Pekin-Tientsin railway destroyed -- Foresight of French and Russian Ministers--Their guards on their way to Pekin--Pekin in extreme danger--Imperial troops unite with the Boxers-- Imperial favour shown to the rebels--How the Chinese regard our civilisation--Their dream of revenge--H.M.S. flag-ship Centurion and the Whiting, Endymion, and Fame proceed to Taku.
THE developments expected quickly came. The railway between Pekin and Tientsin was torn up in many places, and several station sheds, machine houses, and dwellings of Europens--especially at Yeng-tai, six miles from Pekin-- were destroyed by the Boxers.
The traffic and passenger service was necessarily interrupted; the supposed rebels were not interfered with by the authorities, and the Legations, missionaries, and other residents in Pekin found themselves, all of a sudden, in a somewhat precarious position. Fortunately the telegraph was still working.
The French Minister, who had received from his Government full authority to act on his own judgment, and to call for troops whenever he deemed them urgent, had not waited, like the other foreign Representatives, "twenty- for hours more for further development." He had acted quickly and wisely. So had the Russian Minister; and