Friday, March 31, 2006
They will Write of Us....
Below are three short pieces from Diana Preston, The Boxer Rebellion: China's war on Foreigners, 1900. Robinson: London; 1999. This is our time. What will people write of us? I'm pleased and proud to write that one of my great grandmothers was a missionary there at the time these stories take place:
Here's an anecdote "recorded by Herbert Hoover, a group of British Indian Sikhs were left in an exposed position by some retreating French sentries. 'Not knowing what it meant for other than traitors to run under attack without orders,' the Sikhs set about 'exterminating the squad of Frenchmen, which only the most frantic commands of the English officers prevented." (Preston: p. 168.)
An American woman reports on the siege. "She also found that the Japanese made the best patients. The Russians were usually 'stolid and silent'; the French and Italians tended to 'make the worst of their wounds'; and the British and Americans were usually 'in too great a hurry to make out that they were well enough to return to duty'; but the Japanese were always 'brave and cheery.' When the Reverend Allen discovered that a Japanese soldier whose knee had been smashed by a shell had managed to reverse his position in bed to move his head out of the sun, he told him not to move himself without asking for help. The poor man, who had misunderstood every word, painstakingly shuffled back into his original position. Allen found him then minutes later 'with his head in the blazing sun, and a smile of conscious virtue on his face.' " (Preston: p. 186.)
"A twenty year old bugler, Calvin P. Titus, volunteered to be the first up the wall. He was a small man, just over five foot seven, and weighed a mere 120 pounds. His commanding officer, Colonel Dagget, waited for someone else to offer but they did not. Titus duly swarmed up, unarmed, in an act of consummate courage for which he received the Congressional Medal of Honor and an appointment to West Point. (Preston: p. 253.)
What will people write of us? I know that mine was a bit of a looter, given that I have some nice things from the Empress's bedroom. Maybe we can do a little better in our struggle against Islam.