Stories and Folktales in Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Xiahou Dun Loses an Eye
Now the division of Cao Cao's army under Xiahou Dun, having marched out in advance, first came into touch with Gao Shun. Xiahou Dun at once rode out with spear set and offered a challenge. It was accepted and the two leaders fought half a hundred bouts. Then Gao Shun began to weaken and had to turn back. He rode round to the rear of his array. Xiahou Dun was not the man to quail, so he followed right into the enemy's country. Then Cao Xing, one of Lu Bu's generals, secretly strung his bow, fitted an arrow and, when Xiahou Dun had come quite near, shot at him. The arrow hit Xiahou Dun full in the left eye. He shrieked, and putting up his head, pulled out the arrow and with it the eye.
of my father, blood of my mother, I cannot throw this away," cried Xiahou
Dun, and he put the eye into his mouth and swallowed it.
resuming his firm grip of his spear, Xiahou Dun went after this new enemy.
There was no escape for Cao Xing. He was overtaken and fell with a fatal spear
wound full in the face. Both sides were stricken dumb with amazement. Having
thus slain the man who had wounded him, Xiahou Dun rode back toward his own
Dauntless was Xiahou Dun, that warrior bold,
His courage had been proved of old;
But smitten sore one hapless day,
He might not in the battle stay.