In the three volume
translation I have of the Outlaws of the Marsh Yu Baoshi first
appears in Chapter 68. There he is referred to as the "Spirit of the
Dangerous Road". At the beginning of the chapter he has just stolen
from the Water Margin Outlaws more
than 200 freshly purchased horses and taken them to Zengtou Village. If that
weren't bad enough this was the second time he had done this and from the
same group too. Determined to make them pay one of his pursuers was so irate
he declared "I hate them [i.e., Yu and his cohorts] to the marrow of my
bones. I'll get my revenge or, I swear, I'll never return."
"Flea on a Drum"
[see the section below] who "...he can fly over caves and skim atop walls"
is sent out to reconnoiter the village. Upon his return Flea describes
their defenses and adds that "Yu Baosi...is a huge fellow with an enormous
girth... [as if they didn't already know that.] He's feeding those horses he
stole inside the monastery grounds." A plan of attack was devised. A plan of
defense was devised. And in time the battle was joined.
Zengtou Village got
the worst of it. Senior Zeng lost two sons in the initial conflicts. After
his defenses were breached he sued for peace. While claiming personal
innocence and blaming others for the situation he agreed to return the
stolen horses and offered compensation to the opposing army. The
victors demanded that Yu Baoshi also be turned over to them. After some
negotiations another Zeng son and Yu Baoshi returned the horses in person,
but one was missing - "White Jade Lion that Glows in the Night." The man who
now 'owned' the horse balked at its return, but agreed to discuss the matter
if the 'Outlaws' would withdraw the men. In the meantime, reinforcements
were on their way to help the village. Song Jiang, the leader of the
'Outlaws', summoned Yu Baoshi and made him a simple offer: If he would
change sides Song would make him one of their own and give him a leadership
position. "Vengeance against you for stealing our horses will be forgotten.
I'll break an arrow in pledge. If you won't co-operate, Zengtou will soon be
destroyed. It's up to you." Yu agreed.
Now working for the
other side Yu went back to the village and convinced them to attack the
'Outlaws' that night in a secret raid. Of course, it was all a trap - a trap
called "The Foreign Hunting Dog Waits for the Quarry in Its Den" trap, to be
exact. When the villagers got to the enemy camp they found it empty while at
the same time the heard the sounds of the attack behind them on their home
base. Papa Zeng realizing all was lost hung himself. Another of his sons
died from the thrust of a halberd while yet another son "...was
trampled to jelly in the chaos by horses' hoofs." Soon all of the other
relatives of the Zeng family were massacred and the village was looted
completely. And what about that horse? You know, "White Jade Lion that Glows
in the Night." Well, Song Jiang got him back.
And that is how we
first encountered Yu Baoshi, the big man holding a fan while sitting on the
wicker bench featured in the print above.
In Chapter 69 after
Yu Baoshi has joined forces with the 'Outlaws' the group decides that they
don't have enough provisions even though they have just plundered Zengtou
Village. So they gave an ultimatum to two other towns. Both refuse to give
in. Yu is familiar with one of them and he along with another fellow are
sent to Dongping to deliver their demands in writing. The general in command
there is furious and demands that the emissaries be decapitated, but is
dissuaded from doing so on the grounds of precedent. "But the general was
still fuming. He had the two bound and beaten till their skin split and
their flesh burst asunder, and then had them driven from the town.
The returned to the
camp, weeping. 'That lout of a general has no sense of fitness,' they