The Osland of the Peitang
Poor young man! He was flayed and the Boxers exposed his skin and head within a few yards of our own walls. -- Bishop Favier
ONE person in the Peking legations had remembered the beleaguered Peitang Cathedral. An elderly Catholic priest, Father d'Addosio, set out alone and on donkey-back to bring the news of the relief of the legations to his bishop. According to Dr. Martin, his eyes were streaming with joy and he was exclaiming "Te Deum, Te Deum, Laudamus!" Father d'Addosio had been rescued from the burning South Cathedral and it was said that his shocking experiences had turned his hair white and disturbed his mind. Yet he was "so quiet and docile," according to Polly Condit Smith, that no one had thought to restrain him. The frail old man was murdered less than halfway to the Peitang and his severed head impaled on a lance and displayed outside a yamen.
The defense of the Peitang, the only Christian building within the Imperial City, was regarded by contemporaries as little short of a miracle. Dr. Gilbert Reid wrote: "If the siege of Peking is a story of marvelous preservation, the story of the siege of the North Cathedral is still more marvelous." With what Morrison called "wonderful foresight," Bishop Favier had read the danger signals clearly, writing his famous letter of 19 May to Monsieur Pichon requesting help. He was convinced that the Imperial government and the Boxers were conspiring and, with a sinking heart, had