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CODmS * Exp osii Every attention will be shown visit ors and we especially invite the peopli to visit our handsome store to inspec our lines of Gent's Furmishings C lothing, and Hats. We handle no goods but those whic1 we can guarantee. Our Tailoring Department is perhap the largest in the State and our tailor are experienced workmen. A Suit made by us is sufficient war rant to fit. Come~ to see us. is L DAVID &DROs, Cor. King and Wentworth Sts., -0F Tnl 13Y Jule CHAPTER XV. 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 chael?" "To Irkutsk," he -answered. "By the highroad?" "Yes, Nadia." Nadia took the hand of Michael Stro goff, and they once more set out on their journey. 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 difficulty. 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 days. 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 theground... A dog's bark was beard across. -the steppe. -"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 lent excitement. "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 nearer. INadla stopped. "Yes," said Michael, "it is Serko who 11s barking. He has followed 'bis mas ter." "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 saw nothing.. And yet a voice camengain, which this time murmuned in a plaintive tone, "Michael!" 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 the dog. 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 steppe. Nadia fell on her. knees near that' head. 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 coming! 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 imprisoned body. 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 )URWER I BCZ j z Verne 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 master. At that moment a great noise was heard on the road about half a verst away. 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 voice. 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 was passing. "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 great anxiety. 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 the journey? 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 goff. 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 Yensesk. 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 vans. 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 mountains. "Stop!" she cried. "The Tartars! The Tartars!' 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 this head. "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 nonta. 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 among enemies. 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 course. 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 lake shore. 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 ten hours. 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 deep water. 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. CHAPTER XVL. 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 over her. 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 very rapid. 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 ner. 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 mountains." "Yes.". Michael Strogoff shuddered, for the strict incognito from which he did not wish to depart was in danger of being unveiled. 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 part. "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 raft arrived. 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 circumstances. 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 approach. 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 is blind!" A deep feeling of pity was pictured n the face of Alcide Jolivet and his cmpanion. An instant afterward both of them, seated near Michael Strogoff, warmly shook his hands and waited for him to speak. "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 et. "On my faith as a gentleman." added Harry Blount. "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 task?" "I prefer to act alone." said M1ichael Strogoff. "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 Michael Strogoff: "We almost owe you some excuses for not having shaken hands with you before our separation at -the posthouse f Ichim." "No; you had a right to believe me a oward." "Anyhow," added Alcide Jolivet, "you ae splendidly whipped that villain. and he will carry, the marks of It a long time." "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 noIse. 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 boathook!" "Before an hour we shall be stop. ped!" "If God wills it!" replied the old sail or. "Against his will nothing can be done." "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 sual: "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. 1.he raft." 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 advancing. 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 pered Nadia. 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 ceed. Toward 2 o'clock in the morning a double' row of lights lit up the somber horizon on the two banks of the An gara. 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!" CHAPTER XVII. 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 slopes. 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 the town. 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 vasion. 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 :he world. 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 Roofing Paper. 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 Committees: I respectfufly call your attention to annexed statute. You wil please give this matter early attentiox. Very respectfully. Judge-of-Ptobate., 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, Attorneys, 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 WELLS' SHAVING SALOON, Which is fitted up with an eye to the eomfort of his customers..... HAIR CUTTrIN( IN ALL STYLES, SH AVING a SH AMPOOING SDone with neatness an dlispateb. .. .. .. A cordial invitation is extended... J.'L. WELLS. Manning Times Block. TO CONSUMERS OF Lager Beer. We are now in position to ship our Beer all over the State at the following prices: EXPORT. Imperial Br'ew-Pints, at $1.10-per doz. Kuffheiser-Pints, at..90c per doz. Germania P. M.-Pints, at 90c per doz. GERMAN MALT EX TRACT.. A liquid Tonic and Food for Nursing Mothers and Invalids. Brewed from the highest grade of Barley Malt and Imported Hops, at...$I.I0per dez. For sale by all Dispensaries; or send in your orders direct. All orders shall have our prompt and careful attention. 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. Satisfaction guaranteed. Money to Loan. masy" Termns. APPLY TO 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. A. WEINBERG, 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. 0. DAVIS, ATTORNEY AT LAW, MANNING, S. C. DRJ. FRANK GEIGER, DENTIST, MANNING, S. C.