Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/29

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PANIC CAUSED BY DUNGANS.

9

pikes or swords, and in a few instances with match- locks. Yet, notwithstanding their inferior weapons, they produced a panic among the Mongols and Chinese, who took to their heels and ran as fast as ever they could at the mere name of a Dungan. While we w^ere at Din-yuan-ing, the Prince of Ala- shan, who was preparing to despatch an armed force against the marauders, sent an official to ask us for the loan of our military caps to frighten the enemy. ' The brigands are well aware,' said the official, ' that you are here, and if they see your caps, which we will put on, they will imagine that you are with us, and will run away directly.' This incident serves to show what dread is inspired by even the name of Europeans, and how the people of Asia instinctively acknowledge our moral superiority over their de- generate character.

In Chapter IV. of this volume I will describe more fully the military operations of the Mahomme- dan insurgents and Chinese forces ; suffice it for the present to remark, that the Dungans are not a whit braver than their opponents, and are terrible only to Chinese and Mongols. Strange as it may sound, it is none the less a fact that, in the districts which were liable to these robber raids, we travelled Avith more ease and security than anywhere else ; and that for the simple reason that they had no population ! We were convinced (and the belief was confirmed by all the experience of our later wanderings) that these cowardly marauders, even if several hundred strong, would never dare to attack four Europeans armed to