But a terrific thunder storm came on at the time

But a terrific thunder storm came on at the time of inhumation, and the ground was flooded. The coffin was rived asunder, and the poor remains knocked out by thunders. A second time they buried the coffin, but a similar thing happened in the night. And yet a third time in another place but the earth rejected the remains. Meanwhile the thunder-fire had entirely consumed them. So it may be said justly that Heaven was exceedingly angry with Dong Zhuo.

So now Li Jue and Guo Si wielded the real power of the scepter, and they were hard upon the people.

They also removed the attendants from the Palace and replaced them by their own creatures,

who maintained a most perfect watch over every movement of the Emperor so that he was GREatly hampered and embarrassed.

All appointments and demotions were made by the two rebels. For the sake of popularity they especially summoned Zhu Jun to court, made him Minister of the Inner Bureau and associated him with the government.

  One day came a report that the Governor of Xiliang, Ma Teng, and the Imperial Protector of Bingzhou, Han Sui, with one hundred thousand troops, are rapidly approaching the capital with the intention of attacking the rebels in the name of the Emperor.

  Now these leaders from the west had laid careful plans.

Ma Teng and Han Sui had sent trusty friends to the capital to find out who would support them.

They had conspired with three officials——Court Counselors Ma Yu and Chong Shao,

and Imperial Commander Liu Fan——to be their inside allies and plot against the rebels.

These three obtained from the Throne two secret edicts conferring the ranks of Commander Who Conquers the West on Ma Teng and Commander Who Guards the West on Han Sui.

With these powers the two commanders joined forces and began their march.

  the four leaders of the party in power——Li Jue, Guo Si, Fan Chou, and Zhang Ji——held a consultation with their generals as to how to meet the attack.

  Adviser Jia Xu said, “Since the attackers are coming from a distance, our plan is to fortify and wait till shortage of food shall work for us. In a hundred days their supplies will be consumed, and they must retire. We can pursue and we shall capture them.”

Li Meng and Wang Fang rose and said, “This plan is bad. Give us ten thousand troops, and we will put an end to both of them and offer their heads before your ensign.”

“To fight forthwith means defeat,” said Jia Xu.

Li Meng and Wang Fang cried with one voice,

“If we fail, we are willing to lose our heads. But if we win,

then your head is forfeit.”