Michael Strogoff, a 30-year-old native of Omsk, is a courier for Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The Tartar Khan (prince), Feofar Khan, incites a rebellion and separates the Russian Far East from the mainland, severing telegraph lines. Rebels encircle Irkutsk, where the local governor, a brother of the Tsar, is making a last stand. Strogoff is sent to Irkutsk to warn the governor about the traitor Ivan Ogareff, a former colonel, who was once demoted and exiled and now seeks revenge against the imperial family.
On his way to Irkutsk, Strogoff meets Nadia. He is supposed to travel under a false identity, but he is discovered by the Tartars when he meets his mother in their home city of Omsk. Michael, his mother and Nadia are taken prisoner by the Tartars. Ivan Ogareff alleges that Michael is a spy. After opening the Koran at random, Feofar decides that Michael will be blinded as punishment in the Tartar fashion, with a hot blade...
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