Raised in China but sent to England to school for four years, Rex Bateman returns to his parents' home in Tientsin on the eve of the Boxer Rebellion. Learning that his aunt and uncle and their two daughters may have been murdered by the Boxers, he travels to Chafui in disguise, rescues the girls, and takes them to Pekin. Fluent in Chinese and indifferent to danger, he makes a number of journeys back and forth between Tientsin and Pekin during the siege of the legations, sometimes in disguise, and sometimes as an interpreter with the relief forces. He also successfully completes several undercover missions, rescuing Chinese Christians from the Boxers and spiking the enemy's guns. When the legations are finally relieved, Rex returns to his parents with his two cousins and all shortly embark for England.
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