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

5
"Sha! Sha!"

Death stalked before us and death behind. -- Mary Bainbridge

On 3 June, Sir Claude MacDonald sent a note to Vice-Admiral Seymour assuring him that there was now a "wholesome calm" in Peking and that the legations would be the very last place to be attacked. The remaining German and Austrian guards had arrived safely that day from Tientsin, and Sir Claude believed that the Chinese had been taught a salutary lesson. He had no qualms about sending his two little daughters, Stella and Ivy, to the British Legation's summer residence in the Western Hills in the care of his sister-inlaw Miss Armstrong and an escort of marines.

The apparent tranquillity in Peking was deceptive. Out in the country the harrying of Christians was becoming more violent and systematic. A distressed Sarah Conger wrote in her diary that telegrams for help keep coming." She was very anxious for the safety of the missionaries but could understand their dilemma. "It seems advisable for them to flee to more promising places of safety, but they are not willing to leave their missions to be burned and their converts to be murdered." Reports began to filter in of the murder of two British missionaries, Harry Norman and Charles Robinson, just fifty miles south of Peking. There was also alarming news that stations were again being burned and that the railway line to Tientsin was being systematically ripped up by the Boxers.

-66-

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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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