Shi Xiu

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Shi Xiu
Water Margin character
Nickname "Daredevil Third Brother"
拚命三郎
Rank 33rd, Wisdom Star (天慧星) of the 36 Heavenly Spirits
Infantry leader of Liangshan
Origin Firewood seller from Jizhou (present-day Ji County, Tianjin)
Ancestral home / Place of origin Jiankang Prefecture, Jinling (present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu)
First appearance Chapter 44
Names
Simplified Chinese 石秀
Traditional Chinese 石秀
Pinyin Shí Xiù
Wade–Giles Shih Hsiu
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Shi.

Shi Xiu is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 33rd of the 36 Heavenly Spirits of the 108 Liangshan heroes and is nicknamed "Daredevil Third Brother".

Background[edit]

Shi Xiu's ancestors are from Jiankang Prefecture (建康府), Jinling (金陵), which is in present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu. He travels with his uncle to trade. When his uncle dies, Shi Xiu makes a huge loss from the business. He has no money to travel home and wanders around for some time before arriving in Jizhou (薊州; present-day Ji County, Tianjin), where he earns a living by selling firewood. As a child, Shi Xiu has been well-trained in martial arts. He is brave, daring, and has a strong sense of righteousness and justice. He always helps those who are oppressed or in need and even risks his life to do that sometimes. He is thus nicknamed "Daredevil Third Brother".

However, Shi Xiu's nickname does not personify him fully. Besides being humble, he is also witty and sharp. During the battle between the outlaws from Liangshan Marsh and forces from the Zhu Family Village, Shi Xiu acts as a spy for Liangshan and evades capture from the enemy. He disguises himself as a firewood seller and persuades an old man into telling him about the traps set by the enemy. He reports the traps to Liangshan forces and leads them out of the danger zone safely. He rescues that old man after the battle.

Meeting Yang Xiong[edit]

One day in Jizhou, Shi Xiu chances upon a gang of hooligans who are cornering Yang Xiong. He dislikes people who bully others in numbers and he helps Yang Xiong fend off the hooligans. They feel a special affinity for each other and thus become sworn brothers. Yang Xiong brings Shi Xiu home and lets Shi work in his butcher stall.

Shi Xiu discovers Pan Qiaoyun (Yang Xiong's wife)'s extramarital affair with a monk called Pei Ruhai. He informs Yang Xiong about it and Yang questions his wife. Pan Qiaoyun accuses Shi Xiu of molesting her instead and Yang Xiong believes his wife instead and drives Shi away in anger. Shi Xiu is unhappy and he is determined to reveal the truth to Yang Xiong. He ambushes Pei Ruhai and kills him and shows Yang Xiong the monk's dead body. Yang Xiong brings his wife to Mount Cuiping (翠屏山; in present-day Jizhou, Hengshui, Hebei) and interrogates her. Pan Qiaoyun confesses her affair after seeing that her lover is dead. Yang Xiong kills his wife and decides to travel with Shi to Liangshan Marsh to join the outlaw band there.

Becoming an outlaw[edit]

Yang Xiong and Shi Xiu meet Shi Qian and the trio make their way to Liangshan. They pass by the Zhu Family Village along the way. Shi Qian steals the innkeeper's hen and is captured. Yang Xiong and Shi Xiu fight their way out and seek help from Li Ying. Li Ying writes an apology letter to the Zhus on behalf of them and requests that the Zhus release Shi Qian. The Zhus refuse and insult Li Ying. Li Ying is furious and he confronts the Zhus. He is wounded in battle and rescued in time by Yang Xiong and Shi Xiu.

Yang Xiong and Shi Xiu travel to Liangshan to further seek help. The outlaws attack the Zhu Family Village under the leadership of Song Jiang and succeed in defeating the enemy after three battles. Shi Xiu contributes greatly to the victory for his espionage mission. He leads the outlaws safely out of the danger zone and tricks the Zhus into believing that Sun Li is on their side.

In another act of bravery, Shi Xiu attempts to save Lu Junyi from execution in Daming Prefecture (大名府; in present-day Handan, Hebei). He runs into Yan Qing and learns from the latter that Lu Junyi has been arrested and sentenced to death. Shi Xiu storms the execution ground alone but he is outnumbered and is captured as well. He is only released from prison after the outlaws defeat imperial forces and capture Daming Prefecture.

Shi Xiu becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan infantry after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. During the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, Shi Xiu is killed in an ambush at Yuling Pass (昱嶺關; near present-day Zhupu Village, She County, Huangshan City, Anhui) by Pang Wanchun's archers.

References[edit]