3484 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
there was war. Only the women made
wild conjectures as to whom it was against.
There was no thought of work. Horses
were groomed, uniforms donned, rifles
and sabres cleaned with enthusiastic vigor.
Soon the Government veterinary surgeon
took his stand before the chief building
and the work of examining the horses
began. Each man in turn brought up
his horse and put it through its paces.
The test was most strict, and any animal
showing the slightest defect was promptly
branded as useless. All day the work
continued, a crowd of women and children
watching the proceedings. At night the
red flag was pulled down and a red lamp
was hoisted in its place. In the evening
there was a great feast. A whole ox was
roasted, there was dancing among the
younger people, but owing to the new
regulations there was practically no vodka.
All through the night men came riding
into the village from the outlying districts.
"On the Sunday when the preparations
were almost complete the consecration
service was held. The whole village assembled before the little wooden church.
It was a stirring sight to see these great
warriors in their full battle array kneeling
before their Maker and solemnly asking
His aid. At the conclusion of the service
each man was blessed by the priest and
anointed with holy water. Then he led
his horse away and received the blessings
of his family.
"On the following day they set off on a
journey of thousands of miles. The women,
children, and old men watched them. Their
eyes gleamed with tears and their breasts
heaved. Then, when the last man had disappeared from view, they turned away,
walked to the fields, and took over the
labors which the men had left unfinished."
Less than a week after the Germans
began their assaults upon the forts of
Liege, the first Austrian army moved
across the frontier into Russian Poland.
Their first objectives were Krosnik and
Lublin, but the ultimate aim was probably
Warsaw. The Russian forces opposing
them were too inferior in numbers to make
a decided stand, but withdrew, making
what resistance they might, before the
invaders. This movement and that of
the Germans from the west was hailed
in Berlin and Vienna as a triumphant
march on Warsaw, but events soon showed
that Warsaw was not to fall at this time.
Meanwhile, the Russians themselves
had been gathering two great armies for
an invasion of eastern Galicia. The first of
these, under General Russky, was designed
to move directly against the second Austrian
army, while another, under General Brussilov, moved from the southeastward
nearer the Carpathians against the same
army's right wing. On the 14th of August, Russky's great army, preceded by vast
clouds of Cossacks, crossed the Galician border. The Austrians had already
been beaten in several skirmishes, and
Russky's forces pressed onward until,
about the day that the Germans in the
west were marching through Brussels,
he was drawing near the position of the
second Austrian army extending before
the fortress and town of Lemberg. The
advance of both the Russian armies through