- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
157

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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SHAMYL
157
In the summer one of those bloody deeds hap
pened which, though they strengthened his authority
at the moment, yet in the end helped to undermine
it. One of his faithful friends had been killed near
the a-ul of Tsonteri near Dargo as the result of a
blood feud. Shamyl sent two hundred men to take
some of the most important dwellers in the village
for not håving hindered the murder. This action
of Shamyl was in utter contradiction with the
generally received law (adat), under which blood
revenge was actually a duty, although according
to ShamyPs doctrine this was against the holy
precepts (sharvat). The inhabitants therefore drove
back the Murids by armed force. Then Shamyl
came down upon the luckless a-ul, persuaded the
inhabitants to yield, and every living soul, from the
children to the oldest, was slam, in all a hundred
families.
In the following years, in spite of the Tsar’s
orders and the strengthened forces, the Russians
were no more successful. Although Shamyl could
only put a fraction of such numbers in the field,
and lacked artillery, but for such guns as he had
tåken, he was more than a match for them through
the quick movements of his anny of horsemen. He
avoided fighting where the enemy could bring all
his heavy forces into action and make full use of his
artillery; but he did everything to draw them on
farther and farther into the mountains and forests,
and in the most difncult places he would fall by
surprise on their rear or swarm all round them,
make a violent attack, inflict heavy losses, and cut

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