Horse, camel, and elephant trod helpless women and children beneath their feet. A common soldier dragged a general from his mount, and, leaping to the animal's back, fled down the packed street toward the west. A woman seized a gun and brained a court dignitary, whose horse had trampled her child to death. Shrieks, curses, commands, supplications filled the air. It was a frightful scene--one that will be burned upon my memory forever.
I had saddled and bridled the single horse which had evidently been overlooked by the royal household in its flight, and, standing a little back in the shadow of the stable's interior, Victory and I watched the surging throng without.
To have entered it would have been to have courted greater danger than we were already in. We decided to wait until the stress of blacks thinned, and for more than an hour we stood there while the sounds of battle raged upon the eastern side of the city and the population flew toward the west. More and more numerous became the uniformed soldiers among the fleeing throng, until, toward the last, the street was packed with them. It was no orderly retreat, but a rout, complete and terrible.
The fighting was steadily approaching us now, until the crack of rifles sounded in the very street upon which we were looking. And then came a handful of brave men--a little rear guard backing slowly toward the west, working their smoking rifles in feverish haste as they fired volley after volley at the foe we could not see. adam and eeve
But these were pressed back and back until the first line of the enemy came opposite our shelter. They were men of medium height, with olive complexions and almond eyes. In them I recognized the descendants of the ancient Chinese race. toys for pleasure
They were well uniformed and superbly armed, and they fought bravely and under perfect discipline. So rapt was I in the exciting events transpiring in the street that I did not hear the approach of a body of men from behind. It was a party of the conquerors who had entered the palace and were searching it.
They came upon us so unexpectedly that we were prisoners before we realized what had happened. That night we were held under a strong guard just outside the eastern wall of the city, and the next morning were started upon a long march toward the east.