Someone sent us flowers in prison, and Semyon racked his brains until evening, losing himself in romantic speculation. And the next day, Roshal and I were summoned to the prison guard office, where a girl from some organization like the political Red Cross was waiting for us. See more
After introducing herself as the anarchist Yekaterina Smirnova, she handed us an entire mound of black bread and said that she had been trying to meet us since yesterday, but hadn’t received a pass. The secret of the mysterious bouquet revealed itself.
One of the first questions Smirnov bombarded us with was about provisions:
"Would you like some oranges?" I can bring you some.
“Why so?” we replied. "All giving is good in prison."
"But I have special oranges," Smirnova said mysteriously, looking at me with her bright, almost colorless eyes.
We were without a doubt talking about bombs. But since we didn’t prepare for an escape, we certainly didn’t need black “oranges.” I had to thank and refuse the kind offer of "fruit". Smirnova was sincerely disappointed. In her eyes, this proposal was so natural, and the refusal was incomprehensible.
The prison guards turned a blind eye to any unauthorised interactions amongst the prisoners. Their treatment of us was characterised by a conspicuous degree of caution, even fear. The February Revolution, which resulted in the overthrow of the tsarist dignitaries and put a chunk of the ministerial portfolios into the hands of former exiles and prisoners, sparked a major upheaval in the minds of the prison-keepers. See more
One of them expressed the reasons for his courteousness towards the Bolsheviks in rather frank terms: “You might be behind bars today, but, come tomorrow, you might be ministers too.”