Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/20

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9
THE SPIRIT-WRESTLERS

by the local, administration resulted in the perpetration by the troops of a senseless, unprovoked, and incredibly Davage attack on these defenceless people, and in their cruel ill-treatment.

The burning of arms in the Tiflis government was appointed to take place near the village of Goreloe, inhabited by Spirit-Wrestlers belonging to the "Small Party," in whose hands was the public property they had appropriated. This party having learnt the intention of the "Great Party" to burn their weapons, were either afraid of such an assembly, or wished to slander them, and informed the authorities that the Spirit-Wrestlers of the "Great Party" were devising a rising and preparing to make an armed attack upon the village of Goreloe. The local authorities, then, without verifying the truth of this infrormation, ordered out the Cossacks and infantry to the place of the imaginary riot. The Cossacks arrived at the place of assembly of the Spirit-Wrestlers in the morning, when the bonfire, which had destroyed their arms, was already burning out, and they made two cavalry attacks upon these men and women, who had voluntarily disarmed themselves and were singing hymns, and the troops beat them with their whips in the most inhuman manner.

After this, a whole series of persecutions was commenced against all the Spirit-Wrestlers belong-