China and the Allies - Vol. 1

By A. Henry Savage Landor | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXVII

The American soldier--No worse and no better than others-- His good qualities--The delights of smashing China vases--A first-class fellow--His topic of conversation--Art and lump silver--His popularity among the Allies--Guarding the Armoury--In the Yamên of the Commissioner of Salt--A diabolical picture--Several million dollars--A mountain of silver.

THE American soldier is an interesting study. I have seen it reported in American papers that the American soldiers in China were the only ones who did absolutely no looting, and this was adduced as an example showing the superiority of their morals to those of soldiers belonging to other nationalities. No doubt newspapers of other nations concerned in the war have written in the same manner about their compatriots, and it would be very pleasant to believe that the news one reads in newspapers was always true. In this case the report was particularly false. In regard to looting the American soldier was no worse, indeed, but decidedly no better, than any other soldier present, nor was there any reason why he should have been. Possibly he lacked some of the feeling and artistic taste to be found in some of the other nationalities, and as a rule he displayed much determined business capacity. It must be borne in mind that these remarks are not made in disparagement,

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