CHAPTER 10--AN OPEN DOOR . . A LITTLE STRENGTH-1868. AET. 36.

PLEASANT enough for the first few weeks was that spring journey up the Grand Canal. Hang-chow was left behind on the loth of April, Mrs. Taylor and the children travelling by house-boat in a measure of comfort.1-{1 Mrs. Taylor was accompanied by Miss Blatchley and the children's nurse, Mrs. Bohanan (who had replaced Mary Bell, her sister, now married to Mr. Rudland). Mr. Taylor followed ten days later, having been detained by illness in the family of one of the American missionaries in Hang-chow.}After long confinement within city walls,' the freedom and freshness of the country were delightful. Extensive mulberry plantations bordered the Canal, with plum, peach, and apricot orchards in bridal array. Wheat and barley covered the valleys, interspersed with great tracts of peas and beans in flower. The Canal itself, alive with boat traffic, was an endless interest to the children, while the background of hills refreshed their elders with ever - changing loveliness. And there were many opportunities for coming into friendly relation with other , travellers and the people whose homes they were passing day by day.

The little boys spinning their tops were a great source of interest.

" One man asked if he might take the foreign toy and show it to a Mandarin's lady in a boat close at hand," wrote Miss Blatchley. " In a few moments the lady invited us to come and see her. Tea was offered, and the servants were told to boil some eggs for the children. In the afternoon this lady called upon us in our boat. We were glad she did, as it gave Mrs. Taylor an opportunity for putting the Gospel clearly before her."

On Sunday they did not travel. The boat was moored to the shore, and a service held with open doors and windows. "

A few came on board and sat with us," continued the journal. " A Mandarin's wife living just opposite came across and stayed till the service was over. Before she left, Mrs. Taylor explained the way of salvation to her more fully. She seemed to. drink in every word. Our Christian servant called at her house in the afternoon."

At one great city en route-Soo-chow-workers of the Mission had recently obtained a settlement, and a stay of three weeks enabled Mr. Taylor, who there caught up the party, to give considerable help in medicall and other ways. 1-{I The charm as well as importance of this place from the Chinese point of view may be judged from their proverb, " Above is Heaven ; belowHang-chow and Soo-chow." Mr. Charles Schmidt-formerly an officer under General Gordon in the " Ever-Victorious Force "-had been the first to live and preach Christ in this city. Converted through the instrumentality of Mr. Meadows, he was a warm friend to the C.I.M., and at his request the Mission had also undertaken work in Soo-chow. Mr. Henry Cordon had succeeded in renting premises a few weeks previously, in which regular services were now commenced with help from Mr. and Mrs. Taylor.} Beyond this point all was unbroken ground. Save for Duncan at Nanking and the L.M.S. and Wesleyan workers in the treaty port of Hankow, not a Protestant missionary was resident northward or westward anywhere in the interior. . To join the former in his lonely post was Mr Taylor's intention, unless some more important opening should detain him by the way.

And this was just what happened when Chin-kiang was reached-that busy centre of population and commerce at the junction of the Grand Canal and the mighty flood of the Yangtze. Being a treaty port, a few foreigners, including the British Consul, were living in the Settlement outside the native city, and in one of the suburbs the L.M.S. had a chapel in charge of a native preacher. No missionary, however, was to be found nearer than Shanghai, at a distance of twenty-four hours by steamer. Much impressed with the strategic importance of this place, Mr. Taylor set on foot inquiries with a view to renting premises, and was soon in treaty for a house inside the ' city, which was ultimately obtained, though not without serious difficulty and danger. Meanwhile, seeing that the negotiations were likely to be prolonged, he continued his journey across the Yangtze and a few miles up the northern section. of the Grand Canal.

And now the travellers were nearing the far-famed city of Yang-chow, of which Marco Polo was once Governor. Rich, proud, and exclusive, it contained a population of three hundred and sixty thousand, still without any witness for Christ. Life on the water by this time was losing its charm. Spring had given place to summer, and with the intense heat the rainy season had come on. Day and night it poured incessantly, and the children, cooped up in the leaky boat, where nothing could be kept dry, were exposed to serious risks. Waiting upon God very definitely for guidance, it was with no little thankfulness that Mr. and Mrs. Taylor saw the way open before them much more readily than could have been anticipated. Within the city, their native helpers had come into friendly touch with an inn-keeper able and willing to receive the whole party. The accommodation he offered, moreover, was not on the ground floor-always more or less malarious at such a season-but five rooms forming an upper story which they could have to themselves. This was so unusual from every point of view that they could not but feel it providential, and, thankfully leaving the crowded junks on the Canal, they took possession of their new quarters.

" Were it not that you are old. travellers yourselves," Mrs. Taylor wrote to Mrs. Berger (June i8), " I should think it impossible for you to realise our feelings last Monday week, when we exchanged the discomforts of a boat, into every room of which the heavy rain had been leaking, for a suite of apartments in a firstrate Chinese hotel-such a place as my husband who, as you know, has seen a good deal of Chinese travellers' accommodation, never before met with ; and that hotel, too, inside the city of Yangchow."

" An open door . . . a little strength" and "many adversaries "-it was no new situation for heralds of the Cross, though it was to prove more serious in its outcome than Mr. Taylor at first anticipated. For to begin with, the people seemed friendly. The presence of the mother and children disarmed suspicion. Evidently this foreigner in "civilised " (i.e. Chinese) dress was no commercial or political agent, and curiosity attracted many visitors. The inn-keeper, indeed, who had been a little anxious, offered his services as " F middleman," if Mr. Taylor wished to rent premises and settle in the city.1{1 In the interests of this kindly host,. Mr. Taylor had called upon the local Mandarin, making his presence and purposes known, and had obtained an assurance that there should be no interference.}

It was' not easy when matters had reached this point for Mrs. Taylor to leave her family in their temporary quarters and go down alone to Shanghai. But one of the servants was ill with what threatened to be smallpox-a disease very prevalent in the city-and the baby was not vaccinated. She was now their only little daughter, and months of whooping-cough had sadly reduced her strength. There were mission matters in Shanghai that needed attention, and Mr. Duncan's fiancee had to' be met and escorted inland. No one could undertake these duties and care for the sick baby as well as Mrs. Taylor, and there seemed no reason why the boys should not be left with Miss Blatchley and the nurse. Under these circumstances, Mr. Taylor concluded that she should take the journey, and saw her off in the middle of June by steamer from Chin-kiang.

In the latter city negotiations about the house were making progress, and he was able to get the deed signed soon after Mrs. Taylor left. Possession was promised in a fortnight, if the Governor granted a favourable proclamation. Applied for by the British Consul this also was promised, " if all were straightforward." Feeling reasonably sure of one home at any rate, Mr. Taylor then sent for the Rudlands, who were waiting at Hang-chow to bring )he printing-press and family belongings. " If all were straightforward "covered a good deal, however, in the Mandarin's mind, and left a loophole that unfriendly subordinates were not slow to appreciate. Endless were the difficulties and complications that arose in consequence, fostered by the district official, who proved to be intensely anti-foreign.

Meanwhile Mr. and Mrs. Taylor in their separation were facing unexpected troubles. The infection caught by the Chinese helper proved to be measles, and one by one the children at Yang-chow sickened, until all were down with it-the youngest desperately ill with bronchitis as a complication. Mr. Taylor could only be thankful that the baby at any rate might escape, and that her mother was spared some of the anxiety and nursing. When they had parted, it was fully expecting that ten days or a fortnight would see her home again ; but now, every post seemed to bring either business to be attended to in Shanghai, or calls for help from one and another of the stations. Mr. Taylor could not leave Yang-chow under the circumstances, and was obliged to put unwonted responsibilities upon the one he would fain -have relieved could he have known her circumstances.

For at the coast Mrs. Taylor all the while was fighting a brave fight for the life" of their youngest child. Kindly received by Mr. Gamble, she had had the baby vaccinated without delay, hoping to get through her business and be ready to return as soon as the Hindustan should bring Mr. Duncan's expected bride. The vaccination proved effective, but never had she seen a child so ill with it before. Medical help had to be called in, and before long it was evident that the baby was suffering from a severe attack of measles in addition to vaccination and whooping-cough. And Mrs. Taylor herself was ,far from well.

Even before the letters came from Yang-chow telling of the illness of the boys, her mother's heart had anticipated it, and all that their father would be suffering. Her one comfort was that he would not know about little Maria, or about the distressing home mails she was receiving. For there had been a revival of the painful opposition which had already caused Mr. Berger so much anxiety, and the letters from Saint Hill, while gracious and loving as ever, had much that was painful to communicate. It was under these circumstances that her indomitable spirit shone out, and the faith that made her, as her fellow-workers were not slow to realise, " the backbone of the Mission." Yet she was clinging and sensitive to an unusual degree, depending upon her husband, and loving him-if that were possible-even more than she was loved.

" The Lord give us a single eye to do His will," she wrote on June 29, after expressing her readiness to go on to Tai-chow, . " and then guide us just where He would have us....

" I have received a packet of letters from Hang-chow this morning, enclosing the last mail from home. I am afraid some of the contents of the latter may distress you, but `our Father knoweth.' Let us cast all our burdens, and they are many and weighty, upon our omnipotent, all-wise, loving Father. They are but feathers to Him 1 As to Mr. -'s continued opposition, that too is in God's hands, and surely He will stand by us.

He cannot have taught us to trust in His Name

And thus far have brought us to put us to shame.

"Let us remember how He worked for us with regard to Mr. I, ; yes, how He has appeared for us again and again. ` Thou hast been my help ; leave me not neither forsake me, O God of my salvation."'

" Do pray that God will give me wisdom and a clear head," she added with regard to business matters, as well as singleness of eye."

A few days later the doctor's visit was fat from re assuring.

Perhaps his manner, more than what he actually said, made me feel that possibly we might be called to give up this little one too. The Lord is our stay, and He will not leave us now.

My own Treasure," she continued on July 1o, " is it that our tender Father is endeavouring to teach us by His present dealings lessons which He might take sterner methods to impress ? Oh 1 may He Himself help us to learn them, giving us docile, teachable spirits. How much we lean upon each other for comfort or counsel we only find out when long separated, and perhaps He is trying to teach us to lean in the same way, and to a yet fuller extent upon Himself-our heavenly Husband Who is so thoroughly competent to undertake for us in every perplexity, difficulty or danger. Satan sometimes says, `Yes, He is fully competent in any other difficulty but the present. You can hardly expect Him to manage this particular matter for you-it is too trivial,' or' too complex.' And how ready we are to believe him 1-instead of honouring God with unwavering confidence."

It was a comfort to hear about this time that the little patients in Yang-chow were better, though she seemed as far as ever from being able to return to them. The vessel she was awaiting was much overdue, and no word had been received as to its whereabouts. Moreover, as soon as the baby could be left with her Chinese nurse, Mrs. Taylor was expecting to go on to Ningpo at any rate-little realising that it was in Yang-chow she was now needed most.

For the intense-heat of summer, combined with many anxieties, had tried Mr. Taylor more than his letters showed. Houses had been offered him in plenty, but just when all seemed propitious the negotiations would break down, and promises of a favourable proclamation " to reassure the people " were unfulfilled, until hope deferred made the heart sick. At last, however, about the middle of July, the proclamation appeared ; the house-then in question was at once handed over to them, and the little party moved in, thankful for the greater liberty thus afforded. Six weeks in the. inn after two months of boat-life had prepared them to appreciate a home of their own again, if home it could be called with the mother so far away.

But the letter that told the good news brought her strange sinking of heart. A few pencilled lines, written evidently in great weakness-written from Chin-kiang-what could it mean ?

I think I told you we had got the proclamation for Yangchow. We have not yet got the one for this place-hope to do so to-morrow. But I 'must return, I am so ill. Would you write Meadows and ask if he can come and help me ? ... God bless you. Go to Ningpo, darling, if you think well, and may God go with you. If our hearts are to be rendered up a sacrifice, the will of the Lord be done. Soon we shall never part again. . . ."

The words were faint and wavering; as must have been the hand that traced them. Alone in a boat, and so ill 1 And she could not know whether he had got back to Yangchow, or how he was being cared for.

It was Sunday the 26th of July. The up-river steamer would be starting in a few hours that would land her at Chinkiang the following evening. There was no question in Mrs. Taylor's mind as to whether she ought to go. Mr. McCarthy had come to Shanghai and would wait for the long-delayed Hindustan. She saw her way to arranging for help at Ningpo, and the baby was well enough to travel. But what about the steamer ? If it had not been Sunday how gladly would she have taken it ! As it was she did not hesitate to let it go without her, although the alternative was a journey by foot-boat of at least two days and nights. With a heart that cried to God she quietly made her preparations, waiting until evening before engaging her boat.

That boatman, surely, had a tale to tell when he came back from taking the foreign lady with her nurse and child to Chin-kiang ! Starting before dawn on Monday morning, they had travelled steadily on via the Grand Canal until he was obliged to drop the oar from very weariness. But while he slept they travelled still. Hour after hour by day or night, whenever he was obliged to rest, the lady had taken his place, plying the oar as naturally as she spoke his Ningpo words, caring little for heat or backache if only they could press forward-and all because her husband was ill and she wanted to get to him as quickly as possible. Much as he wondered at the unusual proceeding, the boatman little knew what it was that gave strength to that mother's heart as well as to her fragile form. It was prayer that carried them through, despite heat and weariness-prayer how abundantly answered when upon reaching Yang-chow she found her loved ones an unbroken circle and was able to nurse Mr. Taylor back to his usual health.

Happy though they were to be together again in a home of their own, it was not long that the missionary household was to enjoy even a measure of security. The big wandering premises had from the first been besieged with visitors, so much so that Miss Blatchley had had no choice but to make it a rule that none might come upstairs but the ladies of Mandarins' families. This was before Mrs. Taylor's return, and her presence did but attract more interest. There was much to be done between whiles to make the new home habitable, as well as to prepare at Chin-kiang for the arrival of the Rudlands. Preaching at Yang-chow on Sundays, Mr. Taylor had to go frequently to the other city where the house matter was still, unsettled, the Governor withholding the proclamation without which the landlord could not be kept to his bargain. It was generally known that the deeds had been signed and the deposit paid over, and the way in which the missionary and his Consul were being worsted was the laugh of tea-house and restaurant.

Nor was this all. Exaggerated reports reaching the neighbouring city naturally suggested in certain circles that the visitors might be treated with as scant courtesy in Yangchow. Why allow them to make friends and settle down, when by carrying things with a high hand they could be ejected ? Upon the strength of the Chin-kiang situation, a meeting was held among the literati and a decision arrived at to stir up trouble. This was done by means of anonymous hand-bills, attributing the most revolting and unnatural crimes to foreigners, especially those whose business it was to propagate " the religion of Jesus." Early in August, the missionaries ' began to realise the change that was coming over the attitude of the people. Friendly visitors had given place to crowds of the lowest rabble about the door, and a fresh set of posters, quite unfit for translation, was as fuel to the fire.

" On Saturday the 15th," wrote Mr. Reid who had come over from Nanking, " Mr. Taylor received an anonymous letter, advising him to use all possible precautions, as on the following day there was to be a riot. . . . We had but one source of comfort, and that a well-tried one ; and meeting together that evening we poured out our hearts to the Lord, Who did not fail us. Next morning (Sunday) the people assembled at an early hour, and began knocking and battering upon our door . . . until we thought it best to go out and try to pacify them.... I think I never felt more the power and value of speaking gently than on that day. Dear Mr. Taylor spoke often to those assembled in a very kind manner ; and while we watched, those inside the house prayed, and God graciously brought us through, confirming to our hearts the promise, ` Lo, I am with you alway.' "

The trouble went on, however, and on the 18th Miss Blatchley wrote

For the last few days we have been almost in a state of siege. Mr. Taylor, just up from a sick-bed and weak as he is, has hardly dared to leave the gate, Messrs. Reid and Rudland with him 'and on Saturday night Mr. Duncan opportunely arrived.' Happily, before the disturbance became very serious, we were able by pressing on the workman to get the many entrances into our wandering premises contracted into one.... But our trust is not in the walls we build, which an infuriated mob could easily overthrow . . . but under the shadow of His wings.

The most calumnious hand-bills against us have been posted about the city. In one of them the Name of Jesus is blasphemed in the vilest terms, and the paper professes to emanate from the god of war, Kwan-ti. Today (Tuesday) was placarded as the day for attacking our house and setting it. on fire, regardless of native or foreign occupants. Once or twice the mob has seemed inclined to break in by force, but the disturbance is less than on Sunday. God is with us, we do not fear. . . . We know that whatever happens will be by His permission, for we have put ourselves into His hands. He will not leave us. As I write He is sending thunder and the threatening of rain, which will do more for us, Mr. Taylor was saying, than an army of soldiers. The Chinese shun rain ; the most important matters they will postpone on account of it. May God forgive these poor blind people, and defeat Satan, by making these disturbances the means of more widely diffusing the truth among them. " Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee ; and the remainder of wrath Thou shalt restrain." Any attempt' to set the place on fire now would be vain indeed, for the rain is coming down in torrents.

After this, it looked as though the worst was over. In spite of all that had been said against them, the quiet, friendly demeanour of the missionaries was winning its way, and the storm seemed to have spent itself without disaster. From Wednesday to Saturday the wearied household had a little respite, and glad indeed were they that none of them, not even the women and children, had fled from the threatening danger.

But, strange to say, before the close of the week an opportunity occurred for reviving the agitation. A couple of foreigners from Chin-kiang, wearing not the native costume adopted by Mr. Taylor's party, but undisguised " foreign dress," came up to visit Yang-chow, and were seen in various parts of the city. This was too good a chance to be lost, and no sooner had they left with the impression that all was quiet, than reports began to be circulated that children were missing in all directions, entrapped by the " foreign devils." The weather was intensely hot, which always predisposes to excitable foregatherings. Children had disappeared, so the people believed-twenty-four at least had fallen a prey to the dreaded foreigners. And on their premises, as was well known, vast stores of treasures were accumulated Boat-loads of goods had been brought in only a few days previously.1-{1 But for the difficulties at Chin-kiang there never would have been, humanly speaking, a Yang-chow riot. Arriving there with a large quantity of goods and finding no house available, Mr. and Mrs. Rudland and Miss Desgraz had come on to Yang-chow early in August. Thus three additional foreigners, and all the paraphernalia needed for a printing-press and a second household, had been crowded into Mr. Taylor's premises. No wonder the Yang-chow people were tempted with thoughts of plunder!}Courage! Avenge our wrongs! Attack-destroy! Much plunder shall be ours.

Forty-eight hours later, in a boat nearing Chin-kiang, the letter quoted above was bravely finished.

" We have had to flee from Yang-chow," Miss Blatchley continued to Mrs. Berger. " I cannot stop now to describe the - last few days, if indeed they are describable-for we must send off our notes, such as we have ready. Next mail must bring further particulars. Meanwhile you will join us in praise to God for saving our lives and limbs, and our most valuable property. The rioters sacked every room excepting mine, in which were all our most important papers and the bulk of our money-a considerable sum, three hundred dollars, having reached us from Chinkiang only an hour before the breaking into the house.

" Poor Mr. Reid is the most severely hurt of all ; a brick-bat struck his,, eye while he was standing ready to catch Mrs. Taylor and me-as we had to escape for our lives by jumping from the verandah roof over the front of the reception hall. Dear Mrs. Taylor hurt her leg very much. I, whose fall was not broken (as Mr. Reid was wounded, and so disabled from helping me), came down on my back on the stones, and it is only by God's great loving-kindness that I have not a broken spine or skull. I have only 'a wound on my arm, and that the left arm. It is getting very painful, as it is ulcerating, and I am tolerably bruised all over ; but there is so much to be thankful for that this seems as nothing, except that it makes one rather awkward, for I feel so stiff. We have not had time yet to change our blood-stained clothes."

And Mrs. Taylor wrote to the same beloved friend: I do not know whether I shall be able to give you much idea, by this opportunity, of the perils through which we have passed within the last forty-eight hours. Our God has brought us through : may it be to live henceforth more fully to His praise and glory. We have had, so to speak, another typhoon-not of so long duration as the literal one we experienced nearly two years ago; but at least equally dangerous to our lives, and more terrible while it lasted. . . . I believe God will bring His own glory out of this ; and I hope it will tend to the furtherance of the Gospel ours in a present Saviour,

" A present Saviour " - how little could the rioters understand the secret of their calmness and strength ! Awed by something, they knew not what, the infuriated mob had been restrained from the worst excesses. Murder, though intended, had been averted again and again ; and both Mr. Taylor, exposed to all the fury of the populace on his way to seek help of the authorities, and those he had to leave, who faced the perils of attack and fire in their besieged dwelling, were alike protected by the wonder-working hand of God.

But they were hours of anguish-anguish for the mother as she gathered her children and the women of the party in the upper room that seemed most sheltered ; anguish for the father, detained at a distance, hearing from the Mandarin's ya-men the yells of the rioters bent on destruction.

" After they were gone (Mr. Taylor and Mr. Duncan) we feebler ones could do nothing," wrote Mrs. Taylor, " assembled in my room to plead for God's protection, both for ourselves and for those who faced the fury of the storm without. Mr. Rudland and Mr. Reid were doing their best to keep the crowd from entering our premises. I do not know that the Throne of Grace ever seemed so near to me as that night and the following morning. Not that the closeness of communion with God was greater than at any other time ; but I felt able in an especial manner to lay hold of God's strength. And earnestly did we plead with Jim to raise as it were a wall of fire around my dear husband and Mr. Duncan, and to give His angels to encamp round about them. I specially needed His sustaining grace to keep me quiet and calm and to give me soundness of judgment, that no rash step might be taken, for naturally all looked to me to say what was to be done."

Outwardly as calm as if there were no danger,1-{1 " In the Yang-chow riot," Mr. Taylor wrote some years later, " when she and the little children were in danger of being massacred at any moment, she was as calm as in her own parlour in London : and I am quite certain that if she could have altered any of the circumstances she would not have done it, so satisfied was she at all times that God's ordering was best."}Mrs Taylor went through those terrible hours, more than once saving the life of a fellow-worker by her presence of mind and perfect command of the language,2 {2- Mr. Judd recalls that it was " her calmness and the fact that she spoke such beautiful Chinese " that disarmed the man whose band she stayed in a murderous attack on Mr. Rudland.} her heart, meanwhile, torn with anxiety for the loved one it seemed more than likely they might never see again.

" But for the protection afforded us by the darkness," Mr. Taylor wrote of that desperate effort to summon aid, " we should scarcely have reached the ya-men alive. Alarmed by the yells of the people the gate-keepers were just closing the doors as we approached, but the momentary delay gave time for the crowd to close in upon us : the as yet unbarred gates gave way to the pressure, and we were precipitated into the entrance hall. Had the gates been barred, I am convinced that they would not have been opened for us, and we should have been torn to pieces by the enraged mob.

" Once in the ya-men, we rushed into the judgment hall, crying 'Kiu-wing! Kiu-wing ! ' (save life ! save life!), a cry the Chinese Mandarin is bound to attend to at any hour of the day or night.

" We were taken to the room of the Chief Secretary, and kept waiting three-quarters of an hour before we had an audience with the. Prefect, all the time hearing the yells of the mob a mile or more off, destroying, for aught we knew, not only the property, but possibly the lives of those so dear to us. And at last when we did get an audience, it was almost more than we could bear with composure to be asked as to what we really did with the babies ; whether it was true we had bought them, and how many ; what was the cause of all this rioting ? etc., etc.

" At last I told His Excellency that the real cause of all the trouble was his own neglect in not taking measures when the matter was small and manageable ; that I must now request him first to take steps to repress the riot and save any of our friends who might still be alive, and afterwards make such inquiries as he might wish, or I would not, answer for the result.

" Ah,' said he,' very true, very true 1 First quiet the, people, and then inquire. Sit still, and I will go to see what can be done.'

" He went out telling us to remain, as the only chance of his effecting anything depended on our keeping out of sight ; for by this time the number of rioters amounted to eight or ten thousand. The natives estimated theme at twenty thousand.

" We were kept in this torture of suspense for two hours, when the Prefect returned with the Ts'ao-fu (Governor of the military forces of the city, some three thousand men) and told us that all was quiet; that the Ts'ao-fu himself, the Sheo-pe (Captain of the soldiers who guard the gates), and two local Mandarins had been to the scene of the disturbance ; that they had seized several of those who were plundering the premises, and would have them punished. He then sent for chairs, and we returned under escort. On the way back we were told that all the foreigners we had left were killed. We had to cry to God to support us, though we hoped this might prove exaggerated or untrue.

" When we reached the house, the scene was such as baffled description. Here, a pile of half-burned reeds showed where one of the attempts to fire the premises had been made ; there, debris of a broken-down wall was lying ; and strewn about everywhere were the remains of boxes and furniture, scattered papers and letters, broken work-boxes, writing-desks, dressing-cases, and surgical instrument cases, smouldering remains of valuable books, etc.-but no trace of inhabitants within."

After a long and agonising search it was with unspeakable thankfulness he learned that some at any rate of the party were hiding in a neighbour's house. The darkness of the night had favoured their escape from their own burning premises. Taken from one room to another as the danger of discovery increased, they had finally been left without a glimmer of light in the innermost apartments.

" Mr. Reid lay groaning with pain," wrote Miss Blatchley,the poor tired children wanted to sleep and we dared not let them, as at any moment we might have to flee again. Mrs. Taylor was almost fainting from loss of blood ; and I now found that my arm was bleeding from a bad cut, and so painful that I could not move it, while most of us were stiff and sore with bruises."

Then it was that suspense about Mr. Taylor was hardest to bear. In the darkness and silence, the uncertainty as to his fate as well as their own was terrible.

" I cannot attempt to describe to you our feelings," Mrs. Taylor continued to Mrs. Berger. " How my dear husband and Mr. Duncan were faring or had fared we could not tell. Where they were, why they had not yet returned, whether we ourselves would live till morning, or what would become of us we knew not. . . . But God was our stay, and He forsook us not. This confidence He gave me, that He would surely work good for China out of our deep distress.

" At one time we were told that soldiers had arrived from the Governor and were driving the rioters away, but still no tidings of my husband ! Poor Mr. Reid was laid on the floor of an inner room, and nurse with baby (who happily slept) and Mr. and Mrs. Rudland were there too. The older children were with Miss Desgraz, Miss Blatchley, and myself in the outer room. We did our best to keep them quiet and awake, for we did not know at what moment we might have to flee again.

" `Mamma,' said one of them, `where shall we sleep to-night as they have burned up our bed ? '

" I assured him that God would give them somewhere to sleep, little thinking it would be-that very night-in their own nursery.

" At last, after a much shorter time than it appeared to us, we heard my dear husband's voice outside the door, which had been barred for greater safety. He had had difficulty in finding us, and on his way back from the ya-men had heard various reports as to what had happened during his long detention. Some said we were all killed, others that we had fled, and his heart sickened on nearing the house as he distinguished a smell that proved to be fur-lined garments burning.... He told us that the rioters had all been driven out, and he thought we might venture back to our own rooms (which had not been burned down) . . . for there would be a guard around the premises. How our hearts. went up to God in thanksgiving that He had spared us to each other ! ... A short time before we heard my husband's voice, I had felt encouraged to hope that help was at hand, by the fact that my own strength was rapidly ebbing away from loss of blood. I was anxious not to let any one know how much I was hurt, as I felt it would alarm them, and it seemed most important that all should keep calm.

" It was after midnight when we returned. My heart was too full for me to pay much heed to the scene of ruin through which we passed, but at the foot of the stairs my eye fell on a bead mat worked for me by our little Gracie before leaving England. The sight of it at that moment seemed to speak of our Father's love and tenderness in a way that perhaps it would be difficult for another to understand." (It was a year that very day since their little daughter had been taken Home from the temple at Penshan.) " I asked some one to pick it up and give it to me. We found the floor of my room strewn with clothes, etc., which had been turned out of boxes in the search for gold and silver. The leaves of my poor Bible, which I had been unable to take with me, were scattered about in every direction. Kind, loving hands collected them for me. Some, I was told, were found downstairs, and not a leaf is missing.

" For the remainder of the night we were in quiet, though for some of us there was no sleep. Early in the morning the guard retired, and as there was no relay the, people began to come in again to plunder, for now there were many entrances. Again my husband had to go to the ya-men, and again commenced a season of anxiety similar to though in some respects more trying than the night before. Once more my room became our sanctuary ... till, just when it seemed as if in another minute the crowd would be upstairs, the alarm was given that the Mandarin had come, and his soldiery soon dispersed the people.

" In the afternoon of that day we left the city . . . under an escort of soldiers to see us safely to the Yangtze. I have been much struck by the way in which God used these men-who would have been quite as ready to take our lives as to protect them-for His people's help. As we passed out of the city in chairs, Miss Blatchley heard some of the people say derisively, `Come again ! Come again I '

" ` Yes,' I thought, ` GOD will bring us back again, little as you expect it.'"

Chapter 9Table of ContentsChapter 11