The arrows having been expended on both sides, the men grasped their swords and iron maces, and violently encountered each other. Then in an instant were to be seen many horrible wounds, limbs dismembered, and multitudes falling to the ground, maimed and dying; with such effusion of blood as was dreadful to behold. So great also was the clangor of arms, and such the shoutings and the shrieks, that the noise seemed to ascend to the skies. The king of Mien, acting as became a valiant chief, was present wherever the greatest danger appeared, animating his soldiers, and beseeching them to maintain their ground with resolution. He ordered fresh squadrons from the reserve to advance to the support of those that were exhausted; but perceiving at length that it was impossible any longer to sustain the conflict or to withstand the impetuosity of the Tartars, the greater part of his troops being either killed or wounded, and all the field covered with the carcasses of men and horses, whilst those who survived were beginning to give way, he also found himself compelled to take to flight with the wreck of his army, numbers of whom were afterwards slain in the pursuit....
The Tartars having collected their force after the slaughter of the enemy, returned towards the wood into which the elephants had fled for shelter, in order to take possession of them, where they found that the men who had escaped from the overthrow were employed in cutting down trees and barricading the passages, with the intent of defending themselves. But their ramparts were soon demolished by the Tartars, who slew many of them, and with the assistance of the persons accustomed to the management of the elephants, they possessed themselves of these to the number of two hundred or more. From the period of this battle the grand khan has always chosen to employ elephants in his armies, which before that time he had not done. The consequences of the victory were, that he acquired possession of the whole of the territories of the king of Bangala and Mien, and annexed them to his dominions. [Footnote: “The Travels of Marco Polo the Venetian.” Everyman’s Library. J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd., London; pp. 253-256.]
TRAVELING TOWARD THE TROPICS
We left Yung-chang with no regret on Monday, January 28. Our stay there would have been exceedingly pleasant under ordinary conditions but it was impossible not to chafe at the delay occasioned by the caravan. Traveling southward for two days over bare brown mountain-sides, their monotony unrelieved except by groves of planted pine and fir trees, we descended abruptly into the great subtropical valley at Shih-tien.