Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei

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Commander Wang

The military commander of Shandong's Jining region was a man by the name of Wang. One night he dreamed that the famous general Zhou Chang of the Guandi temple at the southern gate said to him, "If you renovate the Guandi temple you will receive five thousand caddies filled with gold."

Wang, of course, was not at all inclined to believe in such a dream, but the next night he had a similar dream.

This time he was visited by the great general Guan Ping, who said, "Zhou Chang is one of us. More important, he is one of the most honest people you will ever meet, so you shouldn't doubt his words.

"The five thousand caddies of gold that he promised are waiting for you under the statue's incense altar. If you come tonight while it's dark, you'll be able to pick up all five thousand."

Naturally, Wang was extremely excited at this news. At the same time, he was quite scared at the thought of dealing with such powerful spirits. He ran through the situation in his mind. "If there really is gold hidden under the altar, then maybe I should go and claim it as my own."

Thus resolved, he called his son to accompany him, took some sacks in which to carry the treasures home, and set off for the temple. Arriving nearly at dawn, they saw a black fox sleeping at the foot of the altar. Its slumber disturbed the fox looked up at them with piercing eyes that glittered like gold.

Commander Wang then understood his mission. "Guandi has ordered me to expurgate this demon!"

So, with the help of his son, he bound the fox with rope, stuffed it in a sack, and proceeded home.

Along the way a voice came from within the sack: "I am an immortal fox and yesterday I got drunk and accidentally vomited all over Guandi's temple. In his anger he called you in a dream to come and get


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Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei
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