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Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1909 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER IV. THE SWAMP OF KARAFERIA. There was a time when all that vast swamp country in southern Macedonia was in the hands of the Turkish government. Negotiations were on with a foreign syndicate to drain it and exploit the rich alluvion for agricultural purposes. French scientists and engineers came, explored and surveyed and wrote glowing reports. But like all Turkish business, it went slow. Meanwhile asker built posts on the islands and garrisoned them. During the hot months they retired to the hill villages, for malarial fevers had decimated them the first summer. It happened that a cheta was hard pressed by cavalry patrols on the plain, one summer, and the Bulgar fishermen lent the outlaws their boats to escape into the swamps. The place took their fancy and the idea suggested itself to them that they could stay there. They burned the military barracks, retaining only two posts for themselves. When the soldiers came back they were ignorant of what had happened until a volley of Manlicher bullets ripped through the high swamp cane and carried death to some and enlightenment to others. One young officer, more dense than his fellows, shouted: "We are asker! Kim sin sis?" The answer came out of the cane brake: "We are comitlara! Hurrah!" Many of the asker became confused and stepped out on the shining slime, meaning to take a short cut out of danger, and so sank into their graves alive. Without knowing much about tactics the survivors began realizing that approaching an invisible enemy in small, unwieldy punts along a channel three feet wide is giving him a chance to laugh at you, so they withdrew, in spite of the curses of the commander pasha who was fuming three miles in the rear. Next day an army corps gathered and bombarded the...
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