China and the Allies - Vol. 1

By A. Henry Savage Landor | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII

Head-quarters at Lanfang--Entry of troops into Pekin to be opposed--Murder of the Chancellor of the Japanese Legation --Conciliatory visits and orders to slaughter--Customs buildings wrecked--European graveyard desecrated--A specified date--Danger of the relief force being cut off--The advisability of capturing the Taku forts--On June 13--A skirmish of Americans and Boxers--An attempt to destroy the armoured trains--An Italian picket cut off--Chinese vitality--Rushing quick-firing guns.

HEAD-QUARTERS were made at Lanfang for the night, and on the 13th the railway was found to be so broken up that in the next twenty-four hours, although there was no fighting, an advance of only three miles was made by the relieving force. The Boxers were reported in great numbers two miles ahead of the Allies, and a courier arrived from the capital reporting that hostile preparations were being made by the population and Imperial troops, with General Tung- Fu-Hsiang at their head, to oppose the entry of the foreign troops into the city, and that Mr. Sogiyama, Chancellor of the Japanese Legation, had been barbarously murdered by the soldiers of General Tung's cavalry when on his way to the station, while European Legation Students had had narrow escapes in several parts of the Tartar and Chinese city, being obliged to defend themselves with their revolvers.

-92-

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