By Francis McCullagh
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Extra resources for A Prisoner Of The Reds
The Divine element in Christianity is of such tremendous and supernatural potency that, if mixed with the wrong ingredients, it is capable of blowing the world to pieces. A grain of primitive Christianity added to a mass of Marxian error has made Russian Communism the terrible and most dangerous compound that it is . " An Idealism gone wrong" ; that description is true as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough . Ivan, our train conductor, an honest, hard-working civilian with no previous political views, was quite carried DRUNK WITH WORDS 25 off his feet by the strong wind of the new doctrine, by the large and benevolent phrases, redolent of an austere republican justice, which the Red leaders continually rolled off their tongues, phrases such as are frequently met with in the oratory of the Cromwellian captains and the French Terrorists .
A few miles off on the east was a Red force, part of which had come to Krasnoyarsk on White echelons without anybody in those echelons having ever suspected them of being Red . Our train was surrounded by Bolshevik guards, who were apparently unable to distinguish between friend and foe. The Bolshevik officers who had visited us during the day had given away their military dispositions, or, rather, their lack of military dispositions, and our Russian interpreters were now communicating that valuable information to the White leaders who had casually dropped in for a chat and a smoke, without meeting any objection on the part of the Red soldiers supposed to be guarding us .
We had great difficulty in getting sleighs, for every sleigh was being used, either by its owner or by troops who had commandeered it ; and the town commandant on whom I and another officer called told us that it was absolutely impossible for him to get us vehicles of any description . My companion happened to meet in the street, however, some Jaeger officers belonging to a howitzer battery which had been equipped a year before by General Knox, and these officers said that all our party could travel in the sleigh of their detachment .