Murder 3 He could hear the big mule in the eastern compound grind its teeth and paw the ground. The three stars had moved to the western sky, so it was after midnight. He braced himself, gripped his sword, and waited until Shan Tingxiu was a mere three or four paces from the door, then rushed him with such force that he buried the sword in his chest, past the hilt. The old man flew backward, his arms spread out, as if he were taking off into the air before falling on his back. His tile crock crashed to the ground and blossomed like a flower. The dogs barked listlessly a few more times and took no more notice. Yu Zhan'ao withdrew his sword, rubbed both sides of the blade on the man's clothes and turned to leave. But he stopped himself. He tied up both father and son and had them dumped into the Black Water River.