A second attack--Report of a scouting party--Matters in Tientsin reach a crisis--Imperial soldiers destroying the railway line at Yangtsun--The return of the Expedition--Villages burnt--Germans capture junks--An attack on the trains by Boxers and Imperial troops-Enemy well-armed--Casualties of the Allies--Critical situation for the Relief Expedition--The trains abandoned--On the march--The enemy attacked and driven away from a strong position--Attack on a village in possession of Boxers and soldiers--The British Consul and the Viceroy of Tientsin--Mr. Carles' telegram--LordSalisbury's generous offer.
THE same afternoon a second attack, by a force of Boxers estimated at 2,000, was made on the Lofa station. They were again repulsed, leaving 50 or 60 dead, while the Allies had no serious casualties. A scouting party, under Major Johnstone, reported that the railway further up the line was in a dreadful condition, the rails having been torn up and carried away for several miles. Furthermore, things in Tientsin were coming to a crisis. The native city was at the mercy of the Boxers, and chapels and houses of Christians had been burnt down. The railway, too, between Tientsin and Lofa was torn up in several places and the bridges wrecked. Near Yangtsung particularly, where, as we have seen, large numbers of Imperial soldiers were encamped, the damage to the line was greatest, and had in all