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James Alexander Allan
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 82 pages of information about Under the Dragon Flag.
of getting out of the way of the conquering troops until the ardour of victory had cooled down.  I was not long to be left undeceived.  A deadly work of vengeance and slaughter had commenced Down the panic-crowded streets, louder and louder as I advanced, came ringing the volleys of the rifle-fire, the shouts of the infuriated soldiers, and the death-shrieks of their victims.  I knew that all armed resistance had been broken, and as these sounds of terror increased, an idea of what might be imminent crossed my mind.  I recollected what so often follows the fall of a place carried by storm; I remembered the atrocities committed on the Japanese prisoners; and I remembered, too, the general character of all Oriental soldiers.  I paused to consider my situation.  I had passed round by the water-side until outside the dock basin, and then turned into the streets, striking across in the direction of the inn, with the route from which to the East Port I was well enough acquainted.  There was a rush and hurry of fugitives all around me, and now for the first time I saw the Japanese soldiers in pursuit, pressing on the fleeing throng, and using rifle and bayonet furiously on all and sundry, stabbing and hacking fiendishly at those who fell.  I was knocked down in the rush and trampled upon, and it was some time before I could rise.  A Japanese soldier was near me as I staggered to my feet, and took aim at me with his rifle.  The barrel was within a foot of me, and I struck it aside just in time to escape getting a bullet through my body.  I had no weapon but those of nature, but in their use I was, like most of the Anglo-Saxon breed, something of an artist, and before the Jap could recover his piece I gave him a good, straight, British right-hander between the eyes, which sent him down like a nine-pin.  In all human probability it was the first sample of the article that had ever come under his notice; he was clearly unused to the method of attack, and lay quite flat as if to think it over, whilst I retreated as fast as my legs could carry me.  I resolved to hold on for the inn, thinking that if I succeeded in reaching it, I should be comparatively safe, as perhaps the outbreak of fury might confine itself to the streets.  I knew, too, that I had not much farther to go.  I made little progress, nevertheless, being frequently turned out of the road by the necessity of avoiding the soldiers, who were spreading fast across the town, shooting down all whom they encountered.  One began to stumble over corpses in nearly every street, and the risk of encountering parties of the murderers increased, every minute.  Again and again I came into the midst of the work of butchery, and every now and then ran the gauntlet of a flight of bullets fired down the narrow avenues.  At length I lost my way completely, and wandered about through the pandemonium around, thinking that each minute would be my last.  At length, in emerging from a dark lane leading up an ascent, I came upon a sheet of water.  I immediately recognized it as a large shallow fresh-water lake in the rear of the dock basin, and it thus appeared that I had strayed back nearly to the point where I had re-entered the town on descending from White Boulders.

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