A blind man with the surname of Chen lived in the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD -1912 AD). He was well known for telling one’s fortune by touching the person’s bones. People in far away places had heard of him.
The commander-in-chief of the Zhangzhou military area in today’s Fujian Province invited Chen to his residence. He asked the blind man to touch the bones of some of his subordinates. Chen gave a detailed and accurate account of their past. When it was the commander-in-chief’s turn, Chen said, “A beggar, not worth the effort.” The subordinates rebuked Chen for his disrespect toward their commander.
But the commander-in-chief did not get upset. He simply asked Chen to touch his bones one more time. Chen stated, “Indeed this is the bone structure of a beggar!” However when he reached the head, he said, “This is the head of a commander-in-chief, who was destined to hold a noble rank!” Now it was the commander-in-chief’s turn to be taken aback by Chen’s expertise and accurate account.
The commander-in-chief explained to everyone that he was indeed a beggar in his teenage years. One day, he happened to pick up a bag of silver on the road. He held the bag and waited for the owner to return. Soon someone came back and appeared to be looking for something. The teenage beggar chatted with him. After confirming that he was the owner, the teenager returned the bag of silver to him. The owner was very grateful and wanted to share a portion of the silver with the teenager. However the teenager did not accept any reward. The owner asked for his name so that he could return the favor in the future. The teenager did not give him his name either.
That night the teenager had an extraordinary dream. In the dream, a divine being rubbed his head. Shortly after that, he joined the army, rose among the ranks, and eventually became the commander-in-chief.
Only then did the people understand the entire story.