- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
133

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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MURIDISM AND THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
133
breastworks there on the right." In the end the
defenders were driven from the walls and breast
works; but in the two stone houses some sixty
Murids kept up the defence, and would not give
in. The houses were bombarded and stormed by
the Russians. The defenders neither asked for
quarter nor accepted it; they rushed out in twos
and fours seeking to cut their way through, and
died fighting; only two men escaped. A tall,
slender figure showed itself on the high threshold
of the doorway ; but as the soldiers raised their guns
to fire he leaped over their heads and alighted
behind them; he turned and in a flash cut down
three of them, but got a bayonet right through
his breast ; he caught hold of it with one hand, cut
down his assailant, drew the bayonet out of his
own breast, and slipped away into the forest, in
spite of also håving a rib and shoulder broken by
a stone. None knew him, but it was Shamyl.
Among the many dead lying before the two stone
houses there was a remarkable figure which in
death had tåken up the attitude of a Mussulman at
prayer, with his left hand about his beard and the
right lifted towards the sky. When the natives
came up they recognized their imam, Kasi-Mullah.
The Russians rejoiced, and exposed the body, but
the mountaineers were gloomy: his attitude in
death, with the hand pointed upwards, showed
him to be a holy man, and he had died in the great
cause.
Next day the Russians could march into Ghimri
without meeting any resistance. They now believed

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