Saturday, July 05, 2014

Futility: A Novel by William Gerhardie (Melville House 1922)

When the train arrived at Omsk, the new regime of Kolchak had been established. The Admiral was distinctly pleased with the change; for he no longer believed in granting the Russian people a Constituent Assembly because he had grounds for thinking that the Russian people, if given this opportunity, would take advantage of it and elect a government other than that of Kolchak. And the Admiral was rather fond of little Kolchak, whose interpretation of democracy was that of denying the people the choice of government until such time as by some vague, mysterious, but anyhow protracted system of education he hoped their choice would fall upon his own administration. We lived in our train, a verst or thereabouts from the station — a thoroughly unwholesome place; and the Admiral diverted most of his time by throwing empty tobacco tins at the pigs that dwelt in the ditches around the train. ‘You have no conception what a pig a pig really is,’ he said, ‘till you see an Omsk pig.’

‘Splendid!’ said Sir Hugo. ‘Splendid!’

‘There she goes again!’ yelled the Admiral, and hit an old big sow with a Navy Cut tobacco tin.

‘Splendid effort!’ said Sir Hugo. ‘Splendid effort!’

‘I give dem h-h-hell!’ roared General Bologoevski. ‘Dam-rotten pigs!’ But, as usual, his threat remained an empty one.

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