ndreds of security guards daily during peak seasons. In October, when it had a record number of travelers, the ad
This was a shock to Sun Jian, and he paled but said, “Whence these words？”
Yuan Shao said, “the armies were raised for the good of the state and to relieve it from oppression. The seal is state property； and since you have got hold of it, you should publicly hand it over to me as chief. When Dong Zhuo has been slain, it must go back to the government. What do you mean by concealing it and going away？”
then Yuan Shao called out his informant.
“When you pulled that thing out of the well, was this man there？” asked he of Sun Jian.
Sun Jian’s anger burst forth, and he sprang forward to kill the man.
Yuan Shao also drew his sword, saying, “You touch that soldier and it is an insult to me！”
Behind Sun Jian, Generals Cheng Pu, Huang Gai, and Han Dang stepped forth；
behind Yuan Shao, Generals Yan Liang and Wen Chou were ready to act.
Cheng Pu with the snaky lance rode out from Sun Jian’s side and engaged. After a very few bouts, Cheng Pu killed Hu Zhen on the spot by a thrust through the throat. Then Sun Jian gave the signal for the main army to advance. But from the Pass, Hua Xiong’s troops rained down showers of stones, which proved too much for the assailants, and they retired into camp at Liangdong. Sun Jian sent the report of victory to Yuan Shao.
Sun Jian also sent an urgent message for supplies to the commissary.
But a counselor said to the Controller Yuan Shu, “This Sun Jian is a very tiger in the east. Should he take the capital and destroy Dong Zhuo, we should have a tiger in place of a wolf. Do not send him grain. Starve his troops, and that will decide the fate of that army.”
And Yuan Shu gave ears to the detractor and sent no grain or forage. Soon Sun Jian’s hungry soldiers showed their disaffection by indiscipline, and the spies bore the news to the defenders of the Pass.
Li Ru made a plot with Hua Xiong, saying, “We will launch tonight a speedy attack against Sun Jian in front and rear so that we can capture him.”
Sun Jian’s army were thrown into confusion and fled in disorder. A melee ensued, and soon only Zu Mao was left at Sun Jian’s side. these two broke through the Pass and fled. Hua Xiong coming in hot pursuit, Sun Jian took his bow and let fly two arrows in quick succession, but both missed. He fitted a third arrow to the string, but drew the bow so fiercely that it snapped. He cast the bow to the earth and set off at full gallop.
then spoke Zu Mao, “My lord’s purple turban is a mark that the rebels will too easily recognize. Give it to me, and I will wear it！”
So Sun Jian exchanged his silver helmet with the turban for his general’s headpiece, and the two men parted, riding different ways. The pursuers looking only for the purple turban went after its wearer, and Sun Jian escaped along a by-road.
Zu Mao, hotly pursued, then tore off the headdress which he hung on the post of a half-burned house as he passed and dashed into the thick woods. Hua Xiong’s troops seeing the purple turban standing motionless dared not approach, but they surrounded it on every side and shot at it with arrows. Presently they discovered the trick, went up and seized it.
This was the moment that Zu Mao awaited. At once he rushed forth, his two swords whirling about, and dashed at the leader. But Hua Xiong was too quick. With a loud yell, Hua Xiong slashed at Zu Mao and cut him down the horse. Hua Xiong and Li Ru continued the slaughter till the day broke, and they led their troops back to the Pass.
Cheng Pu, Huang Gai, and Han Dang in time found their chief and the soldiers gathered. Sun Jian was much grieved at the loss of Zu Mao.