Friday, July 4, 2014

"The Loaded Chinaman"

Hudson Maxim, Dynamite Stories and Some Interesting Facts About Explosives (New York: Hearst’s International Library Co., 1916), pp. 108-9.


During the Russo-Japanese war a certain officer of the Czar, who was an impatient, overbearing person and a great martinet, had a Chinese servant whom he treated with the utmost harshness for the smallest delinquency, or for none at all. One of his favorite methods of inflicting punishment for offenses was to order the Chinaman to leave his presence, and, as the fellow went, to give him a hard kick.

The Chinaman aired his grievances one day to a Japanese spy, whom he took to be a brother Chinaman. The Jap suggested padding the seat of the Chinaman’s trousers to prevent further contusions, and this was done, the padding being furnished by the Jap. A rubber hot-water bag was filled with absorbent cotton containing all the nitroglycerin it would hold. A small exploding device armed with percussion caps was placed in the bag so that the nitroglycerin would be exploded by any sudden blow. The unfortunate Chinaman was wholly unaware of the nature of the padding.

At the next meeting of the Russian with his servant, the poor Oriental inadvertently spilled some tea upon the officer’s new uniform. Thereupon the enraged master proceeded to dismiss the Chinaman from his presence in the usual way, but with somewhat more precipitation.

One of the officer’s legs was blown off, one arm was crushed to pulp, four ribs were broken, and it was more than a day before he was restored to consciousness. When he did come to, he found himself a prisoner in a Japanese hospital, having been left behind by the retreating Russians.

As to the Chinaman himself, poor fellow, he never knew that he had been loaded.