Tu Angu - 64

183 Beijing Operas - Tu Angu - Number 64

Tu Angu

Beijing Opera - "To Save the Infant"

The story takes place during the Warring States Period. In the State of Jin, the evil minister Tu Angu is in power. He frames Zhao Dun and causes his family and next of kin, numbering more than three hundred, to be killed. Zhao Dun's son happens to have married the sister of the Lord of Jin. At the time of the massacre, she is already pregnant. She escapes back to the palace, where she gives birth to a son. Tu is determined to annihilate the whole of the Zhao's, and sends his men to the palace in search of the infant. By then, the infant is already in the safe hands of a former retainer of the Zhao's called Cheng Ying.

Tu offers a bounty of a thousand taels of gold to anyone who would inform him of the whereabouts of the infant, and if the boy cannot be found within ten days, he would have all the babies of the same age throughout the land killed. Cheng and Gongsun Wujiu put their heads together to save the boy. Cheng is willing to sacrifice his own son, and Gongsun is willing to give up his own life. So Gongsun takes Cheng's son to Shouyang Hill to hide, while Cheng goes to Tu to report that the baby is found. Tu leads his troops to search the hill and captures Gongsun and the baby. Suspicious, he orders Cheng to whip Gongsun to test his reaction. Cheng holds back his tears and whips Gongsun. Tu is convinced, and orders to have Gongsun and the baby executed. The orphan of the Zhao family is thus saved.

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