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Title: In the Yellow Sea
Author: Frith, Henry, 1840-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "In the Yellow Sea" ***

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[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: "I ALSO DROPPED IN THE BLUE SEA BEHIND HIM."  _See page_

In The Yellow Sea





[Illustration: Title page]


Perhaps a few words of explanation as regards this volume may be
permitted.  The following extract from a letter, from a relative who
addresses me as "Uncle Harry," will suffice at first.  His letter is
dated "Shanghai, November 1897":--

"Here are all the papers, with manuscript.  Some of the latter is
translated by a friend, and some is newspaper work.  But I daresay you
will be able to work up the matter.  Do it as you like best; but don't
give me away, please.  You will find some additional information in
Vladmir's work, and in the _Mail_, etc. etc.  But I am only sending you
my experiences and adventures.  Call them what you like.


Here then is the narrative, in which the writer does not spare himself.
He certainly has had adventures by land and sea, between China and
Japan--"'twixt Jack and Jap"--during the late war.  I have used his
papers and extracts in the compilation of the story; with gleanings
from _Heroic Japan_ and newspapers, which I have examined, with
history, for my own benefit, and to verify my "nephew's" account of his
adventures during that stirring time in the Far East.


  _March_ 1898.



            _OSPREY_--THE STORM
            KONG--RUMOUR OF WAR


    (_see p._ 121) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Frontispiece_











"There, that settles the matter," said my stepfather irritably.  "The
lad's no good for the navy!"

"Why not?" asked my mother, pausing in the act of pouring out the
breakfast tea for me,--my parents preferred coffee.

"Because they say his sight is defective--that's all," replied my
stepfather.  "That's a pretty ending to his career!"

Mr. Bentham was a persistent grumbler.  I had already remarked that
trait in his disposition, and it annoyed me.

"I am quite sure his eyes are all right," said mother.

"Then perhaps you'll kindly tell the Admiralty so," said my stepfather
("Daddy," I called him).  "There's the medical decision.  He's been
plucked on sight."

"And _I_ am certain there's nothing the matter," said my mother.  "I
will take him to Mr. Jones, an old friend of his.  You will find he is
perfectly sound."

"My dear Emily, what is the use of discussing the matter?  Julius is
deficient.  There's the letter, read it for yourself.  It's a great
nuisance.  I suppose he'd better go to Granding and Smith's now.
Granding will take him"--

"Granding and Smith's!" I exclaimed suddenly.  "To the warehouse in St.
Paul's?  Oh, why?  I _can't_ go into a shop."

Hitherto I had been silent, but when this terrible fate was presented
to me I spoke out.  The very idea of a warehouse was abhorrent to me.

"My dear Julius, you must learn obedience.  We have been educating you
for the Royal Navy, you have failed, and"--

"For no fault of his own," interrupted mother quickly.

"My dear, _did_ I say it was for any fault of his?  I wish you would
not introduce irrelevant remarks.  He has failed to satisfy the
examiners in eyesight, so"--

"I don't believe it!" exclaimed mother firmly.

My stepfather made no reply.  He silently folded the report in its
official folds, finished his coffee,--still in silence,--rose quietly,
and deliberately left the room.

"Where are you going, Mark?" asked my mother anxiously.

"To my study, until you have settled the question with the Admiralty,"
he answered satirically, as he closed the door.

We were silent for a while.  At length I said timidly--

"Mother, _must_ I go to Granding's?  I hate it!  Why can't I go to sea?"

"We shall manage something, I daresay, dear," she replied.  "I am
afraid your father is vexed about this.  He was anxious for you to
succeed, and he is disappointed."

"But, mother, _I_ can't help it if my eyes are bad.  They don't look
weak.  Shall I go to old Jones, the oculist?"

"We will go by and by; meantime, let me see your father.  I am sure
Granding's warehouse will not suit you.  The confinement will be most
trying to your disposition.  There may be some mistake about your
eyesight; though I fear, even if so, it cannot be amended.  Wait here
until I return.  Ring the bell, and tell Ellen to clear the breakfast
things away, dear."

My loving mother left the breakfast-room, and I seated myself at the
window to await her return.  I was very much upset,--savage, in
fact,--and considered that the doctors had spun me on purpose.  My eyes
were perfectly sound, I knew, at least I thought I knew, and it was
"favouritism."  I had heard of such a thing; and the medical board
were, in my angry estimation, stupid!  There was nothing the matter!

When my mother returned to the breakfast-room she found me silent and
cross.  The idea of giving up all my wishes for the navy, just because
a doctor chose to say my eyes were not sound, was absurd!  But even
then I could not help myself; and, however ridiculous I fancied the
decision to be, I was compelled to accept it.  I had failed!  The
medical gentlemen--one, rather--had decided against me.  I was most
indignant, and inclined to be sulky, when mother had explained all this
to me.  For some days I was greatly upset, and went about "like a bear
with a sore head."

Perhaps I had better not dwell upon that period during which, I now
must confess, I behaved badly.  My parents were most kind and
indulgent.  They perceived my disappointment, and made allowances for
me in all ways, including pocket-money.  They did not worry me, but let
me find my level while openly discussing the question of my prospects.

During these weeks I continued my boating and sailing trips.  I was
well known on the beach; the sailors, with a tender regard for me and
my pocket,--which they did not wish to see either too heavy or too
light,--indulged me to the top of my bent; and I believe had I
suggested a voyage to France, or the Channel Isles, old Murry and his
son Tim would have carried me off in their boat, which I called a
"yacht" when describing her.

The _Osprey_ was a tidy little "ship," and many a splendid sail we had.
I had already learned a good deal respecting ships and shipping, could
handle a boat, and steer fairly well.  Thus weeks passed.  I grew a
tall lad; my face was browned by sun and sea, and I quite forgot
business,--had even been reconciled to my disappointment as regards the
navy, and was repairing my eyesight.  Alas!  I was just too old for the
service then, and my stepfather began to make some arrangements for my

I heard the names of Granding and Smith of St. Paul's mentioned, and
shuddered.  A counting-house and confinement in place of liberty and
fresh air!  What had I done to deserve this prison fate?  It was not my
fault that my eyes had been weak; and even mother had thought that
"business" was not suited to me.  But the blow fell!

The decision had evidently been made.  My fate was fixed.  I began to
be restless, but made no inquiry, and kept away from home as much as
possible.  But one day, late in summer, the hammer fell upon my
"lot"--I was knocked down to the drapers!

Mother came in and told me my fate.  "Daddy" had determined it!  It was
Granding and Smith, or a local bank,--I was generously permitted to
take my choice.

Then I arose in wrath, and made some unkind, not to say rude, remarks
concerning my stepfather and Granding and Smith.  Naval surgeons and
examiners also "caught it," and, indeed, my expressions pained my fond
mother deeply.  Till I had apologised for my violence she declined any
assistance on my behalf in future.

Of course, I said I was "sorry," and kissed her penitently.  She
perceived my repentance was sincere, and forgave me.

"Run away now, Julius, there's a good boy.  Take a boat, and sail about
until this ill-feeling has subsided.  Your father only means it for
your good, remember that."

"Yes, I daresay he _means_ all right, mother, but that does _me_ no
good!  I want to go to sea--I mean in the navy--and I shall do no good
any other way, I tell you plainly!"

"My dear boy, that is just nonsense!  You have plenty of ability, and
will, in time, be very glad to reflect that you were induced to go into
business.  Business is really the best career, your father says."

"_You_ said it wouldn't suit me, and I know it wouldn't!"

"My dear Julius, your father thinks it best for you."

"_He_ isn't my father, and I _won't_ go to Granding.  There!"

With this defiance I rushed from the room, took my straw hat, and
hurried away into the bright warm sunlight in search of the sea.

I had not far to travel.  We lived then within two miles of the
Channel, and close to a tiny station, at which a few branch trains
stopped during the day.  Perceiving that one of these tiny trains was
approaching, I hastened on and caught it.  In five minutes afterwards I
was crunching the shingle, near the boats, on the beach.  Several
boatmen accosted me; I knew them well.  They humoured me,--I liked them.

"Mornin', sir!  Fine mornin' for a sail," said Murry, a queer, old,
weather-beaten salt, who had served in the merchant marine.  "Goin'
out, sir?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied shortly.  "How's the tide?"

"Young gentleman's arskin' for the tide, Tim," remarked another salted
fellow.  "As if he wasn't a sailor now!"

"I am no sailor," I replied savagely.  "I'm plucked!"

"Plucked!  What d'ye mean?  Thrown overboard?  Who's been pullin' your
leg, sir?"

"It's true.  My eyes are bad, the doctor says," I muttered.  "He's an

"Your eyes bad?  Well, that beats!  Why, I wish I'd one o' them at your
age!  It's a mistake, whoever said it, I say that much."

"Well, anyway, I'm not to be a sailor--not in the navy, anyhow.
Perhaps never at all.  But let's shut it up.  Where's the boat?"

"Yonder she swims," said Murry.  "Ye can go where ye like to-day, if
you're not venturesome too much."

"Why, do you expect a storm?" I asked, looking at the blue above.

"Well, I wouldn't say it mightn't squall a bit.  There's thun'er about
too.  Better take a hand with ye."

"Better take a second hand," added Tim; "them mare's tails is
subspicious.  How far d'ye think o' goin'?"

"Round Ratcham Head, and away to Greystones.  I suppose we can fetch

"Ay, ay; tide's makin', and we can come back with a flowin' sheet agin'
it, proper.  Here's my lad, Tim; he can go for the prog.  Suppose
you'll want somethin'?"

"Of course.  Here's the money.  Get anything you like, and some beer.
Look slippy, Tim.  Come back as soon as you can."

Tim touched his cap, took the money, and set off rapidly in the
direction of the main street--the only one--of Beachmouth, which was
then a small, almost unknown, watering-place.  Now it is growing
rapidly.  Our house and grounds have already been purchased for
building purposes, and in the few years which have elapsed since my
disappointment the changes have been many and various.

I waited with impatience for Tim's return.  The sea was calm.  The
breeze, which was off-shore, was gentle from the north-west, westing,
and the sky was deep blue, with a haze hanging about, indicative of
heat in the future hours.  The distant vessels--not steamers--were
lazily dipping in the offing, not making much way, but still
progressing, so we could hope for a breeze outside.

The dirty, chalky cliff sheltered us, and accentuated the rays of the
sun, which, reflected from the water, burned and blistered us that
summer more than usual, but as I was so much on the sea perhaps I felt
it more then.  At anyrate, that August day I felt the heat greatly, and
became impatient for Tim's return with the "grub," so that we might get
away, and sail down Channel, away into the west perhaps.

After what seemed an hour, but was really twenty minutes, we sighted
Tim carrying a parcel and a jar, three tumblers being hung around his
neck, and his jacket pockets bulging.  One glance satisfied me, and I
called to Murry to come along.

"I'm a-comin'!  I'm a-comin'!  We'm goin' alongside in Bill's skiff, ye
know.  The boat's all ready--ballast and all.  Don't ye worrit
yourself, Mister Jule; Tim's comin' on, hand over hand."

Tim was certainly very warm when he stepped into the small boat, and
when he was seated old Murry sculled us over to the _Osprey_, a small
"yacht," if one may say so--a fore and aft sailing-boat, boasting a
little recess which was covered by a hatch, and called the cabin.
There was room for ten or twelve people, and she could accommodate
more.  She carried the usual fore and aft sails, with a mizzen, and
sailed very fast.  In fact, she was a rather smart boat, and easily
handled, being stiff and strong, with pretty lines; she looked smaller
than she really was because of her fine shape and slender appearance.

The _Osprey_ could stand rough weather, as I well knew, and when we
hauled up the mainsail, and set the jib and foresail, I felt happy for
the first time that day.

"Here's the change," said Tim, handing me a small sum, in which
sixpence shone proudly in a nest of coppers.

"Pouch it, Tim, please.  Now, Murry, what's the course, eh?"

"Well, I should say, keep her close hauled myself.  Keep your luff,
sir, that's what it is, and then you'll have all your run back.  But as
you like."

"I want to make Greystones, though," I said, as I glanced ahead.

"Well, ye can tack in.  Ye see, it's this way: the tide's agin' ye, and
when ye weather the Ratcham ye'll want all the luff ye can find to
fetch Greystones this wind, anyway--and it's a squally bit down that

"Yes, that's true; but we can fetch in.  So you think I'm a sailor,
Murry?" I continued, referring to our previous talk.

"That ye be," he said.  "Eyes, indeed! as if ye couldn't see like a
cat.  Why, I've see ye make out the rig of a coaster when Tim couldn't,
and he's been at sea since afore you come."

"How old is Tim?" I asked, with my despised eyes watching ahead.

"Why, about your age, I should say.  Fifteen, ain't it?" he shouted to
his son.

"Fifteen what?" called back the lad, from forward behind the jib.

"Years, ye donkey-foal!" replied his father.  "Your age, I says."

"You oughter know, _dad_!  But I believe I'm thereabouts.  What
then--what of it?"

"Nothin'--don't you think it," was the reply.  "Mind you keep your eyes
to windward, seems a change like."

"I've been thinking o' that cloud yonder, dad; seems like to spread.
What d'ye think o' standin' in a bit?"

"Nonsense!" I exclaimed sharply.  "We can't weather the point if we
keep in.  As it is the tide seems sucking us into the cliffs."

"There's no call for hurry," said Murry.  "But when ye can lay a point
inside--well, half a point--do it.  The sky's getting kind o' hazy."

We had run well down the coast, slipping over the small waves, and
darting merrily along.  The boat was sailing well up in the wind, close
hauled; and every now and then, with all my care, I could not prevent
the sail shaking a bit.  This back lift required me to keep away
farther out, and then we found the wind coming more abeam, and fresher
at times.  Again it died away, and luffed up once more.

All this time the sun was blazing hot, like a furnace heat in its
effects.  Even the wind was warm, and appeared as if from a stove-pipe.
It was nearly midday, and the heat was tremendous.  So I suggested

"Suppose we stand out a while, Murry, and pipe to dinner."

"Ay, ay," he replied, with a grin at my assumption of phrase.  "It's
eight bells, ain't it?  Then make it so!"

"We don't want any 'observations,' Murry, I think," said I, smiling.

"No, sir; I ain't going to offer any except 'Hands, splice the

Tim laughed, and handed out the beer jar, and a quantity of slices of
beef and bacon, some bread and condiments, pickled onions in a bottle,
and a huge piece of strong cheese.  Altogether it was a splendid
dinner, and we fell to, lying gently over to the wind, and enjoyed the
fare, the "ship" almost steering herself.

"Well, that's good catering, Tim.  I think you are a splendid steward
for a small craft," I said, after an interval, during which our
attentions had been directed to the thwarts, on which our food was
spread.  "Now I think we may clear up, and keep our course."

"The weather don't seem so willing to clear up, though," said Murry.
"That big, black cloud is sailing up hand over fist.  That's a thun'er
squall, sir, and we'd better reef the mainsail."

"For a summer squall like that!" I exclaimed.  "Why, we shall be under
shelter of the cliff before it comes up; and its coming off shore, you
see, not on shore."

"Exactly," replied Murry, rising.  "Bear a hand, Tim, my lad.  Get in a
couple of reefs.  Lower the foresail afore ye come aft."

"Oh, come, Murry!  I believe you're frightened.  Why, it's only a puff
off shore, anyway."

"That's just it, sir.  Tie them reefs, Tim, smart.  The squall will
catch us out here unless ye luff up, Mister Jule."

"I am luffing up all I can," I replied.  "The beastly ship won't stand
up to it, somehow!  What's the matter?"

"It's the thun'er in the air does it.  Ye see the breeze is backin' and
fillin'.  Give me the tiller, and go ye forward with Tim.  Now, just be

Murry did not often interfere with my sailing, and, therefore, I made
no further objection to vacate the post of honour.  He loosed the
sheet, and held it in his left hand while steering the boat.  Ever and
anon he cast a glance above the cliff in the direction of which we were
running obliquely to save all possible wind, but we did not make so
much headway, as we wished to reach beneath the point of Ratcham Head
for shelter.

"There she comes," cried Tim.  "What a black 'un!  Whiz! that's
lightnin', sure."

"Yes, certainly.  We're in for it, I think," I replied.

"Father don't like it, I can see.  He's allus skeered in a big storm.
Mother, she was struck that-a-way," he whispered.

"How dreadful!  In a boat you mean?"

"In this very boat it was.  They was out lookin' after nets.  Father he
was stoopin' forrad, a'most in the water, and mother she was steerin',
when _smack_ come the lightnin' and kill her stone dead, settin' up
like a statoo, she was; and when father shouted at her to keep up, she
set, and set, until he went on savage, and then found her struck.
There it is again!"

It was!  Behind the cliff, which showed up whiter than ever, an immense
bank of cloud was extended as far as we could see landwards, but only
occupying a portion of the sky on both sides.  To east, west, and south
the horizon was clear, but great hanging tendrils were seeking to grip
the blue below, and were curling up and retreating or advancing by
turns; but apparently also always gaining ground, though the movement
of the mass was imperceptible to us.  Nevertheless, the blackness
increased, and at length the rumbling of the thunder became distinctly

The wind rose, and came rushing across the waters, taking up the little
waves in spin-drift, and indicating a bad quarter of an hour for any
craft caught unprepared.  The boat's head was necessarily put more
west, and so, with the wind more on the beam, the rate of sailing
increased.  The clouds came up steadily, the wind began to bluster
suddenly, and to roughen the edges of the waves more and more.

The old fisherman hauled on the sheet, and sat over more to the weather
side.  He made no remark for a few minutes, then he cried--

"Get in under the hatch there, forward, and haul a tarpaulin over ye.
The rain's a-comin' thick.  Hear that!"

[Illustration: "THE RAIN'S A-COMIN' THICK"]

A tremendous burst of thunder came crashing upon our bowed heads as it
seemed.  Tim routed out a tarpaulin, and he and I rolled each other in
it.  It was a covering for the sails, which the old man used at times
much to his friends' amusement.  However, on this occasion we did not
complain, for the rain, and, I fancied, even hail, came down with
fearful force, and ran out of the lee scuppers, though with difficulty
it escaped.

Notwithstanding all our protection we were getting wet.  The wind rose,
the thunder roared, the lightning flashed past us, the little yacht
bounded and dipped.  At length a fearful burst of flame struck us, and
we actually screamed in terror.

Then the next moment the wind caught the sail, and flapped it with a
terrible noise which mingled with the thunder.  The boat careened over,
righted, and flew before the wind like a frightened gull.  I felt Tim
rise, and go astern; I heard a cry of pain and anguish.  Then I
subsided upon the seething deck blinded and helpless!



When I had rubbed my eyes, and began to take in the surroundings, I
felt drenched by the rain and sea.  My hands were sticky, and cold and
damp.  My clothes clung to my limbs, which were stiff under me.  My
straw hat, with the ribbon of which I had been so proud--a yacht-club
ribbon--was sopped, out of shape, and off-colour like my drenched face.
The squall was still passing, but the thunder had ceased.

The sea was very lively, and the wind boisterous.  We were running
close-hauled and fast, dipping and slapping; the mainsail stretched
stiffly over the boat, reefed still, and the jib was as taut as a
board.  Daddy, I thought, was steering splendidly in such a sea, but I
at once perceived that the cliffs had sunk deep into the water behind
us, and that the line of the horizon was continually broken with the
rolling waves.  A change, indeed, and in a few moments!  A great change!

I sat up, feeling a peculiar sensation of dizziness, and a
breathlessness, a desire to gasp for breath--a taste, moreover, of
something unpleasant, almost sulphurous, but not of sulphur.  Something
had happened!  I looked around me; astern I saw Tim gripping the sheet
in one hand, the tiller in the other, and dragging at the sail, half in
the boat, half out.

"What's the matter, Tim?  Is the skipper asleep?"

I often called Murry the "skipper" for fun, as he called me his "young
gentleman," meaning midshipman.

Tim made no reply.  Perhaps my voice had not reached him, so I shouted
at him--

"Tim, ahoy!  Whither bound?  What ship's this, anyhow?"

"The Dead-ship," replied the young sailor.  "Come aft, if ye can, and
bear a hand.  I can't manage the sail and steer this way."

Feeling alarmed, I scrambled up, and in an instant I saw that some
fearful accident had occurred.  The mainsail was lying half in and half
out of the boat, dipping and lashing the waves, and bringing the
_Osprey_ down by the quarter and stern, deeply.  No wonder I felt
drenched, no wonder the boat was uneasy; and Tim had need of all his
nerve and skill to keep his course.

I clambered astern and hauled in the sail which had come down full,
with the gaff, upon the stern-sheets, and nearly swamped us.  I
recollected the cry I had heard.  What had happened?

My cheerfulness was quenched in a second.  I was face to face with
death for the first time!  I could not credit it!

Yet I knew it I could see nothing but the sail, the blackened spar, the
tangled ropes, the mainsheet still gripped in Tim's hand, held, too, I
fancied, _by another hand--the hand of his dead father_!

This impression suddenly seized me, and the idea burned into my brain
like a dart--a hot nerve-thrill.  Murry had been struck by that fearful
flash, and I must have been laid out senseless.  The peculiar feeling
and sensation caused by the "electric fluid" I still remember, and do
not wish to experience them again.

I felt afraid as I seated myself silently and with carefulness beside
Tim.  I questioned him with a look; he replied with a nod.  Neither of
us made an attempt to speak.  He kept the boat's head close to the wind
as possible, but we drifted out farther and farther all the time.  We
had no grapnel, and had we shipped an anchor we had not line to hold
the boat there.  All Tim could do was to keep up until a fishing-smack
or some other craft could assist us.

Meantime we hauled the sail in board, and then, having lashed the
tiller, we managed to roll it up and get it away from the body, which
lay in the small, sunk, stern-sheets, still half supported.  Murry was
dead!  My heart thumped in my throat, and a horrible feeling of
hysteria attacked me.  I suddenly burst out crying, and then sniggered
in shame amid sobs.

"That's how mother was took," said Tim at length.  "Can't we carry him
in to the cabin place, think ye?"

I nodded assent.  With great difficulty we managed to place the fine
old man upon the lockers; the rolling and jumping of the boat was
excessive, and imparted a weird movement to the body of the sailor.

He lay perfectly uninjured to all appearance.  There was a blue mark on
his neck, and his jersey had been split.  Those were the only signs of
dissolution.  Poor Murry!  He was a fine hearty sailor, and I am sure
all his mates missed him for many a day.

This terrible incident affected us both deeply.  Tim said a few words
only, but I could perceive that he was feeling deeply, though his
training and habit did not tend to sentiment.  My intention was to get
back as quickly as possible, and I said so.  Let us get home!

"Whatever course are you steering, Tim?" I asked.  "We're making _out_,
not home."

"We shall never get home unless by land--unless we run ashore," replied
Tim grimly.  "She's leakin' like old boots."

"Leaking!  What do you mean?" I asked in alarm.

"I means leakin', that's plain enough, I think.  She's takin' the sea
in fine, and I dessay in a few hours we'll see her beached."

"Where?" I asked quickly.  "You're keeping off shore now."

"Can't land under these cliffs, anyhow.  We must bail and run soon.
That's our only chance I take it, Mister Jule.  'Spose you looks and
bails; there's a dipper there.  See to the well.  Come, we'll lash the
tiller, and she'll lie up a while in the wind if the mainsel catches
her astern."

"But surely we can get ashore well enough.  There are several vessels
yonder; let us run out and board one."

"And be swamped likely.  No, sir; let's weather the point and then we
may get in on the eddy a bit.  See here, we're driftin' now; we can't
signal, the weather's thick a'ready, and likely as not a fog will come
up to-night.  There's bad weather about now.  So let's try for the leak
anyhow, and fix it."

We made an investigation which occupied some little time.  We found the
vessel was leaking, not badly; and if we could set the mainsail we
could sail fairly well.  The wind was unfortunately rising fast, and
the day had completely changed.

I was surprised to find that time had passed so rapidly; it was three
o'clock already.  We were some miles out then, and still drifting out.

We determined to repair the gaff as a preliminary, so Tim set to work,
and I assisted him as much as I could.  That was not much, however, and
all the time the day declined, the sea rose, the wind increased, and
the _Osprey_ jumped so that our efforts were not quickly successful.

"I say, Tim, can't we rig up the sail on the stump, and let her drive?
We shall surely run against something bound homewards, or to London, or
somewhere, and get ashore."

"I'm thinkin' we must chance it!  The drift is dashing up too thick,
and I'm feelin' like tea-time.  Tell ye the truth, Mister Jule, I ain't
the spirit for this.  Think o' father there!  How can we go back with
that story?  I'm gettin' 'down' over it."

"Oh, I say, Tim, none of that, please!  Cheer up! we mustn't say die,
you know.  We have had a bad time, I know that, but we can't alter the
_facts_.  It's Providence, you know."

"Ye didn't say that this mornin' when you was savage about your
eyesight," retorted Tim.  "There was no 'Providence' in that.  It was
bad words and hanging people then."

"I was savage then, I know, and sick of things.  But 'there's worse
things happen at sea,' remember; and this is the worst I ever knew.
Besides, it's a matter of self-defence and preservation, Tim.  So let
her drive; we'll be picked up certain.  Let's do our best!"

"Very well, sir; you're master!  Only, just see the weather!  If we
gets out yonder we'll never get back!"

"And if we lie here dipping and leaking we shall get nowhere!  We can't
hoist the sail, can we?  No; well, then, loose the jib-sheet and drive
out, there's plenty of steamers in the offing.  I don't want to go home
in such a hurry, and if it was not for"--

I stopped suddenly, my eyes had rested upon the outline of the poor old
skipper's form, covered with the tarpaulin, amidships.

"Beg your pardon, Tim; do as you think best.  I'll say no more.  Let us
lay to as you say, and try it."

There was a pause for a few moments.  The spin-drift drenched us anew.

"Mister Jule," said he,--Jule being, of course, short for Julius,--"I
think I understand ye.  But, sir, you're the 'boss,' and arter all, the
old dad--he can't hurt.  He's 'done his bit,' and done it well!  We'm
alive-like, and we mustn't give in, must us?  No, sir; we'll trim the
boat, and run into the sea-way, and take what the Lord sends us.  What
d'ye say?"

"Done with you, Tim!  Here's my hand on it.  We'll sink or swim
together.  Is that right?"

"Yes, sir; that's hearty!  I rather thinks it's sink more than swim.
What you says I dessay's right; we may sink, and lay-to that way.
Let's drive!"

"Ay, indeed!  I am inclined to make a run for it, and _do_ something."

Before I had finished speaking this _ultimatum_ Tim had loosed the
jib-sheet, and I shifted the helm a bit.  The wind was lashing us then
across Channel; the afternoon was glooming, the sun had disappeared to
our starboard beam, and the sea became higher as the tide turned and
carried us away from the "dirty cliffs."

"We shall smile at our fears to-morrow," I said, in an effort to be
cheerful which my heart did not respond to.

Tim Murry made no reply, and we still ran seaward silently.  Then I
suddenly became dreamy--listless.  I did not realise the circumstances,
the sea seemed rocking me to sleep.  Tim approached and looked at me,
took the tiller from me, and I fell into a calm dream of home.  I
remember it well even now.  The whole dream was for me a reality.  My
stepfather was looking at me, while I appeared to be on board a large
ship like a man-of-war.  Guns were mounted fore and aft, a number of
men were running about, there was some great excitement.  Yet I was not
on the large vessel long; I was on a steamship next.  The large
man-of-war attacked us, I could not say how, and the ship I was in sank
with a roar of steam and whistling and--

"Rouse up, sir, look alive!  Steamer close aboard of us.  She's
whistling; she's seen us.  I waved to her.  Now we must leave this
sinking boat."

I started up.  The evening had fallen.  The _Osprey_ was half full of
water.  I had been dreaming of sinking--the reality was very near.

"Let us shout," I cried.  "Say we're sinking, Tim."

"That's no lie, Mister Jule.  The steamer sees us right enough.  Will
she be in time?"

"What a time she takes," I muttered.  "Somehow I can't believe it all.
Is it _really_ true, Tim?"

"Rather!" replied Tim.  "There's the boat launched!  Don't you believe
the water's up to your boots now?  Look at it!"

I suppose I was still half asleep.  I gazed at the swishing sea, and
had no fear.

"All right, I can swim!  You said we wouldn't, Tim!"

"You're nearer sinkin'," he answered.  "Dad will never see the home
again, arter all.  Well, well, it's the Lord's will, that it is."

It was a sad and painful ending to a boating excursion.  But at least
we were saved, and going home.  How delightful it would be to see
mother again, to tell her all my adventures, to confess my temper, and
to try to do all she had told me to please Mr. Bentham.  Yes, I made up
my mind to behave well, and give up the sea--if I must.

"Step in youngster," said someone.

My reverie had been suddenly cut short.  I looked up, the steamer's
boat was alongside.

"Just in the nick," remarked the officer.  "How did you lads get into
this pickle o' fish?  Lucky we sighted you."

"Yes," I responded in a sleepy voice.  "Is Tim there?"

"Aye, I'm here," he said.

"And your father's--body?" I asked.  "Bring him out, please."

"What?" exclaimed the steersman.  "A body--a dead body!  Not for us.
Push off, lads."

"You won't take it?" I cried.  "Won't you bring it ashore?"

"No time to go ashore, youngster!  There, you see, just in time!
See!--she's sinking!"

I looked.  The _Osprey_ began to lurch and dip as the men pulled away.
I stared in dread suspense, half dead, I fancied.  Then we increased
our distance.  The _Osprey_ lifted and fell, appeared again,
disappeared; rose again, and just when one expected to see it once more
the sea hid it and bore it out of sight for ever.

I think I shouted; I know I leaped up in haste, but a firm hand was
placed upon my collar, and I sank back unconscious of all around me
save the darkness of sea and sky.  My senses left me!

So Murry had gained a sailor's grave.  "There in the lone, lone sea--in
a spot unmarked but holy," he lies at rest until the last call for "all
hands" is piped.



When I again recovered consciousness I found myself in a comfortable
berth, in what appeared an airy cabin on the deck of a vessel.  The
distant churning noise which attracted my rather wandering attention,
and the shaking of the furniture, told me that I was on board a screw
steamer.  From the cabin windows I perceived a dim light upon the sea.
The steamer rolled and plunged and shook herself with great energy, and
at times the lamp hung, apparently, quite sideways across the room.  As
I continued to gaze rather listlessly about me, my eyes fastened
themselves upon two words, of which I could make no sense nor meaning.
These were painted upon a locker in golden characters, above some
peculiar characters, and read--


What was Fêng-Shui?  I had never heard of it.  I puzzled over it.  Was
it a name, a motto, or a spell of some kind?  It seemed to my still
obscured brain "neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring," and the
painted characters beneath the words looked even funnier than those
upon a tea-chest.  FÊNG-SHUI!

The letters burned into my brain; they kept recurring in a kind of
sing-song refrain, and finally adapted themselves to the "Tit-Willow"
song in the _Mikado_.  _Fêng-Shui, Fêng-Shui, Fêng-Shui_!  As I lay
staring at the locker my mind turned the song anew--

  A poor little sailor-boy lay in a berth,
    _Fêng-Shui, Fêng-Shui, Fêng-Shui!_
  And never could tell what was meant on this earth
   By Shui, Fêng-Shui, Fêng-Shui!

And so on, _ad infinitum_, till my senses reeled again.  At length,
being almost desperate, I rose, and was in the act of quitting the
horrible cabin, when a man in uniform--merchant service--came in.

"Hallo!" he exclaimed, "what are you up to?  Sleep-walking?  Get back
directly, d'ye hear?  Smart now!"

He aimed a blow at my back, and literally ran me into the swinging cot
which I had just vacated.

"Are ye mad?" he inquired, with a touch of the brogue of northern
Ireland--a most amusing accent to my mind--which gave a comic turn to
his most serious remarks.

I made no reply immediately, only by staring.

"Ah! the boy's off his head!  D'ye hear me?  Are ye deaf and mad?"

"No," I replied; "neither, I think."

"Ye _think_! Ye're not sure!  Then bedad _I_ think ye're mad.  What
made ye jump out o' bed, then, like a lunatic?"

"I was wondering where I was, and thinking of those queer letters.  I
am better now.  I was confused when I woke up."

"Oh, that's better!  Sure it was a miracle ye woke at all; we all
thought ye dead as Kerry mutton.  What's ailing ye?"

"Nothing, except those queer letters."

"What!  The ship's name, is it?  That's nothing but _Fêng-Shui_, and
it's written in Chinese besides."

"Oh, thank you, I see.  I couldn't make it out.  What does it mean?"

"_Wind and Weather_, and a lot more, in China.  Ye'll see in time.  Be
easy now, I tell ye."

"In time!  What do you mean?" I asked, starting up.

"What I say.  In time!  By and by,--when ye get there."

"Get where?  To China?"

"That's it," replied my new acquaintance.  "Ye've hit it plumb."

"But _I_ am _not going_ to China!"

"Aren't ye, bedad!  Well, we'll agree to differ on that."

"What rot!" I exclaimed rudely.  "Surely you're going to London?"

"Not till I get back, round the East.  Then, maybe I will."

"Do you mean to say that this vessel is bound to China?"

"I do; and ye're bound to go with it."

"Then I _won't_!  I want to go home to Beachmouth.  Can't you put me
ashore anywhere?--I don't care where it is."

"Can ye swim?" he asked, looking at me with a funny wink.

"I can, of course.  Well?"

"Then ye must swim home.  We're away in the Channel, and France is on
the port-beam, if ye know what that is."

"Of course I do.  Do you think me an idiot?"

"I did--a while ago.  If ye're not a fool ye'll stay where ye are.  Of
course, ye're a bit mad now, but by the mornin' ye'll be well.  Lie
quiet now, and I'll send ye some food."

"No, thank you, I am not hungry.  I am thirsty and chilly, though.  Why
can't I go home?"

"Because, unless I stop to put ye aboard some ship, ye can't.  I can't
stop now till daylight, anyway; and then we shall be about in the Bay.
By that time I expect ye'll want to stay where ye are.  Lie quiet now,
I'll send the steward to ye with a lemon drink.  Maybe in the morning
ye'll feel better.  Anyhow, ye must remain here--for the present, and
keep yer claws in, like Tim Connor's cat."

"Are _you_ the captain?" I asked, with some deference.

"So they tell me," was the quaint reply, as he left the cabin.

The captain of the _Wind and Weather_!  Perhaps I had been too
"cheeky."  What would he do to me, I wondered.  He seemed a nice man.
Then I began to wonder what had become of Tim.  He had not been given a
cabin.  Why had the captain taken such care of me? he had never heard
of me, I was sure.

While thus groping in my mind for assistance and ideas, the steward
appeared with a warm drink, which smelt of lemon juice, and some
spirit--I think whisky.  I had never tasted spirits, and declined the
draught then.

"If you don't drink it the doc will come and fix you," said the
steward.  "Better this than him.  He's a 'nailer' at nastiness.  Take
my advice, drink this, and you'll sleep like a top."

"On one leg, do you mean?" I asked, taking the glass and smiling.

"Anyhow, after that.  There, you've some sense in you, I see.  You came
up pretty limp from the boat.  Now lie down, and sleep till mornin',
I'll come and see after you."

"I say, steward, wait a second.  What's the captain's name?"

"Goldheugh--Martin Goldheugh--and a first-rate captain, too, I can tell
you.  But you must do as you're bid, mind; no skulking.  Now shut your
eyes and keep quiet.  Good-night."

I murmured something.  The drink I had imbibed was mounting to my head;
I felt warm and comfortable.  Then I began to count the distant throbs
of the engine, and just as I had reached three hundred and sixty-two

It was broad daylight.  I rubbed my eyes in surprise.  _Day_light!  Had
I slept (like Scrooge in the "Christmas Carol") through a whole night
in a few minutes.  It could not be daylight, surely?  I had only
counted three hundred and odd beats of the engine at supper-time, and
already morning had come.  My first glance fell upon "_Wind and
Weather_"--the _Fêng-Shui_ sign; and then my heart beat fast.  I
flushed hotly.  What would my parents _think_? what would they _do_?

I confess I was miserable and greatly upset.  I was at sea, and for the
first time very unhappy.  My thoughts rushed to my mother, then to my
indulgent stepfather, and I compared them with other fellows' parents
who were so strict and stiff and severe.  Neither my own father nor
mother, not even Mr. Bentham, had been really severe with me.  Most of
my troubles had been caused by my own wilfulness and obstinacy; and, I
then confessed, my disobedience!  Yes, they had advised and guided me,
while I, in my conceit, fancied I knew best, and consequently came to
grief at last.  Punishments came at times, and I rebelled, got punished
again, and sulked.  I perceived then that my parents had been just, and
I regretted now that I had been so rude, and had parted from my mother
so brusquely and unkindly.

My melancholy reflections were disturbed by the entrance of the
steward.  I was pleased to see him.

"Good-morning," he said.  "Sleep well?"

"Splendidly!  Where are we, steward?"

"Off Ushant.  We shall get a tossing presently."

"What do you call this?" I asked, as the waves came rushing past the
bulwarks.  I could see great mountains rising and sinking outside, and
white foam dashing up.  The air was cool too, and raw.

"That's nothing at all; wait a while.  The wind's rising fast, and
we'll have a fine sea presently.  Are you getting up?"

"What's the time, please?  I feel better now."

"It's seven bells in the morning watch--half-past seven, you know."

"Yes, I know _that_," I replied.  "Can I have breakfast?"

"Of course; whatever you like--in reason."

"Where will you reach port and land me?"

"I can't say; maybe at Gib--or Malta.  We're in the Bay now.  It's all
the Bay between Ushant and Cape Finisterre."

"It's awful rough, I think I had better lie still," I said.

"As you like.  The swell comes in here from the west, you see.  But it
isn't any rougher than the Atlantic between Ireland and America."

"I suppose you have sailed all around England, and also abroad?"

"Yes, I've been in a few places in my time.  I was a schoolmaster once."

"You--a schoolmaster!" I exclaimed, sitting up with a jerk.

"Yes.  Then I left the business, and went to sea as a purser's mate in
the American trade.  I saw a bit, and learned more geography than I
could teach.  I suppose you know all the celebrated sea places?"

"Oh yes; Trafalgar, and all those, of course."

"And Dungeness, Beachy Head, Harfleur, and Ushant close here, on the
great first of June.  I could tell boys all about them better now.  Ay,
ay; but let's not think of them.  You want breakfast--all right."

He disappeared, and in a few minutes another man entered with a tray of
good things, including marmalade and jam, toast, and hot rolls.  What a
splendid breakfast I made.  I _almost_ forgot my home then.  But the
reaction came, and I felt miserable once more.

At half-past eight--I mean one bell in the forenoon watch--I said I
would get up.  I received some assistance from the steward, who had
dried my clothes, but they had shrunk sadly.  I made inquiries for Tim.

"He's forward all right,--you mean the fisherman, don't you?"

"Yes, Tim Murry.  I should like to see him."

"You can see him on the forecastle, if you like.  You can walk forward
when you've found your legs.  Gently does it."

I was greatly amused by being advised to take care.  Why, I had been
out in vessels in _very_ rough seas often!  The idea of the steamer
being so bad was ridiculous.  So I stepped out on deck, and was just
about to gaze around when I was thrown forcibly against the port (lee)
bulwarks, and the breath knocked out of my body.

Wildly I grasped at the shrouds and halyards within reach.  I gasped,
turned blue and pale, and felt as if I was dying.

"Hold up!" cried the steward, who had come out behind me.  "Don't try
to kill yourself, young fellow!  You're too venturesome.  Here, let me
lead you to the companion, and sit there by the steps."

He assisted me to the companion stair, and placed me in safety by the
entrance to the little saloon.

The captain was on the bridge close by, over the chart-house.  The ship
was flush-decked, broken only by the commander's cabin, the charthouse,
and the skylights, masts, and funnel.  Forward was the men's berth and
hatch.  I could only observe these points when the captain hailed me.

"Hallo, my lad, are ye practisin' for the slack-wire?  Would ye like a
sling for yer legs?"

I blushed because the mate and steward laughed.  The sailor at the
wheel grinned silently.

"All right, captain," I replied, "I'll have a sling, please.  Hoist

The mate--I thought him the mate--on the deck laughed again, but in a
different key.  The captain spoke to him in a low tone.  The officer
came aft and beckoned to me to approach the bulwarks.

I staggered up as bidden, and in a moment he had secured me with a rope
to a belaying pin amidships, beneath the bridge.  The rope hurt me, and
pressed hard upon my waist in front.

"Let me go," I cried, struggling to reach the deck, from which I was
just lifted by the rope; "I can't breathe."

"You can shout, anyhow," replied the mate.  "You'll find your level
presently.  Then you'll walk circumspectly."

"Can you spell it?" I sneered.  I was annoyed then by the laughter.

"I T," was the answer.  "And you'll spell 'rope's end' if you're
impudent, my lad.  So put that in your pipe!"

"I don't smoke," I retorted.  "Let me go, please."

"Presently.  Keep quiet, as the captain says.  You'll be glad
presently.  How do you feel now, eh?".

"None the better for seeing you," I said rudely.  "Let me go!"

"No, no; you must feel better first.  You see this rope's end, you'll
feel it presently.  Just a little pleasant warming.  See?"

He then suddenly laid the rope across my shoulders sharply, and on my
back a few times.

"That will keep you," he concluded, stepping forward and leaving me to
my reflections.  "Now you know the ropes," he cried jeeringly.

I was angry, and made up my mind to fight the mate when I got released.
The captain did not interfere at all, though he saw all that had
occurred.  However, I suspected he would have said something had he
disapproved.  I was very savage, though not really hurt--except in my
inmost feelings.  I wriggled, and kicked, and yelled aloud, but no one
took any notice of me whatever.  At length I subsided,--I felt rather
sick and faint.

"Cut him down," said the captain to one of the hands; "he's had enough.
He'll lie quiet now."

The man at once untied the knot which I could not reach; I fell on
deck, and felt terribly ill.

"Come along o' me," said the sailor.  "Just stand here to leeward!
You'll be all spry in a few minutes now.  Hold up, matey!  Why, you're
a greenhorn, and no mistake!  Shave my cat's whiskers, but you _are_!"

I felt too unwell to dispute the question.  I considered that I had
been most unkindly treated; that the captain and crew, including the
mate most particularly, had been almost brutal!  I longed to quit the
ship and to return home.  Even Granding and Smith's, I believed, would
be more pleasant than the steamer.  I began to _hate_ the sea, the
waves, the voyage!  Was _this_ the beautiful Ocean on which I had
sailed so joyfully so often?  What a mercy it was that I had been
plucked in eyesight!

My eyes were open now, long before the usual nine days.  I could see
things in a different light.  No doubt the Royal Navy was different
from this "tramp" steamer, but it was all the same feeling _at_ sea!
Oh, my head! my head!



"I've been thinking about ye," said the skipper, two days later, when
my head and legs became more easy, and obedient to my will.  "When we
reach Gib ye must make yer choice--and I think ye'd better stay with

"Yes, sir," I replied doubtfully; "I suppose I must."

"There's no must in it, youngster.  I'm bound for Hong Kong and Canton,
and, further, I don't keep any idlers on board.  If ye go with me ye
must look lively.  Yer mate, Tim, yonder, is already worth his salt.
He tells me ye're a cadet."

"I wanted to be; my eyes were wrong, the doctor said."

"Then ye're fond of the sea?  Now, here's my idea: I'll keep ye, if ye
like, aboard, and, please Goodness, bring ye home.  If not, ye must
telegraph home from Gib, and I must send ye back in some liner,
somehow.  Make up yer mind, it can't take long."

"I suppose you think me a fool?" I exclaimed testily.

"I do _not_," he replied, with the emphasis of the native Irishman;
"but maybe I will when I hear yer opinion."

"Then, I'll stay," I replied, feeling rather undecided nevertheless.
"But what will they think at home?  My mother will fret."

"Well, I'm sorry for yer mother, but I think she'll survive.  I know
something about ye from the boy forward.  Now, tell me the truth about
yerself.  Who are ye, anyhow?"

I told him the truth.  He listened quietly, nodding at intervals, and
finally said--

"All right.  Now, my lad, listen to me.  I'll be the making of ye, and
yer mother won't know ye when ye go back, eh?"

I hardly fancied that this would be an advantage for my parents, but I
said nothing, and the captain continued--

"I'll make a man of ye, so I will.  I'll just wire to yer daddy, and
tell him I've got ye safe and sound, and will bring ye back.  I'll
clothe and feed ye and teach ye something, and maybe ye'll come back a
second mate for the Company--the Shanghai and Hong Kong Tea Company."

"Thanks," I said briefly, rising as I spoke.

"Hold on a minute, there's one lesson first.  When ye speak to the
captain, say sir; d'ye mind?"

"Yes, sir," I replied, blushing furiously as I stood before the master.

"Very well, that's the first thing.  Now, what can ye do?  Can ye hand,
reef, or steer?  Speak up!"

"I can't furl a sail, sir.  I can reef a fore and aft sail, and can
steer a little."

"Very well.  Look here, now, I'll keep ye, and put ye under my man;
he'll trim ye a bit, and Mr. Rose, the mate, will set yer lessons.  By
the time we reach the China Sea I expect ye'll know the ropes.  Ye must
work for your living here,--no skulking, now!"

"No, sir," I answered respectfully.

"That'll do; I'll take the responsibility of ye, and bedad ye'll have
to mind me!  But I understand ye are a gentleman; so'm I, and ye'll be
taken care of.  Ye'll be a man before your mother yet."

This I believed highly probable, and nearly said so, but the looks of
the captain deterred me.  He proceeded--

"Just keep quiet till we make Gib; then I'll see ye fix'd up, and put
to work.  My steward will berth ye and feed ye.  Ye needn't go amongst
the crew, mind; and needn't keep watch--unless ye like--at first.  Now,
are ye satisfied?"

"Yes, sir, I am; and am very grateful to you for all your kindness."

"That's bully, now," he exclaimed.  "Here's my hand on the bargain.
Ye'll do, when ye get the starch out of yer collar.  We don't want any
airs here, mind ye.  What's yer name?  Jule, is it?--what?"

"Julius, sir," I replied, feeling terribly small.

"Julius Cæsar?  No, it can't be that, I suppose.  Never mind, we'll
call ye Julius until ye become a mate.  In my country they'd say if ye
wasn't the _mate_ ye'd be the boy to _serve it_! D'ye mind that?  Come
up now, and get a breath of the wind, young Cæsar."

I laughed, and thus I became a sailor.  But how different was the
introduction from that I had anticipated!  I was rigged out as a
cabin-boy in the steamer, and carried away to the Far East, instead of
being trained on the _Britannia_ and serving in a man-of-war.  Many a
night I lay half-crying in my bunk, thinking of the change in my
prospects, but the days passed quickly, letters came from home, and I
had plenty of money afterwards, but the first step counted very much in
my career, and I grew fast at sea.  I said so once to the captain.

"Mind ye don't grow fast ashore," he said.  "Cut yer wisdom teeth first

I could not get much "change" out of the skipper.

But I am anticipating.  I was still a cabin lad, and under orders.  I
was taught many things, such as knots and splices, heaving the lead,
the names of the ropes, and was sent aloft when I had become accustomed
to the vessel.  We didn't sail much, but at times we hoisted a topsail,
jib, and spencer (or mainsail) when the wind was on the quarter, and
time was pressing.  We steamed through the Mediterranean, and had I
time I could tell you my experiences and pleasure in seeing the places
which as a lad I had read about.

What lad of fifteen would not have been delighted, as I was, by seeing
Capes St. Vincent and Trafalgar?  The steward, the captain's man, my
chief, so to say, told me many anecdotes about them, and the battles,
the prizes, Nelson, and other heroes.  Gibraltar, Naples, Malta, the
canal, where we saw mirages in the sand, Suez, the Red Sea, Colombo,
and away to Hong Kong, whence we proceeded to Canton.  All these
experiences were delightful.  I almost forgot home in the new and
charming scenes of the East, though I found some drawbacks in the
Chinese people and the climate.

We voyaged and traded between India and China for eighteen months,
until I became, as the captain had declared, a mate under him, and
though acting, I could act fairly well!  I was then a grown lad, nearly
seventeen, and full of energy.

We were at Hong Kong in the year 1894, a place I always liked, and the
first visit to Victoria I never shall forget.  It was in the end of the
year after leaving home.  Hong Kong in my mind had been always
associated with a song which we used to sing in the bedroom at my first
school about a "gay cavalier" who, having been disappointed by the lady
he loved, declared, lyrically, that she "might go to Hong Kong" for
him!  This fine and interesting ditty, as we then thought it, came into
my head that day when the _Fêng Shui_ steamed into the harbour.

What a beautiful scene!  Perhaps you think that because I am young and
(a little) verdant I exaggerate the beauties of the panorama.  Well,
ask your friends.  Let them tell you of the blue sky and sea, with the
numerous vessels sailing and at anchor, the men-of-war with flags and
pennants of all nations, the sampans, the junks, the hundreds of
strange rigs and faces (and languages as of Babel all around you)
floating on the beautiful water, from behind which rises "the Peak,"
the highest point of the mountain chain which dominates the town of
Victoria, which is built along the slopes.

And, indeed, upon a steep slope it rests, in an apparently insecure
basis, inasmuch as the houses appear to be tending to the sea, as if
thrust by those behind; so that one almost expects, when one returns
after an absence, to find a row missing, and the larger houses lower
down on the hill.  Above them are the woods or thickets of the
mountains, and, at times, the low clouds upon the Peak.  Opposite is
China, bare and rugged.

When you land in Hong Kong--at least this was my youthful
experience--you are inundated by coolies who will carry your baggage,
for a few _cask_, upon a bamboo pole, resting upon the shoulders of two
"porters."  A single porter may be employed, but in this case your
(light) load will be balanced by him at the end of the pole and
sustained by a weight at the other, in the weighing-machine method.
These fellows trot up the hills with the burden which sways upon the
pole, and though you may wonder why the man does not walk quietly, you
will soon discover that the flexible bamboo is most easily borne at a
jogtrot when laden, because it adapts itself to the pace, or the pace
to it, as it swings.  Try it, my young friends, and you will agree with
me that a swinging trot is the easiest mode of progression under the

"Cash" in Hong Kong, and in China generally, is of course in
signification the same as in Europe, but in China it is specific,
definite.  The _cash_ is a bronze coin, in value about the tenth of a
penny, with a square hole punched in it, so that the purse-bearer can
string hundreds of them over his shoulder like a bandolier of
cartridges.  The _cash_ is usually slipped upon a cord, knotted in the
centre, and the money passed on over both ends.  When a hundred _cash_
has been strung on each end a knot is tied, and two other hundreds are
added as before, up to usually one thousand _cash_, which then
represent a dollar.  Three shillings and ninepence at most, if good
money, but frequently it is mixed.  In some ports eleven hundred _cash_
equal a dollar.[1]

[1] _Cash_ is very ancient, it dates to 2300 B.C.  The "sword cash" was
in use about 221 B.C.; the circular, with square cut, is of David's
time in Israel.  Value, 1800 _cash_ = 1 oz. silver.

The dollar and cent are the money values in China,--copper _cash_ and
paper notes.  A five cent piece represents about twopence farthing.
Provided with _cash_, and even sometimes with a purse-bearer, one can
"shop" in China if you are careful to give about one-third of the value
of the article demanded.  Let me now resume my story in 1894.

      *      *      *      *      *

"Jule," said the skipper to me one day, "take the belt and come with
me.  I want to make a few purchases and to do a little bit of business.
I think we shall make money."

I accordingly procured sufficient _cash_, and we were passing the club
of Hong Kong, which, by the bye, contains a nice library, when a
gentleman accosted the captain.  The stranger looked like a Japanese.
He was short, intelligent, quiet, but decided in his manner, and spoke
English fairly well.

"Captain Goldheugh, I believe?" he said, raising his hat in salute.  It
was not the salute of an inferior, though; there was no servility in
the man's manner.

"Yes, sir," replied the captain, responding in kind.

"Can you favour me with five minutes conversation?" asked the young
man.  "Perfectly private matter."

"Certainly," was the reply; "shall I accompany you?  We may talk here."
They drew aside within the shelter of the house, and appeared to be in
earnest conversation, which continued for some minutes.  Meantime I
strolled back and forwards watching the mixed assortment of people, of
whom there are specimens from India and Arabia and other lands in
abundance--negroes, Europeans, Parsees, Chinese, British, Portuguese,
and French, coolies, and some--very few--Japanese; so the gentleman who
had accosted my skipper was rather remarkable, perhaps.

When the pair had finished their chat, the skipper came back to me, and

"Jule, my lad, ye need not carry the _cash_ to-day.  Unless I am
mistaken we are in for a fine deal.  Mind now, keep your mouth shut.  I
think we'll make a profitable business of this."

"What is it?" I asked, as we returned to the waterside.

"Well I'm going to trust ye now, as a gentleman.  What d'ye think of a
war?" he asked.

"A war!" I exclaimed.  "Where?  In Europe do you mean, against us?"

"No, here; in China perhaps."

Such an idea had never entered my mind.  The fact of impending war in
China had not been presented to me; all seemed peaceful.

"Who is going to fight?" I asked.

"Perhaps no one.  But ye saw that Jap there?"

"Yes; a nice fellow I thought, sir."

"Well, he has made me an offer, and if my suspicions are correct we'll
make a little haul of cash.  English cash--pounds--not this miserable,
crawling, centipede kind of stuff which wouldn't buy a scarecrow a meal
for Sunday.  No, bedad, Jule, my boy, we're in luck."

"I hope so, sir.  How?"

"Don't ye know I told ye about some business when we started that had
reference to a mandarin chap, one of the Company's customers, for whom
I had advices.  Now, mind ye, this Jap has shown a hand--only a finger,
I may say, but a finger points somewhere; and it just indicates the
very direction in which I was going later.  D'ye take me?"

"Yes, sir.  It seems that the John Chinaman and the Jap have their
heads in the same direction."

"Exactly.  Jack and Jap is the business entirely.  I have business both
in Japan and China.  I know the seas about here, and they both know I
know them.  So my friend has 'offered' me for the steamer.  What d'ye
think of that?  But he desires secrecy--a private cruise."

"The Japanese man you mean?"

"Ay, the Jap.  But I was going to-day to the Mandarin Johnny to hear
_his_ business, and if he means the same, I smell _war_, my lad!"

"But how will that benefit you, sir?"

"It will benefit the Company if the Government takes up any transports,
and makes a contract with the _Fêng Shui_.  See?  Now let us go on
board, dress, and see the mandarin later."

We went off in a sampan to the steamer, which was lying off a little,
awaiting orders.  The captain took me ashore, dressed in a neat
uniform, and I rather fancied myself in it.  We landed, chartered two
"rickshas," or jinrickshas, a Japanese importation, and were trotted
out to the bamboo-shaded house, amid the scent of lovely flowers of all
colours and perfumes--frangipanni, jessamine, roses--which the natives
arrange in tasteful bouquets in the streets.

The "ricksha," pulled rapidly by the coolies, passed along the hilly
thoroughfares under the hot and stifling sunlight.  It was not a very
bad day either, and yet in our cool white suits, and under wide
umbrellas, the heat was quite sufficient that afternoon, and we were
compelled to change on our return from our "pidgin" with the "Number
One Johnny"--the high-class mandarin, to wit.

This mandarin lived in a bungalow, and affected certain tastes in
deference to his neighbours--the English.  He spoke the language well,
and though he was dressed in Chinese fashion, and was a perfect
Chinaman in appearance, he had risen above his people in many ways.  We
entered the house, which was almost destitute of all the attributes of
British houses, no curtains, nor carpets, nor rugs, nor anything to
_heat_ one to look at; on the contrary, all things were cool--bamboo
chairs, high casements, wide windows, stained floor, fans and punkahs
waving automatically, it seemed, but, of course, pulled outside.

We were ushered in by a Chinese "boy," and into the presence of the
"Number One man."  He was dressed in the usual well-known fashion--a
loose robe, with trousers, long sleeves to his garment, stuff shoes,
and of course a fan.  His keen eyes were shaded by spectacles.  His
shaven head and pendant pigtail and queer eyes betokened the true

After salutations, by rubbing his hands over each other, he asked in
what he had deserved the tremendous honour which my captain had done
him in visiting his most miserable hut.

The captain in reply mentioned certain instructions he had just
received, and suggested that the "Number One man" knew something of his
errand.  What did the mandarin think of the steamer _Fêng Shui_?

"It is a solid vessel, and can carry soldiers?" he asked quickly, after
some other remarks had passed.  The Chinaman dispensed with any
compliments just then; he offered us tea, but did not taste it then.

"Yes," replied the captain with deference, "she will suit for a
transport.  _The Japanese wish for her_."

The spectacles flashed at us, the fan waved, but no irritation was
otherwise expressed.

"Has the Japan Government purchased the 'inside' steamer?" (screw).

"No, highness; I declined the offer.  I am awaiting yours."

"Your terms for the steamship for three months, if we wish to send it
with your crew to Corea?"

The captain paused a while, then he named a sum which made me look out
of the window, I nearly smiled.  I did not know the value of steam
transports fitted for service; it meant hundreds a day!  Hundreds for
that small steamer and crew--and, of course, officers.

At length the transaction was completed.  The tea was drunk then, not
before.  We bowed ourselves out, and regained the _Fêng Shui_, where
the mate was in charge.

"Well," said the first officer, "what's happened?"

The captain told him our experiences, and mentioned the conclusions at
which he had arrived.

"Look here," he said in a low tone, "mark ye this, there's going to be
a fuss between these two countries.  They are both trying to get ahead
of the other, and I understand that Corea has a finger in the pie.
That Japanese I told ye of--the man I pointed out to ye," he continued,
addressing the mate--"ye know."

"Ay, ay; but he's not a Jap!"

"Not a Jap!  What d'ye mean?" exclaimed the captain angrily.

"What I say, captain; _he's_ no Jap!  He and his pal are Coreans.  _I_
can see that.  Look at his sleepy face under that 'bowler' hat--a
disguise!  He isn't a Jap; and he wants a secret passage, you say.
Things are getting mixed all round.  He's up to no good."

"Well, maybe ye're right, Rose," replied the captain.  "But why do ye
think the Corean men are cutting in against us?"

"I only know what I have seen; I've seen two Coreans searching for a
vessel to-day--and on the sly, I hear.  They are up to something; and
it's all round queer, because they have a Chinese and a Japanese with
them.  Four together, and only the Jap looks honest."

"They can't hurt us, so no matter.  I'd like to know what they are
scheming, by the same token.  There's war in it, and the Company's
agent knows it.  I'll fix it, and we may have to steam for Shanghai on
sight.  We'll get steam up, Mr. Rose; pass the word for Jenkins."

Mr. Jenkins was the "chief engineer," and he came to confer with the
captain in due course.

I obtained leave for the evening.  Fancying that I could clear up the
mystery of the Japs and Coreans, I took a sampan, and went out on
search through the harbour for the hired, secret vessel.



As I did not wish my chief to know whither I was bound, I went ashore
first, and strolled about in the cooler hour of the evening, and even
penetrated into the queer Chinese slums where little drums of the
peddlers, and the chatter and smells and heat, soon drove me back to
the parade, away from the houses of the natives.  Their stupid faces,
so smooth and greasy-looking, their odd dress, long pigtails (of the
men), the coarse, rolled hair, pinned in masses (of the females), both
sexes being costumed nearly alike, quite put me off.  Even some
experience of the country has not impressed me in favour of the native
of China.

So I returned to the water, and calling a "sampan" got the number of
the man taken--for many people have been "missed" from a Chinese boat
at evening--and told my man to propel me across the harbour towards
Kow-loon.  This is in China, where the change of the scenery is marked
and wild; but I did not come for the prospect, I wanted to search the
further side of the harbour, which is about a mile across and ten
square miles in extent.

If the Coreans had an idea of secrecy, I imagined they would rather
seek a small sailing vessel--perhaps a junk rather than a steamer,
though, of course, the latter would be more speedy, and more certain if
a storm arose.  But they would sail by the north channel, so I made for
the north point, the extremity of the peninsula of Kow-loon, which is
under British authority by lease.

I passed amid the ships of all kinds, large and small, which crowd the
harbour; boat-houses (literally dwelling-houses) of the natives who at
Hong Kong, as at Canton and Shanghai, and other places, live in the
wherries in aggregate thousands.  Small and limited is the
accommodation, truly, when a family, with a pig, and perhaps ducks,
live on board.  The chances are in favour of drowning; but the _male_
children are tied to the gunwale; the girls are let to go as they
please, and if they disappear--it is "only a girl"!  There is little
care for life in China--of the natives, I mean--and least of all for
female children.

The evening was drawing in, and I had not found any vessel on which I
recognised the so-called "Japs."  There were hundreds of ships of all
sorts, and I was pleased to hear a hail in English from a clipper
schooner as I was passing in the dusk.

I pulled alongside the vessel whence the "hail" had come, and, when
close aboard, I recognised the speaker as a friend who had assisted me
once or twice in the past when I had been unhappy and in need.  His
name was Eagan.

Glancing along the trim and natty decks of the schooner, I gained the
gangway.  The little ship was ready to put to sea, the anchor was
already weighed, and the schooner was only fast to a buoy, for the
breeze was light.  I recognised the craft as a former smuggling vessel,
and named _Harada_ by her late owner.  She traded in "natives" up the
coast, and to Formosa, the Pescadores, and as far as Shanghai, or even
farther north.

"Hallo! back again?" I cried, as I clasped Eagan's hand.

"Why, certainly," he replied; "think I'd scooted?  What are _you_
prowling about for?"

"Simple curiosity," I said.  "Thanks, yes, I'll have a 'peg," I added,
as he indicated refreshment by a nod in the direction of the cabin.

"A tidy berth this," I continued.  "Suits you, anyway."

"Yes, not badly.  What's your _simple curiosity_ led you to?  I can
estimate the curiosity, but I don't see where the simplicity comes in."

"Really?" I asked, as I watched him mixing a soothing draught.

"No, really.  What's your spot?  What's your little game?"

"My game!  I'm just sculling around--that's all."

"By accident.  One of your freaks, o' course!  Still acting on the
_Fêng Shui_, I suppose?"

"Yes; but confirmed now--second."

"Ah!  Going north yet?"

"Presently--I mean by and by.  When do _you_ sail again?"

"When I receive sailin' orders.  Maybe to-morrow--maybe never."

"Come, Eagan, you're mysterious, for _you_!  Your anchor's a-peak, and
you are loosing sails.  You are just off.  What's the game?  Whither
bound--honour bright?"

He paused and looked at his tumbler, then raised it and looked at the
lamp through the liquid the glass contained.  He slowly brought his
eyes back upon mine, and said--

"Honour it is!  Chemulpo perhaps--Shanghai certain."

"Oh!" I exclaimed.  "I say, Eagan, what's your _Jap_ up to?"  He
started and stared at me, then he replied--

"I say, Jule, what's your _Chinese_ up to?"

"_Rats_," I replied.  "What's the coil _here_?"

"_Snakes_," he retorted.  "What's your notion?"

He suspected me; and I fancied that I had by accident hit upon the
Coreans' vessel, or of the vessel they had chartered, perhaps.

I kept staring at the skipper; he was silently staring at me.  Neither
would say the word he was anxious to say.  A pause ensued.

"Well," I said at length, "I must be off.  No more, thanks.  'Pegs' are
likely to upset one in the dark; anyway, they don't steady one."

"P'raps not," he replied.  "Well, so-long, mate; we'll meet sometimes,
I hope."

"Certain!  I see your sails are loosed, Eagan.  I'd better be going.

"Good-night.  Hallo! where's your boat?"

I rushed to the side.  My sampan and the boatman had disappeared.

"Hang it!  I say, skipper, send me ashore, please," I cried anxiously.
"We may sail by daybreak."

"I'm just as sorry as sin, but I can't.  My dinghy's ashore, and I've
no time to man another.  I guess you'll have to wait a while."

"What do you mean?  Remain here?  I can't."

"Guess ye must, Jule boy, till morning.  Say, there's a signal.  That's
my boss comin' alongside.  Show lights!" he called out.  "Gangway!"

Three or four men, dark-featured fellows, Chinese apparently, came
abaft, and a European mate came up from the cabin somewhere.

I saw a light flashing from a boat which quickly came alongside the
schooner.  I walked to the counter and watched it.  The occupants were
two short men in the stern, two natives in the bow, and two sailors

The lanterns gleamed as the men stepped on deck from the stern-sheets
of the boat.  They were wrapped up, but I knew one of them.  He was the
quasi-Japanese officer whom my captain had spoken with.  These men were
escaping perhaps--whither?  What plans had they been maturing--what
plots had they been framing in British territory?

The foremost arrival did not notice me, the second did,--he I did not
know at all,--but neither made any remark to me.  The officer, as I may
term him, turned to Eagan, and said in English, clearly--

"Stand out at once, please.  Make for Shanghai direct."

Eagan nodded merely, and said, "All right, boss."  Then he gave a few
orders which the mate repeated, and in five minutes the schooner was
passing out by the north channel.

"Eagan," I said, "where are you taking me?  I _must_ join my ship."

He shook his head, and went to the wheel himself, leaving me raging.  I
followed him.

"Do you hear?" I cried.  "This is piracy.  I'll give the alarm if you
do not put me ashore.  Hail a boat!"

"Just lie low, Jule.  Wait till we reach Shanghai, you'll find the
steamer there, I expect, and if not you can wire; so be easy, boy."

"I'll make a row for this!" I cried, feeling enraged with him.

"If ye do I'll put ye overboard.  The crew are Chinese, and no one will
care except me.  So, keep still, and I'll land you safely up at
Shanghai; best so, I tell ye."

"Then you are hired to carry these fellows; I see.  There is something
wrong here, Eagan, and you shouldn't do it."

"It's no business of mine, lad.  I'm paid for the passage, and when
they land it's finished.  Your old screw will be in Shanghai before us.
There's nothing wrong in the case so far as I see _yet_; I'll tell you
more in a while.  Go and have some supper."

I was very much annoyed by this departure, and began to grumble at the
skipper; he only laughed at first, and then got angry in his turn,
until the mate came aft and dragged me below, where we supped in amity.

"Take no notice of anything," said my new friend; "but, 'tween you and
me, there's going to be trouble about this.  For one of these chaps has
been induced by the other to clear out of Victoria and to go to
Shanghai.  I can understand some of the lingo, and it's plain to me
that the man named Oh Sing, or Kim,--I can't quite catch it,--is rather
frightened of the boss, whose name is Lung.  The Lung man won't let him
out of his sight, and if a chance comes I suspect Mr. Lung will punish
the other fellow."

"What's his object, then?" I asked.

"Can't say.  Eagan is suspicious, too, of these Coreans.  One fellow is
evidently nervous, and keeps his Japanese servant near him all the
time.  The captain don't want any fuss on board this ship, you

"Well, I shall say nothing.  We shan't be long in reaching Shanghai,
and there I can quit, eh?"

"Certainly--why yes, of course.  Now, when you're finished, we shall go
on deck.  The captain will want to go down then, and you shall watch
with me if you like.  Keep your eyes skinned."

"You scent danger then?"

"In two ways.  The glass is falling; that, after such a jumpy time as
we've had, means tempest.  You know that?"

I nodded, and he proceeded.

"Then, again, we must never leave these passengers to themselves,
unless the weather's very bad, because there'll be trouble.  If the
weather's bad they'll all be sick, and near dead anyway.  So let us
pray for typhoon, mister."

"I shall not," was my reply.  "When you see the barometer waltzing down
to twenty-eight degrees or so you'll pray for something more
interesting to yourself!  Keep an eye upon the Coreans by all means,
but watch the glass whatever you do."

We were strolling up and down the weather-side of the deck.  The wind
was off shore, and a bit abaft the beam.  As we cleared the Channel we
spun along the ripples, sending the "phosphorus" flying around the
stern, and light-up the forepart to the chains.  The sky was perfectly
clear, and the mate hoped to reach Formosa quickly with such a breeze.

We were still strolling at four bells, ten o'clock, and then I felt
inclined to turn in somewhere.

"Take my bunk in the inner cabin.  If you hear anything, just let me or
the skipper know.  Those fellows have a game on if I am not mistaken;
but no 'revenge' in this ship, I say."

He nodded at me significantly in the soft light by the binnacle.  The
steersman was a Lascar.  The crew was composed of a variety of natives;
but in the cold weather of the northern sea the Lascars were as
dead--and died too.

"Good-night," I said.  "I'll find my way."

I stepped softly down the stairs, and passed through the "saloon" or
eating-cabin.  I found the berth close by, and tumbled in by the dim
light of a swinging candle-lamp of the spring-up pattern, as we used to
call it.  The company in the saloon had dispersed; the captain had
quitted it some time before, and the two Coreans and the Japanese
servant, who stuck to Oh Sing, parted.  The man Lung, I fancied,
disposed himself in the saloon.  The other came and looked at me, and
perceiving that I did not stir, he, after a pause, _crawled_ out, hands
and knees, on the floor, and vanished in the darkness outside the berth.

The wind was rising, the sea was following suit.  I slept lightly as
usual, when I was awakened by a breathing close to my face.  I opened
my eyes quickly, and started up.

A knife flashed in my face.  I seized it, and shouted, "Help!"

At the moment I cried out I sprang up.  Someone at the same time
extinguished the already expiring lamp, and as I leaped upon the
deck-floor I distinctly heard _something_ retiring.  I called again,
and the captain came down into the dark and silent saloon.

"What's the matter?" he asked.  "Is that you, Mr. Julius?  Had a bad
dream, I reckon, eh?  What are you doing here, anyway?"

He turned a ship's lantern upon my scared countenance as he was

"No; someone came into the berth and flashed a knife in my eyes.  If I
had not called out I would have been stabbed."

"Nonsense, nonsense," said the captain, who still blinked the light
upon my alarmed looks.  "There are no murderers here, lad.  But tell me
how you came in here; this berth belongs to the passengers."

"The mate told me I would find a bunk in his berth."

"Likely; but this isn't his.  This belongs to one of my passengers--to
Mr. Oh Sing."

"To him!" I exclaimed, recalling the hints of the mate.  "Then perhaps
somebody intended to stab _him_!"

The skipper looked at me steadily for quite half a minute, without
speaking.  Then he replied--

"Better come on deck, sonny; you'll see no knives there, and may bear a
hand for me.  I think, somehow, a storm is coming up.  Look slippy
now," he said, as he went to examine the other "rooms" astern.

I looked as slippy as possible, but "look sleepy" was just then the
more correct expression, as I ascended the stairs to the deck.  The
breezy, somewhat cool, night soon dissipated the feelings of sloth
which remained in my eyes, and I was able to grasp the aspects of the
surroundings, which were, after all, pleasanter than the revealed
dangers of the cabin.

The mate was forward, and I took up my position by the wheel so as to
look well ahead and around.  There was a low grating astern, on that I
stood and cast my eyes over the sails.

The schooner was slipping away north-east, the wind still just a little
abaft the beam, and filling all our sails.  The _Harada_ was a topsail
schooner--that is, she carried small square sails aloft on the
foremast, and as I reflected, with a fast-beating heart, upon the very
narrow escape I had had below, my glance was fixed upon the topsail,
which seemed pulling hard at intervals.  Then the wind would slacken
again, the cloths would remain at their former tension, and all well.

The sky was beautifully blue-black and clear, and I calculated that we
should reach Shanghai in about six days, supposing no bad weather
intervened.  I felt very happy and comfortable there, in command,
nominally, of the vessel, though I wondered why the skipper remained

After a while I became convinced that the breeze was increasing, and
more than that, in a jerky, uncertain manner which I did not like.  We
had plenty of sail on the vessel, jib, stayforesail, topsail, fore and
aft foresail, and mainsail.  I fancied we ought to furl the topsail at
anyrate, and I called the captain through the skylight.

Eagan came up smartly, and after a comprehensive look around, said--

"Mr. Julius, just call the hands, will you?  Watch will reduce sail,"
he cried.  "Be smart, lads!"

The watch, who had been resting in the "shade" of the bulwarks, at once
arose at the summons, and I ran forward to call all hands, but the mate
anticipated me and turned the men up.

"Come, Mr. Julius, will you lead the men aloft for me?  I must get the
mainsail stowed and the jib down."

"Aloft, boys!" I exclaimed, and was in a moment leading the hands up
the rigging.  "Crikey," it did blow up there then!  All of a sudden, as
it seemed, the wind increased, and when we attempted to secure the sail
it flapped and banged us about so that it was with great difficulty we
even commenced to secure it.  But the six skilful hands managed it, and
by holding on "by our eyelids" and "legs and necks" we got the square
topsail secured to the yard in fair style.  Luckily the true tempest
had not then broken, and we got the yard down.

Then came the struggle.  Sail after sail was reduced as fast as
possible, and came down rapidly, racing the mercury in the tube which
was leaping lower and lower.  All hands were on deck except the
passengers, and the sea came drifting in foam and spray across the
ship.  The _Harada_ dashed into the short seas, which rose landward, as
if ejected by big hands underneath with no roller-force; but the wind
made noise enough in the shrouds and cordage to deafen us, and even the
boats slapped and almost danced adrift from the davits, and filled with

I thought we would escape easily, but Eagan roared in my ear that this
was the beginning.  He was right.  The furious blast seized the sturdy
little ship at one moment, and snapping some ropes like whipcord, sent
them flying around our heads and beyond.  The schooner dipped and
dipped, lower and lower; strake after strake disappeared, until the
planks seemed to become lost, and the vessel to be settling beam under.
The passengers set up a horrible scream, they were too greatly alarmed
to fight, no doubt; and even the best of us thought of the great and
solemn inevitable end.

All this time the sea was most terrible, the wind and darkness were
awful, the foam simply a white mist around us.  The vessel suddenly
rose up again, was again depressed, again lifted as the squall
subsided; and after four such experiences, each one bringing our masts
down to the waves, and the last one smashing the mizzen-topmast short
at the cap, we floated more steadily.  The wind changed, smote us again
on the starboard quarter, after blowing in a circle for a couple of
hours, and we rested on a trembling sea, drenched with spray and rain,
and dishevelled.

Most fortunately our masts stood the strain, and our ballast did not
shift.  Had the latter given way we must have been swamped, or we must
have cut away the masts.  However, we pulled through the cyclone, or
"typhoon" as they call it out there, and in seven days we ran into the
river at Shanghai not much the worse after all, though with a jury
topmast and spliced rigging.



The steamer had proceeded up the coast, threading the Chinese
Archipelago in the direction of the southern entrance to the
Yang-Tse-Chiang, as English people mis-name it.  The Chinese name it
_Kiang_, or _Ta Kiang_, the former being the "river," the latter the
"great river" (Kiang-tsi being the province).  The Kiang runs for three
thousand miles through North and Southern China, and is available for
steamers for a long distance inland.  The contrast between the blue
ocean and the mud-tinged waters of the river is observable far from

To approach Shanghai we were compelled to proceed carefully in our
little ship, because the Woosung River, on which the settlement is so
well situated, is narrow and shallow in comparison with the Kiang.  But
when the last corner is turned and the concession comes into view, with
its wharfs, brewery, cathedral, trees, fine houses, quays and streets,
well supplied with water, gas, electric light, post-offices,
telegraphs, and pillar-boxes; police of sorts, from the British
"blue-bottle" to the Chinese "copper" in knickerbockers and gaiters,
supplemented by the Sikh or Indian guardian of the peace in a blazing
turban, who would more quickly disperse any youthful gathering in
England by his mere appearance at the corner than the "bobby" of
British aspect at home, the visitor is astonished.

The schooner anchored in the stream, and I was greatly surprised by the
evidences of wealth which the beautiful houses and the esplanade, the
wharfs and shipping, denoted.  All these are so different from the
ideas which the average and untravelled Britisher has conceived of
China, that if he do not visit Hong Kong on the way out, nor stay in
San Francisco on the way round, he will be fairly astonished at
Shanghai, when he first views the settlements, and its prosperity.

Three concessions line the river, namely, the English, the American,
and the French.  The two former are united in their Government, and
separated by creeks and bridges.  The English and American settlements
are well kept, clean, and well looked after.  The French, which lies by
the Chinese outside-settlement, was rather badly kept, and even a
British "ricksha" was not permitted to cross the French line.  A
roadway lined by trees, like a boulevard, runs between the houses and
the river, which is embanked, like the Thames in London.  The Chinese
city of Shanghai is walled and separated from the "foreign devils'"
location, it is most truly Chinese, which means a great deal.  Woosung
is the port.

I was pondering upon my intended movements, when Eagan came amidships
to where I was gazing at the crowded river, and asked me what I
proposed to do.

"Suppose you'll go ashore and have a spree?" he said.

"Can't I stay where I am?" I asked.  "I have not much money, and am
ignorant of the place, though I hear there are boarding-houses for

"Hum--yes," he said doubtfully.  "We're going into dock, and I think
you'd better go to the hotel.  My passengers are landing, and are going
to the Japanese hotel in the American section, now.  They won't mind
you anyhow.  The place is cheap and good, I hear.  If you stay there
to-night you may find the Consulate in the morning, and get a wire
perhaps, or letters, or any news possible."

I thought Mr. Eagan wished me away, and I consented to his suggestion
at once.  He seemed relieved by my assent.

"See, now," he proceeded, "here's _cash_ for you, never mind paying.
We're bound to refit, and you'll have twice the fun ashore than you'd
have with me in the 'muss.'  You've never been up here?  Laws!  Then go
ashore with my passengers.  Never mind the want of baggage, it's aboard
your ship," he said, winking, "but I'll lend you a change, and a few
things till to-morrow."

Under the circumstances I considered that Eagan's plan was best, and
besides he did not want me any more than the four passengers, and I did
not press the matter further.  The skipper gave me some dollars and a
quantity of _cash_, and passed me amid the crowd of chattering coolies
who scented passengers and a job.  After a struggle, in which Eagan had
upset several of the most unfortunate of the coolies, the valise he had
filled for me was hoisted by the chosen one of the mob, and borne by
him to the Japanese hotel in Honkiew, the "American" settlement, which,
with the British and French settlements, are entirely separated from
the Chinese city, though the rich Chinese prefer the foreign quarter.

The foreign concession is surrounded by streams and ditch from the
rest, and is virtually an island isolated.  The river bounds one side,
and brooks the others; one crossed bridges and ditches, and finds
change _and_ decay!  There is an Anglo-Chinese settlement, but all the
foreign side is clean, well lighted by lamps and electricity, with fine
houses, warehouses, and public buildings.  Shanghai is no longer China
in the settlements.

In the American settlement my friend Eagan, whom I suspected was an
American bred, had indicated the hotel on the Broadway.  To this I
repaired, and was quickly furnished with a room which in itself was not
lavishly supplied in this manner.  However, it was clean, and proved
comfortable, and I slept, rocked, in imagination, by the heaving sea.

I awoke late, and was engaged in various "extension motions" ere
preparing to dress, when my calisthenics were suddenly brought to a
conclusion by the sound of a pistol shot.  Was this imagination?  I
hastily attired myself in pyjamas again, but before I had quite
finished, another, and another shot rang out in the corridor!

I dashed out, but seeing no one, though inhaling the smoke of the
discharges, I ran to the head of the stairs.  Three or four others came
on the scene immediately, and a number of persons came rushing up from
below.  I pushed on, and stared in horror at the sight.  A dead and
bleeding body lay before me!

It was that of Oh Sing, or Kim, the smaller of the two Coreans who had
sailed in the _Harada_.

I started back.  Then Lung had been revenged!  I began to appreciate
the danger I had escaped on board the schooner.  Here was the victim,
shot dead in the "Japanese" hotel!  Truly I had had a most marvellous
escape.  Lung had evidently intended to assassinate his companion in
the berth which I had unwittingly occupied.  What had been the object
of the murderer?  These reflections hurried through my mind like
lightning, and the spectators began to compare notes concerning the
incident even while carrying the dead man back to his room.  As we thus
retraced our steps, we managed to put the facts together, and when the
doctor arrived he asked me what I had witnessed.  My testimony was
brief but important, and the Consul's representative arrived during the

The unfortunate Oh Sing had been shot by three bullets, so all the
discharges had taken effect.  He had been shot through the cheek--the
left--and again through the stomach--wounds which tended to prove that
the man must have been lying down when attacked, and that the assassin
had entered the bedroom.  The left cheek being perforated tended to the
assumption that the poor victim had been lying on his right side, away
from the door, when attacked.  He must then have turned, half rising
up, and received another bullet in front, and then he had fled.  The
third ball had penetrated below the shoulder, and had found its billet
in a vital part, for the man had died at the end of the corridor, by
the stairs down which the man Lung had escaped.

This was a most unfortunate occurrence for the hotel people, and I
fancied I knew then why Eagan had been so anxious to get the
passengers, including myself, ashore; and why he had kept the Coreans
apart when on board.  He knew something--and guessed the rest.

Having given my name to the Consul, and been advised to remain in
Shanghai for a while, I had breakfast, for which I had little appetite,
and sauntered out.  My first visit was to the docks to acquaint Eagan
with the news, but I ascertained that the _Harada_ had sailed at
daybreak, "leaving no address," so I was compelled to retrace my steps.

I was now in a quandary.  If the _Fêng Shui_ did not come up soon I
might be arrested as an accomplice in the murder, and all day I
strolled about within the settlements listening to the strong
expressions of disgust for the deed.  The murderer must be hanged--that
was only justice.  The feeling against the Japanese was in a measure
increasing, and one knows how racial dislikes are fomented in the Far
East.  I began to look around me cautiously.  I had been already in the
witness-box, and some fanatic might think it proper to whet his knife
upon my ribs.  This opportunity I did not desire to afford him.

But for all my care I, of all people, was drawn into a dispute, and
concerning an arrest--or perhaps I should say an attempted arrest.  I
was strolling up the road which turns aside from the Bund--a street in
which European wares are displayed--when I perceived two rather
peculiar Chinamen following a third Chinese, and evidently "shadowing"
him.  Perhaps I might not have remarked them had not the "shadowed" man
halted beside me as I was looking at photographs displayed in a
well-known shop.  I turned sharply to look at the man.  He struck me as
different from the ordinary Chinaman, not a coolie, yet not a mandarin
certainly.  A "middle-class" I may say; a trader, perhaps, but surely
not a native of South China.

To my astonishment he addressed me in excellent English.

"Can you permit me to accompany you, sir?  Please be cautious."

I stared at the fellow; then thinking that trouble might arise, I made
no reply.  He spoke again.  The men stood watching us.

"Do not turn away.  I am in danger in these clothes.  Can you assist
me?  I am a Japanese officer."

"A Jap!" I exclaimed.  "Why this disguise, then?  What are you doing

"I have been travelling in China.  The Chinese suspect me in
consequence of the murder here.  Can I accompany you a while?"

I paused a moment, and at length consented.  We proceeded to the
Consulate, and were seated upon the bench there, when my new
acquaintance replied to my request for information by saying--

"I am a sailor--a Japanese junior officer.  Those men intended to kill
me.  I am searching for news.  They are arming against us."


"Yes," I replied; "I hear as much.  How can I protect you then,
supposing you are a Japanese officer?  How can I tell that?"

"I can produce my authority, sir," he said gently but firmly.

"Will you disclose your identity to the Consul, then?"

"I would prefer not."

"How, then, can I protect you?  I have no proof of your mission."

"If you permit me to remain with you until evening, I can then meet

"Why not address some other Englishman--a merchant or shipper?  There
are many officers and sailors better than I."

"The merchant would not credit a 'Chinese.'  The natives do not mix
with the foreigners except in business-talk--'pidgin,' you know.  If
they betrayed me I might be killed.  I intended to leave here sooner,
but have found no vessel in which I can yet sail.  The Japanese steamer
will arrive to-night.  Let me remain with you.  You will be sorry if
you do not, I daresay."

"You speak English very well," I said.  "You have been in London?"

"Yes," he answered; "I was attached to the Japanese Embassy a while--at
least, I was a student in London, and met with much kindness.  My
brother, who is in our army, was also in England at one time."

"Can you tell me the names of any people in England who knew you?"

"Oh, certainly," he said, smiling at me as if I had asked an awkward
question.  Then he mentioned several people well known, and at least
one family with whom my people were acquainted, their residence, and
friends.  I was almost convinced.

"Very well," I said after a pause, "I will take you to the hotel; but
you must talk bad English, and attend me to the various places I want
to see."

"Can do," he replied promptly.

"What do you mean?" I asked, in surprise.

"Can do; makee talk chop-chop.  Alle same Melican-man."

"Pelican?  What _do_ you mean?  Are you sensible?  What's Pelican?

"No," he replied, smiling broadly, "Melican-man is an American in the
pidgin.  Melican."

"Oh, I thought you said _pelican_ first, not _pigeon_."  He smiled.

"I was chattering coolie-pidgin.  'Can do' means 'can,' simply.  I
implied that I would attend you, that's all.  Please be careful."

"Of you, or of myself?" I asked, smiling in return.  "All right, let us
go to the hotel.  You can remain there a while, then we will take a
stroll, and perhaps by the time we have returned we may find your ship
in the stream.  I am also expecting a vessel."

"Which vessel?  British?"

"Yes, British built,--a steamer, _Fêng Shui_.  Heard of it?"

"Not a steamer.  _Fêng Shui_ is Chinese--superstition.  The men are
leaving us, see!  But they will return.  Shall we move?"

We rose, and looked round us.  I felt rather nervous.  Suddenly my
young Japanese cried--

"There she is!  _Kyodo Maya_.  My ship for Japan."

"A merchant steamer!" I exclaimed.  "Not a warship."

"Yes, 'Union Steam.'  I go home.  You have saved my life.  Let me wait
until the boat comes ashore.  I join my ship at Chemulpo."

I was quite puzzled.  Was this man true or false?  If false, what could
he gain by selling me?  He appeared honest, and certainly two men were
watching us still.  He had laid himself open to suspicion, at least.

"Come with me, sir," he said.  "If you will come on board the steamer
you will understand this.  I assure you I am true, and thankful for
your society."

"I am also awaiting my ship.  Perhaps your vessel may not wait to put
me ashore again, and"--

"I am an officer," he interrupted.  "The captain has instructions for

"But not for me.  See, the men are approaching again.  A boat is being
launched.  Shall we go to the wharf now?"

We hastened down.  The sun was setting, and the Japanese had certainly
had an escape.  Even then the bandits looked ugly and revengeful.  The
"officer" was full of thankfulness and gratitude to me.

"Remember," he said, "if ever we meet I am your debtor.  My name is
Tomi Taijiro.  My relatives are in the navy and in the mercantile
service.  My elder brother is in the army.  You will remember you have
saved my life."

"I am pleased to think so," said I.  "If so, I am truly glad.  I hope
we shall meet again.  If so, once more, I shall claim your promise.  I
believe you."

He bowed deeply, lowly fashion, and I wondered for the moment.  But his
costume warranted the obeisance, and the boat came near.  The two men
approached us through the throng, and Tomi whispered--

"On guard!  I dare not call assistance.  Stand firm!"

Meantime the steamer's boat was approaching, impelled by Japanese.  The
Chinamen came closer.  We shifted away amongst the people, and I hailed
the boat.  The officer made a sign to the coxswain.  The men pulled

At that moment the assassins rushed in.  In another moment we might
have been struck, or even killed.  But we turned suddenly, and
unexpectedly separated.  Each seized a "coolie"--so they appeared to
be--and with real luck avoided a stab.  In a second both men were
swimming for life amid the shouts of the spectators, amid alarms and
cries from natives.

"What is it?" asked some anxiously.  "What has happened?  Were they
thrown in?"

"An accident," I replied, nodding at Tomi as I turned away.  The boat
came up, and he was rowed away, to the surprise of the onlookers on the
wharf, who had not seen the struggle.

Then I returned, and remained indoors next day till afternoon.

As no one molested me, I became more easy in my mind as the day wore
on, and I began to look about me with more interest.  From the fine
parade along the river,--the Bund it is called,--with its turfed
slopes, Shanghai is alive, right away to the men-of-war, local
steamers, and launches.  The streets are full, even crowded, with
passers-by and rickshas--the original "Pull-man car of Shanghai."  On
the Bund the business is performed, and its occupants are indeed busy.
It is a wonderful sight for the stranger from Europe, who expects
things to be Chinese-like.  In the Maloo, or chief road, cabs,
broughams, barrows, and horsemen jostle each other daily.

This is not China!  It is London, Paris, New York.  Fine houses and
broad pavements; banks, hotels, imposing buildings, a cathedral.  Great
ships and little boats, sampans.  Vessels loading and unloading, noise
and bustle, cranes and steam-whistles.  Babel of language, and the
never-ceasing chatter of the Chinaman and his friends.  _Cash! cash!
cash!_  Merchants, coolies, rickshas, runners, porters; Chinese dodging
the carts, and avoiding the "foreign devils"; yet, at times, driving in
British landaus driven by a Chinese.  Such a confusion, such fun and
variety; yet all over it, for me, hung the shadow of the crime of the
Corean which led to War!

I crossed the bridge, and visited the Chinese-European sections,--not
the city of Shanghai,--and the French Quai des Fossés, and the familiar
notice of the continent of Europe--"defendu!"  The Chinese possess in
their section no landaus, they hire wheelbarrows like Mr. Pickwick's.
Here one can examine the shops and the natives at leisure.  You may see
the deformed feet, and the really unpleasant supplies of food which the
Chinaman consumes, and the frequent coffin which he will occupy later
when he dies of "carrion dishes."

And all this primitive, conservative, old-world practice in the midst
of modern civilisation--electric light, steam, and even comparatively
broad streets, high houses, and wide roads,--but not China.

I put in the three last items because Chinese natives have no roads, as
we called them, no high houses as in Europe, and no _streets_.  The
streets are alleys; the houses deep, not high; the roads, paths!  All
is topsy-turvy; even the house-roof is made and put up before the
walls; and politeness consists in depreciating oneself to the visitor.
The lady of the house is a nonentity, and the meaning of "wife" is
merely "_the woman who uses the broom_" or servant!  In Shanghai
Anglo-China you may be amused and interested, but in a Chinese town,
such as Amoy, or Shanghai, or Hankow, you will be disgusted, and unless
strong in all ways, come away absolutely sick and ill.  The sights, the
smells, the open drains, the filth, the putrid food, and the personal
dirtiness, will, in a quarter of an hour, repel all but the devoted
seeker and the confirmed and robust smoker.[1]

[1] The wealthy Chinese are yearly becoming less conservative in their
habits, and their wives are now in evidence in carriages.

But when within European districts one may see something, and satisfy
legitimate curiosity; perhaps even in the peep-shows, though here again
the taste of the native is for "high" meats; and "blue" incidents, as
in the theatre and such places, are evident.

      *      *      *      *      *

When I arose next morning I heard that Lung had been arrested, and that
the inquest was to be held at once.  Lung did not seem in any way
interested, and declared that he had acted under directions from high
authority in Corea.  However that may have been, he was not hanged nor
imprisoned, but handed by the consuls to the Chinese, and departed in a

Being much interested in the case, I kept watch, and discovered that
the man would be conveyed away by night to Corea.  As I was wondering
how I could find out the fact, and conceal myself from the police, I
saw a well-known figure making for the Consulate, near which I was
seated.  I rushed up and accosted the new-comer.

"Captain Goldheugh!  This _is_ luck!"

"Julius!  By thunder! is it yourself entirely?  Well now, look at that!
I was going to the Consulate for ye.  Look at that!"

This was an apostrophe, a favourite expression with the skipper.

"And ye're not dead at all?" he asked, after a hearty shake, twice

"Not at all," I replied, laughing.  "Delighted to see you, captain."

"So am I, bedad!  Why, the steamer was _crying_ for ye, and wouldn't
steam scarcely, and we declared it was the name did it--_Fêng Shui_, no
less.  I am thinking of changing it.  I am so!"

"Why, sir?  Surely _Fêng Shui_ is no harm?"

"No harm, is it?  Bedad, it may mean anything--in China; and as we're
Chinese now--a Chinese transport I think I'll make it, bedad!--I'm
going to the Consul to _report_ the _Kowshing_.  I never did like the
name _Fêng Shui_--in China.  I was told it was unlucky."

"Why?  What does it mean?" I asked, as we continued our way.

"_Fêng Shui_?  I told ye it means 'wind and weather,'--but also their
influences; things which cannot be exactly understood, but which, like
electricity, are evident.  In China _Fêng Shui_ generally means a

"That's cheerful, anyway," I muttered.

"And whether the place is 'good' or 'bad' depends very much upon the
imagination or estimation of the persons interested.  There are
'professors' who profess to understand _Fêng Shui_, but I needn't say
they are mostly humbugs, and only try to make money out of ye.  But I
think China is getting much wiser, and less conservative in many ways.
Ye'll see ladies on bicycles soon--I mean Chinese women; and when ye
_do_, ye may depend the old restrictions are broken away."

"Then the _Fêng Shui_ is doomed, you mean?"

"Yes, it will be; and the steamer must change her name.  Look here,
Julius, between you and me and the bedpost, the mate and myself have
made up our minds to stand the racket for the Company, and chance it.
The agent holds off, but I see my way to profit by the fuss."

"What fuss?  This murder?"

"Bosh!" exclaimed the captain.  "The _war_!  The Chinese and Japs are
already at loggerheads about Corea.  This murder business will cause
the Japs to interfere.  China has already sent soldiers to Corea, and
the Japs have the right to do the same.  Now ye'll see sparks fly!"

"I'm afraid I do not quite understand it."

"Well, well!  Can't ye understand the difference between Conservatives
and Progressives?  Yes!  Then Japan is progressive, and the Chinese the
other way.  The Johnnies objected to Corea being made progressive, as
the Japanese tried to make it, because Japan is advancing to European
perfections.  That very fellow who was killed two days ago was an
adherent of Japanese advance, and the old Coreans' style opposed him.
Some years ago (in 1882) the Japanese had to fly out of Corea; they
sent troops to punish the natives, the Chinese did the same, for the
sake of making peace.  But the Corean Progressives attacked the Corean
Conservatives, who retaliated, and drove the Progressive party out in

"Then it was arranged that both China and Japan, the Conservative and
Progressive motive-powers, should each send troops to Corea if the
other did, and the treaty between Li Hung Chang and Count Ito lasted
for nine years, till now--1894.  And _now_," concluded the skipper,
"Mr. Oh Sing, or Kim, has again thrown the fat into the fire.  He's
been killed,--he was a 'Progressive,' ye understand,--and the consuls,
or one of them, has caused the murderer to be sent by the Chinese to
Corea to the king, free and unpunished!  Bedad, my lad, we'll see more
sparks out o' these flints yet!"

"Then the Conservative Corean has killed the Progressive Corean?"

"Just so; and the Chinese, being Conservative, have saved the murderer,
and sent him home in a _man-of-war_!  In a Government ship!  Sent him
home with honours!  Sure the Japs won't stand that."

"I suppose it was a planned thing?"

"Certainly; a plot,--a decoy.  You, somehow, came in the vessel, and, I
hear, got into trouble almost.  If the King of Corea instructed the man
Lung, or Hung, and if he goes back unpunished, then ye'll see some
'fun,' as people call it."

"And the Chinese expect something?" I asked.

"Yes, they do.  They're searching for transports on the quiet; and when
I have changed the _Fêng Shui_ to _Kowshing_, and settled the bad luck,
then we'll just go up to the Yellow Sea, and look in at Taku."

"Why at Taku?'

"Because I _hear_, quite by accident (accidentally on purpose, as my
uncle used to say), that the troops for Corea will embark there, if
anywhere at all.  My game is ready, and the steamer will be there.  If
I can get the job, I makee much cash; if not, then perhaps one catchee
die, and get one piecee coffin, as Johnny Coolie might say.  But alle
samee some day.  Are ye hungry, Julius?  Let's chow-chow, eh?"

"Indeed I am, sir; very hungry."

"So'm I.  I'm a'most dying with the _forgortha_--the hunger, ye
know,--myself.  Come on then, and have bird's-nest soup and roast rat."

"No thank you," I replied with a shudder,

"Oh, come on, boy!  Have lunch with me, and drink good luck to the
_Kowshing_ and peace to the _Fêng Shui_.  Come!"



We were compelled by circumstances to remain a few days at Shanghai,
and almost every hour begat new rumours.  Sunday itself was no day of
rest for the Spirit of Conjecture; she was busier than ever, and
whether on the Bund or on the concession road, where everybody met all
the world and his wife and family, the speculations were numerous and
important.  Only the ugly Amas (Chinese "ayahs"), and their usually
pale European charges, were exempted from the general discussions.  The
Chinese, too, were quite quiet, but also perfectly alive to the
situation.  Those of the settlers who played lawn tennis or other
games, or cycled,--as most of the "foreign" men did,--paused to discuss
late events on the grounds, or on the Marine Parade.  The Chinese
drove, or perhaps walked, but did not "go in for games" as the "foreign
devils" do; it is better, they think, to pay people to do all this to
amuse them.

The steamer quitted Shanghai, and made her way into the Yellow Sea,
which is beautifully blue, and derives its name from the Ho, or Yellow
River.  Near the land it is more muddy, but steaming at sea through the
ocean depths the water is blue as an Italian sky.  We made our way up
to Taku, or Tien Tsin, the well-known port of Northern China.  We
passed close by Yung Cheng, and rounded Wei-hai-Wei, passed the
islands, and steamed through the Gulf of Pechili to Taku at the mouth
of the Pei-Ho.

I was very much interested in this place because a cousin of mine had
been engaged in the expedition against the Taku forts in 1859, and I
recollect my admiration when my cousin returned with some beautiful
Chinese robes, and other articles, which he had purchased, or found, in
Pekin after the capture of the capital.  These spoils still exist in
the possession of my cousin's family.

While embarking Chinese soldiers for Corea, we heard many reports of
the Chinese fleet, the attack of Japanese in Seul, and such
intelligence, which confirmed my captain in his impression that war had
already virtually been declared, and that the struggle would be fought
out by sea and land, between China and Japan, in the Yellow Sea and in
Corea.  So he made haste to embark the soldiers,--some twelve hundred
men with twelve guns,--and, when they were settled on board, the
steamer followed the other transports, of which nine had already
sailed.  There were two other English steamers employed in the service,
but we didn't think that any fuss would ensue, because we trusted to
the "red ensign."

"Well, Julius," said the mate to me, when we had crossed the bar at
Taku, "here we are on service."

"Yes," I replied; "but it is only transport service.  There will be no
fighting.  We can't fight, and no one will harm a British ship."

"Let us wait till we reach Corea.  When we reach Asan, and land the
troops, we shall be able to sing 'Rule Britannia.'"

"What do you mean?" I asked, looking at the mate intently in the dim
light.  "There is no danger, is there?"

"I suppose you know that the Japanese warships are out in this sea, and
they expect to meet some Chinese vessels?"

"But we're not Chinese; we're English."

"Just so," said the mate.  "Hadn't you better look after the troops,
and get them settled.  If any storm gets up, or anything happens, they
will be like children, and _we_ can't hold them."

"Who's the major?  He's not a Chinese, anyway!"

"No, he's a German, I believe--a Von something--a good fellow, I think.
You see the Herrs are getting the thin wedge in in China, quietly.
Look at their travellers already--commercial, I mean--they are turning
_us_ out!  This major is teaching the army to shoot.  They are very
young in the modern sense.  Just see that the Johnnies are quiet."

They were peaceful and resigned.  So far as I could ascertain, none of
them, except the generals, had any notion of what they were sent to
do--except to fight _somebody_; but they were apparently quite passive
in the matter, and gave themselves no concern either way.  They were
machines then; but later they roused themselves unpleasantly.

It was early in the morning of the 25th July 1894; I had been on deck,
but came up again about eight a.m. because I was informed that the
islands were in sight off Corea.  I knew the mate was on watch, and he
might want me.  So I came up to him.

"I say, Julius," he said, "just call the captain!  There's an ironclad
ahead, and I can't quite make her out.  She carries the Rising Sun, but
there is a white flag over the Japs' colours.  Look alive!"

Just glancing ahead I thought I could see the vessel referred to, but
of course I called the captain at once.

"Where are we?" he asked, rising quickly.

"Oft Shopieul Island, I heard, sir; in the Corean Archipelago," I added.

"Thanks," he replied; but whether he was sarcastic I could not divine.
I at once hurried on deck again, and searched the sea.

The captain then came upon the bridge, and I heard him chatting with
the mate.

"I suppose she's a Jap," said the latter; "but I can't grasp the white

"Dip the ensign, anyway; it's the proper thing.  Hoist the red rag," he

The signal-hand quickly bent the ensign of the merchant navy; it rose,
fluttered out, dipped, and rose again to the peak, blowing out plainly.

"I say, he takes no notice," cried the captain.  "She keeps her course
to the north-east.  Now what in thunder does _that_ mean?  It's an
insult, bedad!"

"She's steaming at a fine rate, sir.  Looks as if she was in a hurry."

"Running away, bedad!" laughed the skipper, turning his glass upon the
large ship.  "Ah! a man-of-war and a Chinaman,--a trick, I believe."

"Really so?" exclaimed the mate.  "If so, there's been a 'tit up'
yonder, and Jap has licked Johnny, but I heard no guns.  Excuse me,
sir, what's that yonder?--a schooner, I say."

I heard him, and got a glass from the signalman near whom I was
standing.  But the schooner was not the _Harada_, so far as I could
see.  She had no foretop-sail-yard.  She was steering south-east, a
long distance away, and looked an old style of vessel getting away.

By this time the news had spread through the steamer, and penetrated to
the Chinese intelligence forward.  The soldiers came up in numbers, and
the officers, accompanied by the European passenger, began to chatter
and make all kinds of inquiries and observations.  The Japanese flag
had evidently raised the "dander" of the Chinese.  They understood that
the man-of-war was a Chinaman, but could not understand the white
feather of retreat or escape.

By degrees the excitement increased, and the crew of the steamer became
very much interested.  The native fireman even came up to look around,
and though unable to see anything, descended again, much impressed with
the result.

Notwithstanding our native English assurance, one or two of us--I need
not make invidious comparisons--began to suspect danger.  The captain,
mate, and the German military passenger were perfectly calm and
unembarrassed, and the _Kowshing_ proceeded at a good pace to her
destination.  The chief men were on the bridge.  I was within hail, and
at times stood upon the ladder to see better, and to hear better, what
the prospects might be of seeing war.

We still kept our course, and had approached within a mile or so of the
island from the north-west, when three men-of-war came out from the
land in our direction.

"What do you make them?" asked the captain.

"Japs," was the reply.  "We are getting into a hornet's nest, I think."

"The British ensign will surely protect the steamer?" asked the foreign
passenger.  "There is no necessity to alter the course."

"Precious little use, anyhow," remarked the mate.  "We must keep going,
though I fancy the ships will not appreciate the Chinese troops on
board.  We may be compelled to return."

When the Chinese commanders perceived the Japanese vessels approaching
they became rather excited--the soldiers also crowded forward, and
there was no appearance of fear amongst them.  There was some anxiety,
certainly, on board, and when the leading ship passed on and fired two
blank cartridges, there was a feeling of uneasiness evident.

"Stop her," came the order when the two guns and the signal had been
interpreted.  My heart beat loudly at the sound of the unshotted guns.
They meant heave to--anchor.

The steamer hove to and waited, tossing gently upon the sea.

"What are they up to?" was the question expressed or implied.  "Tell
them we understand, Julius."  "Ting, ting" went the telegraph to the

The man at the signal halyards and myself sent the bunting aloft.  The
flags said, "We have stopped"; and again we waited, lopping and
rolling, as the anchor plashed away into the blue sea at eleven fathoms.

"I say, are we prisoners?" I asked the mate when he came back
amidships, having seen the anchor let go.

"Looks like it," he replied crossly.  "Must wait the Japs' convenience,
I see."

The Chinese generals then began to plague the captain with demands
which the German officer translated and repeated.  There was great

"That ship's the _Naniwa_," I heard someone say.

"She's returning.  All right, we may proceed, I presume."

"She is only going to confer with her mates," said the engineer, who
had come up.  "But the captain is asking something."

I made out the signal as directed, and it spelt "May we proceed?"  The
engineers anxiously awaited the reply, and the crew expected the order
to weigh.

But to my dismay, and certainly to the disappointment of all on board
our steamer, the reply came from the Japanese, sharply--

"Heave to, or take the consequences."

We looked at each other, the Chinese commanders were furious.  The men
made ready their rifles, and got up ammunition.  Things began to look
black all round.

The Chinese commanders demanded to know what had been said, and when
they had been informed a discussion arose.  So greatly were they
exercised that the foreign officer suggested that the soldiers might be
sent below, because he feared a disturbance if any Japanese came on
board; and also, I think, he fancied we all were in danger if the
troops became mutinous.

This advice, backed up by the officers of the steamer, was acted upon,
and when I had assisted in carrying out the order with the
quarter-master, Louis, we came on deck again, and we saw the same ship
again approaching us on the port side--on the beam; she took up a
position so that she could enfilade us with her starboard battery, and
we could see that she had prepared to fire her broadside.

I really could not believe we were in danger.  It seemed so absurd to
think that our Japanese friends could threaten a British ship sailing
under the ensign, and employed in transport duties.  I said as much to
the mate.  He shook his head.

"You see, we are in the enemy's pay, and the Japs must have the first
blow if they mean war.  Still, I suppose they will take us off the
steamer, and make the Johnnies prisoners.  Here comes a boat.  We shall
soon find out all about this business."

"The Japanese are armed," I said.

"Certainly they are.  They are on the warpath.  I hope we shan't lose
our scalps!"

I laughed at the idea, and the mate walked forward to keep watch and
order ahead, without echoing my misplaced merriment.  He seemed to take
things seriously.  How absurd!

"Gangway!" came the order, and the captain went down to receive the two
Japanese officers who intended to come on board.  They were received
with politeness, the lieutenant and his sub demanded to see the
steamer's papers.  For this purpose they went into the chart-room.

Meantime I was staring at the boat and the Japanese sailors, neat and
tidy fellows, and at the youthful officer keeping guard.  My heart
leaped.  I recognised him as the youth whom I had assisted that evening
in Shanghai when the feeling against the Japanese ran high.  He
recognised me at the same moment, and smiled.  I advanced and saluted
him; he replied in kind, and we exchanged greetings.  It was Tomi!

"May I inquire what your captain intends to do with us?" I asked after
a while.

"I cannot say," he replied.  "My officer and your captain will
doubtless arrange matters."

"We are not at war," I persisted; "we cannot be harmed."  I glanced at
the English ensign as I was speaking.

His eyes followed mine, and he touched his cap politely, then looked at
me.  "Will you come on board?" he asked.  "I will assist you now, if
you like."

"Why?  What for?"  After a pause, I replied, "No, thank you.  I am on
duty, of course."  But I thought it kind of the middy.  He knew the

"Stand back, please; here is my officer," he said quickly.  "Be silent."

He at once became distant as the land, and shut up like an oyster.  He
perhaps was afraid to be seen speaking to me.

The captain and the Japanese lieutenant then appeared.  The latter

"I will convey your message, sir, I understand that this vessel is
under the charter of the Chinese Government to convey troops from Taku
to Asan.  Is that correct?"

"Perfectly," replied the captain.

The lieutenant continued, "There are eleven hundred soldiers on board,
with arms and ammunition and supplies.  Are you prepared to follow the
_Naniwa_, sir?"

"I am willing to do so," replied the captain.  "Will you favour me with
your esteemed name?"

"Lieutenant Hitomi," was the reply.  "Yours, sir, is Goldheugh?"

The captain bowed; the lieutenant bowed in response, and was then most
politely escorted to the gangway, whence he was rowed to the _Naniwa_,
as he had named her.  She was painted white, and had one funnel.

She was, and is, a fine ship, and I scrutinised her size and guns and
equipage of modern appearance.  She was armed with two 26 c.m.
twenty-eight-ton Armstrong guns; six 15 c.m. five-ton Krupps; besides
machine guns--a heavy armament for a ship of something under four
thousand tons, I estimated.  She carried three hundred and fifty-seven
men, and could steam eighteen knots.  These details I learned later; at
the moment of the lieutenant's departure I was fascinated by her guns.
It seemed so unreal to me.  War was so unexpected by us, though I
gathered that it had been brewing for months.  Still it is always
disturbing and alarming, even if one is _not_ face to face with it, as
I was.

When the Japanese officer had returned to the ship, the Chinese
generals came up with the German officer to make inquiries.  The major
was not present when the explanation had been made, but he understood
that our captain had mentioned him as a "passenger."

"I did so, sir; I told the lieutenant.  Did you not hear what I said?"

"No," replied the passenger.  "If you had called me, as we agreed "--

"Bless my soul, what time had I to call anyone?" exclaimed the captain.
"The man didn't wait for any explanations.  He asked me questions, and
when I had replied he was off like a shot; and maybe he'll treat us to
one presently, though I suppose it isn't his fault.  What are the
generals going to do?"

"They declare they will resist.  You should have stipulated to return
to Taku, they say; and they will rather die than be taken prisoners."

"Bedad, they may have to do it!" muttered the captain.  "Julius, hoist
the signal for a boat.  The Chinese fellows are breaking loose, and
we'll be murdered in a minute.  We're between the devils and the deep
sea now, and may go anywhere.  Call assistance!"

The German gentleman in vain attempted to influence the Chinese.  He
could speak their language, but they did not listen.  The officers
declared they would fight.  They had eleven hundred against the three
hundred and fifty Japanese, and they could prevail!  In vain the major
declared that the ship's guns must destroy the steamer if she fired at
us.  The generals were obdurate.  They directed their men to guard the
bridge and gangway, to kill any European who resisted, and to load all

"We have your protection," they said to the captain.  "If you withdraw
it on the part of England, we shall shoot you.  You have made a
contract with us, you must complete it.  Take us to Asan, or back to
Taku, and forfeit the charter."

This was translated to the captain, and he swore.  He signalled for the
Japanese to send a boat, and the reply came--"Send at once."  We then
waited in the greatest excitement, fearing for all on board who were
not Chinese, because the soldiers threatened, and made the most
horrible signs to us all the while suggesting death and torture.

It is almost incredible, but it is true--no romance is here.



The tremendous excitement of the Chinese was due, as I then understood,
to a signal from the _Naniwa_, which we found out meant "Weigh; cut or
slip."  This was rightly interpreted as a command to follow the warship
and surrender, and the Chinese absolutely declined.  I wished we had
run away and beached the steamer.

We were on the bridge then.  I mean the officers; and the captain
attempted to persuade the Chinese officers to be quiet.  But the
trouble increased every minute.  Soldiers loaded their rifles, and took
up their positions as sentries at the ladders, so that at the first
symptoms of surrender the British would be shot; and when the Asiatic
begins to kill he becomes a fiend.

Under these circumstances the captain made an appeal to the Japanese.
Goldheugh and the mate conferred with the German officer, who was a
"drill instructor" of the Chinese troops, and the cry went up--

"Send a boat.  Must confer personally."

When this signal was perceived, and explained, the generals threatened
to shoot us all; the soldiers at once thronged the deck, and advanced
to the gangway, so that if the Japanese came on board again they ran a
great risk of being killed.  The signal was replied to by "Send
immediately," and we waited amid a fearful uproar, and desperate
resolves upon the part of the Chinese to cut our heads off.

We were silent and expectant.  The explanation was agreed on by all the
Europeans, and it was with great difficulty that the Chinese leaders
were at length induced to order the men from the gangway.  The Japanese
did not come alongside at once.  They perceived the difficulty and the
risk for us.

When the lieutenant did come up he was informed of the state of the
case.  Captain Goldheugh and the German officer fully explained the
cause of the delay.

"We can do nothing," said the former.  "You desire us to weigh anchor;
the Chinese will kill us all if we attempt to obey.  Cannot your
captain permit us to return?  _We_ had not heard of any declaration of
war before we sailed.  We have not in any way broken the laws of

"The Europeans must quit the ship," said the Japanese.  "That is my

"We cannot.  You perceive the difficulty.  What shall we do?  You may
let us return to Taku.  This is the Chinese demand."

The Jap shook his head doubtfully.

"I will inform my superior," he replied.  "You must be ready to act
when the answer comes, whatever it may be."

He then returned to the boat, and the crew gave way rapidly.  All these
arrangements had occupied quite three hours and a half, and it was then
nearly "one bell,"--half-past twelve,--for I remember the bell being
struck at the time the Japanese boat was proceeding to the cruiser,
which lay about half a mile away.

"Julius," said the captain, "tell the engineers and firemen to come on
deck; and hark ye, my lad, put on a life-belt."

"A life-belt!  What for?" I exclaimed.

"Do as ye're bid," he said, descending from the bridge, and entering
the chart-room, and later, his cabin.  Meantime I gave the order, and
the engineers and firemen came up, some went forward to wash.

We had not much time to spare.  The Chinese sentries had left the
bridge before this, and the "calm that precedes a storm" had settled
upon us.  The pause was broken by the expected reply from the cruiser--

"Leave the steamer at once."

The captain shrugged his shoulders, and called to me--

"Have you told the engineers?  Signal, 'I am not allowed,' and ask for
a boat for us.  Be ready all; there's mischief now."

When the captain had made this reply, he spoke to the mate, who quitted
the bridge, and made some preparations to depart.  The next thing I
remarked was a red flag at the foremast of the cruiser, and a signal
abaft--"Can't send boat."

"Then we're done," said the chief engineer.  "What's that red flag?"

"Looks like 'Fire,' but it can't be that," replied his mate, who had
retreated aft with the mate of the steamer.

"She's taking up position," said the mate.  "See!  What's that?  By
thunder, it's a torpedo!  That's another.  Hurry, lads.  Fly!  Jump!
They intend to sink us with the Chinese fools!"

I stood irresolute, not from fear, because I could not realise the
extreme danger of the situation.  "A torpedo," the engineer had said.
I had never seen one before; and was it possible that this black thing
which was rushing like a small porpoise at us was intended as a
destructive weapon against a friendly vessel?  What would happen if it
struck the steamer?

Before it touched us, however, a fearful thunder of guns rang out at
one moment, and a curious sound of grinding or rattling.

"A broadside!" shouted the chief mate, rushing forward.  "Leap, Julius;
jump overboard!"

He rushed at a belt, and disappeared as the steamer heeled over under
the fearful impact of the shot or shell, and I also dropped in the blue
sea behind him.  The effect of the broadside was to depress the steamer
upon the starboard side.

The crash was fearful!  Even as I fell into the water I felt the
concussion, and the roar of the discharge was terrific.  Since then I
have heard "guns going off," and have been startled by them, but this
hurricane of shot was fearful.  When I again rose, supported by my
belt, the air was enveloped in steam, and thick with dust, while the
sea was sprinkled with coal ashes.

The "quick-firing" guns were peppering the survivors on the doomed
ship, flashing from the _Naniwa_ like crackers.  The Chinese kept
firing in reply at anyone in the water, and at the ship's boats, which
had been lowered, but not with the intention to save life at first.
The Japs fired without mercy at the wrecked and sinking steamer and the
Chinese troops.

Mechanically I swam in the direction of the island.  I had no time to
fear the bullets, but perhaps I owe my life to the small ladder which
supported me, and beneath which I managed to float, and propel myself
at intervals, while the firing continued.  The Chinese replied
aimlessly from the steamer, killing their own people on the principle
of the scorpion which attacks itself when in imminent danger of death.
Numbers of Chinese were swimming, and were slain in the water; a few
were saved, with three or four Europeans, by the Japanese and by a
French vessel which came upon the scene, but the vast majority perished.

I learned these details afterwards; at the time the noise and shouting,
the crackling of the machine-guns and the rifle fire, were most
bewildering, and how I managed to keep afloat and unharmed is to me,
even now, astonishing.  Had I not been perfectly at home in the water I
think I must have drowned from sheer nervousness; the exertion itself
would have exhausted me before the boat came and rescued me.  As it
proved, I kept my head and my life-belt.

Then I saw the unlucky _Fêng Shui_ rise up a little, roll a bit, and
plunge down by the stern suddenly, carrying hundreds of living,
wounded, and dead Chinese into the vortex of the Yellow Sea.  The
_Naniwa_ had struck a decisive blow in the war.  Then my mind sprung
back to the evening on which I had been rescued by Captain Goldheugh
from the sinking yacht, in which I had dreamed of a sinking steamer
attacked by a man-of-war, amid steam and the roar of artillery.  Was
this prophetic?


A murmur of strange voices aroused me for I swam mechanically, as I
ascertained later, in the direction of the Japanese cruiser.  I raised
my head, and perceived a large boat closing upon me gently.  A word of
command; I was seized and dragged on board the launch amid the Japanese
crew, and to my delight I perceived Mr. Rose, the mate of the steamer.
There were some other boats afloat with Japanese and Chinese occupants,
but the former fired upon the latter at every opportunity.

We were carried to the _Naniwa_ and, I am glad to say, well treated by
our captors, who supplied our wants, and those of the others rescued.
We received no apologies, however, though food and dry clothing were
supplied.  The captain also was rescued by another boat, but we did not
"chum" with him; and we found that a sentry had been placed at the
doors of the cabins respectively, to avoid and prevent any comparisons
of our treatment.

During the evening we were asked separately many questions, and desired
to make a statement to the captain of the cruiser.  At eight bells we
anchored for the night, and I slept thankfully till the morning.

      *      *      *      *      *

Very early in the morning of the next day I was awakened by the noise
of a brief and sharp conversation outside the cabin wherein I was
lying.  There was a sound of firearms, a clash of a sword, and in the
dawning light I perceived a young officer advancing from the door.

Impulsively I arose, bracing myself for an encounter, but the
ambassador was on peace intent.  He was my young friend the midshipman
to whom I had been of some assistance at Shanghai.  He began directly,
without any preface.

"How are you feeling, Mr. Julius?  I have been thinking about you, and
have ventured to see you.  What are your plans?"

"I have no plans.  My captain and mate are prisoners, and I am in
custody," I replied.  "Why ask a prisoner what his plans are?"

He put up his hand deprecatingly, and shook his head.

"You are not a captive," he replied; "at least only until we can
restore you and your officers to the British ships.  Your captain will
return to Nagasaki, I believe, and thence to Hong Kong, perhaps.  But
if you have liberty to remain, why not stay with this ship?"

"Enlist in the Japanese navy?" I exclaimed.

"Not enlist; join us.  My uncle is commander here now, and he is
already pleased with you, and grateful for your assistance to me.  He
himself has suggested your joining the ship.  You were intended for the
English navy, you said; and you may do us the honour of accepting the

I made no immediate reply.  The suggestion was pleasant to my ears.
Perhaps I might volunteer if Captain Goldheugh had no objection.

"Well?" asked the young Japanese.  "I must request a reply, as my watch
will be called at eight bells."

"Yes; I will volunteer if my captain will permit me.  But must I
actually join your service?"

"I presume not.  The idea is merely one to enable you to see some
service, and I am certain you will be a credit to the _Naniwa_."

He bowed and smiled.  I jumped up and responded.

"You are too kind, Tomi," I said.  "Please tell your most honourable
uncle that I will, if permitted, be most happy to join his ship, though
he nearly drowned us in the _Fêng Shui_."

"That would have been a misfortune," said Tomi.

"The steamer was always unlucky," I replied.  "Her very name is a
reproach, and the captain changed it to _Kowshing_."

"Which was even a greater ill-luck.  But I am on duty.  We weigh at
four o'clock this morning.  I will tell the commander of you."

He retired quickly.  The time was passing, and the hands were about to
weigh anchor.  Before I had finished dressing in the sailor's clothes,
with which home-made (Japanese) attire we had all been supplied, a
message came for me, and I was released politely from the surveillance
to that time observed.  At this point I may say that all the officers
and men, and later the Japanese ashore, treated us all most kindly.
But all the same I think that in war they would be most formidable
antagonists, because they "go" for their aim at once, risking all for
country; even killing themselves if they do not succeed as they intend
to do, and they spare neither themselves nor their opponents, not even
to the farther verge of cruelty, if aroused.

But I did not know so much of the Japanese character then, and I admire
it still.  In all my dealings with them--and I have met many
influential Japanese and others--I have found them polite and
courteous, with a fine tendency to business, and to "take the turn of
the market" for themselves.

Soon after eight bells the warship weighed anchor, and I was permitted
to go on deck amidships, or forward of the bridge, and while I was
gazing alongside my midshipman friend accosted me.

"Your captain is aft," he said.  "Perhaps you would like to see him."

"Is he a prisoner?" I asked, as I gazed at a Chinese gunboat close by,
which had been captured when conveying despatches.  "What's that

"She's a Chinese boat, _Tsaokiang_," replied my friend Tomi.  "We have
caught her, and shall send her captain and crew with your officers in
the transport.  You can visit your captain if you wish."

This was my desire, and accordingly I proceeded astern, under escort
and by permission, to the cabin in which Captain Goldheugh was
interned.  He welcomed me gladly from his cot.

"Ah! my son, so ye've got free of the Japs, have ye?  Sure I'm still in
limbo, though I must say the fellows are civil enough.  We're steaming
to the rendezvous, I'm told."

"Yes, sir.  I came to ask your permission to stay on board here."

I rushed at my fence, you see, and yet in trepidation when I realised
the obstacles.

"What!" exclaimed the captain.  "Remain on board the Jap's cruiser with
the fellows who smashed us into smithereens, and made a 'holy show' of
the _Fêng Shui_?  Bedad, a March hare isn't in the same run with ye.
He's mad this time, anyway," concluded the captain.  "Stark and
staring!  Are those straws in your hair?"

"No," I replied, smiling, yet nervously.  "The fact is the captain of
this ship has offered me a berth, and"--

"By the powers o' Moll Kelly this beats the world!" cried the captain,
relapsing into native idiom.  "The Jap captain offers ye a berth.  Ah,
go out o' that!  He wants ye to take the cruiser into action, so he
does!  That's what he means.  Well, well," he sighed resignedly, "look
at that!"

He nodded his head up and down three times, as if perfectly, but
unwillingly, resigned.  I felt smaller by degrees.

"All right, _admiral_," he said suddenly.  "By all manner o' means.
Won't I make them proud at home when I tell them that the young runaway
is the admiral of the _Naniwa_--what's that mean?  In Ireland 'Nanny'
is an old _nurse_--and she here is your wet-nurse, bedad!  Oh, it's
grand entirely, _your honour_!"

This affectation of manner puzzled me.  The captain was "putting on"
this, I perceived.

"If you object, sir," I began.

"Is it me object!  Not at all!  Go and leave your ship--she's left
ye--and your friends.  What for?" he asked suddenly and almost
fiercely.  "What d'ye want to do?"

"To serve in the Japanese navy," I said, "as a volunteer, and see some
service for a while.  The captain here has told his nephew, who asked
me to tell you too."

"The dog began to bite the pig, the pig began to go, and the old woman
(that's me) begins to get over the stile.  I see!  Well, do as ye like,
Julius, my boy, I'll not stop ye."

"Really?  Oh, you are kind, captain!  Still, if you order me"--

"Ah! go on!  Ye won't stay long I expect.  But if ye _do_ it will do ye
good.  I don't understand why the captain of the ship has made ye the
offer, but as he _has_, and ye are already dressed up in Japanese
clothes, maybe he wants to see whether ye're worth your salt!  All
right, Admiral Julius, 'Go where Glory waits ye,' as Tommy Moore says,
and 'when Fame elates thee, then remember me,' that's all.  Here's the

The officer came in, we saluted, and the captain accepted the polite
invitation to breakfast by and by, and the lieutenant retired.

"Now, admiral, quit, if ye please, as I'm going to 'draw on my
stockings,' and--dress myself.  I suppose _ye'll_ breakfast in the
cabin, while _I_ am pigging in the ward-room.  Be off, I tell ye!
Don't stand there staring like a stuck pig.  Hurry, now!"

I obeyed, feeling that the captain was annoyed, but my feelings of
adventure rose in me, and as he had consented, however unwillingly, I
decided to assume his acquiescence in the matter, but he apparently
feared the future.

There was another interview with my captain afterwards, and a chat with
the mate and others, who subsequently were transferred to the transport
_Yayayama_ with the Danish gentleman,--also a captive from the despatch
boat,--the Chinese crews of it, and the surviving soldiers of the _Fêng
Shui_.  I need not dwell upon the parting.  I felt sorry to leave my
messmates, but against this feeling came the knowledge that I was
adrift already, and must go to Nagasaki first, then find conveyance to
China and perhaps to Europe.  I had no money, and no chance of finding
any then.  My parents, particularly my dear mother, would be much more
pleased to receive a telegram announcing my entry into the Japanese
service, than a wire for money and announcing shipwreck!  The captain
(Goldheugh) had promised to write about me, and I found out afterwards
that not only had he done so, but had spoken well of me to Captain Toyo
of the _Naniwa_.

The _Tsaokiang_, which had appeared before the sinking of the steamer,
was a prize to the _Maya_; and all her officers and crew having been
transferred as indicated above, the _Yayayama_ steamed away for Japan.
I remained in the cruiser while she sent boats to search for the
fugitive Chinese vessel, which had fled away ashore.  She was found and
destroyed by the Japanese boats' crews as she lay beached.

Then the cruisers joined the fleet, and war was declared on the 1st
August 1894, "after the ball" at Phungdo.



It would not be interesting to the reader to peruse the details of our
cruise off the Chinese and Corean coasts after the declaration of war
till the middle of September, but a passing reference to the actions of
the squadron may be made.

The fleet was under the command of Admiral Ito,[1] who later made an
attack on Port Arthur and Wei-hai-Wei, which are opposite each other in
the Gulf of Pechili, the latter port being in Shangtung, and the former
in Manchuria, North China.  The admiral did not communicate his ideas
to many people, but it leaked out in the fleet that he was keeping the
Chinese in check while his transports were carrying the Japanese troops
to Corea.  Meantime the Chinese fleet remained in harbour at
Wei-hai-Wei, and the Coreans assisted the Japanese troops.  So the
Chinese soldiers were marching southwards, and the Japanese northwards,
the respective fleets being in the Yellow Sea.

[1] Now "Marquis" Ito, Prime Minister of Japan.

The Yalu River separates China from Corea, and by that entrance the
Chinese came by sea, the land forces came from Manchuria.  The Japanese
from Chemulpo, Gensan, and Fusan, the fleet having left the Taidong
River, which is across the peninsula, opposite to Gensan, cruised along
the Corean shore searching for transports; and the _Naniwa_, in which I
was, was one of the First Flying Squadron, composed of four ships,
_Yoshino_, _Naniwa_, _Akitsushima_, and _Takachiho_.

This was the arrangement in September when, on the 16th of the month,
we left Taidong River, our division being commanded by Rear-Admiral
Kozo in the _Yoshino_.  The main squadron, commanded by Vice-Admiral
Ito Sukahiro, was inclusive of the flagship _Matsushima_ and five other
ships, with a couple of small vessels of no great importance.

While in Corea I managed to get a kit and outfit, and though feeling
strange in my new surroundings, I was treated well, and in a most
friendly manner as an Englishman.  Many of my messmates in the fleet
had been to England, and some had studied there, so they knew that a
naval cadet was not an upstart, and if he were he would be quickly
brought to his bearings.  At anyrate I got on very well with the
Japanese officers and "subs," though the crew were not so friendly.

"When shall we find the Chinese fleet?" I asked one day, when after
cruising about not even a trail of smoke had been visible.  But the
reply was a half shrug and a smile; no one knew when, but everybody was
evidently impatient.  All were prepared for action,--well disciplined
and trained.  The admiral had confidence in officers and men, and they
obeyed orders calmly and smilingly; and if they looked unenergetic, and
at times listless, they quickly "perked up" when "business" was

It seemed to me curious that the ships had not fallen in with the
Chinese as everyone anticipated.  Every "Jack"-Jap was full of fight,
strong language (_not_ swearing), and disdain of the Chinese.  But we
ascertained that the astute John had landed his soldiers in transports,
under the protection of his warships, while the Japanese fleet had been
temporarily refreshing themselves in the Taidong River.  The Chinese on
the 16th September landed their troops at the Yalu, and returned home
thence--at least they started back homewards across the Yellow Sea.

The Japanese vessels made for Hai-yang, a large island off the
Manchurian Peninsula, and considerable irritation was displayed when
the lookouts declared that no Chinese ships were in sight.  The chief
officers were on the bridge or in the tower, and as the morning wore on
and nothing appeared, the disappointment increased.

Suddenly a hail startled some of us, and the Japanese smile widened.

"What's the news?" I asked my neighbour.

He could not reply in English, but pointed to the horizon over the
port-bow.  We were proceeding under easy steam, the day was fine and
pleasant, and I managed to make out a darkening or smudge upon the
horizon in the north-east.

"Smoke!" I exclaimed aloud.  "The Chinese ships, I expect."

My Japanese friend at that moment came up to announce to me the great
news.  The Chinese fleet was approaching!

Then the discipline of the Japanese sailor was observed.  At once, at
the word "beat to quarters," every man and officer was in his place,
and the proper arrangements were made for disposing of the wounded and
supplying ammunition.  In fact, so far as I could ascertain at the
time, and subsequently by inquiry and reading, the condition of the
Japanese navy is equal to that of any European nation, if it is
deficient in the size of the men and in numbers.  The cool and yet
defiant manner of the crew struck me greatly, and all the vessels went
into action like bulldogs.

The day was beautifully fine, with a calm, almost quiet, blue sea, over
which twenty vessels at least were approaching each other.  In the
arrangements I was in a measure overlooked, and kept out of sight of
the officers as much as possible, watching ahead.  All the ships had
cleared for action and beat to quarters.  Eight bells,--noon.

There's a signal!  I wondered what it meant, but I soon saw the object
of it.  The flagship _Matsushima_ was quickly making the arrangements,
and our ship, with three others, was commanded to proceed to attack the
Chinese.  These "flyers" steamed ahead, the _Yoshino_ in advance,
against the great Chinese ironclads, ten or twelve immense vessels, of
different sizes and speed, like the Japanese, but two of the Chinese
ships, named _Lai-yuen_ and _Ching-yuen_, came first, the rest
extending behind them like wildfowl.

As the four Japanese vessels went on they did not fire.  Then a most
fearful roar arose in front, a mile off, and the sea became alive with
spray and jets of water.

"Shell-fire," whispered my friend as he passed, carrying an order below
astern.  Shells!  I had heard of shell-firing, but never had expected
to see it.  The sea was torn up all around the Japanese as they steamed
swiftly on, but certainly our vessel was not hit, and I did not see any
man touched.

But soon after all the vessels began, and such a fearful din and such a
pall of smoke it is impossible to describe properly.  The concussion of
the big guns deafened me, the spitting of the smaller ones irritated
me; and yet we passed the enemy with little damage to the _Naniwa_, and
without a single casualty amid the crew.  If anyone had told me at the
time that the ship would escape serious injury I would have derided him.

Now, how shall I describe this naval battle, as I am not one of those
wonderful correspondents who see everything at once, and that amid the
smoke and thunder and crashing of shot and guns and shells, 'mid the
shouts and cries of victory and the shrieks of the dying, or the more
ghastly wounded?  I could see the other ships coming up behind us in
our wake, the _Naniwa_ was the last ship of the leading squadron, and
the Chinese phalanx advanced, firing steadily and punishing us.  I
heard fearful thuds and crashes beside me, and saw, amid the white and
murky smoke of the guns, flames shooting up and flashes from the
broadsides and tops of our opponents.

I sheltered myself as much as possible, and waited while the heavy
smoke drifted away slowly.  We could see signals above it, astern, from
the flagship, and I was thankful when our speed carried us on beyond
the Chinese vessels, though the din and the smoke became more fearful
each moment.  I had no real idea, or rather had no idea of the reality,
of war.  I had read of sailors _seeing_ cannon-shot coming towards
them, and of others ducking before shells; but I saw no missiles, and,
until I saw the result, did not know where to look for them.

After passing the Chinese ships, and firing like demons until the ship
actually quivered on the glassy water, we all--I mean the first four
vessels--left the enemy on the starboard quarter, and turned to port.
We had passed thus along in front of, and to the starboard side of, the
Chinese, and now, in response to signals, rounded back, starboarding
the helm, and came _behind_ the advancing Chinese, having driven the
small vessels away to the north.

Then the conflict began again for us, while the main squadron were
attacking in front.  I could perceive that some of our ships were
getting badly hurt.  One of the Japanese vessels came through the
Chinese line most bravely, but came out shattered and in flames.  Her
bulwarks were smashed, and her deck shambles enveloped in fire, as she
had met two Chinese dragons, veritable monsters, iron-cased.

Then we came in behind the main squadron, as the Chinese swept on and
round to starboard to cut off our stragglers, and the main line of our
ships came on on their quarters and gave them none.  The "Rising Suns,"
their rayed naval ensigns, blowing out in the draught--for there was
little wind--advanced with deadly intent, the flags floating proudly
amid the smoke and flames.

Close came the fire, and still closer, as the Japanese "circled" in two
divisions, and in opposite directions, around the Chinese ships.
Shells crashed and shot thundered, bullets whizzed and sang in all
directions, and over all the flame-streaked smoke of guns and furnaces
poured out and hung upon the scene, as if to conceal man's awful
passions and fierce conflicts.  Through this Gehenna we rushed at great
speed, tossing the water upon our sterns and bows, to leave it seething
astern jotted with plunging shot.

One Chinese vessel, in particular, I noticed, which was most fearfully
punished.  We dosed her well, and passing on saw her sinking slowly,
certainly, her decks battered and bathed in blood, her dead and wounded
left, and her living crew shouting for the aid which never could come,
as the ship heeled over and sank helplessly, the cries of the doomed
Chinese being audible even above the fearful roar of the opposing guns.


We, the _Naniwa's_, continued our chase of two Chinese ships for a
while longer, and would have destroyed them willingly had not our
captain seen a signal of recall.  As he had both eyes--and not one
blind side--he was compelled by discipline to return to the main
squadron.  It was then about half-past three p.m.  In all these
encounters the _Naniwa_, being last in the line, did not receive any
damage, nor did I see a dead or severely injured man.

But when we came near the flagship I learned what war was.

We had come back as ordered at full speed to the main body, and found
them all in full conflict, the terrible effects of the heavy guns being
visible to the unaided eye, and the shells were still causing flames to
break out in the opposing ships.  One of the big Chinese ships tried to
ram us, and we had a narrow escape.  I ran forward to my young Japanese
friend, and stood by him.  But the ships made such a tremendous attack
upon her that she was almost helpless.

"Suppose she _had_ rammed us?" I said nervously to my friend.

"We should have been picked up," he replied carelessly; and this cool
reply from a Japanese lad is deserving of mention.  It was worthy of a
young Nelson, who in such surroundings could quietly contemplate the
sinking of the ship, in full assurance that his mates would pick up all
they could even in the midst of the battle.

This faith was justified in some degree, for the great Chinese ship was
shot through.  Time after time the Japanese shot and shell struck her,
battered her, splintered and dinted her.  Her inner fittings must have
been shattered, and her guns dismounted.  Still she persevered.  She
pluckily retaliated until we perceived she was listing to starboard
more and more, her port-side being less exposed.  She was sinking.

Sinking!  Yes, I could see she was settling amid the smoke, and she
herself in flames.  An awful sight!  We, with other ships, kept our
circular course around the poor vessel; it seemed cowardly.  She was
burning fiercely; great masses of smoke rose up and drifted over the
ships, and yet she did not strike, but fought it out, until at length,
blazing, she plunged suddenly down, and slowly disappeared, hissing at
her enemies, shrouding them in what seemed a deep shadow after the
brightness of flame.  It was like the sudden sunset on the sea.

Then I felt almost sick and angry with my friends.  The fearful
destruction of life which I had witnessed made me feel "bad," and
savage too.  I was curiously placed, and was debating with myself, when
a great shell, and then another, from the big guns of the Chinese
flagship came plump upon the Japanese flagship.  No one, I think, who
has not witnessed the effect of modern artillery can conceive of the
destruction which these two shells caused in the ship attacked.  My
reflections were suddenly banished.

Fancy a mass of metal discharged into a warship's steel armour, and
bending it, shattering it, smashing the gun behind the shield, and
dashing on almost unchecked, plunging almost into the magazine,
exploding the ammunition near it, and killing all there.  Then, not
satisfied, it set fire to the ship, which burned for a long time.  The
other shell apparently had made a big hole in the port-side, by the
lower deck, struck upwards to the opposite side, and sent a gun
overboard, or tumbled it below.  The loss of life was tremendous; about
eighty killed and wounded by these two discharges alone, besides the
other damage done by the explosion of the quick-firing ammunition which
lay around.  Had the fire thus caused reached the magazine, the
_Matsushima's_ career must have ended then and there, and the Japs
would have had to lament a terrible loss in their admiral.  As it was
the guns had to be manned by marines and recruits afterwards.

But the _Ping-yuen_, which had done this damage, was also seriously
injured and "fired."  Had not other ships come to her assistance, I
think she must have been destroyed.  Thus the battle raged until the
Chinese, outmanoeuvred, separated themselves from their enemy and

The evening was by this time closing in.  It was already five o'clock.
The great Chinese ironclads continued the contest as long as possible,
their action being directed by the German officer--the same, I was
given to understand, who had been released with the passengers in the
_Kowshing_.  Why this German soldier was intrusted with the control of
the Chinese squadron was one of the topsy-turvy "Celestial" decisions
which happen in China, where the admiral himself had served in a
military capacity.

The firing slackened.  The Japanese ships had quite outmanoeuvred their
opponents, and at length they steamed away from the fatal circle on
which the "Rising Suns" threw a lurid light.  The circling vessels
moving to the attack in opposite directions gave the Chinese no
quarter; the latter became confused and fought independently, while the
Japanese, as I can testify, kept touch with each other, and implicitly
obeyed the signals of Admiral Ito.

So the Chinese fleet was crumpled up, the great ironclads alone
displayed confidence, and they, at dusk, retreated, followed by the
Japanese at a respectful distance, fearing torpedoes, of which the Japs
had not one in action, having left their boats in harbour.

At six o'clock the battle was ended.  Then, while slowly pursuing the
enemy, the doctor's report was presented.  To my unbounded astonishment
the _Naniwa_ had absolutely not one man reported dead or even wounded.
No doubt there were some contusions, but the hands assembled later, and
not a man was missing at quarters.

As soon as I could, I joined my young Japanese friend and engaged him
in conversation.

"Have the Chinese cut and run?" I asked, after some few remarks and
congratulations had passed.  "What shall we do now?"

"Pursue them.  You perceive we are following them in a parallel course.
They will take shelter in Wei-hai-Wei."

"But has not some change taken place in the ships.  I see the flagship
has been doing something."

"Your eyes are pretty smart," he replied.  "The admiral has transferred
the flag to the _Hashidate_.  The _Matsushima_ requires repair, and is
lying up for Japan.  We have gained a victory."

As if to accentuate his declaration, at that moment the admiral
appeared upon the deck of the _Hashidate_, amid lights, and cheering,
marines presented arms, and all the crew uncovered dark heads in the
dying daylight.  From ship to ship the cheering spread, and speeded
many brave souls to heaven in the excitement attendant upon the martial
strains of the solemn "Kimi-ga-yo," the National Anthem.  Far over the
now quiet sea, and amid the still evening air, the music died away in
the distance.  The lusty singing accompanied by the band made all
pulses beat as fiercely as in action; and as a good omen a falcon flew
down and perched upon the _Takachiho_.

"Look, look!" cried my friend.  "The falcon alights.  He rests upon the
main topsail-yard of the ship.  Surely someone will capture it?"

"Not very likely," I replied, "unless it is tired or tame it will
quickly escape.  We shall not be able to ascertain at anyrate till the
morning.  What a curious incident!"

"It means good luck," said my friend.  "For hundreds of years our
philosophers have agreed that the falcon brings good fortune to the
Japanese.  So this is a splendid omen for us, and a bad one for our

"I am pleased that I am a friend, then," I replied, laughing.  "The
bird, I hope, has nothing evil in store for a _volunteer_."

"I do not think so," he replied, joining in my humour.  "But here's
something to interest us both," he continued, as a marine approached
and saluted.

A few sentences were exchanged, and my young friend turned to me,

"Here's an opportunity for a volunteer.  Do you understand the Chinese

"I can make myself understood in it, a little," I answered.  "Why do
you ask?"

"Because someone has suspected you of being a _spy_," he replied.  "You
must see the captain at once, and explain matters to him.  One of the
officers has sent me the message; I must speak to the lieutenant.  Wait
here for me; someone has been talking about you.  Wait a while."

Then he went aft, leaving me to think of this new misfortune.  The
trail of "Fêng Shui" was over it all.



While I ruminated upon this most unexpected incident, my ears were
almost insensible of the shouts and singing, the cries of "Nippon
Banzai!"--Japan for ever!--the music, and the general enthusiasm.  Who
had been so base as to state that I was a Chinese spy?  Perhaps one of
the crew who had rescued me from the sinking steamer, and had noticed
me in the company of the German officer, a well-known adherent of the
Chinese.  If so, my fate was sealed.  The yardarm on which the falcon
had perched appeared to me to be my ultimate destination, or to suggest
it.  The more I ruminated upon my prospects, the less I liked them.

Meantime the _Naniwa_ pursued her course, the lookouts keeping a most
careful watch for torpedoes.  I kept an equally anxious watch for the

At length he returned, having had an interview with the captain.  His
expression puzzled me, because it gave me no assurance of relief, and
yet did not suggest despair.

"Well?" I asked, as soon as he came within speaking distance.  "Am I to
be boiled in oil?"  This was an attempt at levity which my heart did
not respond to.

"No, not yet," was the alarming answer.  "But you will have to leave
the ship."

"Leave the ship?  Why?"

"Because you must.  A rumour has arisen about you, and the men do not
regard you with favour.  An opportunity will occur to put you ashore,
and then you will be landed with others."

"Then you think me a traitor!" I exclaimed.  "I swear I am not!  Why,
you must know yourself that I an Englishman and honest."

"Yes; I said so."

"Won't the captain believe you, then?  What can he think of _you_?"

"He believes me, certainly."

"Hang me if I understand you!" I exclaimed irritably.  "What is the
fuss about?  What is to be done?  Let me know the worst?"

"The fact is as I said: you will be sent ashore.  You understand some

"But the dialects differ.  Surely your _clever_ captain knows that?"

"Yes; and there lies the point.  Four men--our men--are going ashore.
They are interpreters of the fleet.  The men have an idea that you are
mixed up with the Chinese.  So the captain thinks it better to send you
ashore with the interpreters, who intend to search the places and
report upon the country."

"Really, your captain is very kind, but I can't travel in China as a
Japanese, or perhaps as an Englishman in your service."

"No," replied my friend calmly.  "You must go as a Chinese."

"A Chinese?  Play the spy, you mean?  Never!"

"Then you may be shot; because the impression amongst the crew, as
reported, is hostile to you."

"But the captain can settle that.  What's the use of his being captain
if he can't quench this falsehood--if he wishes?"

"His wishes are not concerned, his ship is; and _his orders_ are to
land you with the explorers from the fleet.  No one will harm you in
our service, because you shall have a permit.  When you meet the army
you will be safe."

"But why not put me aboard a British vessel?  There are several in
these seas.  That is the most sensible plan.  Ask the captain that?"

"I am afraid his mind is made up on the subject.  If you had not been
suspected of Chinese inclinations, you might have got sent away easily.
You rather favoured the Chinese, you remember?"

I then recalled some expressions I had used after my release on board
the _Naniwa_ respecting the conduct of the Japanese ships in respect of
the steamer _Kowshing_.  These remarks must have been heard and
commented upon.  I felt annoyed, and said--

"Then I quite believe there are Japanese spies on board.  When am I to
clear out?"

"When opportunity occurs," the young man replied, rather coldly.  "You
need not think you are under arrest meanwhile."

"Thank you," I said; "I will try to deserve the clemency."

Then he left me to my reflections, and I remained staring at the sea,
and thinking of the future, until the hour and the change of the watch
warned me to seek my hammock.

We had sighted nothing during the night, and in the morning the smoke
of the retreating warships was all we discerned.  Whether the Japanese
squadron had had enough fighting I cannot say.  At anyrate, the admiral
did not hasten the pursuit, he returned in the direction of Talien Bay.

The combined squadron now discovered some remnants of the encounter of
the day before, at which "all hands" gazed with satisfaction and
interest.  As we advanced to Hai-yang Island the distant smoke of some
steamer caused the admiral to despatch a cruiser to intercept the
vessel, but whatever she was she escaped.  My interest in the chase,
and in the general surroundings, was keen, because I knew not what fate
might befall me; and if the steamer had been a Britisher I might have
been transferred to her.

But no such luck was mine.  As I gazed around the ship, and realised
the effects of the action, and recalled the remembrance of it, I felt
depressed.  The roar, the smoke, the flames, and the rattle of the
great fight had all died away and disappeared.  The heavy black pall of
smoke which had shrouded the vessels had been lifted long before, and
nothing but a stranded Chinese vessel and fragments of the encounter

A signal fluttered, and the _Chiyoda_ was sent upon its ghoulish errand
to destroy the wreck of the stranded ship.  This proved to be the _Yang
Wei_, which had run aground.  A torpedo effected the desired result,
and shattered the vessel to atoms, after which brilliant episode the
_Chiyoda_ came pelting up to the squadron again.  Then the whole array
proceeded to the anchorage, where some of the disabled Japanese ships
had repaired.  There we ascertained that the falcon which had flown on
board the _Takachiho_ had been easily secured, and placed in a cage;
and when, later, one of the imperial chamberlains came to convey the
Mikado's congratulations to the admiral and the fleet, the bird was
committed to his charge for conveyance to the Emperor.  I heard, long
afterwards, that the bird was named after the cruiser, and was then
living in the imperial aviary at Tokio.

However, this is by the way.  My personal adventures were at the time
much more interesting to me, and yet I was neither kept in bondage nor
for a while put ashore.  But one day the verdict was delivered, the
sentence pronounced, and my farewell was made.  The circumstances were
as follows:--

A lieutenant came into the berth with my friend, and by him I was
informed that I must prepare for departure.  We had been acting as
escort to a number of transports in Japanese waters, and any chance of
escape had been carefully prevented.  So when the lieutenant came in
with his interpreting junior, I was almost pleased to meet them and
hear my fate, though it was tinged with despair.  Anything then
appeared to me better than submission to the polite suspicions to which
I had lately been enduring, and even thus my position as an Englishman
and a sailor preserved for me a greater degree of toleration than would
have been granted to most other foreigners.  The recital of my
adventures and training, particularly my rescue of the young Japanese
officer, pleaded in my favour; but the rumours from the forecastle,
which had penetrated to the ward-room, compelled attention, and in
war-time any underhand practices, if only suspected, always bring

The fleet, as I have said, had for some time patrolled the Manchurian
coast, seeking for a landing-place for the lately raised army, of which
Marshal Oyama was appointed general-in-chief.  The division had landed
in Corea near the Taidong River, and thither the men-of-war proceeded
when the arrangements for the disembarkation had been concluded.

It was on the 23rd October that the whole array of transports, escorted
by a number of warships, left the river; and next day, an eventful day
for me, they anchored off the Manchurian coast at some little distance
from shore, in thick and misty weather.  All hands were alert, though
nothing had occurred to alarm us, but when the vessels became
discernible from the shore some excitement was manifested, because the
natives had never seen such an array of force, and could not believe in
its advance.  They knew the water was shallow, and though their junks
could come in, and lie at ease under the shadow of the hills, the great
vessels would be wrecked, they knew.

The _Naniwa_ had anchored when the two officers came to the berth in
search of me, and made the final proposition, as I anticipated.  My
young friend interpreted the decision.

"The captain and officers," he said, "have no alternative in this
matter, though I am instructed to say that in their opinion you have
not willingly transgressed nor plotted against his Imperial Majesty.
Therefore they offer you the opportunity to go ashore with our scouts,
and to act with them.  Will you accept the offer?"

"Pray accept my thanks for the courtesy.  But what if I decline it?"

"Then you will be dealt with in a more severe manner."

I paused before I replied to this.  My temper rose, and I felt that any
dispute was to be avoided.  Still I could not withhold a protest.

"Your captain can, of course, hang me, but I am perfectly innocent.
Cannot he send me aboard some American or British ship?"

"We have no means of doing so," he replied, when this renewed demand
had been translated.  "You must decide at once, and, if you do accept
the offer, make your preparations."

"Well then, I must accept, I suppose.  What preparations do you refer

"You must appear as a Chinese, and accompany the interpreters ashore,
and bring back the intelligence to the Commander-in-Chief."

I was staggered.  My heart beat loudly.  Was this Japanese method?
Then the punishment was really intended to fit the supposed crime.  I
was accused of being a spy.  The Japanese would make me one in fact!
This was carrying the war into the enemy's country with a vengeance.

"Impossible!" I gasped.  "I cannot.  You surely will not compel me to
play the spy?"

The lieutenant perceived my indignation, and said something to the
junior officer.

"You must decide quickly," he said.  "The troops will soon be landed."

This was a form of speech which I discounted.  The vessels were miles
away from shore.

"Who will be my companions? and shall I be treated well?"

"Certainly.  One of your associates can speak French, you can also
speak a little Chinese.  They will be told that you are an English
correspondent of a newspaper.  You sketch?"

"A little."

"Then your arrangements will be easily made.  You will go as a
traveller, as many of your compatriots have already done in Asia-Minor
and farther East.  Put aside the idea of 'spy,' sir; think of your
safety only.  You will be a traveller, and can move as you please."

"You do not expect me to return?"

"No, indeed!  Pardon me, we want to get rid of you."

I smiled faintly.  "Very well," I said.  "How can I find the dress?"

"Very easily.  You shall see.  This is settled then?"


"That is good.  The captain will supply you with _cash_, and give you a
pass to roam as you please; but the Chinese may interfere with you."

"You will give me a revolver?"

"Yes; and plenty of ammunition.  A knife may be useful--or sword."

"Perhaps; but why a sword?"

"To kill yourself, if necessary, and save yourself torture," replied
the young man calmly, as he retreated in the wake of his superior.

I shuddered, and stood staring after them as they ascended to the deck;
then followed them, and looked around me once again on the Yellow Sea.
It had never warranted its name before in my eyes.  It did then.

We were anchored off a village almost as primitive as some in Cornwall;
and the sandy beach, the cliffs, and the more distant hills, somehow
reminded me of England, though the junks destroyed the illusion, and
the costume of the astonished natives dissipated any resemblance to the
sturdy west-country fishers of my own land.  I wondered how the troops
would manage to embark; but I soon perceived a party of Japanese had
landed in a small boat, and had planted a flag on one of the hills.

As we were all watching them, some soldiers quitted one of the
transports, and then the ships, in obedience to a signal, moved in
closer, feeling their way, and steering "for the flag" on the hill.
The soldiers had included a party of engineers, and after a while they
began a long pontoon-bridge in the shallow water, to land the artillery
and horses.  I was intensely interested in the calm and deliberate
manner in which the Japanese set to work.  They had apparently no fear
of interruption by the enemy, for I saw some of the men-o'-war,
scouting in the offing, capturing a few junks, and finally a small
steamer, which proved a great assistance in towing and landing troops
and supplies.

These arrangements were not made nor completed in a day, nor in ten.  I
think a fortnight elapsed before I was once more warned for service,
and a complete suit of Chinese dress procured for me.

My young mentor brought it to me below.

"Here is your uniform," he said; "your travelling dress.  Don't look so
angrily at me," he continued; "indeed I cannot help it."

This pacified me somewhat, and after all the change was nothing more
extraordinary than Burton's.  I began to perceive that the Japanese
captain was, perhaps unwittingly, doing me a good turn, for some
Englishmen were certain to turn up with the army, and with them I could
be assured of protection.  Unfortunately, I could not "have it out"
with the captain, either to thank him, or to condemn.

The Chinese dress is so simple, that one wonders it is not adopted more
generally.  The night-suits and day-suits are almost identical, and the
dress of ladies and gentlemen, in pattern and material, are almost
alike.  The trousers, tunic, or kirtle, need no decided measurement,
for one measure is sufficient for each garment, as from hip to ankle,
or from neck to the knees, as the case may be.  In winter, wadding is
quilted into the clothes, and several suits worn over the innermost, so
that a man may be apparently stout until unrolled, or undressed.  The
suits wear for years, as the fashion of the Chinese passeth not away;
and when the old suit is discarded, it is relegated to night-duty--goes
on the "night-shift," as the miner says.

There was no difficulty in arraying me over my body-clothing in Chinese
costume, and in a few minutes I was transformed into the outer
semblance of a Chinaman _with_ a crop of thick hair.  The dresser then
shaved my face, and made me up, and he began to shave my locks.  This I
resented, and was about to resist forcibly, until the young officer
interfered and made peace.

At length I was attired, painted, and coiffe; my delicate skull was
shaven; a long lock was retained, and to this a proper pigtail was by
artifice attached.  When this caudal appendage was fixed, and my whole
appearance touched up, I caught sight of myself in a mirror, and, after
a struggle with my pride, burst into a roar of laughter.

It was too ridiculous!  The "coolie," butcher-blue suit, the queer
shoes, the long sleeves, the wide trousers and loose tunic, made me
feel as if dressed for a fancy ball, and my amusement was only checked
by the presentation of the revolver and some cartridges.  I was
instructed to rely upon my chosen companion for all else, and for
example.  We were to travel in pairs, and I was to keep silent, as much
as possible, for my own sake and his.  My young friend, the middy, gave
me several hints as to behaviour and manners, and my own experience
dictated several more, which I could employ with advantage.

When my costume had been completed by a cap, I was taken on shore by
the young officer, Tomi, and put under the care of a Japanese
interpreter, who seemed to be a good sort of fellow.  Tomi urged him,
with much native eloquence, to be vigilant, and to look after the
Englishman, who was one of those "crazy creatures" who risk their lives
in the search of information.  The Japanese apparently understood the
nature of the animal.  A Chinese would have thought me a lunatic, for
even a man who hunts, or "sports" in any way, is regarded by Celestials
as stupid.  "They should get men to do all this for them," they say of
the British athlete.

The natives were perfectly quiet, and we (the scouts) were directed to
proceed across the isthmus, first along the coast to Putsewo, or
Pittozo-wo, and thence across towards Fuchow.  The former place is
about twenty-eight miles from where we had landed, and in the direction
of Port Arthur.  The other two scouts were directed to proceed further
in the direction of Kinchow, which is at the opposite side of the
peninsula, where it is narrowest, there being only about two miles
distance between the shores of Talien Bay and the Nan-Kua Pass.  The
peninsula then expands.  Port Arthur occupies the eastern side in the
bay, at the extremity.

My companion, named Hoyo, or Hoko, took a rather nervous farewell of
the officer.  Tomi clasped my hands, and repeatedly assured me that my
life had been frequently in danger, and had I remained I must have
fallen a victim to the enmity of the Japs.  He again protested that he
was for ever my debtor, and had even volunteered to accompany me in my
expedition, but had been refused.

"Take this badge," he concluded, "it is a private token of a Japanese
naval officer.  If ever in the company of our fleet, or even with the
army, and in trouble, produce it.  It is the Emperor's gift, and will
assure you of safety.  Farewell!"

He wrung my hand, touched his cap, and turned away to the boat, while
Hoko and I mounted the sandy shore which ascended beside the river

Thus I was again "dismissed" from naval service, and cast upon my own
resources, and slender they were indeed!



We started in the gloaming, carrying small packs and some supplies, for
we did not know whether the natives would suspect us, or assist us,
even if they were not distrustful.  Hoko "cheered me up" by relating
slowly, for my benefit, the list of likely tortures which the Chinese
practised upon the enemy.  The list need not be recapitulated in full,
but cutting-up (alive), beheading, and hanging, first by the heels,
were amongst those most usually inflicted upon the prisoner, and
perhaps the most "merciful."

My spirits were not thereby elated, and scarcely had we reached the
road when a picket of Japanese soldiers accosted us.  They were quickly
satisfied by my companion, and laughed at us as we parted with them.
This interview was succeeded by others, and in each case we got away
safely.  At our last halt Hoko consulted his map, and gave it to me to
ponder in the lantern-light of the picket guards.  Again we resumed our
journey, and this party proved to be the last post of the Japs at that
time.  Thenceforward all was dark and unknown.

When we had proceeded a few miles, hunger assailed us, and after a
short time we agreed, chiefly by signs, to rest in the glade into which
we had wandered from the road.  The Chinese tongue never seemed to me
so wanting in expression as then.  My command of language is not
despicable in English, and on board ship; but in that glade in the
society of the Japanese scout I felt kinder dumb!  There was no need
for silence.  The Chinese language embraces about forty thousand
strokes or letters (or signs rather) in writing; while only about three
hundred and fifty are spoken.  Hence the same _spoken_ word represents
a number of different--vastly different--things in writing; and the few
hundreds of words represent so many more thousands of characters or
signs!  Even a Chinese may communicate with a friend in another
province by _writing_; but he very likely will not understand his

The Chinese language, I may state, depends really upon the _tones_ of
voice, not upon the actual pronunciation of the words, and these tones
are even increased in the Mongolian dialect.  In Manchuria, perhaps,
the bulk of the population is of Mongolian descent, a superior, a
braver, race than the ordinary (I don't say "pure and simple")
Chinaman--for "John" is not that.  But practice and tone of voice will
teach much; and this tone will entirely alter the sense of the speaker
if he misapply it.  In some languages one may speak by "ear."  Ear is
of no account in China.  There are certain "radical signs" and a number
of "primitive" signs; characters are made by combining both, and are
written downwards.

As may be anticipated, I had not made much progress in the Chinese
language, but I could chatter "pidgin" English, which is so useful in
the Treaty ports, and so useless in China proper, which is arrived at
by changing every "r" to "l" and adding the "e" doubled when it is
single, as in "alle samee," "makee laugh," "alle samee Elopean man,"
"no wantchee."  "Number one" means "proper," and "chop-chop" "quickly,"
in this language; while "play-pidgin" is merely "talk," and "top-side
pidgin" is religion, or religious converse.

One soon becomes conversant with the business talk, for "pidgin" means
"business" in the mind of the trader and the coolie (or labourer).  But
let me resume my narrative.

The night was very chilly, and the early morning misty, as my companion
roused me up and told me that we must be going.  Let it be remembered
that our conversations were only carried on piecemeal, and when I
mention them you must understand that signs assisted us greatly.  But
the man was honest, I believed, and had no thought of any treachery
towards me.  We conversed in southern dialect a little, and made signs.

We presently reached a river which I learned was called Pilu (or
Pihliu), and proceeded to a small village where we got some food, which
I did not relish, but had to eat in order to keep up my character.  We
learned that the invaders were expected, and that it would be better
for us to keep away to the north-west, else we might get into trouble.
We therefore assented, and passed on for a while, intending to change
our route as soon as possible, but fate had ordained otherwise.  My
companion had intended to proceed in the direction of Putsewo, and then
strike westward again, marching by a compass and map which I had
secured in my tunic, but when we took the advice of the well-meaning
villagers we left our former direction, and when again essaying to
recover our route we came to grief.  For a long time we wandered amidst
the hills and rough country seeking a track, but finding nothing
promising, until almost suddenly we descended a hillside and found
ourselves near a rather substantial village, from which there was no
escape without questioning from the natives.

Hoko quickly gave me to understand that I was his brother, that we were
South Chinamen seeking a ship at Port Arthur, and that we had been
north and intended to return to Chefoo.[1]  We had rehearsed this
little play before, and my South-China lingo was supposed sufficient to
deceive the Mongolians.  If necessary, my guide informed me, a little
"geomaney," or "wind and weather" fortune-telling, would keep suspicion
at bay.  So, primed with a few simple maxims, I braced myself for the

[1] Chefoo or Chifu.--H.F.

The natives were decidedly of the race of Didymus.  They did not credit
half our assurance, and we--at least I--wished we had more of it.
Certainly the interpreter remained as cool as possible, and his calm
method of lying would have discredited Ananias of old, and deceived St.
Peter himself.  I give my impressions of the examination to which the
interpreter was subjected.

"Your name?" demanded the chief of the villagers.


"Where do you come from?"

"Panchwang, in the province of Fuhkien."

"Where have you been?"

"At Takushan."

"Whither bound?

"Chefoo and Shanghai."

"Who is this man?"

Here the interpreter made a pretence of great reverence and respect, as
he answered--

"My all-enlightened brother of _Tau_."

This reply drew attention to me, for Tau is the "priest" of Chinese
theosophy or magic art, and is accordingly respected, for every
Chinaman fears Tau, the more so as he has no idea what it is, any more
than its votary.  Tau is "The Right": what one cannot see, nor hear,
nor seize.  It is a kind of "_Fêng Shui_" in its essence, and Tau is
the true Reason for all things in the universe, the Great Primitive
Cause in the world, not a religious dogma.

The Tauist, then, becomes by inheritance, or profession, a kind of
priest, a miracle-man, supposed to be versed in ancient lore, able to
tell fortunes, and decide social questions with authority as regards
the work and operations of nature, and "Fêng Shui"--the effects of wind
and weather.  Superstitious as the Chinese are, these attributes confer
great authority upon the adherents and practice of the Tauists.  Hence,
if I was not found out, my companion concluded we should escape.

Unfortunately one of the villagers perceived the accent of the Japanese
interpreter, and declared him a Corean!  This at once gave cause of
mischief, and my companion was searched, his small knapsack, or pack,
was turned upside down, and all the while a rush of epithets assailed
us both.  I carried no pack, but had the compass and map and revolver
in my possession.  If the suspicious and antagonistic villagers had
found those articles our fates would have been sealed, and a cruel
death must have ensued.

While the natives were thus examining the Japanese, I was not molested,
though several glances were directed at me, and some remarks
made--which I did not notice.  All the time I was endeavouring to
discover some means whereby I could satisfy, if I could not alarm, the
villagers, but for a while no idea appeared to my mind feasible.  The
pack had been examined, the Jap had been interrogated freely and
rudely, and now my turn was approaching.  Fortunately the villagers had
been informed that I did not wish to be disturbed, but they had evident
intentions of finding things out for themselves!

Luckily, I possessed one of the attributes of the Tauists, perhaps
quite as sincere as theirs--the knowledge and anticipation of the
ordinary phases of weather.  The morning had been misty and almost
frosty, and a change of wind, I noticed, had been causing a fog to
arise.  Hitherto it had been almost imperceptible even in the hills,
the vale was clear; but while looking about me I noticed the vapour
gradually creeping down the slopes behind the men who barred our way.
My plan was quickly matured: the mist would serve us well.  I
remembered Fennimore Cooper, and the eclipse as adapted by Haggard in
_Solomon's Mines_, and hoped for success.

I calmly approached my companion, and managed to give him a hint, in
French, that he was to make me out a necromancer; thus I intended to
play upon the fears of the natives, and he must back me up.  Meantime,
if we were attacked, I would shoot as many of the assailants as I
could.  My suggestions and gestures were understood, and when the
natives advanced to search me, demanding some explanation, the
interpreter motioned them to stand aside.  He told them to be careful.
I was a necromancer--one who had the weather "in the palm of his hand";
was related to the _genii_, and if I (and he) were interrupted further,
and our peaceful progress barred, the immediate consequences would be
serious, and the future disastrous for the village.  Their graves would
suffer, their families die; and I could change them themselves into
stocks and stones, and cause them to disappear from the village.  In
fact, I could transform them!  When once the Japanese Ananias had fully
embarked upon the marvellous, his imagination carried him away more
completely than ever the villagers could be.  If we were properly
treated, he added, money might be showered upon them!

While the interpreter was thus hoodwinking the villagers, one or two of
whom seemed sceptical, I bethought me of a simple trick which I had
practised in "parlour magic" at home.  If the fog did not serve my
purpose I could convince the natives, so I beckoned to the chief
sceptic, and taking a piece of money from my wallet, which contained
little of value, I placed the coin in his palm, pressing it firmly into
the hand and closing the fingers.  He looked pleased, and retired,
keeping his fingers closely shut as directed; my "assistant" hinted if
the man were unfriendly his coin would disappear, at which the villager
called up a smile or grimace as a protest, evidently hypocritical, and
his associates also watched him.

Seeing the gift, they came forward with much curiosity, and as I
examined their features I found that some of the men were fairly
honest, and a "tip" would not be thrown away upon them, though it must
be merely a token, not a gift.  So while bestowing these "tips" I kept
my eyes upon the weather, and by the time I had given all the men small
presents, as they fancied, but only a few of the most influential
actually received money, the mist came rolling down thickly.  To escape
was now my intention.

It was rather amusing to see the party of men standing in a row
helplessly with their right hands guarding the magic gifts thus
bestowed by the "Tauist."  The interpreter had already grasped the
situation, and at my request desired the natives to turn at the
necromancer's order, step ten paces, and open their hands.  The order
was impressed upon them by myself.  I waved my hands and made as if
impelling some invisible force to urge these simple superstitious men.
They moved in obedience to my order, slowly, and when I had counted
six, pausing between each number, the interpreter and I rushed away
through the glade, and into the mist, which perhaps the Chinese may
have fancied I had induced.  The last I saw of my dangerous adherents
was a line of stupid-looking men each gazing at his closed hand, and
speculating upon what it contained for him.

I am afraid most of them were disappointed when they had released their
grasps of the magic gifts, and they found money in only four palms, and
those of the most influential of the party.

Meantime my faithful companion and I hurried away into the mist, which
effectually shrouded us, and pursued a devious course, now and then
halting to listen for the pursuers, for we did not doubt they would
pursue us.  But we heard nothing to alarm us, and made good progress
when the mist lifted later.

We congratulated ourselves greatly upon this ruse, but it would not
serve us again.  I managed to explain the trick to the Japanese, who,
when I had finished the laboured sentences, told me of some far more
intelligent tricks which he had seen performed, and tried to explain
them to me.  But I was a very simple amateur in these matters, and
could do little beyond the easy _legerdemain_ of the drawing-room at

"It was a dangerous game," said Hoko, "and if any of the men meet us
again they will kill us."

"But they won't catch us," I replied, with all the fine assurance of a
sharp "hare" in the schoolboy paper chase.  "We can turn, and return on
our path.  How do you propose to travel?"

"I am considering," he replied.  "Please lend me the map and compass.
It was well they did not search you, because you would have been
killed.  The map would have betrayed us."

"You can keep it," I said with great magnanimity.  "By all means keep
it.  I can steer by the points of the heavens, and by my watch, and the
sun and stars."

The Japanese nodded, and concealed the articles in his dress.

"The pistol?" he asked presently.  "Is it ready?"

"Yes.  I think I will keep it, thank you.  Shall we continue our

He nodded again, and we proceeded cautiously for several miles, bending
and twisting the route until we were both certain that we must have put
miles between us and the enraged natives, whom I had some reason to
fear notwithstanding my assumed influential character.  The interpreter
proposed a halt, and being hungry I gladly acceded; then, having eaten
a few cakes and refreshed ourselves, we rested.  I slept soundly for
some time.  When I awoke it was dusk, and I was alone!  Alone!
deserted! betrayed!



Raising myself upon my elbow, with sleepy eyes I looked around me.  I
was half hidden by brushwood, and did not recognise the place as that
in which I had lain down.  I at once scrambled to my feet, and made the
unpleasant discovery that my companion had quitted me, and had managed
to abstract my revolver.  Then a great rush of blood flushed my veins.
I had been betrayed!  The Japanese had managed to extract from me the
compass and map, had stolen the revolver, and had dragged me into the
brushwood to die, perhaps.

I stood, utterly depressed; I cursed the fellow who had thus betrayed
me, and the officers who had sent me to my doom.  I swore that if I got
back I would be revenged upon the treacherous Japs, who after ridding
themselves of me had sent me to die in the wilderness.  Yet the
interpreter had really saved my life, I thought, at first.  "Yes,"
replied Reflection, "because you were armed."  Yes, that was so.  Still
why, if he had desired my death, had he not shot me at once when he had
stolen the revolver?

I cast myself down in despair, and again looked around me.  I had been
hidden evidently, dragged when asleep into the small thicket and thrust
out of sight.  What then had become of the interpreter, and why had I
been concealed?  These were questions which I could not answer, nor
could I conjecture any reasons for the man's conduct.  Perhaps he had
been instructed to get rid of me, and not to kill me, and had taken
this opportunity.

This was maddening.  Here was I in a perfectly strange country in
disguise, and certain to be taken prisoner either by Chinese or Japs,
and in either case sure to be ill-treated.  To be sure the Japanese do
not kill their prisoners, and they appeared lenient to the natives so
far as I could ascertain, but in those cases the natives were
submissive and frightened.  I doubted not that amid the excitement of
battle the little sleepy-looking Japs would quickly arouse themselves
and slay without compunction.  The Mikado's men are quiet and polite,
pleasant and kind; but under any superficial polish, even under the
influence of real kindness, there lies a strong and determined, slowly
and surely rising determination, which when it rises to "boiling-point"
cannot be stayed.  An explosion must ensue, as the enemies of Japan
will find out some day.

Lying there in the chilly darkness, which an already waning moon only
partly dissipated, I reflected upon my condition.  I determined to find
my way to Port Arthur, avow myself an Englishman, and if questioned
declare the advance of the Japanese.  Why should I keep their faith
when they had betrayed me?  I would "give them away," as they had
forsaken me.  That would be my revenge.  Some of the Chinese officers
surely could speak English or French, and even a little German, picked
up at a tutor's, might assist me, though my knowledge of the last-named
tongue was limited to phrases.

Having made up my mind, I curled myself up in the brushwood and lay
undisturbed, rather hungry and excessively miserable, until kind sleep
overtook me about midnight.

As soon as daylight enabled me to see, I examined my dress and pockets,
and found that, with the exception of a sum of money in my belt, I had
been regularly "cleaned out."  Everything of any value, except the
belt, had been stolen, and I marvelled how the thief had succeeded.
Perhaps the liquor which he had given me had stupefied me; the "rice
spirit" is somewhat "heady."  At anyrate there I stood, a coolie in
appearance, untidy, unshaven, bedraggled, cold and hungry, and quite
unable to help myself.  I could only draw in my belt tightly to appease
my hunger, and prevent the qualms I dreaded.  Luckily I found a stream,
washed and drank of it, and then made my cast south-east again.

The air was frosty and fresh, and I walked rapidly to warm my chilled
frame, but had not proceeded more than two miles, as I judged, when
three men who were coming across an adjacent path from another
direction espied me.  I had no chance of retreat, they saw me at once,
and to my dismay I perceived others behind them.  No doubt a village
was near, or a large farm perhaps, though single farms are not frequent
in China.  The villages are walled, and every foot of ground belonging
to these farmers is utilised and fertilised, so that the best results
are obtained by continual attention; and the land is of course taxed,
the taxes being paid to the public exchequer.  "Anything," even the
shaven hair of the villagers, is put into the ground; vegetable and
animal refuse is of course in request.  Tobacco is used to kill
insects, and the zebu, or buffalo of the country, is the labouring
animal, which takes the place of the horse or ox; and milk, butter,
etc., are almost unknown.  There are ducks, and fowls, and hogs, the
last especially are plentiful, and in China the "black hog," instead of
the "black dog" of the British nursery, may very likely "get upon the
children's backs," and cause ill tempers.  The dog and the cat here
pass their time pleasantly, but the stranger must _cave canem_.

The villagers--farmers--came upon me, and stood a little away, staring
in wonderment at me.  Then they surrounded me, and made inquiries which
I ignored,--not from pride,--and then they tried more questions, and
searching ones.  Fortunately they found nothing, but they conferred
together, and indicated that I must return with them to the village.
Of course I had no alternative, and accompanied them, where, in a kind
of shed, I was commanded to strip!  In the most emphatic fashion I
declined, folding my arms and exclaiming, "Englishman," and added--what
they knew already--"Fan Quei" (foreign devil).

They then paused, but suddenly seized me, and while some held me down,
the rest dragged off my clothes, until they came to the belt around my
waist, that they did not take away, perhaps thinking it was something
magical, it being ornamented and worked, but they felt it, and
evidently discussed it.  Finding nothing in it--luckily the distributed
coin escaped them--the fellows gave me my clothes, and sent for another
person.  While I was dressing, the person arrived--a true Chinese of
Canton breed, such as we may see in East London, England.

He, in turn, stared at me curiously, and asked a question.  I made a
lamely expressed reply in Chinese as I understood it; but the man, to
my great delight, asked in "pidgin," "Wantee go sea?  Melican-man?"

"Yes," was my reply, greatly relieved; "England.  Elopean man--wantchee
Shanghai.  What fashion man here?"

"Alle samee, Melican-man.  Sabee _cash_, chop-chop, eh?"

"Yes," I nodded; "plenty much _cash_."

"Alle light; no watchee long talkee.  One piecee man wantee _cash_.

I nodded again.  I was hungry.  "See dless?" I said.

"Ah! dless come more better!  Makee laugh, not number one."

No, it certainly was not proper then, but I laughed, and the villagers
were surprised at the conversation.  The coolie understood my "pidgin,"
and I felt much happier.  I had cash, and even silver, so I could
reward him if he assisted me; but suppose he tried treachery?

This seemed probable, but I must risk something.  He said something to
the villagers, who replied vehemently.  The coolie, who was a waiter
from Port Arthur, as I understood, said to me--

"Number one topside-man say plis'ner!  No can do: walkee!"

"Cannot you get me away then?" I asked in "pidgin" of the coolie.

"No lun away.  Too much, man--no go long; no tink!  Get dless,

This was unfortunate; escape seemed hopeless.  So far as I understood
the coolie, he found that we could not escape from the villagers at
once.  He was quite willing to assist me, knowing that I would pay him,
but the farmers were very suspicious.  Had they found out the little
pocket in my belt in which I carried the Japanese permit, and my small
store of coin, they would have killed me.  Cowardice is usually cruel.

My captors quickly gave me to understand that they meant business.
They produced a bamboo pole, which they passed behind me, and under my
arms, to which they tied it.  They left my legs free, because they
intended me to walk, as I understood, to Putsewo, where the "pidgin"
man said the Chinese troops were quartered.  I hoped the Japanese might
come up there meanwhile; but then, between Jack and Jap, I would be
fixed between two stools, and either might cut the support.

As soon as I had been fully dressed, and the pole fixed, I was put in
the care of two of the men, with the coolie acting as the go-between.
The last mentioned told me my destination; had he known that my captain
suspected me of being a _spy_, I knew my fate would have been sealed.
I begged him to release me.

"No can do!" was the reply.  "Too mutchee fear!  Maskee!" (by and by).

I was obliged to be content with this, and when the men had given me a
meal of rice and water we set out.  The coolie held the end of the rope
in his hand, and the farmers walked close behind me, one on each side,
so that at the first attempt to escape they could intercept me.

The rope was so twisted and so taut around my hands that I implored the
coolie to loosen it.  After consultation, he complied, saying, "Maskee,
maskee," and evidently willing to assist me, but hinting at cash.
Making an excuse to halt, I managed to hand him a little silver, as a
guarantee, and to my delight found my bonds slackened.  Still the other
two men kept watch, and took turns at driving me like a pig to market.

The day was already waning, and I began to speculate upon release
during the evening.  There had been several delays since breakfast, and
again my escort halted to advise themselves of the route, the
cross-country direction, before night fell.  As we were all standing,
three of the party chattering like magpies, in the dusk, I felt the
rope twitch and then slacken.  My senses were at once awakened.  The
Port Arthur servant was keeping me alert, and I saw he was pointing to
some huts below us.  Another village!  I must act!

I looked around me in all directions, and made up my mind to rush the
hill beside me and hide amid the boulders.  I had no thought beyond
escape, and when some minutes later "my coolie" dropped the end of the
rope suddenly, exclaiming, "Kinchow!"  I knew my chance had come, and
the direction.  The yellow fellow gesticulated in the face of my
captors.  I was free!

With a leap aside like a deer I darted away up the slope, and slightly
turning my head I perceived that the coolie had got mixed up with the
farmers, and was hindering them.  Never were a few pieces of silver
better bestowed, I thought, as I bounded up the hill, pursued by my two
captors, while "Kinchow" rang in my ears--where or what Kinchow was,
unless "Chincow" was meant, I did not care.  I was free; free in the
gathering darkness truly, alone and unarmed, but even so, unharmed and
with a chance for life.

I was in dread lest the dangling rope would trip me up, and as I ran I
tried to get it up higher.  Luckily it trailed behind me and did not
touch me.  So I sprang up, leaped some small streams, not thinking of
any definite direction but doubling like a hunted hare, disappearing
behind rocks and again striking a new course, but always away from the
twinkling lanterns which I could now distinguish below me, and I
fancied I heard dogs barking.

This was most alarming.  Though I had not heard of bloodhounds in
China, the ordinary dog when accompanied by his master was quite
unpleasant enough, and in bulk formidable; when at last I rested upon
the hill, and listened intently, I felt assured that the alarm had been
given, and that my captors had sent to the village for assistance.
Then I girded up my loins indeed, and though terribly handicapped by
the rope around my shoulders, I made a desperate effort, and kept
through a wood and around the boulders near the summit of the hill.
Kneeling down, I placed myself between two rocks facing the ascent from
the village, and could distinguish nothing at all below me.  After a
while I saw a few roving lights _descending_, and then knew that until
the morning pursuit had ceased.  Fervently I thanked God for my escape,
and, feeling rested, began to attempt release from the rope.

I do not know whether any of my readers have ever attempted the "rope
trick" when bound by one of a sceptical audience, but my release was
far more unlikely.  The rope had been knotted with a will, and though
"where there's a will there's a way," I could find no way save by
rubbing my arms against the sharpest edge of the next convenient stone,
and a nice way it was!  Suffice it that I succeeded in cutting the
bonds, and in scraping my shoulders, in a manner suggestive of the
lash, or birch rather; but the relief was worth all the pain and
exertion, and when I lay down to rest, not on my back, I fell asleep
with a thanksgiving upon my lips.

Morning was hardly putting a candle in the east, when, stiff and numb,
I attempted to rise.  At first waking I was apprehensive whether I
would be able to get up, but by degrees I unlocked my muscles, and
extended my limbs.  Then as soon as there was light I quitted my stony
shelter, and proceeded through the wood.  But when I came to an opening
in the bushes I for the first time perceived what a terrible risk I had
run.  The rocks under which I had sheltered had fallen from above, and
only paused in their descent over another precipice which ended in a
stream strewn with boulders; beyond the stream lay the village deep in
the millet-fields, lately harvested, bristling with stubble, and higher
up the cliffs whence the rocks had fallen.

The situation reminded me, distantly, of Beatenberg in Berne, when once
I lay beneath the cliffs, gazing below at the rocky mill-stream which
makes its way to the lake of Thun through a narrow, precipitous gully.
But what an escape I had had!

My first care was to put as great a distance as possible between the
village and myself, and so I clambered up and across the hills, having
seen no one and heard nothing to alarm me.  I descended the rocky, not
precipitous, slope on the other side, and struck into a side valley,
but whither it would lead I did not care.  It led me to water and
refreshment, and then I hid the rope before resuming my journey to

For hours I wandered on, meeting no one, and fearing to encounter
anyone.  Some unpleasant-looking birds kept me company for a while, and
gave me "the fidgets."  I began to think of vultures, and shuddered
when they seated themselves at a little distance and blinked, as I
thought, at each other, nodding at me at intervals.  I maintain now, in
defiance of bulls of Ireland, these were the most "beastly birds" I
ever saw!  They laughed at the stones I threw at them, for they simply
rose half a yard when I made good practice, and settled again at once,
till I gave up stoning them, and disinterred the rope thinking to lasso
them, or one of them.


But they were as 'cute as a weasel, they could not be caught asleep;
and finally, tired and hungry, I wandered on, cursing the birds, the
Japanese, the Chinese, and my ill-luck which had been the cause of my
adventures.  As evening approached the "beastly" birds disappeared.  By
that time I was half silly, and felt inclined to do something
desperate.  Still I tramped on till dusk, when a light in a small
house--one of four such--beckoned me to cheer up.

I perceived that these were farms, and the usual crops were in
evidence, such as rice, sugarcane (which the coolie is fond of
chewing), pulse, potatoes, wheat, tobacco, and some vegetables.  The
rice crop had been gathered,--the late sowing I mean, for sometimes
three crops are reaped, the last reaped in November, when vegetables
are planted.  Rice wants water, cane does not, and this is, therefore,
profitable, as irrigation is dispensed with.  Rice is the stable food,
and even the landlord is paid in rice, which may amount to as much as
three hundred and fifty pounds, or perhaps more, per acre.

Fortunately for me, on this occasion, a woman was washing some article
outside the house, and though as a rule the Chinese female is ignored
and secluded, the peasant, the labourer-woman, is in evidence.  To this
peculiar specimen I addressed myself in a language she had never heard,
and could not understand.  But she could interpret signs and pantomime,
while she seemed inclined to assist me.  When she disappeared I was
left in doubt, but after a while she brought me food in a saucer, the
origin of which I was too madly hungry to discriminate.  Whether rat,
dog, or snake I cared not.  I am sure it was horrible at the time, but
I managed to eat it, and was not ill, though inclined thereto.  She
supplemented this mess by a dose of rather bad salt fish and pickled
cabbage, with some rice plainly boiled; and this I did enjoy.  There
was plenty of water; and when I bestowed upon my host the magnificent
sum of one penny (English value), she believed me a wandering idol.
Her pleasure was marked, and she actually indicated a place where I
might rest in quiet under a thick coverlet which she brought me to the
shed she pointed out.

Then I was "in clover," and when I had ascertained that I was in no
danger I asked for "Kinchow" and its direction.  The female drew some
lines with her finger on the ground, and pointed in a direction in
which I had been advancing.  Then shutting me in she left me to sleep,
which I did gladly for some hours.

But next morning I felt quite unable to rise, and when yet struggling
to get up, the farmer and his wife and son all appeared, and stood
staring at me.  I begged for mercy, thinking they meant me
harm--perhaps the farmer had suspicions; but he evidently had heard of
_cash_ from his wife.  He was polite and kind, brought me food which I
could _not_ eat,--the supper had already upset me,--but consented to
leave me quiet to sleep, as I begged them by signs to do.  Briefly, I
remained there three days, and spent several pennies in _cash_ (about a
hundred) in making myself perfectly "at home."

On the fourth day I engaged the lad to be my guide by a promise of
_cash_, and started for Kinchow feeling in good company and in good
spirits.  For the farmer had been paid, and he and I had managed to
make each other understand.  He had got the idea into his head that I
was a Russian seeking Port Arthur, and agreed to put me on my way.
Three whole days had been passed in coming to this understanding by the
aid of a friend of the host, a rough map, and of course _cash_.  At
length I saw my way to liberty.

Alas!  I was checked at the outset.  The weather changed, and while I
had anticipated snow perhaps, and frost later, the wind brought up big
clouds, and a thunderstorm arose with pelting rain.  The young farmer
declined to advance until the weather moderated, so we waited, and then
in the pauses of the tempest retraced our steps to the hospitable farm.
There two more days were spent in picking up Chinese and dropping
_cash_.  Meantime my spirits fell, and at times I felt seriously
depressed.  The chances of escape through the Chinese and Japanese
lines seemed to me to become less and less, and the situation was the
more intolerable because I could not freely express myself, and gain
protection or assistance.

During my enforced further sojourn with the farmer's family I
endeavoured to induce them to lead me direct to Port Arthur (or, as it
is called by Chinese, Lü-shun-Kou; by Japanese, Ryojunkõ).  But the
guide demurred to this.  He evidently was afraid of the invading army,
and it became increasingly evident to me that I should have to look
after myself if we came within shot of the Japs.  With such forebodings
I set out again with my fearful guide, and struck the telegraph posts
upon the Pulantien (Port Adams) Road.

If the reader will examine a map he will perceive that there are two
main roads in the Sheng-King peninsula, both leading to Port Arthur,
the western from Fuchow, and farther north still the other along the
coast road by Putsewo and Talien Bay.  Above the place which the
British called Port Adams in 1859, the roads unite.  These two tracks,
stony and rugged, through and amid hills, wind their way to Kinchow,
near which the peninsula becomes very narrow, and, in fact, is only
about two miles wide--or less.

It was the All-Hallow's Eve when we came cautiously into the first
village, and found the peasants much alarmed at the near approach of
the Japanese.  Scouts had reported the advance, and a number of carts
and men were bringing supplies for the army in the town, and for the
cavalry outside it.  My guide had a brilliant idea,--no less than one
for the supply of vegetables, and he managed with my _cash_ to lay in a
stock, which he suggested we should carry into Kinchow, and go through
it to Port Arthur.

His leaden face lighted up when I praised his plan, though I have
reason to think now that I rather called him names in my imperfect
vocabulary.  However, he seemed pleased, on the whole, and we set out
on the 1st November to penetrate between the line of formidable forts
which defended the approaches to Kinchow, on the hills along which the
stony track meanders.  The whole aspect of the country through which we
had lately travelled is undulating; seamed by depressions, or ridged by
hills, so that we were rising and falling all the time with our hopes
and fears.  I was particularly nervous, because if anyone chanced to
clutch my artificial pigtail I would be a "lost mutton."  The moral
character of the Chinaman depends upon--or shall I say _in_--his tail.
A Chinaman _sans_ pigtail is an outcast.  The Manchus live and dress
like the Chinese, and supply the best food for powder in China.

We had some trouble--more perhaps in my imagination--on our way to the
town, over whose walls the terrible Dragon was waving on banners and
flags in most defiant fashion.  If the Chinese resistance would only
accord with their preparations and defences, the little Japanese would
certainly be repulsed, I thought.  As we advanced I felt like a man
forced into a trap, for if discovered I had no chance for life from the
Celestials, while the Rising Suns would have no quarter for those taken
"in arms."  Chinese pickets were scattered amongst the hills, and some
fine men were in the ranks.

No doubt there were hundreds of men within these forts, though we saw
few of them, and I wondered whether they kept watch at night carefully,
for indeed they appeared rather sleepy in the morning, though ready
enough with their rifles.  They could thus command both roads into
Kinchow from a distance over the hills and dales.

I had fancied that I heard guns during the night, but perhaps it was
thunder.  At anyrate the night was boisterous, and the morning chilly
and wet.  A long column of carts met us, and we with the natives winded
our way down the track, passing two villages of few houses, and nearing
the city, for from the hill we came close to it, and entered by the
northern gate.  Assuming a most "fearful" carelessness, which in less
anxious times might have proved my undoing, I walked by my guide's side
watching every movement, and scarcely noticing the glances cast upon
us.  Luckily my companion was recognised and well known, and our
mission was patent.  We had brought food, and entered the town by the
Gate of "Eternal Tranquillity," a misnomer as it proved.

We made our way into the town amid soldiers, horses, and peasants.  The
walls were lofty and solid, the gates well defended, and I understood
that all the approaches were mined, so that the attacking force would
be blown up outside _if the mines exploded_.  At anyrate, it seemed a
very formidable place, and capable of a successful resistance.  The
guns were mounted on the bastions, and all ready for a siege.  The
soldiers were swarming in the streets, quartered on the people whom
they had come to defend, and swaggering as much as they could.

My guide escorted me to an eating-house, a small, and, I thought, very
dirty place, amid the peasants; and there he heard the news, for though
all seemed on the alert and not alarmed, they knew the Japanese were
approaching rapidly.  We managed to get some satisfying food, and in
escaping observation amid the soldiers who were enjoying themselves,
and in excellent spirits.  My guide was amused, and when I had paid for
our entertainment, he made for the south gate, guarded by Manchus.

There we found exit denied, for the soldiers were stationed there in
force, whether to run away first, or to prevent the townspeople from
doing so, I could not determine.  But we were stopped and questioned
and searched.  My heart sank to my shoes.  The end I considered had
come.  What defence had I?  I could not even reply to the questions
which the "sergeant," so I deemed him, put to me.  My guide had quickly
cleared himself, and was standing chattering to the officer of the
gate.  My time had come, and I braced myself to meet the inevitable
fate which was impending.



As I have said, my heart sank as the sergeant came up roughly and
prepared to strip me again.  Such an indignity I was unable to resist,
and when the man indicated a spot apart where my costume could be
conveniently removed if needful, my anger rose, and I made some
remarks, which, as a fancy display of Chinese, may have given rise to
curiosity, but as a means of release were void of effect.  As I
continued to address the "sergeant," he stood still, and gazed at me in
as much surprise as a Manchu soldier usually exhibits.  Seeing this, my
anger and expostulations grew more fierce.  I waved my arms,
gesticulated, performed _sleight-of-hand_ movements with my fingers,
and in fact exhibited such manifest tokens of ability to take a
"first-class" at Earlswood (England), that the man retreated to make
inquiry respecting me, and I breathed again.

What was my late companion doing all this time?  He had apparently
deserted me, and this after all my lavish--in a Chinese
sense--expenditure of _cash_.  Again my bad feelings predominated, and
I felt truly disgusted with my "luck."  There was no loophole for
escape, and though the disappearance of the sergeant was a blessing, it
might really result in death.

The man had left me alone in the hut,--I cannot call it house,--and
when my ill temper had quickly evaporated I began to think of escape.
The door was open to the passage or side street, and when I peeped out
I perceived a soldier, armed, standing sentry at the end of the _cul de
sac_, as the alley was.  Escape seemed impossible.  I was again a
prisoner; whither could I go, what could I do were the thoughts which
surged through my excited brain.  The Chinese (or Manchu) soldier had
me in his keeping, and perhaps had orders to kill me if I attempted to
escape, pending the return of the lieutenant of the guard.  Meantime, I
was absolutely helpless.  In any "civilised" country one might have
managed to intercede for oneself, but there in Manchuria the case was
different.  I was lost!--strayed!

During the minutes already at my disposal I considered all the
available plans of evasion I had heard of.  Captives in stories, and in
all the imaginative books which I had devoured, always had a friend
who, whether a Freemason or not, had means at hand to circumvent the
villain!  But there was no villain in my case; nothing unusual, nothing
out of the way in my circumstances, and this dead-level of experience
appeared devoid of any person who could undertake the role of the "god
in the machine," and release me.  Here was the sentry, there the lofty
gate, its platform surmounted by a two-storeyed tower, from which the
advance of the enemy was doubtless perceived, or would shortly be
perceived.  Neither sentinel nor entrance seemed likely to afford me
passage.  Ah! the sentry was approaching.  I shrank back into the hut,
and peeped through the opening of the door.  The sentry came on slowly
and somewhat limply.

He had a rifle and ammunition, and seemed well equipped.  He passed the
place of my concealment, and I began to hope that he would pass on, and
permit of my escape to the main street, which, being full of people,
might afford opportunities for it; but to my disgust he turned, and
came directly towards me.  As he came nearer I retreated into the gloom
of the hut, and not perceiving me, he came in.  Still uncertain, he
advanced carelessly, I fancied, and at that moment something prompted
me to make a decided effort at release.

He was carrying his rifle on his arm above the elbow, not in any
European soldierly manner; a sword or bayonet was at his side.
Suddenly I made a spring like a tiger upon the man, and in a second had
him thrown.  He struggled manfully, and attempted to strike me with a
knife, but I was half-maddened, youthful, and strong.  I hit him
violently between the eyes, and dazed him; then wresting the rifle from
his relaxed grasp, I banged it upon his head in a manner which I
afterwards regretted, and darted from the hut.  As I ran into the alley
I encountered my late guide, who was then coming in search of me.

His surprise was genuine, and he made some inquiries by the pantomime
method, assisting it by a few words, which I interpreted to indicate
surprise at my escape.  I told him in the same tongue what had
happened, and he was aghast at my temerity!  He dragged me back at once
hastily, and I was unable to resist him.  When he saw the unconscious
soldier he became calmer, but still apparently greatly in the same
haste, motioning me to assist in taking off the man's outward dress.
Seeing some prospect of escape, I helped him, and then putting his own
clothes upon the soldier, who never stirred all the time, but lay
passive as the dead, my guide quickly dragged me out with him, a
prisoner, having first hidden the rifle and ammunition, keeping the
sword of the sentry.

But I understood his plan.  Armed he might assist me, and quit the town
in the dusk of the evening.  Proceeding by side streets, and avoiding
the largest--all very small--thoroughfares, my rescuer reached a house
at which he was recognised as I supposed, but I was wrong.  He had
merely brought me to an opium-house, where he intended to remain a
while till an opportunity arose for leaving the city.

This was a most dreadful experience, because, of course, the idea of
opium smoking to me was abhorrent.  To lie there upon one of those hard
bed-planks, inhaling a pipeful of sticky stuff, which though
exceedingly minute, is always--at first at anyrate--most sickly.  My
guide seemed to think it essential, I supposed, to my safety, and I
made shift to comply with his suggestions, but speedily became
unconscious, which, I presume, he desired.

My sensations were _at first_ unpleasant.  As a smoker of tobacco I
have had my most deadly experiences when learning to smoke, but
certainly in my case the attempt I made was not so unpleasant in
Kinchow opium smoking.  But the moral effect of the surroundings was
bad, and even though acknowledging the risk and my guide's anxiety, I
would not attempt opium again.  The flavour is not unpleasant, and is
rather aromatic perhaps.  The smoke is inhaled as usual, and expelled
by the nostrils.  Before I became unconscious I felt quite happy, and
full of a pleasant sense of content, as if "I wouldn't call the Emperor
of China my uncle"!  This happiness lasted into oblivion, into which I
was lulled that evening by the sound of cannon-fire.

Unfortunately I cannot tell how long I remained in the den, because the
Chinese have no clocks, and those which are imported from America and
elsewhere are not in favour with the people.  The day had died, and I
felt rather "seedy" when I made an effort to get up.  The cannonade and
firing continued at a distance during my sleep, and later, when I made
a serious attempt to rouse myself, I heard the roar of distant guns.  I
suppose that when the effects of the opium had passed away I had slept,
and in my dreams heard the noise.  Daylight was near then, and when I
could plainly discern things I discovered that I had been carried into
another room, and was alone.

This did not alarm me, because all was perfectly still in the house.
Possibly the Chinese were sleeping, and my Manchurian guide had placed
me in a place of safety.  I began to understand his good nature, which,
whether the result of _cash_ or not, was quite praiseworthy and
opportune.  So far as I could perceive I was free and unfettered.  I
rose and looked about me.  It was about five a.m.

There was nothing remarkable so far as I could discern.  The day was
breaking rather sadly, and still the sound of firing continued from the
direction of the hills, across which I had already passed, on the
Fuchow Road, and I considered that the Japanese were already shelling
the forts.  If they succumbed there would be no chance for the town
under assault, and under the circumstances I deemed it desirable to
prepare for my departure.

My simple toilet was quickly arranged, and I descended to the narrow
alley, hesitating, even when I reached the street, whither I should
bend my way.  Perhaps I could manage to get out of the town by the
north gate, at which I had entered; and made my way thither amid the
press of civilians and soldiers, the latter of whom seemed to be
impressing men to convey ammunition to the upper portion of the gate
and the castle walls.  These coolies were quickly at work, and were
directed to ascend the walls in places, or to bring the rifle
ammunition to the men lining the loopholes.

Amongst these labourers I soon discerned my guide, and had just made
myself known to him when he by signs suggested that I should assist
him.  As an officer was approaching I deemed it politic to comply, and
thus escape detection.  So I willingly seized a case of cartridges, and
assisted my friend in distributing them to the sharpshooters.  While
occupied in this way I caught sight of a means of ascent to the
battlements above, and at once ran up to the upper platform, where, in
the still dim light, I remained in hiding, peeping from behind an angle
of the wall through an unoccupied loophole.

I was now above the firing line, and as the daylight increased I made
out the condition of affairs.  All this time musketry, or rather rifle
fire, had been accentuated by big guns, and I could perceive the
Japanese struggling over the hill (Mount Potau), and advancing upon the
fort.  The advance had been made in the dusk of the dawn, and now when
the day was clearing and a bright morning was promised I could make out
the Chinese retreating before the Japanese, in a panic.  So far as I
saw, the Chinese did not make any decided attempt to withstand the
attack.  They streamed from the fort, delivering a feeble fire, a
volley, and a dropping fire, then another volley; but all the time the
Japanese assailants kept charging into the confused mass of Dragon-led
men, who suddenly broke away, and "pelted" in the direction of the

But the Manchus were not altogether defeated.  They had been taken
napping, no doubt, but they made an effort, assured by the
reinforcements which came from the other forts.  Across the road they
halted, and began a terrific fire upon the advancing troops, and from
the rocky redoubts the Chinese also began to make good practice.

This was getting "warm"; the smoke rose slowly from the guns and
rifles, as the white-banded caps descended the slope where they had
captured the forts first.  There were other forts upon the rocks nearer
the town, and I could not think that these, perched three hundred feet
above the road, in rugged and difficult positions, would be taken, or
indeed reached.  The Japanese tried, however, and the Celestials above
pelted them with shot in a fearful manner as they advanced; but when
the Japs reached the bases of the cliffs they simply climbed up like
schoolboys, ignoring the leaden hail, some of which passed over their

This seemed madness; but another force was at the same time climbing on
the left (my right) side of the picture, and was making a line so as to
ascend to the left rear of the redoubt.  Still another regiment
ascended behind the first, and all the time these Japanese men were
being tumbled off the rocks by the bullets of the Chinese above.  I
could see bodies falling and striking heavily on the rugged and pointed
edges of the rocks; but still the Japanese climbed, and when the
artillery found a chance they "chipped in," knocking corners off the
Chinese and their defences.

There was a pause for a little, and some arrangement appeared to be
made by the Japanese troops, who kept climbing, climbing.  Then came a
sudden rush upwards and sideways, and I could see no result until the
cannon ceased firing gradually.  Then I saw the defenders rushing away,
pursued by the Japanese, who shot and bayoneted them unmercifully.  The
fugitives fell by dozens, and were killed.  Dark spots lay thickly upon
the summit of the hill, and in the ravines near, while the Dragon
standards were displaced, and the Rising Sun uplifted in their place.
Such a stampede I never expect to see again, and the killing was done
systematically, because when two advancing bodies of Japanese troops
took the entrenchments by storm, a third company did not enter the
redoubt, but went on in chase of the flying enemy.

While I was thus sheltered, the soldiers in the town were all in
readiness to repel the expected attack.  The dispersed Manchus, or
Chinese, were cut off from the gate; and it seemed to me that a strong
column, with guns, was approaching from Fuchow.  The question was now
serious for me.  I did not dare retire because the Chinese were
immediately below.  I did not venture to go up higher because I must at
once have been seen and shot as a deserter; or perhaps cast down from
the walls.  Meantime time was pressing.  The exterior defences of the
town and citadel had been taken, and after all I had witnessed it
seemed to me that Kinchow was doomed.  The assailants were converging
upon the town, in which uproar and dismay were already rife, while the
advancing troops were being shelled by the Krupp guns mounted upon the
Chinese fortifications.  The situation was, at least, embarrassing.

It was, I suppose, about nine o'clock that morning, when I grasped the
fact that the artillery was getting into position.  It was difficult
for me to make out these arrangements, situated as I was a full mile
from the advancing troops, though in an advantageous position for
witnessing the attack from the top side of the north gate, built like a
railway arch in the surrounding wall of the town, a wall twenty feet
high, and surrounded by the edifice already mentioned--a kind of pagoda
erection.  But when I beheld puffs of steely smoke rising from the
hillside, and heard the shells--at first a few, and then incessantly, I
crouched behind the masonry, and did not dare to look out.

My head seemed to swim as these furious missiles came hurtling along
over the wall and gate, crashing, bursting, killing, and maiming all
out of shelter in the streets, and even in the hospital buildings
erected inside the gate, which yawned like a small tunnel in the wall.
The unfortunate donkeys, and more unfortunate men in attendance, were
blown into atoms at times, the streets were filled with dead and
wounded, and on them lay ruins of the town; while the defenders, though
firing steadily, could do little because the black smoke of the
bombarding guns shut out all except the ploughed-up earth, the
shrieking shells, the dead and wounded by the wall, and within the
"castled city."  Outside, the ground was ridged by shot, and the noise
of the contest was simply indescribable.  The bursting and cracking,
mingled with the fearful detonation of the guns, of which I should say
forty assailed us, at once gave me a sensation of splitting headache
and a giddiness which I had never experienced.  Stones split and
fractured, wood disappeared in gigantic matches and splinters, the iron
gate resounded and shook, the noise of the arch below being
thunderous--yet it stood; and when the salvoes ceased a while, and the
smoke cleared a bit, I looked out and saw some soldiers advancing
closer amid the furrowed ground, and the dead Japs who lay outside.

The Chinese in shelter fired still from the loopholes at the Japs, and
the Japanese came running up to the gate, while the guns again sent
messages of iron into the town.  The Japanese soldiers managed to reach
a small cluster of houses--a deserted kind of village, if one may so
call it--facing the gate.  One of these huts was standing in advance of
the rest, a peculiar position for a house, and so the Japanese thought,
because the officer in command must have sent a party to examine it,
right before me, and some of the venturesome ones never reached it.
The men ran up amid the rifle fire from the wall, and judging by the
time it took to gain entrance, the hut was barricaded.  The men fell
fast, but at length the survivors gained admission, and apparently
found nothing.[1]

[1] It was ascertained afterwards that the wires of the "mines" were
cut there.--H.F.

My attention had been directed to this hut, but then the Japanese
troops advanced in masses, rushing at the walls.  But they could do
nothing.  Chinese of all sorts, soldiers and coolies, rained bullets
and missiles at them when they reached the walls and attempted to climb
up.  It was impossible to scale these smooth surfaces, great masses of
brick eighty feet thick, from the summit of which the people were
hurling stones, and firing guns and rifles.  In this I saw my
opportunity, and joined the defenders on the ramparts.

What immediately followed is a little confused in my mind.  We could
see the soldiers retreating, leaving their dead and some wounded on the
field, while crashing shells came, again devastating the defenders'
ranks.  But the Chinese stuck to it and replied in kind.  We all seemed
wild, and even I became careless in showing myself in the excitement
and the roar of the battle.  I actually saw men cut across their blue
clothing in an instant, steeped in blood, and yet they seemed to move
and writhe.  Their associates took no notice of them.  Life in China is
of no value apparently, and when the spectator in his turn falls in
silent anguish, the survivors thrust him aside, and seize the weapon
they themselves require.  Many fell over the wall and died amid the
enemy, when they _slipped_ from the ensanguined battlements, or

At length the defeated stormers retired baffled.  But while the
defenders were perchance congratulating themselves, another band rushed
up.  The crowd of assailants had been defeated, the yelling multitude
at the base of the smooth walls were chagrined, but they sent another
force.  Meanwhile we kept up the fire, and I saw a few Japanese lying
close to the west end of the wall, apparently dead, but occasionally
stirring as if in pain.  I pointed them out to some soldiers, who
glanced and took no further notice, because the attack was about to be
renewed; but I wished I could have put the poor fellows in safety, or
tended them.  A vain wish, and one later repented.

Again the Japanese advanced carrying boxes.  Some of them then ran in
close to the great iron-lined gate, and, notwithstanding the furious
firing, remained under the shelter of the arch until they had
accomplished their design.  It was evident.  These were engineers, and
they intended to blow up the gate.  It was a most terribly anxious
moment when the men hurried off, not unscathed, and some of us waited
for the result.  The Chinese mines had failed, would the Japanese be
successful?  I retired to the west side, where the bricks of the wall
at the corner project a little, as we see in isolated brick houses.  To
my consternation, at that moment I perceived three Japanese _mounting
the "ladder" of bricks_ to gain the summit of the walls.  I shouted,
but at that moment my voice was drowned in the uproar of the explosion
under us, and I, with others, was thrown down amid the ruins of the

The tumult was fearful.  The great gate was rent, the stones flew far
and wide, the wall bulged, and at the same moment the apparently dead
Japanese, who had been lying in wait, came rushing up, and cut down the
gunners before them.  One soldier, the leader, pulled away the Dragon
flag, and shouted "_Banzai_!"  I saw no more.  Struck by a glancing
bullet I sank back, almost insensible, behind the western parapet; and
the last sounds in my ears were the vociferous cheers of the Japanese
as they poured through the dismantled gate, and took possession of the
"castle-town" of Kinchow.



When my scattered senses returned, I could not quite understand my
position.  Had I been wounded?  Yes, I remembered something striking me
on the head.  Whatever it was it had grazed my temples, and my hand
sought the wound involuntarily.  My fingers came away tinged with
blood, my head felt very uncomfortable and dizzy, but after a while I
sat up and began to wonder what was the matter.

The Chinese soldiers--all those left alive, I mean--had disappeared.
Dead or wounded men lay around me, but few of the latter moved, and I
began to suspect that the victors had killed most of them.  My own
escape from death seemed marvellous, for I lay almost helpless.  The
shouts, shots, and shrieks below in the town told me of the fearful
scenes, the pursuit of the vanquished, the death of the fugitives.  I
attempted to rise to my feet, and had just supported myself by the
parapet, when a Japanese picket approached.  The men were almost
savage, their weapons were bloodstained, their dress disordered and
dusty, and splashed with blood; they were shouting, and indulging in
what seemed to me fiendish merriment; they were drunken with excitement
and the spirit of slaughter; they bayoneted the few living Chinese
within reach, and then levelled their rifles at me, laughing still.

Holding up my hands, I called out the few words I had heard on board
the _Naniwa_, "Long live Japan!" and added in English, "I am no enemy.
Look!  I am a friend."

Whether the appeal touched their hearts or they recognised the English
tongue, they certainly perceived that I was not a native Chinese or
Manchu.  They examined my appearance closely, saw my stained and
painted face, through which spots of white British skin appeared, and
my blackened features, which could not belong to any Celestial being,
and they looked surprised.  One fellow, in sheer brutality, as he
intended, seized my pigtail and wrenched me round to torture me, when,
behold, it came away in his hand!

A shout of laughter succeeded at the expense of the brutal soldier,
whose face was a study for a caricaturist, and his profound surprise
saved my life.  At this juncture I recalled the badge and permit which
the captain and officers had given me.  In a moment I had grasped them,
and even as the angry soldiers advanced with sanguinary threats to
bayonet me, the priceless permit, and, even more than it, the badge of
the naval officer, arrested my would-be murderers.

I was saved!  The levelled rifles were shouldered, and when the men had
talked together, they intimated to me that I must accompany them--to
their officer, I presumed.  Securely guarded, I proceeded, taking care
not to exhibit any of my disgust at the many terrible scenes I noticed,
until we met an officer who was wearing white gloves, and appeared
almost a dandy in the midst of slaughter and destruction.

My "pass" and badge were shown to him, and finding I could not
understand his language, nor even "Corean-Chinese," he bade me
accompany him to the general's quarters.  I paced the streets, closely
followed by my original captors, the observed of all those by whom we
passed, maddened soldiers triumphant, Chinese civilians despairing, and
dead heaps of fugitives, who received no quarter.  It is true, as a
Japanese told me, "We do not kill our prisoners, as the Chinese do."
No, they do _not_ kill prisoners in cold blood--but they leave as few
as possible to survive the battle.

We passed through the narrow streets, now thronged with Japanese, past
the shops with their suspended lanterns and long scrolled signs, but
had not reached the officer's destination, when a Japanese saluted,
and, glancing at me, said a few words to my leader.  I gazed at the man
in surprise, and some diluted pleasure, because I recognised him as my
former associate Hoko, the scout with whom I had been travelling, and
by whom I had been robbed.

Our eyes met in mutual recognition.  He made signs to me, and uttered a
few sentences in French, asking whether I had presented my permit, and
how I came to Kinchow.  He informed the officer; and the man being an
accredited interpreter and trustworthy, the officer dismissed my unruly
escort, and bade the interpreter take care of me pending his own
arrival at headquarters.

We exchanged few remarks during our passage to the general.  I was
stiff and sore, aching in head and limbs, weary and dishevelled.
Besides I had a grudge against the interpreter, and anxious for
release.  He seemed quite careless of my feelings.  In this manner I
accompanied my preserver to headquarters, where as an interpreter he
was welcome, and in a few minutes I was introduced into the presence of
the general.  My conductor briefly explained matters, mentioning the
fact of my having been rescued from the _Naniwa_, and the manner in
which I had been received by the officer as an English gentleman and a
seaman.  A Japanese officer, who spoke English fluently, was able to
confirm this statement by my interpreted account, and thenceforward all
was plain sailing.

"What did the general wish me to do?" I asked the officer in English.

"He will send you to Port Arthur when we go there, and when we take the
place he will no doubt permit you to find your way to an English ship."

"Then I am again a prisoner?"

"Not at all, you can proceed whither you please.  There is not the
least objection to your getting shot, if you prefer that end."

"I understand; you think the Chinese will oppose your forward movement?"

"Certainly they will.  The fleet is at Talien Bay, though, and we have
the enemy in a sack.  They may resist, but they must be beaten; there
is no cohesion.  We are united, firm, and drilled.  The Chinese cannot
stand against us."

I acquiesced, but continuing, I said--

"Suppose any Power comes to the assistance of the Chinese?"

"Then we shall still fight," he replied.

"Even Russia or Germany?" I asked quickly.

"Ah, that is a different matter!  Russia is dangerous--she wants so
much.  But, unless she is _too_ intrusive, we shall not oppose her.  We
do not _fear_ her even, though she intends to rule the East some day.
She shall never rule Japan.  Come with me, I have the pleasure to
convoy you."

"You think the Chinese will not resist you?" I continued as we
proceeded to his quarters--or rather, to the house where he had
temporarily taken up his lodgings by right of sword.

"No, I do not say they will not resist; I say they will not win.  We
have had a very simple and easy task hitherto."

"Port Arthur is almost impregnable, I hear."  He smiled,--the Japanese
frequently smile.

"Ah, the Chinamen will not stay.  Our preparations are already being
made.  In less than a week we shall secure Port Arthur.  You shake your
head?  You will see."

When we reached the house which the officer had made his own, by
conquest, temporarily, he gave orders to a soldier, who I supposed was
a tailor, for he came and took my measure with his eye, and walking
round me made his notes in his mind.  When he had departed, my kind
military friend caused me to rest, sent me food, and had my clothes
removed and sent me a supply of fresh water, in which I revelled.  My
shaven hair caused him some amusement, but he supplied me with a cap
which the useful tailor had procured, and when I awoke from my sleep
next morning I found a new semi-European suit awaiting me, with some

My thanks, and some suggestions respecting remuneration to the tailor,
were laughed aside, and the officer then informed me that he knew my
acquaintance the sailor Tomi well, and the interpreter had informed him
of my first meeting with him, as had been related on board the
_Naniwa_.  On further inquiry, I ascertained that my military host was
Tomi's brother, and this quite accounted for the manner in which he had
received me.  The brother had been in London, and had met much kindness
there, so they had in my case repaid it in full towards me.

This officer, whose kindness I shall ever remember, sent me a note to
say that the army was advancing, and the interpreter would accompany me
towards Port Arthur.  I was pleased to hear this, and anxious to
interview the man again, but he did not appear till evening on the 7th,
when he brought the news that the army from Kinchow had taken the forts
above Talien, and the Japanese fleet had arrived in the bay.

This seemed to me incredible, but I ascertained subsequently that the
Chinese garrison had retired, and the fleet had fired at empty forts
until the troops displayed their flags upon the deserted ramparts.

"Is the _Naniwa_ in the bay?" I asked.

"Yes, she and the other vessels are there now.

"Can you send me away from there?" I said.  "Can Lieutenant Tomi" (I
called him lieutenant) "find a passage for me to Chefoo?"

"Will ascertain," was his reply.  But he came no more that evening.

Meantime I made my plans for escape.  I had had enough of war and
battles in strange countries amid strangers.  With my own countrymen a
campaign would have been comparatively pleasant, but under my present
circumstances the adventure was not very enjoyable, and though I had
been singularly fortunate in my cruise, I considered prudence the
better part of valour, and a timely retreat was advisable, so I
determined to elope at the first opportunity.

Provided with clothes, and possessing cash; furnished with a permit
like a special correspondent, I made my way about the cantonments and
bivouacs of the Japanese army, and heard a great deal respecting their
exploits, yet in no boasting manner.  Certainly the officers and men
were elated, but that was but natural under the circumstances.  It is
true they were very much incensed at the Chinese, and swore fearful
vengeance upon them when they again attacked; but that was not
surprising when one saw the Chinese proclamations for so much for the
head of a Jap--as if for a savage wolf in Old England--and an increased
reward for the body of a prisoner.

Mind, these placards were displayed upon the walls, printed in
character, in yellow, and signed by the chief of the district in the
name of the Emperor of China.  Japanese soldiers were decapitated, and
hacked when dead.  Even the trees were bearing ghastly fruits of savage
warfare at times.  So one can hardly wonder if the Japanese retaliated
upon their foes, however much we may regret their subsequent vengeance.
When one sees prisoners hanging by the feet to the branches of a tree,
and fearfully and horribly mutilated besides by the Chinese; and, when
dead, pelted by lads "for fun" as the bodies swing in the wind, one
hesitates to dub the Chinaman a decent _savage_!  But this is Chinese
warfare, and must end in clearing away the nation from the earth which
advocates and practises such barbarities.

The army was under the command of Marshal Oyama.  The general who had
released me was General Yamaji, a rather sleepy-looking man, wearing a
moustache and long _goatee_ upon a rather fat face; his hair was thick
and long, and his ears appeared to me very long and big.  He wore
medals and stars, one in the centre of his chest; he had a profusion of
lace in curling cords, so to speak, upon his sleeves, epaulets and
shoulder-knots.  The marshal, when I saw him, was decked with
stars--quite a galaxy.  He had rather a humorous face, and it was quite
devoid of hair.  Some of the other officers appeared as well set up and
"groomed" as British officers, their short hair, shaven cheeks, and
trim moustaches, all aiding the resemblance, with bright keen
expression and smartness of manner.

While making these observations, which I have recorded as they occurred
to me, I lost no opportunity to escape to the sea, but though I was
permitted to wander about, and even assisted in my searches, I found no
opening for retreat.  There were correspondents of European, and even
Japanese, newspapers and illustrated periodicals, but though they were
most polite and sympathetic, none of them assisted me in the way I
desired.  Whether they credited my narrative or not one cannot say, but
they--perhaps wisely--did not seem actually anxious to get me away by
stratagem.  On the other hand, they were not unkind.

On that memorable 7th November the guns of the Japanese warships were
heard outside, and speculation was rife.  The troops had already
advanced to Talien Bay, where forts protect the peninsula of the
"Regent's Sword," as the narrow isthmus is called.  If the invaders
captured these forts, the road to Port Arthur would be open, and
Shing-Ching would be at the mercy of the Japanese.  They did not
hesitate to advance against these strongholds.  Three detachments
marched bravely on, supported by artillery and cavalry, and I followed
as a spectator, well in the rear, but not out of range.

The troops advanced full of determination, and were received with an
equally decided fire--for a short time.  The assailants took no notice
of these rounds, but, dropping a few of their number, rushed on; I,
surprised at myself, followed, keeping under shelter as much as
possible from fragments of soaring shells, which were few and far
between.  The troops reached the forts, and with a volley mounted to
the walls, protected by their artillery.  Then came a pause, then a
distant cheer, renewed again and again.  The Japanese flag was waving
over the forts, and the Chinese, pursued by bullets and shell-fire,
were running away as fast as their feet could carry them.  The
fugitives had quitted their guns--in many cases undischarged--and were
"cutting away" to Port Arthur, their flying forms looking as unlike
soldiers as possible to European eyes, their heads being bound up as
with silk handkerchiefs--perhaps to keep the pigtail out of harm's way,
for I noticed this head-dress was almost general with Chinese.

The Talien forts were thus captured, to my extreme surprise.  I climbed
up the hill and reached one of them afterwards; and while seeking a way
to the seaside, considerating which path I had best pursue to escape to
the outlying fleet in the bay, a friendly hand was placed upon my
shoulder firmly, and held me.  I turned suddenly, startled by the
sudden arrest.  Five Japanese soldiers had come upon me, bringing two
unfortunate Chinese prisoners.  They bound me in silence, and led me
away, making no reply even by gesture to my complaints.



For a while I was passive.  Then, realising the danger of this new
situation, I made violent efforts to escape my captors.  A prod of a
sword-bayonet was the only reply, and the sharp steel point caused a
cry of pain to escape me.  What had I done?  I looked at the men who
had captured me.  They did not appear to be regular soldiers.  They
were armed indeed, but they lacked the uniform, the gaiters, and the
knapsacks, so heavy to be borne, which the Japanese regular infantry
wear.  Where were the white-crowned caps or the white bands of the
regiments I had seen? nor was the grenade-star of the engineers
visible.  Then I guessed that these men were
camp-followers--coolies--robbers, perhaps, who had got out of hand and
intended to kill or torture the Chinese.  Finding me in the fort, and a
stranger, they had seized me too.  No one amid all the hurrying
soldiers took any notice of my escort save to glance at us.  The
spectacle of Chinese prisoners was too common then.

"The Japanese never kill their prisoners."  These soothing words came
into my mind as the party of camp-followers descended the hill--not in
the direction of the camp which I had quitted, but in that of the
seaside.  As we advanced I could see the warships shelling the villages
along the coast, punishing the innocent natives.  My captors also saw
them, and gesticulated savagely.  Then the idea struck me that I was in
the power of banditti!  Men who made war equally upon both sides, and
in Japanese garb or in Chinese dress plundered or murdered all alike.
The two Chinese, my companions in misfortune, wore buttons on their
hats.  They were perhaps mandarin officers.  The buttons seemed to me
to be of glass or crystal, and the men were perhaps of moderately high
rank.  The coral button is the highest token, and descends to blue and
lapis-lazuli, to crystal and gilt buttons.

These officers made no reply to the remarks which I supposed were
addressed to them, if they understood them.  But when we had reached a
retired ravine amongst the twisted hills which bound that coast, our
captors raised their pistols and evidently demanded money, tearing at
our dress, and searching our garments and persons.  All this time the
Chinese gentlemen submitted to the insults with a truly Christian, or
Chinese, patience.  But one could discern the flash of the eye and the
movement of the face which spoke of the passion within.  When we had
been robbed, we were bound by our ankles and made to stand against the
slope of the hill, half-naked, wholly chilled, and destitute.  Verily,
between Jack and Jap I was having a cheerful season.

My belt and all my money, my "pass" and badge, which I prized most
highly, were confiscated.  The Chinese officers were even worse
treated--their clothing was appropriated, their rings and distinctions.
All this time no one had taken any trouble about us.  Everyone
apparently was occupied in fighting or pursuing the fugitives, of whom
a number had been taken to the rear.

When the robbers had completed their work, and prevented our escape,
they slowly retired to the end of the ravine, covering us with their
purloined rifles as they went backward.  At times these pleasant
gentlemen halted, aimed at us, and again retired, till I began to think
they would leave us, bound, to die there of cold and hunger.  Then
again I fancied they intended to shoot at us as targets, and practise
upon us, and this idea was almost confirmed by the way in which they
separated into a line; they took up positions apart, and looked to
their arms.  The suspense was torture!

I looked at my fellow-prisoners of olive complexion, they were
perfectly passive, and apparently unconcerned by these manoeuvres.  But
I was not.  After the first glance at them I concentrated my gaze upon
the robbers, who evidently wished to put us away to the place where no
tales can be told.  I watched the levelled rifles, I heard a voice say
something, I saw five faces laid upon the gun-stocks, and uttering a
cry fell flat on my face as a heavy body came hurtling down the ravine
and kicked up a furious dust beyond us.  The roar and the detonations
arose simultaneously.  Then more guns, but perhaps blank--at least they
did no visible harm; and then, after a while, silence: deadly, thick
silence in the solitary ravine near the village on the cliff!

I lay still, half-suffocated, breathing with great difficulty, but
quite afraid to move.  The shells had ceased, the "blank shots" had
stopped resounding amid the hills, the robbers had fled--for I could
not hear them, and the Chinese I knew were habitually silent.  But the
silence was particularly impressive after the late uproar, and even
though I was glad to lie unmolested I began to wish for a change from
the death-like silence of the now gloomy ravine.  The sun was
disappearing into the clouds beyond the farthest hills, and still no
one came.  I determined to rise.  I moved, and felt rather dizzy;
perhaps I had been asleep!  I sat up.  What had happened?

I gazed around me in all directions, unable to comprehend the result of
the adventure.  The first objects which met my wondering eyes were the
five camp-followers lying in all sorts of attitudes, dead and
mutilated; their rifles lay at their feet or rested upon the bodies.
They had been instantly killed; and, indeed, partly destroyed.

Turning my head seaward I beheld the ships at a distance, and close by
me the Chinese officers resting limp and lifeless against the rocks,
wearing the same stolid expression upon their now pale-yellow features,
their eyes being nearly closed altogether.  Again I asked myself what
had happened?  What--who--had killed all these men and yet spared me?

My first movement was directed to my feet.  I managed to unbind my
ankles, and after a while was able to walk steadily.  Then, moved by
curiosity first--not by compassion, I regret to say--I advanced
cautiously towards the camp-followers, still clad in the leggings and
loose blouses, a kind of undress uniform.  I went up and stood over
them.  They were dead, blown to pieces by a shell, I decided; their
rifles lying upon their chests, or beside them.  But what had killed
the Chinese officers, then?  They, too, were dead.  It was not possible
that the shell would have slain them also and left me alone alive!

I took up one of the rifles and examined it.  It had been discharged.
Another, and another!  Yes, all five were empty!  Then the fellows had
fired at us as I had anticipated.  Anticipated is the correct
expression.  I had anticipated the discharge by one second, when I
beheld the flying body--the shell--in the air dark against the sky and
flaming.  I had fallen flat: the bullets had struck above me; the fiery
message had completed the tragedy of the day.

That was all!  By some impulse I had flung myself on my face, no doubt
in fear you will say--perhaps.  I was very young, and did not wish to
pose as a hero when there was no gain in bravado and no dishonour in
stooping.  I have read of soldiers "ducking" at a cannon-ball, and why
is it blameworthy in me--a lad almost--if I winced at the bullet of the
assassin?  At anyrate I didn't see the good of being killed, and I
"ducked" to the shell, and to the expected bullets.

What could I do now?  Evening was closing in, and to wander amid those
hills alone would be to woo death once more.  Yet to remain there with
the dead was worse.  So I took a look at the robbers, and ventured to
search the pockets of the leader of the party, from which I took my
precious "passes" and the money, which were still in my belt.  Then,
having secured them as before, I quitted the scene of slaughter, and
made my way across the darkening hills, thankful to the Providence
which had preserved me from a horrible death.

All the night I wandered aimlessly--fancying that I was near the camp
and the fires, but finding deep and black ravines between myself and
them.  At length I gave way, and seating myself in a deserted spot, not
without qualms concerning wild animals, and commending myself to
Heaven, I slept and dreamed.

My dream figured a kind of Robinson Crusoe incident.  The savages were
preparing their feast on the desert island, I thought, and were passing
back and forward in front of the flames.  Even in my dream the air "bit
shrewdly"--and I shivered and looked on.  A vivid dream indeed!  I
could almost fancy I was awake.  I could see the men and the fire, and
distinguished dark forms carrying others and throwing them into the
flames.  My senses were leaving me.  Was this a dream or a vision of
the fiend's concoction?  Was I _mad_?  Had my trouble unhinged my mind?

I shut my eyes and tried to think.  I pinched myself, and thumped my
chest.  I was awake!  Opening my eyes I sat up.  Still the same weird
scene: the black mountain glade, the bright, cold sky studded with
stars, the great leaping flame surmounted by thick vapour which rose
slowly and crawled along the hill inland.  What could it be?  I lay for
a while, and then crept nearer and nearer to attempt to distinguish the
actors in this Walpurgis night-drama enacted on the Manchurian Brocken.

Nearer and nearer I came, lying still a while and then proceeding.  The
actors were _men_: I decided that; but their occupation?  I lay and

It seemed to me very astonishing that these funereal figures should be
thus occupied in such a stealthy manner in an outlying spot amid the
hills.  What they were destroying I could not discern, because all the
surroundings beyond the glare of the fire were more intensely dark than
the atmosphere, but I could see, time after time, that the men carried
burdens, and cast them into the flames.  Then the fearful reflection
came into my mind--

These men, Japanese, were thus disposing of their prisoners by torture!
Yet I heard no cries, nor saw any resistance.

Again I crawled nearer, nearer.  I was then within the circle of
leaping light, and lay as still as possible.

Two men appeared near me.  They looked around them, and, horror of
horrors! saw me extended upon the coarse herbage, my staring eyes
reflecting the glare of the flames, no doubt.  They at once came
towards me, their blackened faces and untidy dress causing them to
appear absolutely repulsive.  They might have posed, in such
surroundings, for fiends incarnate.

Without a word they raised me by shoulders and below the knees; in a
careless, rough manner they advanced towards the fire, which was
blazing fiercely at a little distance.  I could feel the heat of it,
but so upset was I, and so perplexed, that I could not utter a sound.
My tongue was a piece of dry stick in my mouth, my lips were parched
and cracked, and I was almost in a fever.  The whole seemed a horrible
nightmare--the fire and smoke, the blackness of the more distant
surroundings, the black inquisitors, like the assistants pictured in
illustrations of the burnings under Queen Mary, which I had seen in the
_Tower of London_--a favourite book of mine.  All the accessories were
frightful, stupefying, maddening! yet I could utter no complaint, nor
was I able to resist my captors.

But fortunately this hypnotic trance did not continue.  The smell of
oil (petroleum) penetrated my half-conscious brain, and aroused me from
my stupor.  The oil was blazing in the fire, the receptacles--and
bodies, I had fancied them also--were steeped in oil, the pungent smell
of which had aroused my faculties.  I wriggled in my bearers' hands,
and they let me fall suddenly and heavily with some loud exclamations.

Other assistants in this holocaust came up at this, and all of them
chattered and stared, but I understood none of their remarks or
exclamations.  Left to myself, I rose to my feet, and stood there in
the circle as if the victim of some usury game.  To my requests for
information they only replied in the Japanese language,--so far I could
understand,--and then again the pass and badge proclaimed my identity.
These relics were passed from hand to hand, and I felt what perhaps a
custodian of the Bank of England feels when he first sees a lump of
uncoined gold passing from hand to hand amongst privileged spectators
to the door of the vault, and wonders whether the precious sample will
return to him.  Thus was my attention directed to my credentials.  They
did come back; and when the men had burned all the bodies and coffins
they took me to the camp again.

Then I understood the scene I had witnessed.  The Japanese habit is to
burn the bodies of the dead after an engagement, for sanitary reasons.
The coffins are steeped in oil, and then burned in some remote place,
after certain rites performed.  I had wandered into this Gehenna, and
had been rescued from the fire into which I had been so nearly cast.

When we returned to the camp my identity was firmly established.  My
acquaintance, Hoko, the interpreter, was summoned, and he again
constituted himself my guardian.  Well it was that he did, for in
twelve hours I was in a high fever.  My brain had been overtaxed, and
my body so reduced, that recovery seemed almost hopeless, as I
afterwards was informed.  But the attack was sharp and short.  In less
than two weeks I was on my legs again, tottering indeed, but useful,
and my first question asked of the officer who spoke English was--

"Can I get away from Port Arthur?"

"Perhaps.  We have not taken it yet."

"Ah!" I said, "then it is different from what you imagined?"

"No; we have been compelled to await the heavy guns."

"When will they arrive?"

"They are expected immediately.  When they are planted we shall assault
the forts and seize the port."

"Has there been fighting?"

"Yes; outposts and pickets have been engaged frequently."

"Is that artillery now?  I hear firing."

"Yes; there is another attack developing.  We do not fear."

There was a pause, then I asked--

"What day is it, pray?"

"In your calendar it is the twentieth of November."

"The twentieth!  Then I have been here ill for thirteen days?  How can
I ever repay this kindness and care?  Most heartily I thank you, sir,

"But say no more, please.  I am glad.  Farewell."

He hastened away, leaving me overwhelmed with gratitude, and highly
appreciative of the courtesy and kindness of the Japanese officers both
of army and navy.



When the Japanese officer had retired so modestly from my outburst of
gratitude, I made up my mind to see all I could of the affairs of the
war, and to reach a place of safety.  I soon found that I was premature
in this, because, though an engagement was actually taking place then,
I had no chance of seeing it.  The afternoon was advancing, and, as a
matter of fact, the fight lasted in all only a couple of hours
altogether--chiefly a matter of artillery.

During the same evening, and part of the night, the rumbling of the
heavy guns was audible.  These had been actually dragged by bands of
coolies across the hill-paths and tracks for two successive days and
nights incessantly; and when these fellows, whose pay is infinitesimal,
were regaled with little bags of rice and some fish rations, wrapped
carefully in paper, they waited in the most disciplined manner
patiently, until their turns came.  Their dress was not uniform, but
here again, I must say, the Japanese are wonderfully amenable to
discipline in all services.

I had already made some observations about Port Arthur, and
subsequently I was enabled to supplement them.  The defences of the
place were, and are now, doubtless, almost impossible to surmount.  It
is the "Gibraltar of the East."  Around, and high above the harbour,
which has a narrow and difficult entrance, are forts, on the mutual
assistance principle of chained defence, on the hills from west to east
on the northern shore there are, in all, thirteen forts of heavy guns,
including the two near the shore.  Again, at the west, is
Huang-chin-shan, or Golden Hill, a fort which can sweep its guns in all
directions.  "Shan" is "hill," so Chi-huan-shan is Cock's-comb Hill,
and I-tzee-shan, Chair Hill.  The first three by the west (northern
side at Chair Hill) are very important forts.

If we cross the strip of water at the mouth we reach the Tiger's
Tail,--a piece of land, long and narrow, just opposite the West Port
(the East Port is the dock-basin, or harbour, as contrasted with the
ordinary harbour, West Port).  On this Tail of the Tiger stand eight
more forts, and all these twenty-two important defences were armed with
large and quick-firing guns, perhaps more than three hundred in all,
with an army behind them of twenty thousand Chinese nominally, but most
likely many thousands less in fact, perhaps not more than twelve
thousand or fifteen thousand effectives--if one may describe the
Chinese as "effective."

The Japanese had one hundred cannon, and these were quietly placed in
position during the evening and night of 20th November, on high ground.
The forts to be assaulted were those by Chair Hill on the land side
(north of harbour), and then those more eastward--Pine Hill, Dragon and
Cock's-comb Hills.  These forts were really the most important from the
land side assault, and when we consider that the elevation of the land
is great,--from 350 to 1500 feet, though, of course, less a great deal
near the shore,--the difficulties of the assault can be imagined.

I awoke early, about midnight, and "dressed," which means wrapped
myself up, and stepped out to listen to the tramping of the battalions,
which were already taking up positions for the assault.  As the morning
advanced, the moon rose up, and shone clearly.  The Japanese soldiers
had no doubt of results, and the forts were to be attacked in a
specified order, while a counter demonstration was threatened at the
farther side.

It was impossible to rest, so I staggered to the limits of the camp in
the darkness, the lanterns shining like fireflies as the troops
advanced.  They were all in readiness at two o'clock a.m., and just as
dawn was due the artillery opened the attack, and awoke the slumbering
Chinese in the town.  If the men in the forts were asleep, they quickly
arose, and replied in kind from all directions, and the flashing of the
guns indicated the fearful fire which was being directed at the
Japanese artillery, the camp, and the troops,--the last now just seen
climbing up the hills, or crawling in the grass, to the attack, by
ravines and slopes and gullies.

The roar was simply awful!  The thunder was incessant.  The shells came
blazing across the sky, tore lines in the advancing troops, and
ploughed the hillsides in all directions.  This cannonade continued for
quite an hour; it really seemed as if the fearful firing, noise, and
thick smoke, would never cease around us.  Daylight came, and then the
Chinese played havoc with the assailants, who fell fast.  But the
Japanese guns were silencing the Chinese by degrees, and the men crept
up to the forts, compelled to halt at times and take breath,--the last
which many of them ever drew,--for the fire was fearful, and no command
could be heard.

At length the three doomed forts were reached by the rear approach, and
the only mode of capture was by climbing the thirteen feet walls!  This
was a feat in any case, but when the attempt was made amid a continuous
fire, the situation seems impossible.  The Japanese, however, succeeded
by fixing their bayonets into the wall, and climbing by those impromptu
steps to the top of the parapet, where they engaged the Chinese hand to
hand.  Others, again, were hoisted up by means of a rope, which a
private soldier had let down after climbing up to the top by the
inequalities in the masonry of the wall.  These acts of heroic bravery
were to be seen frequently, and at different points.

The assailants fell by hundreds at a time, but as soon as the survivors
gained the advantage, and reached the platforms, the Chinese fled
helter-skelter out of the forts, down the hills, in the direction of
the sea, and the Japanese dashed after them, firing, or bayoneting the
stragglers.  Here were mandarins, officers, and soldiers, armed and
unarmed, flying for dear life, and in numerous instances losing that.

As soon as the Chinese had evacuated the defences on the western side I
essayed to climb up, but was forced to pause, not only from physical
weakness, but because of mental disturbance.  Already the Red Cross was
in evidence tending and succouring the wounded and dying, and
despatching the former to Kinchow, and subsequently to the Port Arthur
Hospital.  The Chinese, who did not understand, or certainly did not
practise this humanity, frequently fired at the devoted bands, who thus
suffered for their devotion.

As I advanced I rendered some assistance, I am pleased to think, but
the numbers requiring aid were beyond expectation.  The Japanese
suffered greatly.  Tens and dozens of dead bodies lay in groups in many
places, and this slaughter was all around one.  When the forts were
stormed the Chinese became the victims and paid heavily for the
Japanese dead.  A terrible revenge was taken, and when the Pine Tree
fort blew up there was a loud shout of victory.  Thenceforth the
invaders had all their own way.

And such a way!  Midday had struck, as the phrase is, when the first
forts were taken--Inland, and then the remaining forces came on to
reduce the coast line of forts and redoubts, including the large Golden
Hill fort already named, which by its cannon turning in all directions
had caused much loss in the distant Japanese ranks.  Preparations were
made to storm this place late in the afternoon.  The Chinese were still
resisting under all possible cover in rifle-pits and trenches and
redoubts, but all the time the Japanese were encircling them and the
town--their usual method.  I noticed that at sea the fleet circled
round the Chinese ships, and now on land the soldiers came up on three

Following the troops I watched them from a distant height forming a
_cordon_ around the devoted town, which contains about a thousand
houses built Chinese fashion (usually in one storey), two theatres,
temples, hotels, and banks, besides the extensive docks fitted with all
modern appliances, torpedo factory, a railway, cranes, workshops, and
basins for ships and boats.  The place is well supplied with water, and
later I witnessed a curious scene in those docks.

When I had struggled as near as I deemed prudent, armed with a Japanese
rifle, cartridges, and a cap, I fancied I could hear a band playing.  A
musical welcome from the Chinese was perhaps the most curious of the
many curious and contradictory things in China, but it was certainly a
military band in the town, while the brigade beyond was storming the
forts.  I made inquiry as well as I could, and ascertained that the
Japanese had already occupied the town, and the band was playing them
in with their National Anthem, which I recognised as having already
heard on board ship in the hour of victory.

The day was now coming to a close.  Golden Hill remained in Chinese
hands, and the fighting was for a while suspended.  Still Port Arthur
was in possession of the Japanese, and the remaining fort when attacked
next morning was found empty.  The garrison had deserted it in the

That night of the 21st November 1894 will be remembered by all who live
to think of it.  Why? you may ask.  Simply because the Chinese were
slain in the most savage and unrelenting way in the town.  On the hill
a chill and piercing wind rose that night, and the sufferings of the
wounded must have been terrible.  I made my way at dusk, under shelter,
behind the hill I had scrambled up before, and found the Japanese lying
on their faces still, thickly.  The Chinese were lying anyhow on that
hill, and on the other slope; half-clothed, nearly always unarmed, and
seldom in any "uniform" dress.


These are common instances which indicate the temperaments and courage
of the two nations.  The Japanese shot in the forehead or chest falls
_forward_ and dies.  The Chinese I saw were fugitives who had cast away
their weapons and clothing the more easily to escape and to be mistaken
for civilians.  I must add that the Japanese wounded never seemed to
complain or cry out.  Their fortitude under the most deplorable
conditions, amid terrible injuries and wounds, was Spartan-like--heroic.

That cold night, for which all were unprepared, found those on the
hills badly off, though wearied to death they lay, some beside
watch-fires some in the darkness, dead asleep; while the soldiers in
the waking town conducted themselves like absolute fiends.  As already
stated, the soldiers were exasperated by the brutality of the Chinese,
but that was scarce a reason for the wholesale and deliberate murder of
civilians, women, and children in cold blood.

Next morning, under the guidance of a soldier and the interpreter, I
essayed to reach the town.  We descended the hill, my companions
looking triumphantly upon the devastation and the evidences of death,
which, though now familiar to me, were none the less terrible.

The town was reached, and we entered it near the dock where is a
reservoir of water, a kind of lake, one may say, at the foot of the
sloping ground.  There even my callous companions halted.  The pool was
full of dead bodies floating in all kinds of attitudes, head downwards,
or extended on the back or face bleeding or bloodless, many women, and
even young children.  There they lay, some floating, as I have said,
some pressed down by others, some lying half in and half out of the
bloodstained water, all killed by violence, by the rifle-shot or
bayonet, and hacked as savages would not have thought of doing.

And this was the act of the merciful Japanese!  I turned sick and faint
with horror, rushed away into the town to escape from this most fearful
scene.  Presently I was compelled to seat myself in sheer illness, my
companions were also ashamed I believe.

After a while I rose and made my way through the streets, but here
again were horrors piled up even if possible more awful than the first
experience.  Houses, shops, inns were pillaged, fired, plundered!  Men
and women dead--mutilated--every possible shame had been inflicted, and
even then, in daylight, the Japanese soldiers were looting and killing
all in their way, binding up bundles of plunder, or chasing an
unfortunate Chinaman to death amid the laughter of his fellows.
Fortunately I was properly protected, else my doom had been sealed, for
the dead lay so thickly in the streets and passages, that one had to
tread carefully for fear of stepping upon a body; and if a Chinese was
discovered seeking his dead friend, relative, wife, or child, the first
Japanese butcher would kill him, and then slash him into slices with
his sword.

For true barbarity the inflamed Japanese countenance in a passion of
killing is the most repulsive.  What the night had witnessed I tremble
now to think.  Of what we witnessed of the awful results it is
impossible even to do more than name, the details are quite unfit to
describe.  The dismemberment of the bodies even of children and women
will always remain a stain upon the Japanese, on the soldiers for
executing such awful rapine and murder, on the officers for not
stopping such scenes of bestial violence.

Amid such scenes in the docks next day the field-marshal presided at a
grand luncheon, where hundreds of officers attended, and numerous
newspaper correspondents assisted, and drank the health of the Emperor
of Japan.  Whom of those hundreds who stood at the long tables spread
in the dockyard, and feasted upon potted and tinned food, thought of
the massacred Chinese?  Even then, perhaps, dark and silent murder was
being done while the bands played stirring airs, and officers
congratulated each other upon their own successes while the curses of
the dying natives were heaped upon the savage soldiery.

"Find me a way from this fearful place," I begged at last, when I had
vainly sought escape by boat.  "Is there no junk, no vessel, in the bay
which will shelter me and carry me to Chefoo?"

My despairing appeal was carried to the ears of the officer who had
already befriended me.  He came towards the ruined inn, where I was
resting, and inquired what I wanted.

"Means to leave this horrible place," I said briefly.  "The _Naniwa_ is
in the harbour.  Cannot you manage to communicate with your brother?
He may assist me to reach the opposite shore."

"Is that all?  Why, there are several British vessels in the gulf."  He
then quickly said a few words to my companions in their own tongue, and
left me.  I am glad to think that he and some other officers had been
staying the massacre of the night.  "I will follow you," he added.
"Wait beyond."

As we made our way through the narrow streets westward to the Port, the
natural harbour, the sights were beyond description.  Even there dead
lay in the streets and shops, which, still hung with the Chinese signs
and open as in a fair-ground, were wrecked and dabbled with blood.
Fortunately the weather was cold, and when we reached the harbour, or
West Port, the soldiers were dragging dead bodies from the water, where
they lay thickly.[1]  Men, women, and children had been hunted down and
slain in the water.  The few junks on shore were also filled with dead
bodies of fugitives and crews.

[1] Should any reader need evidence of these days let him see the
illustrated papers of the time.

My interpreter shook his head.  He could do nothing.  Remembering his
former conduct, I began to fear that he had some sinister object in his
mind's eye.  I asked him what I should do, and then as he paused in his
reply, I demanded why he had robbed me before.  My fears were then
allayed, because I saw the Japanese officer, Tomi's brother,
approaching.  But the interpreter remained perfectly calm to all
appearance.  He merely deprecated any reference to such an unpleasant
incident, by a shrug of the shoulders, and an appealing movement of his

"Then you intended to destroy me!" I exclaimed.  "What do you propose
now?  May I ask you, sir, to question this man about his conduct while
in my society, when, as I have told you, I was robbed by him and left
alone to find my way across the isthmus."

The interpreter's nimble tongue was at a loss for once.  He could not
advance any excuse.

"Did this man rob you?" asked the officer.  "Speak, sir."

"Yes," I replied.  "Let him deny it if he can."

The Japanese officer turned to the interpreter and said something to
him, motioning to the soldier who had accompanied me to advance.

The traitor fell upon his knees, Chinese fashion, but what he said I
could not understand.  He produced the revolver, however, and some

"He declares he was instructed to take these from you, for fear of your
safety if they were found upon you by the natives.  Is that so?"

"Not at all.  I was given the pistol and money by your brother for my
protection.  He had already defended me, and the captain of the ship
urged my departure as a scout, knowing some Chinese.  They hoped I
would remain with the army, reach Port Arthur, and so get away."

"Then you _were_ suspected on board?" he asked sharply.

"Yes, because I was sailing in the Chinese transport, I think.  Your
honourable brother assisted me, and intended to send me to the British

"He had no authority to do so.  But I am sure the captain would have
landed you at Chemulpo had you desired it."

"I did not want to be landed.  I am a sailor, and wished to continue on
board until I could be sent to Shanghai or Chefoo."

"It appears to me now that you did wrong.  You had better have landed
and made your way, with the assistance of your consul, to China.  But
matters seem also to have been against you.  As for this man's
statement respecting the robbery, I do not believe it.  He has traduced
my brother."

Then followed a few sentences in the Japanese language, which sounded
particularly harsh.  I saw the man seized by the soldier, and cried
out.  The officer turned to me inquiringly.

"What do you intend?" I asked.  "What punishment?"

"I shall strike off his thievish hand."

"Oh no!" I pleaded.  "There has been slaughter and hacking enough!  Let
him go free!"

"He has lied concerning my brother.  He deserves to _die_!  I shall
only prevent his robbing in future.  Take him, and keep him in guard."

The soldier tied the man's hands together with his belt, and drove him
away before him, leaving me with the officer.  My appeal had been in
vain.  As a fact, I had no energy to continue the question, because my
bodily strength was waning fast.  The excitement which had so far
sustained me was already disappearing, and the disgust which had
replaced it did not tend to keep me up.

The Japanese officer perceived this, and beckoned me to accompany him.
I saw he was anxiously looking at my pallid face.  What would have
become of me had he not come to my rescue I did not venture to think.
I followed him closely, and retraced my bloodstained steps through the
lately prosperous-looking streets, then well furnished with shops, now
a terrible line of dismantled houses; goods lying upon the ground amid
the dead, and accentuating the desolation.

My conductor took me to an inn, or hotel, in which resided,
temporarily, several Japanese.  These gentlemen, I ascertained, were
journalists and artists employed by the newspapers and others, for the
Japanese people took the greatest interest in the struggle with China.
Two of these men spoke English quite sufficiently for conversational
purposes, and they made me welcome by request of the officer.

"When opportunity occurs," he said, "we will send you home.  Perhaps we
may despatch you to one of your men-of-war vessels.  Farewell!"

I had only time to thank him for the idea of such a happy despatch,
when I felt faint and sick.  My new friends immediately removed me to
an upper chamber,--a rather unusual thing in China,--and laid me upon
the couch or bench which was then being warmed by the hot air from the
fire or "furnace."  Handing me a thick counterpane, which the
increasing cold made acceptable, my friend left me to recover
myself--my strength and my self-possession.

It was long before I was able to rise.  The day passed.  Food was
repugnant to me.  My brain reproduced all the horrors I had witnessed,
and I shuddered as with ague.  The night was still more dreadful, as my
solitude was invaded by three of the company, and I was thankful when
morning again dawned and left me alone, if listless and ailing.

I must pass rapidly on, for nothing occurred to alarm me.  I lay quiet,
eating and sleeping and thinking.  My new companions amused me by
telling me their adventures, and listening to mine.  They taught me
some of their language, and I imparted to them some English.  The
weather grew worse, frost and snow set in, with bitter winds; and I
learned that the headquarters of the army had been fixed at Kinchow,
till the second army--Port Arthur force--made northward for Kai-ping.
The Japanese fleet was in Talien Bay.  Winter had set in in earnest,
and transport was very difficult.

Christmas passed.  Such a Christmas it was, too.  I felt like the boy
who had been left at school while all the other fellows went home for
the holidays.  Most of my companions had scattered, but two stayed, one
for some Government business, and the other awaiting orders as to the
disposal of the quantities of plunder and stores, before leaving to
join the fleet.  We conversed in a mixture of Japanese and English, a
dialect which did more to keep up my spirits than anything save
release, because we laughed at each other's mistakes all day.  The
weather became very cold, and as the year came to an end I began to
feel "hipped," and really uneasy.  But the New Year caused a change in
the troops' quarters, and indirectly in mine, for when the second army
advanced, or rather a portion of it advanced, to the north, to join the
Yalu army, I was very agreeably surprised by a visit from the officer I
knew as Tomi's brother, and, best of all, he was accompanied by Tomi
himself.  This visit was paid in the month of January 1895, when I was
feeling extremely "low."

My astonishment was great as my pleasure at the meeting, and in my
delight, being also conceited about my new attainments, I exclaimed in
"dog" Japanese--

"Tenno Heika Banzai!  Nippon Yüsen Kabushiki Kaisha!  So glad to see
you again!"

Somewhat to my astonishment the two officers touched their caps, and,
looking at each other, burst into a hearty peal of laughter.  I stared.
What had I said?  I felt guilty and nervous, then annoyed at the

"Well, gentlemen, what's the joke?" I said.  "Have I in any way
offended you?  Pray accept my excuses--in English.  I assure you"--

"Please excuse _us_," said the naval officer, seizing my hand.  "We are
delighted to learn that you have mastered Japanese as well as Chinese
and French.  Thank you for Emperor _and Company_."

"I think you do not quite understand," remarked my military friend.
"Do you know what you _did_ say?"

"Yes--at least I think so.  I intended to cheer your Emperor and you,
and to wish success to the Japanese united arms.  I suspect I made a
little mistake."

"No, no!" cried the young lieutenant Tomi.  "It was beautiful!
Splendid!  It sounded so well, too.  Didn't it?" he asked, turning to
his brother.

"Yes; and so exactly to the point," added the captain, laughing again.
"You are already an interpreter, Mr. Julius."

I felt rather "at sea" at this renewal of the merriment, but the
officers quickly subdued their laughter, though it occasionally burst
out in spasms while they alternately announced their business.

"We have another mission for you, Julius," said the younger.  "A
pleasant little trip to an English man-of-war perhaps."

I leaped to my feet in delight.  "Really?" I said.  "You mean that?"

"Oh yes, certainly.  _We_ understand English," he said, laughing.

I blushed, and felt annoyed with Tomi.  But I dare not show this.

"When you and your brother have _quite_ finished laughing"--I began.

But this attempt at dignity set them off again, and though really
angry, I was compelled to join them.  The whole business seemed so

"Pray pardon us," gasped the elder officer.  "This is really
business--from the admiral."

"The admiral!" I exclaimed.  "Does he know anything about me?'

"Of course, certainly; and when you talk to him in _Japanese_"--

This caused another explosion, and I made condemnatory remarks
concerning the native smile.

"Well," I asked coldly, "any further _joke_?"

"This is no joke, indeed," said the sailor.  "The Admiral Ito wants a
letter conveyed to the _Severn_--what you call it--cruiser, for
conveyance to Admiral Ting, the Chinese naval commander.  The little
difficulty arose about the messenger being a Japanese, and then I
reminded my captain that you were in Port Arthur, and trustworthy.  My
brother had already told me so much.  The immediate result has been our
presence here, and our request to bring you to the admiral.  Will you
come? we will fit you out again."

"And I am to join the _Severn_?"

"Perhaps.  At anyrate if you carry the letter, and bring back an answer
or not, you can act as an ambassador."

"With pleasure," I cried, delighted to think I was again to be restored
to British protection, and to see English faces.  "I will accompany you
at once."

I made some few--very few--changes in my appearance, which was a bit
remarkable for an English youth, or "man."  My stubbly hair, my thick
wadded costume,--_a la Chinois_,--for your Chinaman pads his garments
until his bulk, in winter, vies with Mr. Daniel Lambert, of pious
memory.  Thus, something like a clean scarecrow, crossed with the Fat
Boy in _Pickwick_, I accompanied my deliverers.

As we quitted my quarters, I said as pleasantly as possible--

"Tell me the mistake I made when you came in?"

They smiled at the recollection, and the sailor-boy said, nodding at

"It was all right, really.  You only said, Hurrah for the Emperor! and"
(here he choked)--"and called out for the '_Japan Mail Steam Company_.'
That's all."

I laughed aloud at the connection.  What I intended to say I have now
no idea, and my Japanese friends never enlightened me.

This was my last attempt at Asiatic languages--on service.



During our journey to Talien Bay, which had become the Japanese naval
base after the demolition of Port Arthur, I put a number of questions
to Tomi and to the military officer, his brother, whom I now learned
was attached to the army staff.  Several of these inquiries had
reference to the movements of the army and navy, but some questions
were personal to myself.  At last my kind friends threw off their
official reserve, and cheered my heart with the prospect of release.

I began by asking how the young lieutenant had found me out, and why,
having sent me adrift, he had thought of seeking me again.  I told my
adventures briefly.

"I am sure you did it for the best," I concluded, "but all the same
your plans nearly cost me my life."

"We had no choice, I am sorry to say.  The report that you were a
Chinese spy had been so insisted upon that even Japanese discipline
wavered on board.  When you confessed to knowledge of Chinese, the plan
of sending you as a scout with the interpreter was adopted, and I gave
you all the assistance I could."

"Yes, indeed.  But the interpreter proved false.  He robbed me, and
left me helpless."

"True; he has paid for his treachery.  Yet, had you been taken
prisoner, and the map and pistol found upon you, your life would have
been forfeited and awful tortures inflicted," added the elder brother.

"I did not realise that contingency," said Tomi, "nor did I imagine the
interpreter would be false.  He evidently regarded you as an enemy;
perhaps he thought he was serving us by putting you in danger.  On the
other hand, he did you a service by concealing you and taking the
compass and revolver."

"Well, that is one way of looking at it," I said.  "Let the matter rest
there.  Now, may I inquire why, and how, I have been sent for? and how
I have been discovered?"

"The second question is the easiest to answer.  Inquiries and letters
are awaiting you.  The English captain from Shanghai"--

"What!  My skipper, Captain Goldheugh?" I interrupted.

"I think he is the same.  The captain who commanded the Chinese
transport, _Kowshing_."

"Rather _Fêng Shui_," I said.  "The same man.  What of him?"

"He has come up in an American steamer, and has made inquiries about
you all around the coast--at Chefoo and at Talien-wan.  He boarded the
_Naniwa_, and we told him all we knew.  My brother had previously told
me something about the interpreter, and a Britisher in camp.  So we put
our ideas together, and decided then you were the missing man."

"And the captain has letters for me?"

"Several; and despatches also, I understand.  Inquiry from the consul,
too; so your Government think you are of some importance."

I laughed, and said, "I suspect my father and mother, were alarmed, and
set the diplomatic wheels moving.  Then I am to go home?"

"Yes; but meantime we have a favour to ask, and we had considered it
possible you would assist us on the way back."

"Certainly; when I have announced my safety at home, I can do all you
require, I hope."

"It is merely to convey a letter to the English admiral in the gulf
outside Wei-hai-Wei.  You have several ships there, and Admiral Ito is
sending a squadron to keep watch on Tengchow and Wei-hai-Wei."[1]

[1] Pronounced Way-hi-Way.--H.P.

"Then you intend to capture and occupy Shengtung?"

"So it is understood, but we cannot decide that.  The _Naniwa_ or other
vessel will convey you to Tengchow, close to Chefoo.  There you will
find your friend Goldheugh, or perhaps at Chefoo."

"That seems good enough," I said.  "But why send _me_?  Why not one of
your own officers?"

"You are neutral," replied the young lieutenant, "and the communication
is to the Chinese Admiral Ting.  Both Chinese and Japanese respect
English good faith, and any intervention by your force will prove its
honesty of purpose."

I could only bow to this compliment, and did so with becoming gravity.
"I am quite ready," I said.  "When properly equipped and clothed I
shall be at your admiral's service."

"Then I must bid you farewell," interposed the soldier, as we came in
sight of Talien Bay.  "We shall never meet again, perhaps, but I trust
you will not judge all the Japanese soldiers from the specimens at Port
Arthur.  They were exasperated and triumphant, they were victorious all
along the line, and irritated by the execution of prisoners."

It was on the tip of my tongue to ask what the Japs would do if they
were beaten, but fortunately I did not raise the discussion.  It will
be time enough to ask that question when they are pitted against a less
yielding enemy.  At present the Japanese have much confidence in
themselves, and are most enthusiastic.  Time will show results.

My parting with the staff-officer was most friendly and regretful.  He
had nobly paid his debt to the English lad whose countrymen had
accepted him as a friend.  And for my own part I think the English
would do well to ally themselves closely with the Japanese nation,
which is a coming factor in the Eastern world.

      *      *      *      *      *

I need not dwell upon the details of my mission.  Let it suffice that I
accompanied the _Naniwa_, one of the three ships composing a flying
squadron to bombard Tengchow if necessary.  On the 18th January 1895,
the three ships sailed--the _Yoshino_, _Akitsushima_, and _Naniwa_, and
after a trial engagement of blank cartridge they shelled the place.

When the feint was made the snow fell thickly, and so bad was the
weather that any attack was out of the question.  The bombardment was
also delayed next day by a snowstorm, but in any case the ships were
only employed to divert the attention of the Chinese fleet and army
from the main attack of the chief Japanese squadron, and the army,
which was landing in Shengtung.  The Chinese sent their men to support
the force at Tengchow, and meanwhile the Japanese troops landed at
Yingching Bay, at the eastern extremity of Shengtung; and I did not see
Captain Goldheugh.

When the Japanese arrangements had been carried out, and the army
landed, the navy being concentrated in the Bay of Pechili, I was
enabled to convey my missive to the admiral, and by him sent, per the
_Severn_, to the Chinese admiral at Wei-hai-Wei.  The letter itself was
afterwards printed in the _Japan Mail_.  It urged the Chinese to
surrender.  Admiral Ito stated that his "friend" Ting would be well
treated if he would yield, and save much bloodshed.  "I entreat you to
credit my sincerity," he concluded.  "I address this letter to you in
pure friendship, and if happily you accept my counsel, I will, with
your permission, address some further remarks to you on the subject,
giving practical effect to the idea."

Admiral Ting did not reply, and when the 29th of January came, the
fleet, which had meantime been making preparations to attack, began the
bombardment.  The army had already been feeling its way on land, and on
the 30th it advanced and encountered the Chinese troops on the
headlands, and drove them down to the seaside by Wei-hai-Wei.  But then
the Chinese fleet in the harbour came into action, and we heard the
guns at ten o'clock a.m., and it was supposed that the Japs had
retired, as indeed was the case.

But the eastern forts were taken later by the Japanese, who manned the
captured guns.  We subsequently heard many interesting and even
romantic accounts of this attack, which succeeded so well that when the
boats from the fleet made an attempt to break the east boom in the
harbour they were fired at by the Japanese, thinking the _Chinese_ were
attacking from the sea side.  This was on the night of the 30th January.

These incidents were related to me later, but I can tell something of
the attack by sea, and I never wish to join in such another under such
circumstances.  It was not because I had any fear, that was not in my
mind; but I did not at first take any real interest in the business.  I
wanted to be landed at Chefoo, and sent home, or, at anyrate, back to
Shanghai.  Instead, I was in the midst of storm and stress--winter of
the most terrible, fire and cold, both almost equally deadly.  As luck
had it, the First Flying Squadron, in which the _Naniwa_ was included,
was "left out in the cold"; but I warmed up later to war-pitch.

Before I proceed with my narrative I must give you an idea of the
surroundings.  Wei-hai-Wei embraces a wide bay, perhaps twenty miles in
extent, with hills crowned by forts and batteries on land.  On the sea
front it is protected by two islands, one (Lui-kung) of fair size, and
inhabited; the other, Sih-tao, is merely the foundation of a fort.  The
former island separates the harbour into two entrances, in the eastern
of which lies the smaller island-fort.  At the opposite side is deep
water, and in all directions on mainland and islands, on sea and shore,
are defences--forts, batteries, mines, and ships of war--all Chinese.
The Chinese fleet consisted of fifteen men-o'-war and gunboats, and
thirteen torpedo-boats.  The Japanese fleet numbered twenty-four ships
and sixteen torpedo-boats.  Besides these latter ships were numerous
other vessels "looking on" and watching the struggle with the greatest
interest.  The captain of the _Naniwa_ offered to send me on board an
English ship, or convey me to Chefoo, but I thought I would see the
match out--the end was not far off.  Having gone so far I thought I had
better complete the tale, and curiosity was at length aroused; my poor
services were even enlisted on one occasion.

Besides the defences already mentioned, the Chinese had fixed two
substantial booms across the bay.  Steel hawsers, supplemented with
great baulks of timber of immense thickness, anchored by chains and
grapnels, were supplied with torpedoes on both sides, in addition to
the mines outside.  Had any European or Japanese soldiers been in
possession of Wei-hai-Wei, or Port Arthur, it must have been
impregnable, and if Russia seizes either place we shall find this out.

It was evident that the capture of Wei-hai-Wei depended upon the
destruction of the boom; and this seemed to be an impossible feat.
When the strength and position of the obstruction were considered, the
desperate nature of the service might well have daunted the Japanese,
who would be exposed to the fire of the forts and batteries in nearly
all directions.  But if the assailants hesitated it was only in order
to make sure of the result.

The weather continued very bad, but worse was approaching.  I had had
no further news respecting Captain Goldheugh, and no one thought about
my departure.  The Japanese vessels were divided into five squadrons.
The main squadron consisting of the flagship _Matsushima_, the
_Chiyoda_, _Itsukushima_, and _Hashidate_.  The four flying squadrons
included first the _Yoshino_, _Takachiho_, _Akitsushima_, and _Naniwa_.
The other three flying squadrons and the three torpedo-flotillas may be
mentioned generally.

On the 30th January 1895 the Admiral Ito decided to attack.  All the
vessels united outside Wei-hai-Wei, and began patrolling the coast.  At
intervals, and later more constantly, we heard the heavy guns as the
eastern forts were attacked by the troops ashore, and these continuous
roars made us impatient of inaction.

"I wish I could do something," I said at last to Tomi.  "Can't I join
you if you go out in a torpedo-boat?  Wouldn't your captain give me a
chance to do something?"

"Perhaps he might.  He would not refuse a volunteer; and you could
steer the boat I suppose?  Shall I ask the lieutenant?"

"Please," I replied.  "Anything will be better than loafing here!"

"We shall not 'loaf' as you call it.  The admiral has signalled us to
be ready to support the attack, and no hammocks will be slung to-night."

"All right," I said; "the sooner the better!  Where are we making for

"For the western entrance.  The main and second squad are guarding the
eastern.  That island with a fort upon it may give us a hint presently."

We continued to steam slowly to and fro all the morning.  The roar of
the engagement increased every minute, and all hands became excited.
It was like a cat watching a mouse in a cage.  We were so many cats
prowling about the cage in which numerous Chinese "mice" were calmly
seated watching us, while the dogs of war inland were worrying the dogs
ashore.  We could do nothing at our end, though it was pleasant to see
the No. 3 and No. 4 squads had begun to throw shells at "long bowls" in
the direction of the eastern batteries to support the land attack.

It was aggravating to see the big Chinese "mice" steaming inside the
harbour, followed by some small craft--like micelets--between the
islands, and assisting the forts, yet never venturing out into the
gulf.  But as the day wore into late afternoon a great white smoke
arose on shore, and a fearful explosion rang the knell of the fort;
with telescopes we could see the Chinese running away.

The admiral at this time signalled our No. 1 fleet to join him, and we
went back to the long line, spreading ourselves all across the harbour
outside.  Then an order went out to try the boom that night, and the
Chinese began to find our range from the islands, whence they began
"pilling" us at frequent intervals, with the setting sun behind them,
which interfered with the Japanese accuracy of fire.  We managed to
creep in to the east side and keep up the watch.  Tomi was right; there
was no hammocks slung.  The men lay around the guns on mats.

That night was cold, and when I rose, shivering, I was glad to get warm
clothing.  As the day passed the snow and sleet came heavily down, and
at last the storm hid everything.  The wind and sea rose, and the
thermometer and barometer fell fast.  The ships were then fully exposed
to the fearful storm on a lee shore; the thermometer was below
freezing, and all chance of reducing Wei-hai-Wei more distant than
ever!  The climax for us came when the admiral, with three squadrons,
retreated to the shelter of Yengching Bay, leaving us--the first
squad--on guard in the snow and storm.

Yet not a single murmur arose from the ships which continued to watch
the harbour, though the chances of the escape of the Chinese in such
weather, and in such a gale, were infinitesimal.  So the last day of
January and the first of February passed in fearful discomfort, and
without any opportunity of distinction, though all the other Japanese
ships were in shelter, and thus left the Chinese to their own devices.
When the cat is away the mice will play, and this proverb was fitly
illustrated in this case, for on the 1st of February Admiral Ting
destroyed all the guns in the western forts.

This was a very sensible move on his part, because he knew that if the
enemy attacked and captured them the Japanese could have turned the
Chinese guns against his fleet in harbour!  So while the storm raged
the Chinese sailors spiked the guns,[2] and thus caused a breathing
space for the beleaguered inhabitants of the forts and ships.  On the
3rd there was some exchange of "civilities," but the snow again caused
a truce.  That evening we had a little consultation on board the
_Naniwa_, and the speculations as regarded our success were numerous
and varied in their way, but the ultimate result was never doubted.

[2] An Englishman led the sailors that time.

"We must win," said one.  "We hold the place now.  We have seen the
Chinese retreating.  We have captured most of the forts.  The Chinese
may as well surrender!"

"They are too proud," said another.  "The eyes of Europe are upon them."

"And on us," interrupted a third.  "Shall we give way now?  Certainly

"What can we do then?" I ventured to ask (Tomi translated).  "Cannot we
attack by sea and break the boom? such things have been done."

I had read of this, and though I could not at the time recall the
historical incident, the fact was impressed upon my mind.

"We must await orders.  But it must come to that," said a senior.

"Mr. Julius will help when the time comes," said Tomi.  "He will be on
board one of the boats, I daresay."

"If permitted," I said.  "When the weather moderates we shall see."

In this way we tried to cheer ourselves, and in other ways we managed
to pass the terrible days of wind and snow.  The ships were completely
covered with snow, an inch thick, at least, even though the roll of the
vessels shook off the flakes continually.  The thermometer went down to
twenty-five degrees below freezing, and that was quite sufficient for
us at sea.  When on the 3rd the weather improved we heard the news
announced that the torpedo-boats were to have an innings, and I became

I had never actually witnessed the attack of a torpedo.  When formerly
in the _Naniwa_ I had seen a Chinese vessel sunk off Hai-yang, but had
only seen the effects.  Now, if permitted, I would perhaps see
something new!  A very novel experience indeed, because torpedoes had
never been used in warfare before then.  At intervals we had been
exchanging shots and experimenting upon the boom, but none of us in our
ship had been engaged.  We were policemen, and little else.  But the
attempt had to be made, and, by what I may call accident, I was in the
first attack.

There was an officer named Kosaki--a splendid fellow--who had done
excellent service under fire before in a torpedo-boat, and he was
attached to boat No. 6.  There were ten boats employed, and the news
was known that day, and there was talk of volunteers trying to proceed
in her, for they all knew that "No. 6" was bound to do something!  Tomi
told me this.  He had been ordered to carry a report to the main
squadron, and suggested that I should accompany him.

"Perhaps you may have a chance to join the torpedo-boat," he said.  I
thanked him, and muffled up we were rowed to the flagship, where Tomi
delivered his message.  Then we perceived that the first squadron was
closing in, and we waited on board the greater ship, which was firing
at the Lui-kung Island as well as the smaller one.  Lui-kung is
precipitous and unassailable: the batteries were concealed, and some of
the guns, I think, were depressed and raised, like the Moncrieff
carriages at Woolwich long ago.  The ships could not reach in close:
the water is shallow, and the guns were well served.  Meantime the
Chinese rested behind the shelter of the boom.

"I hear we shall attack the boom to-night," said Tomi.

"Is there any chance of my finding a berth in the flotilla?" I asked.

"Ask the commander," said my friend.  "The captain of No. 6 is a
warrant officer.  He might consent.  Shall I try for you?"

I nodded assent.  Perhaps it was a silly ambition!  Tomi had a chance
and grasped it.  As the "captain" of the boat was descending the side
Tomi arrested him, and made the request.  Something was said, and then
Tomi returned to me.

"Well?" I asked, feeling rather "half-hearted" about the result.

"You may join as a correspondent, but must not tell your experience
till the place is taken--if you survive."

"He said so?"

"Yes.  'Let him come and die, if he wishes it,' he said."

"Then I just _will_ go--and chance it!" I said boldly.

"All right.  He is waiting.  Good luck to you."

I hurried away, and in a short time was on board the little boat which
was tossing and plunging in the lumpy sea in the lee of the large
vessels.  Retreat was now impossible.  The die was cast.



My first impressions regarding a torpedo-boat were, firstly, that the
deck rests dangerously near the water; and secondly, that the craft
itself is unsafe--at least, unsteady.  Then the vessel,--or "ship," as
I believe it is called,--is, if cabined, certainly "cribbed and
confined."  There is not much space to live in; perhaps the sailors who
man her are not expected to live--much.  Where they usually sleep,
unless in the coal-bunkers or in the engine-room, I do not exactly
know.  They did not sleep at all while I was on board, and I understand
that they never change nor wash (or "hardly ever"), under service
conditions.  So far as my rather limited experience goes, existence on
board this ship is by no means enjoyable, save when in harbour, and
then it is useless.  When at sea in roughish weather, and on service
particularly, the "pleasure" must be deadly-lively.

The torpedo-boat is about one hundred and twenty-five feet long, and
perhaps twelve feet at beam.  There are larger craft than this, I
think, but these dimensions will suffice for the usual limits.  The
torpedoes are fixed from the tubes, which, in my "ship," extended one
on each bow and astern.  There is a steering-tower, or "conning-tower,"
fore and aft, and very small space for living in.  There are no
bulwarks to prevent one sliding away into the sea in a calm, only a
rail with stanchions, upon which a wire rope is stretched as a
protection.  But in bad weather the sea does not wait for the sailor,
it invades him, and washes everything overboard which may be loose,
carrying the men off if they do not go below or lash themselves.  The
rolling is absolutely fearful, and I am informed that when the officers
eat they must feed each other like infants, one holding the cup, or
plate, while the other drinks, or eats, from it.  All the services are
tinware, and the food is also tinned, and water is plentiful inside and
out, and leaks.

To this kind of experience I was quite new, and the haggard spectre of
_mal-de-mer_ presented itself all the time.  How the sailors usually
manage I do not know; they must suffer, I imagine, at sea.  But a dozen
sick men in that boat!  Well--curtain!

      *      *      *      *      *

February the 3rd was the most anxious night I had hitherto passed.  I
was assisted on board, and I think Tomi introduced me to the officers
as a British newspaper correspondent.  At anyrate, I was politely
received, fed, and entertained so far as possible, but the
accommodation was decidedly very limited--much more than the welcome.

I managed to understand that we would not actually attack.  The idea
was to make the breach sufficient to admit other boats next time; so,
after all, we should not run any fearful risk, I fancied.  But I did
not know then that we were to go inside the boom,--into the
harbour,--as I had little opportunity to talk, even had I been
acquainted with the Japanese tongue, I made only mental observations--I
was afraid of making mistakes in my language again.

The day died; the moon rose and disappeared; then came the turn of "No.
6."  When blackness fell upon the water--a darkness in which the boat
was almost buried--the engines began to beat silently, the screws
revolved almost noiselessly, and we skimmed away towards the places
already determined upon.  The men lay close, only the helmsman, the
officer himself, was visible.  I lay by him, by permission, and two men
watched forward.  This was no torpedo attack, it was a survey.

An hour passed.  There was no spot at which an entry could be made on
the west side, and a long search only revealed a small space between
the rocks on the eastern side and that end of the enormous boom which
stood up threatening us in the dark.  This barrier seemed bigger than I
had ever imagined, and its mass seemed, from our small craft, so
enormous, that I almost despaired.  Dynamite could not injure it from
outside.  Perhaps gun-cotton or powder would, if applied inside the
harbour where the resistance was less.

At last!  Searching closely, the boat found the spot where the barrier
ceased,--a very small passage, through which it seemed almost
impossible to drive the boat in safety.  But the hands which held the
helm were incapable of nervousness.  No tremor shook those iron muscles
as the boat's head was turned rock-wise.  It was sink or swim then--a
torpedo in the path would end it for us.  But unheeding, or rather
disdaining, the danger, the skipper turned the boat's head to the small
space in the sea.

The rocks grumbled at us as we slowly and deftly passed.  The sullen
murmurs of the waves were supplemented by the swishing of the revolving
screws, or drowned perhaps by the former.  Still the boat skimmed on,
and then almost noiselessly brought up in the harbour, within the range
of the Chinese torpedo-squadron, which speedily perceived the intruder.

The situation was peculiar.  We were in hostile waters; the ships and
torpedo-boats, and even the forts, quickly woke up.  Shells came
whizzing in our direction.  We could see them streaking the blackness,
like meteors, then flying shrieking over our heads, and plunging or
bursting in the sea beyond the boom, or within it.  But not one touched
the Japanese boat, which lay dark and silent by the boom, though had an
electric searchlight been used by some approaching vessel we must have
been discovered at once.

The cold was intense as the devoted vessel cracked the ice which lay on
the agitated surface of the harbour, but we did not mind it.  The sound
of the ice, one imagined, must have announced our whereabouts to the
Chinese, but as we moved swiftly the aim was not accurate, and we lay
alongside the barrier, silently, to prepare for the charge which the
master had determined to explode against it.

The mine was laid with great difficulty, not only because of the
darkness and the penetrating cold, but because of the unsteadiness of
the little craft, which surged against the boom, and crackled loudly at
every concussion.  At length the job was complete, the charge was laid,
the battery by which it was intended to explode the powder was
prepared, the wire already extended.

Now the critical moment approached.  A few directions, a few words of
warning, a caution to the engineers, an order to the steersman, then:
Ready?  Fire!  Away! away!  Get out of reach as quietly and as quickly
as possible.

We made tracks, noisy ones too.  The island fort burst into fire, and
more shells came tearing around us, but nothing else happened.  The
mine had failed!

Investigation at once discovered the reason.  We had not proceeded far
under the star-shower of shells when the report was made.  The wire was
cut! cut by a fluke of the anchor, which had chafed through it.  There
was no alternative, we must return.

In a few moments the boat was heading back, careless of the meteoric
display around us.  The skipper sprang up from the wheel-shelter and
refastened the wire, unheeding the increasing storm of projectiles,
which flew around us and pitted the icy water like hail.  But again he
was met by failure.  The charge refused to ignite, and there was no
other chance now save handwork,--that is, by doing it himself, amid the
greatest danger of death by shot or shell, or drowning from the boom,
or explosion,--and all this in the black darkness, relieved only by the
gleams of murderous shells.  The crew worked well and bravely, excited,
as one may say, perhaps, by the coolness of their chief.  The shot came
leaping, ricochetting over the harbour; the shells screamed most
unpleasantly in our ears; fingers were numbed, and our breathing was
like steam amid those exertions.  But the skipper landed on the boom,
fixed three very destructive charges, and resumed his post at the
wheel, ready, when the engines were moved full speed ahead.  The deed
was done!

Then the line was pulled taut, the detonator exploded, the three
charges flared, the boom was rent, and the torpedo-boat No. 6 sped away
over the sea, past the staring flotilla at a distance, keeping her
perilous course, past the narrow entrance, amid such a cannonade as I
had had never dreamed of,--a duel now between the victors and the
victims of the outrage.  But the boat returned, unharmed, in the
darkness, and in a short time showed her lights in the offing, out of
reach of the hail of shot and flaming shell, to enjoy the rest which
the gallant crew had fairly earned when the report had been received.


This was an expedition conducted with great intrepidity, and crowned
with immediate success, the results of which proved most disastrous to
the defence.  Next night two flotillas penetrated the harbour through
the wider breach No. 6 had made, and a fearful engagement ensued.  In
this two torpedo-boats were lost, and in No. 6 the tubes were frozen,
so the torpedoes were not discharged.  One of the first two boats
referred to was blown up by a shell, but the great man-o'-war,
_Ting-yuen_, was scuttled by a torpedo or torpedoes, and next day sank
slowly in sight of the fleet.  The Japanese had had two boats lost and
two injured.  The latter were sent to Port Arthur to repair.  The boat
I was in was struck fifty times, once by a shell.

This was "warm" work, but next night it became warmer still, for the
leader of the expedition reported that the admiral, with tears in his
eyes, had told him of the necessity of destroying the rest of the
fleet, and the danger of it.  On that second night, the 4th, we knew
that many men had been killed by shot, that many besides had been
scalded, and many actually frozen to death in the water, even under
comparatively fortunate circumstances.  The admiral and his captains
knew the danger, and the latter fully appreciated it when next day a
further attack was determined upon.

"You may be unable to return through the breach," said the admiral.
"The Chinese will be prepared and alive to the danger."

"I am quite ready," replied the officer addressed, calmly.

"I am grieved to order the attack.  But there is no help for it.  It
must be done for our country's sake.  Do your best, as I am sure you
will, and emblazon your name upon the scroll of fame."

With these words the admiral dismissed the commander of the flotilla,
and with a touching farewell.  They "could scarcely have expected to
meet again," says the narrator of the interview.

When the officer rejoined his boat he communicated his orders, and did
not hide the danger.  Death was almost certain, there were no lanterns,
no plans, no orders, no signals.  The boats cast off everything not
necessary for the attack, as a forlorn hope goes into action unfettered.

"Our boats and our bodies are the enemy's."  This was the signal.  But
little hope, and less alarm, was displayed.  At a quarter to three a.m.
(February 6th) the boats left the fleet to destroy Chinese ships, but
our torpedo-boat came back, having collided with the boom in the dark.
So I returned unharmed.

We, outside, could not see the results until daylight, but the roar of
the cannon, the flashing of the sweeping search-lights, and the
bursting of the shells could be perceived in the darkness.  We saw
rockets signalling in the harbour, but until the boats returned great
anxiety was felt.  At daybreak they all returned safely, and reported
three ships sunk.  These were the _Wei-yuen_, _Lai-yuen_, and _Pao-Hwa_.

On the 5th I had rejoined the _Naniwa_, by permission, and saw that the
contest could only end in one way soon.  When the news came on the 6th
February that the three ships had been sunk there was great rejoicing,
and many congratulations were exchanged in the squadron.  On the 7th we
all took part in "the ball," shelling the forts and firing for a couple
of hours until my head seemed splitting, and I was perfectly deaf for a
while after.

We were in the middle of the smoke and din when a signal was made high
above the vapour that the Chinese torpedo-boats were escaping by the
western passage in the direction of Chefoo.  The First Flying Squadron
was ordered to pursue them--the _Yoshino_ leading us.  She is a very
fast cruiser, her speed being twenty-three knots, the rest being not
much more than eighteen.  We spun along, full speed, and some alarm was
caused in the _Naniwa_ by a shell which plumped into the coal-bunker.
Fortunately the protection afforded by the coal prevented any serious
damage being done, and the Chinese boats were all destroyed save two,
which managed to elude the pursuers, though crippled, and to reach the
treaty port--Chefoo.

I was anxious to go there too, as I believed I could find protection,
but of course the _Naniwa_ could not land me at that time.  The ship
returned to the blockade; the attack and bombardment was resumed on the
8th February, when the combined squadrons, having silenced the fort on
Sih Island, destroyed some hundreds of yards of the terrible boom, and
cut it up.

These tactics were continued during the next three days, when the ships
attacked with flags flying as if in anticipation of victory.  The
severe bombardment was continued, the Chinese pluckily replied; they
did considerable damage to the enemy; and the attack was continued
until night.  Still the Chinese admiral resisted, though the losses he
had sustained in ships and boats were most serious.  The once large and
formidable Peiyang Fleet had dwindled away, and now only four ships and
a few gunboats represented the former powerful array.  The end was at

We heard afterwards some particulars of the concluding days of the
contest, which must have been severely trying for the Celestials.  In
our fleet the termination of the war was everywhere discussed.  Port
Arthur captured, its forts denuded of guns, Kinchow, and other places
inland in Japanese hands; Wei-hai-Wei on the brink of destruction--what
chance had the Chinese admiral and generals?  Better had they accepted
the offer of the Japanese and surrendered at first.

We were all awake early in the morning of the 12th February, because
experience told us that the enemy must either resist to the death that
day or capitulate.  The blockade was so close, the odds against the
Chinese so great, that we had already wondered at the sustained
resistance, The extreme limit of Celestial endurance had been reached,
though we did not anticipate the result as it actually happened.

As the grey winter day rose out of the sea to port, all eyes were fixed
upon the batteries and the ships in harbour.  Telescopes swept the
hills and platforms, the traces of the wrecked boom, the almost
deserted islands, the shattered forts.  As men gazed in silence, broken
only at intervals by duty orders, a sense of depression fell upon me,
as if something unpleasant awaited us.  Yet precautions had been
taken--nothing could harm us.  Nevertheless one _felt_ something was
approaching.  The snowclad hills lay silent and cold over all--a shroud
spread over dying Wei-hai-Wei.  Surely that small Chinese gunboat
cleaving the lumpy water had nothing to do with the _dénouement_.  One
boat amongst so many ironclads and torpedo-boats could not do any harm.
It was only eight o'clock then.  "What do you say, Tomi?  A _white
flag_!  Surrender!  Never! never!"

"Yes it is," said Tomi, laughing.  "Hurrah! you would say in England.
The admiral has surrendered.  There goes the message of peace.  He is
making for the _Matsushima_.  We win! we win!"

We looked again.  All the ships' companies were on the alert, but
though every mind had at once grasped the position, scarce a mouth yet
betrayed the feelings of delight and satisfaction that must have been
experienced.  What would the admiral's reply be?  Three torpedo-boats
at once came to escort the stranger, and to make inquiry concerning her
business--at least so we interpreted the conversation which seemed,
judging from gestures, to be proceeding.  A boat left the Chinese
vessel, and the messenger was carried on board the Japanese flagship.

The message must have been important, because some officers were
quickly summoned from other of our fleet.  Subsequently a steamer
quitted the squadron for the eastern shore, presumably to acquaint the
Commander-in-Chief of the army of the incident, but these were only
surmises at the time, though afterwards verified.

That afternoon the news ran through the ships that the Chinese had
surrendered, and Admiral Ito had accepted the offer.  He trusted fully
to Admiral Ting to act as he desired, promising safe-conduct.  But when
next day the gunboat again appeared she carried her flag "half-mast."
Ting and his generals had committed suicide.  They could not face the
disgrace,--a disgrace which they knew would be visited upon all their
families, for in China retribution is exacted from all the family for
the fault of one.  Ting had taken opium.

The melancholy signal to the fleet was received with honest regret.
There was no exultation over the fallen enemy, no music brayed out
triumphal strains of victory, only the wailing notes of funeral marches
in saddened plaints echoed across the water.  The gunboat was returned
to the Chinese so that it might convey the admiral's body to China, and
the place surrendered with all its contents, its troops, sailors,
ships, and material, to the Japanese, who will retain it till the
English come.

Thus fell the fortunes of Wei-hai-Wei, the details of which may be read
in many published books and Eastern newspapers.

The Chinese troops were sent to Chefoo or to other places of safety;
and the ships captured, not including the released gunboat, ten in all,
were manned by Japanese sailors, and proceeded under these prize-crews
to Japan.  The released boat, _Kwang Tsi_, was employed as a transport,
and in this way I found safety at last.

As soon as the arrangements had been concluded, I made application to
be sent to Chefoo, where I anticipated to meet Captain Goldheugh.  I
had had no messages from home for some time save those delivered to
friend Tomi, and now that the excitement of war and adventure had
subsided I was anxious to leave.  Perhaps had I made application to the
British commander he would have given me a passage to Shanghai, but I
had been expecting to meet my captain at Chefoo, and determined to
proceed thither.  As the gunboat was sailing I requested a "lift" in
her, but was warned not to go.

"Your life would not be safe," said one of the officers.  "Try a junk,
the distance is nothing, and a junk is safe enough.  You pay him when
he returns with a letter saying you are safe."

"But I have no money--at least, hardly any."

"Quite so," replied Tomi cheerfully.  "That is my affair.  You will see
your captain, no doubt, and he will assist you.  We will signal a junk
somehow--presently.  The fleet is returning westward."

I thanked my kind entertainers heartily, and protested against their
thus paying the piper.  But Tomi was a favourite, and the captain's
nephew.  The captain himself at once "shut me up," good-naturedly, and
though he could not send me in one of his boats to Chefoo, he managed
to procure me transport to the port, and sent a sailor with me as
surety for my safety.

Having taken a regretful farewell of my kind friends I embarked on a
junk in the harbour, such a queer craft she seemed.  Tomi was in
command of the ship's boat which put me on board, and we had quite an
affecting parting.  But both hoped to meet again, promising to
write,--a promise since kept up, when newspapers do not sometimes take
the place of letters.  (Tomi has sent me much information since, and
has translated several articles accompanied by pictures.[1])  However,
we parted rather sadly, and on the 19th February I lost sight of the
fleet, and reached Chefoo before dark.

[1] These are mentioned in the Preface.--H.F.

A cruise in a junk is not unpleasant, but she seems to a European a
very queer boat.  The size varies, of course, from a thousand tons
downwards; the particular craft I engaged was about half that burden,
or perhaps less, teak-built, and carrying a high poop; she had two
masts, the mainmast with a large sail was very lofty indeed; and she
carried a crew of, I think, twenty men--I believe there are more at
sea.  At anyrate she suited me, and so I came to Chefoo in the _Ching
King_, and was landed near the English houses.

Chefoo or Chifu is the name of the treaty port, which is in fact the
"European" settlement as distinguished from Yen Tai the native town.
The port is open all the year, and being also a healthy place is more
or less frequented by others than business men.  The English settlement
is on the left, the Chinese town on the right, and in the centre rises
the "signal hill" which divides them.  When we reached the "stranger"
town we found several vessels sheltered there, and numerous junks,
boats, and small craft lying darkly in the water, while the hills above
were thickly covered with snow, giving quite an Alpine aspect to the
surroundings.  Chefoo is a kind of "suburb" of Shanghai, though
"outside the radius," and hither come the ships to their haven under
the hill, to the sandy shore, to deal in cottons and "shirtings" with
the Celestial inhabitants of the (as usual) dirty Chinese town.

My heart beat more rapidly than usual when I stood upon the poop-deck
of the junk and surveyed the harbour.  The signal was greatly in
evidence, but the trim, even, respectable houses of the English quarter
fixed my attention first, and then my eyes wandered to the shipping,
particularly to the agitated red ensigns, which made me thrill with the
hope of seeing English faces and clasping English hands, speaking the
familiar language,--very familiar in ships,--and of once more meeting
Captain Goldheugh late of the _Fêng Shui._

      *      *      *      *      *

I was landed safely, and sent my acknowledgment by the junk, which at
once made her way back.  As I watched her gradually disappearing, now
lost, now evident, amid the vessels, I reflected upon my late
adventures, and made up my mind to write them down, and, in the
familiar words of the hymn, to make "Bethel" out of "my stony griefs,"
to improve the occasion and to profit by the trouble I had endured.
Then I turned half sadly to the hotel, and was almost immediately
hailed loudly in unmistakably British accents.

"Young Julius! ahoy!  Hallo there, ye half-bred Jap!--come alongside
and speak me, or I'll run ye down.  My stars! here's a caper.  By the
powers o' Moll Kelly! is it yourself?  It is so!"

The speaker was standing behind me.  Had I not sheered off to port I
must have collided with him.  I had gone ahead and left him in my wake,
when I was suddenly brought up all standing.  My assailant was
Goldheugh himself.  Good Paddy Goldheugh!  I was truly delighted,
though not greatly surprised, because I had been expecting to find him
at Chefoo.  Still the meeting was most cordial.  We shook hands in the
most hearty manner, and when, after some moments of this exercise, we
adjourned to the hotel, I told all my news, and awaited his--after I
had made a few inquiries for letters, and for Tim, who had gone home.

No black edges!  Thank goodness!  No ill news?  No!  In fact, the
contrary.  My captain was in command of a tidy steamer belonging to his
old company, and temporarily on the coast.  He had the berth of first
mate for me with him, and a "lump of compensation," he said, for
shipwreck.  He had been satisfied, and hoped I would be.  I was!

When he reached his ship he handed me a batch of letters and papers of
domestic interest, and a welcome draft upon the Shanghai Bank.  All
these composed a sort of pastoral symphony which made me feel contented
and happy amid the voices and murmurs of congratulation and admiration
at my experience.  Three days passed in perfect peace, reading,
writing, and adding up my ideas--and funds.  Then we quitted Chefoo,
and steamed past Wei-hai-Wei, then in Japanese hands, toward Shanghai,
and my war experience 'twixt Jack and Jap--'twixt China and Japan--was

We heard that the Japanese fleet sailed to the Pescadores, and annexed
them, and the campaign was continued after a while in Manchuria.  A
treaty of peace was agreed upon by which Japan was to receive an
immense indemnity to retain Formosa, the Pescadores, and the possession
of Port Arthur and Wei-hai-Wei.  But Western ideas could not admit this
in all its bearings.  Russia induced France and Germany to force Japan
to relinquish the Liao-tung Peninsula or face war.  Japan retired from
Port Arthur, and, as will be seen,--indeed it is already evident,--that
the kind "protectors of the Chinese Empire," the wolves from the north
of Europe, are now about to enjoy the dismembered carcass of the most
ancient kingdom, when they have bled it to death.

Captain Goldheugh brought me back safely to Shanghai, and there I at
intervals succeeded in putting my experiences on paper.  Even while I
have been revising these pages news has come concerning various
advances made by Russian diplomacy, which, having ousted the Japanese
from Port Arthur, has apparently decided to occupy the place itself for
the Czar, "to show there is no ill-feeling."  What may be the issue of
this intention one need not opine.  What the Chinese think of any such
advance, was expressed, when I was there, in fear, if not trembling.
Japan, I think, will have a few words to say unless she be "squared."
But these political ideas may be suppressed.  My narrative must close

Perhaps this experience may interest some youthful readers in England,
where the serious aspect of matters in the East is always discussed.
Before this tale is in type the whole aspect of these events may have
changed, but the facts remain as I have attempted to picture them in
the foregoing pages.  The story is told--my tale is ended; but the
final word is yet to be written concerning the struggle of 1895.  The
end is not yet.

_Richard Clay & Sons, Limited, London and Bungay._

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