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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

For Life Or Death

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Their pursuers were now within a hundred yards of them, and Natasha, speaking for the first time since the race had begun, said--

"I think I can do something now."

As she spoke she leaned out of the sleigh sideways, and began firing rapidly at the Cossacks. Shot after shot told either upon man or beast, for the daughter of Natas was one of the best shots in the Brotherhood; but before she had fired a dozen times a bright gleam of white light shot downwards over the trees, apparently from the clouds, full in the faces of their pursuers.

Involuntarily they reined up like one man, and their yells of fury changed in an instant into a general cry of terror. The Cossacks are as brave as any soldiers on earth, and they can fight any mortal foe like the fiends that they are, but here was an enemy they had never seen before, a strange, white, ghostly-looking thing that floated in the clouds and glared at them with a great blazing, blinding eye, dazzling them and making their horses plunge and rear like things possessed.

They were not long left in doubt as to the intentions of their new enemy. Something came rushing through the air and struck the ground almost at the feet of their first rank. Then there was a flash of green light, a stunning report, and men and horses were rent into fragments and hurled into the air like dead leaves before a hurricane.

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Only three or four who had turned tail at once were left alive; and these, without daring to look behind them, drove their spurs into their horses' flanks and galloped back to Tiumen, half mad with terror, to tell how a demon had come down from the skies, annihilated their comrades, and carried the fugitives away into the clouds upon its back.

When they reached the town it was a scene of the utmost panic. Soldiers were galloping and running hither and thither, bugles were sounding, and the whole population were turning out into the snow-covered streets. On every lip there were only two words--"Natas!" "The Terrorists!"

The death sentence on Soudeikin, the sub-commissioner of police, had been found pinned with a dagger to the table in the room in which lay the body of the lieutenant, with the bloody T on his forehead. Soudeikin had vanished utterly, leaving only his uniform behind him; so had the two prisoners for whom he had made himself responsible, and at the door of their room lay the corpse of the sentry with a bullet-hole clean through his head from front to back, while in the snow under one of the windows of the room lay the body of the other sentry, stabbed through the heart.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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