Jonathon Benda alerted me to the existence of this book. The full text is on the net in the Internet Archive and at Project Gutenberg. The story is set in the Sino-French war of 1884-5, and one of the background characters is Dr Mackay, the famous missionary.
"Then Keelung is in the hands of the French?"Of course, it is a romance...
"Yes. That is if by Keelung you mean a strip of a few hundred feet wide around the harbour. But the hills all around that again are occupied by the Chinese."
"Little difference that will make," said Carteret. "The Celestials have had all they want. At the first sign of a French advance they'll run, and never stop running till they reach Taipeh."
"I'm not so sure about that," replied Gardenier, a trifle coldly. "In the first place, the French have no land forces with which to make an advance. In the second place, the Chinese are better fighters than you give them credit for, Mr. Carteret. All they need is a good leader, and I believe that they have such a man in Liu Ming-chuan."
"And in the third place," said Beauchamp, "the Keelung climate is enough to defeat the French if there were no Chinese. By the time their transports arrive the northeast monsoon will be about due. Then the Lord help them! One of the wettest spots on earth. Boville, what is the annual rainfall over there?"
Miss MacAllister did not wait to be urged, but responded at once. Her voice was a rich, strong soprano. With a verve and fire worthy of her choice, she sang Lady Nairn's stirring war-song, "The Hundred Pipers." To the insistent demand for another song she replied with "The March of the Cameron Men." With her stately figure at its full height, head thrown back, and eyes which seemed to look away beyond her tropic surroundings to the hills of old Scotland, she sang as if possessed by the spirit of generations of Highland ancestors._______________________
Sinclair, from his place over by the mantel-piece, was looking at her with undisguised admiration.
"Isn't she magnificent ? Yon's a prize for some man! ... Sinclair, man, why don't you go in and win? If you don't try, I'll be ashamed of you, whatever."
It was McLeod. He was speaking in a low tone, only for his friend's ear. But he who had been the personification of coolness during the typhoon was now fairly quivering with excitement. The songs of his people had fired his blood.
"You needn't be ashamed of me, Mac. I'm going to try."
"Good for you ! I'll back you to win."
"Don't stake too much on me, Mac. I'm new to this game. You might lose heavily. Carteret is ahead of me."
"That dirty snob ! " exclaimed McLeod in a tone of disgust. "He wants her in just the' same way as he wants every pretty woman he sees. And then her money would help to repair the Carteret fortunes."
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