A Year in Russia

Cover of book A Year in Russia
Categories: Nonfiction

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CHAPTER I ST. PETERSBURG TO GODZIADAN August 8, 1905. I LEFT St . Petersburg this evening for Manchuria. The one absorbing discussion in St. Petersburg is the question of the peace negotiations. Will there be peace or not ? IN THE TRAIN ON THE WAY TO IRKUTSK, August th. I started for Irkutsk on the pth from Moscow. The train is crowded with people?officers going to the war, men of business going to Siberia, women and children. It is exceedingly hot. The last time I travelled in this Trans-Siberian express the winter had just given way to the leafless and bare aspect of early spring. Now we travel through great stretches of green plains, past huge fir-woods which are burnt and browned by the heat. The topic of the peace negotiations continues to prevail above all other topics. I am constantly asked my opinion. We have just received the latesta-:;'-':: I .-; ;A YEAR IN RUSSIA telegrams from Portsmouth. A man of business asked me if I thought there would be peace. I said " Yes." "There won't be," he replied. The railway line is fringed all the way with pink flowers, which, not being a botanist, I take to be ragged robin. At night the full moon shines spectral and large over the dark trees and marshes, and every now and then over stretches of shining water. The officers discuss the war from morning till night. They abuse their generals mercilessly. They say that it is impossible for Russians to look foreigners in the face. In my compartment there is an army doctor. He assisted at the battle of Mukden and is now returning for the second time to the war. He tells me that he wrote a diary of his experiences during the battle and that he is unable to re-read it now, so poignantly painful is the record. He trusts there will not be peace. He is sangu...

A Year in Russia
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