- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
148

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
148
side ; as at Ghimri, he had disappeared in an inex
plicable way. This still further added to the belief
in his holiness ; it was said that Mohammed himself
had come down to rescue him.
Later it became known that in the night of the
2 1st of August, with a wife and child and a few
faithful companions, he had tåken refuge in one of
the caves in the face of the mountain above the
Koisu. Next night they climbed down to the river,
crept along down its bank, and in the darkness
came upon a guard ; there was a fight and Shamyl
and his little son on his mother’s back were
wounded ; but the lieutenant ofthe guard was kilied,
and so they got through the Russian lines.
The Russians were elated with their victory;
ShamyFs power was now finally broken; he was a
poor, homeless, wounded fugitive, bereft of every
thing and without foliowers. But before a year
had gone by this lonely fugitive was standing again
at the head of a people in arms. While the plunder
ing and wasting by the Russians was but firing the
hate of the mountain tribes, Shamyl made his
way to Chechnia, where the terribly cruel govern
ment of the Russian general Pullo had exasperated
those Chechens who had submitted to the Russians.
They flocked now round Shamyl, and by March
1840 war was once more in full swing. Shamyl,
håving won farne as a commander in the treeless
mountain valleys of Daghestan, quickly showed
himself to be a master also in the fighting in
the thick forests of Chechnia. He soon extended
his activities to Daghestan also, where his old

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