ndreds of security guards daily during peak seasons. In October, when it had a record number of travelers, the ad
a chance to slay Dong Zhuo. Wu Fu constantly wore a breastplate underneath his court dress and carried in conceal a sharp dagger. One day when Dong Zhuo came to court, Wu Fu met him on the steps and tried to stab him. But Dong Zhuo was a very powerful man and held Wu Fu off till Lu Bu came to his help. Lu Bu struck down the assailant.
“Who told you to rebel？” said Dong Zhuo.
Wu Fu glared at him and cried, “You are not my prince, I am not your minister： Where is the rebellion？ Your crimes fill the heavens, and every person would slay you. I am sorry I cannot tear you asunder with chariots to appease the wrath of the world！”
At Bohai, Yuan Shao heard of Dong Zhuo’s misuse of power and sent a secret letter to Minister of the Interior Wang Yun：
“That rebel Dong Zhuo outrages Heaven and has deposed his ruler. Common people dare not speak of him： That is understandable. Yet you suffer his agGREssions as if you knew naught of them. How then are you a dutiful and loyal minister？ I have assembled an army and desire to sweep clean the royal habitation, but I dare not lightly begin the task. If you are willing, then find an opportunity to plot against this man. If you would use force, I am at your command.”
the letter arrived but Wang Yun could see no chance to plot against Dong Zhuo.
One day while among the throng in attendance,
[hip, hip, hip]“the heaven and earth are changed, Alas！ the sun and the moon leave their courses, I, once the center of all eyes, am driven to the farthest confines, Oppressed by an arrogant minister my life nears its end, Everything fails me and vain are my falling tears.”[yip, yip, yip]
Lady Tang sang：
[hip, hip, hip]“Heaven is to be rent asunder, Earth to fall away, I, handmaid of an emperor, would grieve if I followed him not. We have come to the parting of ways, the quick and the dead walk not together；Alas！ I am left alone with the grief in my heart.”[yip, yip, yip]
When they had sung these lines, they fell weeping into each others’ arms.
“the Prime Minister is awaiting my report,” said Li Ru, “and you delay too long. Think you that there is any hope of succor？”
the Empress broke into another fit of railing, “The rebel forces us to death, mother and son, and Heaven has abandoned us. But you, the tool of his crime, will assuredly perish！”
thereupon Li Ru GREw more angry, laid hands on the Empress and threw her out of the window. Then he bade the soldiers strangle Lady Tang and forced the lad to swallow the wine of death.
Once he led his soldiers out of the city to Yangcheng when the villagers, men and women, were assembled from all sides for the annual spring festival. His troops surrounded the place and plundered it. They took away booty by the cart loads, and women prisoners and more than one thousand severed heads.
The procession returned to
Capital Luoyang and published a story
” said the Empress.
“If we did, then should we be cut to mincemeat！
Rather summon the General into your presence
and command him to cease. If he will not,
then we pray but die in your presence.”
Empress He issued the requisite command.
He Jin was just going to her when Secretary Chen Lin
advised him not to enter, saying,
“the eunuchs are certainly behind the order
and mean your harm.”
But He Jin could only see the command
of the Empress and was oblivious to all else.
Said he, “Clearly, this is an edict from the Empress. What harm？”
“Our plot is no longer a secret,” said Yuan Shao.
“Still you may go if you are ready to fight your way in.”
“Get the eunuchs out first！” said Cao Cao.
“Silly children！” said He Jin.
“What can they do against the man who
holds the forces of the empire in his palm？”
Yuan Shao said, “If you will go, then we
will come as a guard, just as a precaution.”
Whereupon both Yuan Shao and Cao Cao
chose five hundred best men under their command,
at whose head they placed Yuan Shu, a brother of Yuan Shao.
Yuan Shu, clad in mail, drew up his troops outside the
Forbidden City’s entrance, while Yuan Shao and Cao Cao,
holding swords, went as escort.
When He Jin neared the Palace of Happiness,
He Jin began to feel alarmed.
then Zhang Rang in a harsh voice began to revile him：
“What crime had Empress Dong committed that she should have
been put to death？ And when the Mother of the Country was buried,
who feigned sickness and did not attend？ We raised you and your paltry,