Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on October 29, 1897 · Page 22
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Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 22

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Friday, October 29, 1897
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CHAPTER 1. -Vladimir ParadofT. a Huealan, beinir heir tn the fortune of hie nephew, Maurice Hammond, an American, In (a«e of bis nepbew'i ceatn, conspires to have him sent to KuBBia in order to tret him in his power. IT.— Hammond and his friend, Philip Danvers arrive at at. Petersburg:, and Saradoff lays pltns to have them arrested as conspirators auainst tbe government. Ill and IV-Hamnond at a review »aves the life of Colonel Jaroaiav. Proceeding to Moscow, they are arrested and sent to Bfbera. On the way the boat on which they 1 ravel catchegflre, and i hey, with two other convicts escapt in a skiff. V VI and VII—Ham prisoners. The- officer tells the Americans thM they will probably bo shot, butln vie* of their services to him he will do ail he can i'or them. Vlll, IX X—They are sentenced to be shot. Thu snn tence is commuted to imprisonment at Kara, but a rlnt In which they nre involved results in their belnK putto work in the mines of Kara XI, XU and Xlll—At the mines Captain Darom in attempts to kiss Lora Melikoff, ar d Hammond knocks him down. Daiomrn orders him tt> be shot. Lora saves him, and uaroman discovers that (he fa i be daughter of Colonel Melikoff. XIV, XV, XVI, XV11 and XVlll- Lora furnishes Hammond with tools and a plan of escape. Hammond, Danvers and P.atoff escape and work up the river Kara, reaching a cave to which Lora has directed them. XX—They start on their journey to the Pacific coast. CHAPTER XXVIL AN OLD FRIEND. That night the storm passed away and the eun rose on a perfect morning. The 'blue Pacific was still beating the gandy coast with whitecapped billows, It is true, but the sky was clear and serene, and the sun shone brightly on the town and harbor of Vladivostok. What a frightful mockery all this glorious beauty seemed to the three prisoners as they passed for a moment through the cottage yard and entered the closed carriage that had just arrived from the town. Their wan, haggard faces, from which every vestige of hope had fled, seemed to draw sympathy from even the stern and pitiless Cossacks. The commanding officer took his seat in the carriage and gave the order to start. He had deferred the departure until -now, purposely, no doubt, that his triumph might be seen of men, and to add dignity to the occasion the carriage was surrounded on all four sides by troops of mounted Cossacks. They rode briskly out of the wooded valley and turned down the sandy beach, entering the town by its main thoroughfare—a Jong, narrow street, lined for the most part with wooden houses of a peculiar construction. The sidewalks were filled with people, aud Maurice looked with curiosity at the odd types of character—the queerly dressed Russians, the pigtailed Chinese and the dark featured Koreans. The triumphant procession—for so it was clearly regarded by the inhabitants " —continued on past the government offices, the admiralty with its yellow dome and waving flag, the imposing, carved facade of the Naval club, and passing through the Chinese bazaar and the market place swept along the wharf, tantalizing the wretched prisoners with a brief glimpse of the shipping anchored in the harbor—the flags of all nations that fluttered in the morning breeze. Then a low, gloomy building came in view, frowning with cannon, pierced with embrasures, and the carriage drew up before the fortress. A brief sigh escaped Platoff's lips. No one spoke, for strict silence had been enjoined. Another carriage was standing on one side of the massive entrance—an imposing vehicle glistening with new paint and gilded trimmings. A dozen soldiers of huge stature were guarding it, aud cue of them seemed strangely familiar tc Maurice. The prisoners got out of the carriage before the gateway which was open to receive them nud marched slowly forward, each between two soldiers. Just at this time a commotion was heard within, and a sentry on the steps called aloud: "The inspector is coming. Hake room for his excellency.'' The officer in charge flushed with pride aud straightened himself an inch or two. "Halt!" he cried sharply. "Bight about! Forward! Halt!" And the prisoners, drawn up beside the short flight of stone steps, awaited the arrival of the inspector. Maurice fixed his eyes ou the arched doorway. He was curious to see this government official who had traveled across Siberia inspecting the czar's prisons and penal settlements, A moment later he appeared—a tall, richly uniformed gentleman, preceded by a yonug Cossack officer—and at sight of that noble face, the wavy, yellow mustache aud be;ird and clear blue eyes Maurice was thrilled by such a strong emotion that he st;;"<;erod buck aud would have fallen i* for the guard's firm grasp on his «rm. The dizziness passed off iustautiy, and he straightened up, trembling and flushed with excitement, His excellency halted ou the tetimcst step for :i parting word with the commandant of the fortress, who followed him to the door. Then he came quickly down between the presented amis of the sentries, and as his feet touched the bottom Maurice, with a supreme effort, toro from his guards and flung himself before the amazed official, crying loudly: "Colonel Jaroslav! Colonel Jaroslav! Help me, help me!" All was wild excitement in an in•tent, and the daring lad was dragged roughly aside, struggling fiercely with his captors. square—I saved your Me—dragged yon from the cannons—I had your card— all. For God ; a sake, help me! Let me Bpeak a word—just a word"— ! Then a burly Cossack clutched his throat, stifling his cry. Another struck him brutally on the mouth, and the officer smote him with the flat of his sword. Still struggling desperately, he was dragged up the steps, and in a few seconds more the fortress doors would have closed behind him. "Stop! Who is that man?" Colonel Jaroslav's voice rose sharply above the tumult. The officer hurried forward, cap in hand. "A convict, your excellency,'' he said, "one of those who escaped from Kara two months ago. Here are the other two. I captured them last night north of the town." The inspector briefly scanned Phil and Platoff and turned toward Maurice, who stood white and trembling on the upper step, held by two soldiers. "Yes, I recognize your face," he said haughtily. "I deeply regret l;hat we should meet again under these circumstances. Yet even the service yon rendered me can hardly justify this demand." "I ask but a brief interview," said Maurice eagerly. "For heaven's sake don't refuse me. You will change your mind when you have heard what I have to say." "1 grant your request," said Colonel Jaroslav. "yon shall hear from me again." Then, turning toward the officer in charge of the convicts, he demanded, "Can you procure me a report of this case before evening?" "Yes, your excellency; it can be had from St. Petersburg by telegraph at once." "Very well. Send it to me without delay." And, passing hurriedly through the crowd, Colonel Jaroslav entered his carriage and drove away. Dizzy with joy Maurice followed his guards through the dark hall of the fortress and was speedily locked in a whitewashed cell with a narrow grated window overhead. He was rather glad than otherwise that he was separated from his companions. He wanted time to reflect, to collect proofs of the story he must relate to Colouel Jaroslav, for on that interview rested his only hope, aud that hope was now a, strong one. Ho was treated with some consideration. Food of good quality was brought to his cell, and he was given a soft bed in place of the straw pallet that lay on the floor, but he neither ate nor slept. Morning found him still wakeful and restleas. Before the day was half over the welcome summons came from the jailer, and he was conducted to a luxuriously furnished room on the first floor of the fortress, where Colonel Jaroslav was seated at a table glancing over some papers. The jailer withdrew, leaving them alone. "Yours ia a strange case," were the colonel's first words. "I am puzzled at the outset. Sit down and let me hear your story." It was half past 10 by a small clock on the table when Maurice began to speak. When he finished, the hands pointed to noon. He related everything without reserve, commencing with his family history and the visit to Russia, ending with the perfidy of Captain Dar- omau and his recapture. He spoke, of course, in English, remembering that the colonel was familiar with the language. With rapt attention Colonel Jaroslav listened to every word, and at its conclusion he rose and shook Maurice warmly by the hand. "My poor boy," he said with emotion, "your story is true. You have been the victim of an infamous crime, but your sufferings are now at an end. You and your friend shall be freed, I promise you." "Thank God!" cried Maurice. "Oh, thank God!" And, bursting into tears, he buried his face on the table. "It was a dastardly deed," resumed the colonel presently, "and were it not for the convincing proofs I could not believe Vladimir Saradoff capable of such a crime. But the evidence is so plain that even the minister of the interior cannot fail to be convinced. According to the report of the case which I have, you traveled directly from the frontier to Moscow, where you, were arrested, yet I can testify to seeing you in St. Petersburg, and, what is more, I can remember seeing Ivan, Vladimir Saradoff's servant, sitting on the box of the sleigh. "That was the scoundrel who stole your papers aud substituted the nihilistic books and the false passports. This report states two more important facts which go to strengthen your case. It was Vladimir Saradoff himself who gave Count Paul Brosky, minister of the interior, the information that caused your arrest, and it is also recorded here that my card was found among your effects when searched. But the most damning evidence of all ia yet to come. Do you know why your uncle committed this infamous crime?" "No," said Maurice, "I do net, unless he hated me on my father's ac- readily tmaerstanft all. Lace in April, while yon and your friend were on your way to Siberia under the names of Cunningham and Burton, two badly decomposed bodies were found in the Neva. On searching them at the morgue passports were found made out to Maurice Hammond and Philip Danvers. The papers announced that the boys had been accidentally drowned. Vladimir Sara-' doff procured the government certificate of death in your case and forwarded i to America, making at the same time a claim for your mother's fortune, which by her will, went to her brother in cast of your death. That claim was allowed —your guardian making no attempt to dispute it—and Vladimir Saradoff re ceived your fortune. His crime was plotted with marvelous cunning, and had you arrived at this fortress one half hour later yesterday morning you would have gone back to Kara never again to return. The workings of Prov idence are truly wonderful." Maurice's surprise at this story may be readily imagined. His first though was of Phil, and his friend was uen for at Colonel Jaroslav's reqcest, who considerately left the room and permitted the boys to remain by themselves. An hour later they were taken back to their cells, for of course they were not yet free, bat in the evening Colonel Jaroslav returned and sent for them. "I have received telegraphic instructions from St Petersburg," he said. "You will return with me at once, anc your case will be placed before the minister. I regret to say that the man to whom you owe so much, Paul Platoff, the revolutionist, will also be sent back to Russia to undergo solitary confine ment in the castle of fichusselberg. Nicolas Poussin's share in your escape has been discovered. He is now under arrest and will be heavily fined, if indeed he suffers no worse penalty. The Cossack officer, Captain Daroman, will derive no benefit from his treachery. General Melikoff, whose daughter he insulted, directs that he be stripped of his rank and sent into penal servitude at the island of Saghalien, some miles north of Vladivostok. He is now confined in the fortress." "Poor Platoff! Can nothing be done for him?" exclaimed Maurice, bursting into tears. "He saved our lives. He is the noblest man living. Ah, if you on ly knew what we owe to him, Colonel Jaroslav. Can't you do anything for -him?" "Nothing, I fear," said the colonel sadly, for he was deeply moved by the hoy's tears and pleadings. "It is impossible. Paul Platoff must go to the underground dungeons of Schusselberg. He deserves a better fate perhaps, but there is no hope for him." "Can we see him?" begged Maurice. "Not at present," replied the colonel. "You will have plenty of opportunities in the future. He will accompany us to St. Petersburg. The jailer, at my direction, told him what had occurred, so he knows your good fortune. And now let me advise you to obtain as much rest as possible, for in three days we start back across Siberia. Amur river ia now open, and the journey which was so long and painful to yon we shall accomplish in a few weeks. Of course you are still prisoners and will be under military guard, but your treatment will be good. I shall see to that myself." The boys went back to their cells scarcely able to realize that their troubles were nearly over. Maurice, in his deep grief over the fate of Platoff, scarcely tasted his supper. * He was unable to sleep and tossed for hours on his bed. Near midnight he fell into a restless doze, from which he was roused by a 'Yet, 1 recognize your face," he said haughtily. dull, booming sound that seemed to shake the walls of the cell. Then followed half a dozen sharp reports, and as he sprang to his feet in alarm a rush of footsteps passed his cell, and a hoarse voice shouted: "Drop the boats, quick! He's swimming out into the harbor." CHAPTER XXVIIL SHEFTISG SCENES. Six feet beneath the level of the flat top of the fortress, on the eastern side facing the sea, extended a paved stone wall, 20 feet broad. On the outer edge of this rose a massive parapet deeply embrasured and mounted with frown- cannon that pointed their gaping . count." 1 "It was partly that, no doubt," re"Help me!" he cried with all his | sumed the colonel, "but there was a might "Yon remember, Colonel Jaro- I stronger motive. Let me tell yon what il»T—SCPetersburK—a year ago, jn tht coojorred after your arrest. muzzles day and night on the shipping in the harbor. Seven grated windows directly beneath the roof faced this paved wall, and the middle grating admitted a feeble supply of light to the | from Ivan, and the powerful stimulant cell wherein Paul Platoff was confined, j brought a flush to his cheek He glared Five minutes before the alarm occur- I wildly about the room and then sprang "Have yon a tight, Ivan?" said one sentry to the other as they met before Platoff's window. "Yes," was the reply. "Here is my pipe. Hurry and finish your smoke, though, for the night officer will soon be here." They baited a moment to exchange fire, and as they moved oil again neither beard a sharp crack that came from a point close at hand. The distance between them gradually widened, and they were close to the angles of the fortress when suddenly the grating dropped from the middle window with a tremendous crash, and they wheeled round in time to see a dark figure slip nimbly to the ground and dash toward the parapet. Crack! crack! rang the two rifles simultaneously as the sentries rushed forward, but the dark figure gained the top of the parapet unchecked and leaped wildly into the darkness. A heavy splash told that he had reached the sea, 50 feet below. The alaim gun standing ready primed and loaded was touched off instantly, and as the loud boom roused the inmates of the fortress and drew an eager crowd of officers and soldiers to the spot the figure of the escaped prisoner was »3en for an instant striking boldly out into the harbor. A score of rifles belched out flame and lead—with what effect none could tell—and a few moments later four boats manned with armed soldiers were gliding to and fro over the harbor. From midnight until morning they hunted Paul Platoff in vain, aud when daylight oarse a Russian corvet watched the mouth of the harbor, while the commandant of the fortress, _ armed with the czar's authority, searched every vessel in the port—German, Danish, Italian, English and American. But Paul Platoff could not be found, snd when night came again it was officially reported that the daring revolutionist had found a resting place at the bottom of the sea. The two negligent sentries were put in irons, the gratings at the six other windows were strengthened, and the fortress settled down to its usual ron tine again. Colonel Jaroslav informed the boys of the sad occurrence. Pbil burst into tears, and Maurice, throwing himself on the bed, hid his face in the pillow. When the door had closed behind the colonel, he sprang up. "Phil," he exclaimed excitedly, "don't yon believe it. Platoff is not drowned. It can't be true. He has escaped, and we shall see him again some day. lam sure of it." Phil was inclined to be skeptical, but Maurice remained true to his convictions and steadfastly refused to credit his friend's death. Two days Inter, in custody of Colonel Jaroslav's own guard of Cossacks, the boys commenced the long 6,000 mile journey back to St. Petersburg—first by sea to the mouth of the Amur, then successively by river, carriage and rail. On the night of the 10th of July Vladimir Saradoff was sitting at his library table, a cigar in his mouth and the Moscow Gazette on his knee. It was quite unusual to find him in St. ^Petersburg at this time of year, when the neighboring mansions on the Nevskoi Prospekt were boarded up and their owners scattered over the continent, but he had merely dropped in on his way to Paris from one of his northern estates and preferred the comforts of nis home and the ministrations of his faithful Ivan to the gloomy solitude of the club. If any remorse for his fearful crime lurked in bis heart, he did not show it. 3is calm, haughty features expressed self complacency and content plainer ;han words v?ould have told. Katkoff's paper ought to be suppressed, '' he muttered, tossing The Gazette over on the table. "It's tone is becoming decidedly dangerous. Is everything packed?" he added, rarning to Ivan, who was standing mo- iionless by his chair. "We take the Ber,in express at noon tomorrow." "All is ready," said Ivan quietly, 'except the money. I shall go to the Banker's in the morning." "Get 5,000 in large notes," said bis master, "and a draft OB Rothschild for ;he balance. Ah, a letter for me," as a servant entered with a sealed envelope on a silver salver. Vladimir Saradoff looked carelessly at the superscription and broke the eaL He drew out a folded paper, and lolding it under the lamp read the fol- owing words, hastily written in a wld, dashing hand: "Not unmindful of past favors, I assume the risk of requiting in some measure the debt of gratitude I owe •ou. A warrant has been issued for •our arrest on a terrible charge. I have leen the proofs. I need say no more. Count Brosky is implacable and determined. He fears complications with ie American government and will not pare you. The boys are now in the city, ^lee at once if yet there is time. Even ow it may be too late. Burn this note. Yours, . VOEOUZOW. " He read it through to the end, word or word, and then as the paper flut- cred from his nerveless fingers he drop- ied heavily into the chair from which e had half risen. His lips mumbled, but no sound carne, and his face was white as chalk. Ivan, deeply alarmed by this sudden collapse, sprang to his master's side with a decanter snatched hastily from the buffet. A spasm passed hastily over Saradoff's features as he took the glass red that roused Maurice from his sleep two sentries were patrolling before the row of windows, now back to back as they neared the angles of the fortress, now face to face as they approached and met before the middle window. , . Three lanterns, placed at regular inter- j information may be relied vals, threw a bright light on the scene, person has played the traitor. and, shining out on the sea, mingled with the wavy reflections from the ship- pin*. . _ -. to his feet. In that brief five minutes Vladimir Saradoff had aged—had Buffered the agonies of a lifetime. "Read that," he cried, tossing the letter to Ivan. "It comes from Vorou- zow, private secretary to the count. His on. Some But never mind. My vengeance will come. Escape is tfae first thino." He shuddered and pwaed bit hand cveir his forehead. "Quick, Ivau," he cried with sudden terror, "quick, or I am lost Escape by rail is cut off. They will watch the stations. I must take to the yacht. It still lies at the docks of Vassili Ortroff. I lent it to Count Adlerberg. It waits bis arrival in the morning. Do you hear me, Ivan? I must foil these bloodhounds. Call a cab at once. See if the street is empty," The perspiration was standing in drops on his forehead, and his hands trembled. Ivan, no less terrified than his master, hurried from the room, dropping the crumpled letter to the floor. Vladimir Saradoff picked it up and held it over the globe of the lamp. As the last fragment turned to ashes Ivan returned. "I have been fortunate," he panted. "I found a cab close by. The street is empty. Go quick. They may arrive at any moment." Withoat a word his master dropped into a chair, seized a pen and ink and checkbook and drove his hand rapidly over the paper. "Here, taie this," he cried. "You must remain behind, Disguise yourself and you will be safe. Go to the bank in the morning, get foreign drafts for this whole amount if you can and join me in Paris at the Hotel Bristol. Now a coat, Ivan—a light coat—and my pistols; don't forget them." A niomenc later he was ready. A few brief injunctions to Ivan, a hasty farewell, and he hurried down the broad stairway, through the long, magnificently furnished hall, and passed into the street. He turned with a bitter malediction on his lips for a last look at the stately front of hii palace—the last time he Crack! crack! rang ihc two riflw simultaneously. would ever see it, he knew well—and then bolted into the cab, the obsequious driver holding the door open for him. "Catherine's wharf, docks of Vassili Ostroff," he cried. "Twenty rubles if you get there in 15 minutes. Don't spare your horses." The door closed with a bang. The driver mounted his bos and lashed his steeds. The cab rumbled briskly over the cobblestones and then drew up with a jerk. "IJrive on, you idiot!" shouted Sara- doff. "Goon, I say! Why do you stop?" The cab started, moved a few paces and stopped again. Vladimir Saradoff threw up the blind. A lamp across the way shed a yellow light on the street. The driver was standing on the ground. Two dark figures held the horses and a third was approaching the cab—a tall, bearded man in a blue uniform and a sword at his side. A little distance off other figures were visible in the shadow, and the lamplight fell on gleaming rifle barrels. The cab door was thrown open. "Vladimir Saradoff, I arrest yon in :he name of the czar," said the officer. Here is the warrant. Shall I read it?" [TO BE CONTTNTJED.] GREATER NEW YORK. Republican Succeti Me»n» Curtailment of the People's Rights. The government which will have to be started for the greater city must receive its first impress from either Bepub- icans or Democrats. The former, should they succeed in the election, would try to curtail the rights and powers of the people at every possible point. They would try to enforce their well known, theory that the moneyed class should alone be consulted as to public expenditures, and the offices would be distributed among the relatives and friends of tbe rich, who are constantly letting it be known that they consider themselves 60 much better than those who have to toil for a living. The Democratic spirit is a very different one, and its dominance in. the greater city of .New York ought ro be assured beyond dispute by the election of Judge Van Wyck and his associates. The government oo?,ht to be held in trust for and administered in the interest of all the people, be they rich or poor, and, if anything, the benefits conferred by it should go to those who have to struggle hardest for themselves, their wives and their little ones A Gnat Time For DUcoveriee. Thomas A. Edison was asked the otli- ar day what he thought of those Chicago men who claim to be manufacturing gold from the baser metals. 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