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

Logansport, Indiana
Issue Date:
Friday, October 22, 1897
Page 22
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CHAPTER J. -Vladimir Baradoff, a Russian, belnir heir to the fortune Of his nephew, Mau rice Hammond, an American, in ' ase of bis rophew'e ceath, conspires to h»ve him sent to Huasia in order to get him In his power. IT.-Hammond and his friend, Philip Danvers arrive at at Petersburg, and Suracloff lays pli.ne to have them arrested as conspirators against the government JIl ai)d IV-Hawnond at a review saves the life of Colonel Jsrosiav. Pro- oeeains? to Moscow, they are arrested and sent to Slbera. On the way the boat on which they travel catches flre, and ihey. with two other convicts escapt In a skiff. V VI and VII—Hammond and i anvers pursue their way with the two other prisoners, who attnck »D approaching wagon. Hammond and Danverg defend an officer in the wagon. A troop of Cossacks appears and recaptures all the prisoners. The officer tells the Americans thut they will probably b« shot, but in view of their services to him iio will do ail he can for thtm. VU1. IX X-Tney are sentenced to be shot. Tha 8«n- tence is commuted to Imprisonment at Krf.ra, but a riot in which they ure involved results in thei r being put to work In the mines of Kara XI. Xll and Xlll—At the Hiines Captain Darom in attempts to kiss Lo.ra MeilkotT, ai-d Hammond knouts him down. Daiomrn orders him to be shot. Lora saves him, and caroman discovers that she is the daughter of Colo^ei MelikofT. CHAPTER XV. AGAINST GREAT ODDS. It must be remembered that some alterations bad been recently made in the disposition of the prisoners. Phil and Platoff had been removed from the central apartment of the prison to a iame- ra, or separate cell, which they shared with four other convicts, coarse, villainous looking fellows of a low and vioions grade. They were locked up sectirely in this cell every evening, und thuir gup- per was served to them here on the sleeping platforms. It was a dreary, ill •mailing apartment, with a cleoayed plank floor and one small window crusted with dirt that opened on the prison courtyard. On this particular evening Maurice ate hi* «npper in silence, replying only in monosyllables to the queries of Phil and Platoff concerning his strajage be- iiavior that afternoon. The other inmates of the kamera hurried through their nieals and retired to paper in his month, and after ctfewlng it for a moment swallowed it with a •light grimace. "That disposes of that question," he said, "and now we must find a hiding place for our treasures, " This was by no means an easy matter, but after much consideration the knife and the wedge were driven into the underside of the platform far back from the edge, and the bottle was placed tn a orack in the wall and covered with a piece of dry plastering taken from another locality. Just at this point the candle exhausted its last drop of tallow and went out, and at the same time the tramp of the guard was heard in the corridor. "No more talking now," whispered Platoff, "or we will be suspected. Tomorrow night we will make the attempt. Keep up your courage and spirits. " Morning came, a cold, dreary day, with the snow still falling at intervals, and the convicts started as usual for the mines. The boys found it a difficult matter to conceal their feelings under the watchful eyes of the overseers, but they managed to pas§ through the ordeal remarkably well, and nothing occurred to arouse the suspicions of their companions or of the guards. They assumed a dull, listless expression at work and devoured their lunch with an apparent greed which they were far from feeling. As for Platoff, he kept purposely away from them all day and joined the other gang on the return march at night. The evening verification was another dreaded ordeal, but it passed without incident, and five minutes later Maurice and his six companions were eating supper in their cell. The chosen time was at hand. The dishes were taken away by oae of the guards, and the door was bolted their own corner of the platform. Mau-1 on the outside. Platoff waited until all rice waited until the sound of heavy breathing assured him that they were asleep, and then, drawing the package from his bosom, he proceeded to open it before tbe astonished eyes of his two companions, briefly explaining as he •did so how it came into his possession. The outer covering was quickly removed, ancl the dim light of the tullow caudle burning at their side revealed a strong blacled knife, a flat steel wedge with a sharp edge, a small sealed bottle and a scrap of paper covered with close writing. This latter Platof; seized and held close to the candle. As he read, his face flushed and his hands trembled with suppressed excitement. "Ah, this is indeed fortunate!" he aaid, turning to Maurice. " Your bravery has obtained you a rich reward. She is truly a noble girl! Now repeat oareful- ly what she told yon, in order that I may know how to form my plans." "Arid yon really think escape will be possible?" asked Maurice eagerly, and in a whisper he related in detail all that had passed, explaining the location of the cave and by what signs it could be discovered. Platoff listened intently, keeping meanwhile a watchful eye upon the sleeping convicts. "Did I not read Melikoff's character rightly?" he said when Maurice ended. "And so he proposes shooting you or sending you to Yakutsk. For my part I should prefer the shooting." "Where is Yakutsk?" askud Maurice. "It is a province 1,000 miles to the north of Kara," replied Platoff grimly, '"inhabited by a barbarous, half civilized race, who dress in skins and live sit and seven in one small hut. The exile who goes there is domiciled with cue of these families and suffers a fate worse than death. And yet," added Platoff, with bitter indignation, "I have known Russian women of refinement and education to suffer this most degrading of punishments. But keup up your courage, my boy. You shall not go to Yakutsk if I can prevent it. I must say that circumstances are strong- Jy in our favor. In fact, we couid hope lor nothing 'better, for if once wo get away from tins prison tbe cave will afford us a secure hiding place until, as the girl says, she pursuit has spread far from here. Then for the valley of the Amur and Vladivostok, and I for one shall never bo retaken alive." A fearful expression that the boys had never seen there before appeared on Platoff's face. "But now, "he con tinned more calmly, "we must consider the most dangerous au3 important step. We are not yet out of the prison, and whether we shall ever get out depends on our own coolness and daring. Without this paper it would be hopeless, bxu here, you see, is a description of the prison, which makes our tusk much easier. "This is what the girl says: 41 'The prison lies in n large courtyard, inclosed by a stockade on three sides. This courtyard is broad and constantly guarded by armed soldiers, tut the western end of the prison is built close to the stockade, and the narrcw avenue between is visited only at iuter- Tals by a single sentry. With the bottle of chloroform stnpefy the inmates of your cell. With the tools loosen a boa::d in the floor and crawl under the prison, •which is built on piles. Gain the western end, scale the stockade and. (;o •traight to the Kara river. Destroy this •writing. 1 " "That last injunction is important," Mid Maurice "How shall we do it?" For answer Platoff placed, the scrap <•£ were stretched on the platform, and then he blew out the candle, leaving the room in apparent darkness. It was not entirely so, however, for a dim glare shone through the window from the fires in the courtyard, which the guards had built to warm themselves, and when their eyes became accustomed to it the boys could see plainly every object in the room. They remained quietly on their backs lutil it became evident that their fellow prisoners were asleep. Platoff gave tbe signal for action by rising cautiously and moving on tiptoe to the end of the platform. Satisfied with the inspection, ho came back and whispered to the boys, "Lie very still and don't make a Bound." Then crossing the room, he took tha bottle from its hiding place in the wall and approached the sleeping men. Maurice saw him tear a strip of cloth from his coat and apply it to the bottle two or three times, and immediately a peculiar odor was perceptible in the room. Platoff rapidly and cleverly applied the chloroform to three of the sleeping men and then turned to the fourth, a tall, repulsive ruffian of the name of Jocka, who was lying on his side with his arms over his face. The saturated rag was withi-n three inches of his nose, when he suddenly rose to an upright position, and, facing Platoff, said in a loud whisper: ' 'Not so fast, my friend! I thought something was np, and I have kept an eye on your movements. If you are going to leave, I intend to go with yon. Oh, don't get angry! You can't help yourself, yon see. Be reasonable or I shall call in the guard. How would you like that?" The boys, trembling with fear at this unexpected interruption, awaited Platoff's answer. They were little prepared for what followed. .For a brief moment Platoff faced the ruffian, who was smiling with the insolence of power, and then with a fierce leap be clutched him by the neck with one hand and with tne other forced the wet rag against his nose. For a few seconds the fellow struggled furiously with arms and legs; then, suddenly relaxing in Platoff's grasp, he dropped limply on the platform just as Maurice and Phil harried to the spot to render assistance. "It's all right," said Platoff in a voice that showed how deeply he was moved. "The scoundrel can't do us any harm now. It would have rained our plans to have had to take biro along. I hope the noise of the scuffle was not heard in the corridor"— "Listen! What's that?" "It must be the guard," whispered Maurice. "We are lost!" "Yes, yon are right," said Platoff. "The footsteps are coming this way. It is too late for concealment. He will smell the chloroform. Get behind the door there, quick! Such a chance of escape is worth great odds, and I'm going to take them." He had no time to say more. As Maurice and Phil darted to one side the door creaked and opened. A bar of light sione in from a lamp in the corridor and was followed by a sturdy Cossack, who entered in a stealthy manner. Hia suspicions were well founded, as he must have realized a moment later, for Platoff's muscular arms fastened on his throat, and he was pressed bodily to the floor, unable to utter a Bound. ( ' 'The chloroform—quick I"' whispered i Platoff. I Maurice seized the rate trcra the platform and at his bidding field It to the soldier's face. "There, that will do," said Platoff, and he laid his burden quietly down. He turned to Maurice, his face white and ghastly in the lamplight. "If they discover us now, we will be shot," he gasped. "Tear off your clothes, quick! Don't lose a second! There is but one chance left to us. We must try it." "What do yon mean?" demanded Maurice in bewilderment. "This," whispered Platoff, fiercely pointing to the unconscious soldier. "That man is about your size and weight. His uniform will fit yon nicely. The captain of the guard will pass through yonder corridor in a few rain- tates. You must be there to receive him with this Cossack'i uniform and gun. Do you, understand now?" CHAPTER XVI. A DARING EXPLOIT. Maurice attempted to speak, but the words stuck in his throat. He was positively stunned by the daring of Platoff's plan. And yet what if it were possible to carry the ruse through? Its supreme audacity was really in its favor. "Did yon hear me?" hissed Platoff, grasping him roughly by the shoulders. "Nerve yourself, or all is lost! Our only salvation lies with you," ' These words roused Maurice from hia stupor. He alone conld retrieve the disaster that confronted them. "Yes," he whispered, "I understand. I will do what you say." With a firm hand he tore off his prison garb, the ugly gray shirt and trousers. Platoff had already stripped the Cossack of hie uniform, and with feverish haste he assisted Maurice to pull on the dark green blouse and trousers, the high boots and the low cap. "Now," he whispered, "take the gun > and go ont in the corridor. Bolt the cell door and pace slowly up »cd down. Keep your face away from ths lamplight when the officer of the guard comes past. Hs may say something to you. If he does, answer as best yon can and in a gruff voice. Above all be cool and resolute. If the officer passes without suspicion, draw the bolt of the door and give a slight rap with your hand. Now go. Every second is precious." He pushed him gently into the corridor and closed the door softly. A sudden shudder of fear passed over Manrice as he realized his situation, and then his presence of mind returned. He softly drew the bolt into its socket, and placing the rifle on his shoulder began to pace the corridor, which was probably 40 feet long by 10 in width. Six doors opened npon it, three on each side, and at each extremity lay other corridors running at right angles. A rude lamp hanging from the ceiling dimly lit up the scene, and at intervals from some of the neighboring cells could be heard a cough, or a fragment of whispered conversation. With feelings that can be better imagined than described he continued his solitary vigil. From his own cell came no sounds at «H, but he had no doubt that Platoff and Phil were hard at work. Occasionally he heard the tramp of the sentries in the other corridors, and once from the main portion of the prison came a clink of glasses and a coarse laugh. "They won't be inclined for merrymaking a few hours from now if all goes well," thought Maurice with grim satisfaction. Then his thoughts turned to Lora, and in trying to imagine her joy on learning of his escape he forgot the ordeal in store for him. That unpleasant fact was brought to his memory with startling abruptness. In the neighboring corridor a rifle butt was dropped heavily to the floor, voices were heard in conversation, and then a sec- end or two later footsteps approached. Fired with a sudden inspiration, Maurice decided to look danger in the face. Pulling the visor of his cap over his eyes, he wheeled round and paced down the corridor with a slow, regular step. Years ago, before entering college, he had spent two years at a military school, and the instructions there received he now put into use. The most rigid martinet oonld have found no fault with his bearing as he marched forward to meet the approaching peril. The lamp was behind him, so that his face was in shadow, the effect he had aimed to produce. The footsteps were now close at hand, and suddenly an officer turned the an- The lieutenant took a long pull at the contents. gle, a young lieutenant with dangling sword and a pair of eyeglasses tha. gave him a fierce expression. Maurice coolly saluted and dropped his rifle to the floor. "Everything right, is it?" asked the officer thickly, and Maurice noted with some uneasiness that he had been drinking. "All's well," he responded gruffly, though his voice trembled in spite of his effort to control it Under his glasses the lieutenant stared fixedly, and with a sinking heart Maurice returned the gaze, believing that hie identity was suspected. Tie next word reassured him. "Kusso," said the officer, "have yon. got a drop of vodka about yon?" Maurice felt himself trembling lite a . leaf, and then, hardly conscious of what | he was doing, be plunged his hand into the pocket of his coat. Something hard slid into his grasp, and he drew out a small flask. "Ah, you sly dog," exclaimed the lieutenant, and seizing the flask he took I a long pull at the contents and banded it back. Maurice mechanically restored it to his pocket, and when he looked up the lieutenant was half way up the corridor. A moment later and he vanished around the angle. Overjoyed at his marvelous good fortune and hardly able to believe it true, Maurice waited until the sentry in the pest corridor had passed through his interview, and then hurried to the cell door. He drew the bolt noiselessly and gave a slight rap on the panel. A moment later it opened from within, and Platoff's head appeared at the crack. He shook with excitement when Manrice related what had happened. "We are saved," he exclaimed, "my noble lad. You have effected our salvation. I shall never forget it. The officer of the guard will not make another round for an hour and a half or two hours. In that interval we should reach the cave unless some unforeseen complication occurs. But come in and close the door. All is in readiness for the start." Maurice entered, to receive a warm welcome from Phil, while Platoff, after waiting a moment in the doorway to assure himself that the coast wa* clear, joined his companions. "I was only waiting for your signal," be said. ' 'I have just renewed the chloroform on those fellows, and on the Cossack too." And he pointed to the soldier's motionless figure stretched on th« platform. "I put your garments on him," h« added. "When he wakes up, he'll know how it feels to wear convict elothee." "And shall I keep the uniform on?" demanded Maurice with surprise. "Yes," said Platoff. "It may be of some aid to you; who knows? And now we must be off. Look! This is what I have done while you were on guard duty in the corridor." He pointed to a hole in the floor close to the platform, from which two planks had been ripped up. "Now," he continued, "I will go first, and you must follow at once. " He glanced again through the cell to assure himself that no precaution had been overlooked, aci then dropping to the floor he slippi* through the hole and disappeared. Phil went after him, and Maurice brought up the rear. "Just a moment now," said Platoff. And drawing his head and shoulders back into the cell he lifted the two planks into position and let them drop behind him into their places. "Not 'that it matters much," he observed, "for they will soon discover how we escaped, but it may give us more time." The situation in which the boys now found themselves was anything bnt Igreeable, The space between the ground and the flooring was not more than three feet, aud from the unpleasant odor that saluted their nostrils it appeared to have been used as a receptacle for all sorts of refuse, no doubt dropped through holes in the floor. "This is the critical time," said Platoff. "Don't make any noise, but stick close to me. The first thing is to gain the west flank of the prison." Crawling on hands and knees, tho boys followed their guide through the intense darkness. A faint glimmer of light was presently seen, and a moment later Platoff halted. "SVhere are we?" asked Maurice. "Wait a little," was the reply, "until I can pick a crack through these logs." He worked industriously with his knife, making the dried mortar fly at every stroke, and then applied hia eye to the orifice thus produced. "Ah," he muttered, "this is the front of the prison. It is snowing fast outside, and the guards are standing around the fires. Everything is in our favor if only we are permitted to have time enough." "I supposed this space opened on the courtyard," said Maurice. "Instead of that it seems to be hemmed in with logs." "Don't let that annoy you," replied Platoff. "The building: is old, and we will hav« no trouble to break through. I can loosen any ona of the logs in five minutes. It is an easy matter now to get our bearings.' ' They started off again, guided by the wall of logs, and in a short time the angle was reached and turned. Platoff led on for a dozen yards or more before he oame to a stop. "This is the place," ha said. "Don't be impatient, but sit quietly down." He drew his knife and commenced work on the logs. As soon as a orack had been excavated large enough to see through he stopped. "This is the critical time, "he observed, after talcing a peep. "The stockade is only six feet distant, and at a certain interval, no doubt, a sentry passes through this narrow avenue. Nothing can safely be dons until he has gone his round of inspection. We may be delayed! half an hour, Mid perhaps not five minutes." Platoff became silent, keeping his eyes glued ro the crack, and the boys waited in an anxious gtate of suspense that was almost unandurable. They knew that in less than two hours at the very furthest their eicape must lie discovered, and unless they were clear of the prison at that time recapture was certain—and doath by a rifle volley. The least noise overheard came to their ears with alarming distinctness, and with every passing fooUtep or clank of arms they imagined that all was discovered. A sharp'' Hist!'' from Platoff turned their thoughts in another direction. "The sentry is coming," he whispered. "Don't utter a sound." A faint tramp was audible from without, and then a shadow passed slowly th« chink in the logs. £<tt ue«Zy j ore minutes Platoff" neitHfer movefl nor gpoke. Then he attacked the log before ! bim with tremendous energy, and the ' mortar flew in all directions, covering the boys with a coating of powdered lime. "It's « good thing—this prison—was built by—convict labor, "he muttered at intervals as he plied his knife; "good f or us —I mean." A moment later he tore the bayonet from the rifle which Maurice had brought with him, and after » fa* jabs with the farther reaching weapon announced that the log was loos«. H« pried the bayonet in one end while Maurice used the wedge at the other •xtremitv. Then working in concert the log was gradually drawn in, until Platoff was able to grasp and lower it to the ground. The hole thus mad* wai » foot and a half high by six feet Outside was revealed the thickly falling snow and the gray outlines of the palisade. "The coast is clear," said Platoff after a brief survey. "The glare from the firee is visible at each end of the passage, but I don't think there is much danger of being disturbed. I don't intend to run any risks, thongh; so yon two will remain inside till all is ready." He nimbly crept through the aperture, and with the bayonet begau to work at one of the big boards of the palisade. It was evidently a harder task than he had anticipated. He inserted his bayonet first on one side, then OB the other, but the board wa« finely in place. Then be put too much strength into the effort, and his weapon snapped sharply in two. At this critical moment death and disaster stared the fugitives in the face. Their best weapon broken, of what avail would be the knife or the wedge? Platoff flung the fragments on the ground and turned to th« boys with a gesture of despair. "I f«*r nee are lost," he said boarse- ly. "The etockad* is firmer than I s«p- peced. It is impossible to loosen any of the plauks without tools. And even now our time must be nearly up." "Ah, I have a plan," whispered Maurice. "The stockade cannot be more than 15 feet high. Take this log outside and stand it on end. I will mount the log, and you, Platoff, shall climb over my back to the top. Yon are strong enough to pull us both after you, are you not?" [TO BE CONTINUED.] MASONIC." Novel »nd Beautiful Grand Lodge Boom. South, West and East. Certainly the most novel lodgeroom ever occupied by any fraternal organization will be one where the Masonic grand lodge of Arizona meets this year—ID the great cave of Bisbeo, the most beautiful cavern ever discovered. Stalactites, rare, beautiful and dilicate, more gorgeous than 10,000 chandeliers, overhang the roof of the pit. Especially is this true in the principal room of the cave. Comparatively few have entered this beautiful cavern, which is situated several hundred feet below the surface of the Copper Queen mine the greatest copper mine in Arizona, perhaps io tho world,— Trestleboard. We don't think any lodge in Americ.% outside of Utah, would permit dancing in the lodgeroom.—Masonic Herald, In New Hampshire are 3,469 Royal Arch Masons in 25 chapters. Two honorary members were crowned into active membership at the recent session of the supreme council of the Scottish Rite. They were Frank M. High by of Philadelphia and General J. H. Hobarfc ot New York. A candidate for the secrets of Freemasonry must come under the tongue of good report. This means that he must have developed and acquired a character in the community where he resides. Virtue is true nobility; wisdom is the channel by which virtue is directed and conveyed; wisdom and virtue alone mark distinction among Masons. Secrecy Is one of the most important features of Freemasonry. The peculiar language of the lodgeroom should be only known to those to whom it rightfully belongs. Near the city of London alone there are three great Masonic benevolent establishments supported by voluntary craft contributions approximating and sometimes exceeding $25U,000 annually. KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS. Membership of the Order In St. Louln. Helmet Glint*. Statistics of the grand lodge of Missouri show that in St. Louis there has been a loss of 85 members for the first six months of the present year and that the numerical strength of the order in that city is -4,904. There are 3S lodges in that city, 9 of which have less than 100 members, 15 with more than 100 members, 7 with over 200 members, 1 with over 300 and 1 with over 400 members. The several lodges of the order of Knights of Pythias in Brooklyn have entered upon the work of the winter season in earnest, and the followers of Damon and Pythias expec^to do much good work for the benefit of human kind. In Ohio the lodges are compelled by the laws of the grand lodge to display the American flag in every castle hall during the conventions of the lodge. The grand tribunal of Illinois found Parkside lodge. No. 292, of Chicago guilty of violating the constitution by admitting members by initiation for less than $15 each and suspended the lodge for oae year. The uniform rank is growing in California, thanks to Brigadier General Mo- Glasban. How to Cook Etc* » 1'Aunecy. Hard boil 6 eggs, shell and cut them in halves lengthwise, remove the yolks and mash them to a paste. Chop fine a dozen mushrooms, put them in a stew- pan with 2 tablespooaruls of butter and 10 drops of onion juice and saute until golden brown; add the masbed egg yolks, a tablespoonful of chopped parsley, level teaspoonful of salt and half a saltspooiiful of pepper. Stir into this a *ell beaten egg mixed with 2 tablespoonfuls of cream. When tb.e consistency of a soft scramble, fill the halved •whites with the mixture and serve at once on slices of buttered toast. Do not have the mushrooms for frying very ripe, and they are ranch nioer fried in good bacon fat. PIMPLY FACES FImp!c«, b!ot«be«, bbcthemd*, r«J, rough, oily, mothy skin, itching, scaly scalp, dry, th'm, »nd filling hair, »nd baby bletni*he« prevented by CUTJCCIU SOAP, the tnont effective nkin purify. ing and b*auufying *»oap in the world, as well u pnreet and sweeten for toilet, bath, >nd nur»cry, (yticura InaldthranrhoBtthe-rorld. POTTM p. iXK C. Cosr., Solt Prop*.. Bo«ttra. 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