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Myths and Legends of China

Page: 114

“What special degree of ability have you attained during your course of perfection?” asked Miao Shan.

“I have no skill,” replied Shan Ts’ai, “but I rely for everything on your great pity, and under your guidance I hope to reach the required ability.”

“Very well,” said Miao Shan, “take up your station on the top of yonder peak, and wait till I find a means of transporting you.”

A Ruse

Miao Shan called the t’u-ti and bade him go and beg all the Immortals to disguise themselves as pirates and to besiege the mountain, waving torches, and threatening with swords and spears to kill her. “Then I will seek refuge on the summit, and thence leap over the precipice to prove Shan Ts’ai’s fidelity and affection.”

A minute later a horde of brigands of ferocious aspect rushed up to the temple of Hsiang Shan. Miao Shan cried for help, rushed up the steep incline, missed her footing, and rolled down into the ravine. Shan Ts’ai, seeing her fall into the abyss, without hesitation flung himself after her in order to rescue her. When he Page 273reached her, he asked: “What have you to fear from the robbers? You have nothing for them to steal; why throw yourself over the precipice, exposing yourself to certain death?”

Miao Shan saw that he was weeping, and wept too. “I must comply with the wish of Heaven,” she said.


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