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The Minister Resident in Ethiopia ( Engert ) to the Secretary of State

267. Fire is spreading but fortunately not in direction of Legation. Thousands of natives have all day long been quietly evacuating the city. It would appear that most of the damage was done by comparatively few rowdy elements who could easily have been held in check by a small police force in the beginning.

[Page 256]

It is almost inevitable that a report should be circulating that the Ethiopian Government had decided to destroy the capital rather than turn it over to the Italians but I do not credit it.

Shall send no further bulletins until tomorrow morning unless the Legation should be in danger.