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ICHAEL STROGOFF and
Nadia were once more
free, as they had been
during the journey from
Perm to the banks of the
Irtish. But how changed
were the circumstances
of the journey! Then a comfortable
vehicle, teams often renewed, well pro
vided post horses, secured for them a
quick journey. Now they went on foot,
with an impossibility of procuring for
themselves any means of locomotion.
without resources, not knowing even
how to procure the least wants of life.
and they had still to make 400 versts!
And, moreover, Michael Strogoff now
only saw through the eyes of Nadia.
As for the friend whom chance had
given them, they had just lost him un
der the most affecting circumstances. .
It was 10 o'clock at night. For the
last three hotrs and a half the sun had
disappeared below the horizon. There
was not a house, not a hut, in sight.
The last Tartars were lost in the dis
tance. Michael Strogoff and Nadia
were indeed alone.
"To what place shall I lead you, Mi
"To Irkutsk," he -answered.
"By the highroad?"
Nadia took the hand of Michael Stro
goff, and they once more set out on
Next morning, Sept. 12, twenty versts
farther, at the town of Toulounovskoe,
both halted for a short-time. The town
was burned down and was deserted,
During that day they had-to pass the
little stream of the Oka, but it was
fordable, and that passage offered no
But, contrary to what Michael Stro
goff had perhaps hoped. there was not
any longer a single beast of burden in
the country. Every horse, every cam
el, had been either killed. or taken
away. It was therefore on foot they
must cross this never ending steppe.
And thus they walked on for three
Several times Nadia was obliged to
stop. Michael Strogoff then took her
in his arms, and for the moment, not
having to think of Nadia's fatigue.
while carrying her he marched more
quickly and with his untiring pace.
On the .18th of September, at 10
o'clock at night, both reached at length
Kimilteiskoe. From the top of a hill
Nadia perceived a line a little less dark.
on the horizon. It was the Dinka.
Suddeqly they stopped, as jf their
feet badpepped into some crevice in
A dog's bark was beard across. -the
-"Do you hear?"' said Nadia.
Then came a lamentable. cry, a cry of
despair, like the-last appeal of a human
being who is about to die.
"Nicholas! Nicholas!" cried the young
girL urged on by some evil foreboding.
Michael Strogoff. who listened, hung
down his head.
"Come, MichaeL.come!" said Nadia.
And she who just before could scarce
ly drag herself along suddenly recover
-ed her strength under the sway of vio
"Have we left the road?" said MI
chael Strogoff, feeling that he was
treading- no longer the -dusty road, but
th pngrass field.
"Ys tis necessary!" answered Na
dia. "It is from over there on the right
that the cry came!"
Some minutes afterward the two were
only haif a verst from the river.
A second bark .was heard, and, al
-though more feeble. It was certainly
"Yes," said Michael, "it is Serko who
11s barking. He has followed 'bis mas
"Nicholas!" cried the young'girl.
,Her call remained ~unanswered. Only
some birds of prey rose up and disap
peared amidthe high clouds of heaven.
Michael Strogoff listened, .Nadia look
ed at the plain, lit up with flashes of
lightning in rapid-auccession, but she
And yet a voice camengain, which
this time murmuned in a plaintive tone,
Then a. dog. aRl bleedn bound
ing upto Nada.' t was erko.
Nicholas could not be far awray. He
alone could mnrmar that. name of Mi
chaeL. Where..was he? Nadlaghd not
eve Athesrength to call outsto-him,
Michaehtrogoff, lying on the ground,
searchede with bis hand.
Suddenly Serko gave, a fresh bark
and rushed toward a.sgigantic bird,
-which was clawing the ground.
It was a vulture. When: Serko pre
cipitated himself upon It, it rose up;
but, returning to the charge, It struck
He again renewed the attack, but he
received a blow on the head frozna that
terrible beak, and this time Serko fell
back dead on the ground.
At the same time a cry of horror es
caped from Nadia,
I"There, there!" said she.
It would have struck against their feet
had It not been for the intense bright
ness that the heavens cast upon the
Nadia fell on her. knees near that'
Nicholas, burled up to the neck, ae
cording to the atrocious customs of the
Tartars, had be-bn abandoned on the
steppe to there die of hunger and thirst
and perhaps to be torn intb pieces by
thefangs of wolvesor the-beaks of birds
of prey. A most horrible punishment
for the victim thus imprisoned in the
earth, who presses the earth without
being able to cast It off, having his
arms tied and fastened to his body like
those of a corpse'in a coffin! The vie
tim, living in this clay mold. which he
is unable to break, can do nothing but
implore death, which is too slow in
Iwas there the Tartars had interned
ther prisoner for three days. For
three days Nicholas had been waiting
frscrwhich had come at last too
IThe vultures had perceived that head
exposed to the sun's rays, and for some
hours the dog defended his master
against these ferocious birds.
-Michael Strogoff dug the earth with
his claspknife to release it from that
The eyes of Nicholas. closed until
then, once more opened themselves.
He recognized Michael and Nadia.
Then he murmured:
"Au, frieMnds. I am happy to have
seen you Mr.c '. .I o me.
And these wo:ds were tLe iast.
Michael Strogoff continued to dig the
soil, which, be:ng strongly trodden
down. had the hardness of a rock, and
at length he succeeded in drawing from
It the body of the unfortunate wan.
He listened if his heart- still beat. It
beat no more!
He wished then to -bury it, that it
might not remain exposed on the
steppe, and that hole in which -Nicho
las had been buried alive he -entarge'd:
and deepened in such a manner as to
be able to lay him there when dead.
The faithful Serko was placed near his
At that moment a great noise was
heard on the road about half a verst
Michael Strogog istened.
By the noise bekueewt once that a
detachment of cavazry was-.advancing
toward the Dinka.
"Nadia, Nadia!" said -he in a low
At his voice Nadia. who had remaineoi
in prayer, rose up.
"You see them! You see them!" he
said to her.
"The Tartars!" she murmured..
It was indeed the advance guard of
the emir which was defiling quickly on
the road to Irkutsk.
"They shall not prevent-ne from in
terring him." said Michael Strogqff_
And he continud-his work,
Soon Nicholas' body, pith-his hands
joined on his -jreastUtwas laid in the
tomb. Michael St'rogoff and Nadia,
kneeling down. prayed the last time for.
that poor being, good and inoffensive,
who through devotedness: to- thezehd
lost his life.
"And now," said Michaeli, thrWIng
back the earth. "the igovesvt -the
steppe shall not devour.hIm."
Then his hand stretched in menac.e
toward the troop of horsemen which
"On our journey. Nadia!" said he.
Michael Strogoff could no longer fol
low the highroad. now occupied by the
Tartars. He must tbrow-hinself across
the steppe and turn Irkutsk. In doing
this they would have to cross the Din
k. and thus would be relieved from one
Nadia could no- longer drag herself
along, but she could see for him. He
took her in his arms and struck into
the southwest of the province.
There remained for them to travel
more than 20 versts. How could it
be done? How could food be found on
By what superhuman energy would
they succeed in passing the first slopes
of the Sayensk mountains? Neither
Nadia nor he could tell.
And yet twelve days after, at 6 o'clock
in the evening, an immense sheet of
water rolled at the feet of Miehael Stro
It was Lake Baikal.
Lake Baikal is situated at a height
of 1,700 feet above the level of the sea.
Itslenth t aout900vertsits1
breadth about a hundred. Its depth is
nknown. Mine. de Bourboulon tells
us that the sailors say that it wishes to
be called "Mrs. Sea." If one calls it
"Mr. Lake," it at once Is in a rage.
Anyhow, according to a Russian legend,
a Russian is never drowned there.
This immense basin of fresh water,
fed by more than 300 rivers, is embos
omed in a magnificent circle of vol
canic mountains. It has no other out
let but the Angara, which, after hav
ing passed Irkutsk, throws itself Into
the Yenisei a little above the town of
The first days of October had come.
The sun now sank below the horizon at
5 o'clock. and the long nights allowed
the temperature to fail to zero in the
thermometers. The first snow, which
was to remain until summer, already
whitened the neighboring heights. Dur
ing the Siberian winter this interior
sea, with its ice several feet thick, is
dotted with trains of couriers and cara
It was at the southwest point of the
lake that Michael Strogoff had just ar
rived, carrying Nadia, whose whole
life, so to speak, was concentrated in
her eyes. What could they both expect
In this wild part of the province but
to die there of want and destitution?
And yet how many still remained to be
made of those 6,000 versts that the
courer of the czar should attain his
end? Only sixty versts along the shore
of the lake as far as the mouth of the
river Angara, and eighty versts from
the mouth of the Angara to Irkutsk
In all a hundred and forty versts, say
a three days' journey for a strong and
vigorous man even on foot
Some fifty people found themselves
assembled at the corner which forms
the southwest point of the lake.
Nadla first perceived this group when
Michael Strogoff, carrying her in his
arms, came out from the defile of the
"Stop!" she cried. "The Tartars! The
The young girl feared for an instant
that It was nothing else than a de
tachment of Tartars sent to scour the
shores of Lake Baikal, in which case
fight would be cut off for both.
But Nadia was soon reassured on
"They are Russians!" she cried.
And after this last effort her eyelids
closed, and her head fell down on th e
breast of Michael Strogoff.
But they had been perceived, andi
some of those Russians, running up to
them, led the blind man and the young1
girl to the border of a little beach to
which was mocred a raft.
The raft was about to depart.
These Russians were fugitives of va
rious conditions whom a common in
terest had gathered together on this
point of the Baikal.
Driven back by the Tartar scouts,
they sought to take refuge in Irkutsk,
and, not being able to reach that place
by land, since the invaders had taken
up position on both banks of the Anga
ra, they hoped to gain it by descending
the river which runs through the town.
The fugitives had their raft fully pre
pared for the voyage, and had Michael
Strogoff been even a few hours later
he would have found the place desert
Now, he was welcomed and bidden
to go upon the raft at once, as its; slow
motion rendered it advisable to lose no
time In setting out.
Their project made the heart of Mi
chael Strogoff leap for joy. IIe could
now play his last chance. But he had
the strength to dissemble, wishing to
preserve more strictly than ever his
The plan of the fugitives was very
simple. A current of the Baikal skirts
the higher sho:-e of the lake as far as
the mouth of the Angara. It Is this
current which they counted upon mak
ing use of to early reach the outlgt of
Baikal. From this po'nt to Irkutsk the
rapid waters of the river would draw
them along at a speed of ten or twelve
versts the hour. In a day and a half
they ought to be in sight of the town.
Every means for embarking was
wapting at that place..
They had to supply this want. A
raft, or, rather, a float of wood, like
those which generally float on the SI
birlan rivers had been constructed.
A forest of pine, which towered along
the shore, had furnished the floating
material. The trunks, lashed together
with willow branches, formed a plat
form on which a hundred persons
would have easily found room.
It was on this raft that MWlchael Stro
goff and Nadia were carried. The
young girl was once.more herself. They
gave to her some nourishment, as also
to her companion. Then, lying down
on a bed of leaves, she immediately fell
Into a sound sleep.
To these who Interrogated him Mi
chael -Strogoff said nothing concerning
the t-its which had occurred at
Tomsx. He gave himself out as an In
habitant of Krasnoiarsk who had not
been able to reach Irkutsk before the
troops of the emir had arrived on the
left -bank of the -Dinka, and he added
that very likely the main body of .the
Tartars had taken up their position be
fore the capital..' Siberia. Even among
Iriends It was almost as important to
preserve secrecy as to his mission as if
One never knows what ears are lis
teing.- when -the tongue speaks. The
friend of today may be the foe of to
morrow, and even the firm friend, If
In'discreet,,is more to be dreaded than
the known enemy.
There was not, therefore, an instant
to lose. Besides, the frost became more
and more keen. The temperature dur
ing the night-fell far below zero. Some
pieces-of ice had already formed on the
surface of the BaIkaL If the raft could
easily make its way on the lake, it
would not be the same between the
banks of the Angara in case those
pieces of ice-should come to impede its
Therefore.for all these reasons it was
necessary -that. the. fugitives should
start withonti delay.
At 8 o'clock at night the moorings
were unfastened, and under the action
of the -current~-the raft followed -the
Long :poles, handled by robust mu
jiks, sufficed to guide it. . An old sailor
of the Baikal had taken command of
the raft. He was a man of sixty, all
tanned with the' breezes of the lake. A
white and very thick beard descended
on his breast. He had on his head a
fur hat. Of a grave and austere ap
pearance, his wide and long riding coat,
drawn tight at the belt, hanging down
to his heels, this silent old man, sit
ting at the stern, commanded by ges
ture and did not speak ten words in
Besides, the whole management con
sisied In keeping the raft in' the cur
rent which ran along the shore, with
out allowing it to go far out into the
Although the journey was not with
out danger, the voyagers might reason
ably hope to safely accomplish it.
At any rate they had become accus
tomed to both hardship and danger.
No fate could be worse than the one
that awaited them if they remained.
So despite the past and present they
were many hopeful, almost happy
hearts on board that rude craft that
floated along so lazily.
NO special Incident marked
this journey on the lake.
Nadia had remained in
a profound stupor.
Sleep had only over
powered MIchael Strogolf
at long intervals, and
still his thoughts were ever watching
At daybreak the raft, retarded by a
somewhat strong breeze which was
blowing against the action of the cur
rent, was still forty versts from the
mouth of. the Anigara. Most likely they
would not be able to reach it before 3
or 4 o'clock in :the afternoon.
This was not an inconvenience; rath
er the contrary, for the fugitives would
then descend the river during the night,
and the darkness would favor their
arrival at lrkutsk.
At 4 o'clock in the afternoon the
mouth of the Angara was signaled by
the old mariner between the high gran
ite rocks of the coast. One could per
ceive on the right bank the little port
of Livenitchnlala, its church, its few
houses built on the steep.
But there was a grave circumstance.
The first tioating ice that had come
from the east was already forming be
tween the banks of the Angara and
hence descending toward lrkutsk.
However, their number could not as
yet be great enough to obstruct the
river nor the cold severe enough to
unite them into one mass.
The raft arrived at the little port and
stopped there for a short time. The
old mariner had decided to put into
port for an hour in order to make some
Indispensable repairs. The trunks, hav
ing become loose, threatened to sepa
rate from one another, and it was of
great importance to rebind them more
firmly together that they might resist
the current of the Angara, which Is
The old sailor did not, therefore, ex
pect any more fugitives at the port of
Livenitchnia, and yet at the moment
the raft was leaving the shore two
men, coming ouit of a deserted house,
ran with great 2aste to the bank.
Nadia, sitting at the hack part of the
raft, looked at them in a listless man
A cry was about to escape her. She
seized the hand of Michael Strogoff,
who at that moment raised his head.
"What is the matter with you. Na
dia" he asked.
"Our two fellow travelers. Michael
that Frenchman and that Englishman
whom we met in the defiles of the Ural
Michael Strogoff shuddered, for the
strict incognito from which he did not
wish to depart was in danger of being
And in reality it was not any longer
Nicholas Korpanoff whom Alcide Joll
vet and Harry Biount were about to~
see in him now, but the true M.ichael
Strogoff, the courier of the czar. The
journalists had already met him twice
since their separation at the posthouse
of Ichim-the first time at the camp of
Zabedeiro, when he cut with the blow of
the knout the face of Ivan Ogareff, the
second time at Tomsk, when he was
condemned by the emir. They knew
therefore what to think of him and hIs
true position as courier of the 'czar.
Michael Strogoff quickly took up his
"Nadla," said he, "when that French
man and Englishman shall come on
board beg them to come up to me."
Alcide Jolivet. whom not chance. ht:t
the force of events. had comiuered to
the port of Lirenitchnaia. just as they
had led Michael Strogoff.
The reader knows that after I.ing
been present at the triumphal entry of
the Tartars into Tomsk they had gone
away before the savage execution
which terminated the feast. They had
no doubt but their old fellow traveler
had been put to death, and they were
quite unaware that he had been only
made blind by order of the emir.
Then, having procured horses, they
had abandoned Tomsk that very night.
with the fixed intention of dating hence
forth their articles from Russian camps
of eastern Siberia.
Alcide Jolivet and Harry Blount set
out for Irkutsk by forced marches.
They had great hopes of outstripping
Feofar-Khan, and most certainly they
would have done so had not a third col
umn unexpectedly made its appear
ance, having come from the southern
provinces of the Yenisei. Like Michael
Strogoff, they were cut off before hav
ing even reached the Dinka. Hence
they were again compelled to go down
as far as Lake Baikal.
When they arrived at Livenitchnaia,
the port was already deserted. On any
other side it was Impossible for them
to enter Irkutsk, which was invested
by the Tartar armies.
They had been there for three days,
and very. much embarrassed, when the
The des!gn of the fugitives was com
municated to them. There was cer
tainly some chance of their being able
to pass during the night and penetrate
into Irkutsk. They therefore resolved
to make the attempt
Alcide Jolivet at once placed himself
In communication with the old mariner
and asked passage for his companion
and himself, offering to pay the fare he
fixed, whatever It might be.
"Here one does not pay anything,"
gravely answered the old mariner.
"One risks his life; that is all."
The two journalists embarked, and
Nadia saw them take their place In the
fore part of the raft.
Harry Blount was always the cold
Englishman who had scarcely address
ed a word to her during the whole jour
ney across the Ural mountains. Alcide
Jolivet seemed a little more grave than
usual, and one would acknowledge that
his gravity was justified by that of the
Alcide Jolivet was' then installed on
-the fore part of the raft, when he felt
a hand rest on his arm. He turned
round and recognized Nadia, the sister
of him who was no longer Nicholas
Korpanoff, but Michael Strogoff, cou
rier of the czar. A cry of surprise was
about to escape him when he saw the
young girl place her finger on her lips.
"Come," said Nadia to him.
And, assuming an air of Indifference,
Alcide Jolivet, making a sign to Harry
Blount to accompany him, followed her.
But if the surprise of the journalists
was great at meeting Nadia on that
raft It was without limits when they
perceived Michael Strogoff, whom they
could not believe to be still alive. -Mi
chael Strogoff had not moved at their
Alcide Jolivet had turned himself to
ward the young girl.
"Gentlemen, he does not see you,"
said the young girl. "The Tartars have
burned out his eyes! My poor brother
A deep feeling of pity was pictured
n the face of Alcide Jolivet and his
An instant afterward both of them,
seated near Michael Strogoff, warmly
shook his hands and waited for him to
"Gentlemen." said Michael Strogoff
in a low voice, "you must not know
who I am nor what I came to do in Si
beria. I beg you to respect my secret.
Do you promise me?"
"On my honor." answered Alcide Joli
"On my faith as a gentleman." added
"Very well, gentlemen."
"Can we be of any use to you?" ask
d Harry Blouint. "Would you wish
s to help you to accomplish your
"I prefer to act alone." said M1ichael
"But those scoundrels have burned
ut your sight," said Alcide Jolivet.
"I have Nadia, and her eyes suffice."
Half an hour later the raft, after
aving left the little port of Livenitch
ala, was fairly in the river. It was 5
'clock in the evening. Night was fast
oming on. it would be very dark and
very cold also. for the temperature was
already below zero.
Alcide Jolivet and Harry Blount, al
though they had promised Michael
Strogoff to keep his secret, yet did not
leave his side. They spoke in a low
voice, ani the blind man, putting what
e already knew to what they now told
him, was enabled to form an exact idea
f the state of affairs.
He was certain that the Tartars were
ctually investing Irkutsk and that the
three columns had already formed a
unction. One could not therefore doubt
that the emir- and Ivan Ogareff were
before the capItal.
But why that haste to arrive there
of the courier of the czar, now that the
emperor's letter could no longer be re
itted by him to the grand duke, and
e did not even know its contents? AI
de Jolivet and H-arry Blount could
no more undlerstand than could Nadia.
Besides, they. had not spoken of the
past up to the moment when Alcide
Jolivet thought it his duty to say to
"We almost owe you some excuses
for not having shaken hands with you
before our separation at -the posthouse
"No; you had a right to believe me a
"Anyhow," added Alcide Jolivet, "you
ae splendidly whipped that villain.
and he will carry, the marks of It a long
"No, not a long time," simply answer
d Michael Strogoff.
In half an hour after the departure
from Llvenitchnaia Aleide Jolivet and
arry Blount had heard all the details
f the cruel trials through which Mi
chael Strogoff and his companion had
scessively passed. They could not!
but openly admire an energy which the
devotedness of the young girl alone
had been able to equal. And of Mia
chael Strogoff they had formed the
very same opinion whIch had been so
well expressed by the czar at Moscow
"In truth, he Is a man!"
At 8 o'clock at night, as the aspect
of the sky had forewvarned them, an cx-.
essive darkness enveloped all the
ountry. The moon, being new, would
ot rise above the horizon. From the.
:iddle of the river the banks were visi
ble. The cliffs at -not a great height
were blended with those heavy clouds
which they displaced with difficulty.
At intervals a breeze would come from
the east and seem to expire in that nar
row valley of the Angara.
The old marIner, lying down on the
fore part of the raft near his men, oc
upied himself altogether in turning
aside from the ice blocks, a maneuver
which he executed without making any
This d,.i+ing of the ice, after all. was
a favorable circumstance as ongas it
did not oppose an insurmountable ob
stacle in the passage of the raft; for
indeed this apparatus alone on the free
waters of the river would have run the
risk of being perceived even through
the thick shade, whereas it was now
confounded with these mcving masses
of all sizes and all shapes, and the din
produced by the grating of the blocks
drowned all other suspicious noise.
There was a very keen frost The
fugitives suffered dreadfully from it,
not having any other shelter but some
branches of the birch tree. They press
ed close to each other in order to better
support the low temperature, which
during that night had reached 10 de
grees below zero.
Michael Strogoff and Nadia, lying
down at the back part of the raft, en
dured without complaint this addition
al suffering. For a man who was reek
oning soon to attain his end Michael
Strogoff seemed singularly calm. Be
sides. in the most gr'ave situations his
energy had never abandoned him. Al
ready he looked forward to the moment
when at last it would be permitted him
to think of his mother, of Nadia, of
himself. He only feared one last and
evil chance. It was lest the raft should
be absolutely stopped by a barrier of
thick ice before having reached Ir
kutsk. He did not think of anything
but that, being. moreover, decided if it
were necessafy to attempt some su
preme act of daring.
Nadia, refreshed by some hours of re
pose, had recovered that physical en
ergy which misery had sometimes been
able to subdue without ever having
shaken her moral energy. She was
thinking also that in case Michael Stro
goff should make a new effort to attain
his end she must be there to guide him.
But at the time that she was approach
ing Irkutsk the image of her father was
pictured more vividly in her mind. She
saw him in the invested town, far from
those he cherished, but-for she did
not doubt it-struggling against the in
vaders with all the dash of his patriot:
ism. Before many hours, if heaven
should at length favor them, she would
be in his arms, reciting to him the last
words of her mother, and nothing
should again separate them.
The raft still moved on, unperceived,
amid the mass of floating ice.
Up to this time no Tartar detachment
had been signaled on the high- banks
of the Angara, and this indicated that
the raft had not as yet come on a line
with their outposts. -
Meanwhile it was necessary to ma
neuver with more care in the midst of
the ice, which was fast closing.
The old mariner rose up, and the mu
iks took up again their boathooks.
All had as much as they could do, and
the management of the raft besame
more and more difficult, for the bed of
the river was becoming obstructed.
Michael Strogoff had moved softly tv
the fore part of the raft.
Alcide Jolivet had followed him.
Both listened to what the old sailot
and his men were saying.
"Guard there on the right!"
"Look! The blocks of ice are thick
ening on the left!"
"Keep it off! Keep it off with your
"Before an hour we shall be stop.
"If God wills it!" replied the old sail
or. "Against his will nothing can be
"You hear them?" said Alcide Jolivet.
"Yes," replied Michael Strogoff, "but
God is with us."
Meantime the situation became more
and more serious. If the raft once
ceased to make headway, the fugitives
would not only never reach Irkutsk,
but they would be obliged to abandon
their floating apparatus, which, crush
ed by the ice blocks, would not be long
n sinking under the waters. The wilr
low bindings were already breaking,
the fir trunks, violently separated, were
becoming entangled under the hard
rst, and soon the unfortunate people
would have no other refuge than the
ce itself. Then, when daylight should
come, they would be perceived by the
Tartars and massacred without pity.
Michael Strogoff returned to the back
part of the raft, where Nadla was wait
ing for him. lHe approached the young
girl, he took her hand and put to her
that invariable question. "Nadia, are
you ready?" to which she answered as
"I am ready."
For some versts more the raft con
tinued to make its way through the
loating ice. If the Angara should be
hoked up with ice, it would form a
barrier, and consequently it would be
Impossible to follow the current. Al
ready the passage down the river was
slower. At every instant there were
ollisions, or time was lost by having
to make long turnings. Here they must
scape landing on the ice; there they
ust take a narrow pass between it
In fine, many anxious drawbacks.
And now only a few hours of the
night remained. If the fugitives did
not reach Irkutsk before 5 o'clock In
the morning, they must give up all
hope of ever entering there.
At length, at half past I. in spite of
all their united efforts, the raft struck
against a thick barrier and stopped al
together. The ice which was floating
down the river cast itself upon It and
forced It ogainst the obstacle ar.d held
t motionless as if it had been driven
upon a reef.
At this place the Angara becomes nar
rowed to not more than half its normal
breadth; hence the accumulation of ice
blocks, which were by little and little
lled one upon another under the action
of the double pressure, which was con
siderable, and of the cold, whose in
tensity was redoubling. At 500 paces
down the river again became wide, and
ice blocks, detaching themselves by lit
tle and little from the lower edge of that
feld, continued to float down to Irkutsk;
hence it is probable that without that
narrowing of the banks the barrier would
not have been formed, and the raft could
have continued to descend the current.
But the evil was irreparable, and the
fugitives had to give up all hope of
reaching the end of their journey. If
they had had at their disposal the tools
which the whalers usually employ to
open out canals across the icefields, If
they had been able to cut this field as
far as the place where the river be
came wider, perhaps the time would
not have beea wanting, but not a single
saw, not a pickax, nothing with which
to cut the crust, which the extreme cold
had rendered as hard as granite.
What should they do?
At that moment rifle shots were heard
on the right bank of the Angara. A
shower of bullets was directed upon
the raft. Had the unhappy men been
perceived? Evidently, for other deto
ations resounded on the left bank.
The fugitives, caught between two fires,
became a target for the Tartar marks
men. Some were wounded by these
balls, although In the midst of the
great darkness they only fell by chance.
"Come, Nadia," whispered Michael
Strogoff in the ear of the young girl.
Without making any observation,
ready for everything, Nadia took the
hand of Michael Strogoff.
"I am thinking of crossing the bar
rier," he said to her in a low voice.
Nadia obeyed. Mlichael Strogoff and
she glided quickly over the surface of
the icefield in a silence that was broken
here and there by the firing.
Nadia crept on In front of Michael
Strogoff. The balls fell around them
like a shower of hailstones and crashed
npon the ice. The surface of the field,
rugged and with sharp edges, made
their hands bleed, but still they kept
Ten minutes afterward the lower
border of the barr!er was reached.
Thge the waters of the Angara again
became free. A few large blocks of
Ice, becoming by degrees detached from
the field and floating with the current,
-scenrded toward the town.
Nadia understood what Michael Stro
goff wished to attempt. She saw one
of those blocks of ice that was only
held by a narrow tongue.
"Come," said Nadia.
And both lay down on this morsel of
ice, which a slight rocking loosened
from the barrier.
The block began to make its way
down the river. The river itself be
came- wider, and the route was free.
Michael Strogoff and Nadia could
hear the firing of guns, the cries of dis
tress, the shouts of the Tartars that
made themselves heard up the river.
Then little by little those cries of deep
anguish and of ferocious joy were lost
In the distance.
"Oh, those poor companions!" whis
For half an hour the current quickly
carried along the block of ice which
was bearing Michael Strogoff and Na
dia. At every moment they feared that
they might sink under the water. Be
ing caught in the stream, it followed
the middle of the river, and it would
not be necessary to give it an oblique
direction until there was question of
making for the quays of Irkutsk.
Michael Strogoff, with his teeth set
and his ears ready to catch the least
sound, did not utter a single word.
Never was he so near attaining his
end. He felt that he was about to suc
Toward 2 o'clock in the morning a
double' row of lights lit up the somber
horizon on the two banks of the An
On the right was the glare from the
lights of Irkutsk, on the left the fires
of the Tartar camp.
Michael Strogoff was not more than
half a verst from the city.
"At last!" whispered he.
But suddenly Nadia gave a cry.
At that cry Michael Strogoff rose up
from the block, which became very un
steady. His hand stretched out toward
the head of the Angara. His face, all
Lit up with the reflections of blue lights,
became terrible to look at, and then, as
though his eyes had been reopened to
the light, he cried:
"Ah, God himself is against us!"
RKUTSK, capital of east
ern Siberia, has In ordi
nary times a population
of 30,000' souls. A high
hill of solid rock, skirting
the right bank of the An
gara, serves as a splen
d position for Its churches, crowned
by a high cathedral, and for Its houses,
built In picturesque disorder along its
Seen from a certain distance, from
the top of the mountain which runs
long the great Siberian route at a dis
tance of some twenty versts, with Its
domes and belfries, Its graceful spires,
like those of minarets, Its spiral domes,
it has a somewhat oriental appearance.
But that oriental appearance vanishes
from the eyes of the traveler from the
moment he enters the town. The town,
balf Byzantine, half Chinese, becomes
it once European by its macadamized
streets, bordered with sidewalks, with
their rows of gigantic birch frees, by
its brick and wooden houses, some of
which have several stories, by its many
plendd equipages-In fine, by the
whole body of Its Inhabitants being
very advanced In the progress of civ
lization, and to which the latest fash
lons of Paris are not at all strangers.
At that epoch Irkutsk, refuge for the
iberans of the province, was crowded.
[t abounded In resources of every kind.
Erkutsk Is the emporium for all that
ountess merchandise which Is ex
hanged between China, central Asia
md Europe. They did not fear to
Iraw there, the peasants from the val
ley of the Angara, the Mongols-Khal
tas, people from Toungouze and ,Bou
et, and to allow the wilderness to
tretch out between the Invaders and
Irkutsk Is the residence of the gov:
rnor general of eastern Siberia. Un
ler him is a civil governor, In whose
ands is concentrated the administra
tion of the province, a head of the po
ice, who has a great deal to do in a
town where exiles abound, and lastly
i mayor, one of the leading merchants,
in Important personage by his Im
mense fortune and by the influence
which he has over his fellow cItizens.
The garrison of Irkutsk was then
omposed of a regiment of foot Cos
acks, which numbered about 2,000
nen, a .body of foot gendarmes, who
mvore the helmet and blue uniforms
triped with silver.
Besides, it is known that on account
)f particular circumstances the brother
f the czar had been shut up in the
:own since the commencement of the
That situation must be given in de
It was a journey of political impor
:ance that had led the grand duke into
:hose distant provinces of eastern Asia.
The grand duke, after having visit -d
he principal cities of Siberia, traveling
n military rather than princely style,
without any retinue, escorted by a de
:achmet of Cossacks, had gone even
is far as the countries beyond the Bal
~an mountains. Nicholaevsk, the last
Eussian town which Is situated on the
shores of the sea of Okhotsk, had been
ionored by his visit
Having reached the boundaries of the
mmnense Muscovite empire, the grand
lue was returning to Irkutsk, from
hence he would soon return to E)u
*ope, when the news reached him .of
:hat invasion, which was as sudden as
t was menacing. He hastened to re
inter the capital, but when he arrived
:here communication with Russia had
ieen cut off. He still received a few tel
grams from St. Petersburg and Mos
:ow. He could even answer them.
fterward the wire was cut under the
:rcumstances already known to the
Irkutsk was isolated from the rest of
The grand duke could do nothing but
>rganize resistance, a thing which he
id wIth that firmness and coolness of
which he had given ueder other cir
umstances incontestable proofs.
-News of the taking of Ichim, of
)msk, of Tomsk, came successively to
Erkutsk. They could not count on be
ng soon relieved, but they must pre-.
rent at all price the occupation of the
aptIo be. Trhe few troops seat
3-ply Roofing Paper.......75c per roll.
2-ply Roofing Paper.......52c per roll.
1-ply Tarred Paper........$35 per ton.
Rosin-Sized Sheathing Paper, 17 lbs.
per roll..................30e per roll.
20-tb. Paper...............38c per roll.
30-tb. Paper. .............50c per roll.
All prices f.o.b. Charleston.
For direct shipments from factory in
lots of 25, 50 or 100 rolls, we can make
closer delivered prices.
OlN P9RM1 MEff Gt.,
94-96 E. Bay St., CHARESTO. S. C,
N illo E l il .
OFFICE OF JUDGE OF FPOBATE,
Manning, S. C., August 1, 1900.
To Executors, Administrators, Guardians and
I respectfufly call your attention to annexed
statute. You wil please give this matter early
Sec. 2064-1942). Executors, Adm
Guardians and Committees, shal annua
while any estate -remains in +.heir esreores
tody, a any tune before the :rst day of Jlyof
each year, render to the Judge of Probate ef-te
county from whom they obtain Lett=r TtIa
meutary or Tetters of Administrators or Let
ters of Guardianship, etc., a just and- tree
count, upon oath, of the receipts Cd
tures of such estate the preceding=
year, which, when examined and. approved
shall be deposited with the, Inventory 11dp
praisement or other papers belonging t ch
estate, in the office of said Judge of probate
there to be kept for the inspectin of such per
sons as may be interested In the estate-(under
Approved the "d day of March, 1897.
Money to Lend
On improved farming lands. Terms:
as long as wanted; interest, 7 per cent
on large loans; 8 per eent on small
loans. For particulars apply to
LEE & MOISE,
Sumter, S. C.
I have opened up a Sewing M .chine
store next-door to Mr. S. A.
general merchandise store August
1900. - I will carry the
The new ball-bearing "New Honie;"
the best machine made: also ",ew
Ideal'' and "Climax," from $Wg to440.
I sell on Instalment, Easy ment
Plan. I clean and repair any indof
machines for least money possible.
Call and see me.
A. I. BARRON, Ag't.
W H E N YOU COME
TO TOWN CALL AT
Which is fitted up with an
eye to the eomfort of his
IN ALL STYLES,
SH AVING a
SDone with neatness an
dlispateb. .. .. ..
A cordial invitation
Manning Times Block.
TO CONSUMERS OF
We are now in position to ship our
Beer all over the State at the following
Imperial Br'ew-Pints, at $1.10-per doz.
Kuffheiser-Pints, at..90c per doz.
Germania P. M.-Pints, at 90c per doz.
GERMAN MALT EX
A liquid Tonic and Food for Nursing
Mothers and Invalids. Brewed from
the highest grade of Barley Malt and
Imported Hops, at...$I.I0per dez.
For sale by all Dispensaries; or send
in your orders direct.
All orders shall have our prompt and
Cash must accompany all orders.
GERMANIA BREWINII CO.,
Charleston, S. C.
J. M. McCOLLOUGH,
Opposite Central Hotel.
Give me a trial and 1 will give you
the best work for little money.
Harness Made & Repairied.
Money to Loan.
WILSON & DuRANT.
Land Surveying and Leveling.
I will do Surveying, etc., in Claren
don and adjoining Counties.
Call at office or address at Sumter, S.
C. P. O. Box 101.
JOHN R. HAYNESWORTH.
ATTORNEY AT LAW,
MANNNING, S. C.
JOSEPH F. RHAME,
ATTORNEY AT LAW,
MANNING, S. C.
J. S. WILSON. W- C. DURANT
WILSON & DURANT,
Attorneys and Counselors at Law,
MANNING, S. C.
ATTORNEY AT LAW,
MANNING, S. C.
DRJ. FRANK GEIGER,
MANNING, S. C.