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China at War by Freda Utley

By Freda Utley

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The people seemed to be paying little attention. Indeed, of what use was it to rush to another place when one place was as likely to be bombed as another? For Canton appeared to have no air-raid shelters for the population, although Government offices all had their dug-outs and important officials also had them in their homes. There are so many people in the cities; impossible to build shelters for them all, so of what use to build a few? Or that, at least I suppose, is how the argument went. I was in time to get accustomed to official callousness or negligence of the mass of the people.

Rents and hotel prices within the French Concession, and only to a slightly smaller degree within the Special Districts, naturally soared. When I arrived it was almost as difficult to secure accommodation as it is in Moscow. I came to Hankow by air from Hong Kong, a lovely flight first over high hills and then over the vast and intensively cultivated plains of Hunan province. _.. ----a. &ague. and to see the work of the Chinese Red Cross Medical Commission, and went on to Changsha after a few days.

No one in the streets paid any attention to them as they marched past. These soldiers had no bands or drums to cheer them, no girls to throw them flowers or give them cigarettes. All the pageantry of war familiar in the West was absent in China. At night the Bund was crowded with the soldiers sleeping side by side sprawled out upon the scanty grass or the hard pavement, their rifles stacked at intervals and watched over by a sentry. The gay life of the city to defend which they were going to give their lives was unknown to these peasant boys, or to the junior officers who slept alongside them.

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