Tales from Modern China: Six Fox Skins


In the mountainous area in the southwest corner, there is an active rebel team. The leader of the bandit is Yu batian. Because his power gradually grew and began to claim the king openly, the court ordered the general army Gu Junwu to lead troops to levy and suppress. After more than years of fighting, Yu batian retreated and finally retreated to Yingcheng to resist tenaciously.

Eagle City is a nest that Yu batian has worked hard for many years. It is located at the exit of the canyon. Relying on the natural danger of the canyon and the high wall, the city is solid, easy to defend and difficult to attack. Gu Junwu led the army to attack the city for more than three months, damaging countless tools and soldiers such as rush cars, ladders and stone catapults, but did not shake the Eagle City. At the turn of autumn and winter, the weather turned cold, which was not conducive to the attack. The ancient military ordered to withdraw and stationed the army in the tiger city more than 100 miles away.

Six Fox Skins

More than 10 miles outside the Eagle City, there is an Eagle mountain. There is a large forest farm on the mountain. The owner of the forest farm is Hu Laosan. On this day, a businessman came to the forest farm. He called himself Ma and said he came to buy wood. In the years of war and chaos, Hu Laosan didn’t do a business for more than a year. Looking at the trees all over the mountain, he was worried about how to get some money to spend this cold winter? Boss Ma is no different from the God of wealth who fell from the sky. He is happy to be entertained by old Hu San with good wine and meat.

Boss Ma is really rich and powerful. He needs 200 big wood with thick water tanks to open his mouth, and he needs to decompose the original wood saw into various beams and boards according to the size he provides. Hu Laosan reminded that the newly cut wood has sufficient moisture. If it is sawn into beams and boards immediately, it may deform. Boss Ma even said it was OK and set a one month deadline.

Hu Laosan said with a bitter face, “boss Ma, there are limited manpower in the forest farm for such a big project. I’m afraid it can’t be completed in one month.” boss Ma said with a straight face, “no, it should be completed in one month anyway. You can call all the carpenters nearby and I’ll settle the salary separately.” then he took out two gold ingots and said that it was a deposit paid in advance in a month, He came to check and pay all the expenses.

It’s easy to do things if you have money. Within a few days, Hu Laosan called all the carpenters nearby to the forest farm. Hundreds of people divided their work, began cutting and sawing, and worked day and night. Within a month, all the 200 large trees with thick water tanks were cut down and sawed. According to the size classification, Hu Laosan piled the crossbars and boards on the open space of the forest farm, which is very spectacular.

A month later, boss Ma came with two people carrying silver. After examining the sawn timber, he was very satisfied. He told Hu Laosan that the timber would be stacked in the forest farm for the time being. After the spring of next year, he sent someone to drive a carriage to pull it. Hu Laosan said in embarrassment that the wood occupied the site, let alone fire and rat prevention. It took a lot of manpower to ask someone to take care of it.

Boss Ma smiled and said that he had considered these for a long time, reassuring Hu Laosan that all the expenses were recorded in his account. This time, he settled the money for buying wood first. As for the later expenses, he waited until he pulled the wood. Boss Ma is so cheerful. What else can old Hu say? People were immediately invited to build a simple wooden shed with wood and branches to shelter these woods from the wind and rain. A large number of rat traps were placed around the wooden shed, and two shifts of personnel were arranged to take turns to take care of them day and night. Seeing that Hu Laosan had arranged everything properly, boss Ma left with satisfaction.

Seeing that it is about to enter the twelfth lunar month, the weather is getting colder and colder. According to the Convention, all businessmen near Eagle City have to pay “year-old tribute” to Eagle City. This is the rule set by Yu batian. All businessmen on his territory are his “subjects”. In addition to paying taxes at ordinary times, they have to pay tribute at the end of the year. Hu Laosan had already prepared. In addition to the stipulated 3000 liang of silver, he also sent six Fox Skins in addition. These six Fox Skins can be used to make a fox fur robe. Yu batian was overjoyed and really praised Hu Laosan.

In the twinkling of an eye, there was a heavy snow under the canopy. Yu batian suddenly sent a message to tell Hu Laosan that the six Fox Skins sent last time made a leather robe for the old mother, but the old mother had to ask for a fox fur hat. It is said that since ancient times, leather hats and leather robes have been matched. How can you keep your body warm but expose your head to the cold? If you wear other fur hats, they don’t match with fox fur robes. The rich families in this area, especially the old people, do have this stress. Leather robes and hats must match each other and can’t lose their share. Although Yu batian was born in the mountains, his identity is different now. These faces can’t be lost, otherwise he would be blind. Therefore, he sent someone to ask Hu Laosan for a fox skin to make a fox skin hat for his old mother.

Hu Laosan asked someone to go back and tell Yu batian that all the six Fox Skins he had hunted this year had “paid tribute”, and there was no stock on hand. Moreover, the forest farm was busy and there were not enough people to catch the fox. Now the foxes are hiding in the cave. Cat winter is a good time to hunt foxes. The king might as well lead his soldiers to hunt in winter. At that time, old Hu is willing to work for the king, lead the way and identify the fox cave.

After hearing the message, Yu batian thought that he had been busy fighting for more than a year. Now that the war has stopped, it’s time to go out and relax. And according to the report of the spy, the army has been stationed in tiger city. At present, there is no action. Eagle City is very safe. So Yu batian led more than 100 soldiers to Hu Laosan’s forest farm on horseback.

In the forest farm, Yu batian saw mountains of wood and asked Hu Laosan what these wood were for? Hu Laosan told the truth that it was bought by a boss surnamed Ma and temporarily stored here. Yu batianxia got a horse and went into the wooden shed to watch. The more he looked, the tighter his brow was. Out of the wooden shed, Yu batian ordered his own soldiers to take down Hu Laosan and angrily scolded: “what a Hu Laosan, how dare you betray me and cooperate with the enemy. Don’t you tell me quickly and honestly!”

In the face of sudden changes, Hu Laosan was very frightened and cried out that he had been wronged. Yu batian sneered and pointed to the wood and said that these beams and boards are the materials for making siege tools such as washing cars, ladders and stone catapults. It is clear that the officers and soldiers sent someone to buy them. When the siege begins next spring, as long as the mortise and tenon are chiseled, it can be assembled, and hundreds of siege instruments can be assembled in a few days.

After hearing this, Hu Laosan was so frightened that he begged for mercy. He said that he was just a merchant selling wood for a living. He didn’t know about military affairs and was deceived. Please forgive Yu batian.

Yu batian smiled and said, “Mr. Hu, I think you don’t know, so I won’t hold you accountable. However, these timbers should be confiscated and can’t fall into the hands of the officers and soldiers. In the coming year, I can also use these ready-made timbers to make stone catapults for defense.” after that, I asked a personal soldier to go back to the city to send a message and let the soldiers in the city go out of the city to carry timbers back to the city, Stack them in the warehouse.

When the soldiers were carrying wood, Hu Laosan led the way. Yu batian led his own soldiers to find a cave in the deep mountains and forests and hunted a fox.

In a flash of time, it was new year’s Eve. Eagle City held a carnival in the city. In the middle of the night, the warehouse where the wood was stacked suddenly caught fire. After a period of air drying, the wood caught fire at the sight of the fire. The fire burned more and more fiercely with the wind, and soon spread everywhere. Soldiers and ordinary people rushed to put out the fire, and the scene was in chaos. The fire on this side has not been put out, but the warehouse camp storing grain and grass on the other side has caught fire again, and the fire lights up the whole Eagle City. Although the whole city went out to put out the fire, they finally watched all the food and grass turn into ashes.

Yu batian faced the fire with an iron face. The reason why he clings to the Eagle City is that in addition to the high walls and solid city, he has accumulated enough food and grass to hold on for several years. It’s better now. A big fire makes everything go to naught. We have to arrange soldiers to go out to collect grain tomorrow. Otherwise, after the spring snow turns, the officials and troops will besiege the city again. If there is insufficient food and grass, the Eagle City will be defeated.

At this time, suddenly there was a loud cry of killing. Gu Junwu, the commander-in-chief, led the officers and soldiers to kill them from the west gate. Yu batian quickly organized troops to resist, but the city is in chaos. How can he resist it? By dawn, the officers and soldiers had controlled the overall situation and captured Yu batian alive.

The soldiers escorted Yu batian to the ancient military and knelt down in front of him. Yu batian heaved a long sigh and said angrily, “it’s really heaven that killed me. If it weren’t for this sudden fire, how could you sneak attack successfully?”

Gu Junwu looked up and laughed and said, “Yu batian, you are still stubborn. You have actually destroyed six Fox Skins.” Yu batian asked suspiciously, “how can six small Fox Skins destroy me?” Gu Junwu said: “let me tell you, let you be convinced.”

After Gu Junwu retreated to the Tiger City, he called the generals to discuss the strategy of breaking the city. They all said that the eagle city wall was high, the city was solid, and there was enough food and grass to break it. If you want to break the Eagle City, you have to destroy its food and grass. However, Gu Junwu once sent spies to the city for reconnaissance. The warehouse camp storing grain and grass in the city is heavily guarded and has no way to start.

March, the army’s staff officer, gave advice and wisdom. Ma Qishui turned into boss Ma, persuaded Hu Laosan to join the army, and staged a big play of buying wood. These timbers were sawn into beams and boards according to the size of the siege equipment. They were deliberately seen by batian or his generals and carried into the city. On New Year’s Eve, the spies who sneaked into the city lit the wood, causing chaos. While most of the soldiers defending grain and grass went out to fight the fire and failed to take precautions, the spies set fire everywhere in the warehouse camp and lit the grain and grass. When the soldiers of the whole city were busy rescuing food and grass, the spies took advantage of the chaos to kill the guards of the west gate, open the gate and meet the officers and soldiers. The officers and soldiers had long listened to the orders of the ancient military and set out in light on the afternoon of new year’s Eve to attack Eagle City at night.

Gu Junwu smiled and said: “Those six Fox Skins are the key to lead you out of the city to the forest farm. If you don’t go out to hunt foxes, you won’t find the wood. If the wood hasn’t been moved into the city, the spies won’t have a chance to set fire, and the Eagle City won’t be broken down. But the face of rebelling and claiming the king doomed you to go out of the city. Even if you don’t go out of the city in person, you will send trusted generals out of the city to hunt foxes, and you will still find these wood The outcome will not change. ”

Yu batian sighed and lowered his head. Unexpectedly, in order to match the fox fur robe with a fox fur hat, he fell into the trap of the government and army, resulting in losing everything.

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