Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on October 18, 1897 · Page 6
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Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 6

Logansport, Indiana
Issue Date:
Monday, October 18, 1897
Page 6
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above tbe din ol v<5ices, ana damicrs short, chunky figure spun round for a brief second in the cloud of dust, and then dropped heavily in the roadway. Maurice had barely time to see Grod- no and the officer struggling over the possession of a revolver when a sharp trumpet blast echoed through the air, _ _ _ a clash of steel seemed to shake the travel"catches flre, and i hey. wits two other i ground, and then ronnd a slight curve convicts euoapt In a skiff. V VI and VII—Ham-1 f_ il ,, „„.„„ oi . *„,, ,.,-,, „ 0^,10/1 /vf mondand i anvers puisne their way with the CHAPTER 1. -Vladimir Saradofl. a RuSBlan, beinir heir to tbe fortune of his nephew, M au • rice Hammond, an American, in case of his nephew'* death, conspires to have him sent to hueflia In order to jrct him in his power. IT.— Hammond and his friend, Philip Danvers arrive at St. Petersburg, and Saradoff lays plfens to have them arrested as conspirators against tbe g-overnroent. lUaiidlV-Hamtnond at a review laves the life of Colonel Jarosiav. Pro in the road came at full tilt a squad of Cossacks, brandishing their naked swords. They surrounded the wagon with a circle of men six deep, and when Grodno gave up the fight in despair and turned to flee be was hemmed in beyoud all hope of escape. A fierce expression passed over his face, and then he calmly folded his arms as a sign of submission. Hamid 1»7 rnotionle'ss on the road, his greasy garments stained to match the scarlet of his fez, and close by was Phil, his face pale and corpselike. The rescued officer saluted the commander of the Cossacks and conversed with him for ten minutes or more, pointing from time to time at Maurifte and Grodno and the two motionless forms on the ground. He was plainly much puzzled over the affair. From the few words of the Cossack's reply which Manrice was able to understand, such as "escaped prisoners, burning barge and Tomsk," he inferred that these soldiers had been in pursuit of them since the time of their escape. Fearing lest Phil was badly injured, if indeed not dead, he moved toward him, but was roughly ordered back. At the same moment the conversation ceased, and two of the soldiers came forward with the runaway black horse, which they attached to the wagon, dragging the dead animal to the side of the road. Grodno, whose arm was apparently broken by the officer's bullet, was placed on the back seat uupinioned. Maurice was put behind, his arms bound behind his back, and Hamid's limp body was stowed away at their feet. Phil, to Maurice's delight, now recovered consciousness and sat up, looking about him in a dazed, stupefied manner. He -was hastily bound and placed on the front seat beside the officer, who had volunteered to drive. By this time people were in sight coming across the plain from the distant village, but instead of turning back in that direction the officer drove straight ahead, and the wagon rolled smoothly over the grassy road, surrounded on all four sides by the stern visaged Cossacks. An hour later another village started up from tbe horizon, with its same monotonous Greek crosses, and presently they entered the long, straggling street, with dingy, gray houses, and halted before the posting station, a ve.ry unpretentious structure of logs. The people of the village flocked out to see the new arrivals, but the presence of the Cossacks kept them at a respectful distance. A brisk little man with pieicing black eyes arrived presently, whom Maurice rightly divined to be a doctor. He glanced carelessly at Phil's bruised forehead and prescribed a dose of vtfd- ki, which fiery potion was at once produced and poured down the patient's reluctant throat. He shrugged his shoulders at Grod- no's arm and deftly enveloped it in splints and bandages, an operation which the convict submitted to without a murnjur of pain. When he came to Hamid and saw the ugly wound in the breast, his countenance became more grave, and he directed the nnconscions man to be carried into the station. The Cossacks dismounted and took their prisoners inside, placing them in different corners of the room, where conversation was impossible. A big samovar was steaming on the table, and the soldiers were soon gulping down cups of hot tea and devouring cold meat, pickles and salted cucumbers. The officer and the commander of tile troops were doubtless taking their refreshment in a private apartment. Phil, hidden by a couple of burly Cossacks, was invisible to Matirice. Grod- no, a few yards away, glared at him with a look of hatred. He might as well have spared himself the trouble, for Maurice paid him not the least attention. He was thinking very seriously over the events of the past two days and beginning to realize what a foolish and reckless thing it had been to accept the chance of escape offered by these two convicts. He and Phil would probably be held equally guilty with Grod- no and Hamid, and the penalty for the crimes committed by the two ruffians would be under Russian law—death. This Maurice realized with a shudder. He was amazed with Grodno's audacity in attempting to assassinate a Russian officer on a public road and actually within sight of a village. It could only be accounted for by the dire necessity for procuring money and a change of clothes, and since the officer had baggage in the wagon with him the undertaking seemed to offer both. Had not Maurice interfered when be did the officer and the driver would undoubtedly have been shot It was a clever rose of Grodno's to shoot the horse first, and thus put the ... , wagon and its occupants at his mercy. hurried quickly down the road, intent There was oneo ope- 8 very^lim one, on rescmng the imperiled officer As he K ^ iegcned ^^ ooM ^ ^ drew near a pistol cracked sharply J two other prisoners, who attack an approaching wagon Hammond and Danvers defend an officer In the wagon. A troop of Cossacks appears and recaptures all the prisoners. CHAPTER VIL RECAPTURED. Through the wavering curls of smoke MUnrice saw the nearer horse plunge heavily to the ground, dragging his mate with him, and that same quick glance showed him the crouching form of Hamid in the act of pulling his revolver on the officer sea ted in the wagon. With Maurice to think was to act, and like a flash he sprang oa the Turk's back at the very second that the man fired. His aim was spoiled, however, and the ball from the irffeapon -whizzed over the officer's head. In an instant all wag confusion. Hamid with a cry fell back into the copse struggling to tear loose from the brave boy's hold, while Phil, quick to grasp the situation, threw himself on Grodno, and they rolled together into the road almost to thMvheels of the wagon. Grodno's shot had killed the one horse, ami his mate in frantic alarm broke from his fastenings and darted like a streak over the plain, leaving the •wagon and its two occupants to their fate. The cowardly driver, frightened out of his wits by the shooting and by the sight of the gray convict garbs, left the wagon at a leap and ran in a zigzag course toward the distant village, uttering a howl of fright at every step. The officer was a man of quitediifereut caliber. Without the least appearance of fright he leaned forward, and opening a black box in the bottom of the wagon drew out a pair of revolvers. The sight of the two convicts struggling in the roadway must have puzzled him considerably, for he looked on without attempting to make any use of his weapons. Phil was no match for Grodno. The burly convict twisted him over and over, and finally dashed his head against a projecting stone with stunning force. Phil's grasp loosened, and Grodno was free. Seeing that the game was up, he made a sudden dash for the woods, but the officer, concluding that the time had come for him to act, raised one of his revolvers and fired. A sharp cry of pain followed the report, and Grodno, lunging heavily forward, vanished in the undergrowth. Meanwhile, under cover of the bushes, Maurice and Hamid were struggling desperately. The enraged Turk fought like a demon, trying in vain to make use of the revolver which he still clutched in his hand, but .Maurice hold him in a firm embrace, and they rolled over and over through the grass, neither gaining the ascendency. At length Maurice got his antagonist just where he •wanted him—underneath—and, clutcn- ing his throat with one hand was about to wrest the revolver from him with the other when the bushes parted almost beside him, and he glanced up to see Grodno's evil countenance glaring at him. The convict's left urm hung juaotiouless at his side, stained with blcod. Maurice released his hold on the Turk instantly and darted into the •woods, intending to circle round and see •what had become of Phil and the officer. He made a short detour which brought him to the edge of the road, some 30 or 80 yards above the wagon. Peeping cautiously from the fringe of bushes, he saw Phil lying motionless in the path, and the officer apparently bending over him. Then came a startling interruption. Grodno and Hamid bnrst from the forest with loud shouts, the former swinging the rifle around his head with one arm, and flung themselves on the officer, who staggered to his feet just in time to meet the attack. Shouts of anger were heard, but the combatants were so enveloped in a cloud of dust that Maurice could not tell how the battle was going. "If I only had a weapon of some sort," he exclaimed half aloud, and just then his eyes fell on a stout cudgel lying dose at hand, ;> staff dropped probably by some peasant. Seizing this, he H« «aw Grodno's evil countenance glaring at him. tnaoe to understand that he owed his life to the boys, he mi#ht eitend them valuable aid, bnt just there was tbe trouble, as Maurice told himself. Did the circumstances justify the boys' story? Tbe struggle between Hamid and Manrice was absolutely unseen, while the scuffle between Phil and Grodno might be easily misconstrued, and, as a clincher, would tbe officer believe that Maurice was hastening to his aid when he hurried down the road with his club? These reflections left him in a very unenviable frame of mind, which was not at all relieved by tbe scant supply of food which the Cossacks at last condescended to give him. About noon he and Phil were taken to another room, where the officer and the Cossack captain were seated at a table smoking pipes. The officer, to Manrice's great satisfaction, was able to speak English fairly well, and he cross I questioned the boys very closely, dei manding first of all to know what their share was in getting fire to the convict barge. He treated them with a certain consideration, which gave Maurice courage to relate the whole story in a frank, straightforward way which seemed to carry conviction with it. He saw that a favorable impression had been made, and, quick to seize the opportunity, he turned to the officer and said imploringly: "I beg of you, sir, the privilege of saying a few words more. 5?on addressed us as Cnmmings and Burton. I assure you that those are not onr names; that an awful mistake has been made, a fearful crime committed"— "Stopl" interrupted tbe officer sternly. "Not a word on that subject, or I shall change my intentions regarding you. I have hoard of your audacity in accusing a prominent and influential .Russian of a most absurd charge. For your own good I advise yon to cease. Yon surely must be aware of the convincing proofs arraigned against you." His face waa so grave and his tone so severe that Manrice lost all hope of obtaining a hearing and made no further attempt to speak. "As for your complicity with these two assassins," continued tbei officer in a calmer voice, "I believe your story, and for the service you have done me I shall afford you what aid I can, though I assure you that you are in a most serious position, Your two companions will undoubtedly be shot, and the chances are that yon will meet the same fate. I am Lieutenant Brosky, and I happen fortunately to be connected with the government at Tomsk, whither I am now bound. I will therefore be present at your trial and will state what facts I possess in your favor." CHAPTER VIII. CONDEMNED. Lieutenant Brosky turned away, as a sign that the interview was ended, and was about to rap on the table for the guards who were outside in the hall when Maurice asked respectfully: '' Will ".So, Phil; don't give up." you be kind enough to tell us to what part of Siberia we have been sentenced? No one will give us any information." The lieutenant spoke a few words to the captain, and tben, turning to Maurice, replied: "I can tell yon nothing now. I promise yon that you shall know what your original sentence was when you arrive at Tomsk." He signaled to the guards, and the boys were led away to the larger apartment down stairs. Grodno was still sitting in moody silence in his corner, and the Cossacks were filling their pockets with food and their canteens with tea. Outside the sturdy ponies were stamping restlessly, and through the window Maurice saw the wagon standing at the station door. Another horse had been, found to match the one shot by Grodno. A bugle blast assembled the Cossacks in haste, and the boys were rebound and placed in the wagon. Grodno was fastened securely on the back of one of the horses and given in charge of two Cossacks. At the last minute Lieutenant Brosky appeared and took the front seat. When just on the point of starting an incident occurred which for the moment diverted the boys from their troubles. Amid the throng of cnrions villagers standing a little distance from the wagon the keen eyes of Lieutenant Brosky detected the cowardly driver who had run away from him that morning and was lurking in the background hoping to escape detection. The angry officer seized his whip and sprang from the little wagon with a single bound. Another leap carried him into the midst of the affrighted peasants, who scattered in every direction, and catching his man by the neck he dragged him back before the station and applied the whip with merciless energy. The fellow howled and screamed most piteonsly, bot the officer con- tinned the castigation until the whip split in his hand, and then, tossing the fragments in one direction and the limp peasant in the other, he coolly climbed into the wagon, and with a merry blast of the bugles the convoy wound across the steppe on its way to Tomsk. Hamid was not with the carty. His ccndjtioo was probably too serious to permit removal, but Maurice noticed that two of the Cossacks remained behind, doubtless to await the Turk's recovery. Ac the time the convict barge bad ! been set on fire it was more than 100 miles from the city of Tomsk, and as the fugitives had covered but little ground in their flight the journey was .of short duration. The Cossack ponies and the horses who drew the wagon were animals of superior strength and endurance, as are all Siberian horses, and after two brief delays at wayside posting stations Tomsk was reached late the following evening. They crossed the dark river and drove into the wide and populous streets of the town. On all sides the boys were surprised to see large and imposing buildings and churches of various denominations. As the hour was late, but few people were on the streets, and these barely glanced at the little cavalcade as it wound rapidly through the town. The challenge of the sentries rang sharply on the air as they haired before a huge military looking stockade, pierced by a large gate and flanked at its corners by guardhouses. They passed through the gateway into the courtyard, and the huge forwarding prison of Tomsk was before them, not a single large building, as might have been expected, but a dozen or more one story log houses grouped about the inclosure without any attempt at regularity. A large number of soldiers were pacing to and fro with loaded rifles on their shoulders, and owing to the mildness of the night hundreds of convicts were sleeping on the sjrotind. When the new arrivals entered, many of them sat up with a harsh clanking of chains. The officer of the prison quickly came forward, accompanied by Captain Stanisla himself, and the prisoners were once more placed in his custody. Lieutenant Brosky drove away immediately without even glancing toward the boys, the Cossacks trotted out of the inclosure, and the recaptured fugitives were marched off to an isolated log building with heavy doors and barred windows. The boys were not slow to realize the serious change in their situation. The guards roughly fastened chains to their legs and thrust them into a dark, ill smelling room containing absolutely nothing but a dirty straw bed in one corner. The door was closed and locked, and they were alone in darkness. "What do you suppose they will do with us?" asked .Phil in despairing tones. "Not that it matters much, for I don't seem to care any more what becomes of me. I have lost all hope." "No, Phil; don't give up," said Manrice firmly. "The outlook is very hard, but all hope is not gone. We can't tell what may turn up yet in our favor. Have courage, Phil; have courage. Lieutenant Brosky may get us free of this present scrape, and when we learn just where they are going to take us—and you know the lieutenant promised to tell us—then we can see better what our chances are." Phil, however, refused to be comforted and paced the front of the narrow apartment until compelled to lie down from sheer weariness. Maurice was far from feeling the confident manner which he had assumed. He was deeply impressed with the gravity of their present scrape, and even should they avoid punishment for that through Lieutenant Brosky's influence he realized that Siberian exile offered no hope of escape. Vladimir Saradoff would take every precaution OD that score. At the thought of his treacherous uncle Maurice ground his teeth and clinched his fists. Presently he became more composed and sat down on the bed beside Phil. If any aid could reach them, it must come from one source—home. His guardian and Phil's friends would make a determined effort to find the boys. But here again Vladimir Saradoff would no doubt be ready with some cunning tale to explain their disappearance. Little did Maurice dream of the startling truth as he sat on the wretched conch thinking of the home and the friends that he would probably never see again. He fell asleep at last, and when he woke the guards were tramping heavily past the prison, and from.an adjoining cell came furious cries and savage cursing, doubtless the wretched Grodno in a feverish delirium caused by his wound. His ravings continued until daylight, completely putting an end to the boys' sleep. They were provided with a scanty, unpalatable breakfast and then left alone until after midday, when a file of soldiers, led by a young officer, entered the cell. They were taken outside, where they found Grodno supported by two guards, his ugly face flushed with fever. He glared at the boys with malignity, and even made an effort to spring at Maurice, bnt was held back by the soldiers. They marched across the courtyard between crowds of convicts, who surveyed them curiously and, as a close observer would have discovered, pityingly. Manrice recognized among them many familiar faces, his fellow voyagers on the convict barge, and he was glad to see that they had escaped the terrible death to which Grodno's crime bad so nearly consigned them. Near the gates stood the office of the prison, a gloomy two story building. Soldiers were all aronnd it, some on guard duty, some chatting in groups, others holding fiery black horses, belonging, no doubt, to officers who •were inside. The boys were ushered into a large, dimly lighted room and in a barred inelosnre along one side. Arormd a large table, lighted by a lamp, sat half a dozen stern looking men in. offiaa-s' uniforms, among whom Matirice recognized Captain Stanisla, the Coesack captain who recaptured the fugitives and Lientenant Brosky. The rest were strangers. The two men were writing at a table near by, and a dozen soldiers occupied ft long Bencn across the room, trat all was very quiet and still. ' 'They are waiting for some person, " whispered Maurice to Phil. One of the guards observed the conversation and rapped the boys sharply on the shoulders with the flat of his sword. In a very short time wheels rattled tip to the door, and a tall, stout man entered the room and took a seat at the head of the table. He had a heavy gray beard and mustache and was dressed in a summer uniform of light linen. He conversed briefly with Lieutenant Brosky, a proceeding which Maurice gladly noted, and then the trial — if such it could be called — was formally begun. The boys' suspense was augmented by the fact that all was conducted in Bussian. The first to be examined was Captain Stanisla, who spoke for 10 or 15 minutes, and from stray words understood here and there Maurice knew that he was relating the circumstances of the fire. At the close of bis explanation he was subjected to a close cross examination. Lieutenant Brosky and the Cossack captain followed with brief addresses, and at this point the prosecution seemed to rest. The officers conferred briefly among themselves, and then, to the utter consternation of the boys, Grodno was called forward. He advanced eagerly in spite of his wound and started to speak in an excited voice, He was speedily compelled to be silent and to content himself with answering the questions that were put to him. The interrogations were brief, and as the convict was led back to the pe^* he threw a glance of hateful triumph at the boys. At that moDjent Manrice lost all hope, and the grave, severe faces of his judges seemed to confirm his belief. He made no attempt to speak, knowing only too well that it would be useless. The officer in the white suit conferred with his companions, and then, rising to his feet, announced what was ev idently the verdict of the court. Grod- no gave a loud cry as the words fell from the officer's lips, and then the prisoners were hurried from the room. A few paces beyond the door they were met by Lieutenant Brosky, who whispered to Maurice as they passed hurriedly by: "You are all sentenced to be shot. Grodno has lied infamously. Don't despair yet. I will do what I can. ' ' With these words ringing in their ears the boys staggered across the prison yard, oblivious to everything around them, and sank down in the corner of the cell. The guards went silently away, and even Grodno's piteous wailings from the adjoining cell were unheeded and unheard. Hours passed, and still they tossed in wretched misery on the hard pallet. Phil broke down completely and cried bitterly, while Maurice, brave lad that he was, could hardly repress his tears. He made no effort to encourage Phil by false hopes, for he knew how precarious was the aid that Lieutenant Brosky had promised. Death stared them in the face. If ever there was an example of the disastrous consequences of bad company, Maurice felt that this was one, and bitterly did he regret having had anything to do with the two convicts. Grodno, out of revenge, had sworn that the boys were equally guilty with himself, and now they must pay the penalty. Supper was brought to them, but was left untouched. Neither had any desire to eat. Engrossed in their own sad thoughts, they even paid little attention to each other, pacing the floor constantly and starting nervously at every strange sound from without. So the hours wore on, and night came. Grodno was silent, and the only sounds that broke the stillness were the heavy tread of soldiers and the occasional rattle of steel. Condemned men are often said to sleep soundly the night before execution, and the boys were no exception. They fell asleep side by side, and only woke when the gray dawn was stealing in at the grated window. Outside were heard strange noises, a steady tramp of feet, a harsh rattle, and then a terrific discharge of firearms seemed to shake the building. Frightened and amazed, the boys rose to their feet. Footsteps were heard in the corridor. They came nearer and nearer. The door creaked and opened, and Lieutenant Brosky entered, accompanied by two soldiers. [TO BE CONT1M3ED.] HUMORS Keep Up tic ' Hilmus-^Gae using which must be impressed upon our tanners in regard tc the care of tiu eofl is the necessity of keeping up th« supply of vegetable matter, or humus, It. This can be done by using barnyard manure liberally, or occasionally growing a. rank crop of sora* vegetation well supplied with nitrogen, and then plowing it under. Foi this purpose nothing is better than cow peas, for they furnish the soil with M unusually large amount of nitrogen when treated as has jus* been stated. Unless some such plan this it followed, the supply of vegetable matter in. the soil gives out after it has been under cultivation for some time. And as this supply of vegetable matter diminishes, the tup- ply of nitrogen, so necessary to plant irowth, la tie soil also decrease?. In wMition, the soil will not hold molv tore in caw> of drouth. So the final word of advice to farmers Is, kaep •=> tt« supply of humus.— Ex.. __ In Fiji the coinage consists chiefly of whale's teeth, those of greater vain* being dyed red. The natiTe* exchange twenty white teeth for one red one, u we chanjfe nickels for a dollar. The secret marks on United State* notes, by which forgeries are so r&pitlr d«Uct«d, are constantly being changed. Tne microicof* will reveal many to u obMTTMt/cre. Pimples, blotches, blackhead*, red. ronch, oily, mothy skin, itching, scaly scxlp, dry) thin, and falling hair, and baby blemishes prevented by CCTICDRA. 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