With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia.
was doubtless very strange to those unaccustomed to united worship by both priest and people.  In these small matters I was extremely punctilious, as I saw what an impressionable people I had to deal with.  I further calculated that once we had joined in public service together the edge of hostility would lose its sharpness.  I did not leave it at this, but entered the markets without a guard and held conferences with both peasant and workman, stating our reasons for coming and the friendly service we wished to perform.  It was clear from the beginning that my safety depended upon our securing the confidence of the majority of the people.  A mere military parade would have failed, but with a thorough understanding of our object in entering so far into their country we gained their confidence and enlisted their help.  On the other hand, there is a small proportion of disgruntled and abnormal people in all communities who cannot be controlled by reason, and for whom force is the only argument, and for these we also made ample provision.

There was not much interest in the remainder of the Manchurian and Mongolian part of the journey until we arrived at Manchulli.  This was occupied by the Japanese Division under the command of General Fugi.  Here it was necessary to get a supply of fresh bread and exercise the transport.  I paid my respects to the Chinese general, who had just lost part of his barracks, forcibly taken from him for the occupation of Japanese troops.  I also paid an official visit to General Fugi and Staff and the Russian commandant of the station.



It was at Manchulli that an incident happened which was much talked about at the time and was given many strange versions.  It is quite easily explained when all the facts are known.  It was impossible to secure proper travelling accommodation for my officers, either at Spascoe or Nikolsk, but I was informed that such would be provided at Harbin.  In company with the British Consul (Mr. Sly) I called upon the manager of the railway at Harbin to secure such accommodation.  He was very polite and promised to do all he could to help, but next morning informed me that no carriage was available, but if I could find one empty I could take it.  I failed, and reported the fact to him.  He could do nothing, but said there were plenty at Manchulli held up by Colonel Semianoff and the Japanese, who laid hold of every carriage that tried to get through this station, and that Colonel Semianoff collected a great revenue by refusing to part with these carriages unless the user was prepared to pay very high prices for the same.  If I was prepared to take the risk, and would use force if necessary to secure carriages, I should be able to get them there, and so far as the railway authorities at Harbin were concerned, I could take any two empty carriages I might find.

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With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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