At the border of Henan and Hebei provinces, there is a river called Zhang river. On the South Bank of Zhanghe River, there is a small village surrounded by green trees. People call it Zizhuang. It originally belonged to Wei county and Daming County of Hebei Province in the Qing Dynasty.
During the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, a chivalrous man Li yuexun appeared in Zizhuang. Li yuexun was a scholar in the county when he was a teenager. He wanted to continue to get fame. However, due to his poor family, in his prime, Li yuexun had to give up the imperial examination and stay in the village to work for a living. At this time, he often participated in large and small affairs in the countryside and was trusted by the people in the countryside for his chivalrous behavior of speaking out and helping the weak. Even the county knew his name.
Li yuexun likes to walk around the village when he has nothing to do. Depending on who has what work to do, what needs help and what crisis, he always enthusiastically gives his ideas. He often wears a waist length jacket. Wearing two short knives and a strong man, he looks so powerful that no one dares to provoke him.
There was a widow in Zizhuang who raised a child and refused to remarry. Her little brother-in-law coveted the two cottages and a little land she occupied, so he secretly colluded with Hou Liu from Neihuang County (in the north of Henan, upstream of Weihe River, belonging to Zhangde Prefecture of Henan Province in Qing Dynasty) and sold her.
Hou Liu is an old bachelor. He can’t wait to send a sedan chair to Zizhuang to meet the widow. The widow was still in the dark. Her little brother-in-law asked Hou Liu’s people to hide in the ancient ancestral hall next to her and coax her sister-in-law out. The widow didn’t know what the plan was, so she went out of the house. Just a few steps away, a dozen big men suddenly rushed out of the ancestral hall and came straight to her.
The widow was startled and knew something bad. She folded and ran back. However, the house has been closed by my uncle. In the blink of an eye, more than a dozen big men rushed to the widow, put her in a sedan chair, lifted her up and ran away.
At home, the widow’s son heard his mother’s call amid the noise outside and hurried out to help, but it was too late. He cried himself and didn’t know what to do. In a hurry, he remembered Li yuexun, a strong man, and trotted all the way to Li yuexun’s house.
That day, Li yuexun happened to do some chores at home. Suddenly, the door was knocked open, stumbled into a man, and fell on his knees with a thump. Li yuexun opened his eyes and saw that it was the child of the widow’s house at the head of the village. His face was anxious and panting. He spoke with a crying voice and begged: “brother Li, go and save my mother. She was robbed by several men!”
Li yuexun quickly asked the child how it happened. The child told the story again and continued to beg him to save people. Li yuexun was a little embarrassed at first, because he thought the widow had been robbed, and Hou Liu was a bold scoundrel. I’m afraid it’s not easy to get the widow back in a hurry.
The widow’s son couldn’t get an answer. He just knelt on the ground and refused to get up. He cried more and more sadly. Li yuexun was finally moved. He stood up, patted the table and said generously, “it’s really my responsibility to save your mother! I’ll go right away! If I don’t take your mother back, I won’t go back home alive!”
Then he called the child up and went out to greet some friends and disciples. Soon, more than 20 people gathered at the door. Li yuexun stood on the steps and said loudly to them, “I, Li yuexun, have always been famous for being chivalrous and righteous. Now someone dares to rob the women in our village in broad daylight. If I can’t save her, what chivalrous!”
Some of the disciples said, “can’t we report this to the government first?”
Li yuexun said decisively, “that’s not good! Report to the government, hum! Those officials are despicable villains. They only know how to accept bribes, and they don’t care about God’s conscience at all! Besides, this matter is separated from the provinces, and it will take months to extradite by official documents.
If Hou Liu is forced to hold the wedding first, why should we pick her up? We might as well get her back as soon as possible.
If the widow cannot be taken back, tie Hou Liu, so that the woman’s integrity can be preserved. ”
The disciples said, “OK, we’ll listen to you. Let’s do it quickly.”
So Li yuexun immediately selected twenty-seven strong young men, all with weapons, and chased the gang of widowers all the way.
Hou Liu lives in Gangu village in the north of Neihuang County, 20 miles from Zizhuang. It was late when Li yuexun and them got there. Hou Liu’s family was brightly lit and people came and went. It seemed that they were putting on a banquet to welcome the wedding.
Li yuexun was furious at the situation. He took several disciples, holding knives and sticks, pushed open the gate and rushed into the hall. The hall was full of happy guests. They were talking and laughing and toasting each other. Suddenly, they were surprised to see Li yuexun and other people break in with knives. The timid ones dare not move. The bold ones want to resist, but they don’t even have a short knife around because of an accident.
Li yuexun stared angrily and scolded loudly. The guests retreated in fear. You pushed me, trampled on each other and made a mess. Those who want to find weapons to resist are in a hurry and nowhere to find. They are so anxious that they shout there.
However, master Hou Liu is not in this pile of people. Li yuexun ignored everyone’s panic and seized the opportunity to quickly go straight to his new house. When they arrived at the new house, Hou Liu and the widow found no trace. It turned out that Hou Liugang had just taken advantage of the chaos and hid the widow in a straw hut. At the moment, he was shouting in the back hall that everyone should join forces to meet the enemy. Li yuexun heard his cry and quickly turned to the back hall. Before waiting for Liu to gather a crowd to resist, Li yuexun had firmly fastened his wrist with his left hand, took out the waist knife with his right hand, put it on his neck, and shouted: “you bold madman, haven’t you heard of a Li yuexun in Zizhuang? How dare you run to our village to rob women? Where is the widow now?”
Hou Liu denied and said, “I’ve run away.”
Li yuexun knew that he was lying. He couldn’t help getting angry and asked his disciples to tie him up and tie his hands instead. As soon as Hou Liu was tied up, I heard a cry outside. Then, a group of teenagers in the village rushed into the door with knives, guns and sticks and said they would fight to the death with the “thugs”.
Without fear, Li yuexun immediately asked the 27 disciples to form a circle, each holding weapons and standing out, while standing in the middle of the circle. He put the knife on Hou Liu’s neck and shouted, “I, Li yuexun, come to save people this time. I don’t want to go back alive. Anyone who is not afraid of death will come up! Hou Liu will set an example for you first.”
Then he raised his saber as if to cut Hou Liu’s head. When the group of teenagers met, they were all in a cold sweat. No one dared to come forward. After pushing and shoving for a long time, they slipped away from the door one by one.
Li Yue sneered and asked Hou Liu, “tell me, where is the widow?”
Hou Liu turned his eyes and hesitated for a long time, but he refused to tell the truth. Li Yue was so angry that he dragged Hou Liu out. Before he reached the door, he heard a woman’s cry.
Li yuexun immediately asked several disciples to search around the yard. After a while, he found the widow from the thatched cottage. The widow was frightened several times a day, her face was ugly, her hands and feet trembled, and she couldn’t even walk steadily.
Several disciples found a donkey in the village and let the widow ride it. Li yuexun asked twenty-seven disciples to walk in front and protect the widow back to Zizhuang. He took a knife and escorted Hou Liu behind him. No one in houliu village dared to catch up.
After walking a mile and a half, Li yuexun thought there was no danger, so he took a knife and cut the rope binding Hou Liu and said to him, “Hou Liu, I’ll spare you today. I know you’re always famous for your courage, but I Li yuexun is a man who is not afraid of death. If you want to revenge me, I’ll wait for you tomorrow. If you dare to do bad things again in the future, I’ll be rude. Now, get out!”
Hou Liulian claimed that he did not dare to be a little arrogant and ran away in frustration. Li yuexun spat in the direction he left, and the disciples burst into laughter.
Nearly midnight, the party returned to Zizhuang. The people of Zizhuang came to see the heroes when they heard their triumph. When the widow’s son saw that his mother was safe, he kowtowed to Li yuexun in public. Li yuexun quickly picked him up and told their mother and son to go home.
The widow’s uncle heard that the widow’s son had told Li yuexun about it in advance. He expected that Li yuexun would not let himself go easily, so he packed up his things all night and ran away secretly.