This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1899. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... A PRISONER IN THE CAUCASUS CHAPTER I A RUSSIAN gentleman was serving as an officer in the army of the Caucasus. His name was Zhilin. One day a letter from his home came to him. His old mother wrote him : -- I am now getting along in years, and I should like to see my beloved son before I die. Come and bid me farewell, lay me in the ground, and then with my blessing return again to your service. And I have been finding a bride for you, and she is intelligent and handsome and has property. If she pleases you, why then you can marry and settle down together. Zhilin thought the matter over. "It is very true: the old lady has been growing feeble; maybe I shall not have a chance to see her again. I 'll go, and if the girl is pretty -- then I might marry." He went to his colonel, got his leave of absence, bade his comrades farewell, gave the soldiers of his command nine gallons 1 of vodka as a parting treat, and made his arrangements to leave. There was war at that time in the Caucasus. The roads were not open for travel either by day or night. If any Russian rode or walked outside of the fortress, the Tartars were likely either to kill him or carry him off to the mountains. And it was arranged that twice a week an escort of soldiers should go from fortress to fortress. In front and behind marched the soldiers, and the travelers rode in the middle. 'Four vedros, equivalent exactly to 8.80 gallons. 1 Sixteen and a half miles. It was now summer-time. At sunrise the baggage train was made up behind the fortification; the guard of soldiery marched ahead, and the procession moved along the road. Zhilin was on horseback, and his effects were on a cart which formed part of the train. They had twenty-five versts1 to travel. The train proceeded slowly; sometimes the so...
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