China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  They were riding down the road which passed through the center
of the Chinese position, and the banks on each - Page 490
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They Were Riding Down The Road Which Passed Through The Center Of The Chinese Position, And The Banks On Each Side Of Them Were Lined With Matchlock-Men, Among Whom The Shells Of The English Guns Were Already Bursting.

Parties of cavalry were not wanting here, but out in the plain where the Tartar horsemen swarmed in thousands the greatest danger of all awaited them.

Their movements were slow, painfully slow, and the progress was delayed by the necessity of waiting for those who were the worst mounted; but they were "all in the same boat, and, like Englishmen, would sink or swim together." In the accumulation of difficulties that stared them in the face not the least seemed to be that they were advancing in the teeth of their own countrymen's fire, which was growing fiercer every minute. In this critical moment men turned to Mr. Parkes, and Captain Barbazon expressed the belief of those present in a cool brave man in arduous extremity when he cried out, "I vote Parkes decides what is to be done." To follow the main road seemed to be certain destruction and death without the power of resisting; for even assuming that some of them could have cut their way through the Tartar cavalry, and escaped from the English shell, they could hardly have avoided being shot down by the long lines of matchlock-men who were ready to fire on them the instant they saw their backs. There was only one possible avenue of escape, and that was to gain the right flank of the army, and endeavor to make their way by a detour round to the English lines.

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