Both days went absolutely the same. It was fairly cold but the sun was out. After my daily walk both days we got together with Mr. Gilliard and practiced our roles and rehearsed aloud. Vespers was at 9 o'clock.
It was a nice clear day, eight degrees of frost. From 11 o'clock until lunch I was occupied with Alexis. During the day I piled firewood in the shed. After tea Olga was playing cards with Alix and she showed four bezikes.
The cold had decreased but today was overcast, I felt as though my head cold had completely passed.
It was a nice cold day. During the day I finally went outside and took a walk and chopped wood for a little while. The sun shone and warmed things up, especially in the rooms. At 9 o'clock we attended vespers.
I felt a little better and was without fever; I did not go outside into the air. From a book I made a list of my roles for our coming presentation of the French play, "Les Deux Timides." Toward evening I finished that task — it took one and a half writing tablets.
Meanwhile the Bolshevik doctrines had begun their destructive work in the detachment which was guarding us and which hitherto had been fairly proof against them. It was composed of very varied elements: the men of the ist and 4th Regiments were for the most part favourably disposed towards the Imperial family, and especially towards the children. See more
The Grand Duchesses, with that simplicity which was their charm, loved to talk to these men, who seemed to them to be linked with the past in the same way as themselves. They questioned them about their families, their villages, or the battles in which they had taken part in the great war. Alexis Nicolalevitch, who to them was still " the Heir," had also won their hearts, and they took trouble to please him afid find amusements for him. One section of the 4th Regiment, composed almost exclusively of the older classes, was particularly conspicuous in its attachment, and it was always a delight to the family to see these good fellows come back on duty. On these days the Czar and children used to go secretly to the guardhouse and converse or play draughts with the men, whose conduct was never in a single instance anything but strictly correct. Here they were once surprised by Commissary Pankratof, who stood astounded on the doorstep, looking through his spectacles at this unexpected sight. The Czar, seeing his disconcerted appearance, motioned to him to come and sit at the table. But the Commissary evidently thought he was out of place ; muttering a few unintelligible words, he turned on his heel and fled, discomfited.
The cold grew stronger and during the day it got clear. The guards were restless because they had not received their wages from Petrograd. This was quickly brought to an end by borrowing the necessary sum from a bank. During the day I worked on the firewood. At 9 o'clock vespers was over.
At 8:30 we went to Mass and the raod was very slippery. The morning was sunny and then it got cloudy. During the day I carried firewood into the shed. In the evening as always we played bezik.
It was a Hussar holiday. I began a new book, Fire in the Stubble. During the morning it was snowing and it warmed up until 8 o'clock in the evening. A strong wind blew for awhile and after dinner it went up to 13 degrees above frost and the barometer went down to 73.5.
Our commissar Vershinin and Zhorzheliani returned from Sevastopol and told us a few things, including the fact that the Winter Palace has been half destroyed and looted, with the chambers of my beloved Nicky and Alika particularly afflicted by the latter – what infamy! See more
Those brutes ripped Serov’s magnificent portrait of Nicky from its frame and threw it out of the window, and when some boy picked it up, wishing to salvage it, the scoundrels snatched the canvas from his hands and ripped it to shreds.
There is currently no government to speak of. We’re like a ship sailing through stormy waters without aim or direction. Kerensky has vanished and Bolsheviks have got their paws on everything.
We got up at 7 o'clock when it was still completely dark and at 8 o'clock we went to Mass. After the second tea we took a walk. The weather was mild and overcast, I wrote to Olga [Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, sister of Nicholas]. I began the tenth volume of Leskov. Today we repaired a collection of things donated by the people for use of the army on the front.
It was nice weather — four degrees above frost during the night and up to 10 degrees above frost during the day. We walked a long time and I chopped firewood for a long time.