- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
150

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
150
strength could be raised by the addition of a man
from each farmstead. Furthermore, every man
between fifteen and fifty was bound to enter the
anny if needed. Shamyl brought in systematic
taxation, and strengthened his government through
every means. In 1840, too, he founded orders for
the reward of bravery. An express-post was set
up to carry news and commands speedily through
out the land. On the whole he proved a great
Organizer, but he was terribly harsh and often
cruel ; he was followed by his executioner carrying
a heavy long-handled axe and ready to cut off
hands and heads at once, if there was the least
suspicion of untrustworthiness. Thus ShamyFs sway
was feared, but not loved, especially in Avaria,
where moreover he had had a share in the murder
of the Khans ; this was never forgotten.
In 1 84 1 the Russians again attacked, but with
little success ; Shamyl and his horsemen made most
daring raids into their territory where they least
expected him; he even penetrated into the land
of the Kumyks as far as the town and fort of Kizliar
in the north on the lower Terek, and with a rich
booty, many prisoners, and great flocks of horned
cattle he made his way home again right between
two Russian divisions.
At the end of May 1842, while Shamyl was on an
expedition against the Kasimukhians in southern
Daghestan, General Grabbe with an anny of
10,000 men and twenty-four guns marched into
Chechnia to take Dargo. On the road, however,
bands of the inhabitants swarmed round him,

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