Xenophobia reaps its harvest

“Stillwell decided to give the crowd no time to test its intentions. As the train pulled into P’u Kow, on the Yangtze opposite Nanking, he and Chao jumped off before it came to a stop, and pushing past astonished people, ran for the river feeling pursuit at their heels but not daring to look behind them. They scrambled aboard a ferry and on the other side walked slowly past suspicious glances in search of lodging. Money persuaded a fearful innkeeper to give them a room where, exhausted and dehydrated, they drank teapot after teapot. Stillwell was embarrassed to find his hand trembling when he held out his cup for more. Tension did not let down, for word of the foreign devil’s presence brought a crowd gathering in the street and Stillwell once more imagined capturing or lynching. Worry, bedbugs and fleas allowed him little sleep. In the morning came another trial of the streets, but without interference they reached the station and boarded the train for Shanghai. The journey was hot and tense. On arriving, their eyes met a huge poster on the wall showing a fat and repulsive foreigner prone on the ground with Chinese soldiers sticking bayonets into him, blood spurting out and a caption exhorting all patriots to kill the foreign swine.” – Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China

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