As we walked back to the town, the crowd followed us closely, led by some “swells” of the literary class. One young man came up behind me and kicked me on the ankle, stepping back and then coming forward and repeating the offence. He was about to give me a third kick, when Mr. Miller turned round and very quietly, without anger, dealt him a scientific blow on the chest, which sent him off the road upon his back into a barley field. There was a roar of laughter from the crowd, and the young bully's companions begged Mr. Miller not to punish him any more. The crowd dispersed, the bullies, cowards like all their species, fell far behind, and we had a pleasant walk back to the ferry, where, although we had to wait a long time in the ferry boat, there was no assemblage, and the ferryman and passengers were very civil. Mr. Miller regretted the necessity for inflicting punishment. It was Lynch law no doubt, but it was summary justice, and the perfect coolness with which it was administered would no doubt leave a salutary impression. The ferryman told us that a tiger had carried off a pig from Yōng-chun the previous night, and said that the walk to our boat through the wood without lanterns was very unsafe. Our boatmen had become alarmed and were hunting for us with torches. The circumstances were eerie, and I was glad to see the lights.
Han River, South Korea, 1894
Source: Isabella Bird, Korea and Her Neighbours, London: MacMillan & Co, Ltd, 1897