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were starting the fire, there appeared a cohort led by Chang Ho, who at once began a fight with Huang Chung. Then Ts'ao Ts'ao heard of the fight and sent Hsü Huang to help. He came up in the rear, and Huang Chung was surrounded. Chang Cho with a small company tried to get away to their camp, but they were intercepted by Wên P‘ing, and more men coming up by the rear he also was surrounded. Both were in difficulties.
Meanwhile, time passed and noon came with no news of Huang Chung. Wherefore Chao Yün girded on his armour, took three companies with him and went to his aid. Just as he was leaving he again warned Chang I to keep good watch.
“Guard the camp most carefully; see that you have archers and crossbow men on both sides.
"Yes, yes,” said Chang.
Chao Yün rode off, spear in hand, and went out to give battle where he could find the enemy. Soon he fell in with one of Wên P‘ing's companies: these were easily disposed of. Then he came to the real press. A cohort barred his way, led by Chiao Ping of Wei.
"Where are the soldiers of Shu ?” cried Chao Yün. "All killed," cried Chiao Ping.
Chao Yün angrily dashed forward and thrust Chiao Ping through so that he died. The cohort scattered, and Chao Yün went on to the foot of the north hills, where he found Huang Chung surrounded. With a yell he dashed at the encircling ring, thrusting this way and shoving that, so that every one shrank and recoiled before nim. The mighty spear laid low his opponents as the whirlwind scatters the petals of the wild pear tree till they lie on the bosom of the earth like snowflakes. Panic seized Chang Ho and Hsü Huang, so that they dared not stand in his way, and thus Chao Yün fought his way through and rescued his fellow warrior. Then they fought their way out and none could withstand them.
Ts'ao Ts'ao had been watching the course of the fighting from a high place, and when he saw a doughty warrior forcing his way into the press and all going down before him he asked of his officers if they knew who the hero was.
"That is Chao Yün of Ch'angshan,” replied one who knew him.
"So the hero of Tangyang is still alive," said Ts'ao Ts'ao.
He gave general orders to his men not to attack Chao Yün without being sure of success, no matter where they met him.
Having rescued his colleague and got clear of the battle, someone pointed out Chang Cho hemmed in on a hill not far off. Wherefore Chao Yün went to his relief before going back to his own camp. He had little need to fight, for Ts'ao Ts'ao's soldiers no sooner saw the name emblazoned on the banners than they fled without more ado.
But it filled Ts'ao Ts'ao with rage to see his men falling away before Chao Yün, who marched on as though no one would think of standing in his way, and he went in pursuit himself with his officers.
Chao Yün reached his own camp, where he was welcomed by Chang 1. But a cloud of dust was seen in the distance, and they knew Ts'ao Ts'ao was in that cloud and coming upon them.
"Let us bar the gates while we make preparation,” said Chang I.
"Do not bar the gates," said Chao Yün. "Have you never heard of my exploit at Tangyang, when I laughed at Ts'ao's many legions? Now that I have an army at my back and captains to help, what is there to fear?”
Then he placed the archers and the bowmen in a covered position outside, while he threw down all the weapons and flags within. And no drums beat. But he himself, alone, stood outside the gate of the camp.
It was dusk when Chang Ho and Hsü Huang neared the camp of the men of Shu. They saw that the ensigns and weapons had been overthrown, and no drums beat at their approach. They also saw the one figure of the doughty warrior at the gate, and then they halted and dared advance no farther. While they hesitated, Ts'ao Ts'ao arrived and urged his army to march quicker. They answered with a shout and made a dash forward—but they saw the one figure at the gate, and every man stood still. And before long, man by man they turned about and went away. Then Chao Yün beckoned to his men to come out of the moat, and the archers and bowmen began to shoot. The men of Ts‘ao knew not in the dusk how many their enemies were, but terror seized upon them and they ran, each trying to be first. And as they ran the drums rolled and the men shouted and pursued, till the flight became a perfect rout and a confused mass of men reached the banks of the Han Waters. The press continuing, many were forced into the river and were drowned.
The three captains of Shu followed close on the heels of the routed army, and while Tsʻao Ts'ao was making off with all speed, two other captains of Shu came along and set fire to all the army stores of food and forage. Then Ts'ao Ts'ao abandoned the northern hill stores and set out hastily for Nanchün. Chang Ho and Hsü Huang could make no stand, and they also abandoned their camps, which Chao Yün at once occupied. Beside the stores of food, the victors collected countless weapons along the banks of the river.
They sent news of the victory to Liu Pei, who came with K‘ung-ming to the scene of the victory, and there they heard the full story of Chao Yün's prowess. And Yüan-tê was glad, and when he had seen the steepness and difficulties of the surrounding hills and understood the fine deeds of valour that
had been done, he turned to Kʻung-ming and said, “Truly, the man is brave all through."
Behold Chao Yün, the warrior of Ch'angshan,
Whose whole body is valour.
Soon it was reported that Ts'ao Ts'ao was coming again down through Hsieh Valley to try to capture the Han Waters. But Yüan-tē laughed, saying, “He will not succeed, for I think that we shall gain command of the river."
Then he led his army west of the river to oppose him. When Ts'ao Ts'ao drew near he sent out Hsü Huang to lead the van and open the battle. A certain Wang P‘ing, who said he knew the country, offered to go as well, and he was sent as second in command.
Ts'ao Ts'ao camped on the north of Tingchün Mount, and his advanced guard marched away making for the River Han. And when they reached the bank, Hsü Huang gave orders to cross to the other side.
"To cross the river is well,” said his second, "but what if you have to retreat?"
“When Han Hsin made his array with a river in his rear, he said that out of the place of death one could return to life.”
“You are mistaken now. The cases are not the same, for then Han Hsin knew his opponents were unskilful. Have you reckoned upon the skill of our opponents, Chao Yün and Huang Chung?”
“You may lead the footmen to hold the enemy while I destroy them with the horsemen," said Hsü Huang. Then bridges were built and the army crossed.
A man of Wei blindly quotes Han Hsin,
In a minister of Shu who whould recognise another Chang Liang? Who won the victory will next be revealed.
CHUKO LIANG'S WIT TAKES HANCHUNG;
TSʻAO A-MAN'S ARMY RETIRES UP HSIEHKU. In
in spite of the most earnest dissuasion, Hsü Huang crossed the river and camped. Huang Chung and Chao Yün asked to be allowed to go against the host of Ts'ao Ts'ao, and Yüan-tê gave his consent.
Then said Huang Chung, “Hsü Huang has been bold enough to come; we will not go out against him till evening, when his men are fatigued. Then we will fall upon him one on either side."
Chao Yün consented, and each retired to a stockade. Hsü Huang appeared and for a long time tried to draw them into a fight, but they refused to go forth. Then Hsü ordered his bowmen to begin to shoot straight before them, and the arrows and bolts fell in the Shu camp.
Huang said, “He must be thinking of retreat or he would not shoot thus. Now is our time to smite him."
Then the scouts reported that the rearmost bodies of the enemy had begun to retreat. The drums of Shu rolled a deafening peal and the armies came to the attack, one on either side, and the double fight began. Defeated, the flying soldiers were forced to the Han Waters, where many were drowned. But their leader escaped, and when he got back to camp he blamed his colleague Wang P‘ing for not having come to his aid.
“Had I done so, the camps would have been left unguarded," said Wang P'ing. “I tried to dissuade you from going, but you would not hear me, and you brought about this reverse yourself.”
Hsü Huang in his wrath tried to slay Wang, but he escaped to his own camp. In the night a fire broke out and great confusion reigned in the lines. Hsü ran away, but Wang crossed the river and surrendered to Chao Yün, who led him to Yüan-tê. He told Yüan-tê all about the Han Waters and the country near by.
"I shall surely capture Hanchung now that you are here to help me, friend Wang," said Yüan-tê.
He gave Wang P'ing an appointment as a supernumerary leader and guide.
Wang P‘ing's defection, when Hsü Huang told him, made Ts'ao Ts'ao very angry. He placed himself at the head of a
force and tried to retake the bank of the river. Chao Yün, thinking his men too few, retired to the west side, and the two armies lay on opposite sides of the stream. Yüan-tê and his adviser came down to view the position. The latter saw in the upper course of the stream a hill which might well screen a thousand men, so he returned to camp, called in Chao Yün and bade him lead half that number, with drums and horns, and place them in ambush behind the hill, to await certain orders which would come some time during the night or at dawn. When he heard a detonation he was not to appear, only give a long roll of the drums at every report.
Chao Yün departed to play his part in the drama, while Kʻung-ming went to a hill whence he could overlook the scene.
When next the men of Ts'ao approached the camp of Shu and offered battle not a man came out, nor was an arrow or a bolt shot. They retired without any result. But in the depths of the night, when all the lights in the camp were extinguished and all appeared tranquil and restful, Kʻung-ming exploded a bomb, and at once Chao Yün beat his drums and blared his trumpets. Ts'ao Tséao's men awoke in alarm, thinking it was a night raid. They rushed out, but there was no enemy, and as the hubbub ceased they went back to sleep. Soon after there was another bomb, and again the drums and the trumpets seeming to shake the earth itself, and the fearsome roar echoing along the valleys and from the hills again scared Ts'ao's soldiers. Thus the night passed in constant alarms. The next night was the same, and the next. On the fourth day Ts'ao broke up his camp, marched his men thirty li to the rear and pitched his camp in a clear, wide space among the hills.
K‘ung-ming was pleased at the result of his ruse. Said he, smiling, "Ts'ao is skilled in war, but still he is not proof against all deceitful tricks."
The men of Shu then crossed the river and camped with the stream behind them. When Yüan-tê asked the next move he was told, but also told to keep the plan a secret.
Seeing his enemy thus encamped, Ts'ao Ts'ao became doubtful and anxious, and, to bring things to a decision, he sent a written declaration of war, to which K‘ung-ming replied that they would fight a battle on the morrow.
On the morrow the armies faced each other half way between the two camps in front of The Hill of Five Frontiers, and there they arrayed. Ts'ao Ts'ao presently rode up and stood beside his banner; with his officers right and left and the dragon and phenix banners fluttering in the wind. His drums rolled thrice, and then he summoned Liu Pei to a parley. Yüan-tê rode out supported by his officers. Then Ts'ao insolently flourished his whip and vilified his opponent.