have been about two hundred) and surrounded the yamen. It was stated that the soldiers first refused to attack, saying that FAN had made himself master of the yamen, but when the order was repeated they obeyed. FAN'S men threw up barricades in the courtyards, but they were only about twenty in number and had insufficient ammunition. They did not know how to manipulate the machine-guns that were always ready-mounted in the courtyards.
Meantime, a number of CHIN'S soldiers climbed up on to the walls and roofs of the yamen. Some of the defenders were killed; the rest surrendered. Both they and FAN himself were taken prisoner.
CHIN acted with both speed and energy. He had the town-gates closed and sent out patrols to maintain order. Some of those who had taken part in the plot were executed that same evening, others of the conspirators were despatched in the course of the next few days. Concerning FAN'S fate there were a number of rumours in circulation. Late that evening and into the night he was cross-examined and subjected to torture, as he refused to give the names of any of his accomplices. It was said that his inquisitors had cut off his upper lip, his nose and ears, and put out his eyes. During the night he was strangled by two men, who had a tugo'-war with a rope that had been looped round his neck. The corpse was flung outside the walls and was lying outside the yamen the following day. It was afterwards buried near the wireless station. Other participants were executed during the night.
If a Governor-General dies in the prosecution of his duties outside the walls of his yamen, his corpse may not be taken back to the government offices. So also in YANG'S case. He was taken in his coffin direct from the seminary to a Taoist temple, for he had himself been a member of this religion. The last ceremonies were performed in this temple with all the traditional pomp. The dead man's wish to be buried on Fo-shu-shan in the Bogdo-ula was not granted, for his family wished to have the body brought to Peking, where it was afterwards buried.
WHO WAS THE MURDERER?
The events have been narrated here as they were told in Urumchi in 1928 by, amongst others, an eye-witness. Foreign Minister FAN was then generally regarded as the instigator of this terrible deed. His earlier status had also been rather peculiar. FAN, who had finished his education in Japan, had several years previously been sent to Urumchi to overthrow YANG and take his place in power. YANG had seen through this plan and had ever since kept FAN in his ambiance. He had, certainly, made him Foreign Minister, but he had never allowed FAN to leave the province.