The Invaders, and Other Stories : Part 2, Chapter 8

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(1828 - 1910) ~ Father of Christian Anarchism : In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "...for no social system can be durable or stable, under which the majority does not enjoy equal rights but is kept in a servile position, and is bound by exceptional laws. Only when the laboring majority have the same rights as other citizens, and are freed from shameful disabilities, is a firm order of society possible." (From : "To the Czar and His Assistants," by Leo Tolstoy, ....)
• "...the dissemination of the truth in a society based on coercion was always hindered in one and the same manner, namely, those in power, feeling that the recognition of this truth would undermine their position, consciously or sometimes unconsciously perverted it by explanations and additions quite foreign to it, and also opposed it by open violence." (From : "A Letter to a Hindu: The Subjection of India- Its....)
• "It usually happens that when an idea which has been useful and even necessary in the past becomes superfluous, that idea, after a more or less prolonged struggle, yields its place to a new idea which was till then an ideal, but which thus becomes a present idea." (From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 1....)

(? - 1935)
Nathan Haskell Dole (August 31, 1852 – May 9, 1935) was an American editor, translator, and author. He attended Phillips Academy, Andover, and graduated from Harvard University in 1874. He was a writer and journalist in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. He translated many works of Leo Tolstoy, and books of other Russians; novels of the Spaniard Armando Palacio Valdés (1886–90); a variety of works from the French and Italian. Nathan Haskell Dole was born August 31, 1852, in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He was the second son of his father Reverend Nathan Dole (1811–1855) and mother Caroline (Fletcher) Dole. Dole grew up in the Fletcher homestead, a strict Puritan home, in Norridgewock, Maine, where his grandmother lived and where his mother moved with her two boys after his father died of tuberculosis. Sophie May wrote her Prudy Books in Norridgewock, which probably showed the sort of life Nathan and his older brother Charles Fletcher Dol... (From : Wikipedia.org.)

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Part 2, Chapter 8

"Can it be that I am going to freeze to death?" I asked myself, as I dropped off. "Death, they say, always begins with drowsiness. It's much better to drown than freeze to death, then they would pull me out of the net. However, it makes no difference whether one drowns or freezes to death. If only this stake did not stick into my back so, I might forget myself."

For a second I lost consciousness.

"How will all this end?" I suddenly ask myself in thought, for a moment opening my eyes, and gazing at the white expanse,—"how will it end? If we don't find some hayricks, and the horses get winded, as it seems likely they will be very soon, we shall all freeze to death."

I confess, that, though I was afraid, I had a desire for something extraordinarily tragic to happen to us; and this was stronger than the small fear. It seemed to me that it would not be unpleasant if at morning the horses themselves should bring us, half-frozen, to some far-off, unknown village, where some of us might even perish of the cold.

And while I have this thought, my imagination works with extraordinary clearness and rapidity. The horses become weary, the snow grows deeper and deeper, and now only the ears and the bell-bow are visible; but suddenly Ignashka appears on horseback, driving his* troïka past us. We beseech him, we shout to him to take us: but the wind carries away our voices; we have no voices left. Ignashka laughs at us, shouts to his horses, whistles, and passes out of our sight in some deep snow-covered ravine. A little old man climbs upon a horse, flaps his elbows, and tries to gallop after him; but he cannot stir from the place. My old driver, with his great cap, throws himself upon him, drags him to the ground, and tramples him into the snow. "You're a wizard!" he cries. "You're a spitfire. We are all lost on your account." But the little old man flings a snowball at his head. He is no longer a little old man, but only a hare, and bounds away from us. All the dogs bound after him. The mentor, who is now the butler, tells us to sit around in a circle, that nothing will happen to us if we protect ourselves with snow: it will be warm.

In fact, it is warm and cosey: our only trouble is thirst. I get out my traveling-case; I offer every one rum and sugar, and drink myself with great satisfaction. The story-teller spins some yarn about the rainbow, and over our heads is a roof of snow and a rainbow.

"Now each of you," I say, "make a chamber in the snow, and go to sleep." The snow is soft and warm like wool. I make myself a room, and am just going into it; but Feódor Filíppuitch, who has caught a glimpse of my money in my traveling-case, says, "Hold! give me your money, you won't need it when you're dead," and seizes me by the leg. I hand him the money, asking him only to let me go; but they will not believe that it is all my money, and they are going to kill me. I seize the old man's hand, and with indescribable pleasure kiss it: the old man's hand is* tender and soft. At first he takes it away from me, but afterwards he lets me have it, and even caresses me with his other hand. Nevertheless, Feódor Filíppuitch comes near and threatens me. I hasten to my chamber; it is not a chamber, but a long white corridor, and some one pulls back on my leg. I tear myself away. In the hand of the man who holds me back, remain my trousers and a part of my skin; but I feel only cold and ashamed,—all the more ashamed because my auntie with her sunshade, and homœopathic pellets, comes arm in arm with the drowned man to meet me. They smile, but do not understand the signs that I make to them. I fling myself after the sledge; my feet glide over the snow, but the little old man follows after me, flapping his elbows. He comes close to me. But I hear just in front of me two church-bells, and I know that I shall be safe when I reach them. The church-bells ring nearer and nearer; but the little old man has caught up with me, and falls with his body across my face, so that I can scarcely hear the bells. Once more I seize his hand, and begin to kiss it; but the little old man is no longer the little old man, but the drowned man, and he cries,—

"Ignashka, hold on! here are Akhmet's hayricks! just look!"

That is strange to hear! no, I would rather wake up.

I open my eyes. The wind is flapping the tails of Alyoshka's cloak into my face; my knees are uncovered. We are going over the bare crust, and the triad of the bells rings pleasantly through the air with its dominant fifth.

I look, expecting to see the hayricks; but instead of hayricks, now that my eyes are wide open, I see something like a house with a balcony, and the crenelated* walls of a fortress. I feel very little interest in seeing this house and fortress; my desire is much stronger to see the white corridor where I had been walking, to hear the sound of the church-bells, and to kiss the little old man's hand. Again I close my eyes and sleep.

(Source: Published by Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., New York, 13 Astor Place, 1887.)

From : Gutenberg.org

Chronology

November 30, 1886 :
Part 2, Chapter 8 -- Publication.

June 09, 2021 17:48:12 :
Part 2, Chapter 8 -- Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

June 09, 2021 18:54:20 :
Part 2, Chapter 8 -- Last Updated on https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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