John Blaine - The Boy Scouts In Russia

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Boy Scouts In Russia, The

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nonfiction John Blaine The Boy Scouts In Russia Boy Scouts In Russia, The ru FB2Fix FB2Fix 2009-04-22 fb2-045BC7D7-F466-E7DC-93AC-C4C3AA74CCFF 1.0 Passed any2fb2.php class rev 1.55 2005/02/15 20:25:23

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Boy Scouts In Russia, by Blaine John This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: The Boy Scouts In Russia

Author: Blaine John

Illustrator: E. A. Furman

Release Date: August 18, 2005 note 1

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BOY SCOUTS IN RUSSIA ***

Produced by Greg Weeks, Audrey Longhurst, Paul Ereaut and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

THE BOY SCOUTS IN RUSSIA

by CAPTAIN JOHN BLAINE

Illustrated by E.A. FURMAN

THE SAALFIELD PUBLISHING COMPANY

Chicago AKRON, OHIO New York

Copyright, 1916 by Saalfield Publishing Company

note 2

CONTENTS Chapter Page

I The Border 11

II Under Arrest 25

III A Strange Meeting 37

IV Cousins 49
V The Germans 61
VI The Tunnel 73
VII A Daring Ruse 85

VIII Within the Enemy's Lines 99

IX "There's Many a Slip-" 111

X Sentenced 125
XI The Cossacks 137
XII The Trick 151
XIII The Escape 165
XIV Altered Plans 179

XV A Dash Through the Night 193

XVI Between the Grindstones 205

XVII An Old Enemy 217

XVIII The Great White Czar 229

In Russian Trenches CHAPTER I

THE BORDER

A train had just come to a stop in the border station of Virballen. Half of the platform of that station is in Russia; half of it in East Prussia, the easternmost province of the German empire. All trains that pass from one country to the other stop there. There are customs men, soldiers, policemen, Prussian and Russian, who form a gauntlet all travelers must run. Here passports must be shown, trunks opened. Getting in or out of Russia is not a simple business, even in the twentieth century. All sorts of people can't come in while a good many who try to get out are turned back, and may have to make a long journey to Siberia if they cannot account for themselves properly.

This train had stopped in the dead of night. But, dark and late as it was, there was the usual bustle and stir. Everyone had to wake up and submit to the questioning of police and customs men. About the only people who can escape such inquisition at Virballen or any other Russian border station are royalties and ambassadors. Most of the passengers, however, didn't have to come out on the platform. In this case, indeed, only two descended. One of these was treated by the police officials with marked respect. He was the sort of man to inspire both respect and fear. Very tall, he was heavily bearded, but not so heavily as to prevent the flashing of his teeth in a grim and unpleasant smile. Nor were his eyes hidden as the rays of the station lights fell upon them.

He was called "Excellency" by the policemen who spoke to him, but he ignored these men, save for a short, quick nod with which he acknowledged their respectful greetings. His whole attention was devoted to the boy by his side, who was looking up at him defiantly. This boy won a tribute of curious looks from all who saw him, and some glances of admiration when it became increasingly plain that he did not share the universal feeling of awe for the man by his side. This was accounted for, partly at least, it might be supposed, by the fact that he wasn't a Russian. The Americans in the train, had they been out on the platform, would have recognized him at once for he was sturdily and obviously American.

The train began to move. With a shrill shriek from the engine, and the banging of doors, it glided out of the station. Soon its tail lights were swinging out of sight. But the Russian and the American boy remained, while the train, with its load of free and cheerful passengers, went on toward Berlin.

"You wouldn't let me take the train. Well, what are you going to do with me now?" asked the boy.

His tone was as defiant as his look and if he was afraid, he didn't show it. He wasn't afraid, as a matter of fact. He was angry.

The Russian considered him for a moment, saying not a word. Then he called in a low, hushed tone, and three or four policemen came running up.

"You see this boy?" he asked.

"Yes, excellency."

"It has pleased His Majesty the Czar, acting through the administration of the police of St. Petersburg, to expel him from his dominions. He is honored by my personal attention. I in person am executing the order of His Majesty. I shall now conduct him to the exact border line and see to it that he is placed on German soil. His name is Frederick Waring. On no pretext is he to be allowed to return to Russian soil. Should he succeed in doing so, he is to be arrested, denied the privilege of communication with any friend, or with the consul or ambassador of any foreign nation, and delivered to me in Petersburg. You will receive this order in due form to-night. Understood?"

"Yes, excellency."

"Photographs will be attached to the official order." He turned again to the boy, and for just a moment the expressionless mask was swept from his eyes by a look of fierce hatred. "Now, then, step forward! As soon as you have passed the line on the platform you will be on German territory, subject to German law. I give you a word of good advice. Do not offend against the German authorities. You will find them less merciful than I."

"I'm not afraid of you," said Fred. He was angry, but his voice was steady nevertheless. "You've cheated me. You've had my passport and my money taken from me. What do you think I can do, when you land me in a strange country in the middle of the night, without a kopeck in my pocket? But I'll find a way to get back at you. Any man who would treat me the way you have done is sure to have treated some other people badly, too. And I'll find them-perhaps they'll be stronger than I."

"Your papers were confiscated in due process," said the Russian. He smiled very evilly. "As for your threats-pah! Do you think your word would carry any weight against that of Mikail Suvaroff, a prince of Russia, a friend of the Grand Duke Nicholas and General of the army?"

"Oh, you're a great man," said Fred. "I know that. But you're not so great that you don't have to keep straight. You may think I had no business to come to Russia. Perhaps you are right, but that's no reason for you to treat me like this. After all, you're my uncle-"

"Silence!" said Suvaroff harshly, startled at the carrying power of the boy's voice.

Fred stepped nimbly across the line.

"You can't touch me now, by your own word!" he taunted. "I'm in Germany, and your authority stops at the border! I say, I could forget everything except the way you've put me down here in the middle of the night, without a cent to my name or a friend I can call on! You needn't have done that. I don't suppose you took my money-you don't need it-but you let your underlings take it."

"I do not know that you ever had the money you say was taken from you," said Suvaroff, controlling himself. "It is easy for you to make such a charge. But the officers who arrested you deny that they found any money in your possession. There is no reason to take your word against them."

Fred stared at him curiously for a moment.

"Gee! You do hate us-and me!" he said, slowly. "I think you really believe all you've said about me! Well, I'm glad if that's so. It gives you a sort of excuse for behaving the way you have to me. And I'd certainly hate to think that any relative of mine could act like you unless he thought he was in the right, anyhow!"

Suvaroff strangled with anger for a moment. His cruel eyes became narrow.

"I have changed my mind!" he cried, suddenly. "Seize him! Bring him back!"

Fred stood perfectly still as two or three policemen and a couple of soldiers in the white uniform coats of Russia came toward him. He knew that it would be useless either to run or to fight. But, as it turned out, there was no need for him to do either, for from behind him a sharp order was snapped out by a young man who had been listening with interest. Quietly a file of German soldiers with spiked helmets stepped forward.

"Your pardon, excellency," said the German officer. "It is, of course, quite impossible for us to permit Russian officials or soldiers to make an arrest on our side of the line!"

"A matter of courtesy-" began Suvaroff.

"Pardon again," said the German, very softly. "Just at this moment courtesy must be suspended. With a general mobilization in effect upon both sides-"

Suvaroff suppressed the angry exclamation that was on his lips. For a moment, however, he seemed about to repeat his order, though his men had halted at the sight of German bayonets.

"I should regret a disturbance," said the German, still speaking in his quiet voice. "My orders are to permit my men to do nothing that might bring on a clash, for just now the firing of a single shot would make war certain. Yet there is nothing in my orders to forbid me to resist an act of aggression by Russia. We are prepared for war, though we do not seek it."

Fred, almost losing interest in his own pressing troubles at this sudden revelation of a state of affairs of which he had known nothing whatever, looked fixedly at Suvaroff. He saw the Russian bite his lips, hesitate, and finally take off his hat and make a sweeping bow to the German officer.

"I agree, mein herr Lieutenant," he said, mockingly. "The time has come, I think. It may be that the fortunes of war will bring us together. Meanwhile I wish you joy of him you have saved!"

The German did not answer. He watched the departing Russians and then, smiling faintly, he turned to Fred.

"I'll have to ask you to give some account of yourself, if you please," he said, in excellent English. "I'm Lieutenant Ernst, of the Prussian army. Sentenced to guard duty here-for my sins. Now will you tell me what all this means?"

"I had a passport," said Fred directly, and meeting the German's eyes frankly. "Prince Suvaroff is my uncle, my mother's brother. Her family refused to recognize my mother after her marriage to my father, and so Prince Suvaroff does not like me. I had to see him on business and family matters. I was arrested. My passport and my money were taken away from me-and you saw what happened. He took me off the train and put me across the border."





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