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can take advantage of the floods if there are any. Our men will be in great danger, and something should be done."
But the general scoffed at his words, called him a fool and blamed him for injuring the spirit of his men. So Ch'êng Ho went away greatly ashamed.
Then he went to P'ang Tê, who saw the force of his words and promised that if Yü Chin would not move camp the next day he himself would do so. So Ch'êng Ho left it at that.
That night there came a great storm. As P'ang Tê sat in his tent he heard the sound as of ten thousand horses in stampede and a roar as of the drums of war seeming to shake the earth. He was alarmed, left his tent and mounted his charger to go and see what it meant. Then he saw the rolling waters coming in from every side and the seven armies flying from the flood, which speedily rose to the height of ten feet. Yü Chin and P'ang Tê, with many other officers, sought safety by rushing up the hills.
As day dawned, Kuan Yü and his men came along in large boats with flags flying and drums beating. Yü Chin saw no way of escape, and his following was reduced to about three score. They all said they must surrender. Kuan Yü made them strip and then took them on board.
After that he went to capture Pang Tê, who was standing on a hillock with the two Tungs, Ch'êng Ho and the faithful five hundred, all unarmed. P'êng Tê saw his arch enemy approach without a sign of fear, and even went boldly to meet him. Kuan Yü surrounded the party with his boats, and the archers began to shoot. When more than half the men had been struck down, the survivors became desperate. The two Tungs pressed their chief to give in. But P'ang Tê only raged.
“I have received great kindness from the prince; think you that I will bow the head to any other?"
He cut down the two Tungs and then shouted, “Anyone who says surrender shall be as these two."
So the survivors made a desperate effort to beat off their enemies, and they held their own up to mid-day. Then Kuan Yü's men redoubled their efforts, and the arrows and stones rained down upon the defenders, who fought desperately hand to hand with their assailants.
"The valorous leader fears death less than desertion; the brave warrior does not break faith to save his life," cried P‘ang Tê. “This is the day of my death, but I will fight on to the last.”
So Ch‘êng Ho pressed on till he fell into the water wounded, and then the soldiers yielded.
P'ang Tê fought on. Then one of the boats happened to close in to the bank. With a tremendous leap P'ang Tê lighted on it and slashed at the occupants, killing several. The others jumped overboard and swam away. Then P'ang Tê, one hand still holding his sword, tried to maneuver the boat across the river to the city. Then there came drifting down a raft, which collided with and upset his boat so that he was struggling in the water. But a captain on the raft jumped into the water, gripped him and put him on the boat again.
The captor was Chou Ts'ang, a skilful waterman who, having lived in Chingchou for many years, was thoroughiy expert in boat navigation. Beside, he was very powerful and so was able to make P'ang Tê a prisoner.
In this flood perished the whole of the seven armies, except the few that saved themselves by swimming; these latter, having no way of escape, surrendered to the victors.
In the depth of night rolled the war drums,
Kuan Yü then returned to the higher ground, where his tent was pitched and therein took his seat to receive his prisoners. The lictors brought up Yü Chin, who prostrated himself humbly and begged his life.
"How dared you think to oppose me?"
"I was sent; I came not of my own will. I crave my lord's pity, and one day I will requite.
"To execute you would be like killing a dog or a hog. It would be soiling weapons for nothing," said Kuan Yü, stroking his beard.
Yü Chin was bound and sent to the great prison in Chingchou.
“I will decide your fate when I return,” said Kuan Yü.
The general having thus dealt with his chief, P'ang Tê was sent for. He came, pride and anger flashing from his eyes; he did not kneel but stood boldly erect.
"You have a brother in Hanchung and your old chief was Ma Ch'ao, also in high honour in Shu. Had you not better join them?"
“Rather than surrender to you I would perish beneath the sword,” cried P'ang.
He reviled his captors without ceasing till, losing patience at last, Kuan Yü sent him to his death. He was beheaded. He stretched out his neck for the headsman's sword. Out of pity he was honourably buried.
The floods were still out, and taking advantage of them they boarded the boats to move toward Fanch'êng, which now
stood out as a mere island with waves breaking against the walls. The force of the waters being great, the city wall was beginning to give way, and the whole population, male and female, were carrying mud and bricks to strengthen it. Their efforts seemed vain, and the leaders of Ts'ao Ts'ao's army were very desperate. Some of the captains went to see Ts'ao Jên, who said, “No ordinary man's strength can fend off to-day's danger. If we can hold out till nightfall we may escape by boat. We shall lose the city, but we shall save our skins."
But Man Ch'ung interposed before the boats could be got ready. He pointed out that the force of the waters was too great for any boats to live, while they only had to wait ten days or so and the flood would have passed.
“Though Kuan Yü has not assaulted the city, yet he has sent another army to Chiahsia, and he dares not abvance lest we should fall upon his rear. Remember, too, that to retir from this city means the abandonment of everything south of the Yellow River. Therefore I decide that you defend this place, which is strong."
Ts'ao Jên saluted Man Ch‘ung as he concluded his harangue, saying, "What a tremendous error I should have committed had it not been for you, Sir!"
Then riding his white charger he went up on the city walls, gathered his officers around him and pledged himself not to surrender.
“The prince's command being to defend this city, I shall defend it to the last. And I shall put to death anyone who even mentions abandonment.” said he.
“And we desire to defend it to out last gasp," chimed in his officers.
Then they saw to it that the means of offence were good. Many hundreds of archers and crossbowmen were stationed on the wall and kept watch night and day. The old and the young of ordinary people were made to carry earth and stones to strengthen the wall.
After some ten days the flood was at an end. Then the news of Kuan Yü's success got abroad, and the terror of his name spread wider and wider. About the same time, too, his second son, Hsing, came to visit his father in camp. Kuan Yü thought this a good opportunity to send his report of success to Ch‘êngtu and entrusted to Hsing a despatch mentioning each officer's services and requesting promotion for them. Kuan Hsing accordingly took leave of his father and left.
After his departure the army was divided into two halves, one under Kuan Yü to attack the city and the other to go to Chiahsia. One day Kuan Yü rode over to the north gate. Halting his steed, he pointed with his whip toward the defenders on the wall, and called out, “You lot of rats will not give in then! What are you waiting for?”
Ts'ao Jên, who was among his men on the wall, saw that Kuan Yü had no armour on, so he ordered his men to shoot. The archers and bowmen at once sent a great flight of arrows and bolts that way. Kuan Yü hastily pulled the reins to retire, but an arrow struck him in the arm. The shock of the blow made him turn in the saddle and he fell from his horse.
Just now a mighty army perished
By the river's overflow;
Lays a valiant warrior low.
SURGERY ON A WOUNDED ARM; LÜ MÊNG IN A WHITE ROBE CROSSES THE RIVER. At the sight of Kuan Yü falling from his charger, Ts'ao Jên led his men out of the city to follow up with an attack, but Kuan P‘ing drove him off and escorted his father back to camp. There the_arrow was extracted, but the head had been poisoned. The wound was deep, and the poison had penetrated to the bone. The right arm was discoloured and swollen and useless.
Kuan P‘ing consulted with the other leaders and proposed that, as fighting was impossible for the moment, they should withdraw to Chingchou, where his father's wound could be treated. Having decided upon this, they went to see the wounded warrior.
“What have you come for ?" asked Kuan Yü when they entered.
“Considering that you, Sir, have been wounded in the right arm, we fear the result of the excitement of battle. Moreover, you can hardly take part in a fight just now and we therefore propose that the army retire till you are recovered."
Kuan Yü replied angrily, “I am on the point of taking the city, and if I succeed I must press forward to the capital, Hsütu, and destroy that brigand Ts'ao Ts'ao, so that the Hans may be restored to their own. Think you that I can vitiate the whole campaign because of a slight wound? dishearten the army?”
Kuan P‘ing and his colleagues said no more, but somewhat unwillingly withdrew.
Seeing that their leader would not retire and the wound showed no signs of healing, the various captains enquired far and near for a good surgeon to attend their general.
One day a person arrived in a small ship and, having landed and come up to the gate of the camp, was led in to see Kuan P‘ing. The visitor wore a square-cut cap and a loose robe. In his hand he carried a small black bag. He said his name was Hua T'o and he belonged to Ch'iaochun. He had heard of the wound sustained by the famous hero and had come to heal it.
"Surely you must be the physician who treated Chou T'ai,” said Kuan P'ing.