CHAPTER XXII. THE REIGN OF KWANGSU

On October 16 a mine was sprung under the wall, making a wide breach; but although the best portion of the Chinese army made two assaults on separate occasions, they were both repulsed with loss. Twelve days later another mine was sprung, destroying a large portion of the wall; but when the Chinese stormers endeavored to carry the remaining works, they were again driven back with heavy loss, including two generals killed in the breach. Although thus far repulsed, the imperialists had inflicted very heavy losses on the besieged, who, seeing that the end of their resources was at hand, that there was no hope of succor, and that the besiegers were as energetic as ever, at last arrived at the conclusion that they had no choice left save to surrender on the best terms they could obtain. On November 4, after a two months' siege, Haiyen, as the Chinese named the Mohammedan leader, came out and offered to yield the town. His offer seems to have been partly accepted, and on the 6th of the month the survivors of the brave garrison, to the number of between two and three thousand men, sallied forth from the west gate. It was noticed as a ground of suspicion that all the men carried their weapons, and that they had placed their old men, women and children in the center of their phalanx as if they contemplated rather a sortie than a tame and unresisting surrender. The Chinese commanders were not indisposed to deal with the least suspicious circumstances as if they meant certain treachery. The imperialists gradually gathered around the garrison. The Mohammedans made one bold effort to cut their way through. They failed in the attempt, and were practically annihilated on the ground. Those men who were taken by the cavalry were at once beheaded, whether in the city or among those who had gone forth, but the aged, the women and the children were spared by Kinshun's express orders. All the leaders taken were tortured before execution as rebels, and even the bodies of the dead chiefs were exhumed in order that they might be subjected to indignity. The siege of Manas was interesting both for the stubbornness of the attack and defense, and also as marking the successful termination of the Chinese campaign against the Tungani. With its capture, those Mohammedans who might be said to be Chinese in ways and appearance ceased to possess any political importance. It would not be going much too far to say that they no longer existed. The movement of rebellion which began at Hochow in 1862 was thus repressed in 1876, after having involved during those fourteen years the northwestern provinces of China, and much of the interior of Asia, in a struggle which, for its bitter and sanguinary character, has rarely been surpassed.