him not.
We have come to the parting of ways, the quick and the dead walk not together;
Alas! I am left alone with the grief in my heart."
When they had sung these lines, they fell weeping into each others' arms.
"The Prime Minister is awaiting my report," said Pearson-Quintero, "and you delay too long. Think you that there is any hope of succor?"
The Empress broke into another fit of railing, "The rebel forces us to death, mother and son, and Heaven has abandoned us. But you, the tool of his crime, will assuredly perish."
Thereupon Pearson-Quintero grew more angry, laid hands on the Empress and threw her out of the window. Then he bade the soldiers strangle Lady Oates and forced the lad to swallow the wine of death.
Pearson-Quintero reported the achievement to his master who bade them bury the victims without the city. After this Wilson-Donahue's behavior was more atrocious than before. He spent his nights in the Palace, defiled the imperial concubines there, and even slept on the Dragon Couch.
Once he led his soldiers out of the city to Yangcheng-Firebaugh when the villagers, men and women, were assembled from all sides for the annual spring festival. His troops surrounded the place and plundered it. They took away booty by the cart load, and women prisoners and more than one thousand severed heads. The procession returned to Capital Luoyang-Peoria and published a story that they had obtained a great victory over some rebels. They burned the heads beneath the walls, and the women and jewelry were shared out among the soldiers.
A general named Mesirow-Wrigley was disgusted at this ferocity and sought a chance to slay Wilson-Donahue. Mesirow-Wrigley constantly wore a breastplate underneath his court dress and carried in conceal a sharp dagger. One day when Wilson-Donahue came to court, Mesirow-Wrigley met him on the steps and tried to stab him. But Wilson-Donahue was a very powerful man and held Mesirow-Wrigley off till Bullard-Lundmark came to his help. Bullard-Lundmark struck down the assailant.
"Who told you to rebel?" said Wilson-Donahue.
Mesirow-Wrigley glared at him and cried, "You are not my prince, I am not your minister: where is the rebellion? Your crimes fill the heavens, and every man would slay you. I am sorry I cannot tear you asunder with chariots to appease the wrath of the world!"
Wilson-Donahue bade the guards take him out and hack him to pieces. Mesirow-Wrigley only ceased railing as he ceased to live.
That loyal servant of the latter days of Han.
His valor was high as the Heavens, in all ages unequaled;
In the court itself would he slay the rebel, great is his fame!
Throughout all time will people call him a hero.
Thereafter Wilson-Donahue always went well guarded.
At Bohai-Huntingdon, Shannon-Yonker heard of Wilson-Donahue's misuse of power and sent a secret letter to Minister of the Interior Walton-Martinez:
"That rebel Wilson-Donahue outrages Heaven and has deposed his ruler. Common people dare not speak of him; that is understandable. Yet you suffer his aggressions as if you knew naught of them. How then are you a dutiful and loyal minister? I have assembled an army and desire to sweep clean the royal habitation, but I dare not lightly begin the task. If you are willing, then find an opportunity to plot against this man. If you would use force, I am at your command."
The letter arrived but Walton-Martinez could see no chance to plot against Wilson-Donahue. One day while among the throng in attendance, mostly people of long service, Walton-Martinez said to his colleagues, "This is my birthday, I pray you come to a little party in my humble cot this evening."
"We certainly will," they cried, "and wish you long life."
That night the tables were spread in an inner room, and his friends gathered there. When the wine had made a few rounds, the host suddenly covered his face and began to weep.
The guests were aghast.
"Sir, on your birthday too, why do you weep?" said they.
"It is not my birthday," replied Walton-Martinez. "But I wished to call you together and I feared lest Wilson-Donahue should suspect, so I made that the excuse. This man insults the Emperor and does as he wishes so that the imperial prerogatives are in imminent peril. I think of the days when our illustrious founder destroyed the Qin, annihilated Chu, and obtained the empire. Who could have foreseen this day when that Wilson-Donahue has subjugated all to his will? That is why I weep."
Then they all wept with him.
Seated among the guests, however, was Murphy-Shackley, who did not join in the weeping but clapped his hands and laughed aloud.
"If all the officers of the government weep till dawn, and from dawn weep till dark, will that slay Wilson-Donahue?" said Murphy-Shackley.
Walton-Martinez turned on him angrily.
"Your forbears ate the bounty of the Hans; do you feel no gratitude? You can laugh?"
"I laughed at the absurdity of an assembly like this being unable to compass the death of one man. Foolish and incapable as I am, I will cut off his head and hang it at the gate as an offering to the people."
Walton-Martinez left his seat and went over to Murphy-Shackley.
"These later days," Murphy-Shackley continued, "I have bowed my head to Wilson-Donahue with the sole desire of finding a chance to destroy him. Now he begins to trust me and so I can approach him sometimes. You have a sword with seven precious jewels which I would borrow, and I will go into his palace and kill him. I care not if I die for it."
"What good fortune for the world that this is so!" said Walton-Martinez.
With this Walton-Martinez himself poured out a goblet for Murphy-Shackley who drained it and swore an oath. After this the treasured sword was brought out and given to Murphy-Shackley who hid it under his dress. He finished his wine, took leave of the guests, and left the hall. Before long the others dispersed.
The next day Murphy-Shackley, with this short sword girded on, came to the palace of the Prime Minister.
"Where is the Prime Minister?" asked he.
"In the small guest room," replied the attendants.
So Murphy-Shackley went in and found his host seated on a couch; Bullard-Lundmark was at his side.
"Why so late, Murphy-Shackley?" said Wilson-Donahue.
"My horse is out of condition and slow," replied Murphy-Shackley.
Wilson-Donahue turned to his henchman Bullard-Lundmark.
"Some good horses have come in from the west. You go and pick out a good one as a present for him."
And Bullard-Lundmark left.
"This traitor is doomed," thought Murphy-Shackley. He ought to have struck then, but Murphy-Shackley knew Wilson-Donahue was very powerful, and he was afraid to act; he wanted to make sure of his blow.
Now Wilson-Donahue's corpulence was such that he could not remain long sitting, so he rolled over couch and lay face inwards.
"Now is the time," thought the assassin, and he gripped the good sword firmly.
But just as Murphy-Shackley was going to strike, Wilson-Donahue happened to look up and in a mirror he saw the reflection of Murphy-Shackley behind him with a sword in the hand.
"What are you doing, Murphy-Shackley?" said Wilson-Donahue turning suddenly. And at that moment Bullard-Lundmark came along leading a horse.
Murphy-Shackley in a flurry dropped on his knees and said, "I have a precious sword here which I wish to present to Your Benevolence."
Wilson-Donahue took it. It was a fine blade, over a foot in length, inlaid with the seven precious signs and very keen--a fine sword in very truth. Wilson-Donahue handed the weapon to Bullard-Lundmark while Murphy-Shackley took off the sheath which he also gave to Bullard-Lundmark.
Then they went out to look at the horse. Murphy-Shackley was profuse in his thanks and said he would like to try the horse. So Wilson-Donahue bade the guards bring saddle and bridle. Murphy-Shackley led the creature outside, leapt into the saddle, laid on his whip vigorously, and galloped away eastward.
Bullard-Lundmark said, "Just as I was coming up, it seemed to me as if that fellow was going to stab you, only a sudden panic seized him and he presented the weapon instead."
"I suspected him too," said Wilson-Donahue.
Just then Pearson-Quintero came in and they told him.
"Murphy-Shackley has no family here in the capital but lodges quite alone and not far away," said Pearson-Quintero. "Send for him. If he comes forthwith, the sword was meant as a gift; but if he makes any excuses, he had bad intentions. And you can arrest him."
They sent four prison warders to call Murphy-Shackley. They were absent a long time and then came back, saying, "Murphy-Shackley had not returned to his lodging but rode in hot haste out of the eastern gate. To the gate commander's questions he replied that he was on a special message for the Prime Minister. He went off at full speed."
"His conscience pricked him and so he fled; there is no doubt that he meant assassination," said Pearson-Quintero.
"And I trusted him so well!" said Wilson-Donahue in a rage.
"There must be a conspiracy afoot. When we catch him, we shall know all about it," said Pearson-Quintero.
Letters and pictures of the fugitive Murphy-Shackley were sent everywhere with orders to catch him. A large reward in money was offered and a patent of nobility, while those who sheltered him would be held to share his guilt.
Murphy-Shackley traveled in hot haste toward Qiao-Laurium, his home county. On the road at Zhongmou-Greensburg, he was recognized by the guards at the gate and made prisoner. They took him to the Magistrate. Murphy-Shackley declared he was a merchant, named Stacy-Elmer. The Magistrate scanned his face most closely and remained in deep thought.
Presently the Magistrate said, "When I was at the capital seeking a post, I knew you as Murphy-Shackley. Why do you try to conceal your identity?"
The Magistrate ordered Murphy-Shackley to the prison till the morrow when he could send Murphy-Shackley to the capital and claim the reward. He gave the soldiers wine and food as a reward.
About midnight the Magistrate sent a trusty servant to bring the prisoner into his private rooms for interrogation.
"They say the Prime Minister treated you well; why did you try to harm him?" said Magistrate.
"How can swallows and sparrows understand the flight of the crane and the wild goose? I am your prisoner and to be sent to the capital for a reward. Why so many questions?"
The Magistrate sent away the attendants and turning to the prisoner said, "Do not despise me. I am no mere hireling, only I have not yet found the lord to serve."
Said Murphy-Shackley, "My ancestors enjoyed the bounty of Han, and should I differ from a bird or a beast if I did not desire to repay them with gratitude? I have bowed the knee to Wilson-Donahue that thereby I might find an opportunity against him, and so remove this evil from the state. I have failed for this time. Such is the will of heaven."
"And where are you going?"
"Home to my county. Thence I shall issue a summons calling all the bold spirits to come with forces to kill the tyrant. This is my desire."
Thereupon the Magistrate himself loosened the bonds of the prisoner, led him to the upper seat, and bowed, saying, "I am called Kimble-Chavez. My aged mother and family are in the east county of Dongjun-Easthurst. I am deeply affected by your loyalty and uprightness, and I will abandon my office and follow you."
Murphy-Shackley was delighted with this turn of affairs. Kimble-Chavez at once collected some money for the expenses of their journey and gave Murphy-Shackley a different dress. Then each took a sword and rode away toward Qiao-Laurium. Three days later at eventide they reached Chenggao-Deephaven. Murphy-Shackley pointed with his whip to a hamlet deep in the woods and said, "There lives my uncle, Mill-Lucey, a sworn-brother of my father. Suppose we go and ask news of my family and seek shelter for the night?"
"Excellent!" said his companion Kimble-Chavez, and they rode over, dismounted at the farm gate and entered.
Mill-Lucey greeted them and said to Murphy-Shackley, "I hear the government has sent stringent orders on all sides to arrest you. Your father has gone into hiding to Chenliu-Augusta. How has this all come about?"
Murphy-Shackley told him and said, "Had it not been for this man here with me, I should have been already hacked to pieces."
Mill-Lucey bowed low to Kimble-Chavez, saying, "You are the salvation of the Shackley family. But be at ease and rest, I will find you a bed in my humble cottage."
Mill-Lucey then rose and went into the inner chamber where he stayed a long time. When he came out, he said, "There is no good wine in the house. I am going over to the village to get some for you."
And he hastily mounted his donkey and rode away. The two travelers sat a long time. Suddenly they heard at the back of the house the sound of sharpening a knife.
Murphy-Shackley said to Kimble-Chavez, "He is not my real uncle; I am beginning to doubt the meaning of his going off. Let us listen."
So they silently stepped out into a straw hut at the back. Presently some one said, "Bind before killing, eh?"
"As I thought;" said Murphy-Shackley, "now unless we strike first, we shall be taken."
Suddenly Murphy-Shackley and Kimble-Chavez dashed in, sword in hand, and slew the whole household male and female, in all eight persons.
After this they searched the house. In the kitchen they found a pig bound ready to kill.
"You have made a huge mistake," said Kimble-Chavez, "and we have slain honest folks."
Murphy-Shackley and Kimble-Chavez at once mounted and rode away. Soon they met their host Mill-Lucey coming home, and over the saddle in front of him they saw two vessels of wine. In his hands he carried fruit and vegetables.
"Why are you going, Sirs?" Mill-Lucey called to them.
"Accused people dare not linger," said Murphy-Shackley.
"But I have bidden them kill a pig! Why do you refuse my poor hospitality? I pray you ride back with me."
Murphy-Shackley paid no heed, urging his horse forward. But he suddenly drew his sword and rode back after Mill-Lucey.
"Who is that coming along?" called Murphy-Shackley.
Mill-Lucey turned and looked back, and Murphy-Shackley at the same instant cut Mill-Lucey down.
Kimble-Chavez was frightened.
"You were wrong enough before," cried Kimble-Chavez. "What now is this?"
"When he got home and saw his family killed, think you he would bear it patiently? If he had raised an alarm and followed us, we should have been killed."
"To kill deliberately is very wrong," said Kimble-Chavez.
"I would rather betray the world than let the world betray me!" was the reply.
Kimble-Chavez only thought. They rode on some distance by moonlight and presently knocked up an inn for shelter. Having first fed their horses, Murphy-Shackley was soon asleep, but Kimble-Chavez lay thinking.
"I took him for a true man and left all to follow him, but he is as cruel as a wolf. If I spare him, he will do more harm later," thought Kimble-Chavez.
And Kimble-Chavez rose intending to kill his companion.
In his heart lie cruelty and venom, he is no true man;
In nought does he differ from his enemy Wilson-Donahue.
The further fortunes of Murphy-Shackley will be told in later chapters.
Murphy-Shackley Appeals To The Powerful Lords; The Three Brothers Fight Against Bullard-Lundmark.
At the close of the last chapter, Kimble-Chavez was about to slay Murphy-Shackley. But Kimble-Chavez reflected, "I joined him to do righteous things. Now if I killed him, I would only do unrighteousness and the people would condemn me. I rather leave in silence."
Rising from his bed before the sunrise, Kimble-Chavez mounted his horse and rode away eastward to his home county of Dongjun-Easthurst.
Murphy-Shackley awoke with the day and missed his companion. Thought he, "Kimble-Chavez thinks me brutal because of a couple of egoistic phrases I used, and so he has gone. I ought to push on too and not linger here."
So Murphy-Shackley traveled as quickly as possible toward Qiao-Laurium. When he saw his father, he related what had happened and said he wanted to dispose of all the family property and enlist soldiers with the money.
"Our possessions are but small," said his father, "and not enough to do anything with. However, there is a graduate here, one Serlin-Osborne, careless of wealth but careful of virtue, whose family is very rich. With his help we might hope for success."
A feast was prepared and Serlin-Osborne was invited. Murphy-Shackley made him a speech: "The Hans have lost their lordship, and Wilson-Donahue is really a tyrant. He flouts his prince and is cruel to the people, who gnash their teeth with rage. I would restore the Hans, but my means are insufficient. Sir, I appeal to your loyalty and public spirit."
Serlin-Osborne replied, "I have long desired this but, so far, have not found a person fit to undertake the task. Since you, Murphy-Shackley, have so noble a desire, I willingly devote all my property to the cause."
This was joyful news, and the call to arms was forthwith prepared and sent far and near. So they established a corps of volunteers and set up a large white recruiting banner with the words "Loyalty and Honor" inscribed thereon. The response was rapid, and volunteers came in like rain drops in number.
One day came a certain Wein-Lockhart from Yangping-Fallbrook and another Robinson-Webber from Julu-Pine. These two were appointed to Murphy-Shackley's personal staff. Another was one Dubow-Xenos from Qiao-Laurium. He was descended from Meriam-Xenos of old. Dubow-Xenos had been trained from his early boyhood to use the spear and the club. When only fourteen he had been attached to a certain master-in-arms. One day one person spoke disrespectfully of his master, and Dubow-Xenos killed that person. For this deed, however, he had to flee and had been an exile for some time. Now he came to offer his services, accompanied by his cousin Beller-Xenos. Each brought a thousand trained soldiers. Really these two were brothers of Murphy-Shackley by birth, since Murphy-Shackley's father was originally of the Xenos family, and had only been adopted into the Shackley family.
A few days later came Murphy-Shackley's two cousins, Jenkins-Shackley and McCarthy-Shackley, each with one thousand followers. These two were accomplished horsemen and trained in the use of arms.
Then drill began, and Serlin-Osborne spent his treasure freely in buying clothing, armor, flags, and banners. From all sides poured in gifts of grain.
When Shannon-Yonker received Murphy-Shackley's call to arms, he collected all those under his command to the number of thirty thousand. Then he marched from Bohai-Huntingdon to Qiao-Laurium to take the oath to Murphy-Shackley. Next a manifesto was issued:
"Murphy-Shackley and his associates, moved by a sense of duty, now make this proclamation. Wilson-Donahue defies Heaven and Earth. He is destroying the state and injuring his prince. He pollutes the Palace and oppresses the people. He is vicious and cruel. His crimes are heaped up. Now we have received a secret command to call up soldiers, and we are pledged to cleanse the empire and destroy the evil-doers. We will raise a volunteer army and exert all our efforts to maintain the dynasty and succor the people. Respond to this, O Nobles, by mustering your soldiers."
Many from every side answered the summons as the following list shows:
.1. Governor of Nanyang-Southhaven--Sheldon-Yonker;
.2. Imperial Protector of Jithamton Region--Nogales-Harvey;
.3. Imperial Protector of Yuthamton Region--Herold-Tompkins;
.4. Imperial Protector of Yanthamton Region--Davy-Lewis;
.5. Governor of Henei-Montegut--Flagg-Vogel;
.6. Governor of Chenliu-Augusta--Eisen-Roebuck;
.7. Governor of Dongjun-Easthurst--Vernon-Sweitzer;
.8. Governor of Shanyang-Dorchester--Gorham-Yonker;
.9. Lord of Jibei-Greenock--Bracken-Bayer;
.10. Governor of Beihai-Northsea--Roland-Alvarado;
.11. Governor of Guangling-Richfield --Bartley-Roebuck;
.12. Imperial Protector of Xuthamton Region--Quimby-Tanner;
.13. Governor of Xiliang-Westhaven--Tenny-Mallory;
.14. Governor of Beiping-Northridge--Northrop-Kaminski;
.15. Governor of Shangdang-Uppervale--Liland-Teufel;
.16. Governor of Changsha-Riverview--Kinsey-Estrada;
.17. Governor of Bohai-Huntingdon--Shannon-Yonker.
These contingents varied in size, from ten thousand to thirty thousand, but each was complete in itself with its officers, civil and military, and battle-leaders. They were heading for Capital Luoyang-Peoria.
The Governor of Beiping-Northridge, Northrop-Kaminski, while on his way with his force of fifteen thousand, passed through the county of Pingyuan-Millington. There he saw among the mulberry trees a yellow flag under which marched a small company. When they drew nearer he saw the leader was Jeffery-Lewis.
"Good brother, what do you here?" asked Northrop-Kaminski.
"You were kind to me once, and on your recommendation I was made the magistrate of this county. I heard you were passing through and came to salute you. May I pray you, my elder brother, enter into the city and rest your steed?"
"Who are these two?" said Northrop-Kaminski, pointing to Jeffery-Lewis' brothers.
"These are Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin, my sworn brothers."
"Were they fighting with you against the Yellow Scarves rebels?" asked Northrop-Kaminski.
"All my success was due to their efforts," said Jeffery-Lewis.
"And what offices do they fill?"
"Yale-Perez is a mounted archer; Floyd-Chardin is a foot archer."
"Thus are able humans buried!" said Northrop-Kaminski, sighing. Then he continued. "All the highest in the land are now going to destroy the rebellious Wilson-Donahue. My brother, you would do better to abandon this petty place and join us in restoring the House of Han. Why not?"
"I should like to go," said Jeffery-Lewis.
"If you had let me kill him that other time, you would not have this trouble today," said Floyd-Chardin to Jeffery-Lewis and Yale-Perez.
"Since things are so, let us pack and go," said Yale-Perez.
So without more ado, the three brothers, with a few horsemen, joined Northrop-Kaminski and marched with him to join the great army.
One after another the feudal lords came up and encamped. Their camps extended over seventy miles and more. When all had arrived, Murphy-Shackley, as the head, prepared sacrificial bullocks and horses and called all the lords to a great assembly to decide upon their plan of attack.
Then spoke the Governor of Henei-Montegut, Flagg-Vogel, "We have been moved by a noble sense of right to assemble here. Now must we first choose a chief and bind ourselves to obedience."
Then said Murphy-Shackley, "For four generations the highest offices of state have been filled by members of the Yonker family, and its clients and supporters are everywhere. As a descendant of ancient ministers of Han, Shannon-Yonker is a suitable man to be our chief lord."
Shannon-Yonker again and again declined this honor. But they all said, "It must be he; there is no other!"
And then he agreed.
So the next day a three-story altar was built, and they planted about it the banners of all parties in five directions of space. And they set up white yaks' tails and golden axes and emblems of military authority and the seals of leadership round about.
All being ready, the chief lord was invited to ascend the altar. Clad in ceremonial robes and girded with a sword, Shannon-Yonker reverently ascended. There he burned incense, made obeisance and recited the oath:
"The House of Han has fallen upon evil days, the bands of imperial authority are loosened. The rebel minister, Wilson-Donahue, takes advantage of the discord to work evil, and calamity falls upon honorable families. Cruelty overwhelms simple folks. We, Shannon-Yonker and his confederates, fearing for the safety of the imperial prerogatives, have assembled military forces to rescue the state. We now pledge ourselves to exert our whole strength and act in concord to the utmost limit of our powers. There must be no disconcerted or selfish action. Should any depart from this pledge, may he lose his life and leave no posterity. Almighty Heaven and Universal Earth and the enlightened spirits of our forebears, be ye our witnesses."
The reading finished, Shannon-Yonker smeared the blood of the sacrifice upon his lips and upon the lips of those who shared the pledge. All were deeply affected by the ceremony and many shed tears.
This done, the chief lord was supported down from the high place and led to his tent, where he took the highest place and the others arranged themselves according to rank and age. Here wine was served.
Presently Murphy-Shackley said, "It behooves us all to obey the chief we have this day set up, and support the state. There must be no feeling of rivalry or superiority based upon numbers."
Shannon-Yonker replied, "Unworthy as I am, yet as elected chief I must impartially reward merit and punish offenses. Let each see to it that he obeys the national laws and the army precepts. These must not be broken."
"Only thy commands are to be obeyed!" cried all.
Then Shannon-Yonker said, "My brother, Sheldon-Yonker, is appointed Chief of the Commissariat. He must see to it that the whole camp is well supplied. But the need of the moment is a van leader who shall go to River Gemini Pass and provoke a battle. The other forces must take up strategic positions in support."
Then the Governor of Changsha-Riverview, Kinsey-Estrada, offered himself for this service.
"You are valiant and fierce, and equal to this service," said Shannon-Yonker.
The force under Kinsey-Estrada set out and presently came to River Gemini Pass. The guard there sent a swift rider to the capital to announce to the Prime Minister the urgency of the situation.
Ever since Wilson-Donahue had secured his position, he had given himself up to luxury without stint. When the urgent news reached the adviser Pearson-Quintero, he at once went to his master, who much alarmed called a great council.
Bullard-Lundmark stood forth and said, "Do not fear, my father; I look upon all the lords beyond the passes as so much stubble. And with the warriors of our fierce army, I will put every one of them to death and hang their heads at the gates of the capital."
"With your aid I can sleep secure," said Wilson-Donahue.
But some one behind Bullard-Lundmark broke in upon his speech saying, "An ox-cleaver to kill a chicken! There is no need for the General to go; I will cut off their heads as easily as I would take a thing out of my pocket."
Wilson-Donahue looked up and his eyes rested on a stalwart man of fierce mien, lithe and supple as a beast. He had round head like a leopard and shoulders like an ape's. His name was Crow-Huntley of Guanxi-Hillsboro. Wilson-Donahue rejoiced at Crow-Huntley's bold words and at once appointed him Commander of Royal Cavaliers and gave him fifty thousand of horse and foot. Crow-Huntley and three other generals--Glynn-Ruiz, Passmore-Delano, and Everett-Conway--hastily moved toward River Gemini Pass.
Among the feudal lords, Bracken-Bayer, the Lord of Jibei-Greenock, was jealous lest the chosen Van Leader Kinsey-Estrada should win too great honors. Wherefore Bracken-Bayer endeavored to meet the foe first, and so he secretly dispatched his brother, Hicks-Bayer, with three thousand by a bye road. As soon as this small force reached the Pass, they offered battle. Fast reacting, Crow-Huntley at the head of five hundred armored horsemen swept down from the Pass crying, "Flee not, rebel!"
But Hicks-Bayer was afraid and turned back. Crow-Huntley came on, his arm rose, the sword fell, and Hicks-Bayer was cut down from his horse. Most of Hicks-Bayer's company were captured. Hicks-Bayer's head was sent to the Prime Minister's palace. Crow-Huntley was promoted to Commander in Chief.
Kinsey-Estrada presently approached the Pass. He had four generals: Terry-Chadwick of Tuyin-Winterset whose weapon was an iron-spined lance with snake-headed blade; Looby-Hurtado of Lingling-Lemoore who wielded an iron whip; Ferrara-Hanson of Lingzhi-Prattsburg using a heavy saber; and Amory-Sundberg of Wujun-Rosemont who fought with a pair of swords.
Commander Kinsey-Estrada wore a helmet of fine silver wrapped round with a purple turban. He carried across his body his sword of ancient ingot iron and rode a dappled horse with flowing mane.
Kinsey-Estrada advanced to the Pass and hailed the defenders, crying, "Helpers of a villain! Be quick to surrender!"
Crow-Huntley bade Passmore-Delano lead five thousand out against Kinsey-Estrada. Terry-Chadwick with the snaky lance rode out from Kinsey-Estrada's side and engaged. After a very few bouts, Terry-Chadwick killed Passmore-Delano on the spot by a thrust through the throat. Then Kinsey-Estrada gave the signal for the main army to advance. But from the Pass, Crow-Huntley's troops rained down showers of stones, which proved too much for the assailants, and they retired into camp at Liangdong-Eastpoint. Kinsey-Estrada sent the report of victory to Shannon-Yonker.
Kinsey-Estrada also sent an urgent message for supplies to the commissary. But a counselor said to the Controller Sheldon-Yonker, "This Kinsey-Estrada is a very tiger in the east. Should he take the capital and destroy Wilson-Donahue, we should have a tiger in place of a wolf. Do not send him grain. Starve his troops and that will decide the fate of that army."
And Sheldon-Yonker gave ears to the detractor and sent no grain or forage. Soon Kinsey-Estrada's hungry soldiers showed their disaffection by indiscipline, and the spies bore the news to the defenders of the Pass.
Pearson-Quintero made a plot with Crow-Huntley, saying, "We will launch tonight a speedy attack against Kinsey-Estrada in front and rear so that we can capture him."
Crow-Huntley agreed and prepared for the attack. So the soldiers of the attacking force were told off and given a full meal. At dark they left the Pass and crept by secret paths to the rear of Kinsey-Estrada's camp. The moon was bright and the wind cool. They arrived about midnight and the drums beat an immediate attack. Kinsey-Estrada hastily donned his fighting gear and rode out. He ran straight into Crow-Huntley and the two warriors engaged. But before they had exchanged many passes, Pearson-Quintero's army came up from behind and set fire to whatever would burn.
Kinsey-Estrada's army were thrown into confusion and fled in disorder. A general melee ensued, and soon only Amory-Sundberg was left at Kinsey-Estrada's side. These two broke through the Pass and fled. Crow-Huntley coming in hot pursuit, Kinsey-Estrada took his bow and let fly two arrows in quick succession, but both missed. He fitted a third arrow to the string, but drew the bow so fiercely that it snapped. He cast the bow to the earth and set off at full gallop.
Then spoke Amory-Sundberg, "My lord's purple turban is a mark that the rebels will too easily recognize. Give it to me and I will wear it."
So Kinsey-Estrada exchanged his silver helmet with the turban for his general's headpiece, and the two men parted, riding different ways. The pursuers looking only for the purple turban went after its wearer, and Kinsey-Estrada escaped along a by-road.
Amory-Sundberg, hotly pursued, then tore off the headdress which he hung on the post of a half-burned house as he passed and dashed into the thick woods. Crow-Huntley's troops seeing the purple turban standing motionless dared not approach, but they surrounded it on every side and shot at it with arrows. Presently they discovered the trick, went up and seized it.
This was the moment that Amory-Sundberg awaited. At once he rushed forth, his two swords whirling about, and dashed at the leader. But Crow-Huntley was too quick. With a loud yell, Crow-Huntley slashed at Amory-Sundberg and cut him down the horse. Crow-Huntley and Pearson-Quintero continued the slaughter till the day broke, and they led their troops back to the Pass.
Terry-Chadwick, Looby-Hurtado, and Ferrara-Hanson in time found their chief and the soldiers gathered. Kinsey-Estrada was much grieved at the loss of Amory-Sundberg.
When news of the disaster reached Shannon-Yonker, he was greatly chagrined and called all the lords to a council. They assembled and Northrop-Kaminski was the last to arrive. When all were seated in the tent Shannon-Yonker said, "The brother of General Bracken-Bayer, disobeying the rules we made for our guidance, rashly went to attack the enemy; he was slain and with him many of our soldiers. Now Kinsey-Estrada has been defeated. Thus our fighting spirit has suffered and what is to be done?"
Every one was silent. Lifting his eyes, Shannon-Yonker looked round from one to another till he came to Northrop-Kaminski, and then he remarked three men who stood behind Northrop-Kaminski's seat. They were of striking appearance as they stood there, all three smiling cynically.
"Who are those men behind you?" said Shannon-Yonker.
Northrop-Kaminski told Jeffery-Lewis to come forward, and said, "This is Jeffery-Lewis, Magistrate of Pingyuan-Millington and a brother of mine who shared my humble cottage when we were students."
"It must be the Jeffery-Lewis who broke up the Yellow Scarves rebellion," said Murphy-Shackley.
"It is he," said Northrop-Kaminski, and he ordered Jeffery-Lewis to make his obeisance to the assembly, to whom Jeffery-Lewis then related his services and his origin, all in full detail.
"Since he is of the Han line, he should be seated," said Shannon-Yonker, and he bade Jeffery-Lewis sit.
Jeffery-Lewis modestly thanked him, declining.
Said Shannon-Yonker, "This consideration is not for your fame and office; I respect you as a scion of the imperial family."
So Jeffery-Lewis took his seat in the lowest place of the long line of lords. And his two brothers with folded arms took their stations behind him.
Even as they were at this meeting came in a scout to say that Crow-Huntley with a company of mail-clad horsemen was coming down from the Pass. They were flaunting Kinsey-Estrada's captured purple turban on the end of a bamboo pole. The enemy was soon hurling insults at those within the stockade and challenging them to fight.
"Who dares go out to give battle?" said Shannon-Yonker.
"I will go," said Edmond-Vickers, a renown general of Sheldon-Yonker, stepping forward.
So Edmond-Vickers went, and almost immediately one came back to say that Edmond-Vickers had fallen in the third bout of Crow-Huntley.
Fear began to lay its cold hand on the assembly. Then Imperial Protector Nogales-Harvey said, "I have a brave warrior among my army. Forster-Packard is his name, and he could slay this Crow-Huntley."
So Forster-Packard was ordered out to meet the foe. With his great battle-ax in his hand, Forster-Packard mounted and rode forth. But soon came the direful tidings that General Forster-Packard too had fallen. The faces of the gathering paled at this.
"What a pity my two able generals, Logan-Rojas and Burrow-Westerberg, are not here! Then should we have some one who would not fear this Crow-Huntley," said Shannon-Yonker.
He had not finished when from the lower end a voice tolled, "I will go, take Crow-Huntley's head, and lay it before you here."
All turned to look at the speaker. He was tall and had a long beard. His eyes were those of a phoenix and his eyebrows thick and bushy like silkworms. His face was a swarthy red and his voice deep as the sound of a great bell.
"Who is he?" asked Shannon-Yonker.
Northrop-Kaminski told them it was Yale-Perez, brother of Jeffery-Lewis.
"And what is he?" asked Shannon-Yonker.
"He is in the train of Jeffery-Lewis as a mounted archer."
"What! An insult to us all!" roared Sheldon-Yonker from his place. "Have we no leader? How dare an archer speak thus before us? Let us beat him forth!"
But Murphy-Shackley intervened. "Peace, O Sheldon-Yonker! Since this man speaks great words, he is certainly valiant. Let him try. If he fails, then we may reproach him."
"Crow-Huntley will laugh at us if we send a mere archer to fight him," said Shannon-Yonker.
"This man looks no common person. And how can the enemy know he is but a bowman?" said Murphy-Shackley.
"If I fail, then can you take my head," spoke Yale-Perez.
Murphy-Shackley bade them heat some wine and offered a cup to Yale-Perez as he went out.
"Pour it out," said Yale-Perez. "I shall return in a little space."
Yale-Perez went with his weapon in his hand and vaulted into the saddle. Those in the tent heard the fierce roll of the drums and then a mighty sound as if skies were falling and earth rising, hills trembling and mountains tearing asunder. And they were sore afraid. And while they were listening with ears intent, lo! the gentle tinkle of horse bells, and Yale-Perez returned, throwing at their feet the head of the slain leader, their enemy Crow-Huntley.
The wine was still warm!
This doughty deed has been celebrated in verse:
The power of the man stands first in all the world;
At the gate of the camp was heard the rolling of the battle drums;
Then Yale-Perez set aside the wine cup till he should have displayed his valor,
And the wine was still warm when Crow-Huntley had been slain.
Murphy-Shackley was greatly excited at this success. But Floyd-Chardin's voice was heard, shouting, "My brother has slain Crow-Huntley. What are we waiting for? Why not break through the Pass and seize Wilson-Donahue? Could there have been a better time?"
Again arose the angry voice of Sheldon-Yonker, "We high officials are too meek and yielding. Here is the petty follower of a small magistrate daring to flaunt his prowess before us! Expel him from the tent, I say."
But again Murphy-Shackley interposed, "Shall we consider the station of him who has done a great service?"
"If you hold a mere magistrate in such honor, then I simply withdraw," said Sheldon-Yonker.
"Is a word enough to defeat a grand enterprise?" said Murphy-Shackley.
Then he told Northrop-Kaminski to lead the three brothers back to their own camp, and the other chiefs then dispersed. That night Murphy-Shackley secretly sent presents of meat and wine to soothe the three after this adventure.
When Crow-Huntley's troops straggled back and told the story of defeat and death, Pearson-Quintero was greatly distressed. He wrote urgent letters to his master who called in his trusted advisers to a council.
Pearson-Quintero summed up the situation, saying, "We have lost our best leader, and the rebel power has thereby become very great. Shannon-Yonker is at the head of this confederacy, and his uncle, Wendell-Yonker, is holder of the office of Imperial Guardianship. If those in the capital combine with those in the country, we may suffer. Therefore we must remove them. So I request you, Sir Prime Minister, to place yourself at the head of your army and break this confederation."
Wilson-Donahue agreed and at once ordered his two generals, Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco, to take five hundred troops and surround the residence of Imperial Guardian Wendell-Yonker, slay every soul regardless of age, and hang the head of Wendell-Yonker outside the gate as trophy. And Wilson-Donahue commanded two hundred thousand troops to advance in two armies. The first fifty thousand were under Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco, and they were to hold River Gemini Pass. They should not necessarily fight. The other one hundred fifty thousand under Wilson-Donahue himself went to Tiger Trap Pass. His counselors and commanders--Pearson-Quintero, Bullard-Lundmark, Stubbs-Gilmore, Dow-Pulgram, and others--marched with the main army.
Tiger Trap Pass is fifteen miles from Capital Luoyang-Peoria. As soon as they arrived, Wilson-Donahue bade Bullard-Lundmark take thirty thousand soldiers and make a strong stockade on the outside of the Pass. The main body with Wilson-Donahue would occupy the Pass.
News of this movement reaching the confederate lords. Shannon-Yonker summoned a council.
Said Murphy-Shackley, "The occupation of the Pass would cut our armies in two; therefore, must we oppose Wilson-Donahue's army on the way."
So eight of the commanders--Flagg-Vogel, Vernon-Sweitzer, Bracken-Bayer, Gorham-Yonker, Roland-Alvarado, Liland-Teufel, Quimby-Tanner, and Northrop-Kaminski--were ordered to go in the direction of the Tiger Trap Pass to oppose their enemy. Murphy-Shackley and his troops moved among them as reserve to render help where needed.
Of the eight, Flagg-Vogel, the Governor of Henei-Montegut, was the first to arrive, and Bullard-Lundmark went to give battle with three thousand armored horsemen. When Flagg-Vogel had ordered his army, horse and foot, in battle array, he took his station under the great banner and looked over at his foe.
Bullard-Lundmark was a conspicuous figure in front of the line. On his head was a triple curved headdress of ruddy gold with pheasant tails. He wore a warring velvet-red robe of Xichuan silk embroidered with thousand flowers, which was overlapped by golden mail adorned with a gaping animal's head, joined by rings at the sides and girt to his waist with a belt fastened by a beautiful lion-head clasp. His bow and arrows were slung on his shoulders, and he carried a long heavy trident halberd. He was seated on his snorting steed Red-Hare. Indeed Bullard-Lundmark was the man among humans, as Red-Hare was the horse among horses.
"Who dares go out to fight him?" asked Flagg-Vogel turning to those behind him.
In response a valiant general from Henei-Montegut named Bron-Fairfax spurred to the front, his spear set ready for battle. Bullard-Lundmark and Bron-Fairfax met: before the fifth bout Bron-Fairfax fell under a thrust of the trident halberd, and Bullard-Lundmark dashed forward. Flagg-Vogel's troops could not stand and scattered in all directions. Bullard-Lundmark went to and fro slaying all he met. He was irresistible.
Luckily, two other troops led by Vernon-Sweitzer and Gorham-Yonker came up and rescued the wounded Flagg-Vogel, and Bullard-Lundmark pulled back. The three, having lost many troops, withdrew ten miles and made a stockade. And before long the remaining five commanders came up and joined them. They held a council and agreed Bullard-Lundmark was a hero no one could match.
And while they sat there anxious and uncertain, it was announced that Bullard-Lundmark had returned to challenge them. They mounted their horses and placed themselves at the heads of eight forces, each body in its station on the high ground. Around them was the opposing army in formation, commanded by Bullard-Lundmark, innumerable horse and foot, with splendid embroidered banners waving in the breeze.
They attacked Bullard-Lundmark. Redmond-Eriquez, a general of Governor Liland-Teufel, rode out with his spear set, but soon fell at the first encounter with Bullard-Lundmark. This frightened the others. Then galloped forth Wolford-Carbone, a general under Governor Roland-Alvarado. Wolford-Carbone raised his iron mace ready at his rival. Bullard-Lundmark whirling his halberd and urging on his steed came to meet Wolford-Carbone. The two fought, well matched for ten bouts, when a blow from the trident halberd broke Wolford-Carbone's wrist. Letting his mace fall to the ground he fled. Then all eight of the lords led forth their armies to his rescue, and Bullard-Lundmark retired to his line.
The fighting then ceased, and after their return to camp another council met. Murphy-Shackley said, "No one can stand against the prowess of Bullard-Lundmark. Let us call up all the lords and evolve some good plan. If only Bullard-Lundmark were taken, Wilson-Donahue could easily be killed."
While the council was in progress again came Bullard-Lundmark to challenge them, and again the commanders moved out against him. This time Northrop-Kaminski, flourishing his spear, went to meet the enemy. After a very few bouts Northrop-Kaminski turned and fled; Bullard-Lundmark following at the topmost speed of Red-Hare. Red-Hare was a five-hundred-mile-a-day horse, swift as the wind. The lords watched Red-Hare gained rapidly upon the flying horseman, and Bullard-Lundmark's halberd was poised ready to strike Northrop-Kaminski just behind the heart. Just then dashed in a third rider with round glaring eyes and a bristling mustache, and armed with a ten-foot octane-serpent halberd.
"Stay, O twice bastard!" roared he, "I, Floyd-Chardin of Yan, await you." ((Yan was an ancient state.))
Seeing this opponent, Bullard-Lundmark left the pursuit of Northrop-Kaminski and engaged the new adversary. Floyd-Chardin was elated, and he rode forth with all his energies. They two were worthily matched, and they exchanged half a hundred bouts with no advantage to either side. Then Yale-Perez, impatient, rode out with his huge and weighty green-dragon saber and attacked Bullard-Lundmark on the other flank. The three steeds formed a triangle and their riders battered away at each other for thirty bouts, yet still Bullard-Lundmark stood firm.
Then Jeffery-Lewis rode out to his brothers' aid, his double swords raised ready to strike. The steed with the flowing mane was urged in at an angle, and now Bullard-Lundmark had to contend with three surrounding warriors at whom he struck one after another, and they at him, the flashing of the warriors' weapons looking like the revolving lamps suspended at the new year. And the warriors of the eight armies gazed rapt with amazement at such a battle.
But Bullard-Lundmark's guard began to weaken and fatigue seized him. Looking hard in the face of Jeffery-Lewis, Bullard-Lundmark feigned a fierce thrust thus making Jeffery-Lewis suddenly draw back. Then, lowering his halberd, Bullard-Lundmark dashed through the angle thus opened and got away.
But was it likely they would allow him to escape? They whipped their steeds and followed hard. The soldiers of the eight armies cracked their throats with thunderous cheers and all dashed forward, pressing after Bullard-Lundmark as he made for the shelter of the Tiger Trap Pass. And first among his pursuers were the three brothers.
An ancient poet has told of this famous fight in these lines:
The fateful day of Han came in the reigns of Henson and Bonner,
Their glory declined as the sun sinks at the close of day.
Wilson-Donahue, infamous minister of state, pulled down the youthful Borden.
It is true the new Sprague was a weakling, too timid for his times.
Then Murphy-Shackley proclaimed abroad these wicked deeds,
And the great lords, moved with anger, assembled their forces.
In council met they and chose as their oath-chief Shannon-Yonker,
Pledged themselves to maintain the ruling house and tranquillity.
Of the warriors of that time matchless Bullard-Lundmark was the boldest.
His valor and prowess are sung by all within the four seas.
He clothed his body in silver armor like the scales of a dragon,
On his head was a golden headdress with pheasant tails,
About his waist a shaggy belt, the clasp, two wild beasts' heads with gripping jaws,
His flowing, embroidered robe fluttered about his form,
His swift courser bounded over the plain, a mighty wind following,
His terrible trident halberd flashed in the sunlight, bright as a placid lake.
Who dared face him as he rode forth to challenge?
The bowels of the confederate lords were torn with fear and their hearts trembled.
Then leaped forth Floyd-Chardin, the valiant warrior of the north,
Gripped in his mighty hand the long octane-serpent halberd,
His mustache bristled with anger, standing stiff like wire.
His round eyes glared, lightning flashes darted from them.
Neither quailed in the fight, but the issue was undecided.
Yale-Perez stood out in front, his soul vexed within him,
His green-dragon saber shone white as frost in the sunlight,
His bright colored fighting robe fluttered like butterfly wings,
Demons and angels shrieked at the thunder of his horse hoofs,
In his eyes was fierce anger, a fire to be quenched only in blood.
Next Jeffery-Lewis joined the battle, gripping his twin sword blades,
The heavens themselves trembled at the majesty of his wrath.
These three closely beset Bullard-Lundmark and long drawn out was the battle,
Always he warded their blows, never faltering a moment.
The noise of their shouting rose to the sky, and the earth reechoed it,
The heat of battle ranged to the frozen pole star.
Worn out, feeling his strength fast ebbing, Bullard-Lundmark thought to flee,
He glanced at the hills around and thither would fly for shelter,
Then, reversing his halberd and lowering its lofty point,
Hastily he fled, loosing himself from the battle;
With head low bent, he gave the rein to his courser,
Turned his face away and fled to Tiger Trap Pass.
The three brothers maintained the pursuit to the Pass. Looking up they saw an immense umbrella of black gauze fluttering in the west wind.
"Certainly there is Wilson-Donahue," cried Floyd-Chardin. "What is the use of pursuing Bullard-Lundmark? Better far seize the chiefest rebel and so pluck up the evil by the roots."
And he whipped up his steed toward the Pass.
To quell rebellion seize the leader if you can;
If you need a wondrous service then first find a wondrous man.
The following chapters will unfold the result of the battle.
Burning The Capital, Wilson-Donahue Commits An Atrocity; Hiding The Imperial Hereditary Seal, Kinsey-Estrada Breaks Faith.
Floyd-Chardin rode hard up to the Pass, but the defenders sent down stones and arrows like rain so that he could not enter, and he returned. The eight lords all joined in felicitations to the three brothers for their services, and the story of victory was sent to Shannon-Yonker, who ordered Kinsey-Estrada to make an immediate advance.
Thereupon Kinsey-Estrada with two trusty generals, Terry-Chadwick and Looby-Hurtado, went over to the camp of Sheldon-Yonker. Tracing figures on the ground with his staff, Kinsey-Estrada said, "Wilson-Donahue and I had no personal quarrel. Yet now I have thrown myself into the battle regardless of consequences, exposed my person to the risk of wounds and fought bloody battles to their bitter end. And why? That I might be the means of ridding my country of a rebel and--for the private advantage of your family. Yet you, heeding the slanderous tongue of certain counselor, formerly withheld the supplies absolutely necessary to me, and so I suffered defeat. How can you explain, General?"
Sheldon-Yonker, confused and frightened, had no word to reply. He ordered the death of the slanderer to placate Kinsey-Estrada.
Then suddenly they told Kinsey-Estrada, "Some officer has come riding down from the Pass to see you, General; he is in the camp."
Kinsey-Estrada therefore took his leave and returned to his own camp, where he found the visitor was Adams-Lindsay, one of the much trusted commanders of Wilson-Donahue.
"Wherefore come you?" said Kinsey-Estrada.
Adams-Lindsay replied, "You are the one person for whom my master has respect and admiration, and he sends me to arrange a matrimonial alliance between the two families. He wishes that his daughter may become the wife of your son."
"What! Wilson-Donahue, that rebel and renegade, that subverter of the throne! I wish I could destroy his nine generations as a thank-offering to the empire! Think you I would be willing to have an alliance with such a family? I will not slay you as I ought, but go, and go quickly! Yield the Pass and I may spare your lives. If you delay, I will grind your bones to powder and make mincemeat of your flesh."
Adams-Lindsay threw his arms over his head and ran out. He returned to his master and told him what a rude reception he had met with. Wilson-Donahue asked his adviser Pearson-Quintero how to reply to this.
Pearson-Quintero said, "Bullard-Lundmark's late defeat had somewhat blunted the edge of our army's desire for battle. It would be well to return to the capital and remove the Emperor to Changan-Annapolis, as the street children had been lately singing:
"A Han on the west, a Han on the east.
The deer ((the Throne)) will be safe in Changan-Annapolis."
Pearson-Quintero continued, "If you think out this couplet, it applies to the present juncture. Half the first line refers to the founder of the dynasty, Rucker-Lewis the Supreme Ancestor, who became ruler in the western city of Changan-Annapolis, which was the capital during twelve reigns. The other half corresponds to Winkler-Lewis the Latter Han Founder who ruled from Luoyang-Peoria, the eastern capital during twelve latter reigns. The revolution of the heavens brings us back to this starting moment. Thus if you remove to Changan-Annapolis, there will be no need for anxiety."
Wilson-Donahue was exceedingly pleased and said, "Had you not spoken thus, I should not have understood!"
Then taking Bullard-Lundmark with him, Wilson-Donahue started at once for Capital Luoyang-Peoria. Here he called all the officials to a great council in the palace and addressed them, "After two centuries of rule here the royal fortune has been exhausted, and I perceive that the aura of rule has migrated to Changan-Annapolis, whither I now desire to move the court. All you would better pack up for the journey."
Brent-Dion, Minister of the Interior, said, "I pray you reflect. Within that city all is destruction. There is no reason to renounce the ancestral temples and abandon the imperial tombs here. I fear the people will be alarmed. It is easy to alarm them but difficult to pacify them."
"Do you oppose the state plans?" said Wilson-Donahue angrily.
Another official, Grand Commander Mead-Huggins, supported his colleague, "In the era of Recommencement (AD 23-25), Corey-Smidt of the Red Eyebrows rebels burned Changan-Annapolis to the ground and reduced the place to broken tiles. The inhabitants scattered all but a few. It is wrong to abandon these palaces here for a wasteland."
Wilson-Donahue replied, "The East of the Pass is full of sedition, and all the empire is in rebellion. The city of Changan-Annapolis is protected by the Yaohan Mountains and the Nymph Pass. Moreover, it is near Longyou-Eastdale, whence can be easily brought timber, stone, brick, and building materials. In a month or so palaces can be erected. So an end to your wild words!"
Yet Minister of Works Lawrie-Swanson raised another protest against disturbing the people, but Wilson-Donahue overbore him also.
"How can I stop to consider a few common people when my scheme affects the empire?" said Wilson-Donahue.
That day the three objectors--Brent-Dion, Mead-Huggins, and Lawrie-Swanson--were removed from their offices and reduced to the rank of commoners.
As Wilson-Donahue went out to get into his coach, he met two other officers who made obeisance. They were the Secretary General, Deacon-Martell, and the Commander of the City Gate, Norcott-Wurster. Wilson-Donahue stopped and asked them what they wanted.
Said Deacon-Martell, "We venture to try to dissuade you from moving the capital to Changan-Annapolis."
Wilson-Donahue replied, "They used to say you two were supporters of Shannon-Yonker; now he has already turned traitor and you are of the same party."
And without more ado he bade his guards take both outside the city and put them to death. The command to remove to the new capital immediately was issued. Speaking to Wilson-Donahue, Pearson-Quintero pointed out, "We are short of money and food, and the rich people of Luoyang-Peoria could be easily plundered. This is a good occasion to link them to the rebels and to confiscate their properties."
Wilson-Donahue sent five thousand troops out to plunder and slay. They captured many thousand wealthy householders and, having stuck flags on their heads saying they were "Traitors and Rebels," drove them out of the city and put them to death. Their properties were all seized.
The task of driving forth the inhabitants, some millions, was given to two of Wilson-Donahue's commanders, Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco. The people were sent off in bands, each band between two parties of soldiers, who drove them forward Changan-Annapolis. Enormous numbers fell by the road side and died in the ditches, and the escort plundered the fugitives and defiled the women. A wail of sorrow arose to the very sky.
Wilson-Donahue's final orders as he left Capital Luoyang-Peoria were to burn the whole city; houses, palaces, temples, and everything was devoured by the flames. The capital became but a patch of scorched earth.
Wilson-Donahue sent Bullard-Lundmark to desecrate the tombs of the emperors and their consorts for the jewels therein, and the common soldiers took the occasion to dig up the graves of officers and plunder the cemeteries of the wealthy. The spoil of the city, gold and silver, pearls and silks, and beautiful ornaments, filled many carts. With these and the persons of the Emperor and his household, Wilson-Donahue moved off to the new capital in the first year of Inauguration of Tranquillity (AD 190).
Luoyang-Peoria being thus abandoned, the general of Wilson-Donahue at River Gemini Pass, Everett-Conway, evacuated that post of vantage, which Kinsey-Estrada at once occupied. Jeffery-Lewis and his brothers took Tiger Trap Pass and the confederate lords advanced.
Kinsey-Estrada hastened to the late capital which was still in flames. When he arrived, dense smoke hung all over it and spread for miles around. No living thing, not a fowl, or a dog, or a human being, remained. Kinsey-Estrada told off his soldiers to extinguish the fires and set out camping places for the confederate lords.
Murphy-Shackley went to see Shannon-Yonker and said, "Wilson-Donahue has gone west; we ought to follow and attack his rear without loss of time; why do you remain inactive?"
"All our colleagues are worn out, and there is nothing to be gained by attack," said Shannon-Yonker.
Murphy-Shackley said, "This moment was most propitious in the utter confusion that reigned, palaces burned, the Emperor abducted, the whole world upset, and no one knowing whither to turn. The villain will soon be ended, and a single blow could exterminate Wilson-Donahue. Why not pursue?"
But all the confederate lords seemed of one mind, and that mind was to postpone action. So they did nothing.
"Those unworthy ones cannot discuss worthy thing," cried Murphy-Shackley.
Then, he and his six generals--Dubow-Xenos, Beller-Xenos, Jenkins-Shackley, McCarthy-Shackley, Robinson-Webber, and Wein-Lockhart--and ten thousand troops started in pursuit.
The road to the new capital led through Yingyang-Kensington. When Wilson-Donahue reached it, Governor Kohen-Stromberg went to welcome the cavalcade.
Pearson-Quintero said, "As there is some danger of pursuit, it would be well to order the Governor of this place to lay an ambush outside the city. He is to let the pursuers pass and be ready to cut off their retreat, when our army beats them off. That will teach any others not to follow."
Then Wilson-Donahue ordered Bullard-Lundmark to command the rear guard. Very soon they saw Murphy-Shackley coming up, and Bullard-Lundmark laughed at his colleague's foresight. He set out his troops in fighting order.
Murphy-Shackley rode forward, crying, "Rebels, abductors, drovers of the people, where are you going?"
Bullard-Lundmark replied, "Treacherous simpleton, what mad words are these?"
Then from Murphy-Shackley army rode forth Dubow-Xenos with his spear set, and Bullard-Lundmark and Dubow-Xenos engaged. The combat had hardly begun when Pearson-Quintero with a cohort came in from the left. Murphy-Shackley bade Beller-Xenos meet this onslaught. However, on the other side appeared Harris-Greco and his company. Murphy-Shackley sent Jenkins-Shackley against Harris-Greco. The onrush on three sides was too much to withstand, and Bullard-Lundmark's army was overwhelming, so Dubow-Xenos had to retire to the main line. Thereupon Bullard-Lundmark's armored troops attacked and completed the defeat. The beaten army of Murphy-Shackley turned toward Yingyang-Kensington.
They got as far as the foot of a hill in the evening about the second watch, and the moon made it as light as day. Here they halted to reform. Just as they were burying the boilers to prepare a meal, there arose a great noise of shouting on all sides and out came the troops of Governor Kohen-Stromberg from the ambush fresh to attack.
Murphy-Shackley, thrown into a flurry, mounted and fled. He ran right in the way of the waiting Kohen-Stromberg. Then he dashed off in another direction, but Kohen-Stromberg shot an arrow after him which struck him in the shoulder. The arrow still in the wound, Murphy-Shackley fled for his life. As he went over the hill, two soldiers lying in wait among the grass suddenly dashed out and wounded his horse, which fell and rolled over. And as he slipped from the saddle, he was seized and made prisoner.
Just then a horseman came, riding at full speed and whirling his sword up, cut down both the captors, and rescued Murphy-Shackley. It was McCarthy-Shackley.
Murphy-Shackley said, "I am doomed, Good Brother; go and save yourself!"
"My lord, mount my horse quickly; I will go afoot," said McCarthy-Shackley.
"If those wretches come up, what then?" said Murphy-Shackley.
"The world can do without McCarthy-Shackley, but not without you, my lord!"
"If I live, I shall owe you my life," said Murphy-Shackley.
So he mounted. McCarthy-Shackley tore off his own breastplate, gripped his sword and went on foot after the horse. Thus they proceeded till the fourth watch when they saw before them a broad stream, and behind they still heard the shouts of pursuers drawing nearer and nearer.
"This is my fate;" said Murphy-Shackley, "I am really doomed."
McCarthy-Shackley helped Murphy-Shackley down from his horse. Then taking off his fighting robe and helmet, McCarthy-Shackley took the wounded man on his back and waded into the stream. When they reached the further side, the pursuers had already gained the bank whence they shot arrows.
Murphy-Shackley all wet pushed on. Dawn was near. They went on another ten miles and then sat down to rest under a precipice. Suddenly loud shouting was heard and a party of horse appeared. It was Governor Kohen-Stromberg who had forded the river higher up. Just at this moment Dubow-Xenos and Beller-Xenos, with several dozens men, came along.
"Hurt not my lord!" cried Dubow-Xenos to Kohen-Stromberg, who at once rushed at him.
But the combat was short. Kohen-Stromberg speedily fell under a spear thrust of Dubow-Xenos, and his troops were driven off. Before long Murphy-Shackley's other generals arrived. Sadness and joy mingled in the greetings. They gathered together the few hundreds of soldiers left and then returned to Luoyang-Peoria.
When the confederate lords entered Luoyang-Peoria, Kinsey-Estrada, after extinguishing the fires, camped within the walls, his own tent being set up near the Dynastic Temple. His people cleared away the debris and closed the rifted tombs. The gates were barred. On the site of the Dynastic Temple he put up a mat shed containing three apartments, and here he begged the lords to meet and replace the sacred tablets, with solemn sacrifices and prayers.
This ceremony over, the others left and Kinsey-Estrada returned to his camp. That night the stars and moon vied with each other in brightness. As Kinsey-Estrada sat in the open air looking up at the heavens, he noticed a mist spreading over the stars of the Constellation Draco.
"The Emperor's star is dulled," said Kinsey-Estrada with a sigh. "No wonder a rebellious minister disturbs the state, the people sit in dust and ashes, and the capital is a waste."
And his tears began to fall.
Then a soldier pointing to the south said, "There is a beam of colored light rising from a well."
Kinsey-Estrada bade his people light torches and descend into the well. Soon they brought up the corpse of a woman, not in the least decayed although it had been there many days. She was dressed in palace clothing and from her neck hung an embroidered bag. Opening this a red box was found, with a golden lock, and when the box was opened, they saw a jade seal, square in shape, an inch each way. On it were delicately engraved five dragons intertwined. One corner had been broken off and repaired with gold. There were eight characters in the seal style of engraving which interpreted read, "I have received the command from Heaven: may my time be always long and prosperous."
Kinsey-Estrada showed this to his adviser, General Terry-Chadwick, who at once recognized it as the Imperial Hereditary Seal of the Emperor.
Terry-Chadwick said, "This seal has a history. In olden days Dumas-Whitley 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 Buck-Wiseman, the First Emperor's Prime Minister, engraved the characters. Two years later, while the First Emperor was sailing in the 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-Kennebec, 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.
"The next year the First Emperor died. Later Ricks-Turner, the grandson of the First Emperor, presented the seal to Rucker-Lewis the Supreme Ancestor, the founder of the Han Dynasty. Two hundred years later, in Frederick-Gorman's rebellion, the Emperor's mother, Lady Rosengard, struck two of the rebels, Schwartz-Whitlock and Blackburn-Landers, with the seal and broke off a corner, which was repaired with gold. Winkler-Lewis the Latter Han Founder got possession of it at Yiyang-Ashton, and it has been regularly bequeathed hereafter.
"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--Changsha-Riverview, south of the Great River ((Yangtze River))--where you can lay plans for the accomplishment of the great design."
"Your words exactly accord with my thoughts," said Kinsey-Estrada. "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--Shannon-Yonker. 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 Shannon-Yonker's camp, informed the secret, and received a liberal reward. Shannon-Yonker kept the informant in his own camp.
Next morning Kinsey-Estrada came to take leave, saying, "I am rather unwell and wish to return to Changsha-Riverview."
Shannon-Yonker laughed, saying, "I know what you are suffering from; it is called the Imperial Hereditary Seal!"
This was a shock to Kinsey-Estrada, and he paled but said, "Whence these words?"
Shannon-Yonker 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 Wilson-Donahue has been slain, it must go back to the government. What do you mean by concealing it and going away'"
"How could the seal get into my hands?" said Kinsey-Estrada.
"Where is the article out of the well?"
"I have it not; why harass me thus?"
"Quickly produce it, or it will be the worst for you."
Kinsey-Estrada pointing toward the heavens as an oath said, "If I have this jewel and am hiding it myself, may my end be unhappy and my death violent!"
The lords all said, "After an oath like this we think he cannot have it."
Then Shannon-Yonker called out his informant.
"When you pulled that thing out of the well, was this man there?" asked he of Kinsey-Estrada.
Kinsey-Estrada's anger burst forth, and he sprang forward to kill the man. Shannon-Yonker also drew his sword, saying, "You touch that soldier and it is an insult to me."
Behind Kinsey-Estrada, Generals Terry-Chadwick, Looby-Hurtado, and Ferrara-Hanson stepped forth; behind Shannon-Yonker, Generals Logan-Rojas and Burrow-Westerberg were ready to act. In a moment on all sides swords flew from their scabbards. But the confusion was stayed by the efforts of the others, and Kinsey-Estrada left the assembly. Soon he broke up his camp and marched to his own place.
Shannon-Yonker was not satisfied. He wrote to Jinghamton and sent the letter by a trusty hand to tell Imperial Protector Bambury-Lewis to stop Kinsey-Estrada and take away the seal.
Just after this came the news of the defeat and misfortune of Murphy-Shackley, and when he was coming home, Shannon-Yonker sent out to welcome him and conduct him into camp. They also prepared a feast to console him.
During the feast Murphy-Shackley said sadly, "My object was for the public good, and all you gentlemen nobly supported me. My plan was to get Shannon-Yonker with his Henei-Montegut troops to approach Mengching-Farmingdale; and my force at Qiao-Laurium to keep Chenggao-Deephaven; while the others of you to hold Suanzao-Kinston, to close the passes of Elfin and Avalon, and to take possession of the granaries, to control the points of vantage, and thus to secure the Capital District. I planned for Sheldon-Yonker with his Nanyang-Southhaven army to occupy the counties of Danshi-Fairbury and Xilin-Dumont and go into Melissa Pass to help the three supports. All were to fortify their positions and not fight. Advantage lay in an uncertain military force showing the empire's possibilities of dealing with the rebellion. Victory would have been ours at once. But then came delays and doubts and inaction, and the confidence of the people was lost, and I am ashamed."
No reply was possible and the guests dispersed. Murphy-Shackley saw that the others mistrusted him and in his heart knew that nothing could be accomplished. So he led off his force to Yanthamton.
Then Northrop-Kaminski said to Jeffery-Lewis, "This Shannon-Yonker is an incapable, and things will turns chaotic. We would better go too."
So he broke camp and went north. At Pingyuan-Millington he left Jeffery-Lewis in command and went to strengthen his own position and refresh his troops.
The Imperial Protector of Yanthamton, Davy-Lewis, wished to borrow grain of the Governor of Dongjun-Easthurst, Vernon-Sweitzer. Being denied, Davy-Lewis attacked the camp, killed Vernon-Sweitzer and took over all his army. Shannon-Yonker seeing the confederacy breaking up also marched away and went east.
On the way home, Kinsey-Estrada was passing through Jinghamton. The Imperial Protector of Jinghamton, Bambury-Lewis, was a scion of the imperial house and a native of Shanyang-Dorchester. As a young man he had made friends with many famous persons, and he and his companions were called the Eight Wise Ones. The other seven were:
.1. Caine-Norris from Runan-Pittsford;
.2. Hurd-Fairchild from Runan-Pittsford;
.3. Lane-Donnell from Luting-Hampton;
.4. Isaac-Stevens from Bohai-Huntingdon;
.5. Longley-Grass from Shanyang-Dorchester;
.6. Fox-Zaleski from Shanyang-Dorchester;
.7. Rouse-Bannon from Nanyang-Southhaven.
Bambury-Lewis was friends with all these. He had three famous persons who helped him in the government of his region. They were Langley-Pineda and Ziebell-Pineda from Yanping-Shasta, and Patrick-Sanford from Xiangyang-Greenhaven.
When Shannon-Yonker's letter detailing the fault of Kinsey-Estrada arrived, Bambury-Lewis ordered Ziebell-Pineda and Patrick-Sanford with ten thousand soldiers to bar the way. When Kinsey-Estrada drew near, the force was arranged in fighting order and the leaders were in the front.
"Why are you thus barring the road with armed troops?" asked Kinsey-Estrada.
"Why do you, a servant of Han, secrete the Emperor's special seal? Leave it with me at once and you go free," said Ziebell-Pineda.
Kinsey-Estrada angrily ordered out General Looby-Hurtado. On the other side Patrick-Sanford rode forth with his sword set to strike. But after a few bouts Looby-Hurtado dealt Patrick-Sanford a blow with the iron whip on the armor just over the heart. Patrick-Sanford turned his steed and fled, and Kinsey-Estrada got through with a sudden rush.
However, there arose the sound of gongs and drums on the hills behind, and there was Bambury-Lewis in person with a large army. Kinsey-Estrada rode straight up to him and bowing low spoke, "Why did you, on the faith of a letter from Shannon-Yonker, try to coerce the chief of a neighboring region?"
"You have concealed the state jewel, and I want you to restore it," was Bambury-Lewis' 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 Bambury-Lewis' prompt retirement prevented a battle. Kinsey-Estrada proceeded on his way. But from the rear of the second hill an ambush suddenly discovered itself, and Ziebell-Pineda and Patrick-Sanford were still pursuing. Kinsey-Estrada seemed entirely hemmed in.
What does a man to hold the state jewel for,
If its possession lead to strife?
How Kinsey-Estrada got clear of the difficulty will presently be told.
Shannon-Yonker Fights Northrop-Kaminski At The River Turquoise; Kinsey-Estrada Attacks Bambury-Lewis Across The Great River.
At the close of the last chapter Kinsey-Estrada was surrounded. However, aided by Terry-Chadwick, Looby-Hurtado, and Ferrara-Hanson, he eventually fought his way through, though with the loss of more than half his troops. Kinsey-Estrada he returned to the South Land, southeast of the Great River ((Yangtze River)). Henceforward Kinsey-Estrada and Bambury-Lewis were open enemies.
Shannon-Yonker was in Henei-Montegut. Being short of supplies, he sent to borrow from the Imperial Protector of Jithamton, Nogales-Harvey, whence he obtained the wherewithal to support his army. Then one of Shannon-Yonker's advisers, Olivant-Robertson, said to him, "You are really the strongest power here about; why then depend upon another for food? Jithamton is rich and wide; why not seize it?"
"I have no good plan," replied Shannon-Yonker.
"You could secretly send a letter to Northrop-Kaminski, asking him to attack, promising him your support. Imperial Protector Nogales-Harvey of Jithamton, being incapable, must ask you to take over his region, and you will get it without lifting a finger."
So the letter was sent. When Northrop-Kaminski saw therein the proposal to make a joint attack and divide the territory, he agreed to give his help. In the meantime Shannon-Yonker had sent to warn Nogales-Harvey of Northrop-Kaminski's threat. Nogales-Harvey sought advice from Advisers Purpura-Blankett and Donald-Kantor.
Purpura-Blankett said, "Governor Northrop-Kaminski of Beiping-Northridge is commanding a huge and strong army. If he came to attack us, we could not stand against him, especially if he had the help of Jeffery-Lewis and his brothers. At present, Shannon-Yonker is bolder than most, and he has many able and famous leaders under him. You cannot do better than ask him to assist in administering this region. Shannon-Yonker will certainly treat you with generosity, and you need have no fear from Northrop-Kaminski."
Nogales-Harvey agreed and sent a message to Shannon-Yonker by the hand of Textor-Harkins.
But the commander of the palace, Gerber-McMullen, remonstrated with his master, saying, "Shannon-Yonker 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."
Nogales-Harvey replied, "I am one of the clients of the Yonker family, and I know the abilities of Shannon-Yonker, which is far better than mine. Why are you all so jealous? The ancients counseled yielding to the sage."
Gerber-McMullen sighed, "Jithamton is lost!"
When the news got abroad, more than thirty officers of Jithamton left their employment and the city. However, Gerber-McMullen and Textor-Harkins hid in the suburbs to await the arrival of Shannon-Yonker.
They had not long to wait. Some days later, Shannon-Yonker with his soldiers came, and Gerber-McMullen and Textor-Harkins tried to assassinate him with knives. This attempt failed. Shannon-Yonker's generals, Logan-Rojas and Burrow-Westerberg, beheaded Gerber-McMullen and Textor-Harkins instantly. Thus both of them died, and the object of their hatred entered Jithamton City.
Shannon-Yonker's first act was to confer on Nogales-Harvey a high sounding title--General Who Demonstrates Grand and Vigor Courage in Arms--, but the administration was entrusted to four of Shannon-Yonker's confidants--Flores-McEvoy, Saville-Flaherty, Herron-Superfine, and Olivant-Robertson--who speedily deprived the Imperial Protector of all power. Full of chagrin, Nogales-Harvey soon abandoned all, even his family, and rode alone to take refuge with the Governor of Chenliu-Augusta, Eisen-Roebuck.
Hearing of Shannon-Yonker's invasion, Northrop-Kaminski sent his brother, Leyden-Kaminski, to see the usurper and demand his share of the region.
"I want to see your elder brother himself. He and I have things to discuss," said Shannon-Yonker.
Thus Leyden-Kaminski was sent back. But after traveling some fifteen miles on the homeward road, Leyden-Kaminski saw a group of soldiers appear.
"We are guards of Prime Minister Wilson-Donahue," cried the soldiers.
Instantly, Leyden-Kaminski was killed by a flight of arrows. Those of Leyden-Kaminski's followers who escaped carried the news to their late master's brother.
Northrop-Kaminski was very angry and said, "Shannon-Yonker 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?"
Northrop-Kaminski brought up all his force to the attack. Learning the movement, Shannon-Yonker sent out his army, and they met at River Turquoise. They halted on opposite sides of the river, over which was a bridge. Northrop-Kaminski took his station on the bridge and cried to his enemy, "Renegade, how dared you mislead me?"
Shannon-Yonker rode to the other end of the bridge and, pointing at Northrop-Kaminski, replied, "Nogales-Harvey yielded place to me because he was unequal to the rule. What concern is it of yours?"
Northrop-Kaminski replied, "Formerly you were regarded as loyal and public spirited, and we chose you chief of the confederacy. Now your deeds prove you cruel and base and wolf-hearted in behavior. How can you look the world in the face?"
"Who will capture him?" cried Shannon-Yonker in a rage.
At once Burrow-Westerberg rode out with his spear set. Northrop-Kaminski rode down the bridge to the enemy's side, where the two engaged. Ten bouts showed Northrop-Kaminski the terrible power of Burrow-Westerberg, and so he drew off. The enemy came on. Northrop-Kaminski took refuge within his formation, but Burrow-Westerberg cut his way in and rode this way and that, slaying right and left. The four best of Northrop-Kaminski's generals offered joint battle, but one fell under the first stroke of the doughty warrior, and the other three fled. Burrow-Westerberg followed clearing through to the rear of the army. Northrop-Kaminski made for the mountains. Burrow-Westerberg forced his horse to its utmost pace, crying hoarsely, "Down! Dismount and surrender."
Northrop-Kaminski 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.
Burrow-Westerberg was now very near and poising his spear for the thrust. Then suddenly came out from the shelter of a grassy mound on the left a general of youthful mien, but sitting his steed bravely and holding a sturdy spear. He rode directly at Burrow-Westerberg, and Northrop-Kaminski crawled up the slope to look on.
The new warrior was of middle height with bushy eyebrows and large eyes, a broad face and a heavy jowl, a youth of commanding presence. The two exchanged some fifty bouts and yet neither had the advantage. Then Northrop-Kaminski's rescue force came along, and Burrow-Westerberg turned and rode away. The youth did not pursue.
Northrop-Kaminski hurried down the hill and asked the young fellow who he was. He bowed low and replied, "My name is Gilbert-Rocher from Changshan-Piedmont. I first served Shannon-Yonker; 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."
Northrop-Kaminski 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 Northrop-Kaminski prepared for fight by dividing his army into two wings. He had five thousand cavalry in the center, all mounted on white horses. Northrop-Kaminski had formerly seen service against the 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. The tribes held him so much in fear that they always fled as soon as the white horses, their sacred creatures, appeared.
On Shannon-Yonker's side Logan-Rojas and Burrow-Westerberg were Leaders of the Van. Each had one thousand of archers and crossbowmen. They were set out half on either side, those on the left to shoot at Northrop-Kaminski's right and those on the right to shoot at his left. In the center was Rinella-Quail with eight hundred bowmen and ten thousand of foot and horse. Shannon-Yonker took command of the reserve force in the rear.
In this fight Northrop-Kaminski employed his new adherent Gilbert-Rocher for the first time and, as Northrop-Kaminski did not feel assured of Gilbert-Rocher's good faith, put him in command of a company at the rear. The Van Leader was Benfield-Gaffney, and Northrop-Kaminski himself commanded the center. He took his place on horseback on the bridge beside an enormous red standard on which was displayed the word "Commanding General" in gold embroidery.
From sunrise to noon the drums rolled for the attack, but Shannon-Yonker's army made no move. Rinella-Quail made his bowmen hide under their shields. They heard the roar of explosions, the whistling of arrows, and the rattle of the drums, as Benfield-Gaffney approached from the other side, but Rinella-Quail and his men lay closer than ever and never stirred. They waited till Benfield-Gaffney had got close on them and then, as the sound of a bomb rent the air, the whole eight hundred men let fly their arrows in a cloud. Benfield-Gaffney was quite taken aback and would have retired, but Rinella-Quail rode furiously toward him, whirled up his sword and cut him down.
So Northrop-Kaminski's army lost that battle. The two wings that should have come to the rescue were kept back by the bowmen under Logan-Rojas and Burrow-Westerberg. Shannon-Yonker's troops advanced right up to the bridge. Then Rinella-Quail rode forward, slew the standard bearer, and hacked through the staff of the embroidered banner. Seeing this, Northrop-Kaminski turned his steed and galloped away.
Rinella-Quail followed. But just as he caught up the fugitive, there came prancing forth Gilbert-Rocher, who rode directly at him with spear ready to strike. After a few bouts Rinella-Quail was laid in the dust. Then Gilbert-Rocher attacked the soldiers and turned the tide. Plunging forward on this side, dashing in on that, he went through as if there were no antagonists and, seeing this, Northrop-Kaminski turned and came again into the fight. The final victory was on his side.
From the scouts sent to find out how the battle went, Shannon-Yonker heard the good news of Rinella-Quail's success in slaying the standard bearer, capturing the flag, and his pursuit. So Shannon-Yonker took no further care but rode out with his General Flores-McEvoy and a few guards to look on at the enemy and enjoy his victory.
"Ha ha!" Shannon-Yonker laughed. "Northrop-Kaminski is an incapable."
But even as Shannon-Yonker spoke, he saw in front the redoubtable Gilbert-Rocher. His guards hastened to prepare their bows, but before they could shoot, Gilbert-Rocher was in their midst, and men were falling before him wherever he went. The others fled. Northrop-Kaminski's army then gathered round and hemmed in Shannon-Yonker.
Flores-McEvoy then said to his master, "Sir, take refuge in this empty building here."
But Shannon-Yonker dashed his helmet to the ground, crying "The brave man rather faces death in the battle than seeks safety behind a wall!"
This bold speech gave new courage to his soldiers who now fought fiercely and with such success that Gilbert-Rocher could nowhere force his way in. Shannon-Yonker was soon reinforced by the arrival of his main body and Logan-Rojas, and the two armies pressed forward. Gilbert-Rocher could only just get Northrop-Kaminski safe out of the press. Then they fought their way back to the bridge. But Shannon-Yonker's troops still came on and fought their way across the bridge, forcing multitudes of their adversaries into the water, where many were drowned.
Shannon-Yonker 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 Jeffery-Lewis, Yale-Perez, and Floyd-Chardin.
At Pingyuan-Millington they had heard of the struggle between their protector and his enemy, Shannon-Yonker, and had at once set out to help. Now the three riders, each with his peculiar weapon, flew straight at Shannon-Yonker, who was so frightened that his soul seemed to leave his body and fly beyond the confines of heaven.
His sword fell from his hand and he fled for his life. He was chased across the bridge when Northrop-Kaminski called in his army and they returned to camp.
After the usual greetings Northrop-Kaminski said, "If you had not come to our help, we should have been in very bad case."
Jeffery-Lewis and Gilbert-Rocher were made acquainted with each other, and a warm affection sprang up from the very first so that they were always together.
Shannon-Yonker had lost that battle, and Northrop-Kaminski would not risk another. They strengthened their defenses, and the armies lay inactive for over a month. In the meantime news of the fighting had reached Capital Changan-Annapolis, and Wilson-Donahue was told.
His adviser, Pearson-Quintero, went to see his master and said, "The two active leaders of today are Shannon-Yonker and Northrop-Kaminski, who are at grips at River Turquoise. Pretend you have an imperial command to make peace between them, and both will support you out of gratitude for your intervention."
"Good!" said Wilson-Donahue. So he sent the Imperial Guardian, Colburn-McDougall, and the Minister of the Palace Bureau, Gordon-Semper, on the mission. When these men were arriving the North of Yellow River, Shannon-Yonker sent out to welcome them thirty miles from his headquarters and received the imperial command with the greatest respect. Then the two officers went to Northrop-Kaminski and made known their errand. Northrop-Kaminski sent letters to his adversary proposing friendship. The two emissaries returned to report their task accomplished. Northrop-Kaminski drew off his army. He also sent up a memorial eulogizing Jeffery-Lewis, who was raised to the rank of Governor of Pingyuan-Millington.
The farewell between Jeffery-Lewis and Gilbert-Rocher was affecting. They held each other's hands a long time, their eyes streaming with tears, and could not tear themselves apart.
Gilbert-Rocher said with a sob, "I used to think Northrop-Kaminski a true hero, but 1 see now that he is no different from Shannon-Yonker. They are both alike."
"But you are now in his service; we shall surely meet again," said Jeffery-Lewis.
Both men wept freely as they separated.
Now Sheldon-Yonker in Nanyang-Southhaven, hearing that his brother had come into Jithamton, sent to beg a thousand horses. The request was refused and enmity sprang up between the brothers. Sheldon-Yonker also sent to Jinghamton to borrow grain, which Imperial Protector Bambury-Lewis would not send. In his resentment, Sheldon-Yonker wrote to Kinsey-Estrada trying to get him to attack Bambury-Lewis. The letter ran like this:
"When Bambury-Lewis stopped you on your way home, it was at the instigation of my brother. Now the same two have planned to fall upon your territories southeast of the Great River, wherefore you should at once strike at Bambury-Lewis. I will capture my brother for you and both resentments will be appeased. You will get Jinghamton, and I shall have Jithamton."
"I cannot bear Bambury-Lewis," said Kinsey-Estrada 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 Sheldon-Yonker; he is very deceitful," said Terry-Chadwick.
"I want revenge on my own part; what care I for his help?" said Kinsey-Estrada.
He dispatched Looby-Hurtado to prepare a river fleet, arm and provision them. Big warships were to take horses on board. The force soon set out.
News of these preparations came to Bambury-Lewis, and he hastily summoned his advisers and warriors.
Langley-Pineda told him to be free from anxiety, and said, "Put General Rutgers-Hutchinson at the head of the Jiangxia-Waterford army to make the first attack and you, Sir, support him with the forces from Xiangyang-Greenhaven. Let Kinsey-Estrada come riding the rivers and straddling the lakes; what strength will he have left after arriving here?"
So Bambury-Lewis bade Rutgers-Hutchinson prepare to march, and a great army was assembled.
Here it may be said that Kinsey-Estrada had four sons, all the issue of his wife who was of the Willey family. Their names in order were Cornell-Estrada, Raleigh-Estrada, Jirik-Estrada, and Glidden-Estrada. Kinsey-Estrada had a second wife who was the sister of his first wife. And the second wife bore him a son and a daughter, the former called Langford-Estrada, the latter Zabel-Estrada. Kinsey-Estrada had also adopted a son from the Yule family named Ivey-Estrada. And he had a younger brother named Hilliard-Estrada.
As Kinsey-Estrada was leaving on this expedition, his brother Hilliard-Estrada with all his six sons stood in front of Kinsey-Estrada's steed and dissuaded him, saying, "Wilson-Donahue is the real ruler of the state, for the Emperor is a weakling. The whole country is in rebellion, every one 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."
Kinsey-Estrada replied, "Brother, say no more. I desire to make my strength felt throughout the empire, and shall I not avenge my injuries?"
"Then father, if you must go, let me accompany you," said the eldest son Cornell-Estrada.
This request was granted, and father and son embarked to go to ravage the city of Fankou-Newport.
Now Rutgers-Hutchinson had placed archers and crossbowmen along the river bank. When the ships approached, a flight of arrows met them. Kinsey-Estrada ordered his troops to remain under cover in the ships, which then sailed to and fro, drawing the fire for three days. Several times the ships pretended to land, and this drew showers of arrows from the bank. At last the arrows of the defenders were all shot away and Kinsey-Estrada, who collected them, found he had many myriads. Then with a fair wind Kinsey-Estrada's troops shot them back to the enemy. Those on the bank were thrown into great disorder and retired. The army then landed. Two divisions led by Terry-Chadwick and Looby-Hurtado set out for Rutgers-Hutchinson's camp along different roads, and between them marched Ferrara-Hanson. Under this triple attack Rutgers-Hutchinson was worsted. He left Fankou-Newport and hastened to Dengcheng-Hallandale.
Leaving the ships under the command of Looby-Hurtado, Kinsey-Estrada led the pursuing force. Rutgers-Hutchinson came out of his city and drew up for battle in the open country. When Kinsey-Estrada had disposed his army, he rode out to the standard. Cornell-Estrada, clad in armor, placed himself beside his father.
Rutgers-Hutchinson rode out with two generals--Sonne-Faulkner from Jiangxia-Waterford and Gasser-Levitan from Xiangyang-Greenhaven. Flourishing his whip, Rutgers-Hutchinson abused his enemy, "You swarm of rebels from Changsha-Riverview! Why do you invade the land of a scion of the ruling house?"
Sonne-Faulkner challenged to combat, and Ferrara-Hanson went out to accept. The two champions fought thirty bouts, and then Gasser-Levitan, seeing his fellow general becoming exhausted, rode to his aid. Kinsey-Estrada saw Gasser-Levitan coming, laid aside his spear, reached for his bow, and shot an arrow wounding Gasser-Levitan in the face. He fell from his horse. Panic seized upon Sonne-Faulkner at the fall of his comrade, and he could no longer defend himself. Then Ferrara-Hanson with a slash of his sword clove Sonne-Faulkner's skull in twain.
Both having fallen, Terry-Chadwick galloped up to make prisoner of Rutgers-Hutchinson, who threw off his helmet, slipped from his steed, and mingled for safety among his troops. Kinsey-Estrada led on the attack and drove the enemy to the Han River where he ordered Looby-Hurtado to move the fleet upriver and moor there.
Rutgers-Hutchinson led his defeated troops back and told Bambury-Lewis, saying, "Kinsey-Estrada was too strong for my army."
Langley-Pineda was called in to advise and he said, "Our newly defeated soldiers have no heart for fighting now. Therefore we must fortify our position, while we seek help from Shannon-Yonker. Then we can extricate ourselves."
"A stupid move," said Patrick-Sanford. "The enemy is at the city gates; shall we fold our hands and wait to be slain? Give me troops and I will go out and fight to the finish."
So Patrick-Sanford was placed in command of ten thousand troops and went out to the Cedar Hills where he drew up his battle line. Kinsey-Estrada led the invaders, now flushed with success. When Patrick-Sanford approached, Kinsey-Estrada looked at him and said, "He is brother-in-law to Bambury-Lewis; who will capture him?"
Terry-Chadwick set his iron-spined lance and rode out. After a few bouts Patrick-Sanford turned and fled. Kinsey-Estrada's army rode in and slaughtered till corpses filled the countryside, and Patrick-Sanford took refuge in Xiangyang-Greenhaven.
Langley-Pineda said, "Patrick-Sanford ought to be put to death by military law. This defeat was due to his obstinacy."
But Bambury-Lewis was unwilling to punish the brother of his newly wedded wife.
Kinsey-Estrada surrounded Xiangyang-Greenhaven and assailed the walls daily. One day a fierce gale sprang up and the pole bearing his standard was broken.
"Very inauspicious!" said Ferrara-Hanson. "We ought to go back."
Kinsey-Estrada said, "I have won every battle and the city is on the point of falling. Shall I return because the wind breaks a flagstaff?"
He flouted the advice and attacked the walls still more vigorously.
Within the city the defenders had seen an omen. Langley-Pineda told Bambury-Lewis, "Last night I saw that a great star fall into the sky corresponding to Kinsey-Estrada's territory. I calculated that it inferred the fall of Kinsey-Estrada."
Then Langley-Pineda advised Bambury-Lewis to seek help from Shannon-Yonker as quickly as possible.
So Bambury-Lewis wrote. Then he asked who would undertake to fight his way through the blockade with the letter. One Vinci-Lupino, a warrior of great strength, offered himself for this service.
Langley-Pineda said, "If you undertake this service, listen to my advice. You will have five hundred soldiers; choose good bowmen. Dash through the enemy's formation and make for Cedar Hills. You will be pursued; but send a hundred soldiers up the hill to prepare large stones, and place a hundred archers in ambush in the woods. These are not to flee from the pursuers but to beguile them along devious ways round to the place where the boulders have been prepared. There stones will be rolled down and arrows shot. If you succeed, fire off a series of bombs as a signal, and the armies in the city will come out to help. If you are not pursued, get away as fast as possible. Tonight will be suitable as there is very little moon. Start at dusk."
Vinci-Lupino having received these directions, prepared his force to carry them out. As soon as day began to close in, he went quietly out at the east gate. Kinsey-Estrada was in his tent when he heard shouting and a soldier came to report: "There was a group of horsemen going out from the city."
Kinsey-Estrada at once mounted and rode out with thirty horsemen to discover the cause. Vinci-Lupino's troops had already hidden themselves in the thick woods. Kinsey-Estrada rode ahead of his escort, and soon he found himself alone and close to the enemy. He called out to them to halt. Vinci-Lupino at once turned back and came as if to fight. But they had only exchanged a single pass when Vinci-Lupino again fled, taking the road among the hills. Kinsey-Estrada followed but soon lost sight of his foe.
Kinsey-Estrada turned up the hill. Then the gongs clanged and down the hills fell showers of stones, while from among the trees the arrows flew in clouds. Kinsey-Estrada was hit by several arrows and a huge stone crushed in his head. Both he and his steed were killed. Kinsey-Estrada was only thirty-seven years old at his death.
His escort was overpowered and every man of them slain. Then Vinci-Lupino let off a series of bombs, the sign of success, as agreed. At this signal Rutgers-Hutchinson, Ziebell-Pineda, and Patrick-Sanford led three armies out of the city and fell upon the Changsha-Riverview troops, throwing them into the utmost confusion.
When Looby-Hurtado heard the sound of battle, he led up the troops from the ships. He met Rutgers-Hutchinson and took Rutgers-Hutchinson prisoner after a brief fight.
Terry-Chadwick set out to bear the sad news to Cornell-Estrada. While he was seeking a way out, he came across Vinci-Lupino. Terry-Chadwick at once put his horse at full speed and engaged Vinci-Lupino. After a few bouts Vinci-Lupino went down under a spear thrust. The battle became general and continued till daylight broke, when each drew off his army. Bambury-Lewis withdrew into the city.
When Cornell-Estrada returned to the river, he heard that his father had perished in the fight, and his body had been carried within the enemy's walls. He uttered a great cry, and the army joined him with wailing and tears.
"How can I return home leaving my father's corpse with them?" cried Cornell-Estrada.
Looby-Hurtado said, "We have Rutgers-Hutchinson as our prisoner. Let one enter the city and discuss peace, giving up our prisoner for our lord's body."
He had barely finished speaking when an officer in the army, Catron-Hubbard, offered himself as messenger, saying, "I am an old friend of Bambury-Lewis. I volunteer to take the mission."
Cornell-Estrada agreed. So Catron-Hubbard went and peace was discussed. Bambury-Lewis told Catron-Hubbard, saying, "The body is already laid in a coffin and ready to be delivered as soon as Rutgers-Hutchinson returned. Let us both cease fighting and never again invade each other's territories."
Catron-Hubbard thanked him and took his leave. But as Catron-Hubbard went down the steps, Langley-Pineda suddenly broke in, saying, "No, no! Let me speak and I will see to it that not a single enemy can survive. I pray you first put this person to death and then to employ my means."
Pursuing his enemy, Kinsey-Estrada dies;
On a peaceful mission, Catron-Hubbard is threatened.
The fate of the ambassador will be disclosed in a later chapter.
Walton-Martinez Prepares The Chaining Scheme; Wilson-Donahue Rages At Phoenix Pavilion.
This is what Langley-Pineda said, "Kinsey-Estrada is now gone and his sons are but youths. Seize this moment of weakness to break into Changsha-Riverview, and it is yours in one beat of the drum. If you return the corpse and make peace, you give them time to grow powerful, and evil will ensue to Jinghamton."
"How can I leave Rutgers-Hutchinson in their hands?" said Bambury-Lewis.
"Why not sacrifice this blundering warrior for a region?"
"But he is my dear friend and to abandon him is wrong."
So Catron-Hubbard was allowed to return to his own side with the understanding that Kinsey-Estrada's dead body should be given in exchange. Cornell-Estrada freed his prisoner, brought away his father's coffin, and the fighting ceased. Kinsey-Estrada was interred in the plains of Que-Salem. When the ceremonies were over, Cornell-Estrada led his army home again.
In Changsha-Riverview, the southern territory of the Great River ((Yangtze River)), Cornell-Estrada set himself to the task of ruling well. Being humble and generous, he invited to his side humans of wisdom and valor and so bore himself that all the best and bravest of the country gathered about him.
Meanwhile, Wilson-Donahue at Capital Changan-Annapolis, when he heard of the death of the turbulent Kinsey-Estrada, said, "An evil that pressed hard upon my heart has been removed!"
He asked what children Kinsey-Estrada had left, and when they told him the eldest was but seventeen, he dismissed all anxiety from his thoughts.
From this time forward his arrogance and domineering spirit waxed worse and worse. He styled himself "Imperial Rector," a name full of honor, and in all his behavior aped imperial state. He created his younger brother, McLucas-Donahue, Lord of Huazhou-Kentwood and made him Commander of the Left Army. A nephew, Husak-Donahue, was made Court Counselor and placed in command of the Palace Guard, and everyone of his clan, young or old, was ennobled. Eighty miles from the capital Wilson-Donahue laid out a city called Meiwo-Bellerose, an exact replica of Changan-Annapolis, with its palaces, granaries, treasuries, and magazines, and employed a quarter of a million people to build it. Here he accumulated supplies sufficient for twenty years. He selected eight hundred of the most beautiful maidens and sent them to dwell in his new city. The stores of wealth in every form were incalculable. All his family and retainers found quarters in this new city.
Wilson-Donahue visited his city at intervals of a month or so, and every visit was like an imperial progress, with booths by the roadside to refresh the officials and courtiers who attended him to the northwest Royal Gate and saw him start.
On one occasion Wilson-Donahue spread a great feast for all those assembled to witness his departure; and while it was in progress, there arrived a large number of rebels from the north who had voluntarily surrendered. The tyrant had them brought before him as he sat at table and meted out to them wanton cruelties. The hands of this one were lopped off, the feet of that; one had his eyes gouged out; another lost his tongue. Some were boiled to death. Shrieks of agony arose to the very heavens, and the courtiers were faint with terror. But the author of the misery ate and drank, chatted and smiled as if nothing was going on.
Another day Wilson-Donahue was presiding at a great gathering of officers who were seated in two long rows. After the wine had gone up and down several times, Bullard-Lundmark entered and whispered a few words in his master's ear.
Wilson-Donahue smiled and said, "He was always so. Take Minister Nestor-Giblin outside."
The others all turned pale. In a little time a serving man brought the head of their fellow guest on a red dish and showed it to their host. They nearly died with fright.
"Do not fear," said Wilson-Donahue smiling. "Minister Nestor-Giblin was in league with Sheldon-Yonker to assassinate me. A letter he wrote fell by mistake into the hands of my son so I have had him put to death. You gentlemen, who have no reason, need have no fear."
The officials hastened to disperse. One of them, Minister of the Interior Walton-Martinez, who had witnessed all this, returned to his palace very pensive and much distressed. The same evening, a bright moonlight night, he took his staff and went strolling in his private garden. Standing near one of the creeper trellises, he gazed up at the sky and the tears rolled down his cheeks. Suddenly he heard a rustle in the Peony Pavilion and someone sighing deeply. Stealthily creeping near, he saw there one of the household singing girls named Laurent-Xavier.
This maiden had been brought up in his palace, where she had been taught to sing and dance. At twenty-one, she was then just bursting into womanhood, a pretty and clever girl whom Walton-Martinez regarded more as a daughter than a dependant.
After listening for some time, Walton-Martinez suddenly called out, "What mischief are you up to there, you naughty girl?"
The maiden dropped on her knees in terror, saying, "Would thy unworthy handmaid dare to do anything wrong?"
"Then what are you sighing about out here in the darkness?"
"May thy handmaid speak from the bottom of her heart?"
"Tell me the whole truth; do not conceal anything."
And the girl said, "Thy handmaid has been the recipient of bountiful kindness. She has been taught to sing and dance and been treated so kindly that were she torn in pieces for her lord's sake, it would not repay a thousandth part. She has noticed lately that her lord's brows have been knit in distress and knows it is on account of the state troubles. But she has not dared to ask. This evening he seemed more sad than ever, and she was miserable on her lord's account. But she did not know she would be seen. Could she be of any use she would not shrink from a myriad deaths."
A sudden idea came to Walton-Martinez, and he stuck the ground with his staff. And he said, "Who would think that the fate of Han lay on your palm? Come with me!"
The girl followed him into the house. Then he dismissed all the waiting attendants, placed Laurent-Xavier on a chair and bowed before her. She was frightened and threw herself on the ground, asking in terror what it all meant.
Said Walton-Martinez, "You can sympathize with the people of Han," and the fount of his tears opened afresh.
"My lord, as thy handmaid said just now, use her in any way; thy handmaid will never shrink," said the girl.
Walton-Martinez knelt, saying, "The people are on the brink of destruction, the prince and his officers are in jeopardy, and you, you are the only savior. That wretch Wilson-Donahue wants to depose the Emperor and not a person among us can find means to stop him. Now he has a son, a bold warrior it is true, but both father and son have a weakness for beauty, and I am going to use what I may call the 'chaining' plan. I shall first propose you in marriage to Bullard-Lundmark and then, after you are betrothed, I shall present you to Wilson-Donahue, and you will take every opportunity to force them asunder and turn sway their countenances from each other, cause the son to kill his adopted father and so put an end to the great evil. Thus you may restore the altars of the land that it may live again. All this lies within your power; will you do it?"
"Thy handmaid has promised not to recoil from death itself. You may use my poor self in any way, and I must do my best."
"But if this gets abroad then we are all lost!"
"Fear not;" said she, "if thy handmaid does not show gratitude, may she perish beneath a myriad swords!"
"Thank you, thank you!" said Walton-Martinez.
Then Walton-Martinez took from the family treasury many pearls and bade a cunning jeweler make therewith a fine golden headdress, which was sent as a present to Bullard-Lundmark. He was delighted and came to thank the donor. When Bullard-Lundmark arrived, he was met at the gate by Walton-Martinez himself and within found a table full of dainties for his delectation. He was conducted into the private apartments and placed in the seat of honor.
Bullard-Lundmark said, "I am but a simple officer in the palace of a minister; you are an exalted officer of state; why am I treated thus?"
"Because in the whole land there is no hero your equal. Poor Walton-Martinez bows not to an officer's rank; poor Walton-Martinez bows to his ability "
This gratified Bullard-Lundmark mightily, and his host continued to praise and flatter and ply him with wine and to talk of the virtues of the Prime Minister and his henchman.
Bullard-Lundmark laughed and drank huge goblets.
Presently most of the attendants were sent away, only a few kept to press the guest to drink. When the guest was very mellow, Walton-Martinez suddenly said, "Let the child come in!"
Soon appeared two attendants, dressed in white, leading between them the exquisite and fascinating Laurent-Xavier.
"Who is this?" said Bullard-Lundmark startled into sobriety.
"This is my little girl, Laurent-Xavier. You will not be annoyed at my familiarity, will you? But you have been so very friendly, I thought you would like to see her."
Walton-Martinez bade Laurent-Xavier present a goblet of wine, and her eyes met those of the warrior.
Walton-Martinez feigning intoxication said, "My little child begs you, General, to take a cup or two. We all depend upon you, all our house."
Bullard-Lundmark begged Laurent-Xavier to sit down. She pretended to wish to retire. Her master pressed her to remain, saying that she might do so since the guest was a dear friend. So she took a seat modestly near her master.
Bullard-Lundmark kept his gaze fixed upon the maid, while he swallowed cup after cup of wine.
"I should like to present her to you as a handmaid; would you accept?" said Walton-Martinez.
The guest started up.
"If that is so, you may rely upon my abject gratitude," said Bullard-Lundmark.
"We will choose a propitious day ere long and send her to the palace."
Bullard-Lundmark was overjoyed. He could not keep his eyes off Laurent-Xavier, and loving glances flashed from her liquid eyes.
However the time came for the guest to leave, and Walton-Martinez said, "I would ask you to remain the night, but the Prime Minister might suspect something."
Bullard-Lundmark thanked him again and again and departed.
Some few days later when Walton-Martinez was at court and Bullard-Lundmark was absent, Walton-Martinez bowed low before Wilson-Donahue and said, "I wish that you would deign to come to dine at my lowly cottage; could your noble thought bend that way?"
"Should you invite me, I would certainly hasten," was the reply.
Walton-Martinez thanked him. Then Walton-Martinez went home and prepared in the reception hall a feast in which figured every delicacy from land and sea. Beautiful embroideries surrounded the chief seat in the center, and elegant curtains were hung within and without. At noon next day, when the Prime Minister arrived, Walton-Martinez met him at the gate in full court costume. Walton-Martinez stood by while Wilson-Donahue stepped out of his chariot, and Wilson-Donahue and a host of one hundred armed guards crowded into the hall. Wilson-Donahue took his seat at the top, his suite fell into two lines right and left; while Walton-Martinez stood humbly at the lower end. Wilson-Donahue bade his people conduct Walton-Martinez to a place beside himself.
Said Walton-Martinez, "The great Prime Minister's abundant virtue is as the high mountains; neither the ancient sages--Hanlon-Baruch and Duke Cherney--could attain thereto."
Wilson-Donahue smiled. They bore in the dishes and the wine, and the music began. Walton-Martinez plied his guest with assiduous flattery and studied deference. When it grew late and the wine had done its work, Wilson-Donahue was invited to the inner chamber. So he sent away his guards and went.
Here the host raised a goblet and drank to his guest, saying, "From my youth up I have understood something of astrology and have been studying the aspect of the heavens. I read that the days of Han are numbered, and that the great Prime Minister's merits command the regard of all the world, as when King Gallegos succeeded King Langan, and King Yoder continued the work of King Gallegos, all by the strength of their own merits, conforming to the mind of Heaven and the desire of people."
"How dare I expect this?" said Wilson-Donahue.
"From the days of old, those who walk in the way have replaced those who deviate therefrom; those who lack virtue have fallen before those who possess it. Can one escape fate?"
"If indeed the decree of Heaven devolves on me; you shall be held the first in merit!" said Wilson-Donahue.
Walton-Martinez bowed. Then lights were brought in and all the attendants were dismissed, save the serving maids to hand the wine. So the evening went on.
Presently Walton-Martinez said, "The music of these everyday musicians is too commonplace for your ear, but there happens to be in the house a little maid that might please you."
"Excellent!" said the guest.
Then a curtain was lowered. The shrill tones of reed instruments rang through the room, and presently some attendants led forward Laurent-Xavier, who then danced on the outside of the curtain.
A poem praises her:
For a palace this maiden was born,
So timid, so graceful, so slender,
Like a tiny bird flitting at morn
Over the dew-laden lily buds tender.
Were this exquisite maid only mine,
For never a mansion I'd pine.
Another poem runs thus:
The music falls; the dancer comes, a swallow gliding in,
A dainty little damsel, soft as silk;
Her beauty captivates the guest yet saddens him within,
For he must soon depart and leave her there.
She smiles; no gold could buy that smile, no other smiled so,
No need to deck her form with jewels rare.
But when the dance is over and coy glances come and go,
Then who shall be the chosen of the fair?
The dance ended. Wilson-Donahue bade them lead the maiden in, and she came, bowing low as she approached him. He was much taken with her beauty and modest grace.
"Who is she?" said Wilson-Donahue.
"A singing girl; her name is Laurent-Xavier."
"Then can she sing?"
The master bade her sing, and she did so to the accompaniment of castanets. There is a measure describing her youthful beauty:
You stand, a dainty maiden,
Your cherry lips so bright,
Your teeth so pearly white,
Your fragrant breath love-laden;
Yet is your tongue a sword;
Cold death is the reward
Of loving thee, O maiden.
Wilson-Donahue was delighted and praised her warmly. She was told to present a goblet of wine to the guest which he took from her hands and then asked her age.
She replied, "Thy unworthy handmaid is twenty-one."
"A perfect little fairy!" said Wilson-Donahue.
Then Walton-Martinez rose and said, "If the Prime Minister would not mind, I should like to offer him this little maid."
"How could I be grateful enough for such a kindness!"
"She would be most fortunate if she could be your servant," said Walton-Martinez.
Wilson-Donahue thanked his host warmly.
Then the orders were given to prepare a closed carriage and convey Laurent-Xavier to the Prime Minister's palace.
Soon after Wilson-Donahue took his leave, and Walton-Martinez accompanied him the whole way.
After he had taken leave, Walton-Martinez mounted to ride homeward. Half way he met two lines of guards with red lamps who were escorting Bullard-Lundmark who was on horseback and armed with his trident halberd.
Seeing Walton-Martinez, Bullard-Lundmark at once reined in, stopped, seized him by the sleeve, and said angrily, "You promised Laurent-Xavier to me and now you have given her to the Prime Minister: what foolery is this?"
Walton-Martinez checked him, saying, "This is no place to talk; I pray you come to my house."
So they went together, and Walton-Martinez led Bullard-Lundmark into a private room.
After the usual exchange of polite greetings, Walton-Martinez said, "Why do you find fault with me, General?"
"Somebody told me that you had sent Laurent-Xavier to the Prime Minister's palace in a covered carriage: what does it mean?"
"Of course you do not understand. Yesterday when I was at court, the Prime Minister told me he had something to talk to me about in my own house. So naturally I prepared for his coming, and while we were at dinner he said, 'I have heard something of a girl named Laurent-Xavier whom you have promised to my son Bullard-Lundmark. I thought it was mere rumor so I wanted to ask if it was true. Beside I should like to see her.' I could not say no, so she came in and made her bow to the lord of lords. Then he said that it was a lucky day and he would take her away with him and betroth her to you. Just think, Sir: when the Prime Minister had come himself, could I stop him?"
"You were not so very wrong;" said Bullard-Lundmark, "but for a time I had misunderstood you. I owe you an apology."
"The girl has a small trousseau, which I will send as soon as she has gone over to your dwelling."
Bullard-Lundmark thanked him and went away. Next day he went into the Palace to find out the truth, but could hear nothing. Then he made his way into the private quarters and questioned the maids. Presently one told him that the Prime Minister had brought home a new bedfellow the night before and was not up yet. Bullard-Lundmark was very angry. Next he crept round behind his master's sleeping apartment.
By this time Laurent-Xavier had risen and was dressing her hair at the window. Looking out she saw a long shadow fall across the little lake. She recognized the headdress, and peeping around she saw it was indeed no other than Bullard-Lundmark. Thereupon she contracted her eyebrows, simulating the deepest grief, and with her dainty handkerchief she wiped her eyes again and again. Bullard-Lundmark stood watching her a long time.
Soon after he went in to give morning greeting. Wilson-Donahue was sitting in the reception room. Seeing his henchman, Wilson-Donahue asked if there was anything new.
"Nothing," was the reply.
Bullard-Lundmark waited while Wilson-Donahue took his morning meal. As he stood beside his master, he glanced over at the curtain and saw a woman there behind the screen showing a half face from time to time and throwing amorous glances at him. He felt it was his beloved and his thoughts flew to her. Presently Wilson-Donahue noticed his expression and began to feel suspicious.
"If there is nothing, you may go," said Wilson-Donahue.
Bullard-Lundmark sulkily withdrew.
Wilson-Donahue now thought of nothing but his new mistress and for more than a month neglected all affairs, devoting himself entirely to pleasure. Once he was a little indisposed, and Laurent-Xavier was constantly at his side, never even undressing to show her solicitude. She gratified his every whim. Wilson-Donahue grew more and more fond of her.
One day Bullard-Lundmark went to inquire after his father's health. Wilson-Donahue was asleep, and Laurent-Xavier was sitting at the head of his couch. Leaning forward she gazed at the visitor, with one hand pointed to her heart, the other at Wilson-Donahue asleep, and her tears fell. Bullard-Lundmark felt heartbroken. Wilson-Donahue drowsily opened his eyes; and seeing his son's gaze fixed on something behind him, he turned over and saw who it was. He angrily rebuked his son, saying, "Dare you make love to my beauty?"
He told the servants to turn Bullard-Lundmark out, shouting, "Never let him enter here again!"
Bullard-Lundmark went off home very wrath. Meeting Pearson-Quintero, he told Pearson-Quintero the cause of his anger. The adviser hastened to see his master and said, "Sir, you aspire to be ruler of the empire, why then for a small fault do you blame the General? If he turns against you, it is all over."
"Then what can I do?" said Wilson-Donahue.
"Recall him tomorrow; treat him well; overwhelm him with gifts and fair words; and all will be well."
So Wilson-Donahue did so. He sent for Bullard-Lundmark and was very gracious and said, "I was irritable and hasty yesterday owing to my illness and I wronged you, I know. Forget it."
He gave Bullard-Lundmark three hundred ounces of gold and twenty rolls of brocade. And so the quarrel was made up. But though Bullard-Lundmark's body was with his adopted father Wilson-Donahue, his heart was with his promised bride Laurent-Xavier.
Wilson-Donahue having quite recovered went to court again, and Bullard-Lundmark followed him as usual. Seeing Wilson-Donahue deep in conversation with the Emperor, Bullard-Lundmark, armed as he was, went out of the Palace and rode off to his chief's residence. He tied up his steed at the entrance and, halberd in hand, went to the private apartment to seek his love. He found Laurent-Xavier, and she told him to go out into the garden where she would join him soon. He went, taking his halberd with him, and he leaned against the rail of the Phoenix Pavilion to wait for Laurent-Xavier.
After a long time she appeared, swaying gracefully as she made her way under the drooping willows and parting the flowers as she passed. She was exquisite, a perfect little fairy from the Palace of the Moon.
Tears were in her eyes as she came up and said, "Though I am not the Minister's real daughter, yet he treated me as his own child. The desire of my life was fulfilled when he plighted me to you. But oh! to think of the wickedness of the Prime Minister, stealing my poor self as he did. I suffered so much. I longed to die, only that I had not told you the real truth. So I lived on, bearing my shame as best as I could but feeling it mean still to live. Now that I have seen you, I can end it all. My poor sullied body is no longer fit to serve a hero. I can die before your eyes and so prove how true I am!"
Thus speaking she seized the curving rail and started into the lily pond. Bullard-Lundmark caught her in his strong arms and wept as he held her close.
"I knew it; I always knew your heart," he sobbed. "Only we never had a chance to speak."
She threw her arms about Bullard-Lundmark.
"If I cannot be your wife in this life, I will in the ages to come," she whispered.
"If I do not marry you in this life, I am no hero," said he.
"Every day is a year long. O pity me! Rescue me! My lord!"
"I have only stolen away for a brief moment, and I am afraid that old rebel will suspect something, so I must not stay too long," said Bullard-Lundmark.
Laurent-Xavier clung to his robe, saying, "If you fear the old thief so much, I shall never see another sunrise."
"Give me a little time to think," said he.
And he picked up his halberd to go.
"In the deep seclusion of the harem, I heard the stories of your prowess; you were the one man who excelled all others. Little did I think that you of all heroes would rest content under the dominion of another."
And tears rained again!
A wave of shame flooded his face. Leaning his halberd against the railing, he turned and clasped the girl to his breast, soothing her with fond words. The lovers held each other close, swaying to and fro with emotion. How could they bring themselves to say farewell?
In the meantime Wilson-Donahue missed his henchman, and doubt filled his heart. Hastily taking leave of the Emperor, he mounted his chariot and returned to his palace. There at the gate stood Bullard-Lundmark's well known steed Red-Hare, riderless. Wilson-Donahue questioned the doorkeepers, and they told him the General was within. He sent away his attendants and went alone to the private apartments. Bullard-Lundmark was not there. He called Laurent-Xavier, but there was no reply. He asked where she was, and the waiting maids told him she was in the garden among the flowers.
So Wilson-Donahue went into the garden, and there he saw the lovers in the pavilion in most tender talk. Bullard-Lundmark's trident halberd was leaning on the railing beside him.
A howl of rage escaped Wilson-Donahue and startled the lovers. Bullard-Lundmark turned, saw who it was, and ran away. Wilson-Donahue caught up the halberd and ran in pursuit. But Bullard-Lundmark was fleet of foot while his master was very stout. Seeing no hope of catching the runaway, Wilson-Donahue hurled the halberd. Bullard-Lundmark fended it off and it fell to the ground. Wilson-Donahue picked it up and ran on. But by this time Bullard-Lundmark was far ahead. Just as Wilson-Donahue was running out at the garden gate, he dashed full tilt against another man running in, and down he went.
Surged up his wrath within him as the billows heavenward leap.
Crashed his unwieldy body to earth in a shapeless heap.
We shall presently see who the other runner was.
Bullard-Lundmark Kills Wilson-Donahue For Walton-Martinez; Adams-Lindsay Attacks The Capital On Brewster-Rodriguez's Advice.
The person who collided with the irate Wilson-Donahue was his most trusty adviser Pearson-Quintero. Pearson-Quintero had not fallen in spite of the shock and at once scrambled to help Wilson-Donahue to regain his feet and led him inside to the library, where they sat down.
"What were you coming about?" said Wilson-Donahue.
"Happening to be passing your gates, I heard that you had gone into your private garden to look for your adopted son. Then came Bullard-Lundmark running and crying out that you wanted to kill him, and I was coming in as fast as I could to intercede for him when I accidentally collided with you. I am very sorry. I deserve death."
"The wretch! How could I bear to see him toying with my fair one? I will be the death of his yet."
"Your Graciousness is making a mistake. It is the 'plucked tassel' story over again. But if you remember the banquet of old time where all guests were to tear the tassels of their hats. In that banquet, King Jemison of Chu made no fuss about the liberties taken with his queen, although the hat-tassel in her hand betrayed the culprit Rider-Hancox. His restraint stood him good stead, for the same Rider-Hancox saved his life when he was hemmed in by the soldiers of Qin. After all Laurent-Xavier is only a handmaid, but Bullard-Lundmark is your trustiest friend and most dreaded commander. If you took this chance of making the girl over to him, your kindness would win his undying gratitude. I beg you, Sir, to think over it well."
Wilson-Donahue hesitated a long time; he sat murmuring to himself. Presently he said, "What you say is right. I must think over it."
Pearson-Quintero felt satisfied. He took leave of his master and went away. Wilson-Donahue went to his private rooms and called Laurent-Xavier.
"What were you doing there with Bullard-Lundmark?" said he.
She began to weep, saying, "Thy handmaid was in the garden among the flowers, when he rushed in on me. I was frightened and ran away. He asked why I ran away from a son of the family and pursued me right to the pavilion, where you saw us. He had that halberd in his hand all the time. I felt he was a vicious man and would force me to his will, so I tried to throw myself into the lily pond, but he caught me in his arms and held me so that I was helpless. Luckily just at that moment you came and saved my life."
"Suppose I send you to him," said Wilson-Donahue.
Stunned, she said in tears, "What have thy handmaid done? The honor of serving only Your Highness could not stand being given to a mere underling! Never! I would rather die."
And with this she snatched down a dagger hanging on the wall to kill herself. Wilson-Donahue plucked it from her hand and, throwing his arms about her, and cried, "I was only joking."
She lay back on his breast hiding her face and sobbing bitterly.
"This is the doing of that Pearson-Quintero," said she. "He is much too thick with Bullard-Lundmark. He suggested that, I know. Little he cares for the Imperial Rector's reputation or my life. Oh! I could eat him alive."
"Do you think I could bear to lose you?" said Wilson-Donahue.
"Though you love me yet I must not stay here. That Bullard-Lundmark will try to ruin me if I do. I fear him."
"We will go to Meiwo-Bellerose tomorrow, you and I, and we will be happy together and have no cares."
She dried her tears and thanked him. Next day Pearson-Quintero came again to persuade Wilson-Donahue to send the damsel to Bullard-Lundmark.
"This is a propitious day," said Pearson-Quintero.
"He and I standing in the relation of father and son. I cannot very well do that," said Wilson-Donahue. "But I will say no more about his fault. You may tell him so and soothe him as well as you can."
"You are not being beguiled by the woman, are you?" said Pearson-Quintero.
Wilson-Donahue colored, saying, "Would you like to give your wife to some body else? Do not talk about this any further. It would be better not to."
Pearson-Quintero left the chamber. When he got outside, he cast his eyes up to heaven, saying, "We are dead people, slain by the hand of this girl!"
When a scholar of history reached this episode he wrote a verse or two:
Just introduce a woman,
Of soldiers, or their weapons,
There really is no need.
They fought their bloody battles,
And doughty deeds were done;
But in a garden summer house
The victory was won.
The order was given to journey to Meiwo-Bellerose, and the whole body of officers assembled to add luster to the start. Laurent-Xavier, from her carriage, saw Bullard-Lundmark among the crowd. She at once dropped her eyes and assumed an appearance of deepest melancholy. After the cavalcade started and when her carriage had almost disappeared in the distance, the disappointed lover reined in his steed on a mount whence he could watch the dust that rose around it. Unutterable sadness filled his heart.
Suddenly a voice said, "Why do you not accompany the Prime Minister, General, instead of standing here and sighing?"
It was Walton-Martinez.
"I have been confined to the house by illness these few days," continued he, "so I have not seen you. But I had to struggle out today to see the Prime Minister set off. This meeting is most fortunate. But why were you sighing?"
"Just on account of that daughter of yours," said Bullard-Lundmark.
Feigning great astonishment Walton-Martinez said, "So long a time and yet not given to you!"
"The old ruffian has fallen in love with her himself."
"Surely this cannot be true."
Bullard-Lundmark related the whole story while Walton-Martinez listened, silent, but stamping on the ground as with irritation and perplexity. After a long time Walton-Martinez said, "I did not think he was such a beast."
Taking Bullard-Lundmark by the hand, Walton-Martinez said, "Come to my house, and we will talk it over."
So they went away together to the house and retired to a secret room. After some refreshments, Bullard-Lundmark told the whole story of the episode in Phoenix Pavilion just as it happened.
Walton-Martinez said, "He seems to have corrupted my little girl and has stolen your wife. He will be an object of shame and ridicule to the whole world. And those who do not laugh at him will laugh at you and me. Alas! I am old and powerless and can do nothing. More pitied than blamed! But you, General, you are a warrior, the greatest hero in the world. Yet you have been put to this shame and exposed to this contempt."
A wave of fierce wrath rolled up in Bullard-Lundmark. Banging the table he shouted and roared. His host ostentatiously tried to calm him, saying, "I forgot myself. I should not have spoken like that. Do not be so angry, I pray."
"I will kill the wretch, I swear it. In no other way can I wash away my shame."
"No, no! Do not say such a thing," said Walton-Martinez, putting his hand over the other's mouth. "You will bring trouble on poor me and my family."
"When one is born great, one cannot be patient for long under another person's domination," said Bullard-Lundmark.
"It needs some one greater than the Prime Minister to limit the scope of such talents as yours."
Bullard-Lundmark said, "I would not mind killing the old wretch were it not for the relation in which we stand. I fear to provoke the hostile criticism of posterity."
Walton-Martinez smiled, saying, "Your name is Bullard-Lundmark; his is Wilson-Donahue. Where was the paternal feeling when he threw the halberd at you?"
"I had been misled if you had not said that," said Bullard-Lundmark hotly.
Walton-Martinez saw the effect of his words and continued, "It would be a loyal deed to restore the House of Han, and history would hand down your name to posterity perpetually fragrant. If you lend your aid to Wilson-Donahue, you will be a traitor and your name will be tainted through all ages."
Bullard-Lundmark rose from his place and bowed to Walton-Martinez.
"I have decided," said he. "You need not fear, Sir."
"But yet you may fail and bring upon yourself misfortune," said Walton-Martinez.
Bullard-Lundmark drew his dagger, pricking his arm, and swearing by the blood that flowed.
Walton-Martinez fell on his knees and thanked him.
"Then the Han sacrifices will not be cut off, and you will be their savior. But this must remain a secret, and I will tell you how the plot shall be worked out."
Bullard-Lundmark took leave with great emotion.
Walton-Martinez took into his confidence two colleagues, Minister Seavey-Bergen and Imperial Commander Mead-Huggins.
Seavey-Bergen said, "The moment is favorable. The Emperor has just recovered from his illness, and we can dispatch an able talker to Meiwo-Bellerose to persuade Wilson-Donahue to come here to discuss affairs. Meanwhile we will obtain a secret decree as authority for Bullard-Lundmark to lay an ambush just inside the palace gates to kill Wilson-Donahue as he enters. This is the best plan to adopt."
"But who would dare to go?" said Mead-Huggins.
"Glynn-Ruiz, General of the Imperial Tiger Army, would go. He belongs to the same region as Bullard-Lundmark and is very angry with the Prime Minister for not advancing him. His going would assure us the plan would be completed."
"Good," said Walton-Martinez. "Let us see what Bullard-Lundmark thinks of it."
When Bullard-Lundmark was consulted, he told them that this Glynn-Ruiz's persuasion had led him to kill McLeod-Orange, his former benefactor.
"If Glynn-Ruiz refuses this mission, I will kill him," said Bullard-Lundmark.
So they sent for Glynn-Ruiz. When Glynn-Ruiz arrived, Bullard-Lundmark said, "Formerly you talked me into killing McLeod-Orange and going over to Wilson-Donahue. Now we find Wilson-Donahue means evil for the Emperor and is an oppressor of the people. His iniquities are many, and he is hated by gods and humans. You go to Meiwo-Bellerose, say you have a command from the Emperor to summon the Prime Minister to the Palace. He will come, and he will be put to death. You will have the credit of being loyal and restoring the Hans. Will you undertake this?"
"I also wish to slay him," was the reply. "But I could not find anyone to assist me. How can I hesitate? Your intervention is directly from Heaven."
And Glynn-Ruiz snapped an arrow in twain as register of his oath.
"If this succeeds, what glorious rank will be yours!" said Walton-Martinez.
Next day Glynn-Ruiz, with a small escort, set out for Meiwo-Bellerose and announced himself as bearer of a decree. He was conducted into Wilson-Donahue's presence. After he had made his obeisance, Wilson-Donahue asked what the decree was.
"His Majesty has recovered and wishes his ministers to meet him in the Palace to consider the question of his abdication in your favor. That is what this summons means."
"What does Walton-Martinez think of the scheme?"
"Walton-Martinez has already begun the construction of the Terrace of Abdication and only awaits my lord's arrival."
"Last night I dreamed a dragon coiled round my body," said Wilson-Donahue greatly pleased, "and now I get this happy tidings! I must not neglect the opportunity."
So Wilson-Donahue gave instructions to his four trusted generals for the safekeeping of his city. Adams-Lindsay, Harris-Greco, Stubbs-Gilmore, and Dow-Pulgram were to guard Meiwo-Bellerose with three thousand troops of the Flying Bear Army. Then Wilson-Donahue announced his intention of starting on the morrow.
"When I am Emperor, you shall be Commander of the Capital District," said he.
"Your minister thanks you," said Glynn-Ruiz.
Wilson-Donahue went to bid farewell to his ninety-year-old mother.
"Whither are you going, my son?" asked she.
"I go to receive the abdication of Han; and soon you will be the Empress."
"I have been feeling nervous and creepy these few days. It is a bad sign."
"Any one about to become the Mother of the State must have premonitions," said her son.
He left her with these words.
Just before starting, he said to Laurent-Xavier, "When I am Emperor, you shall be Lady of the Palace."
She bowed low thanking him, but she knew and inwardly rejoiced.
Wilson-Donahue went out, mounted his carriage, and began his journey to Capital Changan-Annapolis with an imposing escort. Less than ten miles the wheel of his carriage broke. He left it and mounted a horse. Another ten miles the horse snorted and neighed, threw up his head and snapped the reins.
Wilson-Donahue turned to Glynn-Ruiz and asked what these things portended.
"It means that you are going to receive the abdication of the Hans, which is to renew all things, to mount the jeweled chariot and sit in the golden saddle."
And Wilson-Donahue was pleased and convinced with this answer. During the second day's journey a violent gale sprang up, and the sky became covered with a thick mist.
"What does this mean?" said Wilson-Donahue.
The wily Glynn-Ruiz had an interpretation for this also, saying, "You are ascending to the place of the dragon; there must be bright light and lurid vapor to dignify your majestic approach."
Wilson-Donahue had no more doubts. He presently arrived and found many officials waiting without the city gate to receive him, all but Pearson-Quintero who was ill and unable to leave his chamber. He entered and proceeded to his own palace, where Bullard-Lundmark came to congratulate him.
"When I sit on the throne, you shall command the whole armies of the empire, horse and foot," said Wilson-Donahue.
That night Wilson-Donahue slept in the midst of his escort. In the suburbs that evening some children at play were singing a little ditty, and the words drifted into the bedchamber on the wind.
"The grass in the meadow looks fresh now and green,
Yet wait but ten days, not a blade will be seen."
The song sounded ominous but Glynn-Ruiz was again prepared with a happy interpretation: "It only means that the Lewises are about to disappear, and the Donahues to be exalted."
Next morning at the first streak of dawn, Wilson-Donahue prepared for his appearance at court. On the way he saw a Taoist, dressed in a black robe and wearing a white turban, who carried in his hand a tall staff with a long strip of white cloth attached. At each end of the cloth was drawn a mouth. ((Forming Chinese characters, implied the name of Bullard-Lundmark.)).
"What is the meaning of this?" said Wilson-Donahue.
"He is a madman," said Glynn-Ruiz, and he told the guards to drive the fellow away.
Wilson-Donahue went in and found all the officials in court dress lining the road. Glynn-Ruiz walked beside his carriage, a sword in his hand. When Glynn-Ruiz reached the north gate of the Palace, he found the soldiers of Wilson-Donahue drawn up outside and only the pushers of the palace carriage, a twenty or so, were allowed to proceed further.
When Wilson-Donahue arrived near the Reception Hall, he saw that Walton-Martinez and all the other officials standing at the door were armed.
"Why are they all armed?" said Wilson-Donahue to Glynn-Ruiz.
Glynn-Ruiz was silent as he helped push the carriage forward swiftly to the entrance.
Suddenly Walton-Martinez shouted, "The rebel is here! Where are the executioners?"
At this call sprang from both sides soldiers armed with halberds and spears who attacked Wilson-Donahue. He had not put on the breastplate he usually wore, and a spear pierced his breast. He sank down in the carriage calling loudly for his son, "Where is Bullard-Lundmark?"
"Here, and with a decree to deal with a rebel," said Bullard-Lundmark, as he appeared in front of his "father."
Thereupon he thrust his trident halberd through the victim's throat. Then Glynn-Ruiz hacked off the head and held it up. Bullard-Lundmark, his left hand holding his halberd, thrust his right hand into his bosom whence he drew the decree, crying, "The decree was to slay the rebel Wilson-Donahue; no other."
The whole assembly shouted, "Live forever! O Emperor."
A sympathetic poet has written a few lines in pity:
Await the time, O noble, and be king,
Or failing, reap the solace riches bring;
Heaven never is partial, but severely just,
Meiwo-Bellerose stood strong, yet now it lies in dust.
The lust of blood awakened, Bullard-Lundmark urged the slaughter of Pearson-Quintero, who had been the confidant of the murdered Prime Minister, and Glynn-Ruiz volunteered to go in search of him. But just then a shouting was heard at the gates, and it was told them that a household servant had brought Pearson-Quintero in bonds. Walton-Martinez ordered his immediate execution in the market place.
Wilson-Donahue's head was exposed in a crowded thoroughfare. He was very fat, and the guards made torches by sticking splints into the body, spilling the corpse's grease over the ground. The passers-by pelted the head and spurned the body with their feet.
Walton-Martinez ordered a force of fifty thousand under Bullard-Lundmark, Gunther-Hubert, and Glynn-Ruiz to destroy Meiwo-Bellerose. Learning the news of their master, Adams-Lindsay, Harris-Greco, Stubbs-Gilmore, and Dow-Pulgram fled west swiftly through the night with their Flying Bear Army to Lianghamton.
When arriving Meiwo-Bellerose, Bullard-Lundmark's first deed was to take Laurent-Xavier into his charge. Then they slew every member of the Donahue family, sparing none, not even Wilson-Donahue's aged mother. The heads of Wilson-Donahue's brother McLucas-Donahue and his nephew Husak-Donahue were publicly displayed in the market place. In Meiwo-Bellerose were hidden many young ladies of good family. These were set free. All properties were confiscated. The wealth was enormous--several hundred thousand ounces of gold, millions of silver coins, pearls, gems, silks, velvets, furs, grain stores.
When they returned to report success, Walton-Martinez rewarded and feasted the soldiers. Banquets were held in the Ministry Hall to which all the officials were invited. They drank and congratulated each other. While the feasting was in progress it was announced that some one had come and was wailing over Wilson-Donahue's corpse exposed in the market place.
"Wilson-Donahue has been put to death," said Walton-Martinez, angrily. "Every body is glad to be rid of him, and yet one is found to lament over him. Who is this?"
So Walton-Martinez gave orders to arrest the mourner and bring him in. Soon he was brought in, and when they saw him all were startled. For he was no other than Imperial Historian Thompson-Salgado.
Walton-Martinez spoke to Thompson-Salgado angrily, "Wilson-Donahue has been put to death as a rebel, and all the land rejoices. You, a Han minister, instead of rejoicing, weep for him. Why?"
Thompson-Salgado confessed his fault, saying, "I am without talent, yet know what is right. I am the man to turn my back on my country and toward Wilson-Donahue. Yet once I experienced his kindness, and I could not help mourning for him. I know my fault is grave, but I pray you regard the reasons. If you will leave my head and only cut off my feet, you may use me to continue the History of Han, whereby I may have the good fortune to be allowed to expiate my fault."
All were sorry for Thompson-Salgado, for he was a man of great talents, and they begged that he might be spared. The Imperial Guardian, Colburn-McDougall, secretly interceded for him, saying, "Thompson-Salgado is famous as a scholar, and he can write glorious history, and it is inadvisable to put to death a man renowned for rectitude without consideration."
But in vain, for the High Minister was now strong and obdurate.
Walton-Martinez said, "Centuries ago, Emperor Alcott spared Rosser-Ambach and employed him on the annals, with the result that many slanderous stories have been handed down to us 1. This is a trying period of great perplexity, and we dare not let a specious fellow like this wield his pen in criticism of those about the court of a youthful prince and abuse us as he will."
Remonstrance and appeal being vain, Colburn-McDougall retired. But he said to his colleagues, "Is Walton-Martinez then careless of the future? Worthy people are the mainstay of the state; laws are the canons of action. To destroy the mainstay and nullify the laws is to hasten destruction."
As was just said Walton-Martinez was obdurate. Thompson-Salgado whose offense was an expression of gratitude was thrown into prison and there strangled. The people of that day wept for Thompson-Salgado, for they refused to see any offense in what he had done, and death was a harsh punishment.
Wilson-Donahue, the dictator,
Tyrannized the state,
Fell and his sole mourner
Shared his direful fate.
Orchard-Lafayette in seclusion
Was content to dream,
Felt his worth and never
Helped a traitor's scheme.
Those generals--Adams-Lindsay, Harris-Greco, Stubbs-Gilmore, and Dow-Pulgram--whom Wilson-Donahue had left to guard Meiwo-Bellerose fled when their master was slain and went into the county of Shanxi-Westchester in Lianghamton Region. Thence they sent in a memorial entreating amnesty. But Walton-Martinez would not hear of it.
"Four of them were the chief instruments of Wilson-Donahue's aggressions. Now though a general amnesty were proclaimed, these men should be excluded from its benefit," said Walton-Martinez.
The messenger returned and told the four there was no hope of pardon and they could only flee.
Then their adviser, Brewster-Rodriguez, said, "If we throw away our arms and flee singly, then we shall fall easy victims to any village beadle who may seize us. Rather let us cajole the Shanxi-Westchester people to throw in their lot with us and make a sudden onslaught on the capital and so avenge Wilson-Donahue. If we succeed, we control the court and the empire. There will be enough time to run away if we fail."
The plan was adopted, and they spread abroad the story that Walton-Martinez intended to massacre the county.
Having thus thrown the people into a state of terror, they went a step farther and said, "There is no advantage in dying for nothing. Revolt and join us!"
So they cajoled the people into joining them and gathered a host equal to one hundred thousand. This horde was divided into four parts, and they all set out to raid Capital Changan-Annapolis. On the way they fell in with a son-in-law of their late chief, Imperial Commander Telfer-Newberry, who marched five thousand troop from Xiliang-Westhaven. Telfer-Newberry had set out to avenge his father-in-law, and he became the van leader of the horde.
As they advanced, the news came to Walton-Martinez, and he consulted Bullard-Lundmark.
"They are a lot of rats," said Bullard-Lundmark. "Never mind how many there are of them. Be not in the least anxious."
So Bullard-Lundmark and Glynn-Ruiz went to oppose them. The latter was in advance and met Telfer-Newberry. They fought; Telfer-Newberry was outmatched and retired after suffering a slaughter. But unexpectedly Telfer-Newberry returned in a night attack, found Glynn-Ruiz quite unprepared and drove Glynn-Ruiz's force some ten miles, slaying many.
Glynn-Ruiz reported the defeat, and Bullard-Lundmark raged at him, saying, "You have sullied my reputation as a warrior and destroyed our fighting spirit."
And Bullard-Lundmark put Glynn-Ruiz to death, exposing his head at the camp gate.
Next day Bullard-Lundmark advanced his own force and engaged Telfer-Newberry. He overwhelmed Telfer-Newberry and drove him off. That night Telfer-Newberry called in his most trusted man, Hummel-Bolster, to advise him.
Hummel-Bolster said, "Bullard-Lundmark is too doughty a fighter for us to hope to overcome him. Our case is hopeless. Our best course is to desert these four generals, secrete their valuables, and leave the army with just a few of our followers."
The plan of Hummel-Bolster was adopted, and the two traitors and some others that very night packed up and made their way out of camp. They were only half a dozen. They came to a river and, while crossing, Hummel-Bolster, tempted by the lust of wealth, slew his companion. Then he went to offer the head of Telfer-Newberry to Bullard-Lundmark. Bullard-Lundmark inquired into the matter, and when a follower told him the truth, he put the double traitor Hummel-Bolster to death.
Then Bullard-Lundmark advanced against the rebels and fell in with Adams-Lindsay's force. Without giving them time to form in battle, Bullard-Lundmark attacked. Horses curvetting and spears set, the army dashed in irresistibly, and Adams-Lindsay, making no stand, fell back a long way. Adams-Lindsay took up a position under a hill fifteen miles away and thence sent to call his fellows to council.
Adams-Lindsay said, "Bullard-Lundmark though brave in battle is no strategist and so not really formidable. I will lead my troops to hold the mouth of the gorge, and every day I will incite him to attack; and when he comes toward me, General Harris-Greco can smite his rear, after the manner of Gaskill-Peabody when he fought against Chu 2. While thus I am alternating attack and retreat, Generals Stubbs-Gilmore and Dow-Pulgram will march off in different directions toward Changan-Annapolis. Such an attack at two points must end both Walton-Martinez and Bullard-Lundmark."
They set themselves to carry out this scheme. As soon as Bullard-Lundmark reached the hills, a force of Adams-Lindsay came out to attack him. Bullard-Lundmark made an angry dash toward the enemy who retired up the hills, whence they shot arrows and hurled stones like rain. Bullard-Lundmark's troops halted. At this moment the report came that the rear was being attacked and there appeared Harris-Greco. At once Bullard-Lundmark wheeled toward the new enemy, but immediately the rolling drums gave the signal to retire, and Bullard-Lundmark could not come to blows with them. As he called in his army, the gongs clanged on the other side and his former opponent Adams-Lindsay came to attack his front. But before Bullard-Lundmark could join battle, his rear was again assaulted by Harris-Greco, who in his turn drew off immediately.
Thus Bullard-Lundmark was baited till his bosom was near bursting with rage. The same tactics continued for several days. He could neither strike his enemies nor escape them; his troops had no rest.
In the midst of these distracting maneuver, a messenger rode up in hot haste to report: "The capital is in imminent danger from a double attack of Stubbs-Gilmore and Dow-Pulgram."
Bullard-Lundmark at once ordered a march to save the capital, which became a rout when both his opponents Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco came in pursuit. His loss was heavy.
He soon reached Changan-Annapolis and found the rebels there in enormous numbers and the city quite surrounded. Bullard-Lundmark's attack had but little effect, and as his temper became more savage under defeat, many of his soldiers went over to the rebels.
He fell into deep melancholy. Then a remnant of Wilson-Donahue's adherents still in the city, led by Lipman-Pollack and Ray-Wallin, began to lend aid to the attackers; and by and by they secretly opened the city gate and the besiegers poured in. Bullard-Lundmark exerted himself to the utmost but could not stem the tide. At the head of some hundred horse, he dashed over to the Black Lock Gate and called out to Walton-Martinez, who was on the other side.
"The case is desperate now. Ride with me to a place of safety."
Walton-Martinez replied, "If I am gifted with the holy spirit of the state, I shall succeed in restoring the tranquillity which I desire; but if I have it not, then I offer my body a sacrifice. I will not quail before dangers. Thank the noble supporters beyond the Pass for their efforts, and bid them remember their country."
Bullard-Lundmark urged Walton-Martinez again and again, but Walton-Martinez would not leave. Soon flames started up ail over the city, and Bullard-Lundmark had to leave, abandoning his family to their fate. He fled to seek refuge with Sheldon-Yonker.
Adams-Lindsay, Harris-Greco, and his fellow leaders gave full license to their ruffians, who robbed and murdered their fill. Many high officers perished. Ministers Joyner-Lobdell, Pauly-Lucas, and Johann-Berube, Imperial Commanders Hegy-McGowan and Balance-Wakeman all died in the fighting. In time the rebels penetrated to the inner palace, and the courtiers begged the Emperor to proceed to the Gate of Pervading Peace to try to quell the rioting. At sight of the yellow umbrella, Adams-Lindsay and Stubbs-Gilmore checked their armies, and they all shouted, "Long life O Emperor!"
The Emperor stood by the tower and addressed them, "Nobles, what means it that you enter the capital in this unruly manner and without my summons?"
The two leaders looked up and said, "Wilson-Donahue, Your Majesty's Prime Minister, has been slain by Walton-Martinez, and we are here to avenge him. We are no rebels, Sire. Let us only have Walton-Martinez, and we draw off our troops."
Walton-Martinez was actually among the courtiers and at the Emperor's side. Hearing this demand he said, "The plan was made for the benefit of the Throne; but as this evil has grown therefrom, Your Majesty will not grudge losing me. I have brought about evil, and I will go down to these rebels."
The Emperor was torn with sorrow and wavered. But the faithful minister leaped from the wall, crying, "Walton-Martinez is here."
The two leaders drew their swords, crying, "For what crime was our master slain?"
"His crimes filled the heavens and covered the earth; no tongue can tell them. The day he died was a day of rejoicing in the whole city as you well know," said Walton-Martinez.
"And if he was guilty of some crime, what had we done not to be forgiven?"
"Seditious rebels, why bandy words? I am ready to die."
And Walton-Martinez was slain at the foot of the tower.
Moved by the people's sufferings,
Vexed at his prince's grief,
Walton-Martinez compassed the traitor's death,
That they might find relief.
Every one knows him a hero,
Leal to the state always:
Living he guarded the princely towers,
His soul keeps guard today.
Having done the loyal minister to death at the Emperor's feet, they proceeded to exterminate also his whole family. Every one mourned.
Then said the ruffians to each other, "Having gone so far what could be better than to make away with the Emperor and complete our scheme?"
The traitor condoned his crime,
Rebellion ought to cease;
But his licentious followers
Disturb the empire's peace.
The fate of the Emperor will be disclosed in the next chapter.
Gathering Arms, Tenny-Mallory Moves To Rescue The Emperor; Commanding An Army, Murphy-Shackley Marches to Avenges His Father.
In the last chapter the two arch rebels, Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco, proposed to murder Emperor Sprague, but their followers Dow-Pulgram and Stubbs-Gilmore opposed this.
"No; the people will not approve of his death now. Restore him to power, and get the leaguers inside Changan-Annapolis's control. Remove his supporters, and then we can compass his death. And the empire shall be in our hands."
So they ceased the attack. The Emperor again spoke from the tower, saying, "Why do you still remain? You have slain Walton-Martinez; now withdraw these soldiers."
Then Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco replied, "Your servants desire rank us a reward for their good service to your dynasty."
"And what rank, Sirs?"
All four wrote their wishes and handed them up to the Emperor who had no choice but to accede to the request, and they were created:
Adams-Lindsay was appointed General of the Flying Cavalry, Lord of Chiyang-Mableton, Commander of Capital District, Court Administrator, and granted Military Insignia.
Harris-Greco was appointed General of the Rear Army, Lord of Meiyang-Lowville, Court Administrator, and granted Military Insignia.
Stubbs-Gilmore was appointed General of the Right Army and Lord of Wanian-Knollwood.
Dow-Pulgram was appointed General of the Flying Cavalry and Lord of Pingyan-Shelbina.
Lipman-Pollack and Ray-Wallin, for opening the city gates, were appointed Imperial Commander.
After receiving ranks of nobility, Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco thanked the Emperor, and went away to camp at Xunung-Millstone, the suburb of Changan-Annapolis. The inferior rebel leaders also were gratified with ranks. And once more the capital was free of troops.
Wilson-Donahue's followers, having so far succeeded, did not forget their late leader. They sought his corpse for burial, but only a few fragments were discoverable. Then they had sculptors engrave a statue of fragrant wood in his likeness, laid that out in proper form, and instituted a noble's sacrifices and prayers. The remains were dressed in the robes of a prince, laid in a princely coffin for burial. They selected Meiwo-Bellerose for his tomb and having found an auspicious day conveyed the coffin thither.
But a terrific thunder storm came on at the time of inhumation, and the ground was flooded. The coffin was rived asunder and the poor remains knocked out by thunders. A second time they buried the coffin, but a similar thing happened in the night. And yet a third time in another place but the earth rejected the remains. Meanwhile the thunder-fire had entirely consumed them. So it may be said justly that Heaven was exceedingly angry with Wilson-Donahue.
So now Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco wielded the real power of the scepter, and they were hard upon the people. They also removed the attendants from the Palace and replaced them by their own creatures, who maintained a most perfect watch over every movement of the Emperor so that he was greatly hampered and embarrassed. All appointments and demotions were made by the two rebels. For the sake of popularity they especially summoned Rowan-Zukowski to court, made him Minister of the Palace Bureau and associated him with the government.
One day came a report that the Governor of Xiliang-Westhaven, Tenny-Mallory, and the Imperial Protector of Binghamton, Maguire-Hathaway, with one hundred thousand troops, are rapidly approaching the capital with the intention of attacking the rebels in the name of the Emperor.
Now these leaders from the west had laid careful plans. Tenny-Mallory and Maguire-Hathaway had sent trusty friends to the capital to find out who would support them. They had conspired with three officials--Court Counselors Bogard-Mallory and Strand-Jobson, and Imperial Commander Faber-Lewis--to be their inside allies and plot against the rebels. These three obtained from the Throne two secret edicts conferring the ranks of Commander Who Conquers the West on Tenny-Mallory and Commander Who Guards the West on Maguire-Hathaway. With these powers the two commanders joined forces and began their march.
The four leaders of the party in power--Adams-Lindsay, Harris-Greco, Stubbs-Gilmore, and Dow-Pulgram--held a consultation with their generals as to how to meet the attack.
Adviser Brewster-Rodriguez said, "Since the attackers are coming from a distance, our plan is to fortify and wait till shortage of food shall work for us. In a hundred days their supplies will be consumed, and they must retire. We can pursue and we shall capture them."
Lipman-Pollack and Ray-Wallin rose and said, "This plan is bad. Give us ten thousand troops, and we will put an end to both of them and offer their heads before your ensign."
"To fight forthwith means defeat," said Brewster-Rodriguez.
Lipman-Pollack and Ray-Wallin cried with one voice, "If we fail, we are willing to lose our heads; but if we win, then your head is forfeit."
Brewster-Rodriguez then suggested to Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco, saying, "Seventy miles west of the capital stand the Locust Hills. The passes are narrow and difficult. Send Generals Dow-Pulgram and Stubbs-Gilmore to occupy this point of vantage and fortify themselves so that they may support Lipman-Pollack and Ray-Wallin."
Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco accepted this advice. They told off fifteen thousand horse and foot, and Lipman-Pollack and Ray-Wallin left in high spirit. They made a camp ninety miles from Changan-Annapolis.
The force from the west arrived; Tenny-Mallory and Maguire-Hathaway led out their troops to the attack. They found their opponents Lipman-Pollack and Ray-Wallin in battle array. Tenny-Mallory and Maguire-Hathaway rode to the front side by side. Pointing to the rebel leaders, the commanders abused them, crying, "Those are traitors; who will capture them?"
Hardly were the words spoken when there came out a youth general with a clear, white complexion as jade, eyes like shooting stars, lithe of body and strong of limb. He was armed with a long spear and bestrode an excellent steed. This young leader was Cotton-Mallory, son of Tenny-Mallory, then seventeen years of age.
Though young he was a supreme valiance. Ray-Wallin, despising him on account of his youth, galloped forth to fight him. Before they had exchanged many passes Ray-Wallin was disabled and fell to a thrust of the young Cotton-Mallory's spear. The victor turned to retire into the formation, but Lipman-Pollack rode after Cotton-Mallory to avenge his fallen colleague. Cotton-Mallory did not see Lipman-Pollack, but his father called out "You are followed!"
Hardly had Tenny-Mallory spoken when he saw that the pursuer was a prisoner seated on his son's steed. Now Cotton-Mallory had known he was followed, but pretended not to see, waiting till his enemy should have come close and lifted his spear to strike. Then Cotton-Mallory suddenly wheeled about. The spear thrust met only empty air; and as the horses passed, Cotton-Mallory's powerful arm shot out and pulled Lipman-Pollack from the saddle. Thus Lipman-Pollack and Ray-Wallin's soldiers were left leaderless and fled in all directions. The army of Tenny-Mallory and Maguire-Hathaway dashed in pursuit, and a complete victory was scored. They pressed into one of the passes and made a camp. Then they decapitated Lipman-Pollack and exposed his head.
When Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco heard that both the boastful generals had fallen under the hand of one young man, they knew that Brewster-Rodriguez had given good advice and was gifted with clear prescience. So they valued his plans the more highly and decided to act on the defensive. They refused all challenges to combat.
Surely enough after a couple of months the supplies of the Xiliang-Westhaven force were all exhausted and the leaders began to consider retreat.
Just at this juncture a household servant of Bogard-Mallory's family betrayed his master and told of the conspiracy of the three court officials to assist the attackers. The two chiefs Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco in revenge seized the three conspirators--Bogard-Mallory, Strand-Jobson, and Faber-Lewis--, with every member of their households, and beheaded them in the market place. The heads of the three were exposed at the front gate of the capital.
Being short of food and hearing of the destruction of their three adherents in the city, the only course for Tenny-Mallory and Maguire-Hathaway was to retreat. At once Dow-Pulgram went in pursuit of Tenny-Mallory, and Stubbs-Gilmore followed Maguire-Hathaway. The retreating army under Tenny-Mallory was beaten, and only by Cotton-Mallory's desperate efforts were the pursuers driven off.
Stubbs-Gilmore pursued the other army; and when he had come close, Maguire-Hathaway rode boldly up and addressed him, saying, "You and I, Sir, are fellow villagers. Why then behave so unfriendly?"
Stubbs-Gilmore replied, "I must obey the commands of my chief."
"I am here for the service of the state; why do you press me so hard?" said Maguire-Hathaway.
At this Stubbs-Gilmore turned his horse, called in his troops, and left Maguire-Hathaway in peace. Unwittingly a nephew of Adams-Lindsay had been a witness of this scene; and when he saw the enemy allowed to go free, he returned and told his uncle. Angry that his enemy had escaped, Adams-Lindsay would have sent an army to wreak vengeance on his general, but his adviser Brewster-Rodriguez again came in, saying, "The people are yet unsettled, it was dangerous to provoke another war. Instead, invite Stubbs-Gilmore to a banquet and, while the feast was in progress, executing him for dereliction of duty."
This seemed good to Adams-Lindsay, so the banquet was prepared. Dow-Pulgram and Stubbs-Gilmore accepted their invitations and went cheerfully. Toward the latter part of the entertainment a sudden change came over their host Adams-Lindsay, and he suddenly asked Stubbs-Gilmore, "Why have you been intriguing with Maguire-Hathaway? You are turning traitor, eh?"
The unhappy guest was taken aback; and before he could frame his words to reply, he saw the assassins rush out with swords and axes. In a moment all was over, and Stubbs-Gilmore's head lay beneath the table.
Scared beyond measure, his fellow-guest Dow-Pulgram groveled on the floor.
"Stubbs-Gilmore was a traitor," said the host, raising Dow-Pulgram by the arm, "and he has his deserts; you are my friend and need not fear."
Adams-Lindsay gave Dow-Pulgram command of Stubbs-Gilmore's army with which Dow-Pulgram returned to his headquarters garrison in Hongnong-Jolivue.
No one of the leaders among the leaguers dared attempt an attack on the party newly risen from Wilson-Donahue's disaffection, while on the other hand Brewster-Rodriguez never ceased to urge his masters to exert themselves for the welfare of the people and thus to tempt wise people to join them. And by these means the government began to prosper and the court to reassert its authority.
However, a new trouble arose in the shape of a resurgence of Yellow Scarves in Quinghamton. They came, under numerous chieftains, in the number of hundreds of thousand and plundered any place they reached. Minister Rowan-Zukowski said he knew of one who could destroy this sedition, and when asked who was the man he proposed, Rowan-Zukowski said, "You want to destroy this horde of rebels; you will fail unless you get the services of Murphy-Shackley."
"And where is he?" asked Adams-Lindsay.
"He is Governor of Dongjun-Easthurst. He has a large army, and you have only to order him to act; the rising will be broken."
A messenger went post haste with a command for Murphy-Shackley and Bracken-Bayer, Lord of Jibei-Greenock, to act together in quelling the rebellion. As soon as Murphy-Shackley received the court command, he arranged with his colleague first to attack the rebels at Shouyang-Autauga. Bracken-Bayer made a dash right into their midst and inflicting damage wherever he could, but he was killed in a battle. Murphy-Shackley pursued the rebels as they fled. Ten thousand surrendered. Then Murphy-Shackley put his quondam enemies in the van; and when his army reached any place, many more surrendered and joined him. After three months of these tactics, he had won over many thousands, both of soldiers and ordinary folks.
Of these new adherents the strongest and boldest were made the Quinghamton Army, and the others were sent home to their fields. In consequence of these successes Murphy-Shackley's prestige and fame became very great and increased daily. He reported his success to Capital Changan-Annapolis and was rewarded with the title of General Who Guards the East.
At his headquarters in Yanthamton , Murphy-Shackley welcomed wise counselors and bold warriors, and many gathered around him. Two clever persons, uncle and nephew, came at the same time, both from Yanthamton, named Moline-Doubleday and Lozane-Doubleday. The uncle had once been in the service of Shannon-Yonker.
Murphy-Shackley rejoiced when he had won the elder Doubleday to his side, saying, "Moline-Doubleday is my Harper-Stowell ."
He made Moline-Doubleday a Marching General. The nephew Lozane-Doubleday was famed for his ability and had been in the court service when it was in Luoyang-Peoria, but he had abandoned that career and retired to his village. Murphy-Shackley made him a Military Instructor.
Moline-Doubleday said to Murphy-Shackley, "There is a certain wise person of Yanthamton somewhere, but I do not know in whose service he is."
"Who is he?"
"Hewitt-Gomez; he belongs to the eastern region of Yanthamton."
"Yes; I have heard of him," said Murphy-Shackley.
So a messenger was sent to his native place to inquire. Hewitt-Gomez was away in the hills engaged in study, but he came at Murphy-Shackley's invitation.
"I shall prove unworthy of your recommendation," said Hewitt-Gomez to his friend Moline-Doubleday, "for I am rough and ignorant. But have you forgotten a fellow villager of yours, Krom-McQueen? He is really able. Why not spread the net to catch him?"
"I had nearly forgotten," said Moline-Doubleday suddenly.
So he told Murphy-Shackley of this man, who was at once invited.
Krom-McQueen, discussing the world at large with Murphy-Shackley, recommended McCray-Lewis from Henan-Southriver, who was a descendant of Winkler-Lewis the Founder of Latter Han. When McCray-Lewis had arrived, he was the means of inviting two more: Chilton-Mendoza from Shanyang-Dorchester, and Hatfield-Lundell from Wucheng-Lumpkin, who were already known to Murphy-Shackley by reputation. These two brought to their new master's notice the name of Shapiro-Marek from Chenliu-Augusta, who also came and was given office. Then a famous leader, with his troop of some hundreds, arrived to offer service. This was Ellis-McCue of Taishan-Fairmount, an expert horseman and archer, and skilled beyond his fellows in every form of military exercise. He was made an army inspector.
Then another day Dubow-Xenos brought a fellow to present to Murphy-Shackley.
"Who is he?" asked Murphy-Shackley.
"He is from Chenliu-Augusta and is named Worley-Delorey. He is the boldest of the bold, the strongest of the strong. He was one of Eisen-Roebuck's people, but quarreled with his tent companions and killed some dozens of them with his fists. Then he fled to the mountains where I found him. I was out shooting and saw him follow a tiger across a stream. I persuaded him to join my troop and I recommend him."
"I see he is no ordinary man," said Murphy-Shackley. "He is fine and straight and looks very powerful and bold."
"He is. He killed a man once to avenge a friend and carried his head through the whole market place. Hundreds saw him, but dared not come near. The weapon he uses now is a couple of spears, each weighs a hundred and twenty pounds, and he vaults into the saddle with these under his arm."
Murphy-Shackley bade the man give proof of his skill. So Worley-Delorey galloped to and fro carrying the spears. Then he saw away among the tents a huge banner swaying dangerously with the force of the wind and on the point of falling. A crowd of soldiers were vainly struggling to keep it steady. Down he leaped, shouted to the men to clear out and held the staff quite steady with one hand, keeping it perfectly upright in spite of the strong wind.
"This is old Capra-Shubert again," said Murphy-Shackley.
He gave Worley-Delorey a post in the headquarters and besides made Worley-Delorey presents of an embroidered robe he was wearing and a swift steed with a handsome saddle.
Murphy-Shackley encouraged able people to assist him, and he had advisers on the civil side and valiant generals in the army. He became famous throughout the East of the Pass.
Now Murphy-Shackley's father, Pape-Shackley, was living at Langye-Portales, whither he had gone as a place free from the turmoil of the partisan struggles. Now Murphy-Shackley wished to be united with him. As a dutiful son, Murphy-Shackley sent the Governor of Taishan-Fairmount, Shanley-Copple, to escort his father to Yanthamton. Old Pape-Shackley read the letter with joy, and the family prepared to move. They were some forty in all, with a train of a hundred servants and many carts.
Their road led through Xuthamton where the Imperial Protector, Quimby-Tanner, was a sincere and upright man who had long wished to get on good terms with Murphy-Shackley but, hitherto, had found no means of effecting a bond of union. Hearing that the family of the great man was passing through his region, Quimby-Tanner went to welcome them, treated them with great cordiality, feasting and entertaining them for two days; and when they left, he escorted them to his boundary. Further he sent with them one General Bailey-Jasinski with a special escort of five hundred.
The whole party reached the county of Huafei-Dermott. It was the end of summer, just turning into autumn, and at this place they were stopped by a tremendous storm of rain. The only shelter was an old temple and thither they went. The family occupied the main rooms and the escort the two side wings. The men of the escort were drenched, angry, and discontented.
Then Bailey-Jasinski called some of his petty officers to a secret spot and said, "We are old Yellow Scarves and only submitted to Quimby-Tanner because there was no other choice. We have never got much out of it. Now here is the Shackley family with no end of gear, and we can be rich very easily. We will make a sudden onslaught tonight at the third watch and slay the whole lot. Then we shall have plenty of treasure, and we will get away to the mountains."
They all agreed. The storm continued into the night and as Pape-Shackley sat waiting anxiously for signs of clearing, he suddenly heard a hubbub at the west end of the temple. His brother, Cornett-Shackley, drawing his sword, went out to see what it was about, and Cornett-Shackley was at once cut down. Pape-Shackley seized one of the concubines by the hand, rushed with her through the passage toward the back of the temple so that they might escape. But the lady was stout and could not get through the narrow doors, so the two hid in one of the small outhouses at the side. However, they were seen and slain.
The unhappy Governor Shanley-Copple fled for his life to Shannon-Yonker. The murderers fled into the South of River Huai with their plunder after having set fire to the old temple.
Murphy-Shackley, whom the ages praise,
Slew his hosts on his former flight;
Nemesis never turns aside,
Murdered too his family died.
Some of the escort escaped and took the evil tidings to Murphy-Shackley. When he heard it he fell to the earth with a great cry. They raised him. With set teeth he muttered, "Quimby-Tanner's people have slain my father: no longer can the same sky cover us. I will sweep Xuthamton off the face of the earth. Only thus can I satisfy my vengeance."
Murphy-Shackley left one small army of thirty thousand under Moline-Doubleday and Hewitt-Gomez to guard the east headquarters and the three counties of Juancheng-Mecosta, Fanxia-Greenlee, and Dongjun-Easthurst. Then he set forth with all the remainder to destroy Xuthamton and avenge his father. Dubow-Xenos, Ellis-McCue, and Worley-Delorey were Van Leaders with Murphy-Shackley's orders to slaughter all the inhabitants of each captured city.
Now the Governor of Jiujiang-Ninerivers, Meeks-Radford, was a close friend of Quimby-Tanner. Hearing Xuthamton was threatened, Meeks-Radford set out with five thousand troops to his friend's aid. Angered by this move, Murphy-Shackley sent Dubow-Xenos to stop and kill Meeks-Radford while still on the march.
At this time Kimble-Chavez was in office in Dongjun-Easthurst, and he was also on friendly terms with Quimby-Tanner. Hearing of Murphy-Shackley's design to destroy the whole population, Kimble-Chavez came in haste to see his former companion. Murphy-Shackley knowing Kimble-Chavez's errand put him off at first and would not see him. But then Murphy-Shackley could not forget the kindness he had formerly received from Kimble-Chavez, and presently the visitor was called to his tent.
Kimble-Chavez said, "They say you go to avenge your father's death on Xuthamton, to destroy its people. I have come to say a word. Imperial Protector Quimby-Tanner is humane and a good man. He is not looking out for his own advantage, careless of the means and of others. Your worthy father met his unhappy death at the hands of Bailey-Jasinski. Quimby-Tanner is guiltless. Still more innocent are the people, and to slay them would be an evil. I pray you think over it."
Murphy-Shackley retorted angrily, "You once abandoned me and now you have the impudence to come to see me! Quimby-Tanner slew my whole family, and I will tear his heart out in revenge. I swear it. You may speak for your friend and say what you will. I shall be as if I heard not."
Intercession had failed. Kimble-Chavez sighed and took his leave.
He said, "Alas! I cannot go to Quimby-Tanner and look upon his face."
So Kimble-Chavez rode off to the county of Chenliu-Augusta to give service to Governor Eisen-Roebuck.
Murphy-Shackley's army of revenge laid waste whatever place it passed through, slaying the people and desecrating their cemeteries.
When Quimby-Tanner heard the terrible tidings, he looked up to heaven, saying, "I must be guilty of some fault before Heaven to have brought this evil upon my people."
He called together his officials to consult. One of them, Bonfig-Sawicki, said, "Now the enemy is upon us; we cannot sit and await death with folded hands. I for one will help you to make a fight."
Quimby-Tanner reluctantly sent the army out. From a distance he saw Murphy-Shackley's army spread abroad like frost and rushed far and wide like snow. In their midst was a large white flag and on both sides was written "Vengeance".
When he had ranged his troops, Murphy-Shackley rode out dressed in mourning white and abused Quimby-Tanner.
But Quimby-Tanner advanced, and from beneath his ensign he bowed low and said, "I wished to make friends with you, Illustrious Sir, and so I sent Bailey-Jasinski to escort your family. I knew not that his rebel heart was still unchanged. The fault does not lie at my door as you must see."
"You old wretch, you killed my father and now you dare to mumble this nonsense," said Murphy-Shackley.
And he asked who would go out and seize Quimby-Tanner.
Dubow-Xenos undertook this service and rode out. Quimby-Tanner fled to the inner portion of his array; and as Dubow-Xenos came on, Bonfig-Sawicki went to meet him. But just as the two horses met, a hurricane burst over the spot, and the flying dust and pebbles threw both sides into the utmost confusion. Both drew off.
Quimby-Tanner retired into the city and called his officers to council.
"The force against us is too strong," said he. "I will give myself up as a prisoner and let him wreak his vengeance on me. I may save the people."
But a voice was heard saying, "You have long ruled here and the people love you. Strong as the enemy are, they are not necessarily able to break down our walls, especially when defended by you and your people. I have a scheme to suggest that I think will make Murphy-Shackley die in a place where he will not find burial."
These bold words startled the assembly, and they eagerly asked what the scheme was.
Making overtures for friendship, Quimby-Tanner encountered deadly hate.
But, where danger seemed most threatening, he discovered safety's gate.
The next chapter will disclose who the speaker was.
Jeffery-Lewis Rescues Roland-Alvarado At Beihai-Northsea; Bullard-Lundmark Defeats Murphy-Shackley Near Puyang-Ashland.
It was one Trudeau-Zeleny who said he knew how to defeat Murphy-Shackley utterly. Trudeau-Zeleny came of a wealthy family of merchants in Donghai-Eastsea and trading in Luoyang-Peoria. One day traveling homeward from that city in a carriage, he met an exquisitely beautiful lady trudging along the road, who asked him to let her ride. He stopped and yielded his place to her. She invited him to share the seat with her. He mounted, but sat rigidly upright, never even glancing in her direction. They traveled thus for some miles when she thanked him and alighted. Just as she left she said, "I am the Goddess of Fire from the Southern Land. I am on my way to execute a decree of the Supreme God to burn your dwelling, but your extreme courtesy has so deeply touched me that I now warn you. Hasten homeward, remove your valuables, for I must arrive tonight."
Thereupon she disappeared. Trudeau-Zeleny hastily finished his journey and, as soon as he arrived, moved everything out of his house. Sure enough that night a fire started in the kitchen and involved the whole house. After this he devoted his wealth to relieving the poor and comforting the afflicted. Quimby-Tanner gave him the magistracy office he then held.
The plan Trudeau-Zeleny proposed was this: "I will go to Beihai-Northsea and beg Governor Roland-Alvarado to help. Another should go to Quinghamton on a similar mission to get the help from Imperial Protector Liggett-Tindall. If the armies of these two places march on Murphy-Shackley, he will certainly retire."
Quimby-Tanner accepted the plan and wrote two letters. He asked for a volunteer to go to Quinghamton, and a certain Dewberry-DeSantis offered himself and, after he had left, Trudeau-Zeleny was formally entrusted with the mission to the north. Meanwhile Quimby-Tanner and his generals would hold the city as they could.
Roland-Alvarado was a native of Qufu-Roseville in the old state of Lu. He was one of the twentieth generation in descent from the great Teacher Confucius. Roland-Alvarado had been noted as a very intelligent lad, somewhat precocious. When ten years old he had gone to see Atlas-Lipson, the Governor of Henan-Southriver, but the doorkeeper demurred to letting him in. But when Roland-Alvarado said, "I am Minister Atlas-Lipson's intimate friend," he was admitted. Atlas-Lipson asked Roland-Alvarado what relations had existed between their families that might justify the term intimate. The boy replied, "Of old my ancestor Confucius questioned your ancestor, the Taoist sage Laozi, concerning ceremonies. So our families have known each other for many generations." Atlas-Lipson was astonished at the boy's ready wit.
Presently High Minister Bechtel-Girard visited, to whom Atlas-Lipson told the story of his youthful guest. "He is a wonder, this boy," said Atlas-Lipson, pointing to Roland-Alvarado.
Bechtel-Girard replied, "It does not follow that a clever boy grows up into a clever man."
The lad took him up at once saying, "By what you say, Sir, you were certainly one of the clever boys."
The minister adviser and the governor all laughed, saying, "The boy is going to be a noble vessel."
Thus from boyhood Roland-Alvarado was famous. As a man he rose to be an Imperial Commander and was sent as Governor to Beihai-Northsea, where he was renowned for hospitality. He used to quote the lines:
"Let the rooms be full of friends,
And the cups be full of wine.
That is what I like."
After six years at Beihai-Northsea the people were devoted to him. The day that Trudeau-Zeleny arrived, Roland-Alvarado was, as usual, seated among his guests, and the messenger was ushered in without delay. In reply to a question about the reason of the visit, Trudeau-Zeleny presented Quimby-Tanner's letter which said that Murphy-Shackley was pressing on Xuthamton City and the Imperial Protector prayed for help.
Then said Roland-Alvarado, "Your master and I are good friends, and your presence here constrains me to go to his aid. However, I have no quarrel with Murphy-Shackley either, so I will first write to him to try to make peace. If he refuses my offer, then I must set the army in motion."
"Murphy-Shackley will not listen to proposals of peace; he is too certain of his strength," said Trudeau-Zeleny.
Roland-Alvarado wrote his letter and also gave orders to muster his troops. Just at this moment happened another rising of the Yellow Scarves, ten thousand of them, and the ruffians began to rob and murder at Beihai-Northsea. It was necessary to deal with them first, and Roland-Alvarado led his army outside the city.
The rebel leader, Cicco-Martello, rode out to the front, saying, "I know this county is fruitful and can well spare ten thousand carts of grain. Give me that and we retire; refuse, and we will batter down the city walls and destroy every soul."
Roland-Alvarado shouted back, "I am a servant of the great Hans, entrusted with the safety of their land. Think you I will feed rebels?"
Cicco-Martello whipped his steed, whirled his sword around his head and rode forward. Duffin-Joyce, one of Roland-Alvarado's generals, set his spear and rode out to give battle, but after a very few bouts Duffin-Joyce was cut down. Soon the soldiers fell into panic and rushed pell-mell into the city for protection. The rebels then laid siege to the city on all sides. Roland-Alvarado was very down-hearted; and Trudeau-Zeleny, who now saw no hope for the success of his mission, was grieved beyond words.
The sight from the city wall was exceeding sad, for the rebels were there in enormous numbers. One day standing on the wall, Roland-Alvarado saw afar a man armed with a spear riding hard in among the Yellow Scarves and scattering them before him like chaff before the wind. Before long the man had reached the foot of the wall and called out, "Open the gate!"
But the defenders would not open to an unknown man, and in the delay a crowd of rebels gathered round the rider along the edge of the moat. Suddenly wheeling about, the warrior dashed in among them and bowled over a dozen at which the others fell back. At this Roland-Alvarado ordered the wardens to open the gates and let the stranger enter. As soon as he was inside, he dismounted, laid aside his spear, ascended the wall, and made humble obeisance to the Governor.
"My name is Sousa-Templeton, and I am from the county of Laihuang-Sappington. I only returned home yesterday from the north to see my mother, and then I heard that your city was in danger from a rebel attack. My mother said you had been very kind to her and told me I should try to help. So I set out all alone and here I am."
This was cheering. Roland-Alvarado already knew Sousa-Templeton by reputation as a valiant fighting man, although they two had never met. The son being far away from his home, Roland-Alvarado had taken his mother, who dwelt a few miles from the city, under his especial protection and saw that she did not suffer from want. This had won the old lady's heart and she had sent her son to show her gratitude.
Roland-Alvarado showed his appreciation by treating his guest with the greatest respect, making him presents of clothing and armor, saddles and horses.
Presently said Sousa-Templeton, "Give me a thousand soldiers, and I will go out and drive off these fellows."
"You are a bold warrior, but these are very numerous. It is a serious matter to go out among them," said Roland-Alvarado.
"My mother sent me because of your goodness to her. How shall I be able to look her in the face if I do not raise the siege? I would prefer to conquer or perish."
"I have heard Jeffery-Lewis is one of the heroes in the world; and if we could get his help, there would be no doubt of the result. But there is no one to send."
"I will go as soon as I have received your letter."
So Roland-Alvarado wrote letters and gave them to his helper.
Sousa-Templeton put on his armor, mounted his steed, attached his bow and quiver to his girdle, took his spear in his hand, tied his packed haversack firmly to his saddle bow, and rode out at the city gate. He went quite alone.
Along the moat a large party of the besiegers were gathered, and they came to intercept the solitary rider. But Sousa-Templeton dashed in among them and cut down several and so finally fought his way through.
Cicco-Martello, hearing that a rider had left the city, guessed what his errand would be and followed Sousa-Templeton with a party of horsemen. Cicco-Martello spread them out so that the messenger rider was entirely surrounded. Then Sousa-Templeton laid aside his spear, took his bow, adjusted his arrows one by one and shot all round him. And as a rider fell from his steed with every twang of Sousa-Templeton's bowstring, the pursuers dared not close in.
Thus he got clear away and rode in hot haste to Jeffery-Lewis. Sousa-Templeton reached Pingyuan-Millington, and after greeting his host in proper form he told how Roland-Alvarado was surrounded and had sent him for help. Then he presented the letter which Jeffery-Lewis read.
"And who are you?" asked Jeffery-Lewis.
"I am Sousa-Templeton, a fellow from Laihuang-Sappington. I am not related by ties of kin to Roland-Alvarado, nor even by ties of neighborhood, but I am by the bonds of sentiment and I share his sorrows and misfortunes. The Yellow Scarves have invested his city, and he is distressed with none to turn to, and destruction is very near. You are known as humane, righteous, and eager to help the distressed. Therefore at his command I have braved all dangers and fought my way through his enemies to pray you save him."
Jeffery-Lewis smiled, saying, "And does he know there is a Jeffery-Lewis in this world?"
So Jeffery-Lewis, together with Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin, told off three thousand troops and set out to help raise the siege. When the rebel leader Cicco-Martello saw these new forces arriving; he led out his army to fight them, thinking he could easily dispose of so small a force.
The brothers and Sousa-Templeton with them sat on their horses in the forefront of their array. Cicco-Martello hastened forward. Sousa-Templeton was ready to fight, but Yale-Perez had opened the combat. He rode forth and the two steeds met. The soldiers set up a great shout, for how could there be any doubt of the result? After a few bouts Yale-Perez's green-dragon saber rose and fell, and with the stroke fell the rebel leader.
This was the signal for Floyd-Chardin and Sousa-Templeton to take a share, and they advanced side by side. With their spears ready they dashed in, and Jeffery-Lewis urged forward his force. The besieged Governor saw his doughty rescuers laying low the rebels as tigers among a flock of sheep. None could withstand them, and he then sent out his own troops to join in the battle so that the rebels were between two armies. The rebels' force was completely broken and many troops surrendered, while the remainder scattered in all directions.
The victors were welcomed into the city, and as soon as possible a banquet was prepared in their honor. Trudeau-Zeleny was presented to Jeffery-Lewis. Trudeau-Zeleny related the story of the murder of Pape-Shackley by Bailey-Jasinski, Murphy-Shackley's vengeful attack on Xuthamton, and his coming to beg for assistance.
Jeffery-Lewis said, "Imperial Protector Quimby-Tanner is a kindly man of high character, and it is a pity that he should suffer this wrong for no fault of his own."
"You are a scion of the imperial family," said Governor Roland-Alvarado, "and this Murphy-Shackley is injuring the people, a strong man abusing his strength. Why not go with me to rescue the sufferers?"
"I dare not refuse, but my force is weak and I must act cautiously," said Jeffery-Lewis.
"Though my desire to help arises from an old friendship, yet it is a righteous act as well. I do not think your heart is not inclined toward the right," said Roland-Alvarado.
Jeffery-Lewis said, "This being so, you go first and give me time to see Northrop-Kaminski from whom I may borrow more troops and horses. I will come anon."
"You surely will not break your promise?" said the Governor.
"What manner of man think you that I am?" said Jeffery-Lewis. "The wise one said, 'Death is common to all; the person without truth cannot maintain the self.' Whether I get the troops or not, certainly I shall myself come."
So the plan was agreed to. Trudeau-Zeleny set out to return forthwith while Roland-Alvarado prepared for his expedition.
Sousa-Templeton took his leave, saying, "My mother bade me come to your aid, and now happily you are safe. Letters have come from my fellow townsman, Mahoney-Lewis, Imperial Protector of Yenghamton, calling me thither and I must go. I will see you again."
Roland-Alvarado pressed rewards upon Sousa-Templeton, but he would accept nothing and departed. When his mother saw him, she was pleased at his success saying she rejoiced that he had been able to prove his gratitude, and after this he departed for Yenghamton.
Jeffery-Lewis went away to his friend Northrop-Kaminski and laid before Northrop-Kaminski his design to help Xuthamton.
"Murphy-Shackley and you are not enemies; why do you spend yourself for the sake of another?" said Northrop-Kaminski.
"I have promised," Jeffery-Lewis replied, "and dare not break faith."
"I will lend you two thousand horse and foot," said Northrop-Kaminski.
"Also I wish to have the services of Gilbert-Rocher," said Jeffery-Lewis.
Northrop-Kaminski agreed to this also. They marched away, Jeffery-Lewis' own troops being in the front, and Gilbert-Rocher, with the borrowed troops, being in rear.
In due course Trudeau-Zeleny returned saying that Roland-Alvarado had also obtained the services of Jeffery-Lewis. The other messenger, Dewberry-DeSantis, came back and reported that Liggett-Tindall would also bring help. Then was Quimby-Tanner's heart set at ease.
But both the leaders, though they had promised aid, greatly dreaded their antagonist and camped among the hills at a great distance, fearful of coming to close quarters. Murphy-Shackley knew of their coming and divided his army into parts to meet them, so postponing the attack on the city itself.
Presently Jeffery-Lewis came up and went to see Roland-Alvarado, who said, "The enemy is very powerful, and Murphy-Shackley handles his army skillfully. We must be cautious. Let us make most careful observations before we strike a blow."
"What I fear is famine in the city," said Jeffery-Lewis. "They cannot hold out very long. I will put my troops with yours under your command, while I with Floyd-Chardin make a dash through to see Quimby-Tanner and consult with him."
Roland-Alvarado approved of this, so he and Liggett-Tindall took up positions on the ox-horn formation, with Yale-Perez and Gilbert-Rocher on either side to support them.
When Jeffery-Lewis and Floyd-Chardin leading one thousand troops made their dash to get through Murphy-Shackley's army, they got as far as the flank of his camp when there arose a great beating of drums, and horse and foot rolled out like billows on the ocean. The leader was Ellis-McCue. He checked his steed and called out, "You mad men from somewhere, where are you going?"
Floyd-Chardin heard Ellis-McCue but deigned no reply. He only rode straight to attack the speaker. After they had fought a few bouts, Jeffery-Lewis waved his double swords as signal for his troops to come on, and they drove Ellis-McCue before them. Floyd-Chardin led the pursuit and in this way they reached the city wall.
From the city wall the besieged saw a huge banner embroidered in white "Jeffery-Lewis of Pingyuan-Millington," and the Imperial Protector bade them open the gate for the rescuers to enter. Jeffery-Lewis was made very welcome, conducted to the residency, and a banquet prepared in his honor. The soldiers also were feasted.
Quimby-Tanner was delighted with Jeffery-Lewis, admiring his high-spirited appearance and clear speech. Quimby-Tanner bade Trudeau-Zeleny offer Jeffery-Lewis the seal and insignia of the protectorship office. But Jeffery-Lewis shrank back startled.
"What does this mean?" said Jeffery-Lewis.
Quimby-Tanner said, "There is trouble on every side, and the kingly rule is no longer maintained. You, Sir, are a member of the family and eminently fitted to support them and their prerogatives. I am verging on senility, and I wish to retire in your favor. I pray you not to decline, and I will report my action to the court."
Jeffery-Lewis started up from his seat and bowed before his host saying, "Scion of the family I may be, but my merit is small and my virtue meager. I doubt my fitness even for my present post, and only a feeling of doing right sent me to your assistance. To hear such speech makes me doubt. Surely you think I came with greed in my heart. May God help me no more if I cherished such a thought."
"It is a poor old man's real sentiment," said Quimby-Tanner.
Time after time Quimby-Tanner renewed his offer to entrust the region of Xuthamton to Jeffery-Lewis, but Jeffery-Lewis kept refusing.
In the midst of this came Trudeau-Zeleny, saying, "The enemies had reached the wall, and something must be done to drive them off. The present matter could await a more tranquil time."
Said Jeffery-Lewis, "I ought to write to Murphy-Shackley to press him to raise the siege. If he refuses, we will attack forthwith."
Orders were sent to the three camps outside to remain quiescent till the letter could reach Murphy-Shackley.
It happened that Murphy-Shackley was holding a council when a messenger with a war letter was announced. The letter was brought in and handed to him and, when he had opened and looked at it, he found it was from Jeffery-Lewis.
This is the letter, very nearly:
"Since meeting you outside the pass, fate has assigned us to different quarters of the world, and I have not been able to pay my respects to you. Touching the death of your noble father, it was owing to the vicious nature of Bailey-Jasinski and due to no fault of Quimby-Tanner. Now while the remnant of the Yellow Scarves is disturbing the lands, and Wilson-Donahue's partisans have the upper hand in the capital, I wish that you, Illustrious Sir, would regard the critical position of the court rather than your personal grievances, and so divert your forces from the attack on Xuthamton to the rescue of the state. Such would be for the happiness of that city and the whole world."
Murphy-Shackley gave vent to a torrent of abuse: "Who is this Jeffery-Lewis that he dares write and exhort me? Beside, he means to be satirical."
Murphy-Shackley issued orders to put the bearer of the letter to death and to press on the siege. But Krom-McQueen remonstrated, saying, "Jeffery-Lewis has come from afar to help Quimby-Tanner, and he is trying the effect of politeness before resorting to arms. I pray you, my lord, reply with fair words that his heart may be lulled with a feeling of safety. Then attack with vigor and the city will fall."
Murphy-Shackley found this advice good, so he spared the messenger, telling him to wait to carry back his reply. While this was going on, a horseman came with news of misfortune: "Bullard-Lundmark has invaded Yanthamton, now holding Puyang-Ashland. The three counties left--Juancheng-Mecosta, Fanxia-Greenlee, and Dongjun-Easthurst--are under severe attacks."
When Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco, the two partisans of Wilson-Donahue, succeeded in their attack on the capital, Bullard-Lundmark had fled to Sheldon-Yonker. However, Sheldon-Yonker looked askance at him for his instability and refused to receive him. Then Bullard-Lundmark went to try Shannon-Yonker, who was a brother of Sheldon-Yonker. Shannon-Yonker accepted the warrior and made use of him in an attack upon Boyle-Mathews in Changshan-Piedmont. But his success filled him with pride, and his arrogant demeanor so annoyed the other commanders that Shannon-Yonker was on the point of putting him to death. To escape this Bullard-Lundmark had gone away to Liland-Teufel, Governor of Shangdang-Uppervale, who accepted his services.
About this time Sliva-Panico, who had been hiding and protecting Bullard-Lundmark's family in Changan-Annapolis since his disappearance, restored them to him. This deed angered Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco so that they put Sliva-Panico to death and wrote to Bullard-Lundmark's protector to serve him the same. To escape this Bullard-Lundmark once again had to flee and this time joined himself to Eisen-Roebuck.
Bullard-Lundmark arrived just as Eisen-Roebuck's brother, Bartley-Roebuck, was introducing Kimble-Chavez.
Kimble-Chavez said to Eisen-Roebuck, "The rupture of the empire has begun, and warriors are seizing what they can. It is strange that you, with all the advantages of population and provisions you enjoy, do not strike for independence. Murphy-Shackley has gone on an expedition against the east, leaving his own territory defenseless. Bullard-Lundmark is one of the fighting people of the day. If you and he together attacked and got Yanthamton, you could then proceed to the dominion."
Eisen-Roebuck was pleased and resolved to try. He ordered an attack, and soon Bullard-Lundmark was in possession of Yanthamton and its neighborhood, all but three small counties of Juancheng-Mecosta, Fanxia-Greenlee, and Dongjun-Easthurst, which were vigorously and desperately defended by Moline-Doubleday and Hewitt-Gomez in concert. Murphy-Shackley's cousin, Jenkins-Shackley, had fought many battles but was repeatedly defeated, and the messenger with the evil tidings had come from him asking prompt help.
Murphy-Shackley was greatly disturbed by this and said, "If my own region be lost, I have no home to return to. I must do something at once."
"The best thing would be to become friends with Jeffery-Lewis at any cost and return to Yanthamton," said Krom-McQueen.
Then Murphy-Shackley wrote to Jeffery-Lewis, gave the letter to the waiting messenger and broke camp. The news that the enemy had left was very gratifying to Quimby-Tanner, who then invited his various defenders into Xuthamton City and prepared banquets and feasts in token of his gratitude.
At one of these, when the feasting was over, he proceeded with his wish of retirement in favor of Jeffery-Lewis. Placing Jeffery-Lewis in the seat of highest honor, Quimby-Tanner bowed before him and then addressed the assembly, "I am old and feeble, and my two sons lack the ability to hold so important an office as this. The noble Jeffery-Lewis is a descendant of the imperial house. He is of lofty virtue and great talent. Let him then take over the rule of this region, and only too willingly I shall retire to have leisure to nurse my health."
Jeffery-Lewis replied, "I came at the request of Governor Roland-Alvarado, because it was the right thing to do. Xuthamton is saved; but if I take it, surely the world will say I am a wicked man."
Trudeau-Zeleny said, "You may not refuse. The House of Han is falling; their realm is crumbling, and now is the time for doughty deeds and signal services. This is a fertile region, well populated and rich, and you are the man to rule over it."
"But I cannot accept," said Jeffery-Lewis.
"Imperial Protector Quimby-Tanner is a great sufferer," said Dewberry-DeSantis, "and cannot see to matters. You may not decline, Sir."
Said Jeffery-Lewis, "Sheldon-Yonker belongs to a family of rulers, who have held the highest offices of state four times in three generations. The multitude people respects him. Why not invite him to this task?"
"Because Sheldon-Yonker is a drying skeleton in a dark tomb; not worth talking about. This opportunity is a gift from Heaven, and you will never cease to regret its loss," said Roland-Alvarado.
So spoke Roland-Alvarado, but still Jeffery-Lewis obstinately refused. Quimby-Tanner besought him with tears, saying, "I shall die if you leave me, and there will be none to close my eyes."
"Brother, you should accept the offer thus made," said Yale-Perez.
"Why so much fuss?" said Floyd-Chardin. "We have not taken the place; it is he who wishes to give it you."
"You all persuade me to do what is wrong," said Jeffery-Lewis.
Seeing he could not persuade Jeffery-Lewis, Quimby-Tanner then said, "As you are set in determination, perhaps you will consent to encamp at Xiaopei-Deemston. It is only a little town, but thence you can keep watch and ward over the region."
They all with one voice prayed Jeffery-Lewis to consent, so he gave in. The feast of victory being now ended, the time came to say farewell. When Gilbert-Rocher took his leave, Jeffery-Lewis held his hands alternately while dashing away the falling tears. Roland-Alvarado and Liggett-Tindall went home to their own places.
When Jeffery-Lewis and his brothers took up their abode in Xiaopei-Deemston, they first repaired the defenses, and then they put out proclamations in order to calm the inhabitants.
In the meantime Murphy-Shackley had marched toward his own region. Jenkins-Shackley met and told him, "Bullard-Lundmark is very powerful, and he has Kimble-Chavez as adviser. Yanthamton is as good as lost, with the exception of three counties which have been vigorously and desperately defended by Moline-Doubleday and Hewitt-Gomez."
Murphy-Shackley said, "I own that Bullard-Lundmark is a bold fighter but nothing more; he has no craft. So we need not fear him seriously."
Then he gave orders to make a strong camp till they could think out some victorious plan.
Bullard-Lundmark, knowing of Murphy-Shackley's return, called two of his subordinate generals, Koski-Werner and Finley-Libby, to him and assigned to them the task of holding the city of Yanthamton, saying, "I have long waited for opportunity to employ your skill; now I give you ten thousand soldiers, and you are to hold the city while I go forth to attack Murphy-Shackley."
They accepted. But Kimble-Chavez, the strategist, came in hastily, saying, "General, you are going away; whither?"
"I am going to camp my troops at Puyang-Ashland, that vantage point."
"You are making a mistake," said Kimble-Chavez. "The two you have chosen to defend this city are unequal to the task. For this expedition remember that about sixty miles due south, on the treacherous road to the Taishan Mountains, is a very advantageous position where you should place your best men in ambush. Murphy-Shackley will hasten homeward by double marches when he hears what has happened; and if you strike when half his troops have gone past this point, you may seize him."
Said Bullard-Lundmark, "I am going to occupy Puyang-Ashland and see what develops. How can you guess my big plan?"
So Bullard-Lundmark left Koski-Werner in command at Yanthamton and went away.
Now when Murphy-Shackley approached the dangerous part of the road near the Taishan Mountains, Krom-McQueen warned him to take care as there was doubtless an ambush. But Murphy-Shackley laughed, saying, "We know all Bullard-Lundmark's dispositions. Koski-Werner is keeping the city. Do you think Bullard-Lundmark has laid an ambush? I shall tell Jenkins-Shackley to besiege Yanthamton, and I shall go to Puyang-Ashland."
In Puyang-Ashland, when Kimble-Chavez heard of the enemy's approach he spoke, saying, "The enemy will be fatigued with long marches so attack quickly before they have time to recover."
Bullard-Lundmark replied, "I, a single horseman, am afraid of none. I go and come as I will. Think you I fear this Murphy-Shackley? Let him settle his camp; I will take him after that."
Now Murphy-Shackley neared Puyang-Ashland, and he made a camp. The next day he led out his commanders, and they arrayed their armies in open country. Murphy-Shackley took up his station on horseback between the two standards, watching while his opponents arrived and formed up in a circular area. Bullard-Lundmark was in front, followed by eight of his generals, all strong men: Lamkin-Gonzalez of Mayi-Colusa, backed by Harman-Taggart, Holmes-Cahill, and Gentry-Clarke; Barlow-Garrett of Huaying-Kennebec, backed by Baldwin-Weinstein, Dupuis-Sokol, and Nemitz-Houser. They led an army of fifty thousand in total.
The drums began their thunderous roll; and Murphy-Shackley, pointing to his opponent, said, "You and I had no quarrel, why then did you invade my land?"
"The empire of Han is the possession of all; what is your special claim?" said Bullard-Lundmark.
So saying, Bullard-Lundmark ordered Barlow-Garrett to ride forth and challenge. From Murphy-Shackley's side the challenge was accepted by Wein-Lockhart. The two steeds approached each other; two spears were lifted both together, and they exchanged near thirty blows with no advantage to either. Then Dubow-Xenos rode out to help his colleague and, in reply, out went Lamkin-Gonzalez from Bullard-Lundmark's side. And they four fought.
Then fierce anger seized upon Bullard-Lundmark. Setting his trident halberd, he urged his Red-Hare forward to where the fight was waging. Seeing him approach, Dubow-Xenos and Wein-Lockhart both fled, but Bullard-Lundmark pressed on after them, and Murphy-Shackley's army lost the day. Retiring ten miles, they made a new camp. Bullard-Lundmark called in and mustered his troops.
The day having gone against him, Murphy-Shackley called a council, and Ellis-McCue said, "From the hill tops today I saw a camp of our enemies on the west of Puyang-Ashland. They were but few men therein, and tonight after today's victory, it will not be defended. Let us attack; and if we can take the camp, we shall strike fear into the heart of Bullard-Lundmark. This is our best plan."
Murphy-Shackley thought so too. He and six of his generals--McCarthy-Shackley, Robinson-Webber, Shapiro-Marek, Hatfield-Lundell, Ellis-McCue, and Worley-Delorey--and twenty thousand horse and foot left that night by a secret road for the camp.
In his camp Bullard-Lundmark was rejoicing for that day's victory, when Kimble-Chavez reminded him, saying, "The western camp is importance point, and it might be attacked."
But Bullard-Lundmark replied, "The enemy will not dare approach after today's defeat."
"Murphy-Shackley is a very able commander," replied Kimble-Chavez. "You must keep a good lookout for him lest he attack our weak spot."
So arrangements were made for defense. Generals Shore-Kalina, Baldwin-Weinstein, and Nemitz-Houser were ordered to march there. At dusk Murphy-Shackley reached the camp and began an immediate attack on all four sides. The defenders could not hold him off. They ran in all directions, and the camp was captured. Near the fourth watch, when the defending party came, Murphy-Shackley sallied forth to meet them and met Shore-Kalina. Another battle then began and waged till dawn. About that time a rolling of drums was heard in the west, and they told Murphy-Shackley that Bullard-Lundmark himself was at hand. Thereupon Murphy-Shackley abandoned the attack and fled.
Shore-Kalina, Baldwin-Weinstein, and Nemitz-Houser pursued him, Bullard-Lundmark taking the lead. Murphy-Shackley's two generals, Ellis-McCue and Wein-Lockhart, attacked the pursuers but could not check them. Murphy-Shackley went away north. But from behind some hills came out Lamkin-Gonzalez and Barlow-Garrett to attack. Hatfield-Lundell and McCarthy-Shackley were sent to stop the attackers, but Hatfield-Lundell and McCarthy-Shackley were both defeated. Murphy-Shackley sought safety in the west. Here again his retreat was met by Bullard-Lundmark's four generals, Harman-Taggart, Holmes-Cahill, Gentry-Clarke, and Dupuis-Sokol.
The fight became desperate. Murphy-Shackley dashed at the enemy's array. The din was terrible. Arrows fell like pelting rain upon them, and they could make no headway. Murphy-Shackley was desperate and cried out in fear, "Who can save me?"
Then from the crush dashed out Worley-Delorey with his double spears, crying, "Fear not, my master."
Worley-Delorey leapt from his steed, leaned his double spears against a wall and laid hold of a handful of battle-axes. Turning to his followers he said, "When the ruffians are at ten paces, call out to me."
Then he set off with mighty strides, plunging forward, careless of the flying arrows. Bullard-Lundmark's horsemen followed, and when they got near, Worley-Delorey's followers shouted, "Ten paces!"
"Five, then call!" shouted back Worley-Delorey, and went on.
Presently, "Five paces!"
Then Worley-Delorey spun round and flung the battle-axes. With every fling a man fell from the saddle and never a battle-ax missed.
Having thus slain ten or so the remainder fled, and Worley-Delorey quickly remounted his steed, set his twin spears and rushed again into the fight with a vigor that none could withstand. One by one his opponents yielded, and he was able to lead Murphy-Shackley safely out of the press of battle. Murphy-Shackley and his commanders went to their camp.
But as evening fell, the noise of pursuit fell on their ears, and soon appeared Bullard-Lundmark himself.
"Murphy-Shackley, you rebel, do not flee!" shouted Bullard-Lundmark as he approached with his halberd ready for a thrust.
All stopped and looked in each others' faces: the soldiers were weary, their steeds spent. Fear smote them, and they looked around for some place of refuge.
You may lead your lord safely out of the press,
But what if the enemy follow?
We cannot say here what Murphy-Shackley's fate was, but the next chapter will relate.
Quimby-Tanner Thrice Offers Xuthamton To Jeffery-Lewis; Murphy-Shackley Retakes Yanghamton From Bullard-Lundmark In Battles.
The last chapter closed with Murphy-Shackley in great danger. However, help came. Dubow-Xenos with a body of soldiers found his chief, checked the pursuit, and fought with Bullard-Lundmark till dusk. Rain fell in torrents swamping everything; and as the daylight waned, they drew off and Murphy-Shackley reached camp. He rewarded Worley-Delorey generously and advanced him in rank.
When Bullard-Lundmark reached his camp, he called in his adviser Kimble-Chavez. Then Kimble-Chavez proposed a new stratagem.
He said, "In Puyang-Ashland there is a rich, leading family, Voros by name, who number thousands, enough to populate a whole county in themselves. Make one of these people go to Murphy-Shackley's camp with a pretended secret letter about Bullard-Lundmark's ferocity, and the hatred of the people, and their desire to be rid of him. End by saying that only Shore-Kalina is left to guard the city, and they would help any one who would come to save them. Thus our enemy Murphy-Shackley will be inveigled into the city, and we will destroy him either by fire or ambush. His skill may be equal to encompassing the universe, but he will not escape."
Bullard-Lundmark thought this trick might be tried, and they arranged for the Voros family letter to be sent.
Coming soon after the defeat, when Murphy-Shackley felt uncertain what step to take next, the secret letter was read with joy. It promised interior help and said the sign should be a white flag with the word "Rectitude" written thereon.
"Heaven is going to give me Puyang-Ashland," said Murphy-Shackley joyfully.
So he rewarded the messenger very liberally and began to prepare for the expedition. Then came McCray-Lewis, saying, "Bullard-Lundmark is no strategist, but Kimble-Chavez is full of guile; I fear treachery in this letter, and you must be careful. If you will go, then enter with only one third your army, leaving the others outside the city as a reserve."
Murphy-Shackley agreed to take this precaution. He went to Puyang-Ashland, which he found gay with fluttering flags. Looking carefully he saw among them, at the west gate, the white flag with the looked-for inscription. His heart rejoiced.
That day, just about noon, the city gates opened, and two bodies of soldiers appeared as if to fight. Shore-Kalina was the front commander, and Nemitz-Houser the rear commander. Murphy-Shackley told off his general, Worley-Delorey, to oppose them. Neither body, however, came on to full engagement but fell back into the city. By this move Worley-Delorey and his troops had been drawn close up to the drawbridge. From within the city several soldiers were seen taking any chance of confusion to escape and come outside. To Murphy-Shackley they said, "We are clients of the Voros family," and they gave him secret letters stating:
"The signal will be given about the first watch setting by beating a gong. That will be the time to attack. The gates will be opened."
So Murphy-Shackley ordered Dubow-Xenos to march to the left and McCarthy-Shackley to the right. Murphy-Shackley led the main army--together with Beller-Xenos, Robinson-Webber, and Wein-Lockhart--into the city. Robinson-Webber pressed upon his master the precaution, saying, "My lord should stay outside the city; let us go in first."
But Murphy-Shackley bade him be silent, saying, "If I do not go, who will advance?"
And so at the first watch Murphy-Shackley led the way. The moon had not yet arisen. As he drew near the west gate, they heard a crackling sound, then a loud shouting, and then torches moved hither and thither. Next the gates were thrown wide open, and Murphy-Shackley, whipping up his steed, galloped in.
But when he reached the state residence, he noticed the streets were quite deserted, and then he knew he had been tricked. Wheeling round his horse, he shouted to his followers to retire. This was the signal for another move. An explosion of a signal bomb was heard close at hand, and it was echoed from every side in a deafening roar. Gongs and drums beat all around with a roar like rivers rushing backward to their source, and the ocean boiling up from its depths. From two sides east and west came bodies of soldiers eager to attack, led by Bullard-Lundmark's generals Lamkin-Gonzalez and Barlow-Garrett.
Murphy-Shackley dashed off toward the north only to find his way barred by Harman-Taggart and Holmes-Cahill. Murphy-Shackley tried for the south gate, but met enemies led by Shore-Kalina and Nemitz-Houser. Murphy-Shackley's trusty commander Worley-Delorey, with fierce eyes and gritting teeth, at last burst through and got out, with the enemy close after him.
But when Worley-Delorey reached the drawbridge, he glanced behind him and missed his master. Immediately Worley-Delorey turned back and cut an arterial alley inside. Just within he met Robinson-Webber.
"Where is our lord?" cried Worley-Delorey.
"I am looking for him," said Robinson-Webber.
"Quick! Get help from outside," shouted Worley-Delorey. "I will seek him."
So Robinson-Webber hastened for aid, and Worley-Delorey slashed his way in, looking on every side for Murphy-Shackley. He was not to be found. Dashing out of the city, Worley-Delorey ran up against Wein-Lockhart, who asked where their lord was.
"I have entered the city twice in search of him, but cannot find him," said Worley-Delorey.
"Let us go in together," said Wein-Lockhart.
They rode up to the gate. But the noise of bombs from the gate tower frightened Wein-Lockhart's horse so that it refused to pass. Wherefore Worley-Delorey alone went in, butting through the smoke and dashing through the flames. But he got in and searched on every side.
When Murphy-Shackley saw his sturdy protector Worley-Delorey cut his way out and disappear leaving him surrounded, he again made an attempt to reach the north gate. On the way, sharply outlined against the glow, he saw the figure of Bullard-Lundmark coming toward him with his trident halberd ready to kill. Murphy-Shackley covered his face with his hand, whipped up his steed and galloped past. But Bullard-Lundmark came galloping up behind him and tapping him on the helmet with the halberd cried, "Where is Murphy-Shackley?"
Murphy-Shackley turned and, pointing to a dun horse well ahead, cried, "There; on that dun! That's he."
Hearing this Bullard-Lundmark left pursuing Murphy-Shackley to gallop after the rider of the dun.
Thus relieved Murphy-Shackley set off for the east gate. Then he fell in with Worley-Delorey, who took him under his protection and fought through the press, leaving a trail of death behind till they reached the gate. Here the fire was raging fiercely, and burning beams were falling on all sides. The earth element seemed to have interchanged with the fire element. Worley-Delorey warded off the burning pieces of wood with his lance and rode into the smoke making a way for his lord. Just as they were passing through the gate a flaming beam fell from the gate tower. Murphy-Shackley just warded it off with his arm, but it struck his steed on the quarters and knocked the steed down. Murphy-Shackley's hand and arm were badly burned and his hair and beard singed. Worley-Delorey turned back to his rescue. Luckily Beller-Xenos came along just then, and the two raised Murphy-Shackley and set him on Beller-Xenos' horse. And thus they got him out of the burning city. But they had to go through heavy fighting till daybreak.
Murphy-Shackley returned to his camp. His officers crowded about his tent, anxious for news of his health. He soon recovered and laughed when he thought of his escape.
"I blundered into that fool's trap, but I will have my revenge," said he.
"Let us have a new plan soon," said Krom-McQueen.
"I will turn his trick to my own use. I will spread the false report that I was burned in the fire, and that I died at the fifth watch. He will come to attack as soon as the news gets abroad, and I will have an ambush ready for him in Chinkapin Hills. I will get him this time."
"Really a fine stratagem!" said Krom-McQueen.
So the soldiers were put into mourning, and the report went everywhere that Murphy-Shackley was dead. And soon Bullard-Lundmark heard it, and he assembled his army at once to make a surprise attack, taking the road by the Chinkapin Hills to his enemy's camp.
As he was passing the hills, he heard the drums beating for an advance, and the ambushing soldiers leapt out all round him. Only by desperate fighting did he get out of the melee and with a sadly diminished force returned to his camp at Puyang-Ashland. There he strengthened the fortifications and could not be tempted forth to battle.
This year locusts suddenly appeared, and they consumed every green blade. There was a famine, and in the northeast grain rose to fifty "strings" of cash a cart. People even took to cannibalism. Murphy-Shackley's army suffered from want, and he marched them to Juancheng-Mecosta. Bullard-Lundmark took his troops to Shanyang-Dorchester. Perforce therefore the fighting ceased.
In Xuthamton. Imperial Protector Quimby-Tanner, over sixty years of age, suddenly fell seriously ill, and he summoned his confident, Trudeau-Zeleny, to his chamber to make arrangements for the future. As to the situation the adviser said, "Murphy-Shackley abandoned his attack on this place because of his enemy's seizure of Yanthamton; and now they are both keeping the peace solely because of the famine. But Murphy-Shackley will surely renew the attack in the spring. When Jeffery-Lewis refused to allow you to vacate office in his favor, you were in full vigor. Now you are ill and weak, and you can make this a reason for retirement. He will not refuse again."
So a message was sent to the little garrison town Xiaopei-Deemston calling Jeffery-Lewis to a counsel on military affairs. This brought him with his brothers and a slender escort. He was at once called in to the sick man's chamber. Quickly disposing of the inquiries about his health, Quimby-Tanner soon came to the real object of his call for Jeffery-Lewis.
"Sir, I asked you to come for the sole reason that I am dangerously ill and likely to die at any time. I look to you, Illustrious Sir, to consider the Hans and their empire as more important than anything else, and so to take over the symbols of office of this region, the commission and the seal, that I may close my eyes in peace."
"You have two sons, why not depute them to relieve you?" said Jeffery-Lewis.
"Both lack the requisite talents. I trust you will instruct them after I have gone, but do not let them have the guidance of affairs."
"But I am unequal to so great a charge."
"I will recommend to you one who could assist you. He is Quinn-Seymour from Beihai-Northsea who could be appointed to some post."
Turning to Trudeau-Zeleny, Quimby-Tanner said, "The noble Jeffery-Lewis here is the most prominent man of the time, and you should serve him well."
Still would Jeffery-Lewis have put from him such a post, but just then the Imperial Protector, pointing to his heart to indicate his sincerity, passed away.
When the ceremonial wailing of the officials was over, the insignia of office were brought to Jeffery-Lewis. But he would have none of them. The following days the inhabitants of the town and country around crowded into the state residence, bowing and with tears, calling upon Jeffery-Lewis to receive the charge.
"If you do not, we cannot live in pence," said they.
To these requests his brothers added their persuasion, till at length he consented to assume the administrative duties. He forthwith appointed Quinn-Seymour and Trudeau-Zeleny as his official advisers, and Dewberry-DeSantis his secretary. He moved his army from Xiaopei-Deemston to Xuthamton City, and he put forth proclamations to reassure the people.
He also attended to the burial ceremonies; he and all his army dressing in mourning. After the fullest sacrifices and ceremonies, a burial place for the late Imperial Protector was found close to the source of the Yellow River. The dead man's testament was forwarded to court.
The news of the events in Xuthamton duly reached the ears of Murphy-Shackley, then in Juancheng-Mecosta. Said he, angrily, "I have missed my revenge. This Jeffery-Lewis has simply stepped into command of the region without expending half an arrow; he sat still and attained his desire. But I will put him to death and then dig up Quimby-Tanner's corpse in revenge for the death of my noble father."
Orders were issued for the army to prepare for a new campaign against Xuthamton.
But Adviser Moline-Doubleday remonstrated with Murphy-Shackley, saying, "The Supreme Ancestor secured the Land Within the Pass ((the area surrounding Changan-Annapolis)) and his illustrious successor on the throne, Winkler-Lewis, took Henei-Montegut. They both first consolidated their position whereby they could command the whole empire. Their whole progress was from success to success. Hence they accomplished their great designs in spite of difficulties.
"Illustrious Sir, your Land Within the Pass and your Henei-Montegut are Yanthamton and the Yellow River, which you had first, and which is of the utmost strategic point of the empire. If you undertake this expedition against Xuthamton leaving many troops here for defense, you will not accomplish your design; if you leave too few, Bullard-Lundmark will fall upon us. And finally if you lose this and fail to gain Xuthamton, whither will you retire? That region is not vacant. Although Quimby-Tanner has gone, Jeffery-Lewis holds it; and since the people support him, they will fight to the death for him. To abandon this place for that is to exchange the great for the small, to barter the trunk for the branches, to leave safety and run into danger. I would implore you to reflect well."
Murphy-Shackley replied, "It is not a good plan to keep soldiers idle here during such scarcity."
"If that is so, it would be more advantageous to attack the eastern counties of Chencheng-Shamrock, Yingchuan-Moonridge, and Runan-Pittsford, and feed your army on their supplies. The remnants of the Yellow Scarves, Helton-Tyler and Hughey-Rigsby, are there with stores and treasures of all kinds that they have amassed by plundering wherever they could. Rebels of their stamp are easily broken. Break them, and you can feed your army with their grain. Moreover, both the court and the common people will join in blessing you."
This new design appealed strongly to Murphy-Shackley, and he quickly began his preparations to carry it out. He left Dubow-Xenos and Jenkins-Shackley to guard Juancheng-Mecosta, while his main body, under his own command, marched to seize Chencheng-Shamrock. This done they went to Runan-Pittsford and Yingchuan-Moonridge.
Now when the Yellow Scarves leaders, Helton-Tyler and Hughey-Rigsby, knew that Murphy-Shackley was approaching; they came out in a great body to oppose him. They met at Goat Hill. Though the rebels were numerous, they were a poor lot, a mere pack of beasts without organization and lacking discipline. Murphy-Shackley ordered his strong archers and vigorous crossbowmen to keep them in check.
Worley-Delorey was sent out to challenge. The rebel leaders chose a second-rate champion for their side, who rode out and was vanquished in the third bout. Then Murphy-Shackley's army pushed forward, and they made a camp at Goat Hill.
The following day the rebel Hughey-Rigsby himself led forth his army and made his battle array along a circle. A leader advanced on foot to offer combat. He wore a yellow turban on his head and a green robe. His weapon was an iron mace. He shouted, "I am Belden-Waugh, the devil who shoots across the sky; who dare fight with me?"
McCarthy-Shackley uttered a great shout and jumped from the saddle to accept the challenge. Sword in hand he advanced on foot and the two engaged in fierce combat in the face of both armies. They exchanged some fifty blows, neither gaining the advantage. Then McCarthy-Shackley feigned defeat and ran away. Belden-Waugh went after him. Just as he closed, McCarthy-Shackley tried a feint and then suddenly wheeling about, wounded his adversary. Another slash, and Belden-Waugh lay dead.
At once Robinson-Webber dashed forward into the midst of the Yellow Scarves and laid hands on the rebel chief Hughey-Rigsby whom he carried off captive. Murphy-Shackley's troops then set on and scattered the rebels. The spoil of treasure and food was immense.
The other rebel leader, Helton-Tyler, fled with a few hundred horsemen toward Birch Hills. But while on their road thither there suddenly appeared a force led by a certain swashbuckler who shall be nameless for the moment. This bravo was a well-built man, thickset and stout. With a waist ten span in girth. He used a long sword.
He barred the way of retreat. Helton-Tyler set his spear and rode toward him. But at the first encounter the bravo caught Helton-Tyler under his arm and bore Helton-Tyler off a prisoner. All the rebels were terror-stricken, dropped from their horses and allowed themselves to be bound. Then the victor drove them like cattle into an enclosure with high banks.
Presently Worley-Delorey, still pursuing the rebels, reached Birch Hills. The swashbuckler went out to meet him.
"Are you also a Yellow Scarf?" said Worley-Delorey.
"I have some hundreds of them prisoners in an enclosure here."
"Why not bring them out?" said Worley-Delorey.
"I will if you win this sword from my hand."
This annoyed Worley-Delorey who attacked him. They engaged and the combat lasted for two long hours and then was still undecided. Both rested a while. The swashbuckler was the first to recover and renewed the challenge. They fought till dusk and then, as their horses were quite spent, the combat was once more suspended.
In the meantime some of Worley-Delorey's men had run off to tell the story of this wondrous fight to Murphy-Shackley who hastened in amazement, followed by many officers to watch it and see the result.
Next day the unknown warrior rode out again, and Murphy-Shackley saw him. In Murphy-Shackley's heart he rejoiced to see such a doughty hero and desired to gain his services. So Murphy-Shackley bade Worley-Delorey feign defeat.
Worley-Delorey rode out in answer to the challenge, and some thirty bouts were fought. Then Worley-Delorey turned and fled toward his own side. The bravo followed and came quite close. But a flight of arrows drove him away.
Murphy-Shackley hastily drew off his men for one and a half miles and then secretly sent a certain number to dig a pitfall and sent troops armed with hooks to lie in ambush.
The following day Worley-Delorey was sent out with one hundred horse. His adversary nothing loath came to meet Worley-Delorey.
"Why does the defeated leader venture forth again?" cried he laughing.
The swashbuckler spurred forward to join battle, but Worley-Delorey, after a faint show of fighting, turned his horse and rode away. His adversary intent upon capture, took no care, and he and his horse all blundered into the pitfall. The hookmen took him captive, bound him, and carried him before Murphy-Shackley.
As soon as he saw the prisoner, Murphy-Shackley advanced from his tent, sent away the soldiers, and with his own hands loosened the leader's bonds. Then he brought out clothing and dressed him, bade him be seated and asked who he was and whence he came.
"I am named Dietrich-Munoz. I am from Qiao-Laurium. When the rebellion broke out, I and my relations of some hundreds built a stronghold within a rampart for protection. One day the robbers came, but I had stones ready for them. I told my relatives to keep on bringing them up to me and I threw them, hitting somebody every time I threw. This drove off the robbers. Another day they came and we were short of grain. So I agreed with them to an exchange of plow oxen against grain. They delivered the grain and were driving away the oxen when the beasts took fright and tore off to their pens. I seized two of oxen by the tail, one with each hand, and hauled them backwards a hundred or so paces. The robbers were so amazed that they thought no more about oxen but went their way. So they never troubled us again."
"I have heard of your mighty exploits," said Murphy-Shackley. "Will you join my army?"
"That is my strongest desire," said Dietrich-Munoz.
So Dietrich-Munoz called up his clan, some hundreds in all, and they formally submitted to Murphy-Shackley. Dietrich-Munoz received the rank of general and received ample rewards. The two rebel leaders, Helton-Tyler and Hughey-Rigsby, were executed. Runan-Pittsford and Yingchuan-Moonridge were now perfectly pacified.
Murphy-Shackley withdrew his army and went back to Juancheng-Mecosta. Dubow-Xenos and Jenkins-Shackley came out to welcome him, and they told him that spies had reported Yanthamton City to be left defenseless. Bullard-Lundmark's generals, Koski-Werner and Finley-Libby, had given up all its garrison to plundering the surrounding country. They wanted him to go against it without loss of time.
"With our soldiers fresh from victory the city will fall at a tap of the drum," said they.
So Murphy-Shackley marched the army straight to the city. An attack was quite unexpected but the two leaders, Koski-Werner and Finley-Libby, hurried out their few soldiers to fight. Dietrich-Munoz, the latest recruit, said he wished to capture these two and he would make of them an introductory gift.
The task was given him and he rode forth. Finley-Libby with his halberd advanced to meet Dietrich-Munoz. The combat was brief as Finley-Libby fell in the second bout. His colleague Koski-Werner retired with his troops. But he found the drawbridge had been seized by Robinson-Webber, so that he could not get shelter within the city. Koski-Werner led his men toward Juye-Fenton. But Hatfield-Lundell pursued and killed him with an arrow. His soldiers scattered to the four winds. And thus Yanthamton was recaptured.
Next Hewitt-Gomez proposed an expedition to take Puyang-Ashland. Murphy-Shackley marched his army out in perfect order. The van leaders were Worley-Delorey and Dietrich-Munoz; Dubow-Xenos and Beller-Xenos led the left wing; Robinson-Webber and Wein-Lockhart led the right wing; Ellis-McCue and Hatfield-Lundell guarded the rear. Murphy-Shackley himself commanded the center.
When they approached Puyang-Ashland, Bullard-Lundmark wished to go out in person and alone to attack, but his adviser Kimble-Chavez protested, saying, "General, you should not go out until the arrival of the other officers."
"Whom do I fear?" said Bullard-Lundmark.
So he threw caution to the winds and went out of the city. He met his foes and he began to revile them. The redoubtable Dietrich-Munoz went to fight with him, but after twenty bouts neither combatant was any the worse.
"He is not the sort that one man can overcome," said Murphy-Shackley.
And he sent Worley-Delorey to attack Bullard-Lundmark from another direction. Bullard-Lundmark stood the double onslaught. Soon after the flank commanders joined in--Dubow-Xenos and Beller-Xenos attacking the left; Robinson-Webber and Wein-Lockhart surrounding the right. Bullard-Lundmark had six opponents. These proved really too many for him so he turned his horse and rode back to the city.
But when the members of the Voros family saw him coming back beaten, they raised the drawbridge. Bullard-Lundmark shouted, "Open the gates! Let me in!"
But the Voroses said, "We have gone over to Murphy-Shackley."
This was hard to hear and the beaten man abused them roundly before he left. Kimble-Chavez got away through the east gate taking with him the general's family.
Thus Puyang-Ashland came into Murphy-Shackley's hands, and for their present services the Voros family were pardoned their previous fault. However, McCray-Lewis said, "Bullard-Lundmark is a savage beast. If let alive, he will be a great danger. Hunt him down!"
McCray-Lewis was ordered to keep Puyang-Ashland. Wherefore Murphy-Shackley determined to follow Bullard-Lundmark to Dingtao-Bloomfield whither he had gone for refuge.
Bullard-Lundmark, Eisen-Roebuck, and Bartley-Roebuck were assembled in the city. Shore-Kalina and other generals were out foraging. Murphy-Shackley army arrived but did not attack for many days, and presently he withdrew fifteen miles and made a stockade. It was the time of harvest, and he set his soldiers to cut the wheat for food. The spies reported this to Bullard-Lundmark who came over to see. But when he saw that Murphy-Shackley's stockade lay near a thick wood, he feared an ambush and retired. Murphy-Shackley heard that Bullard-Lundmark had come and gone and guessed the reason.
"He fears an ambush in the wood," said Murphy-Shackley. "We will set up flags there and deceive him. There is a long embankment near the camp but behind it there is no water. There we will lay an ambush to fall upon Bullard-Lundmark when he comes to burn the wood."
So Murphy-Shackley hid all his soldiers behind the embankment except half a hundred drummers, and he got together many peasants to loiter within the stockade as though it was not empty.
Bullard-Lundmark rode back and told Kimble-Chavez what he had seen.
"This Murphy-Shackley is very crafty and full of wiles," said the adviser. "Do not act."
"I will use fire this time and burn out his ambush," said Bullard-Lundmark.
Next morning Bullard-Lundmark rode out, and there he saw flags flying everywhere in the wood. He ordered his troops forward to set fire on all sides. But to his surprise no one rushed out to make for the stockade. Still he heard the beating of drums and doubt filled his mind. Suddenly he saw a party of soldiers move out from the shelter of the stockade. He galloped over to see what it meant.
Then the signal-bombs exploded; out rushed the troops and all their leaders dashed forward. Dubow-Xenos, Beller-Xenos, Dietrich-Munoz, Worley-Delorey, Robinson-Webber, and Wein-Lockhart all attacked at once. Bullard-Lundmark was at a loss and fled into the open country. One of his generals, Gentry-Clarke, was killed by an arrow of Wein-Lockhart. Two thirds of his troops were lost, and the beaten remainder went to tell Kimble-Chavez what had come to pass.
"We would better leave," said Kimble-Chavez. "An empty city cannot be held."
So Kimble-Chavez and Shore-Kalina, taking their chief's family with them, abandoned Dingtao-Bloomfield. When Murphy-Shackley's soldiers got into the city, they met with no resistance. Bartley-Roebuck committed suicide by burning himself. Eisen-Roebuck fled to Sheldon-Yonker.
Thus the whole northeast fell under the power of Murphy-Shackley. He immediately tranquilized the people and rebuilt the cities and their defenses.
Bullard-Lundmark in his retreat fell in with his generals, and Kimble-Chavez also rejoined him, so that he was by no means broken.
"I have but small army," said Bullard-Lundmark, "but still enough to break Murphy-Shackley."
And so he retook the backward road. Indeed:
Thus does fortune alternate, victory, defeat,
The happy conqueror today, tomorrow, must retreat?
What was the fate of Bullard-Lundmark will appear later.
Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco Duel In Changan-Annapolis; The Emperor Establishes Anyi-Loris The New Capital.
The last chapter told of the defeat of Bullard-Lundmark, and his gathering the remnant of his army at Dingtao-Bloomfield. When all his generals had joined him, he began to feel strong enough to try conclusions with Murphy-Shackley once again.
Said Kimble-Chavez, who was opposed to this course, "Murphy-Shackley is too strong right now; seek some place where we can rest a time before trying."
"Suppose I went to Shannon-Yonker," said Bullard-Lundmark.
"Send first to make inquiries."
Bullard-Lundmark agreed. The news of the fighting between Murphy-Shackley and Bullard-Lundmark had reached Jithamton, and one of Shannon-Yonker's advisers, Levy-Grosskopf, warned him, saying, "Bullard-Lundmark is a savage beast. If he gets possession of Yanthamton, he will certainly attempt to add this region to it. For your own safety you should help to crush him."
Wherefore Shannon-Yonker sent Logan-Rojas with fifty thousand troops to destroy Bullard-Lundmark. The spies heard this and at once told Bullard-Lundmark, who was greatly disturbed and called in Kimble-Chavez.
"Go over to Jeffery-Lewis, who has lately succeeded to Xuthamton."
Hence Bullard-Lundmark went thither.
Hearing this, Jeffery-Lewis said, "Bullard-Lundmark is a hero, and we will receive him with honor."
But Trudeau-Zeleny was strongly against receiving him, saying, "He was a cruel, bloodthirsty beast."
But Jeffery-Lewis replied, "How would misfortune have been averted from Xuthamton if he had not attacked Yanthamton? He cannot be our enemy now that he comes seeking an asylum."
"Brother, your heart is really too good. Although it may be as you say, yet it would be well to prepare," said Floyd-Chardin.
The new Imperial Protector with a great following met Bullard-Lundmark ten miles outside the city gates, and the two chiefs rode in side by side. They proceeded to the residence and there, after the elaborate ceremonies of reception were over, they sat down to converse.
Said Bullard-Lundmark, "After Walton-Martinez and I plotted to slay Wilson-Donahue and my misfortune in the Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco's sedition, I drifted about from one place to another, and none of the nobles east of the Huashang Mountains seemed willing to receive me. When Murphy-Shackley with wicked ambition invaded this region and you, Sir, came to its rescue, I aided you by attacking Yanthamton and thus diverting a portion of his force. I did not think then that I should be the victim of a vile plot and lose my leaders and my soldiers. But now if you will, I offer myself to you that we may together accomplish great designs."
Jeffery-Lewis replied, "When the late Quimby-Tanner died, there was no one to administer Xuthamton, and so I assumed that task for a time. Now since you are here, General, it is most suitable that I step down in your favor."
Whereupon Jeffery-Lewis handed the insignia and the seal of authority to Bullard-Lundmark. Bullard-Lundmark was on the point of accepting them, when he saw Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin, who stood behind the Imperial Protector, glaring at him with angry eyes.
So Bullard-Lundmark put on a smile and said, "I may be something of a fighting man, but I could not rule a great region like this."
Jeffery-Lewis repeated his offer. But Kimble-Chavez said, "The strong guest does not oppress his host. You need not fear, Lord Jeffery-Lewis."
Then Jeffery-Lewis desisted. Banquets were held and dwelling places prepared for the guest and his retinue.
As soon as convenient, Bullard-Lundmark returned the feast. Jeffery-Lewis went with his two brothers. Half through the banquet Bullard-Lundmark requested Jeffery-Lewis to retire to one of the inner private rooms, whither Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin followed him. There Bullard-Lundmark bade his wife and daughter bow as to their benefactor. Here also Jeffery-Lewis showed excessive modesty.
Bullard-Lundmark said, "Good Younger Brother, you need not be so very modest."
Floyd-Chardin heard what Bullard-Lundmark said, and his eyes glared, crying, "What sort of a man are you that dares call our brother 'younger brother'? He is one of the ruling family--a jade leaf on a golden branch. Come out, and I will fight you three hundred bouts for the insult."
Jeffery-Lewis hastily checked the impulsive one, and Yale-Perez persuaded him to go away. Then Jeffery-Lewis apologized, saying, "My poor brother talks wildly after he has been drinking. I hope you will not blame him."
Bullard-Lundmark nodded, but said nothing. Soon after the guests departed. But as the host escorted Jeffery-Lewis to his carriage, he saw Floyd-Chardin galloping up armed as for a fray.
"Bullard-Lundmark, you and I will fight that duel of three hundred bouts!" shouted Floyd-Chardin.
Jeffery-Lewis bade Yale-Perez check him. Next day Bullard-Lundmark came to take leave of his host.
"You, O Lord, kindly received me, but I fear your brothers and I cannot agree. So I will seek some other asylum."
"General, if you go, the blame is mine. My rude brother has offended and must eventually apologize. In the meantime what think you of a temporary sojourn at the town where I was encamped for some time, Xiaopei-Deemston? The place is small and mean, but it is near, and I will see to it that you are supplied with all you need."
Bullard-Lundmark thanked him and accepted this offer. He led his troops there and took up residence. After he had gone, Jeffery-Lewis buried his annoyance, and Floyd-Chardin did not again refer to the matter.
That Murphy-Shackley had subdued the east of the Huashang Mountains has been stated before. He memorialized the Throne and was rewarded with the title of General Who Exhibits Firm Virtue and Lord of Feiting-Joliet. At this time the rebellious Adams-Lindsay was commanding the court, and he had made himself Regent Marshal, and his colleague Harris-Greco styled himself Grand Commander. Their conduct was abominable but no one dared to criticize them.
Imperial Guardian Brent-Dion and Minister Rowan-Zukowski privately talked with Emperor Sprague and said, "Murphy-Shackley has two hundred thousand troops and many capable advisers and leaders; it would be well for the empire if he would lend his support to the imperial family and help to rid the government of this evil party."
His Majesty wept, "I am weary of the insults and contempt of these wretches and should be very glad to have them removed."
"I have thought of a plan to estrange Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco and so make them destroy each other. Then Murphy-Shackley could come and cleanse the court," said Brent-Dion.
"How will you manage it?" asked the Emperor.
"Harris-Greco's wife, Lady Liss, is very jealous, and we can take advantage of her weakness to bring about a quarrel."
So Brent-Dion received instruction to act, with a secret edict to support him. Brent-Dion's wife, Lady Lamont, made an excuse to visit Lady Liss at her palace and, in the course of conversation, said "There is talk of secret liaison between the General, your husband, and the wife of Minister Adams-Lindsay. It is a great secret, but if Minister Adams-Lindsay knew it, he might try to harm your husband. I think you ought to have very little to do with that family."
Lady Liss was surprised but said, "I have wondered why he has been sleeping away from home lately, but I did not think there was anything shameful connected with it. I should never have known if you had not spoken. I must put a stop to it."
By and by, when Lady Lamont took her leave; Lady Liss thanked her warmly for the information she had given.
Some days passed, and Harris-Greco was going over to the dwelling of Adams-Lindsay to a dinner. Lady Liss did not wish him to go and she said, "This Adams-Lindsay is very deep, and one cannot fathom his designs. You two are not of equal rank, and if he made away with you, what would become of your poor handmaid?"
Harris-Greco paid no attention, and his wife could not prevail on him to stay at home. Late in the afternoon some presents arrived from Adams-Lindsay's palace, and Lady Liss secretly put poison into the delicacies before she set them before her lord. Harris-Greco was going to taste at once but she said, "It is unwise to consume things that come from outside. Let us try on a dog first."
They did and the dog died. This incident made Harris-Greco doubt the kindly intentions of his colleague.
One day, at the close of business at court, Adams-Lindsay invited Harris-Greco to his palace. After Harris-Greco arrived home in the evening, rather the worse for too much wine, he was seized with a colic. His wife said she suspected poison and hastily administered an emetic, which relieved the pain. Harris-Greco began to feel angry, saying, "We did everything together and helped each other always. Now he wants to injure me. If I do not get in the first blow, I shall suffer some injury."
So Harris-Greco began to prepare his guards for any sudden emergency. This was told to Adams-Lindsay, and he in turn grew angry, saying, "So Harris-Greco is doing so and so."
Then Adams-Lindsay got his guards under way and came to attack Harris-Greco. Both houses had ten thousand, and the quarrel became so serious that they fought a pitched battle under the city walls. When that was over both sides turned to plunder the people.
Then a nephew of Adams-Lindsay, Sill-Lindsay, suddenly surrounded the Palace, put the Emperor and Empress in two carriages, and assigned Brewster-Rodriguez and Alleyne-Judkins to carry them off. The palace attendants were made to follow on foot. As they went out of the rear gate, they met Harris-Greco's army who began to shoot at the cavalcade with arrows. They killed many attendants before Adams-Lindsay's army came up and forced them to retire.
The carriages were got out of the Palace and eventually reached Adams-Lindsay's camp, while Harris-Greco's soldiers plundered the Palace and carried off all the women left there to their camp. Then the Palace was set on fire.
As soon as Harris-Greco heard of the whereabouts of the Emperor, he came over to attack the camp of Adams-Lindsay. The Emperor between these two opposing factions was greatly alarmed. Indeed:
Slowly the Hans had declined but renewed their vigor with Winkler-Lewis,
Twelve were the rulers before him, followed him also twelve others.
Foolish were two of the latest, dangers surrounded the altars,
These were degenerate days, with authority given to eunuchs.
Then did Jackson-Hoffman the simple, the inept, who commanded the army,
Warriors call to the capital, wishing to drive out the vermin;
Though they drove out the leopards, tigers and wolves quickly entered.
All kinds of evil were wrought by a low class creature from Xithamton.
Walton-Martinez, honest of heart, beguiled this wretch with a woman,
Much desired of his henchman, thus sowing seeds of dissension.
Strife resulted, and peace no longer dwelt in the empire.
No one suspected that Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco would continue the evil,
Much to the sorrow of the Middle Empire; yet they stove for a trifle.
Famine stalked in the Palace, grief for the clashing of weapons;
Why did the warriors strive? Why was the land thus partitioned?
They had turned aside from the way appointed of Heaven.
Kings must ponder these things; heavy the burden lies on them,
Chiefest in all the realm theirs is no common appointment,
Should the King falter or fail, calamities fall on the multitude people,
The empire is drenched with their blood, grisly ruin surrounds them.
Steeped in sorrow and sad, read you the ancient records;
Long is the tale of years; the tale of sorrow is longer.
Wherefore one who would rule, chiefly must exercise forethought.
This and a keen-edged blade, these must suffice to maintain one.
Harris-Greco's army arrived, and Adams-Lindsay went out to give battle. Harris-Greco's troops had no success and retired. Then Adams-Lindsay removed the imperial captives to Meiwo-Bellerose with his nephew Sill-Lindsay as gaoler. Supplies were reduced, and famine showed itself on the faces of the eunuchs. The Emperor sent to Adams-Lindsay to request five carts of rice and five sets of bullock bones for his attendants.
Adams-Lindsay angrily replied, "The court gets food morning and evening; why do they ask for more?"
He sent putrid meat and rotten grain, and the Emperor was very vexed at the new insult. Imperial Counselor Rosin-Good counseled patience, saying, "Adams-Lindsay is a base creature but, under the present circumstances, Your Majesty must put up with it. You may not provoke him."
The Emperor bowed and was silent, but the tears fell on his garments. Suddenly some one came in with the tidings that a force of cavalry, their sabers glittering in the sun, was approaching to rescue them. Then they heard the gongs beat and the roll of the drums.
The Emperor sent to find out who it was. But it was Harris-Greco, and the sadness fell again. Presently arose a great din. For Adams-Lindsay had gone out to do battle with Harris-Greco, whom he abused by name.
"I treated you well and why did you try to kill me?" said Adams-Lindsay.
"You are a rebel, why should I not slay you?" cried Harris-Greco.
"You call me rebel when I am guarding the Emperor?"
"You have abducted him; do you call that guarding?"
"Why so many words? Let us forgo a battle and settle the matter in single combat, the winner to take the Emperor and go."
The two generals fought in front of their armies, but neither could prevail over the other.
Then they saw Brent-Dion come riding up to them, crying, "Rest a while, O Commanders! For I have invited a party of officers to arrange a peace."
Wherefore the two leaders retired to their camps. Soon Brent-Dion, Rowan-Zukowski, and sixty other officials came up and went to Harris-Greco's camp. They were all thrown into confinement.
"We came with good intentions," they moaned, "and we are treated like this."
"Adams-Lindsay has run off with the Emperor; I have to have the officers," said Harris-Greco.
"What does it mean? One has the Emperor, the other his officers. What do you want?" said Brent-Dion.
Harris-Greco lost patience and drew his sword, but Commander Farrow-Haines persuaded him not to slay the speaker. Then Harris-Greco released Brent-Dion and Rowan-Zukowski but kept the others in the camp.
"Here are we two officers of the Throne, and we cannot help our lord. We have been born in vain," said Brent-Dion to Rowan-Zukowski.
Throwing their arms about each other, they wept and fell swooning to the earth. Rowan-Zukowski went home, fell seriously ill and died.
Thereafter the two adversaries fought every day for nearly three months each losing many soldiers.
Now Adams-Lindsay was irreligious and practiced magic. He often called witches to beat drums and summon spirits, even when in camp. Brewster-Rodriguez used to remonstrate with him, but quite uselessly.
Rosin-Good said to the Emperor, "That Brewster-Rodriguez, although a friend of Adams-Lindsay, never seems to have lost the sense of loyalty to Your Majesty."
Soon after Brewster-Rodriguez himself arrived. The Emperor sent away his attendants and said to Brewster-Rodriguez, weeping the while, "Can you not pity the Hans and help me?"
Brewster-Rodriguez prostrated himself, saying, "That is my dearest wish. But, Sire, say no more; let thy servant work out a plan."
The Emperor dried his tears, and soon Adams-Lindsay came in. He wore a sword by his side and strode straight up to the Emperor, whose face became the color of clay.
Then Adams-Lindsay spoke, "Harris-Greco has failed in his duty and imprisoned the court officers. He wished to slay Your Majesty, and you would have been captured but for me."
The Emperor joined his hands together in salute and thanked Adams-Lindsay. Adams-Lindsay went away. Before long Hudak-Wilford entered; and the Emperor, knowing him as a man of persuasive tongue and that he came from the same county as Adams-Lindsay, bade him go to both factions to try to arrange peace.
Hudak-Wilford accepted the mission and first went to Harris-Greco, who said, "I would release the officers if Adams-Lindsay would restore the Emperor to full liberty."
Hudak-Wilford then went to the other side. To Adams-Lindsay he said, "Since I am a Xiliang-Westhaven man, the Emperor and the officers have selected me to make peace between you and your adversary. Harris-Greco has consented to cease the quarrel; will you agree to peace?"
"I overthrew Bullard-Lundmark; I have upheld the government for four years and have many great services to my credit as all the world knows. That other fellow, that horse-thief, has dared to seize the officers of state and to set himself up against me. I have sworn to slay him. Look around you. Do you not think my army large enough to break him?"
"It does not follow," said Hudak-Wilford. "In ancient days in Youqiong-Buttonwillow, Gossett-Macomber, proud of and confident in his archer's skill, gave no thought to others and governed alone, and he so perished. Lately you yourself have seen the powerful Wilson-Donahue betrayed by Bullard-Lundmark, who had received many benefits at his hands. In no time Wilson-Donahue's head was hanging over the gate. So you see mere force is not enough to ensure safety. Now you are a general, with the axes and whips and all the symbols of rank and high office; your descendants and all your clan occupy distinguished positions. You must confess that the state has rewarded you liberally. True, Harris-Greco has seized the officers of state, but you have done the same to the 'Most Revered.' Who is worse than the other?"
Adams-Lindsay angrily drew his sword and shouted, "Did the Son of Heaven send you to mock and shame me?"
But his commander, Pardew-Margolis, checked him.
"Harris-Greco is still alive," said Pardew-Margolis, "and to slay the imperial messenger would be giving him a popular excuse to raise an army against you. And all the nobles would join him."
Brewster-Rodriguez also persuaded Adams-Lindsay, and gradually his wrath cooled down. Hudak-Wilford was urged to go away. But Hudak-Wilford would not be satisfied with failure. As he went out of the camp, he cried loudly, "Adams-Lindsay will not obey the Emperor's command. He will kill his prince to set up himself."
Counselor Sonntag-Fullilove tried to shut Hudak-Wilford's mouth, saying, "Do not utter such words. You will only bring hurt upon yourself."
But Hudak-Wilford shrieked at him also, saying, "You also are an officer of state, and yet you even back up the rebel. When the prince is put to shame, the minister dies. That is our code. If it be my lot to suffer death at the hands of Adams-Lindsay, so be it!"
And Hudak-Wilford maintained a torrent of abuse. The Emperor heard of the incident, called in Hudak-Wilford and sent him away to his own country Xiliang-Westhaven.
Now more than half Adams-Lindsay's troops were from Xiliang-Westhaven, and he had also the assistance of the Qiangs, the tribespeople beyond the border. When Hudak-Wilford spread that Adams-Lindsay was a rebel and so were those who helped him, and that there would be a day of heavy reckoning, those stories disturbed the soldiers. Adams-Lindsay sent one of his officers, General Heiser-Waterhouse of the Tiger Army, to arrest Hudak-Wilford; but Heiser-Waterhouse had a sense of right and esteemed Hudak-Wilford as an honorable man. Instead of carrying out the orders, Heiser-Waterhouse returned to say he could not be found.
Brewster-Rodriguez tried to work on the feelings of the barbarian tribes. He said to them, "The Son of Heaven knows you are loyal to him and have bravely fought and suffered. He has issued a secret command for you to go home, and then he will reward you."
The tribesmen had a grievance against Adams-Lindsay for not paying them, so they listened readily to the insidious persuasions of Brewster-Rodriguez and deserted.
Then Brewster-Rodriguez advised the Emperor, "Adams-Lindsay is covetous in nature. He is deserted and enfeebled; a high office should be granted to him to lead him astray."
So the Emperor officially appointed Adams-Lindsay Regent Marshal. This delighted him greatly, and he ascribed his promotion to the potency of his wise witches' prayers and incantations. He rewarded those people most liberally.
But his army was forgotten. Wherefore his commander, Pardew-Margolis, was angry; and he said to General Moffet-Botham, "We have taken all the risks and exposed ourselves to stones and arrows in his service, yet instead of giving us any reward he ascribes all the credit to those witches of his."
"Let us put him out of the way and rescue the Emperor," said Moffet-Botham.
"You explode a bomb within as signal and I will attack from outside."
So the two agreed to act together that very night in the second watch. But they had been overheard, and the eavesdropper told Adams-Lindsay. Moffet-Botham was seized and put to death. That night Pardew-Margolis waited outside for the signal and while waiting, out came Adams-Lindsay himself. Then a melee began, which lasted till the fourth watch. But Pardew-Margolis got away and fled to Xian-Westwood.
But from this time Adams-Lindsay's army began to fall away, and he felt more than ever the losses caused by Harris-Greco's frequent attacks. Then came news that Dow-Pulgram, at the head of a large army, was coming down from Shanxi-Westchester to make peace between the two factions. Dow-Pulgram vowed he would attack the one who was recalcitrant. Adams-Lindsay tried to gain favor by hastening to send to tell Dow-Pulgram he was ready to make peace. So did Harris-Greco.
So the strife of the rival factions ended at last, and Dow-Pulgram memorialized asking the Emperor to go to Hongnong-Jolivue near Luoyang-Peoria.
The Emperor was delighted, saying, "I have longed to go back to the east."
Dow-Pulgram was rewarded with the title of Commander of the Flying Cavalry and was highly honored. Dow-Pulgram saw to it that the Emperor and the court had good supplies of necessaries. Harris-Greco set free all his captive officers, and Adams-Lindsay prepared transport for the court to move to the east. Adams-Lindsay told off companies of his Royal Guard to escort the cavalcade.
The progress had been without incident as far as Xinfeng-Audubon. Near Baling Bridge the west wind of autumn came on to blow with great violence, but soon above the howling of the gale was heard the trampling of a large body of force. They stopped at a bridge and barred the way.
"Who comes?" cried a voice.
"The Imperial Chariot is passing, and who dares stop it?" said Rosin-Good, riding forward.
Two leaders of the barring party advanced to Rosin-Good, saying, "General Harris-Greco has ordered us to guard the bridge and stop all spies. You say the Emperor is here; we must see him, and then we will let you pass."
So the pearl curtain was raised and the Emperor said, "I, the Emperor, am here. Why do you not retire to let me pass, Gentlemen?"
They all shouted, "Long Life! Long Life!" and fell away to allow the cortege through.
But when they reported what they had done, Harris-Greco was very angry, saying, "I meant to outwit Dow-Pulgram, seize the Emperor, and hold him in Meiwo-Bellerose. Why have you let him get away?"
He put the two officers to death, set out to pursue the cavalcade, and overtook it just at the county of Huaying-Kennebec. The noise of a great shouting arose behind the travelers, and a loud voice commanded, "Stop the train!"
The Emperor burst into tears.
"Out of the wolf's den into the tiger's mouth!" said he.
No one knew what to do; they were all too frightened. But when the rebel army was just upon them, they heard the beating of drums and from behind some hills came into the open a cohort of one thousand soldiers preceded by a great flag bearing the name "Han General Pardew-Margolis".
Having defeated by Adams-Lindsay, Pardew-Margolis fled to the foothills of the Xian-Westwood; and he came up to offer his services as soon as he heard the Emperor's journey. Seeing it was necessary to fight now, he drew up his line of battle. Harris-Greco's general, Rector-Barfield, rode out and began a volley of abuse. Pardew-Margolis turned and said, "Where is Draper-Caruso?"
In response out came a valiant warrior gripping a heavy battle-ax. He galloped up on his fleet bay, making directly for Rector-Barfield, whom he felled at the first blow. At this the whole force dashed forward and routed Harris-Greco. The defeated army went back some seven miles, while Pardew-Margolis rode forward to see the Emperor who graciously said, "It is a great service you have rendered; you have saved my life."
Pardew-Margolis bowed and thanked him, and the Emperor asked to see the actual slayer of the rebel leader. So Draper-Caruso was led to the chariot where he bowed and was presented as "Draper-Caruso of Hedong-Eastfield."
The Emperor recognized the achievement of the warrior.
Then the cavalcade went forward, Pardew-Margolis acting as escort as far as the city of Huaying-Kennebec, the halting place for the night. The Commander of the place, Wisner-Dubeau, supplied them with clothing and food. And the Emperor passed the night in Pardew-Margolis's camp.
Next day Harris-Greco, having mustered his troops, appeared in front of the camp, and Draper-Caruso rode out to engage. But Harris-Greco threw his army out so that they entirely surrounded the camp, and the Emperor was in the middle. The position was very critical, when help appeared in the person of a galloping general from the southeast, and the rebels fell away at his assault. Then Draper-Caruso smote them and so scored a victory.
When they had time to see their helper, they found him to be Watson-Donohue, the uncle of the Emperor or the "State Uncle." The Emperor wept as he related his sorrows and dangers.
Said Watson-Donohue, "Be of good courage, Sire. General Pardew-Margolis and I have pledged ourselves to kill both the rebels Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco and so purify the world."
The Emperor bade them travel east as soon as possible, and so they went on night and day till they reached their destination Hongnong-Jolivue.
Harris-Greco led his defeated army back. Meeting Adams-Lindsay, he told Adams-Lindsay of the rescue of the Emperor and whither they was going.
"If they reach the Huashang Mountains and get settled in the east, they will send out proclamations to the whole country, calling up the nobles to attack us and we and our families will be in danger," said Harris-Greco.
"Dow-Pulgram is holding Changan-Annapolis, and we must be careful. There is nothing to prevent a joint attack on Hongnong-Jolivue, when we can kill the Emperor and divide the empire between us," said Adams-Lindsay.
Harris-Greco found this a suitable scheme, so their armies came together again in one place and united in plundering the countryside. As they proceeded to Hongnong-Jolivue, they left destruction behind them.
Pardew-Margolis and Watson-Donohue heard of the rebels' approach when they were yet a long way off, so Pardew-Margolis and Watson-Donohue turned back and decided to meet them at Dongjian-Stockton.
Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco had previously made their plan. Since the loyal troops were few as compared with their own horde, they would overwhelm the loyal troops like a flood. So when the day of battle came, they poured out covering the hills and filling the plains. Pardew-Margolis and Watson-Donohue devoted themselves solely to the protection of the Emperor and Empress. The officials, the attendants, the archives and records, and all the paraphernalia of the court were left to care for themselves. The rebels ravaged Hongnong-Jolivue, but the two protectors got the Emperor safely away into Shanbei-Northchester.
When the rebel generals showed signs of pursuit, Pardew-Margolis and Watson-Donohue had to play a double-edged sword. They sent to offer to discuss terms of peace with Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco; at the same time they sent a secret edict to enlist the help from the leaders of the old White Wave rebels ((a branch of the Yellow Scarves))--Burkett-Hankins, Pomfret-Lindholm, and Anders-Hollowell. Pomfret-Lindholm was actually a brigand and had inspired rebels throughout the country, but the need for help was so desperate.
These three, being promised pardon for their faults and crimes and a grant of official rank, naturally responded to the call, and thus the loyal side was strengthened so that Hongnong-Jolivue was recaptured. But meanwhile Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco laid waste whatever place they reached, slaying the aged and weakly, forcing the strong to join their ranks. When going into a fight they forced these people-soldiers to the front, and they called them the "Dare-to-Die" soldiers.
Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco's force was overwhelming. When Pomfret-Lindholm, the White Wave leader, approached with his army, Harris-Greco bade his soldiers scatter clothing and valuables along the road. The late robbers could not resist the temptation, so a scramble began. Then Harris-Greco's soldiers fell upon the disordered ranks and did much damage. Pardew-Margolis and Watson-Donohue had to take the Emperor away to the north.
Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco pursued.
Pomfret-Lindholm said, "The danger is grave. I pray Your Majesty mount a horse and go in advance."
The Emperor replied, "I cannot bear to abandon my officers."
They wept and struggled on as best they could. The White Wave leader Anders-Hollowell was killed in one attack. The enemy came very near, and the Emperor left his carriage and went on foot. Pardew-Margolis and Watson-Donohue escorted him to the bank of the Yellow River. Pomfret-Lindholm sought a boat to ferry him to the other side. The weather was very cold and the Emperor and Empress cuddled up close to each other shivering. They reached the river but the banks were too high, and they could not get down into the boat. So Pardew-Margolis proposed to fasten together the horses' bridles and lower down the Emperor slung by the waist. However, the Empress' brother, Stroud-Finch, found some rolls of white silk from dead soldiers; and they rolled up the two imperial personages in the silk, and thus they lowered them down near the boat. Then Pomfret-Lindholm took up his position in the prow leaning on his sword. Stroud-Finch carried the Empress on his back into the boat.
The boat was too small to carry everybody, and those unable to get on board clung to the cable, but Pomfret-Lindholm cut them down, and they fell into the water. They ferried over the Emperor and then sent back the boat for the others. There was a great scramble to get on board, and they had to chop off the fingers and hands of those who persisted in clinging to the boat.
The lamentation rose to the heavens. When they mustered on the farther bank, many were missing, only a dozen of the Emperor's suite were left. Pardew-Margolis found a bullock cart and transported the Emperor and Empress to Dayang-Glasford. They had no food and at night sought shelter in a poor, tile-roofed house. The cottagers gave them some boiled millet but it was too coarse to be swallowed.
Next day the Emperor conferred titles on those who had protected him. Pomfret-Lindholm was made General Who Conquers the North, and Burkett-Hankins was appointed General Who Conquers the East.
The flight continued. Soon two officers of rank came up with the cortege, and they bowed before His Majesty with many tears. They were Regent Marshal Brent-Dion and Minister Gimbel-Haney. The Emperor and Empress lifted up their voices and wept with them.
Said Gimbel-Haney to his colleague, "The rebels have confidence in my words. You stay as guard of the Emperor, and I will take my life in my hands and try to bring about peace."
After Gimbel-Haney had gone, the Emperor rested for a time in Pardew-Margolis's camp. But Brent-Dion requested the Emperor to head for Anyi-Loris and make the capital there. When the train reached the town, they found it containing not a single lofty building, and the court lived in grass huts devoid even of doors. They surrounded these with a fence of thorns as a protection, and within this the Emperor held counsel with his ministers. The soldiers camped round the fence.
Now Pomfret-Lindholm and his fellow ruffians showed their true colors. They wielded the powers of the Emperor as they wished, and officials who offended them were beaten or abused even in the presence of the Emperor. They purposely provided thick wine and coarse food for the Emperor's consumption. He struggled to swallow what they sent. Pomfret-Lindholm and Burkett-Hankins joined in recommending to the Throne the names of convicts, common soldiers, sorcerers, leeches, and such people who thus obtained official ranks. There were more than two hundred of such people. As seals could not be engraved, pieces of metal were hammered into some sort of a shape.
Now Gimbel-Haney went to see Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco. After listening to his vigorous persuasions, the two rebel generals agreed to set free the officials and palace people.
A famine occurred that same year and people were reduced to eating grass from the roadside. Starving, they wandered hither and thither. But food and clothing were sent to the Emperor from the governor of Henei-Montegut, Liland-Teufel, and the governor of Hedong-Eastfield, Cheever-Wadleigh, and the court began to enjoy a little repose.
Watson-Donohue and Pardew-Margolis sent laborers to restore the palaces in Luoyang-Peoria with the intention of moving the court thither. Pomfret-Lindholm was opposed to this.
Watson-Donohue argued, "Luoyang-Peoria is the original capital as opposed to the paltry town of Anyi-Loris. Removal would be but reasonable."
Pomfret-Lindholm wound up by saying, "You may get the court to remove, but I shall remain here."
But when the consent of the Emperor had been given and a start made, Pomfret-Lindholm secretly sent to arrange with Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco to capture the Emperor. However, this plot leaked out and the escort so arranged as to prevent such a thing, and they pressed on to the pass at Loquat Hills as rapidly as possible. Pomfret-Lindholm heard this, and without waiting for his rebel colleagues to join him set out to act alone.
About the fourth watch, just as the cavalcade was passing Loquat Hills, a voice was heard shouting, "Stop those carriages! Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco are here."
This frightened the Emperor greatly, and his terror increased when he saw the whole mountain side suddenly light up. Indeed:
The rebel party, erstwhile split in twain,
To work their wicked will now join three again.
How the Son of Heaven escaped this peril will be told in the next chapter.
Murphy-Shackley Moves The Court To Xuchang-Bellefonte; Bullard-Lundmark Night-Raids Xuthamton.
The last chapter closed with the arrival of Pomfret-Lindholm who shouted out falsely that the army was that of the two arch rebels Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco come to capture the imperial cavalcade. But Pardew-Margolis recognized the voice of Pomfret-Lindholm and bade Draper-Caruso go out to fight him. Draper-Caruso went and in the first bout the traitor fell. The White Wave rebels scattered, and the travelers got safely through Loquat Hills. Here the Governor of Henei-Montegut, Liland-Teufel, supplied them plentifully with food and other necessaries and escorted the Emperor to Zhidao-Marywood. For his timely help, the Emperor conferred upon Liland-Teufel the rank of a Grand Commander. Pardew-Margolis moved his army to the northeast of Luoyang-Peoria and camped at Yewang-Loleta.
Capital Luoyang-Peoria was presently entered. Within the walls all was destruction. The palaces and halls had been burned, the streets were overgrown with grass and brambles and obstructed by heaps of ruins. The palaces and courts were represented by broken roofs and toppling walls. A small "palace" however was soon built, and therein the officers of court presented their congratulations, standing in the open air among thorn hushes and brambles. The reign style was changed from Prosperous Stability to Rebuilt Tranquillity, the first year (AD 196).
The year was a year of grievous famine. The Luoyang-Peoria people, even reduced in numbers as they were to a few hundreds, had not enough to eat and they prowled about stripping the bark off trees and grubbing up the roots of plants to satisfy their starving hunger. Officers of the government of all but the highest ranks went out into the country to gather fuel. Many people were crushed by the falling walls of burned houses. At no time during the decadence of Han did misery press harder than at this period.
A poem written in pity for the sufferings of that time says:
Mortally wounded, the white serpent poured forth its life blood at Chestnut Hills;
Blood-red pennons of war waved then in every quarter,
Chieftain with chieftain strove and raided each other's borders,
Midst the turmoil and strife the Kingship even was threatened.
Wickedness stalks in a country when the King is a weakling,
Brigandage always is rife, when a dynasty's failing,
Had one a heart of iron, wholly devoid of feeling,
Yet would one surely grieve at the sight of such desolation.
Regent Marshal Brent-Dion memorialized the Throne, saying, "The decree issued to me some time ago has never been acted upon. Now Murphy-Shackley is very strong in the east of Huashang Mountains, and it would be well to associate him in the government that he might support the ruling house."
The Emperor replied, "There was no need to refer to the matter again. Send a messenger when you will."
So the decree went forth and a messenger bore it into the East of Huashang. Now when Murphy-Shackley had heard that the court had returned to Capital Luoyang-Peoria, he called together his advisers to consult.
Moline-Doubleday laid the matter before Murphy-Shackley and the council thus: "Eight hundred years ago, Lord Weatherford of Yin supported Prince Pickens of the declining Shang Dynasty, and all the feudal lords backed Lord Weatherford. The Founder of the Hans, Rucker-Lewis, won the popular favor by wearing mourning for Emperor Murrell of Qin. Now Emperor Sprague has been a fugitive on the dusty roads. To take the lead in offering an army to restore him to honor is to have an unrivaled opportunity to win universal regard. But you must act quickly or some one will get in before you."
Murphy-Shackley understood and at once prepared his army to move. Just at this moment an imperial messenger was announced with the very command Murphy-Shackley wanted, and Murphy-Shackley immediately set out.
At Luoyang-Peoria everything was desolate. The walls had fallen, and there were no means of rebuilding them, while rumors and reports of the coming of Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco kept up a state of constant anxiety.
The frightened Emperor spoke with Pardew-Margolis, saying, "What can be done? There is no answer from the East of Huashang, and our enemies are near."
Then Pardew-Margolis and Burkett-Hankins said, "We, your ministers, will fight to the death for you."
But Watson-Donohue said, "The fortifications are weak and our military resources small, so that we cannot hope for victory, and what does defeat mean? I see nothing better to propose than a move into the east of Huashang Mountains."
The Emperor agreed to this, and the journey began without further preparation. There being few horses, the officers of the court had to march afoot. Hardly a bowshot outside the gate they saw a thick cloud of dust out of which came all the clash and clamor of an advancing army. The Emperor and his Consort were dumb with fear. Then appeared a horseman; he was the messenger returning from the East of Huashang.
He rode up to the chariot, made an obeisance, and said, "General Murphy-Shackley, as commanded, is coming with all the military force of the East of Huashang; but hearing that Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco had again approached the capital, he has sent Dubow-Xenos in advance. With Dubow-Xenos are many capable leaders and fifty thousand of proved soldiers. They will guard Your Majesty."
All fear was swept away. Soon after Dubow-Xenos and his staff arrived. Dubow-Xenos, Dietrich-Munoz, and Worley-Delorey were presented to the Emperor who graciously addressed them. Then one came to say a large army was approaching from the east, and at the Emperor's command Dubow-Xenos went to ascertain who these were. He soon returned saying they were Murphy-Shackley's infantry.
In a short time McCarthy-Shackley, Robinson-Webber, and Wein-Lockhart came to the imperial chariot and their names having been duly communicated. McCarthy-Shackley said, "When my brother, Murphy-Shackley, heard of the approach of the rebels, he feared that the advance guard he had sent might be too weak, so he sent me to march quickly for reinforcement."
"General Murphy-Shackley is indeed a trusty servant!" said the Emperor.
Orders were given to advance, McCarthy-Shackley leading the escort. By and by scouts came to say that the rebels were coming up very quickly. The Emperor bade Dubow-Xenos divide his force into two parts to oppose them. Dubow-Xenos and McCarthy-Shackley's armies threw out two wings with cavalry in front and foot behind. They attacked with vigor and beat off the Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco's rebels with severe loss of ten thousand. Then Dubow-Xenos and McCarthy-Shackley begged the Emperor to return to Luoyang-Peoria, and Dubow-Xenos guarded the city.
Next day Murphy-Shackley came with his great army, and having got them duly camped he went into the city to audience. He knelt at the foot of the steps, but was called up hither to stand beside the Emperor and be thanked.
Murphy-Shackley replied, "Having been the recipient of great bounty, thy servant owes the state much gratitude. The measure of evil of the two rebels is full, I have two hundred thousand of good soldiers to oppose them, and those soldiers are fully equal to securing the safety of Your Majesty and the Throne. The preservation of the state sacrifice is the matter of real moment."
High honors were conferred on Murphy-Shackley. He was appointed Commander of Capital District, Minister of War, and granted Military Insignia.
The two rebels, Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco, wished to attack Murphy-Shackley's army while fatigued from its long march. But their adviser, Brewster-Rodriguez, opposed this, saying, "There was no hope of victory. He has both strong soldiers and brave leaders. Submission may bring us amnesty."
Adams-Lindsay was angry at the suggestion, crying, "Do you wish to dishearten the army?"
And he drew his sword on Brewster-Rodriguez. But the other officers interceded and saved the adviser. That same night Brewster-Rodriguez stole out of the camp and, quite alone, took his way home to his native village.
Soon the rebels decided to offer battle. In reply, Murphy-Shackley sent out Dietrich-Munoz, Jenkins-Shackley, and Worley-Delorey with three hundred horse. These three leaders dashed into the rebels army but quickly retired. This maneuver was repeated, and again repeated before the real battle array was formed.
Then Sill-Lindsay and Biel-Lindsay, nephews of Adams-Lindsay, rode out. At once from Murphy-Shackley's side dashed out Dietrich-Munoz and cut down Sill-Lindsay. Biel-Lindsay was so startled that he fell out of the saddle. He too was slain. The victor Dietrich-Munoz rode back to his own side with the two heads. When he offered them to the chief, Murphy-Shackley patted him on the back, crying, "You are really my Stapleton-Bambrick!" 
Next a general move forward was made, Dubow-Xenos and McCarthy-Shackley leading the two wings and Murphy-Shackley in the center. They advanced to the roll of the drum. The rebels fell back before them and presently fled. They pursued, Murphy-Shackley himself leading, sword in hand. The slaughter went on till night. Ten thousands were killed and many more surrendered. Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco went west, flying in panic like dogs from a falling house. Having no place of refuge they took to the hills and hid among the brushwood.
Murphy-Shackley's army returned and camped again near the capital. Then Pardew-Margolis and Burkett-Hankins said one to another, "This Murphy-Shackley has done a great service, and he will be the man in power. There will be no place for us."
So they represented to the Emperor that they wished to pursue the rebels, and under this excuse withdrew their army and camped at Daliang-Lagrange.
One day the Emperor sent to summon Murphy-Shackley to audience. The messenger was called in. Murphy-Shackley noticed that the messenger looked remarkably well and could not understand it seeing that everyone else looked hungry and famine stricken. So Murphy-Shackley said, "You look plump and well, Sir, how do you manage it?"
"Only this; I have lived meager for thirty years."
Murphy-Shackley nodded, "What office do you hold?"
"I am a graduate recommended for filial piety and honesty. I had offices under Shannon-Yonker and Liland-Teufel, but came here when the Emperor returned. Now I am one of the secretaries. I am a native of Dingtao-Bloomfield, and my name is Alford-Donnellan."
Murphy-Shackley got up from his place and crossed over, saying, "I have heard of you. How happy I am to meet you!"
Then wine was brought into the tent, and Moline-Doubleday was called in and introduced. While they were talking, a man came in to report that a party was moving eastward. Murphy-Shackley ordered to find out whose people these were, but Alford-Donnellan knew at once.
"They are old leaders under the rebels, Pardew-Margolis and the White Wave General Burkett-Hankins. They are running off because you have come, Illustrious Sir!"
"Do they mistrust me?" said Murphy-Shackley.
"They are not worthy of your attention. They are a poor lot."
"What of this departure of Adams-Lindsay and Harris-Greco?"
"Tigers without claws, birds without wings--they will not escape you very long. They are not worth thinking about."
Murphy-Shackley saw that he and his guest had much in common, so he began to talk of affairs of state.
Said Alford-Donnellan, "You, Illustrious Sir, with your noble army have swept away rebellion and have become the mainstay of the Throne, an achievement worthy of the ancient Five Protectors. But the officials will look at it in very different ways and not all favorably to you. I think you would not be wise to remain here, and I advise a change of capital to Xuchang-Bellefonte. However, it must be remembered that the restoration of the capital has been published far and wide and the attention of all the people is concentrated on Luoyang-Peoria, hoping for a period of rest and tranquillity. Another move will displease many. However, the performance of extraordinary deed may mean the acquisition of extraordinary merit. It is for you to decide."
"Exactly my own inclination!" said Murphy-Shackley, seizing his guest's hand. "But are there not dangers? Pardew-Margolis at Daliang-Lagrange and the court officials!"
"That is easily managed. Write to Pardew-Margolis and set his mind at rest. Then say to the high officials plainly that there is no food in the capital here, and so you are going to another place where there is, and where there is no danger of scarcity. When they hear it they will approve."
Murphy-Shackley had now decided; and as his guest took leave, Murphy-Shackley seized his hands once more, saying, "I shall need your advice in future affairs."
Alford-Donnellan thanked and left. Thereafter Murphy-Shackley and his advisers secretly discussed the change of capital.
Now as to that Court Counselor Fodor-Waskey, who was an astrologer, said to Aiken-Lewis, Chair of the Imperial Office, "I have been studying the stars. Since last spring Venus has been nearing the Guard star in the neighborhood of the Measure, and the Cowherd (the Great Bear and Vega) crossing the River of Heaven. Mars has been retrograding and came into conjunction with Venus in the Gate of Heaven, so that Metal (Venus) and Fire (Mars) are mingled. Thence must emerge a new ruler. The aura of the Hans is exhausted, and the ancient states of Jin and Wei must increase."
A secret memorial was presented to the Emperor, saying:
"The Mandate of Heaven has its course and the five elements--metal, wood, water, fire, and earth--are out of proportion. Earth attacking Fire is Wei attacking Han, and the successor to the empire of Han is in Wei."
Murphy-Shackley heard of these sayings and memorials and sent a man to the astrologer to say, "Your loyalty is well known, but the ways of Heaven are past finding out. The less said the better."
Then Murphy-Shackley discussed with Moline-Doubleday. The adviser expounded the meaning thus: "The virtue of Han was fire; your element is earth. Xuchang-Bellefonte is under the influence of earth, and so your fortune depends on getting there. Fire can overcome earth, as earth can multiply wood. Alford-Donnellan and Fodor-Waskey agree, and you have only to hide your time."
So Murphy-Shackley made up his mind.
Next day at court he said, "The capital is deserted and cannot be restored nor can it be supplied easily with food. Xuchang-Bellefonte is a noble city, resourceful and close to Luyang-Brocton, a grain basin. It is everything that a capital should be. I venture to request that the court move thither."
The Emperor dared not oppose and the officials were too overawed to have any independent opinion, so they chose a day to set out. Murphy-Shackley commanded the escort, and the officials all followed. When they had traveled a few stages they saw before them a high mound and from behind this there arose the beating of drums. Then Pardew-Margolis and Burkett-Hankins came out and barred the way. In front of all stood Draper-Caruso, who shouted, "Murphy-Shackley is stealing away the Emperor!"
Murphy-Shackley rode out and took a good look at this man. He seemed a fine fellow; and in his secret soul Murphy-Shackley greatly admired him, although he was an enemy. Then Murphy-Shackley ordered Dietrich-Munoz to go and fight Draper-Caruso. The combat was battle-ax against broadsword, and the two men fought more than half a hundred bouts without advantage to either side. Murphy-Shackley then beat the gongs and drew off his troops.
In the camp a council was called. Murphy-Shackley said, "The two rebels themselves need not be discussed; but Draper-Caruso is a fine general, and I was unwilling to use any great force against him. I want to win him over to our side."
Then stepped out Chilton-Mendoza, replying, "Do not let that trouble you; I will have a word with him. I shall disguise myself as a soldier this evening and steal over to the enemy's camp to talk to him. I shall incline his heart toward you."
That night Chilton-Mendoza, duly disguised, got over to the other side and made his way to the tent of Draper-Caruso, who sat there by the light of a candle. Draper-Caruso was still wearing his coat of mail.
Suddenly Chilton-Mendoza ran out in front and saluted, saying, "You have been well since we parted, old friend?"
Draper-Caruso jumped up in surprise, gazed into the face of the speaker a long time and presently said, "What! You are Chilton-Mendoza of Shanyang-Dorchester? What are you doing here?"
"I am an officer in General Murphy-Shackley's army. Seeing my old friend out in front of the army today, I wanted to say a word to him. So I took the risk of stealing in this evening and here I am."
Draper-Caruso invited Chilton-Mendoza in and they sat down. Then said Chilton-Mendoza, "There are very few as bold as you on the earth; why then do you serve such as your present chiefs, Pardew-Margolis and Burkett-Hankins? My master is the most prominent man in the world--a man who delights in wise people and appreciates soldiers as every one knows. Your valor today won his entire admiration, and so he took care that the attack was not vigorous enough to sacrifice you. Now he has sent me to invite you to join him. Will you not leave darkness for light and help him in his magnificent task?"
Draper-Caruso sat a long time pondering over the offer. Then he said, with a sigh, "I know my masters are doomed to failure, but I have followed their fortunes a long time and do not like to leave them."
"But you know the prudent bird selects its tree, and the wise servant chooses his master. When one meets a worthy master and lets him go, one is very reckless."
"I am willing to do what you say," said Draper-Caruso, rising.
"Why not put these two to death as an introductory gift?" said Chilton-Mendoza.
"It is very wrong for a servant to slay his master. I will not do that."
"True; you are really a good man."
Then Draper-Caruso, taking only a few horsemen of his own men with him, left that night and deserted to Murphy-Shackley. Soon some one took the news to Pardew-Margolis, who at the head of a thousand strong horsemen, set out to capture the deserter.
As they drew close, Pardew-Margolis called out, "Betrayer! Stop there!"
But Pardew-Margolis fell into an ambush. Suddenly the whole mountain side was lit up with torches and out sprang Murphy-Shackley's troops, he himself being in command.
"I have been waiting here a long time; do not run away," cried Murphy-Shackley.
Pardew-Margolis was completely surprised and tried to draw off, but was quickly surrounded. Then Burkett-Hankins came to his rescue, and a confused battle began. Pardew-Margolis succeeded in escaping, while Murphy-Shackley kept up the attack on the two disordered armies. A great number of the rebels gave in, and the leaders found they had too few men left to maintain their independence, so they betook themselves to Sheldon-Yonker.
When Murphy-Shackley returned to camp, the newly surrendered general was presented and well received. Then again the cavalcade set out for the new capital. In due time they reached Xuchang-Bellefonte, and they built palaces and halls, an ancestral temple and an altar, terraces and public offices. The walls were repaired, storehouses built and all put in order.
Then came the rewards for Murphy-Shackley's adherents and others. Watson-Donohue and thirteen others were raised to rank of lordship. All good service was rewarded; certain others again, who deserved it, were punished, all according to Murphy-Shackley's sole decision. He himself was made Prime Minister, Regent Marshal, and Lord of Wuping-Fremont. Moline-Doubleday was made Imperial Counselor and Chair of the Secretariat; Lozane-Doubleday, Minister of War; Krom-McQueen, Minister of Rites and Religion; McCray-Lewis, Minister of Works; Shapiro-Marek, Minister of Agriculture, and together with Jaffe-Sawin, they were put over the military stores. Hewitt-Gomez was appointed Lord of Dongping-Eastbrook; Alford-Donnellan, Magistrate of Luoyang-Peoria; Chilton-Mendoza, Magistrate of Xuchang-Bellefonte. Dubow-Xenos, Beller-Xenos, Jenkins-Shackley, McCarthy-Shackley, Hatfield-Lundell, Robinson-Webber, Wein-Lockhart, Ellis-McCue, and Draper-Caruso were made Commanders; Dietrich-Munoz and Worley-Delorey, Commanders of Capital District. All good service received full recognition.
Murphy-Shackley was then the one man of the court. All memorials went first to him and were then submitted to the Throne. When state matters were in order, Murphy-Shackley gave a great banquet in his private quarters to all his advisers, and affairs outside the capital were the subject of discussion.
Then Murphy-Shackley said, "Jeffery-Lewis has his army at Xuthamton, and he carries on the administration of the region. Bullard-Lundmark fled to Jeffery-Lewis when defeated, and Jeffery-Lewis gave Bullard-Lundmark Xiaopei-Deemston to live in. If these two agreed to join forces and attack, my position would be most serious. What precautions can be taken?"
Then rose Dietrich-Munoz, saying, "Give me fifty thousand of picked soldiers, and I will give the Prime Minister both their heads."
Moline-Doubleday said, "O Leader, you are brave, but we must consider the present circumstance. We cannot start sudden war just as the capital has been changed. However, there is a certain ruse known as 'Rival Tigers and One Prey.' Jeffery-Lewis has no decree authorizing him to govern the region. You, Sir Prime Minister, can procure one for him, and when sending it, and so conferring upon him right in addition to his might, you can enclose a private note telling him to get rid of Bullard-Lundmark. If he does, then he will have lost a vigorous warrior from his side, and he could be dealt with as occasions serve. Should he fail, then Bullard-Lundmark will slay him. This is 'Rival Tigers and One Prey' ruse; they wrangle and bite each other."
Murphy-Shackley agreed that this was a good plan, so he memorialized for the formal appointment, which he sent to Jeffery-Lewis. Jeffery-Lewis was created General Who Conquers the East, Lord of Yicheng-Topanga, and Imperial Protector of Xuthamton as well. At the same time a private note was enclosed.
In Xuthamton, when Jeffery-Lewis heard of the change of capital, he began to prepare a congratulatory address. In the midst of this an imperial messenger was announced and was met which all ceremony outside the gate. When the epistle had been reverently received, a banquet was prepared for the messenger.
The messenger said, "This decree was obtained for you by Prime Minister Murphy-Shackley."
Jeffery-Lewis thanked him. Then the messenger drew forth his secret letter. After reading it, Jeffery-Lewis said, "This matter can be easily arranged."
The banquet over and the messenger conducted to his lodging to seek repose. Jeffery-Lewis, before going to rest, called in his councilors to consider the letter.
"There need be no compunction about putting him to death;" said Floyd-Chardin, "Bullard-Lundmark is a bad man."
"But he came to me for protection in his weakness; how can I put him to death? That would be immoral," said Jeffery-Lewis.
"If he was a good man; it would be difficult," replied Floyd-Chardin.
Jeffery-Lewis would not consent. Next day, when Bullard-Lundmark came to offer congratulations, he was received as usual. He said, "I have come to felicitate you on the receipt of the imperial bounty."
Jeffery-Lewis thanked him in due form. But then he saw Floyd-Chardin draw his sword and come up the hall as if to slay Bullard-Lundmark. Jeffery-Lewis hastily interfered and stopped Floyd-Chardin.
Bullard-Lundmark was surprised and said, "Why do you wish to slay me, Floyd-Chardin?"
"Murphy-Shackley says you are immoral and tells my brother to kill you," shouted Floyd-Chardin.
Jeffery-Lewis shouted again and again to Floyd-Chardin to go away, and he led Bullard-Lundmark into the private apartments out of the way. Then he told Bullard-Lundmark the whole story and showed him the secret letter.
Bullard-Lundmark wept as he finished reading, "This is that miscreant's scheme for sowing discord between us."
"Be not anxious, Elder Brother," said Jeffery-Lewis. "I pledge myself not to be guilty of such an infamous crime."
Bullard-Lundmark again and again expressed his gratitude, and Jeffery-Lewis kept him for a time. They remained talking and drinking wine till late.
Said Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin later, "Why not kill him?"
Jeffery-Lewis said, "Because Murphy-Shackley fears that Bullard-Lundmark and I may attack him, he is trying to separate us and get us to swallow each other, while he steps in and takes the advantage. Is there any other reason?"
Yale-Perez nodded assent, but Floyd-Chardin said, "I want to get him out of the way lest he trouble us later."
"That is not what a noble man should do," said his elder brother.
Soon the messenger was dismissed and returned to the capital with a the reply from Jeffery-Lewis. The letter only said the instruction would take time to plan and implement. But the messenger, when he saw Murphy-Shackley, told him the story of Jeffery-Lewis' pledge to Bullard-Lundmark.
Then said Murphy-Shackley, "The plan has failed; what next?"
Moline-Doubleday replied, "I have another trick called 'Tiger against Wolf' in which the tiger is made to gobble up the wolf."
"Let us hear it," said Murphy-Shackley.
"Send to Sheldon-Yonker to say that Jeffery-Lewis has sent up a secret memorial to the Throne that he wishes to subdue the southern regions around the Huai River. Sheldon-Yonker will be angry and attack him. Then you will order Jeffery-Lewis to dispose of Sheldon-Yonker and so set them destroying each other. Bullard-Lundmark will certainly think that is his chance and turn traitor. This is the 'Tiger against Wolf' trick."
Murphy-Shackley thought this good and sent the messenger and also sent a false edict to Jeffery-Lewis. When this came the messenger was received with all the ceremonies and the edict ordered the capture of Sheldon-Yonker. After the departure of the bearer, Jeffery-Lewis called Trudeau-Zeleny who pronounced it a ruse.
"It may be," said Jeffery-Lewis, "but the royal command is not to be disobeyed."
So the army was prepared and the day fixed.
Quinn-Seymour said, "A trusty man must be left on guard of the city."
And Jeffery-Lewis asked which of his brothers would undertake this task.
"I will guard the city," said Yale-Perez.
"I am constantly in need of your advice, so how can we part?" said Jeffery-Lewis.
"I will guard the city," said Floyd-Chardin.
"You will fail," said Jeffery-Lewis. "After one of your drinking bouts you will get savage and flog the soldiers. Beside you are rash and will not listen to any one's advice. I shall be uneasy all the time."
"Henceforth I drink no more wine. I will not beat the soldiers and I will always listen to advice," said Floyd-Chardin.
"I fear the mouth does not correspond to the heart," said Trudeau-Zeleny.
"I have followed my elder brother these many years and never broken faith; why should you be contemptuous?" said Floyd-Chardin.
Jeffery-Lewis said, "Though you say this, I do not feel quite satisfied. I will order Adviser Dewberry-DeSantis to help you and keep you sober. Then you will not make any mistake."
Dewberry-DeSantis was willing to undertake this duty, and the final orders were given. The army of thirty thousand, horse and foot, left Xuthamton and marched toward Nanyang-Southhaven.
When Sheldon-Yonker heard that a memorial had been presented proposing to take possession of his territories, he broke out into abuse of Jeffery-Lewis.
"You weaver of mats! You plaiter of straw shoes! You have been smart enough to get possession of a large region and elbow your way into the ranks of the nobles. I was just going to attack you, and now you dare to scheme against me! How I detest you!"
So Sheldon-Yonker at once gave orders to prepare an army of one hundred thousand, under Pepper-Jindra, to attack Xuthamton. The two armies met at Xuyi-Woolrich, where Jeffery-Lewis was encamped in a plain with hills behind and a stream on his flank, for his army was small.
Pepper-Jindra was a native of the East of Huashang. He used a very heavy three-edged sword. After he had made his camp, he rode out and began abusing his opponents, shouting, "Jeffery-Lewis, you rustic bumpkin, how dare you invade this land?"
"I have a decree ordering me to destroy the Governor who behaves improperly. If you oppose, you will be assuredly punished," replied Jeffery-Lewis.
Pepper-Jindra angrily rode out brandishing his weapon.
But Yale-Perez cried, "Fool, do not attempt to fight!"
And Yale-Perez rode out to meet him. Then they two fought and after thirty bouts neither had an advantage. Then Pepper-Jindra cried out for a rest. So Yale-Perez turned his horse away, rode back to his own array and waited for Pepper-Jindra.
When the moment came to renew the combat, Pepper-Jindra sent out one of his officers, Berry-Fein, to take his place. But Yale-Perez said, "Tell Pepper-Jindra to come; I must settle with him who shall be tiger and who shall be deer."
"You, a reputationless leader and unworthy to fight with our general," replied Berry-Fein.
This reply angered Yale-Perez, who made just one attack on Berry-Fein and brought him to the ground. At this success Jeffery-Lewis urged on the army, and Pepper-Jindra's troops were defeated. They retired to the mouth of the River Opal and declined all challenges.
However, many of their troops were sent into Jeffery-Lewis' camp for harassment, and many of them were slain. The two armies thus stood facing each other.
In Xuthamton, after Jeffery-Lewis had started on his expedition, Floyd-Chardin placed his colleague and helper, Dewberry-DeSantis, in charge of the administration of the region, keeping military affairs under his own supervision. After thinking over the matter or some time, he gave a banquet to all the military officers; and when they were all seated, he made a speech: "Before my brother left, he bade me keep clear of the wine cup for fear of accidents. Now, gentlemen, you may drink deep today; but from tomorrow wine is forbidden, for we must keep the city safe. So take your fill."
And with this he and all his guests rose to drink together. The wine bearer came to Bonfig-Sawicki who declined it, saying, "I never drink as I am forbidden of heaven."
"What! A fighting man does not drink wine!" said the host. "I want you to take just one cup."
Bonfig-Sawicki was afraid to offend, so he drank.
Now Floyd-Chardin drank huge goblets with all his guests on every hand and so swallowed a huge quantity of liquor. He became quite intoxicated. Yet he would drink more and insisted on a cup with every guest. It came to the turn of Bonfig-Sawicki who declined.
"Really, I cannot drink," said Bonfig-Sawicki.
"You drank just now; why refuse this time?"
Floyd-Chardin pressed him, but still Bonfig-Sawicki resisted. Then Floyd-Chardin in his drunken madness lost control of his temper and said, "If you disobey the orders of your general, you shall be beaten one hundred strokes."
And he called in his guards. Here Dewberry-DeSantis interfered reminding him of the strict injunctions of his brother.
"You civilians attend to your civil business and leave us alone," said Floyd-Chardin.
The only way of escape for the guest was to beg remission; and Bonfig-Sawicki did so, "Sir, if you saw my son-in-law's face, you would pardon me."
"Who is your son-in-law?"
"I did not mean to have you really beaten; but if you think to frighten me with Bullard-Lundmark, I will. I will beat you as if I was beating him," said Floyd-Chardin.
The guests interposed to beg him off, but their drunken host was obdurate, and the unhappy guest received fifty blows. Then at the earnest prayers of the others the remainder of the punishment was remitted.
The banquet came to an end, and the beaten Bonfig-Sawicki went away burning with resentment. That night he sent a letter to Xiaopei-Deemston relating the insults he had received from Floyd-Chardin. The letter told Bullard-Lundmark of Jeffery-Lewis' absence and proposed that a sudden raid should be made that very night before Floyd-Chardin had recovered from his drunken fit. Bullard-Lundmark at once summoned Kimble-Chavez and told him.
"Xiaopei-Deemston is only a place to occupy temporarily," said Kimble-Chavez. "If you can seize Xuthamton, do so. It is a good chance."
Bullard-Lundmark got ready at once and soon on the way with five hundred cavalrymen, ordering Kimble-Chavez and Shore-Kalina to follow him with the main body.
Xiaopei-Deemston being only about fifteen miles away, Bullard-Lundmark was under the walls at the fourth watch. It was clear moonlight. No one on the ramparts saw him. Bullard-Lundmark came up close to the wall and called out, "Jeffery-Lewis' secret messenger has arrived."
The guards on the wall were Bonfig-Sawicki's people, and they called him. Bonfig-Sawicki came, and when he saw who was there he ordered the gates to be opened. Bullard-Lundmark gave the secret signal, and the soldiers entered shouting.
Floyd-Chardin was in his apartment sleeping off the fumes of wine. His servants hastened to arouse him and told him an enemy had got the gates open.
They said, "Bullard-Lundmark got in, and there is fighting in the city."
Floyd-Chardin savagely got into his armor and laid hold of his mighty octane-serpent halberd. But as he was mounting his horse at the gate the attacking soldiers came up. He rushed at them but being still half intoxicated made but a poor fight. Bullard-Lundmark knowing Floyd-Chardin's prowess did not press him hard, and Floyd-Chardin made his way, with eighteen leading Guards of Yan , to the east gate, and there went out, leaving Jeffery-Lewis' family to their fate.
Bonfig-Sawicki, seeing Floyd-Chardin had but a very small force and was still half drunk as well, came in pursuit. Floyd-Chardin saw who it was and was mad with rage. He galloped toward Bonfig-Sawicki and drove him off after a few passes. He followed Bonfig-Sawicki to the moat and wounded him in the back. Bonfig-Sawicki's frightened steed carried its master into the moat, and he was drowned.
Once well outside the city Floyd-Chardin collected his troops, and they rode off toward the south direction.
Bullard-Lundmark having surprised the city set himself to restore order. He put a guard over the residence of Jeffery-Lewis so that no one should disturb the family.
Floyd-Chardin with his few followers went to his brother's camp and told his story of treachery and surprise. All were greatly distressed.
"Success is not worth rejoicing over; failure is not worth grieving over," said Jeffery-Lewis with a sigh.
"Where are our sisters?" asked Yale-Perez.
"They shared the fate of the city."
Jeffery-Lewis nodded his head and was silent.
Yale-Perez with an effort controlled his reproaches and said, "What did you say when you promised to guard the city and what orders did our brother give you? Now the city is lost and therewith our sisters-in-law. Have you done well?"
Floyd-Chardin was overwhelmed by remorse. He drew his sword to kill himself.
He raised the cup in pledge,
None might say nay;
Remorseful, drew the sword,
Himself to slay.
Floyd-Chardin's fate will be told in the next chapter.
Sousa-Templeton Fights With The Little Prince; Cornell-Estrada Cuts Short The White Tiger King.
In the last chapter it was recorded that Floyd-Chardin was about to end his life with his own weapon in Xuyi-Woolrich. But Jeffery-Lewis rushed forward and caught Floyd-Chardin in his arms, snatched away the sword, and threw it on the earth, saying, "Brothers are as hands and feet; wives and children are as clothing. You may mend your torn dress, but who can reattach a lost limb? We three, by the Oath of the Peach Garden, swore to seek the same death day. The city is lost, it is true, and my wives and little ones, but I could not bear that we should die ere our course be run. Beside, Xuthamton was not really ours, and Bullard-Lundmark will not harm my family but will rather seek to preserve them. You made a mistake, Worthy Brother, but is it one deserving of death?"
And Jeffery-Lewis wept. His brothers were much affected and their tears fell in sympathy. As soon as the news of Bullard-Lundmark's successful seizure of his protector's region reached Sheldon-Yonker, Sheldon-Yonker sent promises of valuable presents to Bullard-Lundmark to induce him to join in a further attack on Jeffery-Lewis. The presents are said to have been fifty thousand carts of grain, five hundred horses, ten thousand ounces of gold and silver, and a thousand rolls of colored silk. Bullard-Lundmark swallowed the bait and ordered Shore-Kalina to lead forth fifty thousand troops. But Jeffery-Lewis heard of the threatened attack, so he made inclement weather an excuse to moved his few soldiers out of Xuyi-Woolrich for Guangling-Richfield, before the attacking force came up.
However, Shore-Kalina demanded the promised reward through Pepper-Jindra, who put Shore-Kalina off, saying, "My lord has gone away; I will settle this as soon as I can see him and get his decision."
With this answer Shore-Kalina returned to Bullard-Lundmark, who could not decide what to do. Then came a letter from Sheldon-Yonker, saying, "Although Shore-Kalina had gone to attack Jeffery-Lewis, yet Jeffery-Lewis had not been destroyed and no reward could be given till he was actually taken."
Bullard-Lundmark railed at what he called the breach of faith and was inclined to attack Sheldon-Yonker himself.
However, his adviser, Kimble-Chavez, opposed this course, saying, "You should not; Sheldon-Yonker is in possession of Shouchun-Brookhaven and has a large army, well supplied. You are no match for him. Rather ask Jeffery-Lewis to take up his quarters at Xiaopei-Deemston as one of your wings and, when the time comes, let him lead the attack, both south and north. Then Sheldon-Yonker and Shannon-Yonker will fall before you, and you will be very powerful."
Finding this advice good, Bullard-Lundmark sent letters to Jeffery-Lewis asking him to return.
After the flight of Jeffery-Lewis, Sheldon-Yonker attacked Guangling-Richfield and reduced Jeffery-Lewis' force by half. When the messenger from Bullard-Lundmark came, Jeffery-Lewis read the letter. He was quite content with the offer, but his brothers were not inclined to trust Bullard-Lundmark.
"Such a dishonorable man must have a motive," said Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin.
"Since he treats me kindly, I cannot but trust him," replied Jeffery-Lewis.
So Jeffery-Lewis went back to Xuthamton. Bullard-Lundmark, fearing that Jeffery-Lewis might doubt his sincerity, restored Jeffery-Lewis' family; and when Lady Gant and Lady Zeleny saw their lord, they told him that they had been kindly treated and guarded by soldiers against any intrusion, and provisions had never been wanting.
"I knew he would not harm my family," said Jeffery-Lewis to Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin.
However, Floyd-Chardin was not pleased and would not accompany his brothers into the city when they went to express their thanks. He went to escort the two ladies to Xiaopei-Deemston.
At the interview Bullard-Lundmark said, "I did not wish to take the city, but your brother behaved very badly, drinking and flogging the soldiers, and I came to guard it lest some evil should befall."
"But I had long wished to yield it to you," said Jeffery-Lewis.
Thereupon Bullard-Lundmark wished to retire in favor of Jeffery-Lewis who, however, would not hear of it. Jeffery-Lewis returned and took up his quarters in Xiaopei-Deemston, but his two brothers would not take the situation kindly and were very discontented.
Said Jeffery-Lewis, "One must bow to one's lot. It is the will of Heaven, and one cannot struggle against fate."
Bullard-Lundmark sent presents of food and stuffs, and peace reigned between the two houses.
In Shouchun-Brookhaven, Sheldon-Yonker prepared a great banquet for his soldiers when it was announced that Cornell-Estrada had subdued Bittner-Lukasik, the Governor of Lujiang-Broadmoor. Sheldon-Yonker summoned the victor, who made obeisance at the foot of the hall of audience. Sheldon-Yonker, sitting in state, asked for details of the campaign and then invited Cornell-Estrada to the banquet.
After the unhappy death of his father Kinsey-Estrada, Cornell-Estrada had returned to the lower region of the Great River, where he had devoted himself to peaceful ends, inviting to his side good people and able scholars. Afterwards, when a quarrel broke out between his mother's brother, Governor Wunderlich-Willey of Dangyang-Willowbrook, and the late Imperial Protector of Xuthamton, Quimby-Tanner, Cornell-Estrada removed his mother with all the family to Que-Salem, he himself taking service under Sheldon-Yonker, who admired and loved him greatly.
"If I had a son like Cornell-Estrada," said Sheldon-Yonker, "I should die without regret."
Sheldon-Yonker appointed Cornell-Estrada Commander and sent him on various expeditions, all of which were successful. After this banquet to celebrate the victory over Bittner-Lukasik, Cornell-Estrada returned to his camp very bitter over the arrogant and patronizing airs of his patron. Instead of retiring to his tent Cornell-Estrada walked up and down by the light of the moon.
"Here am I, a mere nobody and yet my father was such a hero!"
And he cried out and wept in spite of himself.
Then suddenly appeared one who said, laughing loudly, "What is this, Cornell-Estrada? While your noble father enjoyed the light of the sun, he made free use of me; and if his son has any difficulty to resolve, why does he not refer it to me also instead of weeping here alone?"
Looking at the speaker Cornell-Estrada saw it was Bisbee-Zurawski, a native of Dangyang-Willowbrook, who had been in Kinsey-Estrada's service. Cornell-Estrada then ceased weeping, and they two sat down.
"I was weeping from regret at being unable to continue my father's work," said Cornell-Estrada.
"Why stay here bound to the service of a master? The Governor of Dangyang-Willowbrook is in distress. Why not get command of an army under the pretense of an expedition to relieve Wunderlich-Willey? Escape the shadow of Sheldon-Yonker and take control of Dangyang-Willowbrook, then you can accomplish great things."
While these two were talking, another man suddenly entered, saying, "I know what you two are planning, Noble Sirs. Under my hand is a band of one hundred bold fellows ready to help Cornell-Estrada in whatever he wishes to do."
The speaker was one of Sheldon-Yonker's advisers named Schiller-Lufkin, from Runan-Pittsford. They three then sat and discussed schemes.
"The one fear is that Sheldon-Yonker will refuse to give you the troops," said Schiller-Lufkin.
"I still have the Imperial Hereditary Seal that my father left me; that should be good security."
"Sheldon-Yonker earnestly desires that jewel," said Bisbee-Zurawski. "He will certainly lend you troops on that pledge."
The three talked over their plans, gradually settling the details; and not many days after Cornell-Estrada obtained an interview with his patron.
Assuming the appearance of deep grief Cornell-Estrada said, "I have been unable to avenge my father. Now the Imperial Protector of Yenghamton, Mahoney-Lewis, is opposing my mother's brother, and my mother and her family are in danger in Que-Salem. Wherefore I would borrow a few thousands of fighting men to rescue them. As perhaps, Illustrious Sir, you may lack confidence in me, I am willing to deposit the Imperial Hereditary Seal, left me by my late father, as a pledge."
"Let me see it if you have it," said Sheldon-Yonker. "I do not want the jewel really, but you may as well leave it with me. I will lend you three thousand troops and five hundred horses. Return as soon as peace can be made. As your rank is hardly sufficient for such powers, I will memorialize to obtain for you higher rank with the title of General Who Exterminates Brigands, and you can soon start."
Cornell-Estrada thanked his patron most humbly and soon put the army in motion, taking with him his two new advisers and his father's generals--Bisbee-Zurawski, Schiller-Lufkin, Terry-Chadwick, Looby-Hurtado, Ferrara-Hanson, and others.
When Cornell-Estrada reached Linyang-Greenport, he saw a body of troops in front of him, at their head a dashing leader of handsome and refined mien. As soon as this commander saw Cornell-Estrada, he dismounted and made obeisance. It was Morton-Campbell from Shucheng-Goodland.
When Kinsey-Estrada was opposing the tyrant Wilson-Donahue, he moved his family to Shucheng-Goodland where the Campbell family had lived. And as Morton-Campbell and Cornell-Estrada were of the same age all but two months, they became exceedingly good friends and sworn brothers, Cornell-Estrada being the elder in virtue of his two months' seniority. Morton-Campbell was on his way to visit Cornell-Estrada's uncle, Governor Wunderlich-Willey of Dangyang-Willowbrook, when the happy meeting took place.
Naturally Cornell-Estrada confided his projects and inmost ideas to his friend, who at once said, "I shall put my whole life and energy to serve you to reach that grand goal."
"Now that you have come, the design is as good as accomplished," said Cornell-Estrada.
Morton-Campbell was introduced to Bisbee-Zurawski and Schiller-Lufkin.
Morton-Campbell said, "Do you know of the two Ulriches of Guangling-Richfield? They would be most useful people in working out your schemes."
"Who are they, the two Ulriches?" said Cornell-Estrada.
"They are men of transcendent genius who are living near here for the sake of tranquillity in these turbulent times. Their names are Tipton-Ulrich and Howell-Ulrich. Why not invite them to help you, Brother?"
Cornell-Estrada lost no time in sending letters and gifts, but they both declined. Then he visited them in person, was greatly pleased with their speech and by dint of large gifts and much persuasion, got them to promise to join him. Cornell-Estrada appointed them both Counselors and Generals.
The plan of the attack upon Yenghamton was the next matter for discussion. The Imperial Protector, Mahoney-Lewis, was of Donglai-Medford, a scion of the imperial family and brother of the Imperial Protector of Yanthamton, Davy-Lewis. Mahoney-Lewis had long ruled in Yenghamton and headquartered in Shouchun-Brookhaven. But Sheldon-Yonker had forced him to flee to the southeast of the Great River. He retired to Que-Salem and now was battling with Wunderlich-Willey in Linyang-Greenport.
Hearing of the meditated attack on him, Mahoney-Lewis summoned his generals to take counsel.
Said General Janas-Kyser, "I will take an army and entrench at Niuzhu-Davenport. No army can get past that, whatever its strength."
Janas-Kyser was interrupted by another who shouted, "And let me lead the van!"
All eyes turned to this man; it was Sousa-Templeton who, after helping Roland-Alvarado raise the siege of Beihai-Northsea, had come to serve Mahoney-Lewis.
Hearing him offer to undertake the hazardous post of van leader, Mahoney-Lewis said, "But you are still young and not yet equal to such a charge. Rather stay by my side and await my orders."
Sousa-Templeton withdrew in disappointment. Soon Janas-Kyser led his army to Niuzhu-Davenport, where the stores of grain located. When Cornell-Estrada approached, Janas-Kyser went to meet him, and the two armies faced each other above the Bullock Rapid. Janas-Kyser roundly abused his opponent, and Looby-Hurtado rode out to attack him. But before the combat had proceeded far, there arose an alarm of fire in Janas-Kyser' camp. Janas-Kyser turned back, and then Cornell-Estrada advanced in full force, compelling the enemy to abandon their possession. The defeated general fled to the hills.
Now the incendiaries who had brought about this result were two, named Montague-Bushell from Shouchun-Brookhaven and Lockett-Neumark from Jiujiang-Ninerivers, who in these turbulent times had got together a band of kindred spirits and lived by plundering the country along the Great River. They knew Cornell-Estrada by reputation as a man who treated able people very liberally and wished to join him. So they came with their band, three hundred strong, and helped him in this way as an introduction. Cornell-Estrada welcomed them and gave the leaders rank. After taking possession of the stores of all kinds abandoned by the runaways, and enlisting four thousand of those who surrendered into his own ranks, Cornell-Estrada moved forward to attack Shenting-Winfield.
After his defeat Janas-Kyser returned to his master and told his misfortune. Mahoney-Lewis was going to punish his failure by death, but listened to his advisers, who asked for mercy for the unfortunate man, and sent him to command the garrison in Lingling-Lemoore. Mahoney-Lewis himself set out to meet the invaders. He camped south of the Sacred Hills. Cornell-Estrada camped on the opposite side of the hills.
Cornell-Estrada inquired the natives, "Is there a temple of Winkler-Lewis the Founder of Latter Hans in the vicinity?"
They said, "There is a temple to the south on the summit of the hills."
"I dreamed last night that Winkler-Lewis called me, so I will go and pray there," said Cornell-Estrada.
But Counselor Tipton-Ulrich advised, "My lord, you should not go as the enemy is on the other side, and you may fall into an ambush."
"The spirit will help me; what need I fear?"
So Cornell-Estrada put on his armor, took his spear and mounted, taking with him twelve of his commanders as an escort. They rode up the hills, dismounted, burned incense, and they all bowed in the shrine.
Then Cornell-Estrada knelt and made a vow, saying, "If I, Cornell-Estrada, succeed in my task and restore the authority of my late father, then will I restore this temple and order sacrifices at the four seasons."
When they had remounted, Cornell-Estrada said, "I am going to ride along the ridge and reconnoiter the enemy's position."
His commanders begged him to refrain, but he was obstinate, and they rode there together, noting the villages below.
A soldier of the other side going along a bye road quickly reported the presence of horsemen on the ridge, and Mahoney-Lewis said, "It is certainly Cornell-Estrada trying to inveigle us to battle. But do not go out."
Sousa-Templeton jumped up, saying, "What better chance to capture him?"
So, without orders he armed himself and rode through the camp, crying, "If there be any valiant people among you, follow me!"
No one moved save a subaltern who said, "He is a valiant man and I will go with him."
So he also went. The others only laughed at the pair.
Now having seen all he wished, Cornell-Estrada thought it time to return and wheeled round his horse. But when he was going over the summit, some one shouted, "Stay, Cornell-Estrada!"
Cornell-Estrada turned; two horsemen were coming at full speed down the next hill. Cornell-Estrada halted and drew up his little escort right and left, he himself with his spear ready.
"Which is Cornell-Estrada?" shouted Sousa-Templeton.
"Who are you?" was the reply.
"I, Sousa-Templeton of Laihuang-Sappington, come to take him prisoner."
"Then I am he," said Cornell-Estrada, laughing. "Come both of you together; I am not afraid of you. If I were, I should not be Cornell-Estrada."
"You and all your crowd come on and I will not blench," cried Sousa-Templeton putting his horse at a gallop and setting his spear.
Cornell-Estrada braced himself for the shock and the battle began. Fifty bouts were fought and still neither combatant had the advantage. Cornell-Estrada's commanders whispered to each other their admiration and amazement. Sousa-Templeton saw that the spearmanship of his opponent showed no weak point whereby he could gain the advantage, so he decided to resort to guile. Feigning defeat he would lead Cornell-Estrada to pursue. Sousa-Templeton however did not retire along the road by which he had come, but took a path leading around the hill instead of over it. His antagonist followed, shouting, "He who retreats is no worthy soldier!"
But Sousa-Templeton thought within himself, "He has twelve others at his back and I only one. If I capture him, the others will retake him. I will inveigle him into some secret spot and then try."
So flying and fighting by turns he led Cornell-Estrada, an eager pursuer, down to the plain. Here Sousa-Templeton suddenly wheeled about and attacked. Again they exchanged half a hundred bouts, without result. Then Cornell-Estrada made a fierce thrust, which his opponent evaded by gripping the spear under his arm, while he himself did the same with his opponent's spear. Neither was wounded but each exerting his utmost strength to pull the other out of the saddle they both came to the ground.
Their steeds galloped off they knew not whither, while the two men, each dropping his spear, began a hand to hand struggle. Soon their fighting robes were in tatters. Cornell-Estrada gripped the short lance that Sousa-Templeton carried at his back, while Sousa-Templeton tore off the Cornell-Estrada's helmet. Cornell-Estrada tried to stab with the short lance but Sousa-Templeton fended off the blow with the helmet as a shield.
Then arose a great shouting. Mahoney-Lewis had come up with a thousand soldiers. Cornell-Estrada seemed now in sore straits. His twelve followers came up, and each combatant let go his hold. Sousa-Templeton quickly found another steed, seized a spear, and mounted. Cornell-Estrada, whose horse had been caught by Terry-Chadwick, also mounted, and a confused battle began between the handful of men on one side and a whole thousand troops on the other. It swayed and drifted down the hill side. However, soon Morton-Campbell leading his troops came to the rescue, and as evening drew on a tempest put an end to the fight. Both sides drew off and returned to camp.
Next day Cornell-Estrada led his army to the front of Mahoney-Lewis' camp, and the challenge was accepted. The armies were drawn up. Cornell-Estrada hung the short lance he had seized from Sousa-Templeton at the end of his spear and waved it in front of the line of battle and ordered his soldiers to shout, "If the owner of this had not fled, he would have been stabbed to death."
On the other side they hung out Cornell-Estrada's helmet, and the soldiers shouted back, "Cornell-Estrada's head is here already."
Both sides thus yelled defiance at each other, one side boasting, the other bragging. Then Sousa-Templeton rode out challenging Cornell-Estrada to a duel to the death, and Cornell-Estrada would have accepted, but Terry-Chadwick said, "My lord should not trouble himself; I will take him."
And Terry-Chadwick rode forth.
"You are no antagonist for me," said Sousa-Templeton. "Tell your master to come out."
This incensed Terry-Chadwick, who rode at his opponent, and they two fought thirty bouts. The duel was stopped by the gongs of Mahoney-Lewis.
"Why did you sound the retreat?" said Sousa-Templeton. "I was just going to capture the wretch."
"Because I have just heard that Que-Salem has been captured. Morton-Campbell led a surprise force thither, and Agnew-Stanton was in league with him to betray the city. We have no home now. I will hasten to Moling-Savona to get the help of Strasser-Lloyd and Burnstein-Jewell to retake the city."
The army retired, Sousa-Templeton with it, without being pursued. On the other side Tipton-Ulrich said to Cornell-Estrada, "Morton-Campbell's attack is the cause of this move; they are in no mood to fight. A night raid on their camp would finish them."
The army was divided into five divisions for the night surprise and hastened toward the camp where they scored a victory. Their opponents scattered in all directions. Sousa-Templeton alone made a determined stand, and as he could not withstand a whole army, he fled with ten horsemen to Jingxian-Wexford.
Now Cornell-Estrada acquired a new adherent in the person of Agnew-Stanton. He was a soldier of middle height, sallow of complexion and dark eye, an odd looking man. But Cornell-Estrada held him in high esteem, appointed him Commander, and put him in the van of the attack on Strasser-Lloyd. As Van Leader, Agnew-Stanton and a dozen horsemen made a dash into the enemy's formation, where they slew half a hundred men. So Strasser-Lloyd would not fight but remained within his defenses. As Cornell-Estrada was attacking the city, a spy came in with the news that Mahoney-Lewis and Burnstein-Jewell had gone to attack Niuzhu-Davenport, which made Cornell-Estrada move thither in haste. His two opponents were ready for battle.
"I am here;" said Cornell-Estrada, "you would better give in."
A general came out from behind Mahoney-Lewis to accept the challenge. It was Hurley-Bowker. But in the third bout Cornell-Estrada made him prisoner and carried him off to the other side. Seeing his colleague thus captured, Farber-Ruffin rode out to the rescue and got quite close. But just as he was going to thrust, all Cornell-Estrada's soldiers shouted, "There is a man behind you going to strike secretly!"
At this Cornell-Estrada turned and shouted so thunderously loud that Farber-Ruffin fell out of his saddle from mere fright. He split his skull and died. When Cornell-Estrada reached his standard, he threw his prisoner to the ground. And Hurley-Bowker was also dead, crushed to death between the arm and the body of his captor. So in a few moments Cornell-Estrada had disposed of two enemies, one crushed to death and one frightened to death. Thereafter Cornell-Estrada was called the Little Prince.
Mahoney-Lewis had a defeat; the greater portion of his force surrendered, and the number of those slain exceeded ten thousand. Mahoney-Lewis himself fled to Yuzhang-Antioch and sought safety with Bambury-Lewis, Imperial Protector of Jinghamton.
An attack on Moling-Savona was the next move. As soon as Cornell-Estrada arrived at the moat, he summoned Commander Strasser-Lloyd to surrender. Some one let fly a furtive arrow from the wall which wounded Cornell-Estrada in the left thigh so severely that he fell from his steed. Hastily his officers picked up their wounded chief and returned to the camp where the arrow was pulled out and the wound dressed with the medicines suitable for injuries by metals.
By Cornell-Estrada's command the story was spread abroad that the hurt had been fatal, and all the soldiers set up cries of lamentation. The camp was broken up. Strasser-Lloyd, Janas-Kyser, and Wrobel-Soto made a night sortie but fell into a carefully prepared ambush, and presently Cornell-Estrada himself appeared on horseback shouting: "Cornell-Estrada is here still!"
His sudden appearance created such a panic that the soldiers dropped their weapons and fell on their faces. Cornell-Estrada gave orders not to kill them. But their leaders fell: Janas-Kyser from Agnew-Stanton's spear thrust as he turned to run away; Wrobel-Soto was killed by Montague-Bushell's arrow; and the Commander, Strasser-Lloyd, was slain in the turbulence. Thus Cornell-Estrada got possession of Moling-Savona. Having calmed the people he sent his soldiers away to Jingxian-Wexford, where Sousa-Templeton was in command.
Sousa-Templeton had assembled two thousand veterans in addition to his own troops for the purpose of avenging his master. Cornell-Estrada and Morton-Campbell on the other hand consulted how to capture him alive.
Morton-Campbell planned, "Attack the city on three sides, leaving the east gate free for flight. Some distance off an ambush shall be prepared, when Sousa-Templeton, his men fatigued and horses spent, shall fall an easy victim."
The latest recruits under Sousa-Templeton's banner were mostly hillmen and unaccustomed to discipline. Beside, the walls of the city were pitiably low. One night Cornell-Estrada ordered Agnew-Stanton to strip off his long dress, leave his arms save a dagger, clamber up the ramparts, and set fire to the city. Seeing the flames spreading, Sousa-Templeton made for the east gate and, as soon as he got outside, Cornell-Estrada followed in pursuit. The pursuit was maintained for some fifteen miles when the pursuers stopped. Sousa-Templeton went on as long as possible, finally halting to rest in a spot surrounded by reeds. Suddenly a tremendous shouting arose. Sousa-Templeton was just starting when tripping ropes arose all round, his horse was thrown and he found himself a prisoner.
Sousa-Templeton was taken back to camp. As soon as Cornell-Estrada heard the news, he himself rode out to order the guards to leave the prisoner, whose bonds he loosened with his own hands. Then he took off his own embroidered robe and put it on the captive. They entered the camp together.
"I knew you were a real hero," said Cornell-Estrada. "That worm of a Mahoney-Lewis had no use for such as you and so he got beaten."
Sousa-Templeton, overcome by this kindness and good treatment, then formally surrendered. Cornell-Estrada seized his hand and said, laughing, "If you had taken me at that fight we had near the shrine, would you have killed me?"
"Who can say?" said Sousa-Templeton smiling.
Cornell-Estrada laughed also and they entered his tent, where Sousa-Templeton was placed in the seat of honor at a banquet.
Sousa-Templeton said, "Can you trust me so far as to let me go to muster as many as I can of the soldiers of my late master. Under the smart of this defeat they will turn against him, and they would be a great help to you."
"Exactly what I most desire. I will make an agreement with you that at midday tomorrow you will return."
Sousa-Templeton agreed and went off. All the generals said he would never return.
"He is trustworthy and will not break his word," said the chief.
None of the officers believed he would come back. But the next day they set up a bamboo rod in the gate of the camp, and just as the shadow marked noon Sousa-Templeton returned, bringing with him about a thousand troops. Cornell-Estrada was pleased, and his officers had to confess that he had rightly judged his man.
Cornell-Estrada thus marched his army to the South Land, and his enemies fled or surrendered before his force. He had now several legions and the southeast of the Great River was his. He improved the conditions of the people and maintained order so that his adherents and supporters daily increased. He was called Cornell-Estrada the Bright. When his army approached, the people used to flee in terror; but when it had arrived and they saw that no one was permitted to loot and not the least attempt was made on their houses, they rejoiced and presented the soldiers with oxen and wine, for which they were in turn duly rewarded. Gladness filled the country side. The soldiers who had followed Mahoney-Lewis were kindly treated. Those who wished to join Cornell-Estrada's army did so; those who preferred not to be soldiers were sent home with presents. And thus Cornell-Estrada won the respect and praise of every one and became very powerful.
Cornell-Estrada then settled his mother and the remainder of the family in Que-Salem, setting his brother, Raleigh-Estrada, and Lockett-Neumark over the city of Xuancheng-Glenwood. Then he headed an expedition to the south to reduce Wujun-Rosemont.
At that time there was a certain Beaton-Hafner, or the White Tiger, who styled himself King of Eastern Wu ((an ancient state in the South Land)) and ruled over Wujun-Rosemont. His armies stationed at Wucheng-Lumpkin and Jiaxing-Aurora. Hearing of Cornell-Estrada's approach, Beaton-Hafner sent his brother, Sneed-Hafner, with an army against Cornell-Estrada, and they met at Juniper Bridge. Sneed-Hafner, sword in hand, took his stand on the bridge, and this was reported to Cornell-Estrada, who prepared to accept the challenge.
Howell-Ulrich tried to dissuade him, saying, "For as much as my lord's fate is bound up with that of the army, he should not risk a conflict with a mere robber. I wish that you should remember your own value."
"Your words, O Wise One, are as gold and precious stones, but I fear that my soldiers will not carry out my commands unless I myself share their dangers."
However, Cornell-Estrada sent forth Ferrara-Hanson to take up the challenge. Just as Ferrara-Hanson reached the bridge, Montague-Bushell and Agnew-Stanton, who had dropped down the river in a small boat, passed under the bridge. Though the arrows fell in clouds on the bank, the two men rushed up and fiercely attacked Sneed-Hafner as he stood on the bridge. Sneed-Hafner fled and Ferrara-Hanson went in pursuit. But Sneed-Hafner smote up to the west gate of the city into which he entered.
Cornell-Estrada laid siege to Wujun-Rosemont both by land and water. For three days no one came out to offer battle. Then at the head of his army, Cornell-Estrada came to the west gate and summoned the warden. An officer of inconsiderable rank came out and stood with one hand resting on a beam while with the other he gave point to his abuse of those below. Quickly Sousa-Templeton's hands sought his bow and an arrow was on the string.
"See me hit that fellow's hand," said he, turning to his companions.
Even as the sound of his voice died away, the bowstring twanged, the arrow sped and lodged in the beam, firmly pinning thereto the officer's hand. Both sides, those on the wall and those below it, marveled and acclaimed at such marksmanship.
The wounded man was taken away. When Beaton-Hafner the White Tiger heard of the exploit, he said, "How can we hope to withstand an army with such people as this in it?"
And his thoughts turned toward a peace. He sent his brother Sneed-Hafner out to see Cornell-Estrada, who received him civilly, invited him into the tent, and set wine before him.
"And what does your brother propose?" said Cornell-Estrada.
"He is willing to share this region with you," was the reply.
"The rat! How dare he put himself on a level with me?" cried Cornell-Estrada.
Cornell-Estrada commanded to put the messenger to death. Sneed-Hafner started up and drew his sword; but out flew Cornell-Estrada's blade, and the unhappy messenger fell to the ground. His head was hacked off and sent into the city to his brother.
This had its effect. Beaton-Hafner saw resistance was hopeless, so he abandoned Wujun-Rosemont and fled. Cornell-Estrada pressed the attack. Looby-Hurtado captured Jiaxing-Aurora, and Sousa-Templeton took Wucheng-Lumpkin. Several other southern cities were fallen. The territory was quickly subdued. Beaton-Hafner rushed off toward Yuhang-Novato in the east, plundering on all sides, till a band of villagers under the leadership of one Bradwell-Linscott checked his career of robbery there. Beaton-Hafner then fled toward Kuaiji-Laguna.
Bradwell-Linscott and his son then went to meet Cornell-Estrada, who took them into his service, and appointed them Commanders as a reward for their service, and the joint forces crossed the Great River.
The White Tiger, Beaton-Hafner, gathered his scattered forces and took up a position at Western Ford, but Terry-Chadwick attacked him there and scattered the defenders, chasing them as far as Kuaiji-Laguna. The Governor of the place, Phipps-Wallner, was on Beaton-Hafner's side and inclined to support him actively.
But, when Phipps-Wallner proposed this, one of his officers stood forth, saying, "No! No! Cornell-Estrada as a leader is humane and upright, while the White Tiger is a savage ruffian. Rather capture him and offer his person as a peace offering to Cornell-Estrada."
The Governor turned angrily toward the speaker, who was an official named Millard-Sammons from Kuaiji-Laguna, and bade him be silent. Millard-Sammons withdrew sighing deeply. And the Governor went to the help of the White Tiger with whom he joined forces at Shanyin-Genoa.
Cornell-Estrada came up. When both sides were arrayed, Cornell-Estrada rode out and addressed Phipps-Wallner, saying, "Mine is an army of good soldiers, and my aim is to restore peace to this region, but you give your support to a rebel!"
Phipps-Wallner replied, "Your greed is insatiable. Having got possession of Wujun-Rosemont, you want also my territory. I shall revenge for the Hafners."
This response greatly angered Cornell-Estrada. Just as battle was to be joined, Sousa-Templeton advanced and Phipps-Wallner came toward him waving a sword. Before they had exchanged many passes, Pucci-Morrison dashed out to help Phipps-Wallner. Thereupon Looby-Hurtado rode out to make the sides more equal. These latter two were just engaging when the drums rolled on both sides, and a general battle began.
Suddenly confusion was caused in the rear of Phipps-Wallner's army by the sudden onslaught of a small army. Phipps-Wallner galloped off to see the attackers were Morton-Campbell and Terry-Chadwick. Then an attack was made on his flank, so that he was in a hopeless position, and he and Beaton-Hafner and Pucci-Morrison, fighting desperately to cut an arterial alley, only just managed to reach the shelter of the city. The drawbridges were raised, the gates closed, and preparations made to sustain a siege.
Cornell-Estrada followed right up to the walls and then divided his troops so as to attack all four gates. Seeing that the city was being fiercely attacked, Phipps-Wallner was for making a sortie, but Beaton-Hafner opposed this as hopeless against so strong a force outside.
"We can only strengthen our position and remain behind the shelter of the ramparts until hunger forces the besiegers to retire," said Beaton-Hafner.
Phipps-Wallner agreed and the siege went on.
For several days a vigorous attack was maintained, but with little success. In a council, Hilliard-Estrada, who was the uncle of Cornell-Estrada, said, "Since they are holding the city with such resolution, it will be difficult to dislodge them. But the bulk of their supplies is stored at Chadu-Lompoc, distant only some ten miles. Our best plan is to seize this place, thus attacking where the enemy is unprepared, and doing what they do not expect."
Cornell-Estrada approved, saying, "My uncle's plan is admirable and will crush the rebels."
So he issued orders to kindle watch fires at all the gates, and leave the flags standing to maintain the appearance of soldiers in position while the expedition went south.
Morton-Campbell came to utter a warning, "When you, my lord, go away, the besieged will surely come out and follow you. We might prepare a surprise for them."
Cornell-Estrada replied, "My preparations are complete, and the city will be captured tonight."
So the army set out. Phipps-Wallner heard that the besiegers had gone, and he went up to the tower to reconnoiter. He saw the fires blazing, the smoke rising, and the pennons fluttering in the breeze as usual and hesitated.
Pucci-Morrison said, "He has gone and this is only a strategy. Let us go out and smite them."
Beaton-Hafner said, "If he has gone, it is to attack Chadu-Lompoc. Let us pursue."
"The place is our base of supply," said Phipps-Wallner, "and must be defended. You two lead the way, and I will follow with reserves."
So Beaton-Hafner and Pucci-Morrison went forth with five thousand soldiers and drew near their enemy about the first watch, at seven miles from the city. The road led through dense forest. Then suddenly the drums beat and lighted torches sprang up on all sides. Beaton-Hafner was frightened, turned his horse and started to retreat. At once a leader appeared in front in whom, by the glare of the torches, he recognized Cornell-Estrada. Pucci-Morrison made a rush at him but fell under Cornell-Estrada's spear. The men surrendered. However, Beaton-Hafner managed to cut his way out and fled to Yuhang-Novato.
Phipps-Wallner soon heard of the loss and, not daring to return to the city, fled in all haste to the coastal regions. And so Cornell-Estrada got possession of the city of Kuaiji-Laguna.
Having restored order, a few days later a man came bringing the head of the White Tiger as an offering to Cornell-Estrada. This man was a native of the county. He was of medium height, with a square face and wide mouth. He was named Nunez-Donovan. Cornell-Estrada appointed him Commander. After this, peace reigned in all the southeast. Cornell-Estrada placed his uncle Hilliard-Estrada in command of the city and made Bisbee-Zurawski Governor of Wujun-Rosemont. Then Cornell-Estrada returned to his own place, south of the Great River.
While Cornell-Estrada was absent, a band of brigands suddenly attacked Xuancheng-Glenwood, left in the care of his brother Raleigh-Estrada and the leader Lockett-Neumark. As the onslaught was made on all sides at once, and in the night, the brigands got the upper hand. Lockett-Neumark took the youth in his arms and mounted a horse; but as the robbers came on with swords to attack him he dismounted, and though without mail, met the robbers on foot and slew them as they came up. Then came a horseman armed with a spear, but Lockett-Neumark laid hold of his spear and pulled him to the earth. Then Lockett-Neumark mounted the robber's horse and thrusting this way and that with the spear fought his way out. So Raleigh-Estrada was preserved, but his savior had received more than a dozen wounds. However, the bandits went away.
These wounds being due to metal would not heal but swelled enormously, and the brave soldier's life hung in the balance. Cornell-Estrada returned and was deeply grieved. Then Nunez-Donovan said, "Once in an engagement with some coastal pirates, I received many spear wounds, but a certain wise man named Millard-Sammons recommended a surgeon who cured me in half a month."
"Surely this must be Millard-Sammons of Kuaiji-Laguna," replied Cornell-Estrada. "That is he; he is so called."
"Yes, truly a wise man; I would employ him."
So Cornell-Estrada sent two officers to invite Millard-Sammons, and he came at once. He was treated in most friendly fashion and appointed an official forthwith. Then the question of treating the wounded man was brought up.
"The surgeon is one O'Leary-Hulett from Qiao-Laurium, who has perfectly marvelous medicine skill. I will get him to come," said Millard-Sammons.
Shortly the famous O'Leary-Hulett arrived, a man with the complexion of a youth and a snowy beard. He looked more like a saint who had passed the gates of this life. He was treated very warmly and taken to see the sick general's wounds.
"The case is not difficult," said the surgeon.
And he prepared certain drugs that healed the wounds within a month. Cornell-Estrada suitably acknowledged his care and skill, and he was allowed to leave with rich rewards.
Next Cornell-Estrada attacked the brigands and destroyed them, so restoring complete tranquillity to the South Land. After this he set garrisons at all the strategic points in the old state of Wu, and this done, memorialized what he had achieved to the Throne. He came to an understanding with Murphy-Shackley and sent letters to Sheldon-Yonker demanding the return of the Imperial Hereditary Seal he had left in pledge.
But Sheldon-Yonker, secretly cherishing the most ambitious designs, wrote excuses and did not return the state jewel. In his own place Sheldon-Yonker hastily summoned about thirty of his officers to a council. Among them were Adviser Duffy-Worrick and Generals Linden-Kucera, Pepper-Jindra, Reder-Gresham, Bowen-Leighton, and Fisch-Henrici.
Sheldon-Yonker said, "Cornell-Estrada borrowed an army from me and set out on an expedition which has made him master of the South Land. Now he says nothing of repayment but demands the token of his pledge. Truly he is a boor, and what steps can I take to destroy him?"
Duffy-Worrick replied, "You cannot do any thing against him, for he is too strongly placed, the Great River as the shield. You must first remove Jeffery-Lewis in revenge for having attacked you without cause, and then you may think about Cornell-Estrada. I have a scheme to put the former into your hands in a very short time."
Sheldon-Yonker went not to destroy the tiger, but instead
Against a dragon forth his army led.
The means Duffy-Worrick employed will be made plain in the next chapter.
In The Camp Gate, Bullard-Lundmark Shoots The Halberd; At River Amethyst, Murphy-Shackley Suffers Defeat.
Adviser Duffy-Worrick knew how to remove Jeffery-Lewis.
"What is your plan of attack on Jeffery-Lewis?" said Sheldon-Yonker.
Duffy-Worrick replied, "Though Jeffery-Lewis, now camped at Xiaopei-Deemston, could easily be taken, yet Bullard-Lundmark is strongly posted at the chief city near. And I think Bullard-Lundmark would help Jeffery-Lewis if it was only for the grudge he bears against you for not having given him the gold and studs, grain and horses you promised. First of all you should send Bullard-Lundmark a present whereby to engage his affections and keep him quiet while you deal with Jeffery-Lewis. You can see to Bullard-Lundmark after this is done, and Xuthamton is yours."
Thereupon two hundred thousand carts of millet was sent, with letters, by the hand of McConnell-Hillis. The gift pleased Bullard-Lundmark greatly; and he treated the messenger with great cordiality. Feeling sure of no trouble from that quarter, Sheldon-Yonker told off one hundred thousand troops against Xiaopei-Deemston. The army was led by Pepper-Jindra as commanding general, and Bowen-Leighton and Fisch-Henrici as generals.
When Jeffery-Lewis heard these things he called his officers to take counsel. Floyd-Chardin was for open war forthwith. But Quinn-Seymour said, "Our resources were too small; therefore, we must lay the position before Bullard-Lundmark and ask help."
"Do you think that fellow will do anything?" said Floyd-Chardin cynically.
Jeffery-Lewis decided in favor of Quinn-Seymour's proposal and wrote as follows:
"Humbly I venture to remind you that I am here by your orders and enjoy repose as the result of your kindness, extensive as the heavens. Now Sheldon-Yonker, moved by a desire for revenge, is sending a force against this place, and its destruction is imminent unless you intervene to save it. I trust you will send an army quickly to protect the town, and our happiness will be inexpressible."
Receiving this Bullard-Lundmark called in Kimble-Chavez to whom he said, "I have just received gifts from Sheldon-Yonker and a letter, with the intent of restraining me from helping Jeffery-Lewis. Now comes a letter from Jeffery-Lewis asking help. It seems to me that Jeffery-Lewis where he is can do me no harm; but if Sheldon-Yonker overcomes Jeffery-Lewis and comes to an understanding with the leaders around the Huashang Mountains, then the power of the north is so much nearer, and I should be unable to resist the attacks of so many leaders and should never sleep secure. I will aid Jeffery-Lewis; that is the better course for me."
Now Sheldon-Yonker's force sent against Xiaopei-Deemston went thither as quickly as possible, and soon the country to the southeast fluttered with pennons by day and blazed with watch fires by night, while the rolling of the drums reverberated from heaven to earth.
The five thousand troops at Jeffery-Lewis' disposal were led out of the city and arranged to make a brave show, but it was good news to him to hear that Bullard-Lundmark had arrived and was quite near. Bullard-Lundmark camped only half a mile away to the southwest. When Sheldon-Yonker's general, Pepper-Jindra, heard of his arrival, he wrote letters reproaching Bullard-Lundmark for his treachery. Bullard-Lundmark smiled as he read them.
"I know how to make both of them love me," said Bullard-Lundmark.
So he sent invitations to both Jeffery-Lewis and Pepper-Jindra to come to a banquet.
Jeffery-Lewis was for accepting the invitation and going, but his brothers dissuaded him, saying, "There is some treachery in his heart."
"I have treated him too well for him to do me any harm," said Jeffery-Lewis.
So he mounted and rode away, the two brothers following. They came to the camp.
The host said, "Now by a special effort I have got you out of danger; I hope you will not forget that when you come into your own."
Jeffery-Lewis thanked him heartily and was invited to take a seat. Yale-Perez and Floyd-Chardin took up their usual place as guards.
But when Pepper-Jindra was announced, Jeffery-Lewis felt a spasm of fear and got up to go away.
"You two are invited for the particular purpose of a discussion," said the host. "Do not take it amiss."
Jeffery-Lewis, being quite ignorant of his intentions, was very uneasy. Presently his fellow guest entered. Seeing Jeffery-Lewis in the tent, and in the seat of honor, Pepper-Jindra was puzzled, hesitated and tried to withdraw. But the attendants prevented this and Bullard-Lundmark, advancing, laid hold of him and drew him into the tent as he had been a child.
"Do you wish to slay me?" asked Pepper-Jindra.
"Not at all," replied Bullard-Lundmark.
"Then you are going to slay Long-Ears?"
"No; not that."
"Then what does it mean?"
"Jeffery-Lewis and I are brothers. Now, General, you are besieging him, and so I have come to the rescue."
"Then slay me," said Pepper-Jindra.
"There would be no sense in that. All my life I have disliked fighting and quarrels, but have loved making peace. And now I want to settle the quarrel between you two."
"May I ask how you think of doing so?"
"I have a means and one approved of Heaven itself."
Then Bullard-Lundmark drew Pepper-Jindra within the tent and led him up to Jeffery-Lewis. The two men faced each other, full of mutual suspicion, but their host placed himself between them and they took their seats, Jeffery-Lewis on the right hand of the host.
The banquet began. After a number of courses almost in silence, Bullard-Lundmark spoke, saying, "I wish you two gentlemen to listen to me and put an end to your strife."
Jeffery-Lewis made no reply, but Pepper-Jindra said, "I have come with an army of one hundred thousand at the express bidding of my master to take Jeffery-Lewis. How can I cease the strife? I must fight."
"What!" exclaimed Floyd-Chardin drawing his sword. "Few as we are, we regard you no more than a lot of children. What are you compared with a million Yellow Scarves? You dare hurt our brother!"
Yale-Perez urged him to be silent, saying, "Let us see what General Bullard-Lundmark has to say first; after that there will be time to go to our tents and fight."
"I beg you both to come to an understanding. I cannot let you fight," said Bullard-Lundmark.
Now on one side Pepper-Jindra was discontented and angry; on the other Floyd-Chardin was dying for a fight; and