The narrative is full of marvelous detail, including that of the Japanese massacre in Port Arthur.
Excellent for use as additional reading material in classes on Northeast Asian history, but a great read under any circumstances.
James Allan recounts his misadventures in Northeast Asia during the 1894-95. After gambling away his fortune in Monte Carlo Allan signs up as a sailor and sets out for the seas. He eventually finds himself aboard "Columbia" smuggling military cargos to China at the time of the latter's ill-fated conflict with the Japanese. Miraculously avoiding detention by the Japanese , the smugglers deliver their cargo but sign on to a perilous task of ferrying Chinese soldiers to a war theater. Eventually the ship ends up in Port Arthur, where Allan is left by accident. After a brief sojourn in Port Arthur he tries to catch up with "Columbia" aboard a Chinese ship, only to be detailed by a Japanese cruiser, where, on suspicion of being an instructor for the Chinese military, he is detained for more than a month. Finally, nearing Port Arthur, he makes a desperate escape for the shore only to find himself in a besieged city, which soon falls to the Japanese. Allan barely voids the fate of hundreds of massacred civilians in the ensuing bloodbath and flees the hostile shores aboard a Chinese junk.
Tags: under the dragon flag book review