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All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #6

All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #6
“CHANG, THE HEAVENLY TEACHER, CHIEF OF THE TAOISTS, BESEECHES THE GODS TO DRIVE AWAY THE EVIL FLUX. THE COMMANDER HUNG, IN HEEDLESSNESS, FREES THE SPIRITS.”

Then the Commander parted from them and repeating the name of the Taoist god he left his feet free and strode up the mountain. He went on thus alone awhile and he rounded the cliffs and followed the narrow path and pushed aside the vines and grasses.

When he had gone over several ridges and more than a mile or so he felt his feet give way and his legs were suddenly strengthless, and truly could he go no further. He was silent now and he pondered, and in his heart he said, “I am an honored minister of the imperial court and when I am in the capital I cannot rest unless I have to mattresses under me and when I eat it must be from many dishes and even then am I wearied much. How then can I suddenly put straw sandals on my feet and walk up such a mountain as this? And how do I know where this Heavenly Teacher is that one like me should suffer so?”

He had gone but thirty or fifty paces more and his shoulders were heaving with his panting when suddenly between two mountains he saw a great wind rise. When this wind had passed there came after it a great noise like the clap of mighty thunder from behind the pine trees and there leaped out suddenly a white-browed, slant-eyed, many-hued tiger.

The Commander gave a start of terror and he shouted out, “Ah Yah!” and he fell backward. The great tiger stared at him and begin to circle first to the left and then to the right and it roared awhile and then went leaping down the crags to the back of the mountain.

Now the Commander had fallen at the foot of a tree and all his thirty-six teeth clattered together and his heart beat as though it were a well with fifteen buckets going up and down together in it. His whole body lost its sense as though he were paralyzed and his two legs were weak as vanquished cocks. Without ceasing he cried out bitterness.

After the tiger had left him he lay for about the space of the drinking of a cup of tea and only then could he clamber to his feet and he mended the incense in his censer and lit the incense and again he went up the mountain determined to find The Heavenly Teacher.

<Continued – Prologue #7>

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December 3, 2010 Posted by | Read | Leave a comment