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The gang of prisoners to which Maslova belonged had walked about three thousand three hundred miles. She and the other prisoners condemned for criminal offences had travelled by rail and by steamboats as far as the town of Perm. It was only here that Nekhludoff succeeded in obtaining a permission for her to continue the journey with the political prisoners, as Vera Doukhova, who was among the latter, advised him to do. The journey up to Perm had been very trying to Maslova both morally and physically. Physically, because of the overcrowding, the dirt, and the disgusting vermin, which gave her no peace; morally, because of the equally disgusting men. The men, like the vermin, though they changed at each halting-place, were everywhere alike importunate; they swarmed round her, giving her no rest. Among the women prisoners and the men prisoners, the jailers and the convoy soldiers, the habit of a kind of cynical debauch was so firmly established that unless a female prisoner was willing to utilise her position as a woman she had to be constantly on the watch. To be continually in a state of fear and strife was very trying. And Maslova was specially exposed to attacks, her appearance being attractive and her past known to every one. The decided resistance with which she now met the importunity of all the men seemed offensive to them, and awakened another feeling, that of ill-will towards her. But her position was made a little easier by her intimacy with Theodosia, and Theodosia's husband, who, having heard of the molestations his wife was subject to, had in Nijni been arrested at his own desire in order to be able to protect her, and was now travelling with the gang as a prisoner. Maslova's position became much more bearable when she was allowed to join the political prisoners, who were provided with better accomodations, better food, and were treated less rudely, but besides all this Maslova's condition was much improved because among the political prisoners she was no longer molested by the men, and could live without being reminded of that past which she was so anxious to forget. But the chief advantage of the change lay in the fact that she made the acquaintance of several persons who exercised a decided and most beneficial influence on her character. Maslova was allowed to stop with the political prisoners at all the halting-places, but being a strong and healthy woman she was obliged to march with the criminal convicts. In this way she walked all the way from Tomsk. Two political prisoners also marched with the gang, Mary Pavlovna Schetinina, the girl with the hazel eyes who had attracted Nekhludoff's attention when he had been to visit Doukhova in prison, and one Simonson, who was on his way to the Takoutsk district, the dishevelled dark young fellow with deep-lying eyes, whom Nekhludoff had also noticed during that visit. Mary Pavlovna was walking because she had given her place on the cart to one of the criminals, a woman expecting to be confined, and Simonson because he did not dare to avail himself of a class privilege.

These three always started early in the morning before the rest of the political prisoners, who followed later on in the carts.

They were ready to start in this way just outside a large town, where a new convoy officer had taken charge of the gang.

It was early on a dull September morning. It kept raining and snowing alternately, and the cold wind blew in sudden gusts. The whole gang of prisoners, consisting of four hundred men and fifty women, was already assembled in the court of the halting station. Some of them were crowding round the chief of the convoy, who was giving to specially appointed prisoners money for two days' keep to distribute among the rest, while others were purchasing food from women who had been let into the courtyard. One could hear the voices of the prisoners counting their money and making their purchases, and the shrill voices of the women with the food.

Simonson, in his rubber jacket and rubber overshoes fastened with a string over his worsted stockings (he was a vegetarian and would not wear the skin of slaughtered animals), was also in the courtyard waiting for the gang to start. He stood by the porch and jotted down in his notebook a thought that had occurred to him. This was what he wrote: "If a bacteria watched and examined a human nail it would pronounce it inorganic matter, and thus we, examining our globe and watching its crust, pronounce it to be inorganic. This is incorrect."

Katusha and Mary Pavlovna, both wearing top-boots and with shawls tied round their heads, came out of the building into the courtyard where the women sat sheltered from the wind by the northern wall of the court, and vied with one another, offering their goods, hot meat pie, fish, vermicelli, buckwheat porridge, liver, beef, eggs, milk. One had even a roast pig to offer.

Having bought some eggs, bread, fish, and some rusks, Maslova was putting them into her bag, while Mary Pavlovna was paying the women, when a movement arose among the convicts. All were silent and took their places. The officer came out and began giving the last orders before starting. Everything was done in the usual manner. The prisoners were counted, the chains on their legs examined, and those who were to march in couples linked together with manacles. But suddenly the angry, authoritative voice of the officer shouting something was heard, also the sound of a blow and the crying of a child. All was silent for a moment and then came a hollow murmur from the crowd. Maslova and Mary Pavlovna advanced towards the spot whence the noise proceeded.




This is what Mary Pavlovna and Katusha saw when they came up to the scene whence the noise proceeded. The officer, a sturdy fellow, with fair moustaches, stood uttering words of foul and coarse abuse, and rubbing with his left the palm of his right hand, which he had hurt in hitting a prisoner on the face. In front of him a thin, tall convict, with half his head shaved and dressed in a cloak too short for him and trousers much too short, stood wiping his bleeding face with one hand, and holding a little shrieking girl wrapped in a shawl with the other.

"I'll give it you" (foul abuse); "I'll teach you to reason" (more abuse); "you're to give her to the women!" shouted the officer. "Now, then, on with them."

The convict, who was exiled by the Commune, had been carrying his little daughter all the way from Tomsk, where his wife had died of typhus, and now the officer ordered him to be manacled. The exile's explanation that he could not carry the child if he was manacled irritated the officer, who happened to be in a bad temper, and he gave the troublesome prisoner a beating. [A fact described by Lineff in his "Transportation".] Before the injured convict stood a convoy soldier, and a black-bearded prisoner with manacles on one hand and a look of gloom on his face, which he turned now to the officer, now to the prisoner with the little girl.

The officer repeated his orders for the soldiers to take away the girl. The murmur among the prisoners grew louder.

"All the way from Tomsk they were not put on," came a hoarse voice from some one in the rear. "It's a child, and not a puppy."

"What's he to do with the lassie? That's not the law," said some one else.

"Who's that?" shouted the officer as if he had been stung, and rushed into the crowd.

"I'll teach you the law. Who spoke. You? You?"

"Everybody says so, because-" said a short, broad-faced prisoner.

Before he had finished speaking the officer hit him in the face.

"Mutiny, is it? I'll show you what mutiny means. I'll have you all shot like dogs, and the authorities will be only too thankful. Take the girl."

The crowd was silent. One convoy soldier pulled away the girl, who was screaming desperately, while another manacled the prisoner, who now submissively held out his hand.

"Take her to the women," shouted the officer, arranging his sword belt.

The little girl, whose face had grown quite red, was trying to disengage her arms from under the shawl, and screamed unceasingly. Mary Pavlovna stepped out from among the crowd and came up to the officer.

"Will you allow me to carry the little girl?" she said.

"Who are you?" asked the officer.

"A political prisoner."

Mary Pavlovna's handsome face, with the beautiful prominent eyes (he had noticed her before when the prisoners were given into his charge), evidently produced an effect on the officer. He looked at her in silence as if considering, then said: "I don't care; carry her if you like. It is easy for you to show pity; if he ran away who would have to answer?"

"How could he run away with the child in his arms?" said Mary Pavlovna.

"I have no time to talk with you. Take her if you like."

"Shall I give her?" asked the soldier.

"Yes, give her."

"Come to me," said Mary Pavlovna, trying to coax the child to come to her.

But the child in the soldier's arms stretched herself towards her father and continued to scream, and would not go to Mary Pavlovna.

"Wait a bit, Mary Pavlovna," said Maslova, getting a rusk out of her bag; "she will come to me."

The little girl knew Maslova, and when she saw her face and the rusk she let her take her. All was quiet. The gates were opened, and the gang stepped out, the convoy counted the prisoners over again, the bags were packed and tied on to the carts, the weak seated on the top. Maslova with the child in her arms took her place among the women next to Theodosia. Simonson, who had all the time been watching what was going on, stepped with large, determined strides up to the officer, who, having given his orders, was just getting into a trap, and said, "You have behaved badly."

"Get to your place; it is no business of yours."

"It is my business to tell you that you have behaved badly and I have said it," said Simonson, looking intently into the officer's face from under his bushy eyebrows.

"Ready? March!" the officer called out, paying no heed to Simonson, and, taking hold of the driver's shoulder, he got into the trap. The gang started and spread out as it stepped on to the muddy high road with ditches on each side, which passed through a dense forest.




In spite of the hard conditions in which they were placed, life among the political prisoners seemed very good to Katusha after the depraved, luxurious and effeminate life she had led in town for the last six years, and after two months' imprisonment with criminal prisoners. The fifteen to twenty miles they did per day, with one day's rest after two days' marching, strengthened her physically, and the fellowship with her new companions opened out to her a life full of interests such as she had never dreamed of. People so wonderful (as she expressed it) as those whom she was now going with she had not only never met but could not even have imagined.

"There now, and I cried when I was sentenced," she said. "Why, I must thank God for it all the days of my life. I have learned to know what I never should have found out else."

The motives she understood easily and without effort that guided these people, and, being of the people, fully sympathised with them. She understood that these persons were for the people and against the upper classes, and though themselves belonging to the upper classes had sacrificed their privileges, their liberty and their lives for the people. This especially made her value and admire them. She was charmed with all the new companions, but particularly with Mary Pavlovna, and she was not only charmed with her, but loved her with a peculiar, respectful and rapturous love. She was struck by the fact that this beautiful girl, the daughter of a rich general, who could speak three languages, gave away all that her rich brother sent her, and lived like the simplest working girl, and dressed not only simply, but poorly, paying no heed to her appearance. This trait and a complete absence of coquetry was particularly surprising and therefore attractive to Maslova. Maslova could see that Mary Pavlovna knew, and was even pleased to know, that she was handsome, and yet the effect her appearance had on men was not at all pleasing to her; she was even afraid of it, and felt an absolute disgust to all love affairs. Her men companions knew it, and if they felt attracted by her never permitted themselves to show it to her, but treated her as they would a man; but with strangers, who often molested her, the great physical strength on which she prided herself stood her in good stead.

"It happened once," she said to Katusha, "that a man followed me in the street and would not leave me on any account. At last I gave him such a shaking that he was frightened and ran away."

She became a revolutionary, as she said, because she felt a dislike to the life of the well-to-do from childhood up, and loved the life of the common people, and she was always being scolded for spending her time in the servants' hall, in the kitchen or the stables instead of the drawing-room.

"And I found it amusing to be with cooks and the coachmen, and dull with our gentlemen and ladies," she said. "Then when I came to understand things I saw that our life was altogether wrong; I had no mother and I did not care for my father, and so when I was nineteen I left home, and went with a girl friend to work as a factory hand."

After she left the factory she lived in the country, then returned to town and lived in a lodging, where they had a secret printing press. There she was arrested and sentenced to hard labour. Mary Pavlovna said nothing about it herself, but Katusha heard from others that Mary Pavlovna was sentenced because, when the lodging was searched by the police and one of the revolutionists fired a shot in the dark, she pleaded guilty.

As soon as she had learned to know Mary Pavlovna, Katusha noticed that, whatever the conditions she found herself in, Mary Pavlovna never thought of herself, but was always anxious to serve, to help some one, in matters small or great. One of her present companions, Novodvoroff, said of her that she devoted herself to philanthropic amusements. And this was true. The interest of her whole life lay in the search for opportunities of serving others. This kind of amusement had become the habit, the business of her life. And she did it all so naturally that those who knew her no longer valued but simply expected it of her.

When Maslova first came among them, Mary Pavlovna felt repulsed and disgusted. Katusha noticed this, but she also noticed that, having made an effort to overcome these feelings, Mary Pavlovna became particularly tender and kind to her. The tenderness and kindness of so uncommon a being touched Maslova so much that she gave her whole heart, and unconsciously accepting her views, could not help imitating her in everything.

This devoted love of Katusha touched Mary Pavlovna in her turn, and she learned to love Katusha.

These women were also united by the repulsion they both felt to sexual love. The one loathed that kind of love, having experienced all its horrors, the other, never having experienced it, looked on it as something incomprehensible and at the same time as something repugnant and offensive to human dignity.




Mary Pavlovna's influence was one that Maslova submitted to because she loved Mary Pavlovna. Simonson influenced her because he loved her.

Everybody lives and acts partly according to his own, partly according to other people's, ideas. This is what constitutes one of the great differences among men. To some, thinking is a kind of mental game; they treat their reason as if it were a fly-wheel without a connecting strap, and are guided in their actions by other people's ideas, by custom or laws; while others look upon their own ideas as the chief motive power of all their actions, and always listen to the dictates of their own reason and submit to it, accepting other people's opinions only on rare occasions and after weighing them critically. Simonson was a man of the latter sort; he settled and verified everything according to his own reason and acted on the decisions he arrived at. When a schoolboy he made up his mind that his father's income, made as a paymaster in government office was dishonestly gained, and he told his father that it ought to be given to the people. When his father, instead of listening to him, gave him a scolding, he left his father's house and would not make use of his father's means. Having come to the conclusion that all the existing misery was a result of the people's ignorance, he joined the socialists, who carried on propaganda among the people, as soon as he left the university and got a place as a village schoolmaster. He taught and explained to his pupils and to the peasants what he considered to be just, and openly blamed what he thought unjust. He was arrested and tried. During his trial he determined to tell his judges that his was a just cause, for which he ought not to be tried or punished. When the judges paid no heed to his words, but went on with the trial, he decided not to answer them and kept resolutely silent when they questioned him. He was exiled to the Government of Archangel. There he formulated a religious teaching which was founded on the theory that everything in the world was alive, that nothing is lifeless, and that all the objects we consider to be without life or inorganic are only parts of an enormous organic body which we cannot compass. A man's task is to sustain the life of that huge organism and all its animate parts. Therefore he was against war, capital punishment and every kind of killing, not only of human beings, but also of animals. Concerning marriage, too, he had a peculiar idea of his own; he thought that increase was a lower function of man, the highest function being to serve the already existing lives. He found a confirmation of his theory in the fact that there were phacocytes in the blood. Celibates, according to his opinion, were the same as phacocytes, their function being to help the weak and the sickly particles of the organism. From the moment he came to this conclusion he began to consider himself as well as Mary Pavlovna as phacocytes, and to live accordingly, though as a youth he had been addicted to vice. His love for Katusha did not infringe this conception, because he loved her platonically, and such love he considered could not hinder his activity as a phacocytes, but acted, on the contrary, as an inspiration.

Not only moral, but also most practical questions he decided in his own way. He applied a theory of his own to all practical business, had rules relating to the number of hours for rest and for work, to the kind of food to eat, the way to dress, to heat and light up the rooms. With all this Simonson was very shy and modest; and yet when he had once made up his mind nothing could make him waver. And this man had a decided influence on Maslova through his love for her. With a woman's instinct Maslova very soon found out that he loved her. And the fact that she could awaken love in a man of that kind raised her in her own estimation. It was Nekhludoff's magnanimity and what had been in the past that made him offer to marry her, but Simonson loved her such as she was now, loved her simply because of the love he bore her. And she felt that Simonson considered her to be an exceptional woman, having peculiarly high moral qualities. She did not quite know what the qualities he attributed to her were, but in order to be on the safe side and that he should not be disappointed in her, she tried with all her might to awaken in herself all the highest qualities she could conceive, and she tried to be as good as possible. This had begun while they were still in prison, when on a common visiting day she had noticed his kindly dark blue eyes gazing fixedly at her from under his projecting brow. Even then she had noticed that this was a peculiar man, and that he was looking at her in a peculiar manner, and had also noticed the striking combination of sternness--the unruly hair and the frowning forehead gave him this appearance--with the child-like kindness and innocence of his look. She saw him again in Tomsk, where she joined the political prisoners. Though they had not uttered a word, their looks told plainly that they had understood one another. Even after that they had had no serious conversation with each other, but Maslova felt that when he spoke in her presence his words were addressed to her, and that he spoke for her sake, trying to express himself as plainly as he could; but it was when he started walking with the criminal prisoners that they grew specially near to one another.




Until they left Perm Nekhludoff only twice managed to see Katusha, once in Nijni, before the prisoners were embarked on a barge surrounded with a wire netting, and again in Perm in the prison office. At both these interviews he found her reserved and unkind. She answered his questions as to whether she was in want of anything, and whether she was comfortable, evasively and bashfully, and, as he thought, with the same feeling of hostile reproach which she had shown several times before. Her depressed state of mind, which was only the result of the molestations from the men that she was undergoing at the time, tormented Nekhludoff. He feared lest, influenced by the hard and degrading circumstances in which she was placed on the journey, she should again get into that state of despair and discord with her own self which formerly made her irritable with him, and which had caused her to drink and smoke excessively to gain oblivion. But he was unable to help her in any way during this part of the journey, as it was impossible for him to be with her. It was only when she joined the political prisoners that he saw how unfounded his fears were, and at each interview he noticed that inner change he so strongly desired to see in her becoming more and more marked. The first time they met in Tomsk she was again just as she had been when leaving Moscow. She did not frown or become confused when she saw him, but met him joyfully and simply, thanking him for what he had done for her, especially for bringing her among the people with whom she now was.

After two months' marching with the gang, the change that had taken place within her became noticeable in her appearance. She grew sunburned and thinner, and seemed older; wrinkles appeared on her temples and round her mouth. She had no ringlets on her forehead now, and her hair was covered with the kerchief; in the way it was arranged, as well as in her dress and her manners, there was no trace of coquetry left. And this change, which had taken place and was still progressing in her, made Nekhludoff very happy.

He felt for her something he had never experienced before. This feeling had nothing in common with his first poetic love for her, and even less with the sensual love that had followed, nor even with the satisfaction of a duty fulfilled, not unmixed with self-admiration, with which he decided to marry her after the trial. The present feeling was simply one of pity and tenderness. He had felt it when he met her in prison for the first time, and then again when, after conquering his repugnance, he forgave her the imagined intrigue with the medical assistant in the hospital (the injustice done her had since been discovered); it was the same feeling he now had, only with this difference, that formerly it was momentary, and that now it had become permanent. Whatever he was doing, whatever he was thinking now, a feeling of pity and tenderness dwelt with him, and not only pity and tenderness for her, but for everybody. This feeling seemed to have opened the floodgates of love, which had found no outlet in Nekhludoff's soul, and the love now flowed out to every one he met.

During this journey Nekhludoff's feelings were so stimulated that he could not help being attentive and considerate to everybody, from the coachman and the convoy soldiers to the prison inspectors and governors whom he had to deal with. Now that Maslova was among the political prisoners, Nekhludoff could not help becoming acquainted with many of them, first in Ekaterinburg, where they had a good deal of freedom and were kept altogether in a large cell, and then on the road when Maslova was marching with three of the men and four of the women. Coming in contact with political exiles in this way made Nekhludoff completely change his mind concerning them.

From the very beginning of the revolutionary movement in Russia, but especially since that first of March, when Alexander II was murdered, Nekhludoff regarded the revolutionists with dislike and contempt. He was repulsed by the cruelty and secrecy of the methods they employed in their struggles against the government, especially the cruel murders they committed, and their arrogance also disgusted him. But having learned more intimately to know them and all they had suffered at the hands of the government, he saw that they could not be other than they were

Terrible and endless as were the torments which were inflicted on the criminals, there was at least some semblance of justice shown them before and after they were sentenced, but in the case of the political prisoners there was not even that semblance, as Nekhludoff saw in the case of Sholostova and that of many and many of his new acquaintances. These people were dealt with like fish caught with a net; everything that gets into the nets is pulled ashore, and then the big fish which are required are sorted out and the little ones are left to perish unheeded on the shore. Having captured hundreds that were evidently guiltless, and that could not be dangerous to the government, they left them imprisoned for years, where they became consumptive, went out of their minds or committed suicide, and kept them only because they had no inducement to set them free, while they might be of use to elucidate some question at a judicial inquiry, safe in prison. The fate of these persons, often innocent even from the government point of view, depended on the whim, the humour of, or the amount of leisure at the disposal of some police officer or spy, or public prosecutor, or magistrate, or governor, or minister. Some one of these officials feels dull, or inclined to distinguish himself, and makes a number of arrests, and imprisons or sets free, according to his own fancy or that of the higher authorities. And the higher official, actuated by like motives, according to whether he is inclined to distinguish himself, or to what his relations to the minister are, exiles men to the other side of the world or keeps them in solitary confinement, condemns them to Siberia, to hard labour, to death, or sets them free at the request of some lady.

They were dealt with as in war, and they naturally employed the means that were used against them. And as the military men live in an atmosphere of public opinion that not only conceals from them the guilt of their actions, but sets these actions up as feats of heroism, so these political offenders were also constantly surrounded by an atmosphere of public opinion which made the cruel actions they committed, in the face of danger and at the risk of liberty and life, and all that is dear to men, seem not wicked but glorious actions. Nekhludoff found in this the explanation of the surprising phenomenon that men, with the mildest characters, who seemed incapable of witnessing the sufferings of any living creature, much less of inflicting pain, quietly prepared to murder men, nearly all of them considering murder lawful and just on certain occasions as a means for self-defence, for the attainment of higher aims or for the general welfare.

The importance they attribute to their cause, and consequently to themselves, flowed naturally from the importance the government attached to their actions, and the cruelty of the punishments it inflicted on them. When Nekhludoff came to know them better he became convinced that they were not the right-down villains that some imagined them to be, nor the complete heroes that others thought them, but ordinary people, just the same as others, among whom there were some good and some bad, and some mediocre, as there are everywhere.

There were some among them who had turned revolutionists because they honestly considered it their duty to fight the existing evils, but there were also those who chose this work for selfish, ambitious motives; the majority, however, was attracted to the revolutionary idea by the desire for danger, for risks, the enjoyment of playing with one's life, which, as Nekhludoff knew from his military experiences, is quite common to the most ordinary people while they are young and full of energy. But wherein they differed from ordinary people was that their moral standard was a higher one than that of ordinary men. They considered not only self-control, hard living, truthfulness, but also the readiness to sacrifice everything, even life, for the common welfare as their duty. Therefore the best among them stood on a moral level that is not often reached, while the worst were far below the ordinary level, many of them being untruthful, hypocritical and at the same time self-satisfied and proud. So that Nekhludoff learned not only to respect but to love some of his new acquaintances, while he remained more than indifferent to others.




Nekhludoff grew especially fond of Kryltzoff, a consumptive young man condemned to hard labour, who was going with the same gang as Katusha. Nekhludoff had made his acquaintance already in Ekaterinburg, and talked with him several times on the road after that. Once, in summer, Nekhludoff spent nearly the whole of a day with him at a halting station, and Kryltzoff, having once started talking, told him his story and how he had become a revolutionist. Up to the time of his imprisonment his story was soon told. He lost his father, a rich landed proprietor in the south of Russia, when still a child. He was the only son, and his mother brought him up. He learned easily in the university, as well as the gymnasium, and was first in the mathematical faculty in his year. He was offered a choice of remaining in the university or going abroad. He hesitated. He loved a girl and was thinking of marriage, and taking part in the rural administration. He did not like giving up either offer, and could not make up his mind. At this time his fellow-students at the university asked him for money for a common cause. He did not know that this common cause was revolutionary, which he was not interested in at that time, but gave the money from a sense of comradeship and vanity, so that it should not be said that he was afraid. Those who received the money were caught, a note was found which proved that the money had been given by Kryltzoff. he was arrested, and first kept at the police station, then imprisoned.

"The prison where I was put," Kryltzoff went on to relate (he was sitting on the high shelf bedstead, his elbows on his knees, with sunken chest, the beautiful, intelligent eyes with which he looked at Nekhludoff glistening feverishly)-- "they were not specially strict in that prison. We managed to converse, not only by tapping the wall, but could walk about the corridors, share our provisions and our tobacco, and in the evenings we even sang in chorus. I had a fine voice--yes, if it had not been for mother it would have been all right, even pleasant and interesting. Here I made the acquaintance of the famous Petroff--he afterwards killed himself with a piece of glass at the fortress --and also of others. But I was not yet a revolutionary. I also became acquainted with my neighbours in the cells next to mine. They were both caught with Polish proclamations and arrested in the same cause, and were tried for an attempt to escape from the convoy when they were being taken to the railway station. One was a Pole, Lozinsky; the other a Jew, Rozovsky. Yes. Well, this Rozovsky was quite a boy. He said he was seventeen, but he looked fifteen--thin, small, active, with black, sparkling eyes, and, like most Jews, very musical. His voice was still breaking, and yet he sang beautifully. Yes. I saw them both taken to be tried. They were taken in the morning. They returned in the evening, and said they were condemned to death. No one had expected it. Their case was so unimportant; they only tried to get away from the convoy, and had not even wounded any one. And then it was so unnatural to execute such a child as Rozovsky. And we in prison all came to the conclusion that it was only done to frighten them, and would not be confirmed. At first we were excited, and then we comforted ourselves, and life went on as before. Yes. Well, one evening, a watchman comes to my door and mysteriously announces to me that carpenters had arrived, and were putting up the gallows. At first I did not understand. What's that? What gallows? But the watchman was so excited that I saw at once it was for our two. I wished to tap and communicate with my comrades, but was afraid those two would hear. The comrades were also silent. Evidently everybody knew. In the corridors and in the cells everything was as still as death all that evening. They did not tap the wall nor sing. At ten the watchman came again and announced that a hangman had arrived from Moscow. He said it and went away. I began calling him back. Suddenly I hear Rozovsky shouting to me across the corridor: 'What's the matter? Why do you call him?' I answered something about asking him to get me some tobacco, but he seemed to guess, and asked me: 'Why did we not sing to-night, why did we not tap the walls?' I do not remember what I said, but I went away so as not to speak to him. Yes. It was a terrible night. I listened to every sound all night. Suddenly, towards morning, I hear doors opening and somebody walking--many persons. I went up to my window. There was a lamp burning in the corridor. The first to pass was the inspector. He was stout, and seemed a resolute, self-satisfied man, but he looked ghastly pale, downcast, and seemed frightened; then his assistant, frowning but resolute; behind them the watchman. They passed my door and stopped at the next, and I hear the assistant calling out in a strange voice: 'Lozinsky, get up and put on clean linen.' Yes. Then I hear the creaking of the door; they entered into his cell. Then I hear Lozinsky's steps going to the opposite side of the corridor. I could only see the inspector. He stood quite pale, and buttoned and unbuttoned his coat, shrugging his shoulders. Yes. Then, as if frightened of something, he moved out of the way. It was Lozinsky, who passed him and came up to my door. A handsome young fellow he was, you know, of that nice Polish type: broad shouldered, his head covered with fine, fair, curly hair as with a cap, and with beautiful blue eyes. So blooming, so fresh, so healthy. He stopped in front of my window, so that I could see the whole of his face. A dreadful, gaunt, livid face. 'Kryltzoff, have you any cigarettes?' I wished to pass him some, but the assistant hurriedly pulled out his cigarette case and passed it to him. He took out one, the assistant struck a match, and he lit the cigarette and began to smoke and seemed to be thinking. Then, as if he had remembered something, he began to speak. 'It is cruel and unjust. I have committed no crime. I--' I saw something quiver in his white young throat, from which I could not take my eyes, and he stopped. Yes. At that moment I hear Rozovsky shouting in his fine, Jewish voice. Lozinsky threw away the cigarette and stepped from the door. And Rozovsky appeared at the window. His childish face, with the limpid black eyes, was red and moist. He also had clean linen on, the trousers were too wide, and he kept pulling them up and trembled all over. He approached his pitiful face to my window. 'Kryltzoff, it's true that the doctor has prescribed cough mixture for me, is it not? I am not well. I'll take some more of the mixture.' No one answered, and he looked inquiringly, now at me, now at the inspector. What he meant to say I never made out. Yes. Suddenly the assistant again put on a stern expression, and called out in a kind of squeaking tone: 'Now, then, no nonsense. Let us go.' Rozovsky seemed incapable of understanding what awaited him, and hurried, almost ran, in front of him all along the corridor. But then he drew back, and I could hear his shrill voice and his cries, then the trampling of feet, and general hubbub. He was shrieking and sobbing. The sounds came fainter and fainter, and at last the door rattled and all was quiet. Yes. And so they hanged them. Throttled them both with a rope. A watchman, another one, saw it done, and told me that Lozinsky did not resist, but Rozovsky struggled for a long time, so that they had to pull him up on to the scaffold and to force his head into the noose. Yes. This watchman was a stupid fellow. He said: 'They told me, sir, that it would be frightful, but it was not at all frightful. After they were hanged they only shrugged their shoulders twice, like this.' He showed how the shoulders convulsively rose and fell. 'Then the hangman pulled a bit so as to tighten the noose, and it was all up, and they never budged."' And Kryltzoff repeated the watchman's words, "Not at all frightful," and tried to smile, but burst into sobs instead.

For a long time after that he kept silent, breathing heavily, and repressing the sobs that were choking him.

"From that time I became a revolutionist. Yes," he said, when he was quieter and finished his story in a few words. He belonged to the Narodovoltzy party, and was even at the head of the disorganising group, whose object was to terrorise the government so that it should give up its power of its own accord. With this object he travelled to Petersburg, to Kiev, to Odessa and abroad, and was everywhere successful. A man in whom he had full confidence betrayed him. He was arrested, tried, kept in prison for two years, and condemned to death, but the sentence was mitigated to one of hard labour for life.

He went into consumption while in prison, and in the conditions he was now placed he had scarcely more than a few months longer to live. This he knew, but did not repent of his action, but said that if he had another life he would use it in the same way to destroy the conditions in which such things as he had seen were possible.

This man's story and his intimacy with him explained to Nekhludoff much that he had not previously understood.




On the day when the convoy officer had the encounter with the prisoners at the halting station about the child, Nekhludoff, who had spent the night at the village inn, woke up late, and was some time writing letters to post at the next Government town, so that he left the inn later than usual, and did not catch up with the gang on the road as he had done previously, but came to the village where the next halting station was as it was growing dusk.

Having dried himself at the inn, which was kept by an elderly woman who had an extraordinarily fat, white neck, he had his tea in a clean room decorated with a great number of icons and pictures and then hurried away to the halting station to ask the officer for an interview with Katusha. At the last six halting stations he could not get the permission for an interview from any of the officers. Though they had been changed several times, not one of them would allow Nekhludoff inside the halting stations, so that he had not seen Katusha for more than a week. This strictness was occasioned by the fact that an important prison official was expected to pass that way. Now this official had passed without looking in at the gang, after all, and Nekhludoff hoped that the officer who had taken charge of the gang in the morning would allow him an interview with the prisoners, as former officers had done.

The landlady offered Nekhludoff a trap to drive him to the halting station, situated at the farther end of the village, but Nekhludoff preferred to walk. A young labourer, a broad-shouldered young fellow of herculean dimensions, with enormous top-boots freshly blackened with strongly smelling tar, offered himself as a guide.

A dense mist obscured the sky, and it was so dark that when the young fellow was three steps in advance of him Nekhludoff could not see him unless the light of some window happened to fall on the spot, but he could hear the heavy boots wading through the deep, sticky slush. After passing the open place in front of the church and the long street, with its rows of windows shining brightly in the darkness, Nekhludoff followed his guide to the outskirts of the village, where it was pitch dark. But soon here, too, rays of light, streaming through the mist from the lamps in the front of the halting station, became discernible through the darkness. The reddish spots of light grew bigger and bigger; at last the stakes of the palisade, the moving figure of the sentinel, a post painted with white and black stripes and the sentinel's box became visible.

The sentinel called his usual "Who goes there?" as they approached, and seeing they were strangers treated them with such severity that he would not allow them to wait by the palisade; but Nekhludoff's guide was not abashed by this severity.

"Hallo, lad! why so fierce? You go and rouse your boss while we wait here?"

The sentinel gave no answer, but shouted something in at the gate and stood looking at the broad-shouldered young labourer scraping the mud off Nekhludoff's boots with a chip of wood by the light of the lamp. From behind the palisade came the hum of male and female voices. In about three minutes more something rattled, the gate opened, and a sergeant, with his cloak thrown over his shoulders, stepped out of the darkness into the lamplight.

The sergeant was not as strict as the sentinel, but he was extremely inquisitive. He insisted on knowing what Nekhludoff wanted the officer for, and who he was, evidently scenting his booty and anxious not to let it escape. Nekhludoff said he had come on special business, and would show his gratitude, and would the sergeant take a note for him to the officer. The sergeant took the note, nodded, and went away. Some time after the gate rattled again, and women carrying baskets, boxes, jugs and sacks came out, loudly chattering in their peculiar Siberian dialect as they stepped over the threshold of the gate. None of them wore peasant costumes, but were dressed town fashion, wearing jackets and fur-lined cloaks. Their skirts were tucked up high, and their heads wrapped up in shawls. They examined Nekhludoff and his guide curiously by the light of the lamp. One of them showed evident pleasure at the sight of the broad-shouldered fellow, and affectionately administered to him a dose of Siberian abuse.

"You demon, what are you doing here? The devil take you," she said, addressing him.

"I've been showing this traveller here the way," answered the young fellow. "And what have you been bringing here?"

"Dairy produce, and I am to bring more in the morning."

The guide said something in answer that made not only the women but even the sentinel laugh, and, turning to Nekhludoff, he said:

"You'll find your way alone? Won't get lost, will you?

"I shall find it all right."

"When you have passed the church it's the second from the two-storied house. Oh, and here, take my staff," he said, handing the stick he was carrying, and which was longer than himself, to Nekhludoff; and splashing through the mud with his enormous boots, he disappeared in the darkness, together with the women.

His voice mingling with the voices of the women was still audible through the fog, when the gate again rattled, and the sergeant appeared and asked Nekhludoff to follow him to the officer.




This halting station, like all such stations along the Siberian road, was surrounded by a courtyard, fenced in with a palisade of sharp-pointed stakes, and consisted of three one-storied houses. One of them, the largest, with grated windows, was for the prisoners, another for the convoy soldiers, and the third, in which the office was, for the officers.

There were lights in the windows of all the three houses, and, like all such lights, they promised, here in a specially deceptive manner, something cosy inside the walls. Lamps were burning before the porches of the houses and about five lamps more along the walls lit up the yard.

The sergeant led Nekhludoff along a plank which lay across the yard up to the porch of the smallest of the houses.

When he had gone up the three steps of the porch he let Nekhludoff pass before him into the ante-room, in which a small lamp was burning, and which was filled with smoky fumes. By the stove a soldier in a coarse shirt with a necktie and black trousers, and with one top-boot on, stood blowing the charcoal in a somovar, using the other boot as bellows. [The long boots worn in Russia have concertina-like sides, and when held to the chimney of the somovar can be used instead of bellows to make the charcoal inside burn up.] When he saw Nekhludoff, the soldier left the somovar and helped him off with his waterproof; then went into the inner room.

"He has come, your honour."

"Well, ask him in," came an angry voice.

"Go in at the door," said the soldier, and went back to the somovar.

In the next room an officer with fair moustaches and a very red face, dressed in an Austrian jacket that closely fitted his broad chest and shoulders, sat at a covered table, on which were the remains of his dinner and two bottles; there was a strong smell of tobacco and some very strong, cheap scent in the warm room. On seeing Nekhludoff the officer rose and gazed ironically and suspiciously, as it seemed, at the newcomer.

"What is it you want?" he asked, and, not waiting for a reply, he shouted through the open door:

"Bernoff, the somovar! What are you about?"

"Coming at once."

"You'll get it 'at once' so that you'll remember it," shouted the officer, and his eyes flashed.

"I'm coming," shouted the soldier, and brought in the somovar. Nekhludoff waited while the soldier placed the somovar on the table. When the officer had followed the soldier out of the room with his cruel little eyes looking as if they were aiming where best to hit him, he made the tea, got the four-cornered decanter out of his travelling case and some Albert biscuits, and having placed all this on the cloth he again turned to Nekhludoff. "Well, how can I he of service to you?"

"I should like to be allowed to visit a prisoner," said Nekhludoff, without sitting down.

"A political one? That's forbidden by the law," said the officer.

"The woman I mean is not a political prisoner," said Nekhludoff.

"Yes. But pray take a scat," said the officer. Nekhludoff sat down.

"She is not a political one, but at my request she has been allowed by the higher authorities to join the political prisoners--"

"Oh, yes, I know," interrupted the other; "a little dark one? Well, yes, that can be managed. Won't you smoke?" He moved a box of cigarettes towards Nekhludoff, and, having carefully poured out two tumblers of tea, he passed one to Nekhludoff. "If you please," he said.

"Thank you; I should like to see--"

"The night is long. You'll have plenty of time. I shall order her to be sent out to you."

"But could I not see her where she is? Why need she be sent for?" Nekhludoff said.

"In to the political prisoners? It is against the law."

"I have been allowed to go in several times. If there is any danger of my passing anything in to them I could do it through her just as well.'

"Oh, no; she would be searched," said the officer, and laughed in an unpleasant manner.

"Well, why not search me?"

"All right; we'll manage without that," said the officer, opening the decanter, and holding it out towards Nekhludoff's tumbler of tea. "May I? No? Well, just as you like. When you are living here in Siberia you are too glad to meet an educated person. Our work, as you know, is the saddest, and when one is used to better things it is very hard. The idea they have of us is that convoy officers are coarse, uneducated men, and no one seems to remember that we may have been born for a very different position."

This officer's red face, his scents, his rings, and especially his unpleasant laughter disgusted Nekhludoff very much, but to-day, as during the whole of his journey, he was in that serious, attentive state which did not allow him to behave slightingly or disdainfully towards any man, but made him feel the necessity of speaking to every one "entirely," as he expressed to himself, this relation to men. When he had heard the officer and understood his state of mind, he said in a serious manner:

"I think that in your position, too, some comfort could be found in helping the suffering people," he said.

"What are their sufferings? You don't know what these people are."

"They are not special people," said Nekhludoff ; "they are just such people as others, and some of them are quite innocent."

"Of course, there are all sorts among them, and naturally one pities them. Others won't let anything off, but I try to lighten their condition where I can. It's better that I should suffer, but not they. Others keep to the law in every detail, even as far as to shoot, but I show pity. May I?--Take another," he said, and poured out another tumbler of tea for Nekhludoff.

"And who is she, this woman that you want to see?" he asked.

"It is an unfortunate woman who got into a brothel, and was there falsely accused of poisoning, and she is a very good woman," Nekhludoff answered.

The officer shook his head. "Yes, it does happen. I can tell you about a certain Ernma who lived in Kasan. She was a Hungarian by birth, but she had quite Persian eyes," he continued, unable to restrain a smile at the recollection; "there was so much chic about her that a countess--"

Nekhludoff interrupted the officer and returned to the former topic of conversation.

"I think that you could lighten the condition of the people while they are in your charge. And in acting that way I am sure you would find great joy!" said Nekhludoff, trying to pronounce as distinctly as possible, as he might if talking to a foreigner or a child.

The officer looked at Nekhludoff impatiently, waiting for him to stop so as to continue the tale about the Hungarian with Persian eyes, who evidently presented herself very vividly to his imagination and quite absorbed his attention.

"Yes, of course, this is all quite true," he said, "and I do pity them; but I should like to tell you about Emma. What do you think she did--?"

"It does not interest me," said Nekhludoff, "and I will tell you straight, that though I was myself very different at one time, I now hate that kind of relation to women."

The officer gave Nekhludoff a frightened look.

"Won't you take some more tea?" he said.

"No, thank you."

"Bernoff!" the officer called, "take the gentleman to Vakouloff. Tell him to let him into the separate political room. He may remain there till the inspection."




Accompanied by the orderly, Nekhludoff went out into the courtyard, which was dimly lit up by the red light of the lamps.

"Where to?" asked the convoy sergeant, addressing the orderly.

"Into the separate cell, No. 5."

"You can't pass here; the boss has gone to the village and taken the keys."

"Well, then, pass this way."

The soldier led Nekhludoff along a board to another entrance. While still in the yard Nekhludoff could hear the din of voices and general commotion going on inside as in a beehive when the bees are preparing to swarm; but when he came nearer and the door opened the din grew louder, and changed into distinct sounds of shouting, abuse and laughter. He heard the clatter of chairs and smelt the well-known foul air. This din of voices and the clatter of the chairs, together with the close smell, always flowed into one tormenting sensation, and produced in Nekhludoff a feeling of moral nausea which grew into physical sickness, the two feelings mingling with and heightening each other.

The first thing Nekhludoff saw, on entering, was a large, stinking tub. A corridor into which several doors opened led from the entrance. The first was the family room, then the bachelors' room, and at the very end two small rooms were set apart for the political prisoners.

The buildings, which were arranged to hold one hundred and fifty prisoners, now that there were four hundred and fifty inside, were so crowded that the prisoners could not all get into the rooms, but filled the passage, too. Some were sitting or lying on the floor, some were going out with empty teapots, or bringing them back filled with boiling water. Among the latter was Taras. He overtook Nekhludoff and greeted him affectionately. The kind face of Taras was disfigured by dark bruises on his nose and under his eye.

"What has happened to you?" asked Nekhludoff.

"Yes, something did happen," Taras said, with a smile.

"All because of the woman," added a prisoner, who followed Taras; "he's had a row with Blind Fedka."

"And how's Theodosia?"

"She's all right. Here I am bringing her the water for her tea," Taras answered, and went into the family room.

Nekhludoff looked in at the door. The room was crowded with women and men, some of whom were on and some under the bedsteads; it was full of steam from the wet clothes that were drying, and the chatter of women's voices was unceasing. The next door led into the bachelors' room. This room was still more crowded; even the doorway and the passage in front of it were blocked by a noisy crowd of men, in wet garments, busy doing or deciding something or other.

The convoy sergeant explained that it was the prisoner appointed to buy provisions, paying off out of the food money what was owing to a sharper who had won from or lent money to the prisoners, and receiving back little tickets made of playing cards. When they saw the convoy soldier and a gentleman, those who were nearest became silent, and followed them with looks of ill-will. Among them Nekhludoff noticed the criminal Fedoroff, whom he knew, and who always kept a miserable lad with a swelled appearance and raised eyebrows beside him, and also a disgusting, noseless, pock-marked tramp, who was notorious among the prisoners because he killed his comrade in the marshes while trying to escape, and had, as it was rumoured, fed on his flesh. The tramp stood in the passage with his wet cloak thrown over one shoulder, looking mockingly and boldly at Nekhludoff, and did not move out of the way. Nekhludoff passed him by.

Though this kind of scene had now become quite familiar to him, though he had during the last three months seen these four hundred criminal prisoners over and over again in many different circumstances; in the heat, enveloped in clouds of dust which they raised as they dragged their chained feet along the road, and at the resting places by the way, where the most horrible scenes of barefaced debauchery had occurred, yet every time he came among them, and felt their attention fixed upon him as it was now, shame and consciousness of his sin against them tormented him. To this sense of shame and guilt was added an unconquerable feeling of loathing and horror. He knew that, placed in a position such as theirs, they could not he other than they were, and yet he was unable to stifle his disgust.

"It's well for them do-nothings," Nekhludoff heard some one say in a hoarse voice as he approached the room of the political prisoners. Then followed a word of obscene abuse, and spiteful, mocking laughter.




When they had passed the bachelors' room the sergeant who accompanied Nekhludoff left him, promising to come for him before the inspection would take place. As soon as the sergeant was gone a prisoner, quickly stepping with his bare feet and holding up the chains, came close up to Nekhludoff, enveloping him in the strong, acid smell of perspiration, and said in a mysterious whisper:

"Help the lad, sir; he's got into an awful mess. Been drinking. To-day he's given his name as Karmanoff at the inspection. Take his part, sir. We dare not, or they'll kill us," and looking uneasily round he turned away.

This is what had happened. The criminal Kalmanoff had persuaded a young fellow who resembled him in appearance and was sentenced to exile to change names with him and go to the mines instead of him, while he only went to exile. Nekhludoff knew all this. Some convict had told him about this exchange the week before. He nodded as a sign that he understood and would do what was in his power, and continued his way without looking round.

Nekhludoff knew this convict, and was surprised by his action. When in Ekaterinburg the convict had asked Nekhludoff to get a permission for his wife to follow him. The convict was a man of medium size and of the most ordinary peasant type, about thirty years old. He was condemned to hard labour for an attempt to murder and rob. His name was Makar Devkin. His crime was a very curious one. In the account he gave of it to Nekhludoff, he said it was not his but his devil's doing. He said that a traveller had come to his father's house and hired his sledge to drive him to a village thirty miles off for two roubles. Makar's father told him to drive the stranger. Makar harnessed the horse, dressed, and sat down to drink tea with the stranger. The stranger related at the tea-table that he was going to be married and had five hundred roubles, which he had earned in Moscow, with him. When he had heard this, Makar went out into the yard and put an axe into the sledge under the straw. "And I did not myself know why I was taking the axe," he said. "'Take the axe,' says HE, and I took it. We got in and started. We drove along all right; I even forgot about the axe. Well, we were getting near the village; only about four miles more to go. The way from the cross-road to the high road was up hill, and I got out. I walked behind the sledge and HE whispers to me, 'What are you thinking about? When you get to the top of the hill you will meet people along the highway, and then there will be the village. He will carry the money away. If you mean to do it, now's the time.' I stooped over the sledge as if to arrange the straw, and the axe seemed to jump into my hand of itself. The man turned round. 'What are you doing?' I lifted the axe and tried to knock him down, but he was quick, jumped out, and took hold of my hands. 'What are you doing, you villain?' He threw me down into the snow, and I did not even struggle, but gave in at once. He bound my arms with his girdle, and threw me into the sledge, and took me straight to the police station. I was imprisoned and tried. The commune gave me a good character, said that I was a good man, and that nothing wrong had been noticed about me. The masters for whom I worked also spoke well of me, but we had no money to engage a lawyer, and so I was condemned to four years' hard labour."

It was this man who, wishing to save a fellow-villager, knowing that he was risking his life thereby, told Nekhludoff the prisoner's secret, for doing which (if found out) he should certainly be throttled.

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