The escape of the Belgian and Italian railway engineers from the town of Pao-ting-fu--Attempt to reach Tientsin by boat-- M. Ketels' relief expedition--The first refugees--In a sad plight --The journey by water--Terrible experiences--A fatal attempt to retreat to Pao-ting-fu--A junk attacked by Boxers--A fearful night.
AN interesting chapter in the history of the Chinese War of 1900 was the escape of the Belgian and Italian railway engineers from the town of Pao-ting-fu.
Towards the end of May, the Belgian Consul in Tientsin received news that the railway between Shang-sin-tien and Pao-ting-fu had been utterly destroyed, and that, moreover, the engineers and their families were besieged by Boxers in Shang-sin-tien. A hurriedly-got up expedition of nine or ten men, British, Belgian, and German, started at once from Tientsin to their rescue, but when, after some considerable opposition, they reached Shang-sin-tien, they found the place absolutely destroyed, and learned that the people had fled towards Pekin.
Of those Europeans employed in the railway at Paoting-fu, news reached Pekin that they had obtained some boats, on which they were attempting to reach Tientsin by river. They were anxiously awaited, but days went by, and