- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
145

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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SHAMYL
145
the leader of the faithful must not touch a giaour’s
(unbeliever’s) hand. The hot-tempered general
was furious, and raised the crutch he always
walked with to knock off the Murid’s turban. Then,
luckily Shamyl grasped the crutch, held back the
Murid, who had drawn his kindjal (dagger), in a
thundering voice ordered his men to stay where they
were, and bade Klugenau go off without delay.
But the furious Austrian, utterly heedless of the
danger, gave free rein to his tongue, uttering the
most violent abuse against all mountaineers, until
his aide-de-camp succeeded in pulling him away
by the tip of his cloak, and at length prevailed on
him to go. He then slowly mounted his horse, and
walked away without deigning to glance at the
Murids. The future, as so often, was hanging by a
hair ; if the blow with the crutch had not been held
up at the last moment by Shamyl, Klugenau and
all his men would undoubtedly have been slam;
while Shamyl and many of those nearest him would
probably have also been killed in the fight. The
war in the following years would have gone quite
otherwise, but perhaps the lives of many thousands
could have been spared. Tsar Nicholas soon after
made thejourney to Transcaucasia, from September
till November, but he did not meet Shamyl.
ShamyFs power in Daghestan and Chechnia
grew steadily during 1838, and the Russians saw
that serious measures must be tåken against him.
In May, General Grabbe marched out with an
anny from Vnezapnaya against Akhulgo, hoping
to shut Shamyl in there, and finally settle accounts

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