- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
146

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE GAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
146
with him. Shamyl came to meet him with a strong
force by the inaccessible a-ul of Arguami to bar his
way. But on the 3Oth of May and the ist of June
the a-ul was stormed, and as usual there was
a bloody fight from street to street and house to
house. The whole a-ul was plundered and laid in
ruins, while Shamyl withdrew.
After much difficulty Grabbe stood with his anny
before Akhulgo on the I2th of June. Shamyl with
4,000 men, women, and children was now sur
rounded here, and of these 4,000 scarcely one
fourth were men fit to bear arms. But the fortress
was too strong to be tåken at once by storm; it
had to be besieged, and the bombardment began.
After about a month’s siege the storm was attempted
on the 1 6th of July ; but the Russians were beaten
back with heavy losses, and the siege was renewed
in the hope of starving the enemy out, while the
fortress was bombarded unceasingly the whole time
by the Russian artillery. Conditions inside grew
steadily worse; on the 27th ofJuly parleys were at
last opened, and the batteries ceased fire for a few
hours. But there was no result, as Grabbe’s essential
condition was that Shamyl must submit to Russian
supremacy, and as earnest of his good will send his
son Jamalu’d-din as hostage. Firing was renewed.
On the I2th of August Shamyi himself sent an
envoy, and firing again was stopped for some hours.
This time again there was no result; there was a
parley, but it was soon evident that he only wanted
to gain time to strengthen his works. On the i6th of
August an ultimatum was sent him that unless his

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