- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
164

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
164
tation as the boldest of all the Murid leaders by
a night raid on Temir-Khan-Shura itself, the mili
tary centre and capital of Russian Daghestan. This
time he turned the shoes round on the horses to
mislead his pursuers. On the ist of July, 1851,
with 500 horsemen he fell by night on the rich
a-ul of Buinakh, near the coast between Derbent
and Petrovsk, killed Shakh Vali, brother of the
shamkhal of Tarku, on his own threshold, and
carried off captives his wife and children, for whom
Shamyl afterwards got a heavy sum as ransom. On
this occasion Hadji Murad with his men rode 150
kilometres in less than thirty hours, and escaped
without any losses, although they were hotly
pursued. His deeds of daring were manifold, and
he was the terror of all his foes around.
But he was slandered and made an object of
suspicion to Shamyl, who was envious of his
renown, and afraid of him because of the murder
of the Khans of Khunsakh. Shamyl resolved there
fore to be rid of this man, whose popularity might
become dangerous; and at a secret meeting at
Avturi in Chechnia, Hadji Murad was condemned
to death. Being warned at the last moment, he fled
in November 1 85 1 to the Russian fort of Vozdviz
hensko, hoping with the help of the Russians to
take revenge on Shamyl. The Russians were
greatly elated at this new acquisition, and believed
it to be the beginning of desertions from Shamyl.
Hadji Murad wras granted leave to stay, under a
constant watch, at several Russian military posts
near the boundary, where he might be in touch

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