Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/454

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their bodies, and at last on their heads, and trampled it down. He stated afterwards that he heard no sound from them during the operation.

The misgivings at what had been done affected Madame Kovaleff and Vitalia differently. The former was sad and doubtful, and felt the responsibility. The latter felt that she must die, and she wanted to die with glory. She was anxious to persuade Madame Kovaleff to die with her. She feared all forms of death except the slow death of starvation. She set the fourth and last act of interment to include

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Theodore Kovaleff.

herself, for February 21st. The refusal of one old man in the skeet caused a postponement until the 28th. At that time the estate was surrounded by water on account of the spring rise of the Dniester. The police guard left, taking the boats with them, since the people could not escape. An opportunity was thus offered for the fourth interment. Theodore and his half-witted brother, Dimitri, dug a kind of niche in the cellar wall of the house in which the first interment took place. It was 412 feet long, 8 feet wide, and not over 2 feet high. Madame Kovaleff, her son Dimitri, Vitalia, and two of the latter's most intimate confidants crept into this space, bending their heads and drawing up their feet. Theodore replaced the cellar wall. All were in great terror and confusion of mind. The total number who met death was 25.