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.
On Alexis's name day we did not go to church because of the stubbornness of Pankratov, but at 11 o'clock church services were held here. During the morning a fog came in which lasted until one o'clock. For a long time, we stayed out in the fresh air. During the evening Alexis showed us motion pictures.
We remembered today the holiday of last year which we spent in the Crimea. It was warmer in Tobolsk than it was in the Crimea that day I The day passed as usual. After vespers, Alexis received presents. We ate dinner at 7:30.
Rogosin told me a story of Kerensky. One day, some weeks ago, the little Tsarevitch was playing at Tsarskoe Selo with a toy gun that the Cossacks had presented him with in the old days and of which he was passionately proud, when an officious soldier took the toy from him “lest he should shoot the sentries.” See more
The boy cried bitterly, and a few days later when Kerensky and Polovtsov, then Commander-in-Chief of the Petrograd Military District, were visiting Tsarskoe and were being entertained to lunch by the Commandant, the latter asked what he should do in the matter. Kerensky allowed Polovtsov to reply first. Polovtsov said: “Give it back. After all, the child has no cartridges!” The great man Kerensky then spoke. He said: “No. That would be dangerous, for the feelings of the soldiers are aroused. It is better not to give the rifle back. The soldiers might not like it.
Grey morning and raining, later fine. At 10 ¼ - ¾ Tatiana - German reading. Then: Isaiah 58-65. Lunched with Baby. The wine crates brought to us were emptied into the river, following the wish of the garrison soldiers. See more
In avoidance of a row Bode has to remain several days still. This story turned up again, which is why we may not go to church. Pankratov did not allow the nuns to have tea at any of these houses.
Meanwhile our life gradually settled down along definite lines, and by mobilising all our resources we managed to resume the education of the Czarevitch and two youngest Grand-Duchesses. The lessons began at nine o'clock, and were broken off from eleven to twelve for a walk, which was always shared by the Czar. See more
As there was no schoolroom, the lessons were given sometimes in the large hall on the first floor, sometimes in Alexis Nicolaievitch's room or mine. I lived on the ground floor in what had been the Governor's study. At one o'clock we all assembled for lunch. The Czarina, when she was not well, often took her meals in her own apartments with Alexis Nicolaievitch. About two o'clock we used to go out again and walk about or play until four.
This morning, Alesha came by. I spent part of the day in an armchair and part of it in bed. The officer on duty is stationed toward the fore of the house, and a pair of sentinels stand by the front doors. Now this is how one should guard dangerous criminals! See more
We cannot find out anything about ourselves. We just sit and pine away.
It was a wonderful day — in the shade 19 degrees and on the balcony 36 degrees. Alexis's arm hurt. During the morning we spent an hour in the garden and during the afternoon two hours. Yesterday I began to read L'ile enchantée. During the evening we played dominoes, Alix, Tatiana, Botkin, and I. During tea time, a large thunderstorm came up. It was a moonlit night.
Alexis only slept a little. During the night he moved in with Alix. His ear was better, and his arm only ached a little now and then. MarieThird daughter of Nicholas II is better. The day became quiet. All morning I walked around the deck. See more
We went up the Tobol and put ashore on the left bank and went along the road and returned along the river with various difficulties but in a good mood. At 6 o'clock we returned to Tobolsk, and with a loud crash ran into the pier, breaking some of the railings on the side. The day was hot.