Michael Strogoff (1908)
- Summaries (1)
The dancing and merry making during a fête that is transpiring in the Czar's palace in St. Petershurg is interrupted by General Kissoff and attendant, bearing important dispatches, which tell of an uprising among the Tartars. The Czar hears the news with horror, knowing full well that his brother, who is the power of Irkutsk, will suffer death at the hands of the traitors unless he is warned in time. The only means of warning must be by courtier. Kissoff names a trustworthy courier in one Michael Strogoff, who is sent for and pledges his oath to carry the message to the Grand Duke in Irkutsk. He is dispatched and the weird gypsy dance is performed for the guests within the palaces. And now the picture grows intensely interesting, as the spectator follows the daring soldier through the vicissitudes which beset him on all sides. First at the Post Station in Tvarld, where he meets with poor little helpless Nadia, whom he defends from brutal assault by the traitor, Iven Ogeroff, who strikes Michael in the face, and then challenges him to sword combat. Michael, remembering his vow to reach Irkutsk with the dispatches, dares not fight Ogeroff for fear of being wounded and thus rendered unable to push on in his sacred mission. Next we find him in the telegraph station at Kalyvan, where his oath compels him to deny his own mother. (During the incident a bomb crashes through the building, but is seized by Michael and thrown out of the window just as it explodes.) On and on he goes to Bokara, where he is seized by the traitor, Ogeroff, and taken before the Emir, who accuses him of being a spy, and, according to the law of the Koran, burns his eyes with a red-hot sword in order to blind him. Still on and on, blind, tattered and worn, he struggles nearer and nearer to Irkutsk, to save the lives of all the besieged inhabitants. They reach the foot or the Slavron Pass, Michael sinks exhausted; Nadia is seized by Tartar soldiers, who are killed by the correspondents who happen down the river on a raft. Still on to Irkutsk he pushes his way, and crosses the burning river just in time to surprise Ogeroff in the palace of the Grand Duke, where he has just imparted false news under Michael's name. Ogeroff, believing Michael to be blind, undertakes to plunge his knife into Strogoff's heart. Then occurs the culminating incident, the great knife fight. Ogeroff falls and Michael recovers the precious papers in time to hand them to the Grand Duke, and his vow is fulfilled.
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