Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on October 19, 1897 · Page 22
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Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 22

Logansport, Indiana
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 19, 1897
Page 22
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CHAPTER 1. -Vladimir Fflradoff, a Russian, belnir htlr to the fortune of his nephew, Maurice Hammond, an American, in rase of bis j rephew'B ceath, conspires to have him seat to Russia in order to get him In his power. II.— i Hammond and his friend, Philip Danvere ar- j rive at St. Petersburg, and Saradoff lays pl^ns ! to have them arrested as conspirators against tbe government. Ill and IV—Hammond at a ! review saves the life of ColonelJarosiav. Pro- ocodioc to Moscow, they are arrested and sent to Slbera. On the way the boat on which they travel catches fire, and i hey. with two other convicts esoapt in a skiff. V VI and VII—Hammond and banvers pu:rsue their way with the two other pri-oners, who attack an approaching wagon. Hammond and Daovers defend an officer in the wagon. A troop of CossKcks Appears and recaptures all the prisoner*. The omoer tells the Americans thBt they will probably be shot, but in view of their services to him fie will do all he can for them. CHAPTER IX. THE RIOT AT IRKUTSK. "I have been fortunate," he said in i a grave voice. "Grodno was shot outside of the stockade bat a few moments ago, and the Turk will Buffer tbe same fate as soon as he can be moved to Tomsk, bnt your sentence has been commuted, and you will go, instead, to the mines of Kara.'' "The mines of Karal" exclaimed Maurice blankly, and for the moment, 08 his mind reverted to what he had tead and heard of that dread place, .be folt half sorry that their lives had been spared. Then came a revulsion of feeling, and he thanked the lieutenant warmly for his intercession. Phil, to whom the mines of Kara meant nothing, fairly broke down and was profuse in his gratitude. "1 did no more than my duty," said Lieutenant Brosky coldly. "I believed yonr story and stated my belief to the governor of the province. He was pleased to commute your punishment. Your original sentence, which I promised to ascertain for you, was ten years at the mines. "That has now been increased to 80 years, so you can face the worst. Remember that what I have done for you is in return for your assistance when i those two ruffians attacked me. Here our intercourse ends. It is not like!}' that we shall meet again." As the lieutenant turned to leave the prison Maurice, seeing his last chance slipping away, sprang forward implor ingly, but the officer motioned him back, and in an instant the door had closed behind him. "\Veoughtto be thankful that our lives have been saved," said Phil as Maurice threw himself, face downward, on the bed, and presently he asked, "Where are the mines of Kara and what are they?" "You will know when we reach there," said Maurice. "They are gold mines that belong to the czar and are nearly 2,000 miles from here. That's all I care to say about them." And in spite of Phil's entreaties Maurice firiu- ly refused to talk any more about tbe juines of Kara. They spent two days of gloom and hopelessness in the Tomsk prison, and at daybreak on the third morning they were rudely turned out into the iuclo- sure, which was half filled with wretched exiles waiting apparently for some event of importance. The delay was brief. The large gates were thrown open, and between lines of armed soldiers the convicts, answering to their names, which were called out by an officer with a book in his hand, passed outside, each man receiving at the gate a sum of money equivalent to 10 cents. On this they must subsist two days, as the Russian government allows its exiles but 5 cents a day while on the march. The boys almost forgot their own troubles in. the pitiful sights around them, for many of the prisoners were accompanied by wives and children. The exile party was speedily made TTl« boys «j.ptT«f much from the chilling ralna. •p. The extra clothes and baggage which many of tho convicts possessed were piled up in wagons, and while this was going on peddlers and peasant women crowded freely in through the guards with various kinds of food, which^vas bought; up eagerly. At itist came the order to start, and the whole column was quickly in motion. A squad of Cossacks, in their handsome green uniforms, led off and •were followed by the disorderly throng of men, women and children marching between three broken lines of soldiers. The infirm and the sick and the very •mall children came next, riding in tel- gaa—a species of ro.de wagon—and a •fallen convoy of-half a dozen Cossacks, I guarding the baggage wagons, with tnelr loads ol gray Dags, brongHt up the rear. The boys turned once for a last look at Tomsk, already fast fading on the horizon, and then, with faces pale and stern, they marched away to the east ward, where thousands and thousands march every year—never to retnrn. The period of suffering and misery that began with the departure from Tomsk almost defies description. Day after day they trudged on, living on the scanty food that their meager allowance was able to purchase, and sleeping at night in foal, crowded exile station houses which are built along the road at intervals of from 13 to 20 miles. Every third day they rested, and these halts the boys soon learned to regard with uncontrollable horror, for during the whole 24 hours they remained shut up in the close, unhealthy station houses. Thus spring passed into summer, and summer turned to autumn, and still the exile party pressed wearily forward, leaving many of their number at different points along the route. There were times when the boys found it difficult to convince themselves that tha past was not all a dream—that they had ever known a brighter, fairer country than this desolate Siberia, and then again there were occasions when the past became all too realistic and vivid, and the remembrance of their hopeless condition and of Vladimir Saradoff's crime sank into their hearts like heated iron. The boys suffered much from the chilling rains and cold winds that came with the early autumn, and many a weary mile they marched with dripping garments flapping about their aching limbs. It was on a crisp, cool September evening that Irkutsk was reached, and the sun was setting lightly on the white walls and golden domes of this powerful capital of eastern Siberia when the boys crossed the river on a pendulum ferryboat and entered the streets of 'the city. The party now numbered scarcely 100. Many had died on the way, and many had been left at different points on the route. Those remaining were either political prisoners or belonged to the most desperate grade of criminals. To reach the prison the party were compelled to cross a section of the city, and the boys were amazed to see the broad, well paved streets, the imposing buildings, the shop windows filled with articles of luxury, and the well dressed people who occupied the sidewalks. "It seems like a dream," observed Maurice to his companion. "I cannot believe that we are in Siberia. How like an American city this is, Phil, and how long it seems since we left home," he added sadly. Phil made no reply. He raised his sleevo and brushed away the tears which were rolling down his pale cheeks. The mournful procession moved on rapidly, attracting but little attention from the people. The central portion of the city was soon left behind, and they entered a more sqnalid neighborhood, with dark, narrow streets and gloomy, dingy houses. The sidewalks now appeared to be more crowded, and from the attitude of the people it seemed as though something unusual were going on. Multitudes of peasants in red silk and black velvet trousers surged to and fro, singing and shouting, either from excitement or intoxication, probably the latter, for on every street corner was a peddler's stall, where the fiery vodka was being sold by the glass or the bottle. "It's a holiday of some kind," whispered Maurice; "the shops are all closed and the people are dressed up in their best." At that moment the exiles were halted in a small square, surrounded by unusually squalid houses, and instantly an eager aud curious crowd had hemmed them in. They were pressed against the soldiers, who tried in vain to drive them back on the sidewaJk. A commotion was now heard in front and, mingled with the shouts of the people, the boys could distinguish rude music and a hollow be :iriiig of drums. An officer galloped along the line, shouting fiercely: "Drive the scoundrels from the square. Force your way through with swords and bayonets!" The Cossacks made an immediate attempt \o obey this order, for the column pushed forward a few yards, only to come to a dead halt again between the surging crowds. The boys were near the front of the column, and, looking over tha heads of their companions, they could see a golden image mounted on a pole and iitrange looking banners jammed in among the people. "This is a religious festival of some kind," said Maurice, "and those stupid Cossacks have blundered right into it on their way to the prison." From the crowding and pnshirjg going on in front it looked as though the mob were disputing the passage of the prisoners. Some gmnng etnpnny on the gronnu, Others carelessly scanning the faces of the people. Directly behind Maurice and Phil Stood a middle aged man, with a light j ons mot, qnlct to recognize the crash of artillery, fell into a hopeless panic and fled in confusion. Toward the four j approaches of the square tbej surged, shouting, trampling each other under- beard and mustache. He had accompa- i foot, and still the vengeful cannon sent nied the party from Tomsk, and his name was Paul Platoff. This was all that the boys knew concerning him, for, although his refined appearance had tempted them on more than one occasion to make his acquaintance, the recollection of their previous experience always checked them in the act. Turning half round, Maurice saw that this Platoff was gazing into the crowd, with an expression of intense excitement on his features. Had he recognized some friend or acquaintance among the people, or was he meditating a sudden escape, basing his hopes on the hostile attitude displayed toward the soldiers and the murmurs of pity for the fetier- ed convicts? As these thoughts passed through Maurice's mind the command to march was thundered out by the officer, and the head of the line began to straggle through the now sundered ranks of the procession. As the men in front of him began to move Maurice turned for another look at Platoff, and on that very instant the convict sprang from the line, wrenched the gun from the grasp of the nearest soldier and, swinging it savagely round his head, plunged in among the people, who made no effort to prevent his escape. Quick as was this daring deed, it did not escape the guards, and half a dozen Cossacks, from as many different points along the line, raised their rifles and its iron messengers tearing among them. Retaining his presence of mind and clinging to Phil with all his might, Maurice was swept into the thick of the struggle. Jostled, squeezed and bruised, he was carried, without any effort of his own, foot by foot, acrcss the square. Twice he stumbled and gave himself up for lost, but the press lifted him to his feet again, aud he held on to his burden with renewed hope. Above the roar of ihf people he heard the whistle of rifle balls, for it was evident that re-enforcements had arrived aud were firing recklessly into the mob. The troops seemed bent on slaughtering as many of the rioters as possible, for the shooting became louder and more frequent, and men began to drop in all directions. • Twice Maurice shuddered when he felt something soft underfoot. With every nerve strained to its utmost he held his own against the pressure, expecting every moment to be riddled with beliefs. Suddenly his foot tripped on something hard, and, taking a step upward, he felt the smooth pavement under him. At the same instant there was a stinging pain in his left arm, and his grasp on Phil relaxed. He knew he could go no farther with his burden, and yet to remain where he was meant certain death. To his right a gloomy building loomed indistinctly out of the darkness. If fired at Platoff's retreating form, ignor- he could only cross the sidewalk and ing the people entirely in their eagerness to arrest the fugitive. The scene that ensued terrifwd the boys. Cries of pain followed the rifle fire, and as the smoke partially oleared four motionless I in spite of reach that, he might find a place of refuge till the danger was past. Summoning all his strength and still grasping Phil with his wounded arm, bodies were seen lying in the daaty road. Paul Platoff was not among them. He had vanished in the crowd. The sight of tbeee innocent victims changed the hoitile feelings of th« people to a furor of madness. A Russian ;mob is always merciless and cruel, alwayi regards a soldier or a gendarme as a been enemy, and now, with shouts of rage that were caught up and re-echoed from every corner of the square, the riotous peasantry closed in on the little group of exiles and soldiers. For an instant swords and bayonets flashed, and the foremost of the rioters perished by cold steel, but those behind pressed on more furiously than ever. The situation 'became critical in the extreme. The troops, few in number a it was, were scattered along the line and, being unable to concentrate, wer wholly at the mercy of the mob. Th tumult was deafening, and with th savage and frenzied yells of the rabb; mingled the occasional crack of a rif or a clash of steel. Up in front the ac vauce guard of Cossacks were making brave stand, and the rear guard, too were apparently holding their own but along thei straggled line the soldier were going clown one by one, and mis siles of every description were falling thickly among the panic stricken con victs. Something round and black, with a smoking fuse, fell at Maurice's feet. "Back! Backl" he cried, frantically clutching Phil by the shoulder, aud a they turned to flee a terrific explosion shook the ground and a red flash briefly lit up the scene of carnage. the pain, he began to force right angles through the The outcry was loud and violent, and the commands of the officers with difficulty reached the ears of their m>ai. A close watch was kept on the convicts, and the soldiers threatened with sword and bayonet the excited mob who pressed against them. Amid all this tumult the convicts maintained the same sullen derneanor- CHAPTER X. STORMING THE WKONG CITADEL. The explosion of the bomb—for such it undoubtedly was—threw Maurice with istunuing force to the ground, ant when he staggered to his feet, dizzy anc blinded, he believed at first that he was badly injured, When tho smoke and dust cleared partially, he forgot his own pain in the misery around him. Two or three ol the convicts lay on the ground groaning piteously. The bomb had done dreadful execution, and not among those for whom it was intended, for the guards had escaped the flying fragments of iron and glass. Phil hsy among the injured, his face and hair stained with blood. Manrice bent over him in alarm. "Phil, Phil," he cried, "speak to me. Are you hnrt?" Them, as no answer came, he seized the wounded boy in his arms and staggered backward with his bu:rdfm. The excitement had now reached the highest pitch. The mob, inflamed still more by the unintentional injury done the exiles, pressed forward against the few remaining soldiers. The whole square was jammed with the furioas combatants. The Cossacks fought well, using bayonet and saber with deadly effect, but against such desperate numbers their bravery was of no avail, and many of them fell under the volley of cobblestones, clubs, bricks and what other missiles the rioters could lay their hands on. The rapid approach of darkness made the scene still more dreadful, and as the prisoners realized their situation and saw the discomfiture of their guards many of them broke from the lines' and vaai&hed '.n the crowd. The imense excitement gave to Maurice almost superhuman strength, and Phil's unconscious body seemed an easy burden as he bora it; tenderly into the center of the lines, wJaere the chance of safety from the flying missiles was best. There he paused irresolutely for a moment. The sullen roar of the mob rang in his ears, an occasional red flash lit up the gloom, and the terror stricken wretches around him were beginning to flee in all directions. No attempt was made to check them. his way at mob. It was almost a hopeless task, but he stuck to it, bravely pushing the people right and left with desperate strength. The air was clouded with powder smoke, and the guns still pounded unceasingly. Fierce as was the rush of the mob, Maurice fought his way clear across the sidewalk, and staggering feebly up a flight of stone steps dropped in a dead faint on the summit. The ping of bullets brought him to his senses, and he sat up to see Phil lying motionless at his Bide and a man in convict garb leaning heavily against the door. He turned to the boys, and Maurice recognized Paul Platoff. The fugitive's face was white with pain, and his right leg was bound with a crimson bandage torn from bis overcoat. "We are safe for the present,"he said in Russian, pointing to the high wooden canopy over the top of the steps. "Keep low, though, for a stray bullet might strike you." Maurice codded gratefully, and immediately stretched himself at full length on the topmost step. A glance upward showed him a high stone building. The windows were tightJy closed with iron shutters, and the door was of heavy wood with brass trimmings. Then he turned his attention to the street, and at once forgot Phil, Platoff and his wounded arm in the scene beneath him, The house where he had taken refuge was at the entrance to one of the exits from the square. By good fortune the majority o:f the rioters had turned in this direction. It had so happened that the troops approached the square from all three of the other entrances, leaving this one alone unguarded, and now the narrow passageway was fast choking up with the fleeing fugitives, while a borde of cavalry rode at their heels, sa- bering the wretched creatures as fast as they could use their weapons. The roar of artillery and the crack of rifles :ad almost ceased, bnt the shrieks of he wounded and the frightened cries of the others made an indescribable tumult, With a sa.d heart Maurice watched ;he mass withdrawing foot by foot hrough the narrow street, while the tramp of hoofs and. the glare of torches came closer and closer and closer. Platoff's commanding voice recalled lira to his senses. "Come,"he said, touching Maurice m the shoulder. " You are a brave lad; watched your heroic struggle through ie crowd. Let us try to escape. If we an gain access to this house till the quare be cleared, I have friends who ill care for us. I am wounded, or I would seek safety there." And he point- d down at the struggling crowd. Most this speech Maurice understood, for "Strike, iad, striker 1 ha shouted to Maurice. "Do your best!" And under the double rain of blows the door begat. to creak and tremble. Carried away 07 tbe possibilities of escape which Platoff offered, Maurice once more forgot all prudence, and with nerves wrought to the highest tension he banged away at the resisting barrier with furious energy. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw the square all ablaze with torches and alive with mounted Cossacks and B warms of infantry. The insurrection had been quickly quelled, and the rear of the mob was fast struggling out through the narrow street, leaving countless dead behind them. "Harder, harder!" commanded Platoff. "A few more strokes will do it, and then safety." As he spoke a squad of Cossacks clattered clown the street, striking right and left at the remnant of the fugitives, and along the sidewalk advanced a turbulent swarm of troops, seeking here and there for some object on which to vent their passion. A torch gleam flashed under the canopy, revealing the fugitives, and the maddened soldiers made a rush for the steps, firing recklessly into the air as they ran. In desperation Platoff and Maurice redoubled their efforts. Crash, crash, rang the heavy pillars, and crack, crack, went the door on its hinges. The bullets pinged sharply round the daring refugees, and just as the foremost of the soldiers swept up the steps, with gleaming bayonets, the lock gave way before the fusillade and the door swung inward. "Inside, for your life!" shouted Platoff, and seizing Phil in his powerful arms he fairly threw him into the dark ballway and pushed Maurice after him. Springing back to the edge of the steps, he snatched the two heavy pillars, and (swinging them around his head mowed, down the advancing soldiers like ripened wheat. With a spring be regained the hallway and slammed the door shut; in the very face of a furious storm of bullets. "I hate your companion," he shouted to Maurice. "Follow me quick. They will be here in an instant." He led the way in the darkness, and Maurice followed closely along what seemed to ba a vast corridor. Outside were heard furious cries and rifle shots aud a clatter of feet. Then the door burst open, revealing a blaze of torches and a multitude of fierce faces. "Down flat!" shouted Platoff. "They will fire over our heads." As they dropped to the floor, trembling in expectation of a volley of bullets, a door at the farther end of the corridor opened, aad a file of soldiers appeared, led by a young officer with drawn sword. A lamp was burning in the room behind them. For a moment a dire catastrophe impended. The command to fire was on the officer's lips, and the soldiers at the outer door already held their hands on the triggers. Caught between two fires, the fugitives devoutly hugged tbe floor, wishing themselves anywhere but in their present predicament. The thrill- SLEEP FOR SKIN-TORTURED BABIES And rest for tired mothers in a vrarm bath with CCCTCIHU. SOAP, aadasingleapjilication of CUTICUKA ioinuncnt),the great skin care. CCTICUKJ. 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A terrific report echoed over the square— a report that was instantjj succeeded by cries of fright and pai*-and the riot- f ;e had by this lime acquired a fair nowledge of the language. He sat np ladly and turned to Platoff for instrnc- ions. The .Russian, however, was bend- ng over Phil and wiping the blood from ie boy's pallid face. "Yonr friend is ot dead," he said. "A fragment of omb has grazed his head. He will be 11 right shortly.'' Beaching within his blouse, he drew ut a tiny flask an; put it to Phil'f3 lips. he effect was won lerful. The wound- d lad opened his eyes and made an ef- jrt to sit up. Platoff propped him gainst the side of the doorway and then rned to Maurice. "Look," he said, tbe Cossacks are coming nearer. Their irches will soon light up cur hiding lace. If we would escape, there is not moment to lose." Half rising on his ainjured leg, <e rattled fiercely at the door and hammered the heavy panel with his fists. "The cowards," he cried angrily, as no response came from within. "They are afraid to o_pen it. But we have still another chance. Force will conquer where persuasion fails." He dragged himself to the edge of the steps. The wooden canopy over the door was supported by heavy pillars, and seizing one of these Platoff, with a desperate effort, wrenched it loose. Handing it to Maurice, he tore a second one from its socket for his own use, and turning to the door he dealt it & sturdy itroke with the heavy weapon. ing pause was broken by a Cossack officer, who forced his way up the steps and into the hall. "Don't shoot!" he cried to the men. "What are you doing here? What does this mean, attacking his majesty's storehouse?" Before a reply could be made tbe officer at the farther end of tbe hall cried, "In the name of the czar, lay down your arms and surrender, or I fire!" "Hold on! Don't shoot!" exclaimed the Cossack. " What is the meaning of this, you ruffians?" Arid he turned angrily to the men. "It in not we who have broken in here," half a dozen burst out. "It is some of the rioters. They have killed our men, and we demand vengeance." The young officer, who had been under the impression that the men at tbe door were part of the mob attacking the building, now advanced down the corridor with his file of soldiers, and, seeing that the game was np, Platoff rose to his feet, crying .loudly: "Don't shoot, don't shoot! We are exiles; we do not belong to the mob!" The soldiers at the door commenced to clamor for their lives, but the Cossack officer drove them back from the entrance, and tbe other troops advanced down the corridor and seized Platoff and his companions. •'•"""" [TO BE CCOTIXUED.] !••!:,. ^ . Deer In the Adirondack*. . Deer hunters in the Adirondack have so far secured few deer, according to reports i ? rom many of the resorts. 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