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Chapter 063-05 낙봉파

  當日諸軍回寨。張飛坐在寨中,頓足大罵:「嚴顏老匹夫枉氣殺我!」只見帳前三四個人說道:「將軍不須心焦。這幾日打探得有一條小路,可以偷過巴郡。」張飛故意大叫曰:「既有這個去處,何不早來說?」眾應曰:「這幾日卻纔哨探得出。」張飛曰:「事不宜遲,只今夜二更造飯,趁三更月明,拔寨都起,人啣枚,馬去鈴,悄悄而行。我自前面開路,汝等依次而行。」傳了令便滿寨告報。

  探細小軍,聽得這個消息,盡回城中來,報與嚴顏。顏大喜曰:「我算定這匹夫忍耐不得!你偷小路過去,須是糧草輜重在後;我截住後路,你如何得過?好無謀匹夫,中我之計!」即時傳令,教軍士準備赴敵:「今夜二更也造飯,三更出城,伏於樹木叢雜去處。只等張飛過咽喉小路去了,車仗來時,只聽鼓響,一齊殺出。」傳了號令,看看近夜,嚴顏全軍盡皆飽食,披挂停當,悄悄出城,四散伏住,只聽鼓響;嚴顏自引十數裨將,下馬伏於林中。約三更後,遙望見張飛親自在前,橫矛縱馬,悄悄引軍前進。去不得三四里,背後車仗人馬,陸續進發。嚴顏看得分曉,一齊擂鼓,四下伏兵盡起。正來搶奪車仗,背後一聲鑼響,一彪軍掩到,大喝:「老賊休走!我等的你恰好!」嚴顏猛回頭看時,為首一員大將,豹頭環眼,燕頷虎鬚,使丈八矛,騎深烏馬,乃是張飛。四下裏鑼聲大震,眾軍殺來。嚴顏見了張飛,舉手無措。交馬戰不一合,張飛賣個破綻;嚴顏一刀砍來,張飛閃過,撞將入去,扯住嚴顏勒甲縫,生擒過來,擲於地下;眾軍向前,用索綁縛住了。原來先過去的是假張飛。料道嚴顏擊鼓為號,張飛卻教鳴金為號;金響諸軍齊到,川兵大半棄甲倒戈而降。

  張飛殺到巴郡城下,後軍已自入城。張飛叫休殺百姓,出榜安民。群刀手把嚴顏推至。張飛坐於廳上,嚴顏不肯跪下。飛怒目咬牙大叱曰:「大將到此,為何不降,而敢拒敵?」嚴顏全無懼色,回叱飛曰:「汝等無義,侵我州郡!但有斷頭將軍!無降將軍!」飛大怒,喝左右斬來。嚴顏喝曰:「賊匹夫!要砍便砍,何怒也?」張飛見嚴顏聲音雄壯,面不改色,乃回嗔作喜,下階喝退左右,親解其縛,取衣衣之,扶在正中高坐,低頭便拜曰:「適來言語冒瀆,幸勿見責。吾素知老將軍乃豪傑之士也。」嚴顏感其恩義,乃降。後人有詩讚嚴顏曰:

白髮居西蜀,清名震大邦。
忠心如皎日,浩氣捲長江。
寧可斷頭死,安能屈膝降?
巴州年老將,天下更無雙。

又有讚張飛詩曰:

生獲嚴顏勇絕倫,
惟憑義氣服軍民。
至今廟貌留巴蜀,
社酒雞豚日日春。

張飛請問入川之計。嚴顏曰:「敗軍之將,荷蒙厚恩,無以為報,願施犬馬之勞。不須張弓隻箭,逕取成都。」正是:

只因一將傾心後,
致使連城唾手降。

未知其知其計如何,且看下文分解。


107 That day, when the troops returned to camp, Zhang Fei sat in his tent stamping his foot with rage and execrating his enemy.
108 "The old fool! Assuredly I shall die of disappointed wrath," cried he.

109 Just then he noticed three or four soldiers lurking about his tent door as if they wished to speak with him.

110 And one of them said, "General, do not let your heart be hot within you. These last few days we have discovered a narrow road by which we can sneak past this city."

111 "Why did you not come and tell me before?" cried he.

112 "Because we have only lately discovered it," said they.

113 "I will lose no time then," said he. "This very night let food be ready at the second watch, and we will break camp and steal away as silently as possible. I will lead the way, and you shall go with me as guides."

114 The requisite orders were given.

115 Having made sure that the preparations for the march were really being made, the spies of the Governor returned into the city.

116 "I guessed right then," said Yan Yan gleefully when the spies reported their success. "I cannot bear the fool. He will now try to sneak past with his commissariat following, and I will cut off his rear. How can he get through? He is very stupid to fall thus into my trap. All are to prepare for battle. The food is to be ready at the second watch, and the army is to move out at the third. We will hide in the woods and thickets, till the greater part of the enemy's army has passed and Zhang Fei has arrived in the very throat of the road. Then the blow will be struck."

117 They waited till night had fallen. In due time the late meal was taken, the soldiers donned their armor, stole silently out of the city, and hid as they had been told. The Governor himself. with a few of his generals, went out also, dismounted and hid in a wood. They waited till after the third watch. Then Zhang Fei came along, urging his troops to the top of their speed. His spear lay ready to thrust. He looked very handsome as he rode at the head of his army. The carts were one or two miles in the rear.

118 When the soldiers had got well past, Yan Yan gave the signal. The drums rolled out, up sprang the hidden troops and fell on the baggage train.

119 The western troops began to plunder. But suddenly a gong clanged and along came a company of soldiers Yan Yan had not seen.

120 At the same time a voice was heard shouting, "Old rebel, do not flee! I have been waiting for this chance a long time!"

121 Yan Yan turned his head. The leader of this band was a tall man with a leopard-like bullet head, round eyes, a sharp chin, and bristling tiger mustache. He was armed with a long serpent halberd and rode a black steed. In a word, it was Zhang Fei.

122 All around the gongs were clanging, and many troops of Jingzhou were rushing toward Yan Yan, already too frightened to be able to defend himself. However, the two leaders engaged. Very soon Zhang Fei purposely gave his opponent an opening, and Yan Yan rushed in to cut down his enemy with his sword. But Zhang Fei evaded the blow, made a sudden rush, seized Yan Yan by the lace of his armor, and flung him on the ground. Yan Yan was a prisoner, and in a moment was fast bound with cords.

123 The handsome leader who had passed first had not been Zhang Fei at all, but someone dressed and made up to resemble him. To add to the confusion, Zhang Fei had exchanged the signals, making the gong the signal for his troops to fall on instead of the usual drum.

124 As the gongs clanged, more and more of the troops of Jingzhou came into the fray. The troops of Yizhou could make no fight, and most of them dropped their weapons and surrendered. To reach the walls of the city was now easy. After entering the gates, the leader ordered his soldiers not to hurt the people, and he put out proclamations to pacify the citizens.

125 By and by a party of executioners brought in the prisoner.

126 Zhang Fei took his seat in the great hall, and the late commander of the city was brought before him by a party of executioners. Yan Yan refused to kneel before his captor.

127 "Why did you not surrender at first?" cried Zhang Fei, angrily grinding his teeth. "How dared you try to oppose me?"

128 "Because you are a lot of unrighteous and lawless invaders!" replied Yan Yan without the least sign of fear. "You may behead me as you will, but I will not surrender to you."

129 Zhang Fei angrily gave the order for his execution.

130 "Strike, if you want to, fool. Why so angry?" said Yan Yan.

131 This bold defiance was not lost upon Zhang Fei. Rising from his seat, he went down the steps, put aside the lictors, and began to loosen the prisoner's bonds. Then he dressed Yan Yan in new garments and led him to the high place.

132 When Yan Yan was seated, Zhang Fei made a low bow, saying, "I have always known you were a hero. Now I pray you not remember against me the roughness of my speech."

133 Yan Yan was overcome with this kindness and forthwith surrendered.

134 A graybeard ruled in western Shu, 
Clear fame is his the whole world through, 
As radiant sun his loyalty. 
Unmatched his soul's nobility. 
When captive taken rather he 
Would suffer death than crook his knee. 
Bazhou he ruled for many a year, 
The world cannot produce his peer.

135 A poet has also written concerning Zhang Fei:

136 Yan Yan made prisoner, then the matchless one 
Exchanged the sword for reason, and so won 
The place he holds among the sacred ones 
Of the west, to whom they sacrifice today.

137 Then Zhang Fei asked Yan Yan to suggest the means of overcoming the West River Land.

138 Yan Yan replied, "I am but the defeated leader of a defeated force, indebted to the victor for my life. I have nothing but my humble services to offer, but I can tell you how to get possession of Chengdu without drawing a bow or shooting an arrow."

139 Cities yield in quick succession 
Because of one old man's secession.

140 The proposal will be unfolded in the next chapter.




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