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Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio vol. II (of

So that Hsiang had no means of carrying out his intention

became known far and wide, and

accordingly Chuang never went out except with a strong body-guard, besides which he engaged at a high price the services of a very skilful archer, named Chiao T'ung, so that Hsiang had no means of carrying out his intention. However, he continued to lie in wait day after day, and on one occasion it began to rain heavily, and in a short time Hsiang was wet through to the skin. Then the wind got up, and a hailstorm followed, and by-and-by Hsiang was quite numbed with the cold. On the top of the hill there was a small temple wherein lived a Taoist priest, whom Hsiang knew from the latter having occasionally begged alms in the village, and to whom he had often given a meal. This priest, seeing how wet he was, gave him some other clothes, and told him to put them on; but no sooner had he done so than he crouched down like a dog, and found that he had been changed into a tiger, and that the priest had vanished. It now occurred to him to seize this opportunity of revenging himself upon his enemy; and away he went to his old ambush, where lo and behold! he found his own body lying stiff and stark. Fearing lest it should become food for birds of prey, he guarded it carefully, until at length one day Chuang passed by. Out rushed the tiger and sprung upon Chuang, biting his head off, and swallowing it upon the spot; at which Chiao T'ung, the archer, turned round and shot the animal through the heart. Just at that moment Hsiang awaked as though from a dream, but it was some time before he
could crawl home, where he arrived to the great delight of his family, who didn't know what had become of him. Hsiang said not a word, lying quietly on the bed until some of his people came in to congratulate him on the death of his great enemy Chuang. Hsiang then cried out, "I was that tiger," and proceeded to relate the whole story, which thus got about until it reached the ears of Chuang's son, who immediately set to work to bring his father's murderer to justice. The magistrate, however, did not consider this wild story as sufficient evidence against him, and thereupon dismissed the case.


[21] This is the term used by the Chinese for "Persia," often put by metonymy for things which come from that country, _sc._ "valuables." Thus, "to be poor in Persia" is to have but few jewels, gold and silver ornaments, and even clothes.



At Lin-t'iao there lived a Mr. Feng, whose other name the person who told me this story could not remember; he belonged to a good family, though now somewhat falling into decay. Now a certain man, who caught turtles, owed him some money which he could not pay, but whenever he captured any turtles he used to send one to Mr. Feng. One day he took him an enormous creature, with a white spot on its forehead; but Feng was so struck with something in its appearance, that he let it go again. A little while afterwards he was returning home from his son-in-law's, and had reached the banks of the river,[22] when in the dusk of the evening he saw a drunken man come rolling along, attended by two or three servants. No sooner did he perceive Feng than he called out, "Who are you?" to which Feng replied that he was a traveller. "And haven't you got a name?" shouted out the drunken man

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