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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The Story Of The Master

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And so it came to pass that three days later, in the little private chapel of Alanmere Castle, the two men who held the destinies of the world in their hands, took to wife the two fairest women who ever gave their loveliness to be the crown of strength and the reward of loyal love.

For a week the Lord of Alanmere kept open house and royal state, as his ancestors had done five hundred years before him. The conventional absurdity of the honeymoon was ignored, as such brides and bridegrooms might have been expected to ignore it. Arnold and Natasha took possession of a splendid suite of rooms in the eastern wing of the Castle, and the two new-wedded couples passed the first days of their new happiness under one roof without the slightest constraint; for the Castle was vast enough for solitude when they desired it, and yet the solitude was not isolation or self-centred seclusion.

Tremayne's private wire kept them hourly informed of what was going on in London, and when necessary the Ithuriel was ready to traverse the space between Alanmere and the capital in an hour, as it did more than once to the great delight and wonderment of Tremayne's bride, to whom the marvellous vessel seemed a miracle of something more than merely human skill and genius.

So the days passed swiftly and happily until the Christmas bells of 1904 rang out over the length and breadth of Christendom, for the first time proclaiming in very truth and fact, so far as the Western world was concerned, "Peace on earth, Goodwill to Man."

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On the 8th of January a swift warship, attended by two dynamite cruisers, left Portsmouth, bound for Odessa. She had on board the last of the Tsars of Russia, and those of his generals and Ministers who had been taken prisoners with him on Muswell Hill. A thousand feet overhead floated the Ariel, under the command of Alexis Mazanoff.

From Odessa the prisoners were taken by train to Moscow. There, in the Central Convict Depot, they met their families and the officials whose share in their crimes made it necessary to bring them under the sentence pronounced by Natas. They were chained together in squads, Tsar and prince, noble and official, exactly as their own countless victims had been in the past, and so they were taken with their wives and children by train to Ekaterinenburg.

Although the railway extended as far as Tomsk, Mazanoff made them disembark here, and marched them by the Great Siberian road to the Pillar of Farewells on the Asiatic frontier. There, as so many thousands of heart-broken, despairing men and women had done before them, they looked their last on Russian soil.

From here they were marched on to the first Siberian etapé, one of a long series of foul and pestilential prisons which were to be the only halting-places on their long and awful journey. The next morning, as soon as the chill grey light of the winter's dawn broke over the snow-covered plains, the men were formed up in line, with the sleighs carrying the women and children in the rear. When all was ready Mazanoff gave the word: "Forward!" the whips of the Cossacks cracked, and the mournful procession moved slowly onward into the vast, white, silent wilderness, out of which none save the guards were destined ever to emerge again.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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