the case is desperate now. Ride with me to a place of safety

“the case is desperate now. Ride with me to a place of safety!”

Wang Yun 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. Send my thanks to the noble supporters beyond the Pass for their efforts, and bid them remember their country!”

Lu Bu urged Wang Yun again and again, but Wang Yun would not leave. Soon flames started up all over the city, and Lu Bu had to leave, abandoning his family to their fate. He fled to seek refuge with Yuan Shu.

Li Jue, Guo Si, and his fellow leaders gave full license to their ruffians, who robbed and murdered their fill. Many high officers perished. Ministers Chong Fu, Lu Kui, and Zhou Huan, Imperial Commanders Cui Lie and Wang Qin all died in the fighting.

In time the rebels penetrated to the inner part of the 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, Li Jue and Fan Chou checked their armies, and they all shouted, “Wan shui! 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, “Dong Zhuo, Your Majesty’s Prime Minister, has been slain by Wang Yun, and we are here to avenge him. We are no rebels, Sire. Let us only have Wang Yun, and we draw off our troops.”

Wang Yun was actually among the courtiers and at the Emperor’s side.

Hearing this demand, Wang Yun 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, “Wang Yun 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 Wang Yun.

“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 Wang Yun was slain at the foot of the tower.

[hip, hip, hip] Moved by the people’s sufferings, Vexed at his prince’s grief, Wang Yun compassed the traitor’s death, That they might find relief. Everyone knows him a hero, Leal to the state always:Living he guarded the princely towers, His soul keeps guard today. [yip, yip, yip]

Having done the loyal minister to death at the Emperor’s feet, they proceeded to exterminate also his whole family. Everyone 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?”

[hip, hip, hip] the traitor condoned his crime, Rebellion ought to cease;

But his licentious followers Disturb the empire’s peace. [yip, yip, yip]

the fate of the Emperor will be disclosed in the next chapter.

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“What is the meaning of this?” said Dong Zhuo.He is a madman

“What is the meaning of this?” said Dong Zhuo.

“He is a madman,” said Li Su, and he told the guards to drive the fellow away.

Dong Zhuo went in and found all the officials in court dress lining the road. Li Su walked beside his carriage, a sword in his hand. When Li Su reached the north gate of the Forbidden City, he found the soldiers of Dong Zhuo drawn up outside and only the pushers of the Palace carriage, a twenty or so, were allowed to proceed further.

  When Dong Zhuo arrived near the Reception Hall, he saw that Wang Yun and all the other officials standing at the door were armed.

  “Why are they all armed?” said Dong Zhuo to Li Su.

  Li Su was silent as he helped push the carriage forward swiftly to the entrance.

  Suddenly Wang Yun shouted, “the rebel is here! Where are the executioners?”

  At this call sprang from both sides soldiers armed with halberds and spears who attacked Dong Zhuo. 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 Lu Bu?”

  “Here, and with a decree to deal with a rebel!” said Lu Bu, as he appeared in front of his “father.”

  thereupon he thrust his trident halberd through the victim’s throat. Then Li Su hacked off the head and held it up.

  Lu Bu, 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 Dong Zhuo——no other!”

the whole assembly shouted,

“Wan shui! Live forever! O Emperor!”

A sympathetic poet has written a few lines in pity:

[hip, hip, hip] Await the time, O noble, and be king, Or failing, reap the solace riches bring;

Heaven never is partial,

but severely just,

Meiwo stood strong,

yet now it lies in dust.

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His Majesty has recovered and wishes his ministers

“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 Wang Yun think of the scheme?”

  “Wang Yun 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 Dong Zhuo GREatly pleased, “and now I get this happy tidings! I must not neglect the opportunity.”

  So Dong Zhuo gave instructions to his four trusted generals for the safekeeping of his city. Li Jue, Guo Si, Fan Chou, and Zhang Ji were to guard Meiwo with three thousand troops of the Flying Bear Army. Then Dong Zhuo 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 Li Su.

  Dong Zhuo 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.”

“Anyone 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 Diao Chan, “When I am Emperor, you shall be Lady of the Palace.”

She bowed low thanking him, but she knew and inwardly rejoiced.

Dong Zhuo went out, mounted his carriage,

and began his journey to Capital Changan 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.

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Suddenly a voice said, “Why do you not accompany

Suddenly a voice said, “Why do you not accompany the Prime Minister,

General, instead of standing here and sighing?”

It was Wang Yun.

“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 Lu Bu.

Feigning GREat astonishment, Wang Yun 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.”

Lu Bu related the whole story while Wang Yun listened, silent, but stamping on the ground as with irritation and perplexity.

After a long time Wang Yun said, “I did not think he was such a beast.”

Taking Lu Bu by the hand, Wang Yun 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, Lu Bu told the whole story of the episode in Phoenix Pavilion just as it happened.

Wang Yun 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 Lu Bu.

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!”

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Wang Yun took into his confidence two colleagues

Wang Yun took into his confidence two colleagues, Minister Shisun Rui and Imperial Commander Huang Wan.

Shisun Rui said, “the moment is favorable. The Emperor has just recovered from his illness, and we can dispatch an able talker to Meiwo to persuade Dong Zhuo to come here to discuss affairs. Meanwhile we will obtain a secret decree as authority for Lu Bu to lay an ambush just inside the Palace gates to kill Dong Zhuo as he enters. This is the best plan to adopt.”

“But who would dare to go?” said Huang Wan.

  “Li Su, General of the Imperial Tiger Army, would go. He belongs to the same region as Lu Bu and is very angry with the Prime Minister for not advancing him. His going would assure us the plan would be completed.”

  “Good,” said Wang Yun. “Let us see what Lu Bu thinks of it.”

  When Lu Bu was consulted, he told them that this Li Su’s persuasion had led him