In 1745 a Zhenjiang silk merchant by the name of Cheng was returning home one night through the foothills of Elephant Mountain. At one particularly isolated place along the road, a small child ran out from the bushes and graves scattered around and tugged at his clothes.
Cheng knew it was a ghost and shouted at it, but it refused to leave. Not long afterwards, another small child ran up and clutched Cheng's hand.
The first child then tried to pull Cheng westward towards a wall crowded with shadows. Suddenly he found himself pelted with mud.
Then the second child pulled him eastward towards another wall from which came some ghostly sounds. This time Cheng was pelted with gravel.
Cheng was powerless and had to submit to the pushing and pulling of the children. From both sides the ghosts began to jeer at him, and then they appeared to fight over him among themselves. Cheng was terrified and finally collapsed in a heap in the mud, prepared for the worst.
Suddenly a ghost cried out, "Master Leng is coming. We must get out of his way! He may be learned, but he's thoroughly detestable and awfully obstinate nonetheless!"
Surely enough, striding jauntily along the track with his shoulders pushed back, came a large man. He was beating a large fan against the palm of his hand to keep time as he sang, "The river flows eastward." He lumbered towards Cheng, showing not the least bit of fear, and the ghosts instantly scattered.
This man looked down at Cheng and smiled. "Are those vile ghosts harassing you? Worry no longer. I'm here to save you, so just walk along with me now."
Cheng duly rose and followed him.
All the while the man kept up his singing and after they had walked