Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
To escape the persecution of evil Commander Kao, a military instructor flees to the border. On the way, he instructs a village lord’s son, Shih Chin, in warlike skills. Later, Shih Chin becomes friendly with the robbers of Little Hua Mountain. Discovery of this alliance forces Shih Chin to flee. He falls in with Captain Lu Ta, who, after killing a pig butcher who was persecuting a young woman, escapes capture by becoming priest Lu Chi Shen. His violence and intemperance, however, force the abbot to send him to another temple. On the way, he makes peace between a village lord and the robbers of Peach Blossom Mountain.
Shih Chin joins the robbers of Little Hua Mountain. Lu Chi Shen goes on to his temple, where he becomes a friend of military instructor Ling Ch’ung. Commander Kao’s son lusts for Ling Ch’ung’s wife, so Ling Ch’ung is falsely accused of murder, branded, and exiled to Ch’ang Chou. His guards are prevented by Lu Chi Shen from carrying out their secret orders to kill Ling Ch’ung. Again on his way, Ling Ch’ung is hospitably received by Lord Ch’ai Chin.
In Ch’ang Chou, Ling Ch’ung accidentally escapes a death trap and kills his three would-be assassins. Again, he encounters Ch’ai Chin, who sends him to take refuge in Liang Shan P’o, a robbers’ lair headed by the ungracious Wang Lun. Warrior Yang Chi, after killing a bully, is branded and sent to be a border guard. His skill delights Governor Liang of...
(The entire section is 1737 words.)
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