The Boxer Rebellion: The Dramatic Story of China's War on Foreigners That Shook the World in the Summer of 1900

By Diana Preston | Go to book overview

14
In through the Sluice Gate

An ominous silence made us fear the worst . . . and that the flag was only a ruse to lure us on. -- General Gaselee

THE same question was also exercising the various contingents, of the relief force. At the news of the Russians' apparent duplicity, the Japan Pekingese had marched rapidly for , followed by the Americans. Meanwhile, in the British camp, General Gaselee had at first refused to believe that the allied agreement had been broken. It took the dull booming of the guns from the direction of the Tartar City to convince him. By 3:30 on the morning of 14 August, the main British force was moving out to join its advance guard some six miles from Peking. Frederick Brown was riding with them, fortified by a modest cup of cocoa and a cracker. Despite the early hour, some of the officers had opted for a whiskey and soda. It was a difficult journey. The road had been turned to mud by the heavy rain and men and horses slithered to gain a purchase. As dawn rose the high sodden crops obscured the view of the troops, but the British rendezvoused with their advance party at around 7:00 A.M. and after a brief pause pushed on again toward Peking.

The Chinese made no attempt to stop them. "As we British marched along the soft road to the south, we could see and hear that sharp fighting was proceeding to the north, but not a shot or shell came near us," wrote Brown. By 1:00 they could see the Chinese City wall looming in the distance but at first many were un

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The Boxer Rebellion: The Dramatic Story of China's War on Foreigners That Shook the World in the Summer of 1900
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Prologue ix
  • Part I - The Poison in the Well 1
  • 1 - Thousand Deaths 3
  • 2 - Boxer and Devils 22
  • 3 - The Approaching Hour 33
  • 4 - Rats in a Trap 51
  • 5 - Sha! Sha! 66
  • Part II - Death and Destruction to the Foreigner! 87
  • 6 - A Failed Rescue 89
  • 7 - City of Mud and Fire 105
  • 8 - Behind the Tartar Wall 124
  • 9 - The Drifting Horror 146
  • 10 - The Darkest Night 165
  • Part III - War and Watermelons 175
  • 11 - A Truce and a Triumph 177
  • 12 - The Half-Armistice 190
  • 13 - Horsemeat and Hope 213
  • 14 - In Through the Sluice Gate 233
  • Part IV - Murder, Rape, and Exile 251
  • 15 - Tour of Inspection 253
  • 16 - The Osland of the Peitang 262
  • 17 - Tke Faith and Fate of the Missionaries 275
  • 18 - The Spoils of Peking 283
  • Part V - Another Country 297
  • 19 - The Treaty 299
  • 20 - The Court Returns 312
  • 21 - . . and the Foreigner Departs 320
  • 22 - The Boxer Legacy 335
  • Epilogue 353
  • Acknowledgments 361
  • Notes and Sources 363
  • Bibliography 402
  • Art Credits 409
  • Index 410
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