Abbildungen der Seite

one, and all hands were in goodM oreover, they were oonspirits.

tinually grumbling about their Reay beoame a popular hero, rations, which were on exactly and an admiring crowd was the same soale as those of our usually to be found round the own troops, and far more pump whenever he gave it & liberal than those issued to trial ran.

any other Russians, and it Needing an assistant to fetch was noticeable that the general and oarry spanners, petrol, &o., tone was not so contented as it and to swing the engine for had been before. The truth starting, he attached to him- was, that Bolshevik feeling self one Savonoff, who became was in the air, and that we his devoted slave.

had one or two agitators who They spent all day and most were quiok to take advantage of the night in their dark of it. Soroko itself had been oorner of No. 2 'tween-deck in the occupation of the Bolalongside the pump. Coming sheviks, and Belaieff's milldown unexpectedly, I would workers and still more, find Savonoff oreeping about the railway employees were on his stomach making ex- strongly though secretly in plosive noises or gazing at sympathy with them. Reay between the crossed From Soroka we had abont. fingers of his two hands. a dozen carpenters and a oer. Reay would explain that tain amount of casual labour, . Saponoff was telling him about and these were infected with his experienoes in the Russian the new principles, and were armoured oars, or how he had not slow to begin propaganda gone to gaol for assaulting amongst the rest. & policeman in Petrograd. However, there was nothing Neither knowing a word of seriously to worry about until the other's language, they the end of the first week in understood each other per- August. The work was going feotly, and would carry on on-though not as fast as we long and intricate conversa- had wished, for we had hoped tions on all sorts of subjects to be ready to attempt to float entirely by gesture-of which by this time and I had gone Savonoff was such & master over to Archangel to persuade that I have always regretted the bank there to disgorge that I did not secure him for some of my money. the "movies."

It was ansatisfactory to For very few other Russians have to go away and leave had Reay any respeot. Their Reay the only Englishman habit of eating cold raw bacon on board the ship; but the for breakfast, and putting men had to be paid, and the apricot - jam into their tea, bank, though they readily adwas a constant irritation to mitted that my account was him, and certainly it was not several thousand pounds in pleasant to watch,

oredit, blandly stated when

I wrote to them that they had not been allowed to take had no money, and therefore their servants, none of them regretted their inability to spoke Russian, and they had pay. They continued to do no interpreter. I advised him, business as usual, however, unnecessarily perhaps, to be and, after the D.N.T.O.'s in- careful, and saw him ashore at terpreter and I had oornered Onega. I debated whether I the manager in his private should go ashore myself, but office and refused to go or there happened to be a tag to allow him to go until he just leaving for Popoff which produoed some hundred of would arrive before the sloop, thousands of roubles, we event and I decided to go aboard aally got the money, though her. he attempted to palm off some It proved a luoky decision. nine different breeds of rouble, In the first place, we had only each more obsolete and sparious left Onega an hour when the than the last.

5th Russian Rifles matinied, The identification of Ker- murdered all the officers in the ensky's, Nioolai's, perforated town, inoluding, presumably, and not perforated, Tzar notes, my friend in the Rifle Brigade, Archangel notes, British guar- and handed over the place to anteed roubles, &o., had by this the Bolsheviks' troops. Onega time become something of & was the next post to Soroka. fine art.

Seoondly, the navigating Having seoared the money, I officer of the tug was Lieut. was anxious to get back as E. J. Grey, D.S.C., & New soon as possible.

Zealander, and the best type of There was a sloop-one of sailorman, who had been second the “Flower" class—calling at in command of the famous QOnega and going on from there boat Stockforce in the historio to Popoff, whence I could get aotion in which her commander, to Soroka by train.

Captain Auten, won his V.C. While in Archangel I had He was very interested in heard stories of mutinies of the Ulidia; we quickly became Russian troops and the murder friendly. I saw at once how of British officers up the Dwina, valuable he would be to me, but I had not paid much atten- and immediately on our arrival tion to them. On board the at Popoff we both telegraphed sloop, however, was a subaltern to the Ministry of Shipping in the Rifle Brigade whom I and asked that he might be had last seen on the morning demobilised at once. of 21st Marsh 1918, opposite No diffioulties were made, as St Quentin, when he was taken he was supernumerary, and prisoner. He told me that he within three or four days he was one of five officers detailed was in our employment and to join at Oaega the 5th North had joined us aboard the Russian Rifleg-reputed to be Ulidia. He was a very welon the brink of mutiny. They come addition,

I had

[ocr errors]

We kept & disoreet silence their hands in their pockets, about the affair at Onega, but laughed in an openly conthe sudden inorease of troops temptuous manner, talked for passing through Soroko, and a considerable time about some the fact of aeroplanes flying purely imaginary grievance, over in an easterly direction, and went on strike. made the men suspeot that The sight of them sitting something was in the wind. about doing nothing had

Saoh news travels quiokly, naturally not at all a good and it was soon known on effeot on the Arohangel party, board. The effect was dig- who were working under quieting. The men were al- protest. Captain G. was wildly ready “fed up." They had indignant, but powerless. been working six weeks at Reay, Grey, and I held a Soroka, whioh had no amuse- hurried council of war. ments to offer them, and they An argent telegram was sent now had large sums of money to the ordnance at Popoff, and in their pookets which they by the next train arrived two were anxious to spend at Arch. cages. We had the launch in angel. Moreover, they were to meet the train, and the two frankly frightened about the cases were hoisted aboard and possibilities of a Bolshevik carried into the saloon. Here advance on Soroka.

they were hurriedly unpacked In this they differed from and the first intimation our the local labour, who were friends had of their contents openly exultant about it, and was when (having walked unbegan to grow very idle and obtrusively ap on to the truculent.

bridge) we “loosed off" a drum The first step was a deputa. from the Lewis gun over the tion from the Arohangel work. side, and then, idly fingering men to say that they wished & Mills bomb, proceeded to to leave, and insisted on the oall a meeting. At this we Aleida Johanna taking them explained that the salvage home to Arohangel at once. operations were in their most We pointed out that it was critical phase, and that we only a question of a week or so had no intention of having before the Ulidia would be them interfered with. That floated, and when this had no any one who did not work effeot, told them that no one would get neither food nor would navigate the Johanna pay, and that if he wanted to for them and that she would resign his job and go ashore not leave.

he would have to swim, With the arrival of & The rattle of the Lewis deputation from the looal gun had had an instantanelabour - armed with axes— ous effeot : we were now “topthings began to look more dogagain and work was serious. They stood in the resumed. saloon with their oaps on and About this time we had




and Grey and I went off to engine and truck and the Popoff in search of a pump promise of & olear line to we remembered to have seen Soroka. My opinion of the there on the quay, after leaving staff went up with a bound. striot injunctions with Captain But it was impossible to G, that only ordinary routine lift the pump on to the truck work was to be carried out in in one piece. The engine-room our absence.

staff of a tug - boat alongside We found the pump where was enlisted, and after a strenuit had lain since it arrived ous couple of hours the pump brand new three years before. was reduced to its main conThe harbour-master was only stituent parts, loaded and too glad to get rid of it. It securely lashed by Grey, and appeared that he had indented we were off. for a small pump with which We were soon grateful for to pump out barges. The the lashings, for it was a bair. oommission on such a pump raising journey. The track would not, however, have been between Popoff and Soroka sufficiently large for the official was very bad, and the single whose business it was to buy flat truok without sides swayed it, and he had therefore or about in the most alarming dered the one we saw. This manner in rear of the engine. weighed over six tons, and we were afraid all the time was of a type intended to dig- that it would capsize, or that tribute water over & whole some piece of the pump would town. It had with it no suo- break loose and take oharge. tion or discharge pipes. How. This, however, was not our ever, it was a ten-inoh steam only trouble. pamp, and we deoided that The engine burned wood, and we could make flanges for we travelled the whole way in it and conneot up our spare a oloud of sparks which, falling twelve-inch pipes to it. The on us faster than we could additional pumping power thus pick them off, burned innumergained would be invaluable. able holes in our clothes.

Unfortunately the captain None the less we were in of Stewart's small tug, in great spirits, for we had the which we had come round, feeling that we carried with was quite decided (and not us what might prove the dewithout reason) that it could ciding faotor in the operanot be put on his deoks without tions. going through them.

We had sent the tug-boat A hurried telephone conver- off immediately we had been sation with the A.Q.M.G. of promised the special train, to General Maynard's foroe, and give Captain Ġ. orders for a an explanation of our diff. barge and a working party to oulties, produoed an immediate be alongside the pier to meet order to the R.T.O., Popoff, us and to get the pump aboard to supply us with a special the wreck without delay.

« ZurückWeiter »