In the Jin Dynasty, there lived a man named Zhou Chu in Yixing. Tough and fierce and fond of fighting in his youth, Zhou Chu was a big scourge in the county.
At the time, there was a ferocious dragon in the river and a fierce tiger in the mountain in Yixing, which often injured and devoured people. Therefore, the people classed them together with Zhou Chu as "the three evils".Among them, Zhou Chu did the most harm.
Later, someone instigated Zhou Chu to go to the mountain to kill the fierce tiger, and to the river to behead the ferocious dragon, in the hope of getting rid of two evils, leaving only one.
Zhou Chu went to the mountain alone, and sure enough, he killed the tiger. Then he jumped into the river and fought with the dragon. The evil dragon turned up and down, and went down for tens of li with Zhou Chu chasing closely after it. After three days and nights, the people all thought that Zhou Chu had died. They were jubilant and congratulated one another. To their surprise, Zhou Chu had actually killed the dragon, went out of the water and returned.
Upon hearing that his county folk celebrated his death, Zhou Chu came to realize that he was considered one of the evils of Yixing. He thus made his decision to mend his ways. Thereupon, he went to Wu prefecture to seek the advice of the two noted brothers, Lu Ji and Lu Yun.
When Zhou Chu came to the Lu's home, Lu Ji was out and he met Lu Yun. He told Lu Yun the truth and expressed his wish to correct his faults and make a fresh start, but he was afraid that he was too old to accomplish anything. Lu Yun encouraged him by saying:
"The ancients would be gratified even if they came to thoroughly understand the truth in the early morning but died at night, let alone you with a promising future. Besides, so far as a man is concerned, the fearful thing is to have no aspiration. Why worry that you will achieve neither merit nor fame?"
Since then, Zhou Chu quickly and completely corrected his faults and made efforts for progress. The tale of "Zhou Chu Getting Rid of the Evils" has been handed down to this very day.