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 Xu Rong from the ambush fresh to attack.
Cao Cao, thrown into a flurry, mounted and fled. He ran right in the way of the waiting Xu Rong. Then he dashed off in another direction, but Xu Rong shot an arrow after him which struck him in the shoulder. The arrow still in the wound, Cao Cao 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 Cao Cao. It was Cao Hong.
Cao Cao said, “I am doomed, good brother. Go and save yourself！”
“My lord, mount my horse quickly！ I will go afoot,” said Cao Hong.
“If those wretches come up, what then？” said Cao Cao.
“the world can do without Cao Hong, but not without you, my lord！”
“If I live, I shall owe you my life,” said Cao Cao.
So he mounted. Cao Hong 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 Cao Cao. “I am really doomed！”
Cao Hong helped Cao Cao down from his horse.