officers in command of detachments to arrest me wherever I should be found, and to send me without delay under an armed escort to Kazan, before the commission appointed to investigate the charges laid against Pougatcheff.
The paper almost dropped out of my hands. "I can do nothing," said Zourine. "My duty is to carry out the order. The rumours of thy friendly journeys with Pougatcheff have somehow reached the ears of the authorities. I hope there will be no evil consequences and that thou wilt justify thyself before the commission. Do not be downhearted, and go."
My conscience was clear. I did not fear a court-martial; but I was alarmed at the prospect of the probability of a delay, for months to come, in the happy meeting I had anticipated. The telega was ready. Zourine bid me a friendly adieu. I mounted the telega. Two hussars with drawn sabres sat upon either side of me, and I soon found myself on the high road.
I felt convinced that my wilful departure from Orenburg was the cause of my arrest. I was able to exculpate myself easily enough; reconnoitring had not been prohibited; but on the contrary, was greatly encouraged. I
- A cart.—Tr.