Press enter after choosing selection

A Chinese Pirate

A Chinese Pirate image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

, The sea robber's reign ia not yet at au end in the Taichow Islands, if we are to jutJge irom recent reports. From the district whichhas jast been mentioned comes a most interesting story of a pírate chiet who is now occupying a large placo in the consideration of the topic3 of the day witb Chinese of the district. The sea-robber possesses more than ordinary courage and audacityjheseems tobe one of those bold, bad men whose talents inveat his crimes witli a good deal of romance. Hia exploits are oí' a most daring character and he forma exactly one of those personages that a novel ist of the Mayne Reid stamp would delight to limn and present to the public as a horo of original romance. The history of the pirate chief is a remarkable one. To commence in true dramatic style we shall state tliat in the Village of AVang Te, in the District of Ning Li, which is near ïiingpo, and the Cansan Isles, so renovvnecl for piratical exploits, stands the ca3tle oL a pirate rhief named Kwang-king-man. He is head of a atrong nest of pirates, and ho atyle.0 himself King of Kingiv m, which signifles the Kiug of Gjld. In many respecta lus biography resembles the life and doings of the celebrated Mahratta Chief, who was the terror of India in the time of the Great Aiunyzebee. !wang-king-man is a native of wiigpo i tile JNlUglll JJistniii. no is uu uiisually pQwerful man, aiul can lift vith ease weights more fitted for a Milo ïan an ordinary man. Heispio-Icient nthe uso of all warlike weapons, and an use the rifle as well as the buw and rrow, with equal and remarkabie effect. His physical strength iind ourage were strong inducements for lim Xo folio w an avocation wliioli hould require the exercise of Uk se ualities. Aecurdingly he betook him'elf to theoccupation of a "brave," and ie acted originally in that capacity as heieader oí an escort tothe merchante assing Sein-kew and Kwang-yi. vvhich vere infested with pirates and robbers f all descriptions. in pursuit f this ivocatioii he made a considerable aiiiount of nioney, and had also ained great experience in the liie and abita of those that lived "under the hadowof the black flag." It happened white Kwang-king-man vas acting as a "brave" that his father was arrested by the Government for some offense, and shortly afterwards beheaded. Kwang-king-man, who declared his father innocent of the crime imputed to him, was so enraged at his execution that he swore to devote his lita to avenge bis death, and lake revenge ou the Imperialista. He skortly put the design into execution. 11e established a rendezvous and stronghold, and gathered around him a large number of followeis, who all, or nearly all, came f rom the Ñingpo district. Many of his retainers were men who had faucied themselves aggrieved by society, and several were acbual outlawa, vho had lifted their hands against society purely f rom criminal instinct,, and not because they had any injuries to avenge or wrongs to right. The flrst act of Kwang-king was to capture i.ungenushan, between Ningpo and the préfecture of ïaichow. This place he made kis arsenal, and his operations were at first conflned to aeting on the defensive when attacked, collecting airas and ïnaking guupowder. He theu commenced the life of a pírate on a small Bcale, SBñ bis petty enterprises were conducted with caution and an extraordinary skill. But, emboldened by Buecesa, he enlarged his plan of operations, and this year commenced piratLcal intnsactions on a inore ambitious scale. On the 3d day of the sixth moon of thiw year, he suddenly entered the City oï Ñingpo with his followers. His plari of action had been determiiied by the reporta of his apiea, lor he had put into piaeidee a good system of ige, and through tlua lie cliscovereci ;he number of crimináis who were conüned in the Ningpo prisons. These he ietennined to liberale, in order to jwelJ the imtnber of lus retainers. In the night time of the date already given his band. marched toward the prisou, i open the doors thereof , and freed the prisoners, all of whom joined the pirate'a gang. , The Mandarín, on hearing of this audacious act, dispatohed soldiers a-gainst hiin, but to no purpose, for the military had to retire beforo the desperate valor, or, rather, the imposing appearanee.of the robber band. The next day the pirate chief perpetrated a more daring act. With a few huii'lred men he descended upon the Whoopin-lekin Tax Board, killed the officials and carried off the money. _ He spared, however, the head official, wh08e nose he cut off so that he might return to his superiors and inforin tliem of what the pirate ehief had done, and what the nature of future enterprises would be. His next act was to send to a rich widow and demand a loan of Tls. 1,000, and on this being ref used he captured her son and held hirn as a ranaom. ïhe latter was only liberated tfter mach negotiation ior Tls. 500. This Iransaction came to the eara of ;he villago magistrale, who thought it t most litting operation for squeezing ,he rich widow. He told hor unless he gave him Tls. 500 he would report ïer as conspiring with the notorious i. The frightened woman at mee paid the money. The robber king hearing of this extortion, descended on the village magistrate, and aiter reading him a homily on the wickedness of robbing those whoni he was bound by lis office to protect, he took from him the money, killed him, bis subordinates, ais wife and hia sou, aparing only nis daughter, uhoni he carried away with him, presumably to be his wife. Such acts as these have inspired all ranks of people with a liveiy terror of thiü robber cl liet', and the soldiers who went out against him on rnany occasions havo recoüed trom the task. When : the offieer of Uie lekin board reported i to hia superior the otitrage that had 'oeen committed on him, the latter ordered a body of troops to arrest the piróte, a thing more easily said than done. The outlaw was so strougly öupported by his follower? that the soldiere feared to attack him, and the ïact that he was as skillíul on sea as on huid intensilied their fears. Kwang king-man is doubtless a moat remarkable personage as regards cool courage and physioal strength and skill. His exploits on the water are truly marvelons. It is said that he eau stop for 1 wpmy i'oiir hours at a time in the water when either in pursuit uf or when flying from his foss. Last year one of the naval officers of the rank oí Captain boasted among liis comrades that although the pirute ehiefwaa very powerful and uobody Sared to touch him, yet he (the Captain) would undertaRehis arrest. His somradea tolrl him i f he was determinad on this to speak to hi9 superior afflcer. He did so, and his superior luthorized the Captain to make the ittempt, pvomiaing him a handsome reward if he should capture the pirate king. The Captain, accompanied by 3ome junks containing 300 men, set out with all speed for the pirate's strongiiold. Tho pirate king was apprised by trusty-spies of the expedition, and he knew perfectly well the object of the approaching fleet. He made no remarks as to the strength of the force iiflpatched against him, but grixnly said, "Let the Captain come. I ahall !)e delighted to see him." Arrangements were made by emissaries for a tnieting betweea the Captain and the robber chief, when the former would irn at him quietly after he liaa detachïd him from his band. The pirato in iccordance with the terms of the meeting, which was intended by the Captain to be treacherous, set out the lite agreed io, ia n large boat, which W8 au eiiormous dugout, carved and jilded in imitation of a dragon. When lio approached nnd sighted the Captain, he warned him Uirough some of tila foltowers to return home and save bia life. To this the Captain replied ty a aiscnarge irom ma guns. .o. geueral engagement ensued, which terminated with the death of the Captain. The pirate king dived from his boat and killed the Captain with a "seu-tzen," a kind of a sleeve catapult, a weapon in the use ef which the pirate was most skillful. He then beheaded him, and the assailants, loosing their leader, desisted from further flghting, aftre having ucquitted themselves with credible valor and having lost considerably. The pirate chief is not only an expert in the use of this weapon, but he employswith equal effect a crossbow furnished with abullet instead of a bolt, and it is on account of these accomplishments that he. is so much dreaded in individual combat. Since this last engagement no one has been hardy enough to disturb this ruthlsss freebooter. -


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat