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0284 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 284 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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generals to punish the Turkis, chief among them was SHENG SHIH-TS'AI, whose name we shall frequently meet with in the following. He reduced villages and

towns to ashes, destroyed the palace of the Mohammedan king in Hami, and stole the treasures from his well, in which they had been accumulated for centuries. CHIN'S cruelty to the people gave ever-renewed nourishment to the flame of revolt.

Among the many persons whose deaths CHIN had on his conscience were also some whom we knew very well. So for example he had in the beginning of the revolt in 1932 had the Qara-shahr Torguts' spiritual and secular leader, SENGTSEN GEGEN, together with some of his closest followers, shot down in one of the

courtyards of his own yamen. This was because SENGTSEN had refused to set

out with his Torgut cavalry, the only troops of any quality in the province, on a punitive expedition against the Turkis at Hami. We had met this SENGTSEN

in Hami in 1928; and HASLUND especially had afterwards become intimate with him and twice visited his tribe. It was on the occasion of one of these visits that in 1929 HASLUND had acquired the temple-yurt that SENGTSEN dedicated to King GUSTAF, and that His Majesty afterwards placed at the disposal of the Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm.

MA CHUNG-YIN, or Big Horse, as we shall call him, had an adjutant MA SHIHMING still in Sinkiang, who was continuing the fight against the Chinese. In the

winter of 1932-33 this MA SHIH-MING advanced on Urumchi. CHIN sent an army to the pass at Davan-ch'eng, but it was surprised by the Mohammedans while celebrating the New Year.

In the beginning of January 1933, when the cold was at its height, the Mohammedans marched on Urumchi like wild beasts, slaughtering all the Chinese, men,

women and children, that they met on their way. CHIN ordered the Russian emigrants and the Chinese living in the vicinity to move within the fortified walls of the Chinese town. The mood of the city was heavy and gloomy. The Chinese felt in the air the Nemesis of the inevitable fate that impended, but did little to order their defences. However, vigilants were organized, for the soldiers had been called out against the rebels. Thanks to the Russian emigrants, of whom some had fought in the world war, the rebels were driven back; but they were by no means defeated.

At dead of night on February 21st, 1933, the Mohammedans stormed Urumchi's western suburb. Wild fighting ensued, with deeds of bestial cruelty, many

of the victims being slowly tortured to death. The whole suburb went up in flames. The missionaries, both Protestant and Catholic, served in the field-hospitals that they set up; and they witnessed scenes of literally unmentionable bestiality. The two English doctors, MATHER and FISCHBACHER, died of typhoid, martyrs to their work of love. Heaps of charred corpses were taken away in carts. Innumerable people had been executed on suspicion of having