Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on October 21, 1897 · Page 22
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Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 22

Logansport, Indiana
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 21, 1897
Page 22
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oeoainsr to Moscow, they are arrested and Bent to Bibera. On the way the boat on which they travel catches fire, and ibey. witu two other convicts escapt In a skiff. V VI and VII-Ham- mondand Lanvers pursue their way with the two other prt'oners, who attack an approaching wagon. Hammond and Danvers defend an officer in the wagon, A troop of Cossacks appears and recaptures all the prisoners. The officer tells the Americans thnt they will probably be shot, but in vie" of their services to him he will do all he can for them. Vlll, IX X— Tney are senteoced to be shot. Thw snn tcnce is commuted to imprisonment at K»ra. but a rlnt in which they t>re Involved results in their being put to work in the mines of Kara XI Xll and XI11— At the mines Captain Da'ronun attempts to Idas Lora Me:ikoff. aid Hammond knocks him down. Daiomrn orders him to be shot. Lora saves him, and uaromao discovers that ehe is the daughter of Colonel Melilcott. CHAPTER 1 LORA MELIKOFF. Cossacks and convicts alike were petrified at the lad's daring deed, and for a moment no one stirred. Phil made a motion to follow his companion, but Platofl fiercely held him back. Then Captain Daroman staggered dizzily to his feet. He drew his •wcrd and sprang with a savage cry at Maurice, who was standing calmly in Jront of the girl he had rescued. The lad's fate appeared to be sealed, but just when the weapon was within a foot of his head the captain stopped short and cried in a voice hoarse -with passion, "No, no, my fine fellow; that's too merciful for you." He sheathed bis weapon and turned to the soldiers. "Bind him to that tree yonder," he shouted, "and shoot him instantly." The Cossacks sprang forward, and Maurice was speedily tied to a large tree that stood a few yards distant near the base of the hill. The convicts huddled affrightedly together, and the girl, who seemed unable to comprehend the meaning of the scene, edged away from the spot, looking with unutterable terror at Captain Daromau. The commandant gave several sharp, quick orders, and a dozen Cossacks advanced from the line. They dropped their rifle butts with a ringing clatter to the frozen ground and then raised them to their shoulders. Maurice, pale and trembling, faced the glaring muzzles. He knew that in another moment the leaden volley would pierce his breast, and yet he faced the prospect with a calmness that surprised himself. All his past life was surging through his mind, but still he saw distinctly every detail of the scene before him—the awestruck convicts, the agitated faces of Phil and P.latoff, the firing squad of Cossacks and! the ferocious countenance of Captain Daroman. "Why did they not fire?" he wondered vaguely, and then he began to ntter a silent prayer. "Take aim!" shouted the commandant, and the 12 black muzzles centered together. Maurice closed his eyes with a shudder. A low sob burst from Phil, and Platoff ground his teeth. "Fire!" was already trembling on Captain Daroman's lips when a startling interruption occurred. The young gill sprang across the rifles and threw borself in front of Maurice. "I forbid you 1;o shoot!" she exclaimed, facing the soldiers. "Release this man, or you shall all bo punished! And you," she added to Captain Daroman, "you shall pay dearly for this insult." The commandant swore a frightful oath. "Take her away!" he shouted to his rueii. "Drag her to one side and finish this dog horo." Half a dozen Cossacks advanced toward the courageous girl, but she held her ground and met them with flashing eyes. In another instant they would have seized her roughly, but just then a clatter of hoofs was heard, and a young Cossack officer, mounted ou a black horse, galloped tip to the party. He surveyed the scene l ! or a moment. Then, flinging the lines to a soldier, he leaped from the saddle and approached the giil, doffing his cap respectfully as he did to. "Miss Lorn," he said, "your father, the colonel, has sent me in search of you. He feared you had strayed off and lost your way." A revolving bombshell could not have caused greater consternation than did the quiet speech of this young officer, The soldiers lowered their rifles instantly, and the convicts began to whisper excitedly among themselves, and Captain Daroman's face assumed an expression that noue who saw it can ever forget. "You have come just in time," replied the maiden. ' 'I have sviffered iu- Bult at the hands of that man," point- rug to the trembling commandant, "and this convict here, who saved me from the wretch, was about to be shot for his noble deed." The officer turned sternly and inquiringly toward Captain Daromau, who now came unsteadily forward. ' 'Sude- fcin, who is that girl?" he asked in a huikv voice. "I thought she belonged to the free command yonder." "She is the daughter of Colonel Mel- CHAPTER 1. -viadimlrTaradoff, a'HusBlan,' tmt i!n searcn of her. JtlooEs as thotfga beinif heir w> the fortune of his nephew, Mau- you were in a pretty bad scrape this rice Hammond, an American, in rase of his nawiman " nephew's ceaih, conspires to have him sent to ume, .uaroman. Hussla in order to «et him in his power. II.—] "p^g commandant crew still paler. Hammond and his Wend, Philip Danvera ar-1 whisnBr^ 'Van rive at St. Petersburg, and Saradoff lays plans ; JBul> teii me, ne wnisperea, can to have them arrested as_ conspirators anaioet nothing be done to smooth matters over? °™~"" ° " Why, I didn't even know that Colonel Melikoff had a daughter." "She just came on a visit from Ir- kutsk," replied Sndekin coldly. "Everything rests with her, Daroman. Don't talk to me." The commandant hesitated a second or two, and then in a cringing manner that must have been bitter as gall to his proud spirit approached the girl. "Miss Melikoff," he began humbly, but at the first word she indignantly moved to one side. "Before you dare speak to me," sbe said angrily, "release that brave man there." The commandant gave the necessfiry orders, and then, while the soldiers were unbinding Maurice, he made an abject apology, and in the most piteous tones begged that his offense might be overlooked and kept from reaching her father. It was a strange scene, tie savage Captain Daroman suing for merty in the presence of his own soldiers and of the convicts who had felt so often his iron rule. The girl listened calmly to his appeal, and when he had finished she walked proudly away like an offended princess, not deigning to give him so much as a glance. "Take me home, Lieutenant Sude- kin," she said. "I have heard quite enough,'' The lieutenant pointed across the plain. "A sleigh was ordered to follow roe," he replied. "I see it coming now." The conveyance quickly reached the spot, with a merry ringing of bells. Miss Lora darted a grateful glance at Maurice and stepped in among the furs. The driver whipped up the horses, and the sleigh sped rapidly off, attended closely by Lieutenant Sudekin on his black charger. Captain Daroman watched it until it •was dim in the distance. Then, turning on Maurice one glance so venomous and malignant that the lad shuddered, he put spurs to his pony and galloped off without a word. "Get in line there," cried the sub- officer harshly. The convicts instantly obeyed, the Cossacks surrounded them with shouldered rifles, and the interrupted march was resumed as calmly and monotonously as though the event just witnessed had never occurred. Maurice, assisted by his two companions, staggered forward with the utmost difficulty. He was suffering from a violent reaction. He had bravely attacked the commandant and faced the certainty of death without a tremor, but the sudden restoration to hope was too much for him. The officer in command perceived his enfeebled condition, and feeling doubtful as to the bearing which the recent incident would have on the young convict he wisely concluded to be on the safe side arid act with leniency. He gave Maurice a few drops of vodka from his own flask and mounted him on a pony until the mines were reached. Tnis treatment was speedily effective, and Maurice was able to work as usuiil with his fellow prisoners, for the officer refused to extend his leniency any further. He was kept rigorously apart from Phil and Platoff, however, and put to work some distance away. The rest of the day was not destined to pass uneventfully. During the noon period of rest an ominous incident occurred, and one from which Maurice drew an inference favorable to himself. Twenty mounted Cossacks rode up to the mines, headed by a middle aged officer with dignified bearing, who sternly asked for Captain Daroman. When told that the commandant had not accompanied the convicts to tha mines, he appeared much concerned, and presently the whole party rode away at full speed. Trudging home at sunset, three different squads of soldiers were encountered, and on reaching the settlement suppressed excitement was visible on the faces of all whom they met. Within' the prison much whispering was going on among the convicts, and the new arrivals were speedily acquainted with u dozen different versions of what was indeed a startling tale. The facts of the case, as gleaned from these different stories, which had entered the prison in some unaccountable manner, appeared to be as follows: Captain Daroman, on leaving the convict gangs that morning, had returned in haste to the prison, changed his clothes in his own apartment, armed himself heavily and then galloped away on a fresh horse, in what direction none observed Shortly after his departure a troop of soldiers arrived from the lower diggings with a warrant for his arrest. It was no secret that the commandant had "Arid Bow "do you tn'lni: thft will af- fectme, Platoff?" asked Maurice. "Will it lighten my sentence, or is it even possible that I shall obtain a fair hearing from the governor and be permitted to tell him oar story? I feel sure that I should convince him of the truth." Platoff gravely shook his head. "Don't be too hopeful, my friend," he replied. ' 'There are complications in this affair that you are unable to see. ; To me, with my knowledge and erpari- ; ence, they are only too plain. You have performed a brave de«d, it is true, and protected from insult the daughter of Colonel Melikoff, but at the same time yon have broken the severest of priraon rules and committed a flagrant crime, for which the penalty is death." "And would not the one offset the other?" demanded Maurice with indignation. '' Would the circumstances count for nothing?" "Colonel Melifcoff is known as the most stern and rigid disciplinarian in all Siberia," answered Platoff soberly. "I fear that bt may insist on making yonr caae an example to the other prisoners. You assaulted an officer—an unpardonable crime." "Yes, and saved bis daughter," asserted Maurice hotly. "Can he overlook that?" "He can overlook anything," said Platoff grimly. "Listen! I can tell you what kind of a man Colonel Melikoff is in a few words. Do yon remember in one of Victor Hugo's romances the gunner who allowed a huge cannon to tear loose from its fastenings on shipboard during a storm, and then, after a terrific combat in which hie life wae jeopardized a hundred times, overturned the monster and saved his comrades?" "Yes, I have read that," said Manrice. "Very well," resumed Platoff. "The { commander of that vessel flrat rewarded that man for his bravery, th«n shot him for his negligence. Colonel Melikoff is a second Marquis de Lantenac." "But you don't think I'm in any danger of being; shot?" asked Maurice in a horrified whisper. "No," said Plfttoff; "it's not that bad. You may know all tomorrow, and then it is possible that I shall have something to say to you." Platoff refused to explain himsell! any further, and presently, in spite of his troubles, Maurice was sleeping soundly. The morning verification wae presided over by Lieutenant Sndekin, who, it seemed, had been appointed temporary commandant of the prison. Before starting for the mines it was whispered among the convicts that Captain Daro- man had not been cnught, and this rumor was presently verified, for the working gangs started out that morning in custody of less than half the usual guard of Cossacks, and the cordon of troops around the prison was correspondingly small. It was soon evident that the new commandant had no intention of dealing more leniently with the convicts than his predecessor. All that clay the boys toiled hard under the watchful eyes of the overseers, and not the slightest conversation was allowed. Two or three days passed thus, and still Maurice heard nothing from Colonel Melikoff, nor was the fugitive commandant recaptured. "He's sure to be caught sooner or later," said Platoff. "It's only a question of time." On the fifth day, however, many of the absent troops returned, and it began to look as though Captain Daroman had made good his escape, for the time at least. "They have forgotten me," said Maurice one night, as he sat on his hard bed, thinking of the pretty dark eyed girl who had passed like a vision across the wretched monotony of his life. "She believes me to be some low criminal, no doubt," he added bitterly to himself. "No," said Platoff, glancing up from the cup of tea he was drinking. "Be assured Colonel Melikoff has not forgotten you. He never overlooks a crime against his rules and discipline of the prison, as you will know before long." A week passed by—a week of heart sickening toil and misery—and then Platoff's prediction came true, though not just in the way he had anticipated. CHAPTER XIV. A STOLEN INTERVIEW. It was bitterly cold, and the snow was falling thickly, but weather counts for nothing at the mines of Kara, and ;he convicts, shivering in their thin garments, worked with feverish energy, aoping to put some warmth into their aching limbs and bodies. Phil and Platoff were driving their sicks into the hard stratum of clay and ;ravel, and Maurice, in company with lalf a dozen others, was wheeling the stiffened clods to a distance. Close by stood tha watchful overseers, stamping their feet continually and clapping their sought safety in flight, and now half j the force in barracks was scouring tha country in pursuit. Maurice was jubilant as he sat on. the bare platform, eating his frugal sup„ per. with Phil and Platoff by his side. Ikoff, the governor of the mines," re- j Their fellow convicts had been crowd- plied the officer. ''She went out for a ,lng about them, eagerly discussing the walk this morning and wandered up ! monrentoos affair, and now at la«t they hero from the lower. diggings. I was ' Were cflmj>«rmtiTfitr by It tros beckoning htm to approach. arms together, while in the background, out of the snowy mist, loomed the soldiers, pacing to and fro in their heavy j coats or grouped about the feeble fes, ! where the tea was winning for tiae noonday lunch. With increasing regularity the long string of wheelbarrows continued to : load and unload, and when midday came the weary toilers with the picks • had uncovered a large surface of smooth , •nd yellow. ""the overseer came forward and looked at it with evident satisfaction. "That is good werk," he said briefly. "Today you may have 30 minutes' rest." Some of the convicts cheered and flung their caps into the air. Even this insignificant privilege was something to be thankful for. Picks and barrows were tossed aside, and sitting down on stones and clods of earth the hungry men began to devour greedily the black bread and tea that were served out to them. Tha Cossacks stacked their armt, with the exception of two or three sentinels, and gathered about the fires, rubbing their hands and stamping their feet. Ten or 15 yards from the spot where the convicts were grouped the brow of a rocky hill sloped to the river. It was barren and rugged, strewn with bowl- iers and a half a dozen stunted birched. A few feet below the crest a spring of icy water poured out, and after falling in numerous cascades down the" slope emptied into the Kara river. At this spring the prisoners were often allowed to drink, for the waters of the Kara were slightly bracJdgh and, moreover, •were usually muddy and tainted, from the mining operations. Today but few of the men were thirsty. Ons or two climbed painfully up the slope, and filling their tin caps came back to their places. Maurice was §itting on an upturned wheelbarrow •lowly eating bis bread and looking wistfully at Phil and Platoff, who were lome yards away near the bank of the river. He turned his eyes toward the ipriug. The snow was falling thickly over th« rocky crest of the hill, and •nddenly against the gloomy whiteness of the sky he saw an arm thrust from tha Mcki. Thinking it only a delusion, lw rubbed his eyes and looked again. No; he wai not mistaken. It WM a ira- MUI am, and it was beckoning him to approach. He watched it clowly for «, •lament vt two. Twice it vanished and tken appeared again, ancl still it con tinned to motion him forward. A snd- daa thrill of hope made his heart beat •wildly, but with great self command he eheoked all Bhow of emotion and as- turned a careless attitude. Presently he ventured to look about him. No one else apparently bad seen tha signal. The convict* were engrossed in their bread and tea, the overseers were sitting by the fire with their backs toward the hill, and tha soldiers off duty for tie time were chatting loudly among th«inaclvea. Maurice hastily gulped down the remainder of his tea, and taking the tin cup in one hand and his hunk of bread in the other he rose slowly to his feet and commenced to ascend the hill with careless, hesitating steps. He trembled constantly with excitement, fearing each second to be called back, but no such summons came, and at last he gained the spring and sat down on a flat stone beside the outpouring water. Close over his head was the nook among the rocks where he had seen that wavering arm. Not daring to look behind him, he glanced down into the hollow. Some of his fellow prisoners were looking at him in a careless manner, but neither the overseers nor the soldiers were paying any attention. He dipped his cup into the gprinir, and as ha raised it to his lips a soft voice whispered with a strangely familiar accent: "You saw my signal. You have oome. Be on your guard. Don't iaove. Don't ipeak a word." The cnp almost dropped from Manrice's trembling hand, but wit-h a great effort ha recovered himself and drank as though nothing had happened. "I am Lora Melikoff," continued the speaker after a pause. "I have not forgotten your brave deed. I am going to do what I can for you in return, You speak my language, do you not?" .Maurice inclined his head without spaaking. "Your nuble act has put you in great peril," resumed Lora; "more so than you think. My father is grateful, it is true, bat he is stern—ah, yon do not know how stern,and severe—and he declare* that you must be punished as an example to the other men. I have implored him in vain, and last night I listened whan he was talking to some officers. They will either shoot you or send you to the province of Yakutsk. One is aa bud sa the other. I have not time to tell you of Yakutsk, but it is a terrible placw. In a week an officer is expected from St. Petersburg on a tour of inspection, and th«n your fate will be decided. Yon must try to escape, though it is almost hopeless. Do you know anything of the country? Conld you find the Pacific ocean, do you think? There are vessels at Vladivostok from every part of the world." Maurice tremblingly held his bread to his lips as though he were eating and said in a low whisper: "I have two friends. One of them is a Russian, a man who knows the country. He has spoken of Vladivostok and knows the way down the valley of the Amui." Then he added with sudden alarm: 1 'There are guards down the other slope. They can see you surely.'' "I do not fear them," said Lora calmly. "There is but one and him I have bribed to allow me to reach this spot. Yon gay yon have two friends. It will be more difficult for three to escape, I fear, and yet I may be wrong. Three can do more than one. But I have much to say, an'3 little time in which to tell it. Listen closely now to every word and be careful that your actions do not betray you. I have placed a small packaj$e under the stone on which you are sitting. It contains tools which may help yon to escape from the prison at night Yon must conceal it in soma way about your clothes. I have written on a scrap of paper your best i plan for getting free of the prison. Heed 1 it carefully and be sure to destroy the writing. It will be difficult and dangerous, and gaccesfl is very doubtful, but if jou once gain the onteide of the prison itockade yon can place yourself in security for a few days at leaat After that yon must do the best yon can, and I tiuill. star constantly that you may rencfi TlaCivbuWk ana get saleJy a.way from Siberia. Now, here is what you must do when you are outside the prison: Go directly to the Kara river and follow its channel tip to this very spot, so that it will be impossible to track your footsteps. Two miles along this ridge is a cave among the rocks. It lies in. among seven pine trees and is difficult to find. No one but myself knows it, and I discovered it by accident two rears ago, when my father first came haw from Moscow. In this cave I have llready hidden clothes and money. Today or tomorrow I shall find a way to «onvey food there, and tomorrow night yon must attempt to escape. If you can reach the cave, you are safe for awhile. Remain there for a week or two, and thea, whan the pursuit has abated or is being conducted far from here, it will be time to start for the distant Pacific. If your friend is a clever man, he may guide yon there in safety. You will find clothes for three in the cave. Now you had better go. Don't attempt to get the package at,present. Wait until you start back to the prison at night" "But you"—cried Maurice, quite forgetting himself—"you have placed yonr- lelf in peril for my sake. How can I ever thank you?" How can I ever hope to repay such a debt of gratitude?" "Hush," said Lora; "not so loud. You will betray yourself." Her voice had a touch of haughtiness, of offended pride, that showed Maurice instantly the gulf between himself, a degraded convict, wearing the prison stripes, and this aristocratic young Russian, the daughter of famous Colonel Melikoff. "Forgive me," he said humbly. "I forgot—I was »o grateful—that was all. I did not think"— "It is a debt," she interrupted oold- ly; "a sacred obligation on me, an obligation that is doubly binding since my father refuses to acknowledge it. But do not think that I regard yon as those men yonder, those thieves, assassins, robbers. I have heard something of your history. You are Englishmen, you and your friend. You are very young, and I prefer to believe that you have fallen into bad company and Binned through ignorance. Don't think that I sympathize with your views, for those who plot against our czar are wicked men. If through any aid of mine you can reach your own country again, please try to think better of Ktzs- sia." "I shall never forget you," said Maurice, "but your opinion of me is wrong, I assure you. I am neither a revolutionist nor a nihilist, and I have never plotted against Russia. I am an American, Miss Melikoff, and my story, could you but hear it, would give yon some different ideas of your own land. My mother was"— "Hush!" said Lora suddenly. "The guards are coming. I must slip away at once. I will never see you again, but I shall pray for yonr escape. Goodby." "Goodby," exclaimed Maurice fervently, and as be rose to his feet tha harsh voice of the overseer summoned the men to work, and he went slowly and sadly down the slope. Through the long hours of that afternoon he worked as though in a dream, ancl more than one sharp reprimand was hurled at him by the augry overseer. Little did he care for that A wild hope of freedom was seething through his brain, a vision of faroff America and friends he had never expected to see again, yet there was bitterness mingled with his joy. This Russian girl balieved him guilty of the crimes with which he was charged. She believed that he had plotted against her native land, against the czar, whom she honored and revered. Carried away by his feelings. Maurice even began to find some excuse for the tyrannical and despotic means that had placed him in his terrible situation. If only he could have a chance to tell her his story, he thought, she would be convinced aud believe him. And now he would never see her again, never have a chance to explain, and she would always be ignorant of the truth. The agitated expression of his face was noticed by bis companions. They regarded him curiously, wondering evi- Blood Humors •Whether itching, burning, bleeding. «c*ly, •rusted, pimply, or blotchy, whether simple, Scrofulous, or hereditary, from infancy 'to »£«, •pwdily cured by warm baths -with Cmcnu. SOAP, gentle anoindnps with CcnccRA.(oint- ment), tbo great »kin cure, und mild dote* tt. CCTICUKA. RESOLVENT, greatest of blood partners »od humor cure*. (uticura It sold threorhoot tin world. COKP-, Sole Prop*.. !J(o«ion. If •• Ho» to Cun Cnrr Bk»d Homor,"fre«. riPC UIIUflDC Fdliiw H«lr and Bibjr Bltm- lAUt nUmUKO Ua«.wu«ll>TCDTicuii8oi». He drew t'teflat, heavy parcel from, under a stone. dentlywhat bit of joy could be mingled with his -wretched existence. But the watchful eye of the overseer, trained on the work that was being done, failed to note these signs. When the coppery sun went down, the labor ceased. Kow came the most difficult part of all, but Maurice was eqnal to the task. Before the convicts formed in line for the homeward march he carelessly climbed the hill with his cup, and Etooping, under pretense of getting a drink, he dexterously drew the flat, beavy parcel from under a stone and bid it in the folds of his shirt beneath the he»vy overcoat. There it rested snugly all through the long tramp back to the prison, and when the evening verification was over and the convicts were eating their supper on the platforms his heart was beating fast at the thought of what lay next to it—the precious means that might be destined to lead to safety and freedom. [TO BE OOKTOfUED.] PECK'S CELERY-^ SARSAPARILLA COMPOUND. The Best Nerve Tonic Known. The Greatest On Earth. It Restore* Strength. Renew* Vitality. Puriftea the Blood. Regulate* the Kidney* Liver and Bowel* PREPARED BY PecK Medicine Co., * NEW YORK. N. Y- For-sale by Hen Fisher, Busjahn ft Schneider, W. H. Porter. J. F. Coul- SOQ, B. F. KeesllDg. Consul Sharp, at Hiog-o, Japan, sends to the state department a. clipping from the Kobe Herald, showing: that the rate of v—.gc-s in Japan Js 30 par cent. hlj;her •;vs , tar.ttaa Jo 1S95. THE NEW WOMAN DR. 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