IN the summer of 1877 the district of Cighirino was all in commotion.
The police ran hither and thither as though possessed; the 'Stanovie' and the 'Ispravnik' had no rest night or day. The Governor himself paid a visit to the district. What was the matter? The police, through the priests--who, violating the secret of the confessional, turned informers--got scent of the fact that a terrible conspiracy had been formed among the peasants, at the head of which were the Nihilists, daring people, capable of everything. There were no means, however, of penetrating further into the secrets of the conspiracy; for the peasants, learning that the priests had betrayed them, resolved no longer to go to confession. Meanwhile, there was no time to lose. The conspiracy continued to spread, as was shown by clear and alarming signs. To avoid betraying themselves when in a state of drunkenness, the conspirators absolutely abstained from the use of brandy, and in the communes where they were in the majority, even resolved to shut up the kabaki; that is, the taverns where