- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
116

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
116
mander now sent an interpreter to the defenders
offering peace on favourable conditions. They
ceased firing, listened to the proposals, and delib
erated for a few minutes ; then a smoke-blackened,
half-naked Chechen came out and spoke : "Wc
wish for no peace from the Russians; the only
grace wc ask of them is that they let our families
know that wc died as wc Kved, and refused to
submit to the foreign yoke." These words were
followed by a volley from the whole band. The
Russians now opened fire with their guns, and soon
the houses were wrapped in flames. The sun had
set, and the awful scene of destruction and death
was lit up only by the red gleam of the flames,
while the Chechens sang their death-song, first
lovd, then sinking lower and lower, as the houses
burned down. At length the walls fell in, and
72 Chechens met their death there.
One of the Chechens’ death-songs describes
Hamzad’s last fight. With a band of horsemen from
Ghikh he had been on a plundering expedition
over the Terek into the Russian territory, but on
his way home he was overtaken by an outnumbering
force of Russians. Hamzad and his men slaughtered
the plundered horses and cattle, made a breast
work of them, and entrenched themselves behind
it. The Russians sent Prince Kagherman to parley
with them and get them to surrender ; but Hamzad
answered: 1 "I came not here, O Kagherman, for
want of money ; I came to win the death of the
1 Translation as given by J. P. Baddeley, The Russian Conquest of the
Caucasus (London, 1908), pp. 487-8.

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