- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
144

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
144
underfoot, the water leads knocked down. This was
how the Russians behaved in a land where they
had forced a way in as foreigners, and where
they had no right but only niight. He swore
vengeance.
He now chose as his headquarters the a-ul of
Akhulgo, which lay a little lower down on the right
bank of the Andian Koisu on two inaccessible
mountains; and he at once set to work to make
this natural fortress impregnable. As he had seen
that the strong stone towers ofthe mountain peoples
could not stand up under the fire of the Russian
guns, this remarkable commander dug himself into
the mountain with casernates.
Meanwhile it had been planned that the Tsar
Nicholas I should visit the Caucasus in the autumn
of 1837, and for the Russians it was highly important
to have Sharnyl on friendly terms, and that he should
meet the Tsar in Tiflis. The brave and capable
General Klugenau was appointed to carry on the
negotiations, and there was a dramatic meeting
between him and Shamyl in a wild mountain gorge
near Ghimri on the ißth ofSeptember, 1837. Shamyl
came to the meeting with over two hundred armed
Murids on horseback in their brightly coloured garb
with turbans, while Klugenau had only an aide
de-camp, fifteen Don Cossacks, and ten natives
with him. He applied every resource within the
range of his eloquence, but Shamyl was adamant.
When Klugenau saw it was hopeless, he rose and
held out his hand to take leave of Shamyl, but a
Murid rushed forward, held his arm, and said that

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