By Francis McCullagh
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Extra resources for A Prisoner Of The Reds
The crowning horror was the typhus, but the sights which I saw in this connection and the statistics which I collected were so staggering that, when I afterwards told about them in Europe, my hearers simply shrugged their shoulders and refused to believe me . I particularly remember a wealthy foreign concessionaire who, being most anxious, for his own pecuniary advantage, to open up trade with Red Russia, had resolutely made up his mind that everything he had heard of atrocities, misgovernment, and disease in Russia was grossly exaggerated, and who consequently treated with brutal discourtesy anyone who told him the truth on these subjects .
I began to see that Bolshevism, like Puritanism, the Great Tai-P'ing Rebellion, and even Mohammedanism, owes all its explosive force to-the Bible . 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 .
But it seemed impossible to avoid this terrible disease as, owing to the lack of water, there was no means of washing oneself or one's clothes, while the close contact in which we lived with the Russians made cleanliness on our part no guarantee against the disease . There was one case supposed SOME HORRORS OF THE RETREAT 34 to be typhus in our carriage on the journey from Omsk to Ekaterinburg . There were several cases in the house where we lived at Krasnoyarsk . On my way back, there was one case in the compartment next to mine, and then, to crown all, a case in my own compartment, only about two feet from where I lay.