- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
169

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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SHAMYL
169
and here were several farmsteads and mills, and
other sources of supplies. With the men of the a-ul
and his small following he had altogether about
four hundred men.
This natural stronghold Shamyl sought by every
means to strengthen. Had it been defended by
proper numbers the mountain would not have been
easy to take, but his four hundred men with only four
guns, needless to say, were not enough to defend so
much ground against the greatly superior forces
that soon surrounded the mountain on every side.
Prince Baryatinsky himselfcame there. Negotiations
were started, and Shamyl was called upon to sur
render on honourable terms, which he refused; he
could not give up the cause he had fought for his
whole life long.
After two weeks’ siege and various feigned attacks
on the eastern and easiest accessible side, the
Russians advanced to the storm on the night
24th-25th of August (sth-6th of September). As
day broke, several battalions by help of ladders
and ropes climbed up on the north and south
sides, where the mountain people believed no one
could do so. They did not succeed in taking the
defenders wholly by surprise, who threw themselves
on the Russians; but Russian troops made their
appearance on the south-eastern side at the time.
After putting up a hot defence with heavy losses, the
defenders fled into the a-ul, where Shamyl shut him
selfin with his family. About a hundred Murids who
had thus escaped fell on the attackers with sabres
and kindjals (daggers), but were killed to a man.

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