It was now high time for me to evacuate my post, where I had had a solitary and secure vantage-place amidst the rugged inequalities of its summit, which probably I should not have been permitted to attain if I had not set about it so early. Past its front runs a shallow but broad stream, which coming through the Suishiyeh valley, rounds the parade-ground on the south towards White Boulders, whence it flows into a large and deep creek farther west. This stream the Japanese had to cross before they could attack the trenches below me. Two or three times they were beaten back by the hail of bullets poured on them at very close range, but covered by a heavy fire on their own side they were at length over, and then their opponents took to flight round the right-hand side of the hill. I stayed only to see this, and plunged down the rear. It was growing dusk, and I had numerous narrow escapes of breaking my neck in the deep and rugged hollows, some of them almost ravines, which seam that side of the elevation.
The town was now at the mercy of the conquerors. The Chinese were running from the Golden Hill fort as I descended, without an effort at defending it, and the water beyond was covered with boats and small craft filled with fugitives, mostly the dastardly troops, who threw away arms and uniforms as they ran. For incompetence and cowardice commend me for the future to Chinese soldiers. The twenty thousand of them who occupied Port Arthur contrived to kill about sixty of their antagonists on November 21, with all the best modern weapons at their disposal. And these are the men who, according to Lord Wolseley and other critics, are some day to start out to conquer the earth! Let, says Lord Wolseley, a Napoleon arise amidst this vast people, and we shall see. But is an essentially unwarlike nation at all likely to breed a Napoleon, or to supply him with openings for a career? Who ever heard of a Chinese conqueror? Have they ever appeared otherwise than as the most self-centred and unenterprising people in the world, displaying the least possible aptitude for the career of arms? And from what source, after thousands of years of such characteristics, are they to bring forth the material for this sudden burst of conquering militarism?
I directed my retreat towards the dockyards, with a view to getting round to the south part of the town, as far as possible from the quarter by which the Japanese were entering it. The idea of a general massacre never entered my mind, and I only thought of getting back to my inn, there to stay until things quieted down. My prevailing feeling was one of satisfaction that I should not after all have to face a long residence in a beleaguered town. I therefore paid little attention at first to the fact that people were flying on every hand, and I did not suppose that there could be any good reason for flight, beyond the desirability