Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on October 23, 1897 · Page 22
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October 23, 1897

Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 22

Logansport, Indiana
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Saturday, October 23, 1897
Page 22
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CHAPTER I. -Vladimir Baradoff. a Russian, I belnir heir u> the fortune of his nephew, Matt \ rloe Hammond, an American, in rase of bis nephew's ccatn. conspires to have him sent to Russia in order to net him (n bis power. IT.— Hammond and his friend, Philip Danvers ar-j rive at 8t. Petersburg, and Saradoff lays pl&ns | to have them arref tod as consplratora aualnst tbe government. Hi a/id JV-Hamicond at a review saves the life of ColonelJarosiav. Pro-. Deeding to Moscow, they are arrested and sent I to Sihera. On the way the boat on which they i travel catches flro, and i hey. wits two other! convicts ascapt in a skiff.V VI and VII—Ham-1 mond and i anvers PUIBUC their way with the ; two other pri-oners, who attack an approaching-wagon. Hammond and Danvers defend an officer In the waiifon. A troop of Cossacks i appears and recaptures all the prisoners. The I officer tells the Americans th»t they will probably bo shot, but in view of their services ; to him lie will do ail he can for them. V11I, IX X—Tfcey are sentenced to be shot. The sen tence Is commuted to imprisonment at Kara, but a ri"t in which they i-re Involved results in their being-put to work In the mines of Kara XI, XII and Xlll—At the mines Captain Daronun attempts to kiss Lora MeJikoff, aiid Hammond knocks him down. Daiomrn orders him to be shot. Lora eaves him, and uaroman discovers that eho is the daughter of Colo-el Melikoff. XIV, XV, XVJ, XV11 and XV111- Lora furnishes Hammond with tools and a plan of escape. Hammond, Danvers and Piatoff escape and work up the river Kara, reaching a cave to which Lor» has directed them, CHAPTER XVII. FREE. '' Yes, yes,'' exclaimed Piatoff. ' 'Was I blind not to think of it before? Pass me that log ont as quickly as possible. But it is more dangerous," he added. J 'Prom the top of the stockade we may be seen by the men on guard in the sentry boxes outside, but it it our Jast chance. We must not think of the :risk.'' During this conversation Piatoff was standing in the narrow avenue in plain view of any sentry who might chance that way, and just around the angles were 20 or SO armed soldiers. Maurice and Phil lifted the heavy log and shoved one end at right angles Twice Maurice staial>2e<J, einaasrefl by the fearfnl strain, but Piatoff dragged him to hia feet with new encouragement. Then Phil gave ont almost entirely, and his companions had to help him along between them. "You must keep np,"said Piatoff impatiently. "See, we are on the downward slope now. The river is not far off. Once there we are comparatively safe." "Listen. What is that?" cried Maurice, and as he spoke a dull noise was through the opening. It stnck fast several times, but Piatoff by main force dragged it clear, and lifting it in his arms placed it at a slight angle against the stockade. Impossible to teirwnelher their tracks were discovered or not. At times the sounds of tha pursnit seemed to die ont in the distance, only to retnrn closer than before. Beyond a doubt the Cossacks were on both sides of the stream, and the general location of the fugitives seemed to be suspected, for the horsemen could be heard galloping to and fro within a limited space. Tbe darkness of the night and the driving snowstorm placed the odd against the pursuers. "They will never think of looking for ns in tbe water,'' remarked Piatoff. "We are safe here if we can only hold ont." That was a formidable "if," however, and the sufferings which the boys endnred that night they will never forget. Toiling painfully from rock to rock, they crept np stream through an icy current At first the pain was agonizing, but presently their limbs were benumbed and weak, and they found it difficult to move. Sometimes they crept oat on big rocks and stamped up anc down or rubbed their legs with their aching hands until they were ahle to proceed again. Several times mounted soldiers passed close by along the shore, and the fugitives bent low among the stones until the danger was over. Net a murmur escaped Piatoff's lips. He went resolutely forward, seeking out the easiest channel and showing the boys the way. The force of his example helped them to endure their sufferings with comparative fortitude. For two aours they marched np the bed of the river, stopping for short intervals of rest. The immediate danger seemed to se past. Occasional sounds of pursnit still floated up the valley, but no horsemen had approached for a long time, and the lights of the prison h«d long since vanished. It was a joyful moment when Piatoff were two silver mounted revolvers, j »n 'over Siberia, ami at' every vniaga with accompanying boxes of shells, and j and posting station they will be on the /lookout for ns, bnt we will keep away all .All three fprartg from the stockade together. heard in the distance that seemed to grow more distinct each second. Piatoff threw himself upon his knees and put his ear to the ground. "As I thought," he exclaimed, "the mounted Cossacks are coming. They will spread in all directions and carry on the search in squads of three and four. Now is the ; time to show yonr speed. Here, give j me a hand, each of yon." ' Ho dashed off again, fairly dragging ,,,, .. . , . , ' his companions with him. Paster and Now come on, he whispered, and , fastor they ran> louder and ]onder grew assisting Maurice through the hole he lifted him to the top of the log. Bidding him cling firmly to the boards, he mounted behind him, A clever spring landed him on Maurice's shoulders, and a second later he was straddling the etockade. "Is the coast clear?" whispered Maurice. Piatoff made no reply. His face expressed sudden terror, but the darkness concealed this from his companions. The distance from Maurice's head to -the top of the stockade was less than lour feet. Bending down in silence, Pia- toff grasped the lad's outstretched ihands and drew him quickly to the top. Phil instantly gained the vacant place on the log, and in less time than it takes to tell he, too, was safely on the summit of the stockade. "Not a sound for your lives I" whispered Piatoff, and with a trembling liand he pointed through the driving snow to a dark object some 20 yards distant. "The sentry!" he whispered. "His back is turned. We must drop together and run. Don't lose sight of me." At this moment, when the danger was most critical, a startling interruption came from the prison yard. Round the front angle strode a sentinel, rifle on shoulder. He marched down the ave- riue beneath the verynosos of the frightened fugitives, staring straight ahead •under tho visor of his cap. He failed to eee the log projecting from the stockade, and, catching his foot on the end, down he went with a crash full length on tho ground. "Jump quick," whispered Piatoff, and all three sprang from the stockade together, landing heavily on the snowy crust below. "Don't rise," said Piatoff. "Follow me on hands and knees." He crawled away into the darkness at a speed which the boys found difficult to equal. Glancing to their right, they saw the sentinel still motionless at his post. Whether he was facing them or not it •was impossible to tell. Foot by foot they left the stockade buhind, and still the silence was unbroken. Then on the night air rose a single loud cry. It was answered by a shout, and then another and another boom thundered from tbe little cannon in the courtyard and the «choes quivered through the valley. Piatoff leaped to his feet. "The alarm gnnl" ho exclaimed. "Tho whole settlement knows we are free. Run as you never ran before and keep me always in sight." With great strides he plunged forward over the snow. Close ac his heels came Maurice and Phil, amazed at their own speed. The sentry, catching ;i fleeting glimpse of the fugitives, raised his rifle and fired. The bullet whistled overhead. He fired again and again, shooting aimlessly into the night. Six times the rifle cracked, and the red flash blazed briefly athwart the darkness. Then came silence, an ominous, fateful calm, and the daring fugitives fleeing across the valley heard nothing but the rapid tramp of their own footsteps. In single file they sped over the deepening snow, facing tbe cutting blast and breathing quickly through clinched teeth. Piatoff ran at tbe head, every muscle strained, his ears alert to catch the faintest sound. From time to time he uttered cheering words to his compan- the trampling of hoofs in their rear, and then with a sudden effort they checked themselves on the bank of the Kara. "Here we are!" exclaimed Piatoff fervently. "There is one important thing in our favor. The direction in which we must go is the very last one that will be suspected. But it will be a terrible ordeal and full of suffering. Can you endure it, do you think?" "What do you mean?" asked Maurice, not quite catching his meaning. "The water," was the reply, "the icy channel of the river. We must wade for several miles. It is our last and only hope." Little wonder that the boys recoiled at this prospect. They were suffering intensely now from the bitter cold. Piatoff gave them no time for deliberation. He plunged sturdily off the bank into the running water, and they followed without hesitation. The Kara is a river only in name. The channel is shallow and not more than 30 yards broad at the widest part. The water flows swiftly over a gravel bed and among big stones that rise in profusion above the surface. Being fed entirely by mountain springs, it never freezes in winter, though a fringe of ice forms on the edges and floating cakes are borne down with the current. The fugitives waded into midstream through water waist deep. "We must throw these bloodhounds off the track," said Piatoff, "and I think I know how to do it." He led the way across to the other shore and climbed out on the bank, "Now come with me," he said to Maurice. "No, yon stay here, right on this rock," he added to Phil, who started to follow. "Two of ns will be enough." He dashed off at right angles to tha stream and halted 30 or 40 yards from the bank. Then, still facing forward, he began to take great strides backward toward the river, bidding Maurice to do the same. "It will appear as though there were four of us," he remarked, "but no one will notice that." "But what will they do when they corae to the end of our tracks?" asked Maurice. "They won't wait that long," laughed Piatoff. "If they discover that we have crossed the river at this point, they will dash off at full speed without attempting to stick to our footprints." They soon reached the water again, much to Phil's relief, who could not imagine what they were trying to do. The mounted pursuers were alarmingly close to the river by this time. Without a second's delay Piatoff started up the channel, followed closely by the boys. Their sufferings were almost forgotten in the fear of recapture. They pressed forward over the slippery stones, waist deep at times, but mostly barely knee deep. It was snowing so fast and thickly that only the merest outlines of the shores could be seen. As Piatoff had predicted, tha tramp of the horses now seemed to come from various directions, as though the troopers were spreading over the plain. A stray light was visible here and there, and occasionally the cannon i boomed above the noise of the water, j spreading farther and farther the news announced the mines were close at hand, and his prediction was verified ten minutes later when the sharp ridge of the hill appeared before them. They scrambled out of the water and started in single file up the slope past the very spot where Lora Melikoff had been hidden during the eventful interview. The snow was knee deep, bnt had ceased falling. On the top of the ridge Piatoff halted and pointed to the distant lights of the settlement three miles away. "I have entered that prison, for the last time," he said impressively, "and done ray last day's work in yonder mines. I will never be taken back alive." He was silent for a moment, and then in a more cheerful tone he resumed: "Bnt it is time to seek the cave. We must journey two miles along this ridge." "Won't our tracks in the snow be discovered?" asked Maurice as they started briskly off. "It will soon snow again," answered Piatoff, "and fill up our tracks beyond all discovery. Between now and then it is not likely that any of our pursuers will visit the mines. The truth of this statement was read ily apparent, and the boys followed their leader with lighter hearts than they had known for many months walking rapidly to restore the circula tio3 to their benumbed limbs. The way was rough and stony, bnt Piatoff press ad on without stopping, and finally paused by the side of a huge rock. "Yonder are the pine trees," he said pointing ahead. "It must be the place for I have noted the spot while march ing to the mines, and they are the onlj trees on this ridge." Ions. , Before them and on both sides was l « ™* escape, darkness, bnt looking over their shoul- Befoie the first of the horsemen den they saw the twinkling lights of ' reached the nver the fugitives were perilously pJpse ^t iuw^t •On* 6 distance np streAw,>nd CHAPTER XVIH. OFF AT LAST. The party pressed eagerly forward and were soon standing in the shadow of the pines. The trees were indeed seven in number, all of mammoth size anc growing close together on the very verge of the cliff. Huge rocks were scattered about in all directions. "Now for the cave," said Piatoff, as he began to go over the ground inclosed by the seven treea, inspecting every stone and peering into each cranny. The boys joined in the search, but in spite of their efforts the location of the cave remained undiscovered. With nervous haste they went over the ground again and again, afraid to con fess their own fears. Finally Maurice crept to the verge of the cliff and looked down. The rock had a sheer descent for a distance of 40 or 50 feet. At its base the hill sloped more gradually toward the valley. Four feet below the edge was a narrow platform on which grew a few scrubby pine shoots. Impelled by a singular impulse, Maurice cautiously lowered himself to this edge, and stooping low was confronted by a hole of impenetrable blackness. "The cave, the cave 1" he cried, and Piatoff and Phil were quickly at his side. Together they crawled into the opening, which led downward at a sharp angle. The passage became wider and higher, and in a short time they reached a level space. "I have found something," exclaimed Piatoff, who was ahead. "Clothes, firearms—yes, and matches," he added joyously; "a tin bos of matches." The boys heard something rattle, and then their eyes were blinded by a bright light. They were able to see clearly in a moment, and the sight that met their gaze was a strange one. They were standing in a circular cavern 20 feet in diameter and 6 feet or more in height. The floor and walls were dry, and the atmosphere was warm and pleasant "Here are the things which that brave girl has provided," said Piatoff, pointing to a heap on the floor. "She has overlooked nothing. There are even candles." And taking one from a box he lit it with the burning match and placed it in a crevice on the floor. With trembling hands they turned over the articles, uttering cries of delight at every new discovery. There were three complete outfits of clothes, coarse, heavy garments such as are worn by the Bussian peasants, in- j eluding trousers, flannel shirts and j thick wanq coats. .In a.C&DTM., fcac- a sharp knife in a sheath, while another and larger bag contained a supply of provisions, bread, tea and dried meat, enough for two weeks at least, Piatoff declared. In addition there were a dozen candles, while it remained for Maurice to make the most important find of all, in Platoff's estimation—a leathern belt, which proved to contain 100 rubles in silver. "With that money," asserted the Russian, "we can purchase food along the way, and we shall be regarded with less suspicion. Everything is now in our favor. I believe that we can reach Vladivostok in safety. Heaven bless that noble girl!" Piatoff broke off abruptly, and covering his face with his hands sank to the floor overcome with emotion. The boys, too, lost all control of their feelings. Phil sobbed aloud, and Maurice, with an overflowing heart, knelt on the rocks and uttered a grateful prayer. At last Piatoff rose to his feet and dashed the moisture from his eyes. "We had better change our clothes," he said, "or we shall be ill from that long journey in tbe water." This suggestion was welcomed, and the boys flung off their wet garments with all haste. Their new attire proved to be an excellent fit, so much so, indeed, that Platoff's curiosity was aroused. If that girl knew nothing of your companions," he observed shrewdly, "how did she choose such suitable garments?" "She probably had Been both Phil and me," replied Maurice with a smile, "and knowing that my third companion was to be a Russian fix naturally procured a larger *et of clothes. Yon Bnssians are a big race, you aee." "Yee, yes, that's it," remarked Plaff, well satisfied with the explanation. How the brave maiden bad succeeded in getting the things and conveying them to the cavern was a problem none could clearly understand. It bad undoubtedly been accomplished with considerable risk to herself, with help from other arms. From that moment Maurice felt that in spite of his unjust treatment he would always have a soft spot n his heart for a nation that could produce such specimens of young womanhood. Sleep was impossible under the circumstances, and all remained awake until a faint gray streak shining into ihe cavern announced the approach of !awn. Piatoff crept to the entrance to make a reconnoissance. All is well, " he declared on his rs- urn. "Our hiding place is perfectly afe. The pine scrubs on the ledge hide t completely. It is snowing hard, and ur footprints have been destroyed long go. And besides," he added, "they would never search for us here. It is even probable that when they fail to discover us they will believe we have perished under tbe snow and will abandon the pnnrnit. We will remain here for a week at least, probably two weeks. Then it will be safe to start" "What kind of country must we travel through?" asked Maurice. "Is it wild?" "Yes," said Piatoff, "the valley of the Amur is wild and desolate. The post road follows the river, of course, with stations at long intervals, bat we mast sroid that There are wolves and deer in the hills and fUh in the river, while in the vicinity of Vladivostok fierce tigers are said to abound. Bnt with our arms we need have little cwuee for fear," Piatoff spoke more fully concerning the valley of the Amur, answering the boys' questions with a readiness that proved him to be acquainted with the general nature of the country. At last, after a hearty meal, they went to sleep with a feeling of absolute security. When they awoke, it was apparently late in tbe afternoon. It was still snowing, and so thickly that from the mouth of the cavern it was impossible to see any distance into the valley. For several days this storm continued, and the fugitives felt thankful in- trust are mounted Cossacks returning from the search." deed for their secure refuge. The time massed monotonously, it is true, bnt hey had plenty to eat and were oom- ortably warm. Melted snow supplied them with water. On the fourth day the weather ;hanged, becoming clear and cold, tbe ledge it was possible to see across the valley to the settlement. The jrison and many of the houses were in ilain view, but at such a distance all eemed peaceful and serene. Late that afternoon, before the sun went down, Piatoff pointed to two art spots approaching the prison from different directions. "They are mounted Cossacks retura- ng from the search," he saidconfident- y. "It will soon be safe for us to eave." "But will they give np the pursuit entirely?" inquired PhiL 'Yea, so far as concerns the soldiers In garrison at the mines," answered 'latoff. "Of course oar escape, with dt^crintiqni has been from all such dangerous places; me for that." The change in Piatoff during the last few days had been marvelous. He actually seemed to have grown taller, and the weary, hopeless expression had departed from his face, leaving it bright and sparkling with animation. His taciturn, moody disposition was gone, and he beguiled the weary hours spent in tbe cavern with tales and incidents that were absorbingly interesting to the boys. Thus the time went swiftly by, and they woke on the sixth morning to find the air mild and damp and a drizzling rain coming down steadily. "This pets an end to all pursuit that may still be going on," said Piatoff. "It is impossible for horsemen to travel through the slnshy snow. Today we will spend in packing up and preparing for the start.'' "Bat how can we travel better than horses in such weather?" asked Maurice. "Wait till tomorrow," said Piatoff knowingly. " There may be a change." The .Russian's prediction was still unfulfilled when evening came, but some time during the night Maurice woke and sat np shivering. Outside he heard the wind roaring, and a cold air was drifting down the cavern's mouth. Wrapping some of tbe abandoned clothes about him, he fell asleep again. Then he began to dream. He was riding on horseback over a snowy plain that gtretched far in the distance. By bis side, mounted on a black horse, was Lora Melikoff, her dark hair streaming in the wind, her cheeks aglow with excitement A steady tramp, tramp was ringing in hia ears—the din of the pur- «ning Cossacks—and ever and anon rifles cracked sharply and the whistling bnllete hissed overhead. But suddenly the plain vanished, and a great black gulf was before them. Paster and faster sped the horses, still closer came tbe awful chasm, and now they were treading on tbe brink. Crash, crash! They toppled over the edga Then came a ringing voice in his ear and a hand on his shoulder: "Come, get up. Th« morning has come and the rain is over." Maurice sat erect, rubbing his eyes with his fists. "Lora—where is Lora?" he asked. "Ah, you have been dreaming," said Piatoff, with a merry laugh. "Come out to the ledge. Did I not predict a change in the weather? Well, it is already here, and tonight we may bid farewell to our cavern." He led the boys to the opening, and the first touch of the cold, piercing air made them shiver. A cry of astonishment burst from their lips. The sky was intensely blue and clear, and in the sunlight, as far as the eye could reach, hillside, valley and plain sparkled like myriads of diamonds. "The cold is in tense," remarked Pia- toff, "but it has done us good service. An icy crust has formed on the snow overnight that will bear ns. At the same time it is not strong enough for horsemen. Our opportunity for escape could not be better. At sundown we will bo off—off for Vladivostok and freedom." The brave .Russian's voice shook with emotion, anci a tear trickled slowly down his cheelt Brief as that day really wae, it seemed an eternity to the impatient fugitives. The provisions—of which a considerable supply remained—were divided into packages, one for e»ch man. Piatoff toofe one of the revolvers and the belt of rubles, giving tbe other revolver to Maurice and the knife to Phil. The Cd6«ack uniform and the prison clothes, which might have done good service in case of cold or wee, they were compelled to leave in the cavern. To take them along would have imperiled their safety and afforded a sure meana of identification. All day long Plaboff lay at the cavern's mouth watching tbe valley. Not a creature oame that way, and when the setting sun was succeeded by a misty twilight he gave the word to Start. Slowly and deliberately they climbed from the ledge to the top of the hill, and standing in the shadow of the seven pine trees glanced back at tbe darkening valley with its dread associations. "Forward!" cried Piatoff, and turning to the southeast they crossed the ridge and went with cautious steps down the slope beyond. Alternately sliding aad crawling they gained the valley and traveled for an hour or more over the frozen crnst Then a hill loomed daikly before them, and an hour later they reached its crest, weary and footsore. "There!" exclaimed Piatoff with a wave of the hand. "Behold the valley of the Amur!" And glancing down the long frozen slopes the boys saw vaguely and dimly the great water highway that flows to the far Pacific, now chafing and fretting under its icy fetters. For some minutes they stood thus strangely fascinated by the splendor of the night Then the impressive silence was disturbed by a sharp cry from Piatoff—a cry that echoed swiftly down tbe valley from peak to peak, as though giants were signaling each other. ITCHING DISEASES 8r»«oT CCK* T**iTK«>r for torturing dMe- nrinff. Itchluft, burning. »nd «c»!y »kiu »ud «»li» dlieue« »ith lots ofbalr. — W»rm b»t),t wuh on- TIOPltA. SOAP, penile applications of Curicum. 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