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they saw a small party of mounted Mans coming toward them. The two waited till they were near and then suddenly burst out. The Mans, taken entirely by surprise, ran away all but a few, who yielded themselves prisoners. The two warriors returned to camp.
The prisoners were given wine and food, and when they had satisfied their hunger they were questioned.
Said they, "The camp of the Chief Chinhuansanchieh is just in front, just by the entrance to the mountains. Near the camp, running east and west, is the Ravine of the Five Streams. The camps of the other two chiefs are behind."
The two leaders got together five companies, took the captured men as guides and marched out about the second watch. It was a clear night, and the moon gave light to march by.
The first camp was reached about the fourth watch. The Man soldiers were already awake and preparing their morning meal, as they intended to attack at daylight. The vigorous and unexpected attack of the two captains threw the camp into confusion; the chief was slain and his head cut off.
Then Wei Yen took half the force and went west to the second camp. By the time he reached it day had dawned. They also had news of his coming, and drew up the camp to oppose. But when they had got clear, there was a great uproar behind them at the stockade gates, and confusion followed. The reason was the arrival of Wang P'ing. Between the two bodies the Mans were beaten. Their chief, Tungt'una, got away. Wei Yen's men followed, but they could not catch him.
When Chao Yün led his men to attack the third camp in the rear, Ma Chung made an attack on the front. They scored a success, but the chief, Ahuinan, escaped.
They returned to headquarters, and K‘ung-ming said, "The three parties of Mans have fled; where is the head of the first of the three chiefs ?”
Chao Yün produced it. At the same time he reported that the other two chiefs had escaped by abandoning their horses and going over the hill. They could not be followed.
“They are already prisoners," said K‘ung-ming with a laugh.
The fighting men could not credit it. But soon after the two chiefs were brought in. When some expressed surprise and admiration, K‘ung-ming said, “I had studied the map and knew the positions of the camps. I taunted Chao Yün and Wei Yen into making a supreme effort at the same time that I sent other forces, because I knew the first two were the only men for the task. I felt certain the two chiefs would run away along those small roads, and I set men on those roads to wait for them. They also were supported. ”
They all bowed, saying, “The Prime Minister's calculations are divine and incomprehensible.”
The two captive chiefs were then called. As soon as they appeared, K‘ung-ming loosed their bonds, gave them refreshments and released them, bidding them offend no more. They thanked him for their liberty, and disappeared along a by-road.
Then K‘ung-ming said to his captains, "To-morrow Mểnghuo will come in person to make an attack. We shall probably capture him again.”
Then he summoned Chao Yün and Wei Yen and gave them orders. They left, each with a half legion. Next he sent Wang P‘ing. And then he sat in his tent to wait for the result.
The King of the Mans was sitting in his tent when the scouts told him that his three chiefs had been captured and their armies scattered. It made him very angry, and he quickly got his army ready to march. Soon he met Wang P'ing, and, when the armies were arrayed, Wang P'ing rode out to the front. The flaunting banners of his foes then cpened out, and he saw their ranks. Many captains were on horseback. In the middle was the king, who advanced to the front. He wore a golden, inlaid head-dress; his belt bore a lion's face as clasp; his boots had pointed toes and were green; he rode a frizzy-haired horse the colour of a hare; he carried at his waist a pair of swords chased with the pine-tree device.
He looked haughtily at his foes, and then, turning to his captains, said, "It has always been said that Chuko Liang is a wonderful soldier, but I see that is false. Look at this array with its banners all in confusion and the ranks in disorder. There is not a weapon among all the swords and spears better than ours. If I had only realised this before I would have fought them long ago. Who dares go out and capture a Shu captain to show them what sort of warriors we are?”
At once a captain rode toward the leader, Wang P'ing. His name was Huanmangyachang; his weapon was a huge headsman's sword, and he rode a dun pony. Riding up to Wang P‘ing, the two engaged.
Wang P‘ing only fought a short time, and then fled. The king at once ordered his men on in quick pursuit, and the men of Shu retreated a score or so of li before the Mans were near enough to fight. Just as the Mans thought their enemies were in their power, a great shouting arose and two cohorts appeared, one on either flank, and attacked. The Mans could not retreat, and as another force under Kuan So also turned upon them, the Mans were surrounded and lost the day. Mênghuo and some of his captains fought their way out and made for the Chintai Mountains. The men of Shu followed and forced them forward, and presently there appeared, in front, Chao Yün.
The king hastily changed his route to go deeper into the mountains, but Chao Yün's men spread around, and the Mans could not make a stand. Here some were captured. Mênghuo and a few horsemen got away into a valley, which, however, soon became too narrow for the horses to advance. The king then left his horse and crawled up the mountains, but very soon he fell upon Wei Yen, who had been sent to lie in wait in that very valley. So he was again prisoner.
The king and his followers were taken to the main camp, where K‘ung-ming was waiting with wine and meat ready for the captives. But his tent was now guarded by a seven-deep force of men all well armed with glittering weapons, beside the lictors bearing the golden axes, a present from the Emperor, and other insignia of rank. The feather-hatted drummers and clarion players were in front and behind, and the Imperial Guards were extended on both sides. The whole was very imposing and awe-inspiring.
K‘ung-ming was seated at the top of it all and watched the captives as they came forward in crowds. When they were all assembled, he ordered their bonds to be loosed, and then he addressed them.
"You are all simple and well-disposed people who have been led into trouble by Mênghuo. I know your fathers and mothers, your brothers and wives; and your children are anxiously watching from the doorways for your return, and they are cut to the quick now that the news of defeat and capture has reached their ears. They are weeping bitter tears for you. And so I will set you all free to go home and comfort
After they had been given food and wine and a present of grain, he sent them all away. They went off grateful for the kindness shown them, but they wept as they thanked K'ungming.
Then the guards were told to bring the King before the tent. He came, bound, being hustled forward. He knelt in front of the great leader, who said, "Why did you rebel after the generous treatment you have received from our Emperor ?”
"The two Ch'uan belonged to others, and your lord took it from them by force, and gave himself the title of 'Emperor.' My people have lived here for ages, and you and yours invaded my country without the least excuse. How can you talk of rebellion to me?"
“You are my prisoner; will you submit or are you still contumacious ?'
“Why should I submit? You happened to find me in a narrow place; that is all."
"If I release you, what then?”
“If you release me I shall return, and when I have set my army in order I shall come to fight you again. However, if you catch me once more I will submit.”
The king's bonds were loosed; he was clothed and refreshed, given a horse and caparisons and sent with a guide to his own camp.
Once more the captured chieftain is let go,
To yield barbarians are ever slow. Further results of this war will be related in the next chapter.
CROSSING THE RIVER LU; BINDING OF THE BARBARIAN KING; RECOGNISING A PRETENDED SURRENDER; CAPTURE OF MENGHUO. The officers did not approve of the release of the King of the Mans, and they came to the tent of Kʻung-ming and said, "Menghuo is the most important personage of all the Mans, and his capture is the key to restoring order in the south. Why then, o Minister, did you release him ?”
"I can capture him just as easily as I can get something out of my pocket. What I want to do is to overcome and win his heart, so that peace may follow of itself.”
They listened, but they had no great confidence in the success of the policy of conciliation.
In the meantime Mênghuo had reached the Lu River, and there he fell in with some of his defeated men, who were trying to get news of their king's fate. They were surprised, but glad, to see him, and asked how he had been able to get back.
The king lied, saying, “They confined me in a tent, and I broke out in the night. I slew a half score of my guards and ran. And then I met one of their spies, killed him, and that is how I got this horse."
They never doubted his word, and very joyfully they hurried him over the river to a camping place. Then all the notables assembled from the various ravines, and the soldiers that had escaped death were mustered and got into shape as a fighting force.
The two leaders in the late campaign, Tungt'una and Ahuinan, were in one of the ravines, and the king sent to ask them to come. They were afraid, but they could not disobey, and they came with an escort. When all had assembled, the king proclaimed as follows:-“I know Chuko Liang is too full of ruses for us to conquer him in a fight; we should only fall victims to other base devices. However, we must remember that his men have marched far and the weather is sultry, which are factors in our favour. Beside, the Lu River is our rampart. We will have boats and rafts on the south side, and we will build a mud wall. With such good defences we can afford to wait and see what the enemy intends."
His speech met with approval, and his plan was carried out. The wall was supported by the hills and strengthened by fighting turrets, upon which were placed large bows and