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Primary texts on Ching Shih the Chinese Pirate Queen are unfortunately lacking in the Western World. This is a translation of 《靖海氛记》 one of the the main sources for Ching Shih's biography. The author was the adjutant of the Viceroy who received Ching Shih's surrender and the entire account is, according to him, compiled from eye and ear-witness testimony. There does exist another translation by Charles Fried Neumann, but his translation misinterprets several key concepts.

Translator's Notes: The part about Vietnam is bogus. Le Duy Khiem is called by the name of his ancestor Le Duy Ky. The first king of the Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Phuc An, is made into his brother. A war with Thailand after which Nguyen Hue died is conflated with the war between Nguyen Hue's son and Nguyen Phuc An. However, everything from Nguyen Quan Toan's escape is accurate. The "Chang Pao" in the text is the pirate better known as Chang Pao-Tsai, with the "Tsai" part meaning "The Kid". The mention that Ching I favored him, in the original Chinese, used a word that had sexual connotations. Also, the offer of surrender attributed to Kwo Pow-Tai here is more often attributed to Chang Pao Tsai himself. As I am not a speaker of Cantonese, nor do I know how the names were first romanized, the names might be rendered differently than what is familiar to a Western audience. For example, Charles Fried Neumann translated "东海伯" as "Scourge of the Eastern Sea. However, looking up the man's biography, the "东海" part does not refer to the Eastern Sea, but his birthplace of Dunghoi in Canton, while the last character in his moniker is rendered differently depending on regional dialect. This text renders it as "伯" meaning "Count", instead of "霸" meaning "Scourge". Also, some of the poetry at the end, which no longer has anything to do with the main subject, was left out. Many Chinese terms for ranks, titles, and timekeeping have been translated into English approximations.

Copyright: This work is an amateur translation that I'm doing because I'm bored. Any attempts to pass it off as an work of actual literary merit that you can make money from will probably get you laughed off of whatever site you're using. In other words, copy and sell at your own discretion.

Record of Pacifying the South China Seas

At the end of the summer of 1809, I returned to my hometown from my residence in the capital. As I passed through the Deep South (Lingnan), I heard that the unrest on the seas had reached a boiling point. When I finally reached my hometown, I found the area ravaged and my neighbors slaughtered. Of those who had put up a fierce defense, there were none who had not prepared in advance for several months. I was appalled at the open rebellion, and the government's mishandling of the situation. What exactly led to this state of affairs? I desperately wished to be a forthcoming witness, recording the events from start to finish for the Imperial Inspector due to arrive. Regrettably, I found myself driven away by hunger, and was unable to fulfill my grand desires. Later, as I was residing at a hotel at Waang-pou Pass, Mr. Yuan Yonglun showed me his manuscript and asked me to write a foreword. The book presented to me was "Record of Pacifying the South China Seas". As I browsed through it, it was as if the events of that fateful day once again appeared before my eyes. The words were concise and the information precise. Everything I had wanted to say, Mr, Yuan has already said for me, as if he had read my mind. The previous battles against forest-dwelling bandits had been put down by The Novelist of Dutch Immigrants (the historian Sheng Dashi) as "Records of Pacifying Rebels". It admires the good tactics used and praises the loyal and valiant people who gave themselves in service. People now compete to tell each other about the text. What Mr. Yuan records differs in scope, but is completely accurate and never forgets a passion for defending our homeland. When people hear of the events recorded, none will be able to help sighing in admiration. Thus, I have written several lines at the start of this book, in answer to Mr. Yuan's request. This has been written carefully by Su Yingheng of Bijiang City in the fifth period of Summer, tenth year of Daoguang.

In 1809, pirates continuously harassed coastal settlements; there was not one person in my hometown who had not been troubled by them. Whenever we recall the events, we would take a long while to mourn. In 1830, while I was in a hotel in the provincial capital, Yuan Yonglun presented his manuscript of "Record of Pacifying the South China Seas" to me and asked for a foreword. Since we were childhood classmates, I could not deny him. As I read through the text, it was as if I returned to that fateful day. I am not only glad for the knowledgeable Mr. Yuan's attentions to the subject, but gladder still that this text will function as a reliable history. Countless historians before us have relied on crass exaggerations and empty literary flourishes. Even if the facts were true, in the hearts of the audience, historians have squandered away their reliability. Else the histories become too long to read, then it matters not whether or not people have it at all! Those texts cannot compare with reliable information presented in a straightforward manner! Now the heroes who sacrificed themselves, the chaste women who chose honor above all else, and the noble men from that day who gave everything to protect their people shall be acknowledged and praised by all. Even after a hundred generations, men find themselves excited as they learn of these events. The compiling of this text will be of no small benefit to future generations!
Weekend of the start of autumn, 1830. Duly published by He Jingzhong

1. This account has been compiled from the testimonies of ear and eye-witnesses, for the purpose of inspection by an Imperial envoy. If the information has been acquired second-hand, or there is some other reason to doubt the validity thereof, it shall not be included.
2. The main purpose of this account is to promote heroism and sacrifice. It is imperative that any and all loyal officials, heroes who fell in the line of fire, chaste wives, and dutiful husbands will have their biographies and deeds well chronicled as an inspiration to others. Those looking to write future accounts can refer here for a reliable record.
3. Due to savagery of the pirates, there have been countless villages devastated from their attacks. The author acknowledges the information compiled into this account is far from comprehensive, but what little has been gathered were all taken straight from eye-witness testimony. As for more distant areas also ravaged by the pirates, there shall be further inspections, which will provide addendum to the text.
4. When the ancients recorded history, they sought above all conciseness. While this compilation might be disorganized in comparison, all events have been listed by date and order of occurrence; all events are accurate and all quotes have been proven.
5. The plague of pirates is not far removed from this current time. The people and events herein have truly existed, and involved parties still survive as witnesses. This account has been recorded from testimony, with no subjective statements. However, in the ten plus years since, the pirates have been brought to justice, the storms have been calmed, yet when townsfolk speak about the events, they still gesticulate and sigh. This alone has been included as a form to testimony that the account is credible and can serve as a resource for later generations.
6. The author is a man of little knowledge. This record only provide an overview of events. It is the author's sincere hope that the readers will not criticize him too harshly, but will still point out his mistakes so he can edit his text to be more accurate. Or, if there are no mistakes to be found, then it will be to the author's great joy. Carefully written by Yuan Yingxian.

Pacification of the South China Seas, Part 1 (by Yuan Yonglun, courtesy name Yingxian, of Shuntak)

The presence of pirates to the east of Canton has a long history. However,despite surges and ebbs of activity, they had never been a massive threat. Yet, come the era of Jiaqing, they began to coalesce into large packs, and eventually it became impossible to curb them. Going over the causes, the root lies in Vietnam. It began with the revolution of the three Nguyen brothers: Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Nhac, and Nguyen Lu. In the fifty-sixth year of Qianlong (1791), they seized control of Vietnam. The reigning king, Le Duy Kiem, fled into Guangxi. When the government received a report about it, they assigned the king in exile the rank of colonel. In the sixth year of Jiaqing (1802), his brother Le Phuc Anh raised an army in Siam and attacked Nguyen Hue. Nguyen Hue was killed. His son, Quan Toan, and his adviser Meih Yew-Kin fled onto the sea. At the time, there were the privateers Ching Ch'i and the Count of Dunghoi among others, with Meih Yew-Kin also joining them. Nguyen Quan Toan, using the titles of his government, promoted Ching Ch'i to Grand Marshal. Ching Ch'i had a fleet of two hundred ships and brave, experienced sailors. Quan Toan convinced Ching Ch'i to fight to support him as the king of Vietnam, Ching Ch'i agreed, invading and taking over Annam Harbor in the night. Phuc An personally led the army against him in many expeditions, but was defeated each and every time. Phuc An, at his wits' end, began to consider taking his forces back to Long Lai. Meanwhile, Ching Ch'i, who had only dwelt on the sea previously, grew arrogant now that he had taken over Annam Harbor. His men too became lawless, oppressing the defenseless residents. They divided up the civilians' houses among themselves and abducted the men's wives and daughters. The residents were enraged and secretly worked out an arrangement with Phuc An that, on a certain day, "Your Majesty the King should send Your fleets to attack the pirates from the rear, while Your armies shall attack their front, while we offer Your Majesty's forces the greatest possible support. Victory is assured." Phuc An was delighted. Come the day of the arrangement, there was a great clash. Ching Ch'i's front and rear forces were separately occupied, while the peasant army attacked his weakened middle. Ching Ch'i was soundly defeated, his forces almost wiped out. Ching Ch'i himself died from a cannonball shot. His younger cousin Ching I, King Quan Toan, and his nephew Ching Pang-Tsoeng fled. Afterwards, Ching I led the flotilla, committing crimes on the sea and thus bringing the plague of piracy to a boiling point.

Fortunately, at the time, Wang Biao was serving as Admiral, leading Imperial fleets to defeat the pirates several times. Thus, the seas remained safe. However after his death, the Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Black, and White Banner Fleets cropped up and ruled the seas. There were six heads each leading one of the Great Fleets: Ching I, Woo Die-Ts'ing, Meih Yew-Kin, Kwo Pow-Tai, Leang Boo, and Le Shang-Tsing. To each Great Fleet was attached multiple smaller flotillas. Woo Die-Ts'ing (alias the Count of Dunghoi) commanded the Yellow Banner Fleet with Le Tsung-Hoo as his second.. Meih Yew-Kin, originally from Wusek in Canton (thus his moniker of Wusek Two), commanded the Blue Banner Fleet, with his elder brother Yew-Kwai and younger brother Yew-Gee as his lieutenants; they took in the Hoihong scholar Wong Hok as their strategist. Kwo Pow-Tai (later changing his name to Hok-Hien) commanded the Black Banner Fleet, with Feng Yong-Fa, Chang Jih-Keaou, and Kwo Tsew-He as his seconds. Leang Boo (moniker Commodore Boo) ruled the White Banner Fleet, Le Shang-Tsing (nicknamed Toad's Ward) ruled the Green Banner Fleet. Ching I controlled the Red Banner Fleet. Each created their own Standards and rule over their own territory. At the same time, the bandit Cai Qian declared his support for the pirates, who became an formidable threat. Only Chang Pao (Chang Pao-Tsai) was a latecomer, but the most aggressive. Since the advent of Chang Pao, Suh Kei-Lam (nicknamed Heongsan Two), Leang Po-Paou, Siu Puh-Gow etc. also rose up under Chang Pao, while Chang Pao himself was subordinate to Ching I Sao, Thus, the Red Banner was supreme among the numerous fleets.

The coast of the Deep South is split into roughly three sections: Fuichiu and Teochew in the east; Canton and Zhaoqing in the middle; and Kochow, Limchow, Kiangchow and Luichow straits, Yamchow, Danzhou, Aichow, and Wanzhou in the west. The area is surrounded by sea. Trade ships from across the land arrive here by water route, thus earning it the epithet of "Metropolis of the Southeast." Once pirate gangs ratcheted up activity, the sea route became obstructed. Not only did the pirates extort and plunder, but they also seized the land as territory to impress men into their service. The east and middle sections were split among the three factions of Ching I Sao, O Po-Tai, and Laeng Boo; the west section was split among three factions of Wusek Two, Toad's Ward, and Count of Dunghoi. Thus people living by the sea knew no peace for more than ten years. Only Weizhou and Neaouchow stood isolated in the sea, having few inhabitants throughout the islands' history. Mountains stood around the area in all four directions, with one great beachhead in the middle that could hold hundreds of seafaring vessels. Should one encounter hurricanes and great waves on the sea, they would shielded from the elements once they ducked into the beachhead. On the island, there were rich fields, beautiful landscapes, birds and beasts, flowers and fruits, and trees and grasses, making the place a human paradise. The thieves made the islands into their base for loading their boats and making their weapons.

Chang Pao was born in Kongmoon prefecture, Sinhoe County, as the son of a fisherman. His father's work was busy, going to fish out on the sea everyday. One day, as he was fishing alongside his father, they came into the way of one of Ching I's expeditions. Chang Pao was then abducted by the pirates. Ching I was extremely pleased by the young man upon seeing him, and employed him as a close servant. Chang Pao was intelligent and articulate, not to mention young and handsome, so Ching I greatly favored him. It did not take long for him to rise to the rank of overseer. In the seventeenth day of the tenth month of the twelfth year of Jiaqing (1807/11/16), Ching I drowned during a storm. His wife Madame Sek then gave over a portion of the fleet to Chang Pao, while remaining herself head of the entire fleet. She is the woman that became notorious as Ching I Sao. Once Chang Pao received his flotilla, he proceeded to go on raids everyday, thus leading to his followers swelling in number. As his ships increased, he established three laws of conduct: Those who went on shore without permission were regarded as traitors and, once caught, had their ears cut off and shown to all ships. Once the display was finished, the perpetrator was killed. Any loot was not kept privately, but was given over to the leader; 20% of the loot would be awarded to the one who seized the bounty, the other 80% would go to the vault. Once in the vault, the loot was counted as public funds, and any found embezzling would be killed. None of the peasant girls abducted were to be violated. The girls were to be listed according to their places of origin, then kept in a separate ship. Any pirate found raping or even entering into consensual affairs would be killed. In addition, out of concern for a lack of food provisions, any peasants who supplied the pirates with food and wine were to be richly rewarded. Conversely, any pirates who robbed locals of food were to killed. As a result, the fleet never lacked for ammunition or food. Chang Pao was a man who could tightly control his followers through a fair system of reward and punishment. Yet he also dutifully served Ching I Sao, only setting out when he had her consent. Any gains made from extortion or plunder were meticulously recorded and stored in the public treasury; he dared not take anything for himself. Only in the heat of action did he command the advance and retreat of the pirates. Any who then defied his orders were instantly killed. Thus, he earned a mighty name for himself on the high seas, with everyone calling him Chang Pao the Kid. (The pirates would also call those in charge of records "the vault", and those who gave up their valuables as "loners")

Fuichiu has a temple dedicated to the goddess San-Po next to the sea, well known for its miracles. Any pirate vessels passing by were obliged to come and pray, and should they not show enough faith, the reprisal from the goddess would be swift, so the pirates were zealous in their worship. One day, the various pirate leaders arrived together to worship the statue, in hopes that they would be able to take the statue for themselves and keep it upon their ship to consult day and night. However, none could budge the statue, until Chang Pao-Tsai came and picked it up with one hand. He then carried it to his ship, as easily as if it had been carried on the wind. Whenever he set out on a raid, he would consult with the Goddess. Every time he prayed, the goddess was effective in ridding him of all danger.

In the seventh month of the thirteenth year of Jiaqing (August 1808), Lin Guo-Liang of Fumen led a naval expedition to capture the pirates. Chang Pao knew that the government's fleet was approaching and set up an ambush, initially sending out only a few ships to engage and feign defeat. Once Lin Guo-Liang saw Chang Pao only had a few ships, he chased after them with fifteen ships. Around Tai A Chau, the pirate fleet regrouped and encircled Lin Guo-Liang three times over. There followed an intense battle. From morning till evening, Lin Guo-Liang could not break free, but he fought fiercely. Seeing Chang Pao at the front of the enemy formation, Lin Guo-Liang ordered a cannon fired on him. In a burst of smoke and fire, the cannonball headed straight towards Chang Pao, landing right before him. Everyone who saw the strike thought Chang Pao dead. Yet when the smoke cleared, Chang Pao stood unharmed, leading to those present believing he was a god. Before long, the enemy enclosed on Lin Guo-Liang's ship. Chang Pao's vanguard Leang Po-Paou leaped atop the deck, killed the helmsman, and maneuvered the ship close to the enemy vessels, allowing the pirates to flood onto the ship. Lin Guo-Liang and his troops fought fiercely in close combat, bandaging their wounds and swallowing their blood. After a day's combat, the deck was covered in corpses and countless pirates had been killed. Toward the end of the day, the pirates wrecked three government boats with cannonballs, frightening the sailors. Countless numbers of government troops drowned, while the pirates captured another fifteen ships. There were still more ships that broke away and fled. Chang Pao tried to convince Lin Guo-Liang to surrender, but Lin Guo-Liang was infuriated and hurled a stream of obscenities at the pirate leader. Chang Pao remained calm and continued trying to politely convince him, but Lin Guo-Liang refused and swore to be loyal unto death to his sovereign. Chang Pao had no desire to harm Lin Guo-Liang. but an overly hasty subordinate of his stabbed Lin Guo-Liang and killed him. Lin Guo-Liang had lived to be seventy years of age. Chang Pao angrily chastized his unruly subordinate, saying "We are as unanchored duckweed, floating atop the surface of the ocean, sleeping in the open and dining against the wind, unsure if our fate is to float or to sink. Thanks to our victory, we are safe from the harrying of government forces, but only temporarily. The only way to ensure our safety is to treat government officers leniently, delivering them back to port, thus allowing them to act as our liaison when we find a chance to surrender to the government. What do you intend, to kill this officer without my order? He has already lost his men and his ships, what good is it to us to have him dead as well? Even though we threatened him with death should he not surrender, now that you have forced us to bear the bad name of murdering a Lieutenant General, it will be difficult for us to reach a deal with the government!" He then had the perpetrator executed. When Lin Guo-Liang had been trapped, ten or so fishing boats asked the local authorities for cannons so they could lend aid. The magistrate of Heongsan, Peng Shu, suspected they were actually allies of the pirates and denied them, sealing the government fleet's defeat. My friends, the Brigadier General Lin Dao-Cai and the Sergeants Hu Jue-Tang and Huang Ying-Yang were participants of the battle. General Lin and Sergeant Hu fell, while Sergeant Huang survived to tell me the tale.

In the eighth month (September 1809), Major General Lin Fa led his troops out to sea and happened upon the pirate fleet. When the government troops faced the pirates, they seemed frightened and attempted to escape. The pirates pursued them to Anunghai, where the government troops turned and struck back at the pirates. The pirates were temporarily put at a disadvantage, but the wind blew counter to the government ships and the pirates were situated upstream. They attacked with cannons and the government fleet was unable to hold, losing six ships and several tens of officers.

The foreign trade ship Teaou Fa, a large, well defended merchant vessel, had returned carrying a load of goods from the Tokin, Vietnam. Chang Pao knew that he could not take the ship with brute force, so he first seized two ferry ships and hid his crew inside of them. Then, he put on a show of the passenger ferry being pursued by the pirates and hailing the Teaou Fa with a request for aid. The crew of the Teaou Fa had grown arrogant because of their numerous victories and did not realize the pirates' deceit, allowing the ferry near her. The pirates climbed aboard using the moorings. Once aboard, they finally reviewed themselves to be hostile with the main pirate ship following close behind. Before the Teaou Fa's crew could use sword, bow, or cannon, the pirates had killed the scores of sailors on board and captured the ship to use as their own flagship. From then on, their progress could never again be impeded.

In the second month of the fourteenth year (March 1809), General-in-Chief Sun Quan-Mou led a hundred rice clippers (government commandeered Tong'an junks) on expedition against the pirates. After receiving reconnaissance that the pirates had congregated at the Ladrones Archipelago, he ordered his ships to surround the islands and then advance. The pirates, emboldened by their numbers, did not hide or flee, but assumed formations, preparing to engage. Neither did the Imperial troops pay them any heed; they shouted warcries and threw themselves into an intense battle, firing rockets in an attempt to burn the pirates. The galleys were quickly set aflame. The pirates were panicked and set sails to escape, but the government fired flaming arrows at them. The wind suddenly changed direction, rendering all ships immobile, thus, the government vessels grouped together to close in on the pirates, spraying their ships with ash and potash. The pirates were blinded by the haze and collapsed on the decks. The government troops seized the chance to board their ships, killing countless pirates and taking some two hundred prisoner. One woman held stalwart to the rudder and refused to fall or retreat. Even though the pirates were defeated, she kept swinging her twin cutlasses, wounding several of the army's number. She was only captured when a government soldier wounded her in the back with a musket, knocking her to the ground.

At the time, the Red Banner Fleet was stationed in the Bay of Canton. Sun Quan-Mou hoped to catch them unawares by launching a swift attack on them with his victorious troops. Ching I Sao did not move, instead sending Chang Pao to face them with ten or so ships and ordering Leang Po-Paou to circle behind the troops with another ten something boats. When the government troops were split fighting at the front and rear, Heongsan Two and Siu Puh-Gow attacked them from left and right with several tens of ships.The government troops were cut in half by the pirates and chaos soon reigned. Each man fought for himself, matching a hundred enemies for every man as shouts filled the skies. After a while, Ching I Sao herself threw the full brunt of her forces against the government forces, who were eventually unable to hold and lost fourteen boats.

In the fourth month (May 1809), the Imperial army was escorting merchant vessels going to and fro. At Tangpaigo, they encountered the Commodore and his White Banner Fleet. The merchants were very much intimidated, but the government troops ensured them: "These are not the Red Banner forces, we can win against them." In the proceeding battle, the two sides traded fire, each inflicting damage upon the other, ceasing fire at the onset of evening. The next day, they resumed fighting. The government vessels and pirate vessels were but inches away from each other, with the sailors trading boasts through the shipboards. They fought at the sound of the drum and retreated at the sound of the gong; the ring of clashing knives sounded for miles across. The trade vessels formed a circle and watched, witnessing the pirates drinking wine flavored with gunpowder before commencing battle. Before long, the pirates would would be red of face and eye, becoming fiercer the longer they fought, leaving the onlookers in slack-jawed wonder. The two sides fought for three days and nights, finally ending in a stalemate with both sides back away in exhaustion.
In the eighth day of the fifth month (1809/6/20), the pirates invaded Kamchuk Beach, burning and plundering businesses. On the tenth (1809/6/22), they turned toward Shakou in Jiujiang County. The entire coastal region was burned to the ground. They then ravaged Jiezhou, heading inland and abducting fifty-three women. On the eleventh (1809/6/23), they returned to sea, sailing for Changshan in Sinhoe County, burning hundreds of businesses and capturing more than a hundred men and women.

In the sixth month (July 1809), Xu Yan-Gui led a naval expedition against the White Banner Fleet, camping at Waigamoon, intending to go further east. However, he was delayed for several days by intense rains. On the night of the eight day (1809/7/20), Chang Pao ran two reconnaissance missions on a small, circling around the encampment. Because of the rain, Xu Yan-Gui did not believe the enemy could approach and thus slackened his guard. On the morning of the ninth (1809/7/21), Chang Pao sent two hundred vessels on a sneak attack, heading directly for Xu Yan-Gui's ship. Xu Yan-Gui had no time to drop sails or raise anchor as he was suddenly attacked, leaving him unable to escape. Seeing the enemy vessels swarm like ants, the sky blotted out by their flapping flags, his own soldiers scared pale and barely able to fight, Xu Yan-Gui cried out, "All of you have parents and wives and children waiting at home! You must fight bravely so you can snatch your own lives away from the jaws of death! As for me, I have received too many rewards from my government. In the face of danger, I can only fight to the death to repay my country!" His soldiers were touched and put their full efforts into the fight, each becoming the equal of a hundred men. After the fight had lasted a while, Xu Yan-Gui's cannon fire struck and killed the pirate leader Commodore Boo, causing the pirates to temporarily pull back. Unfortunately, the pirate forces received backup ships, while the government army grew progressively exhausted. Toward noon, Chang Pao advanced on Xu Yan-Gui's ship and the sides engaged in melee, with many pirates being slaughtered. The pirate vanguard Laeng Po-Paou boarded the vessel and sent the government soldiers scattering. Seeing all was lost, Xu Yan-Gui committed suicide. Countless numbers of government soldiers were drowned, twenty-five ships were lost.

Meanwhile, Provincial Governor Bailing had been recalled from Sanjiang to act as Grand Viceroy of Liangguang, causing the civilians to proclaim "Bai the Just has arrived!" Because there were none so lawless as the pirates plaguing the area, the Viceroy's door would be crowded everyday by pleading villagers. He became apprehensive and spent day and night planning, hanging a sign outside asking for suggestions from soldiers and civilians alike. Some came forth with the suggestion that he seal all the ports, saying, "Since Wang Biao died, the government has made little gains against the pirates. In the past years, Lin Guo-Liang was killed at Tai A Chau, Sun Quan-Mou was defeated in the Bay, Lin Fa was sent fleeing at Anunghai, and just shortly before Xu Yan-Gui lost his life at Waiga. Our army has lost its edge and our soldiers are filled with fear. We have not yet seen demotivated armies such as ours succeed in destroying a vigorous army like that of our enemy. The only thing we can do now is cut off the criminals' provisions, refuse them any aid, forbid ships from going on the sea and turn to land routes for shipping. Without anything to plunder, the pirates forces will naturally collapse. Only then do we have a hope of defeating them." The Viceroy indeed chose that measure, After a few months, the pirates could seize no bounty and their food provisions gradually ran out. They were indeed left in dire circumstances. Therefore, they decided to progress inland along the rivers.

The outlaws shifted their activity to inland waters, dividing themselves into three groups. Ching I Sao led plundering parties around Sinhoe, Chang Pao occupied the area around Dongguan, and Kwo Pow-Tai raided several places such as Punyu and Shuntak, My home happens to be in Hengan, Shuntak County, and thus the activities of the pirates in that area are particularly detailed.

On the first day of the seventh month (1809/8/11), Kwo Pow-Tai barreled inland with a hundred ships and burned Zini Pass. On the second day, (1809/8/12), the pirates split into several pillaging parties. Villages such as Bijiang, Weipu, Linyue, Shibi etc. were all raided. They made straight for Dawangjiao Junction and circled back at Shuishiying. Their large ship surrounded Jigongshi (downstream from the Zini Pass) and demanded the villages around Zini yield to them ten thousand taels of gold. To the right of the area, Sanshan village, a small village far removed from the Zini Pass, could only collect 2000 tales. In the village, there were those who wanted to yield the sum to the pirates and those who did not want to yield it to the pirates. Those who would yield up the sum claimed: "Those outlaws' forces are too formidable, the only chance for our people to remain unmolested is to yield to them temporarily and avoid danger for the time being, then think up a plan afterwards. Furthermore, our village is situated by the sea, with water on all sides. Should some disaster occur, we would not even have a way to escape. How can we not fear them?" Those who would not yield claimed, "The greed of the outlaws is limitless, we can yield up money to them now, but we cannot give them anymore afterwards. Should they extort more payment, how would we match their demands? Would we not do better to keep the two thousand taels and use it to hire defenders? In the face of such a big reward, surely there will be brave men who will answer our pleas. Else we should arm ourselves and show the thieves that we are not easily harassed. Only then will we ensure peace in the future." Thus, they argued for a day among themselves, with no sign of coming to an agreement. It happened then that a villager returned from a trip outside, insisting that, "The pirates are a ragtag bunch and easily driven off. We must not yield." Thus, the village put up a reward, called for brave men to join the civilian militia, and prepared weaponry. Any man between sixteen and sixty was expected to participate. However, the village had spent so longer at peace, none of them had ever before faced an enemy. Knowing they would soon have to fight, the villagers were left so agitated, they were unable to sleep at night. The next day, all the men took up dagger-axes and stood guard along the coastline. When the pirates saw, they realized the village would not be yielding money to them. Come night, they fired their cannons at the front of the village in anger, but their cannonballs were impeded by a line of pine trees and could not reach the village. In the morning of the fourth day (1809/8/14), the pirate captain Kwo Pow-Tai ordered his men to clear away the pine trees before eating breakfast. At noon, the pirates besieged the village on foot. The villagers put up a stiff resistance for many hours, temporarily driving off the pirates. Kwo Pow-Tai ordered his men to split up and attack in two groups. The mountains behind the village were filled with pirate forces. The villagers panicked and scattered. The pirates pressed after them, beheading eighty men and hanging the heads from ficus trees growing on the coast. Before the battle, the defenders of the village worried the women would distract them and thus locked them away in the village temple. Now that the defenders had lost, the pirates opened up the temple gates and easily abducted the women back to their boats.The final abductor had grabbed two women. One of the remaining defenders secretly followed behind him, stabbing him in the back while he was distracted. The knife came out through the front of the pirate's belly, killing him instantly. The defender rescued the two women and escaped. In this battle plenty of pirates were killed, but the damages inflicted on the village of merely 2000 people is unspeakable.

On the third day (1809/8/13), villagers of Machau fled at first news of the pirates, leaving behind their valuables and livestock to be plundered. On the sixth day (1809/8/16), the pirates reached Pengchau, then Sanshan. On the eighth (1809/8/18), they retreated back to Sandy Bay. On the ninth (1809/8/19), they were unable to penetrate Sandy Bay's defenses. On the tenth (1809/8/20), they rode upstream on the currents and burned Dieshidun. On the eleventh (1809/8/21), they reached my hometown and secretly delivered a letter of extortion to the front the village. On the twelfth (1809/8/22), they plundered Huangyong. On the thirteenth (1809/8/23), they entered Fulu. On the fourteenth (1809/8/24), they retreated back to Nanpai. On the fifteenth (1809/8/25), they exited Fumen. On the twenty-sixth (1809/9/5), they waylaid a Thai cargo ship, but did not succeed in capturing her. On the twenty-ninth (1809/9/8), they besieged Dujiao in Dongguan and massacred almost a thousand people.

The pirates were a crafty bunch. They would pretend to be local men of standing and scam officials into lending them cannons; or pretend to be government boats on patrol, attacking unsuspecting villagers; else they disguised themselves as traveling fortunetellers to scope out the details of an area. After a while, the local inhabitants caught on and became wary. Thus, any strangers who came into their midst were caught and lynched. Government soldiers who came to procure provisions suffered the same fate. The land was engulfed in unspeakable chaos.

On the sixteenth day of the seventh month (1809/8/26), they besieged Laocun in Dongguan. The villagers, knowing they would come, set up cannons at key passes, cutting trees to make camouflage for the cannons. The villagers armed themselves with dagger-axes and hid well, leaving only ten or so people to visibly challenge the pirates. The pirates, seeing there were few defenders, went on land and chased after them. As the pirates closed in, the defenders made as if to fire the cannons, intimidating the pirates so they dared not advance. When the pirates saw that while the fuse was lit, the cannon did not fire, they once again advanced, only to see the defenders light the cannon to intimidated them again. After this repeated for three times, the pirates realized their bluff and commanded their men to charge. The ten or so original defenders fled ducked into hidden areas. When the pirates were close, they finally fired the cannons and killed more than a hundred pirates. While the pirates panicked, the hidden men sprung out and chased after them. Numerous pirates were killed, and they lost one junk and two longboats.

On the eighteenth day of the eighth month (1809/9/27), Ching I Sao led five hundred or so boats to set out from Dongguan and Sinhoe. harassing areas like Shuntak and Heongsan before putting down camp at Tanzhou. On the twentieth (1809/9/29), she sent Chang Pao on a raiding party straight inland, plundering Shating and taking four hundred men and women prisoner. At my village, they ravaged the surrounding area, but could not penetrate the barricade defending the main village. On the twenty-first (1809/9/30), they went to Lintou. On the twenty-second, they passed by Ganjiao, but could not pierce the village's defenses, so they turned toward Banbianyue and made camp, anchoring their boat at Chencun village. Knowing the pirates had arrived, the villagers rushed to repel them. The pirates fired their cannons, forcing the villagers back. The pirates then landed. The villagers took the high ground and fired cannons at the pirates, sending the pirates crouching down. The artillery battery was then at too high of an angle to wound them. Before the villager manning the guns could adjust the angle and fire again, he was beheaded by a pirate. The pirates then led a force of five hundred people into the village, while the villagers responded with a force of three-thousand. When the enemy waved their flag to rally their forces, the villagers killed the standard bearer with musket fire. When another pirate picked up the standard and charged, he too was shot and killed. The pirates closed ranks into a wall-like formation, only for the villager Ou Ke to break into their ranks. One pirate raised a pike against him. After several rounds of fighting, Ou Ke stabbed his spear into his enemy's heart. Another pirate saw and was enraged, swinging his sword at Ou Ke. Ou Ke could not parry in time and had his hand chopped off. He collapsed to the ground and was killed by the pirate. Afterwards, the two sides deadlocked, each inflicting damage upon the other. The villagers retreated into some ancient fortifications. The pirates chased after them until blocked by a moat at Maian. In retaliation, they burned more than twenty houses at Majitou. On the twenty-third (1809/10/2), the pirates attacked again with full forces. The villagers again defended themselves. On the verge of being defeated by the pirates, Chi Hua, the leader of a nearby village, brought a thousand defenders as reinforcements. The pirates retreated, leaving several tens of pirates and eight defenders dead.

On the twenty-third, Ching I Sao ordered Kwok Pow-Tai to set out and camp at Jigongshi. On the twenty-fourth (1809/10/3), Chang Pao and Kwok Pow-Tai plundered along different routes. Chang Pao raided the area from Beihai to Fojiao, gaining ten thousand koku of grain and burning more than thirty houses. On the twenty-fifth, Chang Pao entered Xijiao, while Kwok Pow-Tai burned Sanxiongqi and plundered Huangfu. He was unable to penetrate the defenses of Lanan and turned his attentions on Jichafu.

On the twenty-sixth, Chang Pao led his flee to the mouth of the South China Sea at Lanshi. At the front were five rice clippers that had belonged to Lanshi's defenses, but had been captured by Chang Pao after the government forces fled in fear at the sight of the pirates. The scholar Huo Zhao-Yuan led the defenders of the village in battle against the pirates. The pirates sent out large number of forces. The villagers, seeing the pirates' might, ran away in fear before the sides had a chance to clash. Only Zhao-Yuan charged headfirst into the battle, but while he fought hard, he was unable to match the pirates' numbers and was killed. The pirates then burned down more than four hundred houses and businesses and killed ten or so people of the village. After they had left, the villagers, commemorating Huo Zhao-Yuan's valor, built him a temple and worshiped his spirit. The Imperial Inspector Han Feng himself went and paid his respects. (Zhao-Yuan had acted as the sheriff of Lanshi. He had been a generous, honorable man who could fight well with fist and staff. Even before the pirates arrived, he was often telling people, "People once told me that this would be the luckiest year of my life. But now half the year has passed and nothing of note has happened. Why is that?" When the pirates arrived, he encouraged the villagers to slay their enemies, himself taking up sword and spear as a defender. He killed several enemies, but his strength finally ran out and he died at the enemy's hand. The villagers, impressed by his valor, built him a temple and worshiped him. Did he know that the prediction of good fortune actually meant becoming a subject of worship after his death? Now it had been twenty years, and the temple is more active than ever. This footnote serves as comment on the irony.)

On the twenty-seventh, Brigadier General Lin Sun patrolled the rivers with forty boats, hoping to intercept the pirates. When they reached Jinkang, it was already sunset, so they set camp at Zini. Chang Pao ordered that all ships return to Shating. By night, all ships had grouped at the appointed spot. Lin Sun worried he was no match when he saw the vastness of the pirate fleet and fled into the Dunghoi, making full haste for Bjiang. On the morning of the twenty-eighth, the pirates rushed into Zini in an attempt to devastate the government forces, but found they were too late. Undeterred, they set up camp at Shating. At the time, the autumn winds had just started to blow. Seeing the standards flying high across the coat, the air coated with the mood of war, was a terrifying sight.

On the twenty-ninth (1809/10/8), the pirates once again besieged Ganjiao. They entered the surrounding waters in small junks and encircled the village. The villagers fired their cannons, killing two pirates. The pirates were incensed, surrounding the village with big boats and sending their forces on land. The path to the village was narrow and tightly guarded by villagers.The pirates could not enter, so they had to split along different routes. The villagers had built a barricade to defend against the ocean to the east; the pirates uprooted the fence, entered the surrounding junction,entered the surrounding water junctions, and came onto land with flags raised. The villagers put up stiff resistance, entering into a difficult battle at Lintou Ferry. The martial artist Zhou Wei-Deng led the defenses, injuring more than ten pirates. The pirates were about to retreat when Chang Pao personally came to survey the battle. After a while, the villagers became exhausted, allowing the pirates to surround Zhou Wei-Deng. His daughter was also strong and brave; now that she knew her father was in danger, she charged into enemy lines, hacking away and killing scores of enemies with her sword. Greater numbers of the enemy surged into the encircling formation, trapping the father and daughter behind layers of enemy lines. Zhou Wei-Deng had been heavily injured and could no longer fight. He was soon impaled and killed by the enemy. His daughter too was injured and died in battle. The enemy advanced; the villagers burned the bridge to the village and stationed defenders along the riverbank. The pirates then crossed the moat by swimming. However, on the opposite shore, they were wounded by the villagers' spears and could not advance. The pirates turned to wounding the villagers with musket fire, sending them retreating. More of the enemy crossed the river and entered into the fray, soundly defeating the villagers. Estimates of villager casualties reach up to a hundred, while the pirates also suffered a number of casualties. The pirates turned to ravaging the area. They gained countless numbers of clothing and money, abducted 1140 men and women, and burned several tens of houses. For several days, the smoke refused to die down. The entire village was without even the sound of a dog or chicken. The surviving men and women either escaped to other villages or hid among the tall grasses. One group of a hundred or so women hid within the rice field, but their children began crying for hunger. When the pirates heard, they abducted the entire group. Yang Mei-Ying, daughter of Yang Ji-Ting, possessed a special beauty. A pirate leader attempted to take her as wife. Mei-Ying rebuked him, sending him into a rage. He suspended her by her armpits on the mast, but her torrent of abuse only grew fiercer. The pirate leader took her down and knocked out two of her teeth, sending blood gushing from her mouth. He strung her up again, intending to shoot her with arrows. Mei-Ying then agreed to his suit. When he took her down, she bit him, staining his clothes with her blood, and then committed suicide by leaping into the water. As for the rest of the abducted people, they were ransomed several months later by their relatives with 5000 taels. The next year, after the pirates had been subdued, I passed by Banbianyue and was touched by Mei-Ying's chastity, as well as shamed by the capture of so many people. Thus, I composed a poem in her memory,

Now that the dust of war has settled, my memories flow backwards.
Of those who waged war against the enemy, only one woman was truly victorious.
She shamed the evildoers with her blood, then sacrificed herself to the watery depths.
The watery spirit bobs along the waves, her heroism lingers still.

After I finished the poem, I took a good look at the landscape. The water was blue and the mountains blue, with no sign of the previous smoke and shadow. It has indeed been a long time.

Part II

On the thirteenth day of the ninth month (1809/10/21), General-in-Chief Sun Quan-Mou led eighty warships to Sandy Bay to challenge the pirates. On the night of the fourteenth (1809/10/22), once the pirates found out, they sent out a call for the fleet's ships to gather at Sandy Bay. The call went out for several tens of li. When the ships arrived, they proved to be formidable opponents, fighting throughout the night. The two sides exchanged cannon fire from the break of dawn until morning, when they finally rested. Gunfire then echoed throughout the day. The locals ascended Qingluo peak and observed the battle, seeing stems and sterns bobbing to and fro, the waves crashing over the river surface, arrows and cannonballs flying, and unending battle cries. It was enough to shake the entire canyon and shock the monkeys and cranes within. All spectators felt their legs go soft and were almost unable to stand. Before long, both armies scattered, retreating because of exhaustion. The government, surprisingly, lost four ships. The Major Liang Tao was unable to break free. Afraid he would be captured by the outlaws, he cried out, "Never shall I be sullied by death at an outlaw's sword!", and set fire to his ammunition box, burning himself to death. A great number government troops also died.

On the twenty-fifth (1809/11/2), the pirates headed to Dahuangfu in Heongsan. Dahuangfu is divided into an inner and outer village. The outer villager is next to the sea, with the villagers raising their chickens close to Siulam village. The officer-reserve He Ding-Ao knew that the pirates were approaching and received the permission of Heongsan village to round up several tens of fishing boasts to give to the village defenders and to set cannons before the village borders, all to protect the village. When the pirates arrived, He Ding-Ao, with tears running down his face, rallied his ships and headed into battle. After a night's hard fighting, all arrows and cannonballs were used up. The enemy swarmed in and no reinforcements were to be had in any direction. He Ding-Ao, badly injured, spoke to his subordinates, saying, "As the guardian of the village gate, I have directed my resolve at annihilating the outlaws. Thus, we have thrown ourselves at the pirates with no regard to our own safety. And now, not only have we not been able to clear away these clowns, but we have been trapped behind their lines. Nothing to regret about fighting to our last breaths! Yet I fear these lawless villains will spread over the land, destroying all in their path. Neither will our families avoid their slaughter.On a large scale, we have not been able to help the nation by eradicating these outlaws, and only a personal scale, we have been unable to protect our homelands. This is the only regret I have." When he looked back, he saw that all his subordinates had already fallen. He returned to slicing at enemies with his sword, killing several before dying of exhaustion. The pirates captured ten or so fishing boats, then turned to plundering Dahuangfu. The villagers erected barricades that the pirates could not break through. Chang Pao ordered Kwo Pow-Tai and Leang Po-Paou to split and attack from different directions. The villagers were soundly defeated and suffered several hundred in casualties. Soon after, the pirates issued orders for tribute. The villagers were intimidated since they knew the pirates could not be driven away with force. They sent people to mediate, with the pirates finally leaving placated.

Ching I Sao commanded her subordinates to enter inland waters, while she herself remained on the ocean with several large boats, guarding the ports to prevent the government's sneak attacks. At the time, there were three foreign ships returning to the Western nations. They happened upon Ching I Sao, who attacked captured one of their boats, killing several tens of foreign sailors. The other two escaped right as the Magistrate of Heongsan, Peng Shu, was heading west with a hundred he had conscripted. The two parties met and formed an arrangement to fight the pirates together; the Magistrate hired six more foreign ships. Seeing Ching I Sao had few ships in her party, they attempted to surround her. At the time, Ching I Sao only a few escort ships, the rest of her fleet having followed Chang Pao inland. She lowered her flags and silenced her drums, waiting quietly for Chang Pao to return so she could send him into battle. On the third day of the tenth month (1809/11/10), the boats that had gone inland returned. Once Chang Pao arrived, the two sides engaged in battle, with the foreign ships being defeated and the fishing boats all escaping. The foreigners were infuriated and submitted a request to Heongsan County to let the foreign ships to fight the pirates with their own forces. Peng Shu granted the request. On the tenth (1809/11/17), Peng Shu chose six foreign ships staffed with foreign sailors, gave them adequate food supplies, and sent them out to eradicate the pirates.

At the time, Chang Pao's forces were gathered at Lantau Island, around Chek-Lap-Kok Island. As the foreign ships followed the pirates' trail, they happened upon General-in-Chief Sun Quan-Mou leading a hundred or so ships in the same direction. The two parties combined to attack the pirates. On the thirteenth, the two sides entered battle, fighting nonstop for two days and nights with no apparent victor. On the fifteenth (1809/11/22), a certain Major barreled into the front of the enemy forces with a large boat, firing his cannons at them. However, too much gunpowder was used on the cannon, causing it to backfire and wound several of its own crew, then set fire to the ammunition box, blowing up the ship and killing several tens of the crew. The two armies both retreated. On the sixteenth (1809/11/23), they fought again, with the government forces unable to hold out, losing one ship.

Sun Quan-Mou worried that he had no chance of defeating the pirates, telling his subordinates, "These outlaws are only so unruly because our army is not united. The enemy is many, we are few; our boats are small, the enemies' boats are massive; they fight together as a team, we are scattered and alone. It is obvious who is united and who is alone, who is strong and who is weak. That is the reason that we have failed to score a victory for today's expedition. Unless we attack them with all our strength, we have no opportunity of success whatsoever. Now that they are gathered around Lantau, the land is narrow and curved, the waters arch around the island, and the outlaws, prideful of their prior victories, will not consider running away. I will take this chance to call up all the forces I can spare and surround the outlaws. Then, we can attack them with flaming ships. At that time, how shall they be able to match against us?" On the seventeenth (1809/11/24), he ordered all ships under his command to group together, reorganize their crew, and head together to Chek-Lap-Kok to trap the pirates on Lantau, so the pirates' aid and supplies will all be cut off. It meant a prolonged blockade. He also ordered Brigadier General Liu Liang-Cai to prepare Fire Boats. These boats were stuffed to the brim with gunpowder, hay, and smoke-makers; the a fuse was put inside the ship, so once lit, there boats would become great balls of flame. Once everything was prepared, the Magistrate of Heongsan County, Peng Shu, submitted a request to station foot soldiers across the mountain edges in case of the pirates trying to run away, allowing the government to attack from both sea and land, capturing all the pirates in one swoop.

By the time of the twentieth (1809/11/27), the north wind was blowing fiercely. The government lit the fuse on twenty Fire Boasts and sent them drifting east. When they were almost to the enemy camp, they were stopped by mountain drafts and instead of reaching the enemy camp, set fire to to ally boats. The pirates were warned by this event, so they wrapped dried Artemisia around iron tridents, pushing the Fire Boats far away. The government forces were angered at the failure of their plan, so they charged and fought with all their strength, killing three hundred outlaws.

Chang Pao became scared and consulted the goddess San-Po. Should he fight? No. Should he flee? Yes. Should he try and break free tomorrow? Three divining trials all said yes. Thus, on the morning of the twenty-second (1809/11/29), the South Wind started to blow slightly, turning the direction of the ship flag. The pirates were overjoyed and made preparations to escape. By the afternoon, the south wind had become a gale, the waves roared and crashed. Just before night, the outlaws unfurled their sails and raised a great din, breaking through the blockade with the aid of the wind. A hundred ships rushed away with the force of a rock slide. The government ships did not expect for them to attempt an escape and thus were unprepared to intercept them. The foreign ships fired their cannons, but the pirates shielded their main force with several tens of old decrepit ships, thus incurring no injuries. The pirates, along with all decrepit ships, made their way into the open ocean from Stonecutter's Island.

After the outlaws left the blockade, Sun Quan-Mou rallied his troops and chased after them. On the fifth day of the eleventh month (1809/12/11), he heard the pirates were at Nan-ao Island, and so led rice clippers to attack them there. The pirates maneuvered their ships into a straight line. When the government forces arrived, Chang Pao ordered the ships at the sides to curve around the groove of the island in an attempt to surround the opposing fleet. The government forces, worried about being encircled, sent eighty boats to circle to the enemy's rear, coordinating with the main force to keep the enemy from closing ranks.Thus, the two sides began a fierce battle, exchanging cannon fire. From 3 o'clock in the afternoon to 9 o'clock at night, the government troops fought to the death, burning three enemy ships. The enemy retreated and the government fleet did not chase after them, letting them get far away. When the government troops finally rested, the enemy suddenly came back and attacked, surprising the government soldiers from their sleep and forcing them to put up a sloppy resistance. After a while, the government troops were unable to react in time when the pirates threw torches to light their boats on fire. Overall two boats were burned and three more captured.

When Chang Pao was trapped at Chek-Lap-Kok, Kwo Pow-Tai had been in Weizhou. Chang Pao had feared that he could not break the blockade, so he sent a call for help. It said "You and I have disturbed the high seas together. We are as lips and teeth; should the lips be cut away, the teeth shall go cold. Should I be defeated, can you go unmolested? Quickly lead your fleet here to aid me. You can distract their attention by attacking from the outside, while I will destroy their structure by breaking out from within. The government army will be unable to withstand an attack from both outside and within. We will win before long. Please consider this offer." It so happened that Kwo Pow-Tai considered himself the senior party in the partnership, but always had to defer to Chang Pao's decisions, so he had never gotten along with Chang Pao. However, he was too afraid of Ching I Sao to give voice to his opinions. Now, he reveled in Chang Pao's defeat, since it now meant he could rule supreme over the seas, doing whatever he wished. And so, he sent no aid whatsoever. Chang Pao's followers were furious. When they escaped the blockade, they vowed revenge. They finally found Kwo Pow-Tai at Neaouchow and asked "Why did you not save us?"

Kwo Pow-Tai answered, "One must weight the pros and cons before acting, and actions must only be taken at the right time. How would my flotilla match against the might of a government fleet? I have heard that 'if the power to decide lies in someone else's hands, I must not question them, but if that power lies in my hands, they cannot force my choice.' Whether I chose today to save you or not lay in my hands. Why would you fault me for what I chose?"

Chang Pao angrily cried, "Why have you rebelled?"

Kwo Pow-Tai replied, "I have not rebelled."

Chang Pao retorted, "Ching I Sao was also trapped in the blockade with us. Since you have chose not to save her, you have rebelled! I swear I will now end your dishonorable life to keep you from making trouble for us in the future!"

After the conversation was over, the followers of both sides were livid, so the two groups began warring with cannons. Chang Pao had already been through two skirmishes, so his ammunition was depleted, while Kwo Pow-Tai's troops had been held back at full strength. Chang Pao's fleet could not match them and suffered a devastating defeat, with Kwo Pow-Tai seizing sixteen ships and inflicting more than three hundred in casualties. From then on, the two fleets were sworn enemies.

However, Kwo Pow-Tai continued to worry that his forces were weak and would be absorbed into those of Chang Pao sooner or later, so he called a meeting of his staff. "In a fight between our two fleets, our numbers cannot compare to even a tenth of his. His orders are strict and his men are so brave that come battle, they are all eager to be the first to rush in. Whereas half of my forces must be coerced into battle, and whenever a fight begins, most of them turn and run. He has Leang Po-Paou, renowned across the seas for his courage, who can leap on a boat several meters away with a single bond; I have not one man in my fleet who can match him. His worship of Lady San-Po has earned him her protection, thus all his prayers are granted; while I worship faithfully, all my prayers fall empty. With all my disadvantages and his advantages, going against him would be like trying to fight against a tiger or a pack of wolves. Right now Viceroy Bai has put out a proclamation offering clemency should we surrender. Why should we not write up a letter of capitulation and have someone deliver it to them? Perhaps the officer shall will temper justice with mercy and not have the heart to kill all of us pirates. He could even give our troops the chance to make amends."

Feng Yong-Fa asked, "What shall we do if he doesn't believe us?"

Chang Jih-Keaou replied, "The government troops too know well that we have just defeated Chang Pao. How could they not believe us if we gave to them the prisoners from that skirmish as tribute?"

Kwo Tsew-He added, "If none of the officers fighting us allow a surrender, then it doesn't matter. But should they have signs calling for our surrender, their policy is likely both eradication and clemency. Now they have seen us warring among ourselves, with only our fleet capitulating after killing other outlaws, they will show us clemency while eradicating the other pirates. Whether we succeed depends on being first; we must ensure no one acts before us."

Kwo Pow-Tai listened to them, ordering his record keeperwrite up an offer of surrender:

"The only difference between heroic deeds and robbery is their starting point; all officials hold some degree of sympathy in their hearts for their criminal counterparts. Thus, though the heroes of Liangshan raided nearby cities three times, they were pardoned and allowed to become the nation's backbone; though the heroes of Wagang defied Imperial might time and again, they were not annihilated but allowed to become protectors of the Realm. If a man acts like Zhuge Liang in capturing and releasing the barbarian king Meng Fang seven times, or like Guan Yu releasing Cao Cao three times, or even as Ma Chao never chasing after a defeated opponent and Yue Fei never killing a surrendered soldier, then great men from all four directions will be willing to serve his commands; all heroes under heaven will come and swear fealty to him. Right and wrong are the same in this case, as are the desires of those involved. We puny ones were born in a prosperous time as law abiding citizens, but we stumbled into the criminal underworld from knowing the wrong people, or were forced into becoming cohorts due to lack of money, were kidnapped and made into accomplices by criminals, or were desperate because we were fugitives for some other crime. We have only ganged together for three to five years, and yet attracted tens of thousands people. Add to that continuous droughts that destroyed people's livelihoods, more and more citizens turned to a life of crime out of desperation as time dragged on. They could not prolong their lives but by robbing others, not could they survive but by resisting government armies. It is obvious they would offend the Imperial Court and destroy the economy. Yet, once they have left their homes, who would not long for their families; drifting alongside the wind and the waves, who does not suffer the melancholy of having no fixed abode? Should they be intercepted by the government, their souls tremble as they face the hail of fire and arrows; if they meet the might of the River God their hearts quake as they face tempests and waves. Running east and west, constantly wary of warships tailing after; sleeping in the open and dining against the wind, suffering the agonies of life on the open ocean. At this time, they wish to lay down arms and return home, but will never again be accepted by their former neighbors; they wish to defect to the government side, yet they do not how the officials will treat them. Thus they are forced to lingering on islands, unsure of what path to take. Ah! Although our crimes surely deserve death, for our unruliness cannot escape the consequences of the law, our motives are pitiable and we throw ourselves at the feet of those who would show us mercy. Fortunately, Your Excellency has returned to Canton and put the South under rule of law. Your conduct is as pure as water and you love the masses as if they were your own children. We courteously thank you for issuing many times demands for surrender. We beg you to pity the reasons for our crimes and combine the use of severity and lenience; remember that there are merciful gods in heaven, so the best option would be to have a policy of both clemency and annihilation. Birds think only of peace when caught in a dust storm, just as fish cannot be at ease within boiling water. Thus we have united all out members in this petition. Extend your mercy to the remaining lives of us insects, save us peasants from our plight; pardon our former crimes and give us a way to atone. You shall find us selling our swords and buying oxen so we may till in the fields. We prostrate and pray, singing sea shanties throughout the day under our boat canopies. Should we have any thoughts of betrayal, we pray that you will execute us immediately."

Once the Viceroy saw the petition, he told his advisers, "To break the enemy's spirit, we should use a policy of utter annihilation. To dissolve the enemy's strength, we should offer clemency. Use outlaws against outlaws, that was how Yue Fei defeated Yang Me. There is no other way to drive apart their ranks and dissolve their strength except to use their infighting." Thus, he granted the petition. They arranged for the pirates ships to pull into shore and offer up their captives and submit at Pinghai Town in Guishan County. When the Viceroy went to accept the surrender, Kwo Pow-Tai drew up a list of his people and vehicles and submitted it all to him. The Viceroy was delighted and ordered his lieutenant Hong Ao to tally up the fleet. The government had acquired 8000 people, 128 ships, 500 brass and iron cannons, and 5600 pieces of weaponry. Those subordinates of his who were still scattered over Yeungkong and Xinan were called back by Kwo Pow-Tai so they could also defect to the government. This event occurred in the twelfth month of the fourteenth year (January 1810). From then on, the Black Banner was effectively pacified. Kwo Pow-Tai changed his name to Kwo Hok-Kien. For his achievement of defeating Chang Pao, the Viceroy submitted a petition to the Imperial Court to make Kwo Pow-Tai a sergeant.

In the twelfth month, Chang Pao separated from his subordinates and once again penetrated inland, besieging Kaichau Island. The time had approached the end of the year, with the pirates spending the new year encircling Laoyagang. That night, the sound of bursting firecrackers, gongs, and drums could from a great distance. At the New Year (1810/2/4), the trees streamed with banners, glowing with a piercing red that rivaled the sun. The sounds of revelry echoed for hundreds of miles. On the second (1810/2/5), the pirates fired their cannons at the front of the village. On the third (1810/2/6), several tens of their number invaded the land. The villagers resisted, keeping the pirates from advancing. Previously, the Sheriff Ma Qing-yun, knowing the pirates were approaching, gathered the village defenders and trained them in various forms of weaponry. Thus, when the pirates arrived, the villagers were well prepared. On the fourth (1810/2/7), the enemy attacked with their main force. The defenders were at a disadvantage, with two of them being injured in the fight. Just as the defenders were on the verge of defeat, it so happened that Viceroy Bai had sent Lu Cheng-Rui to lead a unit from Shiuhing to bolster defenses at Shuntak, whom now passed through the area. Lu Cheng-Rui ordered his troops to attack the pirates, who fought to the death. The government troops advanced on the pirates with muskets, forcing them to flee back to their ships. Because they had fought several skirmishes throughout the day, they were also sent scurrying by the villagers. Afterwards, Commander Lu surveyed the surroundings and ordered that a short wall along the seaside to be built from newly wet mud as a barricade against cannon fire. The pirates indeed fired their cannons, but all their cannonballs sank into the wet mud and were not able to wound a single person. The more determined the villagers were, the more stubbornly the pirates besieged them. The outlaws' intentions were to go through Kaichau and besiege Daliang. However, they were obstructed here with no plan for victory,leading to them starting to consider retreating.

Ching I Sao had seen how Kwo Pow-Tai had gained an office through surrendering and greatly fancied such a deal for herself. Thus, she slightly restrained herself, considering how to capitulate. She was constantly heard saying, "My fleet is ten times the size of Kwo's. Should I surrender, would the government not treat me better than Kwo?" However, she feared that she had committed too heinous of crimes and resisted too many officers, so she continued to hesitate. She spread the word that "The Red Banner will also surrender," hoping that once government officials heard, they would come and make her offers. Zhang Yu-Zhi, Commanding Officer of Zini Pass, heard the news and sent Zhou Fei-Xiong to negotiate. Zhou Fei-Xiong had been a doctor at Macau. He knew a great deal of the outlaws' dealings and was a man possessed of courage and intelligence. Zhang Yu-Zhi had been looking to hire a middle man for his negotiations with the pirates, but received no offers. When someone recommended Zhou Fei-Xiong's talents, the commanding officer decided he was the right man for the job.

When Zhou Fei-Xiong saw Chang Pao, he asked him. "Brother Pao, do you know the reason I have come?"

Chang Pao replied, "Have you come to join me because you're escaping arrest for some crime?"

Zhou Fei-Xiong said, "No."

Chang Pao then asked, "Have you come to spy on us?"

Zhou Fei-Xiong replied again, "Still no. In your own words, how would you compare to Kwo Pow-Tai?"

Chang Pao replied, "How can he compare to me!"

Zhou Fei-Xiong said, "Since you already know Kwo Pow-Tai cannot come close to equaling you, now that Kwo Pow-Tai has surrendered and gained an office in spite of his crimes, should you peacefully submit with your hundreds of thousands of troops, could the Viceroy offer you but a paltry sergeant's rank? It doesn't take a smart man to figure out how happy any official would be to accept your surrender, or how much happier they would be to see you rather than Pow-Tai. If you can lead your men to defect to the government's side, I will remain at your side for the purpose of introductions. Then, you will be able to retain your prosperity, while your men will be able to keep their lives."

Chang Pao was still unresolved, so Fei-Xiong continued with "Those who can move along with the current flow of affairs are the true heroes, those blind to the situation at hand are not wise men. Since you are at odds with Kwo Pow-Tai, he will cooperate with the government forces, fanning their hatred of you, so he can have a final showdown with you when you are at your weakest. How will you ensure victory then? Just previously, Pow-Tai by himself was able to win against you, so how will it go now that he has government backup? Should the government forces win, Pow-Tai will show his true colors. Not only will you never be able to enter Weizhou and Neaouchow again, but the trade vessels of Fuichiu and Teochew, the watery villagers of Canton and Shiuhing, the fishing boats on the open sea, the fields by the ocean coast, and all of your other accustomed pillaging spots will never again be available to you. Once you cannot pillage, your food provisions will run out. Then how will you and your followers survive? Wise men have the foresight to avoid trouble, fools will always regret their choices in hindsight. It would be useless to regret things after the fact, so you should choose quickly."

Chang Pao went to discuss things with Ching I Sao. Ching I Sao told him, "Mister Zhou is absolutely right. Chang Pao, you should do as he says."

Chang Pao then asked Zhou Fei-Xiong. "Can I really depend on you to help with our surrender"

Zhou Fei-Xiong replied, "There is nothing lightly said in the army! If there were any shady dealings at all, I would not have been able to meet I Sao, nor would I have met my commanding officer! Please clear your doubts and lead your fleet to Shakok, outside Fumen, so you can await your orders."

Chang Pao then agreed to Zhou Fei-Xiong's instructions. Zhou Fei-Xiong reported back to Zhang Yu-Zhi, who reported matters to the Viceroy. The Viceroy had been troubled over the remaining pirate activities, planning to first destroy the pirates of the Eastern section, and then move on the the pirates of the Western section. Thus, he was delighted at the news and ordered Zhang Yu-Zhi to find whether or not the pirates were truthful. When I Sao saw that Zhang Yu-Zhi had come, she had Chang Pao hold a feast for him, where Chang Pao told his inner thoughts to the officer. Since Yu-Zhi was aboard the pirate vessel, he proceeded to tell them of the clemency of the ruling Viceroy and urged them to defect while they had the chance, lest they would be filled with regret later. Chang Pao was overjoyed. The next day, he led Zhang Yu-Zhi on a grand tour of his ships and ordered all captains under him give salutations. Zhang Yu-Zhi returned, reporting that Mrs. Sek, the Widow Ching, was completely honest in her offer of capitulation, while Chang Pao himself was a generous, straightforward man who had no dishonesty to him.

The Viceroy then ordered Zhang Yu-Zhi, along with Peng Shu, to go back and discuss the terms of surrender. Chang Pao's only request was that he be allowed to retain several tens of his boats so he could fight against other pirates as penance. Zhang Yu-Zhi reported this upon his return, to which the Viceroy replied, "Ah, that's how it is. Though he has surrendered, he had not truly surrendered. He is still suspicious, fearing that we have only used an offer of clemency to draw him in. Then, I shall go in person to negotiate with him." Thus, he sent Zhou Fei-Xiong to convey his intentions, then took a single boat, bringing with him Peng Shu, Zhang Yu-Zhi and several others, heading straight for the pirates' whereabouts. At the time, the pirate convoy stretched for several tens of miles across. When they heard the Viceroy was arriving, they arranged their ships neatly, flew all their flags, and welcomed him with a cannon salute. The smoke swirled all around like mist, sending most of the negotiation party into a panic, but the Viceroy himself was calm and unmoved. Soon, Chang Pao, with Ching I Sao's nephew Ching Pang-Tsoeng, Leang Po-Paou, and Siu Puh-Gow among others, came out of the smoke riding on a longboat, heading quickly for the Viceroy. The Viceroy ordered that they bring themselves before him. Chang Pao and the others boarded the Viceroy's ship, prostrating themselves, enumerating their past crimes and begging tearfully that their lives be spared. The Viceroy proceeded to console them by speaking of the greater good. Chang Pao and the rest kowtowed in gratitude and swore to repay the Viceroy with their lives. The Viceroy told them, "Since you truly wish to capitulate, you should relinquish your command and disband your men. I will make an arrangement with you: in three days, you shall count up your ships and hand them over. What do you think?" Chang Pao and his followers politely agreed and left. It so happened a Western battleship sailed into Fumen Port with sails unfurled, its massive cowhide covered hull loomed over the sky. The pirates were horrified, thinking that the government troops had conspired with the Western ship to attack them. They pulled anchor and fled. Peng Shu and Zhang Yu-Zhi did not understand the reason for the pirates' actions. Upon seeing the pirates sail away, they were afraid that the pirates had changed their mind and were now leading the Viceroy into a trap.so he could be taken hostage. In a panic, they unfurled the sails and sped away. In an instant, nearby residents also absconded. The Viceroy had no choice but to return to his base.

The outlaws later learned that the foreign ship had merely been carrying goods to the port and was not connected with a government sneak attack. They calmed down, but since the Viceroy had already returned to his base, they were unable to go through with their surrender. Chang Pao discussed things over with his followers, saying, "Now that His Excellency the Viceroy has left, he must suspect us of duplicity. If we try to surrender again, he will not believe us, but if we do not try to surrender, we run the risk of severely cheating a government official. What should we do?"

Ching I Sao replied, "His Excellency has been nothing but sincere toward us, thus we must be sincere toward His Excellency. If we simply continue to drift on the oceans, we will never be able to give ourselves a satisfactory conclusion. I ask you to allow me to first go to port and offer myself as a hostage. I will explain the reasons behind our swift departure to ease his doubts, then arrange for a time and place of surrender. With me as a hostage, His Excellency will perhaps be inclined to once again accept our capitulation."

Everyone cried out, "No one knows how the Viceroy will react! You cannot go!"

Ching I Sao said, "Even though His Excellency was an official of the first rank, he could still risk his life coming to meet us alone. Then why should I, a mere woman, not be able to go to the Viceroy's office? If any disaster occurs, it will fall upon me alone and will not affect the rest of you."

Leang Po-Paou suggested, "If I Sao is going, then there must be a time limit for your return. Should you not return by the set time, we will lead the entire fleet right to the Viceroy's workplace and demand our Mistress's return. Then we will not playing with such dangerous stakes. What say the rest of you?"

Everyone cried, "We stand behind you, brother Po! If there is the slightest hint of danger, we shall not let I Sao die alone!"

Just as the discussion was over, Zhang Yu-Zhi and Zhou Fei-Xiong, seeing negotiations had fallen through, feared punishment for their failure and so sent Yuan Shao-Gao to Zhang Bao to inquire about the situation. When they knew that the pirates had only fled because they were wary of being attacked by the foreign ship, Zhang Yu-Zhi brought Zhou Fei-Xiong along to persuade the pirates once more. They told the pirates, "If you miss this chance, you will not find anyone to accept your surrender in the future. Our superior is a magnanimous man who will not misunderstand or condemn you. If I Sao goes, then we will ensure her safety."

I Sao replied. "You speak truth."

Thus, she took many women alongside her as she followed Yu-Zhi to the Viceroy's office. There, she pleaded for Chang Pao's case, saying "I feared you might have suspicions, therefore I have brought the wives and children of our fleet members as hostages."

The Viceroy replied, "How could I not excuse you given that you did not renege on your vows, but only fled out of misunderstanding? I know the Emperor's great clemency, so I will spare your lives and allow Chang Pao to come capitulate." Thus he retained the pirates' families and brought them alongside Ching I Sao to Furong Beach in Heongsan, where he accepted Chang Pao's surrender. He rewarded the crew of every ship with pork and wine, and awarded everyone a silver plaque. Those who wished to remain were assigned various offices and sent to fight against other pirates; those who wished to leave were separated and given fields to work on. From then on, the Red Banner was pacified.

Once Chang Pao surrendered, the Viceroy decided, "The Eastern and Center sections have been cleared. We can now turn our attentions to the pirates of the Western Section." He and Imperial Inspector Han Feng prepared for military operations. He ordered Supply Officer Wen Cheng-Zhi and Limchow-Kiangchow-Luichow Military Supervisor Zhu Erliyane to guard key areas and keep the outlaws from escaping; but he worried they would abscond to Vietnam, so he demanded the King station troops at Jiangping to intercept them. Then he assigned Chang Pao the post of vanguard. In the fourth month (1810/5/20), every officer had his ship set out. After a few days (1810/5/29). they happened upon a division of the Yellow Banner Fleet at Qixingyang. The government troops fought bravely and won an easy victory, capturing 390 men, including the pirate leader Le Tsung-Hoo. They also encountered the Green Banner moving into Fangjiyang. The pirates had several tens of vessels, so the government attacked them with cannon fire. When the pirates absconded in horror, the government forces chased after and inflicted numerous casualties.

In the fifth month, Viceroy Bai arrived at Kochow to personally observe the battle, boosting the efforts of the government troops even further. Then encountered Wusek Two at Danzhou and fought a fierce battle against him. Wusek Two saw that he was at a disadvantage and tried to flee, but General Huang Fei-Peng commanded various boats to surround him and attack. By noon, government troops had burned more than ten pirate ships and killed countless numbers of pirates. Wusek Two knew that he could not escape, thus he turned around and fought back. Chang Pao saw him through the cannon smoke and, gathering up all his strength, leaped on board his ship, crying "Here comes Chang Pao!" He proceeded to kill several enemies, inflicting great damage. Chang Pao angrily chastised Wusek Two: "I have suggested many times that you should come surrender. Why did you not listen to me? What can you say now?" Wusek Two was so disturbed that he dropped his blade, allowing him to be quickly bound by Leang Po-Paou. The rest of his crew were also captured. Wusek Two's older brother Meih Yew Kwai saw his brother captured and tried to make a hasty escape, but General-in-Chief Sun Quanmou led his army in pursuit, capturing Meih Yew-Kwai as well. Lieutenant General Hong Ao and Colonel Hu Zuo-Chao captured the youngest brother Meih Yew-Gee as well. Not long after, the Count of Dunghoi, seeing he had become isolated and vulnerable, also offered up his surrender. The Toad's Ward fled to Luzon. Later in the month (1810/6/21), Viceroy Bai arrived at Luichow and his fleets presented their prisoners at Port Shuangxi.

In this campaign, the government captured 500 outlaw men and women, accepted the surrender of 3460 people, and seized 86 boats, 291 brass and iron cannons, and 1372 other pieces of weaponry. The Viceroy gathered his advisers and generals outside the North Gate of Hoihong, where eight people, Wusek Two among them, were executed by slow slicing, while 119 others, including Wong Hok, were beheaded. The Count of Dunghoi was originally spared from execution because he had willingly surrendered, but the masses at Hoihong rioted, so the Viceroy was forced to announce that his crimes were inexcusable and he would be executed with the rest. The Count's wife hugged him and sobbed, "Because you have not listened to me, you have landed in this miserable state! If you had listened to me sooner, how different things would be! Should you have been captured in one of your clashes with the government and executed, I would have nothing to say. Yet now you have surrendered alongside Kwo Pow-Tai and Chang Pao, they receive titles while you receive the sword! How unfortunate our lives are!" She then fell into mournful wails. The Viceroy was touched by her words and commuted the Count's sentence to imprisonment. The pirates for the western section, the Green, Yellow, and Blue Banners, were all pacified, their remaining forces in Hoihong, Hoifung, Suikai, and Hepu were all eventually eradicated. For occupied islands like Weizhou and Neaouchow, the Viceroy sent Zhu Erliyane and Wen Cheng-Zhi to clear out the insurgents. Thus, the chaos on the seas was completely pacified. The Emperor, rewarding achievements, promoted Viceroy Bai Ling to Secondary Guardian of the Crown Prince, gifted him a two-eyed peacock feather hat badge, and granted him the inherited title of Lieutenant of the Light Chariot Cavalry. The other generals were also given rewards based on their achievements. Chang Pao was promoted to the rank of major, the Count of Dunghoi and others received pardons and were released. From then on, the passing ships reveled in their new-found peace. The four seas remained quiet and all things under heaven prospered.

Afterword: The Account of Pirates' Rape of Ganjiao
The pirate Chang Pao ravaged Ganjiao in Shuntak County. The pugilist Zhou Wei-Deng fell in battle to an honorable death. His daughter Xiu-Bing sacrificed herself trying to save her father, a heroic and filial death. Yang Mei-Ying died rebuking the outlaws, a chaste death. Ling Gong-Pan of Lintou, courtesy name Zhi-Ping, never again married, a dutiful husband, to be sure. Xiu-Bing's father Zhou Wei-Deng taught her alongside all his other various students. Students coming from across the land numbered in the hundreds and thousands, but none were a match for Xiu-Bing. Xiu-Bing gained great renown, and the bravest youths from the village all made offers for her hand in marriage. Wei-Deng, chuckling, refused them all, telling them, "None of you are the one." Wei-Deng happened to be friendly with Liang-Wenfen, a doctor at Lintou. When he saw the man's son had taken over the family business, he discussed some medical knowledge with the boy and saw the boy answered smoothly with eloquent and spirited words. He decided, "This boy is an honorable person, I can trust him with being my son-in-law." Thus, he engaged Xiu-Bing to the young doctor.
In the fourteenth year of Jiaqing, Xiu-Bing was nineteen years old, on the cusp of the age of marriage. Chang Pao just happened to invade on the twenty-ninth day of the seventh month. Father and daughter both died in the following battle. Alas! When Wei-Deng was trapped behind enemy lines, the villagers could neither plan nor fight. They were an isolated and vulnerable village, throwing themselves at the outlaws like a man might thrown himself to a tiger. With continued enemy assault on all sides, their front and rear could not reinforce the other, so they dropped their weapons and scattered, destroying their bridges as they fled. Xiu-Bing, along with Mei-Ying and the other women, had been hiding in the rice fields. When she heard that her father was trapped, she bid Mei-Ying goodbye, saying, "Big sister, please take care of yourself, your little sister is going to save her father." And so she armed herself and rushed into the fray with twin cutlasses. When she saw her father badly wounded, her rage sent her hair standing on end and she fought harder than ever, killing more than ten enemies alongside her father and letting none escape her sight. The outlaws were shocked. Chang Pao, observing from his platform, saw Xiu-Bing attacking to and fro, her two knives flying like snow in wind. No enemies were able to approach her. Chang Pao wished to take her alive, but after many efforts failed, he ordered a cannon strike, filling the skies with projectiles. Xiu-Bing and her father were, by the time, exhausted, so they were unfortunately killed.
After the outlaws had retreated, Zhi-Ping heard the news that Xiu-Bing and her father had died in battle. He commented, "Courage, Honor, Filial Piety and Sacrifice were all to be found in one family. Though she has died, she is my true bride." He buried her remains with all rites due a funeral. Then, he dressed in groom's attire and used wedding rites when eulogizing her spirit, going to the field of her last battle and wailing loudly. He swore to never again wed, citing, "My village cannot build a temple to commemorate you, I cannot get you a Commendation for courage. I have failed as a husband." All who heard of the promise called him a dutiful husband. Now, in the reign of Daoguang, twenty odd years have passed. On a visit to Mr. Liang Shu-Quan and his three brothers, I saw them using their authority to sway Zhi-Ping into taking a concubine, only for him to stubbornly refuse, with his only desire to acquire a Commendation for Xiu-Bing. He truly was a dutiful husband! His name deserves to be passed down alongside the brave Wei-Deng, the filial Xiu-Bing, and the chaste Mei-Ying!
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