A Leap Over the Tanxi River
Liu Bei captured an excellent horse in a battle. When Liu Biao marveled at the steed， Liu Bei gave it to him as a gift. Under Liu Biao， there was a horse expert who said， “This horse， though excellent， tends to harm its owner; you'd better return it to Liu Bei.” Following the expert's advice， Liu Biao returned the horse to Liu Bei. Liu Biao's wife Cai and her brother had long wished to Xiangyang to meet some officials. Cai and her brother decided it was an good opportunity. They sent troops to guard every city gate except the western one， for outside that gate， the wide Tanxi River， with its rapid water， blocked the road. At the banquet for officials， a man hinted to Liu Bei that Liu Biao planned to kill him. Liu Bei followed the man to the back garden， where he whispered into his ear the details of plan Cai and her brother had set. “Every gate but the western one is heavily guarded，” the man added. “The western gate is your only chance.” Alarmed， Liu Bei mounted the horse and fled. Outside the gate the river blocked his way. Soldiers were fast approaching. Liu Bei whipped the horse like mad， the animal moved forward， but after just a few steps into the river it stumbled. “Surely you harm your master，” Liu Bei cried in despair. At this， oddly， the horse made a vigorous leap to the other side of the river， leaving 1
the soldiers behind.
Note： Liu Biao was a governor of Jingzhou and a Han royal family member.