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By Francis McCullagh

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Extra resources for A Prisoner Of The Reds

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Then a very common thing happened . The long line of sleighs stretching into the darkness in front of me suddenly put itself in motion . The sleigh ahead of mine went off like an arrow shot from a bow . My sleigh followed automatically, despite all the efforts of the driver to moderate the speed of his horses until I could get in . I clutched the rear of the vehicle, but my desperate attempts to hoist myself aboard were all in vain, owing to the weight of clothing which I carried . I wore two fur overcoats, one on top of the other, and likewise two pairs of fur gloves, the outer pair having only one compartment each for the fingers .

One Red regiment was between us and Krasnoyarsk. He said that these Red troops had come by sleigh from Tomsk, sometimes travelling at the rate of seventy versts a day, and that some of them had even come on our own echelons . Commissars and Red officers continued to visit us during the rest of the day, and were all of them courteous . Some of them had been officers in the old army, and one had been a trusted subordinate of General Sakharov, Kolchak's Commander-in-Chief . The Colonel of a Red regiment told us that we might retain our arms, but he insisted on the disarmament of all the Poles .

These others swarmed everywhere . They peered delicately at the common people out of the curtained windows of first-class cars passing swiftly through on the West track . They wangled " their way into the most exclusive coupes They were a drag on the whole conduct of the retreat, and were calculated to make one a misogynist for the rest of his life . Even the Admiral, who was married and who had the reputation among his entourage of being almost an ascetic, was very weak indeed in the matter of women and wine .

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