at Pao Ch’ang made contact with the bandits and
declared that they had now reduced their ransom from £8,000 to £3,400.
On his arrival in Peking Dr Müller stated that Mr Jones was in no
personal danger and the government of Chahar province would pay whatever ransom
was necessary. He added that: “Gareth Jones was safe from bodily harm
although once a rope was put round his neck and he was threatened with hanging.
Although young and new to the country, he
behaved splendidly and never lost his nerve”.
Meanwhile Major Takahashi, the Japanese Attaché at Peking, gave orders
instructing the Kwantung troops in Jehol and the Japanese military mission in
Kalgan to co-operate with the Chinese in their efforts to secure Jones’
release. These efforts included sending
out Japanese search parties. Lieut.
Millar, Assistant Military Attaché in Peking, left for Kalgan to join Capt.
Scott, both of whom were expert linguists. It was stated that Jones had been warned not to attempt to go to Dolonor
Friday 2nd August - a
correspondent from the port of Dairen (Dalien), in the Japanese territory of
Manchukuo reported in The Western
Mail and South Wales News
that authoritative sources considered:
Gareth Jones is not being held purely for a ransom, but he is a victim of
international complications. The
British journalist was thought to be a secret agent with confidential material
and had penetrated into secret territory. Chahar Province is a disturbed region on the Sino-Manchukuo frontier
border in which the Japanese, Russians and Chinese are striving for
predominance and his [Gareth’s] presence as an independent observer is feared …
When all sides are assured that Mr Jones is not a secret agent, possessing
confidential information, he will be released. The Japanese authorities explained to me that they secured a promise
that Mr Jones would eventually be freed, though the ransom was not determined.
Press Breaks the News of the Capture.