"The Black Sea province and without crazy Turkish shots would have experienced some difficulty. Of the one hundred thousand working population, there were up to ten thousand Turks.
Nine-tenths of the Turks left, about a thousand were arrested and deported to the inner provinces as prisoners of war. The movement of steamers has ceased, and it is necessary to adjust the land movement of people and goods.
I caught up with the pedestrian. View - monastery wanderer: bag, stick, long hair under a hat, small eyes with a cunning one. This is a Yaroslavl peasant, Ivan Novikov, left the Yaroslavl province in the month of May and has been walking to New Athos for six months. Close too tomorrow comes.
- And then I, if God bless, go on, with my thoughts I decided to go to Old Jerusalem with a night walk. Do not know how God ...
- Yes, after all, war !? - I'm surprised.
- And why should I war? - he spread to the sides with his hands. “I am not at war with anyone, I go to pray to God ... I will come to the end,” he added compliantly, “I'll take permission.” Say, allow me to pass through the Turkish country to the Holy Sepulcher a peaceful wanderer.
“Now we don’t have a Turkish consul,” I explained to him. - At the border, only the troops, our and Turkish.
- It can not be that without end! There is somewhere between the soldiers somewhere, and the end point is ... And even so I will pass, without end! God is with them, they are on their own, I am on my own.
- And when did you decide to go to Jerusalem by land: did you have this thought before the war, or when you found out about the war?
- No, before the war. I still came out of the house, so-so and decided.
I looked at his boots, hat and stick, covered with perspiration, a snub-nosed face, and for some reason believed me that Ivan Novikov would go to Jerusalem. So it will go through Armenia, Syria and Palestine; by Easter it will be in Jerusalem.
While the horses were catching up with us, he told his whole life. He served in the soldiers; the Japanese war was called up from the reserve. And at this time his old mother was selling: the barn - "fed the barn", the hut - "fed the hut." Now she died, and Ivan Novikov went on foot to Jerusalem.
The farther I go to the mountains, the closer is the Chorokh Gorge. The road is molded on a stone ledge of a cliff. Two soldiers were met - a herd of lost Turkish cattle was being driven: cows, calves, goats and one donkey.
The cattle is wild and fearful, it is difficult to pass, and the soldiers from afar scream to us to stop. Stood until the herd seeped between the crew and the rock.
Empty roadside coffee shops, shops, houses. About one stands a platoon of soldiers without hats with rifles, they all turned their faces in one direction, into the depth of the valley, beyond Chorokh. They didn’t look at my crew, only one extreme soldier glanced with a gray eye.
At the first moment I did not understand what was the matter. I look at the bottom of the gorge - a touching picture. Today is Saturday. Over Chorokh on a gray pebbled lectern; the priest in the stole serves vigil.
Behind him, in a dense semicircle, soldiers stand up like gray rock. When this rock settles in the bow, the bristles of the bayonets are deeper bared above it. Chant echoed the hum of a mountain river. "Go-ospodi, pom-iluy!"
Near the bivouac: tents, lights, horses, heaps of corn. A boat is being conveyed through the green Chorokh, also like a hedgehog, covered in prickles of bayonets. Behind the boat float two horses. One came off, returned; on the shore, dusted off and coughed up from the icy water. I stood for a long time on the edge of the road, watching and listening.
For more than an hour, the orderly set a samovar and could not boil everything. They drank tea, talked about fellow officers killed yesterday, while taking the height of 502, Volodya and Kolka.
- Volodya died of his pride! You can not figure out in the mountains, what height. He took 461, and it seemed to him - 502. Delivers - borrowed 502. It turned out - an error. Just a matter, would leave in the morning! In the morning, the artillery will fire at the height, prepare the attack, and then calmly occupy it. So no: here you are: report and take! Went and here ...
Some have not yet seen the dead, and the senior doctor, Ivan Pavlych, went to show. In the empty room on the table lay the bodies of Captain Q. and Lieutenant V.; in clean linen, stockings, trenches washed from the mud, they lay side by side - straight, stiff corpses. Ivan Pavlych illuminated their faces.
The lieutenant is young, with a shaven, lean, aquiline face. It tilted back slightly and was lovely. I can not name the impression otherwise, because I admired the face. And this is the first time in my life when I looked at a dead face with admiration, without horror and disgust.
With the captain, his chin was pressed to his chest, and his beard, trimmed from his cheeks, seemed to be superfluous on his wax face like an alien appendage. Captain G. tenderly touched the palm of the corpse and said:
- Eh, Volodya, in vain, brother, in vain! From pride died. Sorry for you!
The gun stands in a hole on the sharp top of the mountain. The whole site is not more than ten square sazhen. The soldiers fell over the edges of the fossa, the gunner sits on the gun carriage. The commander of the battery, a young cheerful lieutenant Y., is excited and radiant.
Gives the command to prepare a shell. The soldier carefully takes out a heavy shrapnel cartridge from the box, removes the cap. - Sight 75, tube 60! Come on!
After a deafening strike, the howling sound of a flying projectile is heard. A white cloud appeared over the ridge of the mountain, and after a few seconds we heard the sound of an explosion. The soldier recorded in the book the number of the projectile, the numbers of the tube and sight.
Mikhail Ivanovich settled down on a flyer with a telescope and eagerly watched the fight.
Between two shots, the soldiers sit silently. The telephonist bent over the receiver, transmits orders somewhere, but to the hum of a rifle and machine-gun fire, nothing is heard. He obstructs his mouth with his hand, enveloped the phone with his elbows, finally curled up over him like a hedgehog and shouts.
The comb is fired enough, the guns fall silent. Soldiers indulge in the sun, lie on rhododendrons and ferns dreamily and quietly.
We sit with one to the side nearby, feet downhill, facing the gorge. He took off his cap and took out a letter from the crown, asking to read. I read excited by the love tenderness that pervades the letter.
"And our own little son, Pyotr Fedoritch, your dear mother, Anna Zakharovna, bows to you, from the white face to the damp earth and sends you, my blood, my maternal blessing on the coffin of life indestructible.
And God forbid you, dear son, to serve and rejoice in the military service to the Tsar and God, and return home, dear son, and see your dear father and dear mother, dear wife and dear children "...
Each word in this letter is the warm, bloody warmth of tender love. From these exciting repetitions, “dear”, “dear”, Peter Fedorov began to boil in his heart with tears, but it is attached.
"And also, our dear tyatinka, your sons, Kuzma and Petya bow to you ... And I ask you, my dear husband, Pyotr Fedoritch, I want to come to see you even for a day, at least for an hour, at least one minute ... Mother blesses, and the father lets go, and you write, is it possible. Semyon Trifonov wrote, in which he put his hand "...
Peter Fedorov turned pale with emotion. This is visible even through the tan of his wide Penza face. In the cap he has a letter of reply. He bowed to everyone, but shorter and rougher.
In Tiflis, I met three girls who had left the house as volunteers for the army. I first saw them on the stairs of the hotel "Orient". Three soldiers are sitting in gray Cossack hats, with gentle maiden faces. Confused officers are standing in front of them, they do not know how to behave.
They ask, from where, why are they in uniform, where are they going to go? And the girls are confused. It is difficult for them to say that they had such an impulse when they decided to go to war by private soldiers, to defend the fatherland.
If you say this to the first comer immediately, it seems ridiculous, incredible and fake: what can they, three lonely young girls ?! Let's go look for adventures! .. That is why they are painfully blushing when they say: "... Let's go to protect the fatherland."
When they dreamed of heroic deeds, perhaps death in battle, everything turned out to be simple and soon. Dressed in the soldiers' overcoats, took a rifle, rushed into battle.
The wound is carried on a stretcher ... Who is it who? This is a volunteer girl such and such. She saved the banner ... hundreds of lives ... a whole regiment, she was mortally wounded ... A few minutes before her death, the general comes ... commander in chief ... Sovereign! "Did you, young, beautiful girl, save the banner?"
In fact, confusion, mistrust, fear arise around them above all ... In this agonizing mood they have been living for the second month already.
We met. Here they are sitting at the tea table, short-haired boys with girlish faces, in khaki soldier's blouses, in rough soldier's boots and, interrupting each other, tell history your struggle. They are all from Yekaterinoslav, they lived by their own labor, they quit their jobs and services and on October 29 left for the Caucasus.
Elena M., 21 of the year; father, mother - old men; the younger brother, 18 years, a volunteer on the German front in the war, earned the corporal. Before leaving, she sewed linen for the wounded in the zemstvo, earned 13 rubles. 65 cop., With the money and left. I wanted to act as a sister of mercy, did not accept. Long thought how to get to the war. I met another girl who dreamed of the same. This is Vera Sh.
Vera S., 20, a Czech, an Austrian citizen, now, probably, together with her father and sisters, has already been accepted into Russian citizenship. The blonde, thin features, is similar to the German. Together with Elena M. I read in the newspapers that the private soldier’s wife was accepted by the soldier, and from that moment decided to join the soldiers.
Anastasia F., 20 years. Not hitting the sisters of mercy, she wrote a hot letter to the local military commander back in August, urging her to accept her as a soldier.
Why can't women wear weapon, at least a thousandth part, koi want?!. I wrote the whole evening, I was worried, I took it in the morning, I passed it through the clerk. When she met M. and Sh., She decided to flee with them. She took 50 rubles, left the service in a public institution - and they all went to Tiflis.
In the military authorities, almost everywhere they met with respect, even received soldiers' clothes from the Tiflis warehouse, and sold their women’s clothes from want. But he was repeatedly arrested and offended by the police and gendarmes. Liberated by the military authorities. However, no general decided to take them to his unit.
- Well, where will I send you ?! - said General O. - I can not send you, three beautiful young girls, to the male environment. It's impossible!..
Tried to enter the volunteer squad, do not accept. It is difficult to understand how they stood, still stand their ground, hope to achieve. Maybe only because there are three of them.
- We are all three together, do not go anywhere!
And, indeed, they are always together, on the street, with the bosses, at lunch at headquarters, at a party. However, they have now reduced their hopes: at least in orderly to get to the forefront positions.
“Ah, don't tell me!” Military uniform is young. Everyone thinks that we are all children ...
In one of the military hospitals are placed captive sick Arabs. Knowledge of the language allowed me to carry on a direct conversation with them.
They were delighted that for the first time in all the captivity they could express their gratitude for being alive, in a bright, warm room, dressed and full. That they, dying from the cold, were not crushed like flies, not finished off with butts, but gave them life, and they will again see their homeland.
Here is what they told, gathered around me in a tight crowd, interrupting each other, with tears recalling the suffering. All of them are from the 110 regiment, spare from the city of Baghdad and its surroundings.
Called them to the service July 21. The Baghdad elders and the soldiers themselves then declared to the Turkish authorities that they would not go beyond the borders of the Arab countries. They were told: "We will lead you only to Mosul, there will be maneuvers" ...
But from Mosul the shelves went further. The Arabs began to scatter at night. They were shot, and the rest were persuaded to lead not far. And so, little by little, they were led further north. They went four months. The path was the following: Mosul, Hoi, Bitlis, Mush, Karakiliss.
“Finally, they brought us to a country that we had never seen: mountains, snow. And we didn’t know what snow was on the ground, we never saw it in our life. We didn’t give clothes, there were no shoes, there was nothing. We died from cold and hunger. Feet stiffen, seize the cold across the body - and death.
That night we stood on the pass Duty. Snow and frost. We could not walk, people died. The living crawled up the mountain, slid down into an empty village, lit a fire, warmed up, our feet were frozen, and our fingers knocked like stones.
Then they hit the door. They were Russian soldiers, may Allah give them a long life and health! We gave the weapon, and they took us ... Then they put us on the wagons.
In the hospital we bandaged our wounds, gave us food and medicine. Oh, let the government be cursed, which tricked us away from our native country and led it to uselessly die in this snow.
They took from us all who could carry weapons. I have four brothers, he has three, he has five brothers, all in war. They took old and young, left no one at home, only women. "
I say: - But you are not old, but all young?
“The old men are all frozen, my lord!” Exclaim from all sides, “they died from hunger and a long road! Is it possible to endure such torment? On the way the dead lie, they are eaten by jackals ...
Abdul-Hamid was a bit sorry for the people, he did not ruin families, did not take all the men in a row and did not send Arabs into the snow. And now the government does not pity the people, and we do not know why we are suffering? So that Almania would lead us to the railways and point out its routines to us ?! We will ruin the roads and kill the Almans. "
Arabs walk with bandaged legs and arms. Show ugly from the tumor, but small, almost female legs. Asked to ask where they will be sent after recovery? “You will be sent to the middle of Russia,” the doctor told them.
They are saddened. It means that it will be even colder there, and they were afraid of the local cold. And they prayed wonderfully: "Oh, Allah! If only the Russians would take Erzurum soon! Then the war will end and they will let us go home. We don’t want a war, we don’t know what we are fighting for, what we are tormenting for."
They dined - Russian soup, buckwheat porridge. Weak gave on a cutlet. They chopped bread of thures in soup. I ask: "Have you got used to our food?" - Delicious! God increase your good.
In the next chamber are Russian soldiers, sick and wounded, the very ones who captured the Arabs. They tell how they were following in the footsteps of the enemy retreating to the pass: along the road on both sides lay snow-powdered corpses.
Obviously, people fell on the road and froze unrequited like cattle. At night, Turkish soldiers were making their way to these corpses from their positions and took off their clothes, which was, leaving only a shirt.
Arabs took in the village on the morning of November 14. They could not walk and surrendered without resistance. But from some houses gunfire was opened. Such houses took by storm, and, who were there, they chopped everyone.
The narrator hit a bullet between the cheekbone and nose, went behind the ear on the neck. He did not expect to live, because he had lost a lot of blood. And now he is recovering, and maybe he will live! To prove his vitality he moved his pale fingers.
Meeting in the corridors of the infirmary, the captives and prisoners smile affably at each other. And even somehow talk. When a doctor or sister arrives, Russian soldiers become translators:
“He, your nobility, what he says! ..” - from the memoirs of the front-line correspondent and translator Stepan Kondushkin.