Yuan Keshi, a fortune-telling master in the Tang Dynasty, had inherited his father’s skills and could tell fortunes very accurately through face reading.
One day, Yuan and a scholar got into a boat together and were ready to cross the river. While sitting in the boat and waiting, Yuan looked at the other people in the boat and told his companion, “We shouldn’t be in a hurry to cross the river”. They both got out of the boat carefully to wait.
Yuan said to his companion quietly, “I looked at the people in the boat. All of them had black Qi (in Chinese culture it is believed that Qi is a form of energy) under their noses. They will encounter a big disaster very soon. As I already know this, why should we die with them?”
A while later, the boat was still waiting to leave, an odd man with a crippled leg got onto the boat with his donkey. Yuan saw this and told his companion, “We can also go now. A man with great virtue has now boarded the boat, so we don’t need to worry anymore.”
They got back into the boat, and after a while it set sail. In the middle of the river, the water suddenly became uneasy. Big waves churned, and wind blew. It looked very dangerous.
However, the boat still crossed the river safely. Later they found out that the man with the donkey was Lou Shide.
Lou was later appointed head of the Ministry of Supervision and became one of the three prime ministers co-governing state affairs.
Source: Ding Ming Lu
Translated by Lily Zhang Edited by Sally Appert