272 Beijing Opera Masks - Pang Tong - Number 23
Beijing Opera - "Laiyang County"
Pang Tong with a purple Taotist face plays a characer in the opera "Laiyang County." Fledging Phoenix is his alias and he is widely regarded as Zhuge Liang's counterpart. Sima Hui told Liu Bei that he could conquer the world if he possessed any of these two men. Originally intended to serve Sun Quan but Sun Quan rejected him due to his ugly looks.
Zhuge Liang gave a letter of recommendation to Pang Tong and told Pang Tong to present the letter of recommendation should he decide to serve under Liu Bei. However Pang Tong wanted to serve Sun Quan and even though he was recommended by Lu Su, Sun Quan rejected him due to his ugly looks so Pang Tong went to see Liu Bei instead. Reluctant to use Zhuge Liang and Lu Su's letter of recommendation, Pang Tong was assigned a small official post as the magistrate of a small county by Liu Bei. Zhang Fei was enraged when he heard that Pang Tong was neglecting his official duties.
This time instead of being impulsive and bashing Pang Tong up, Zhang Fei gave Pang Tong a chance to explain himself. Pang Tong's remarks about the insignificance of the work expected from this minor magistrate post and thereafter proceeded to settle all the cases/disputes over the past hundred days within a single day. Zhang Fei was deeply impressed and brought him to see Liu Bei right away. Liu Bei appointed him as his deputy director general after seeing Zhuge Liang and Lu Su's letter of recommendation. When asked by Liu Bei as to why he did not present the letters of recommendation Pang Tong replied that he do not want to rely upon connections to obtain a high post.
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