My life was taking shape and I was surrounded by a wide circle of friends from Petrograd. But I was harrowed by the thought that the Grand Duke Serge Mikhailovitch was still exposed to the dangers of the capital. See more
In my letters I tried to persuade him to come to Kislovodsk. He could even have stayed with Count Cheremetiev, one of his earliest friends, with whom he would have been completely at home. But it was no good. The Grand Duke kept on putting off his departure, hoping to succeed in his many attempts to recover my house. He also wanted to send and store abroad his mother's jewellery, in my name; but this project failed, because the British Ambassador, to whom he had applied, refused to help. Further, he wished to save what was left of my furniture by storing it with Meltzer. Apparently his efforts were crowned with success; but in my case this served no purpose.
By luck I found a magnificent villa belonging to Beliaievsky, an engineer, charmingly furnished and having a little garden. My sister and Baron Zeddeler settled there with me. I immediately engaged a cook and organised my household. See more
Although I was accustomed to greater comfort and luxury, I at last felt at peace, and happy to have a modest home after four months of wandering.
VladimirovPeter Vladimirov - dancer, the last partner of Matilda Kshessinskaya came over to see me from Sotchi, where he was following a cure. While he was staying with me he fell off a horse; he suffered a broken nose and severe bruises, and was confined to his room for a long time.
It soon became clear that there was no point in even thinking of returning to Petrograd. My hopes of recovering my home vanished daily. Moreover, in view of the general situation, it was better to spend the winter in Kislovodsk. So I started to look for a new house.
The Grand Duke Boris Wladimirovitch and one of his best friends, Leon Mantachev, an oil magnate, also arrived from Petersburg.
We met Fokine and his wife, who were also in Kislovodsk, and who shared our hopes and fears. There was only one subject of conversation: Should we stay or leave? What was going to happen? What should we do?
On a daily basis, a figure would appear on the balcony of Kschesinskaya’s house, wave its hands around, and scream in a husky voice. After having screamed for a couple of hours, it would go inside to warm up. A different figure would replace it. All of these figures carried the shared title “Lenin.”
The calmer it got, the more painfully I felt that there was nothing more of my own, neither my home nor my things, but other had it even worse.
As I was passing through Petrograd, I casually stopped at the palace of Kshesinskaya. It was interesting, after all, to visit the apartments of the Tsar’s former mistress, which are now occupied by the Bolsheviks, who send panic throughout all of Petrograd. And frankly, I wanted to meet Lenin himself. See more
The Palace’s exterior is magnificent, and beckons the weary traveler. I humbly went into the building. I must admit that building’s insides disappointed me a little: It was obvious, the revolution had only occurred a few days ago, and the furniture was all out of place, as if from the commotion. We had already established order in the Navy for a while now, and, we have been studying for a long time how to maintain cleanliness and discipline. No wonder our Navy is considered the first in comfort and orderliness. Of course, this is a different situation: people arrived from abroad, tired, and there was a revolution, and work flies above your head. It’s famous for where there’s order to the nth degree.
My faithful DjibiThe beloved dog of Mathilde Kschessinska died after a visit to Tsarskoie Selo. This made me very sad. He had shared in our joys and sorrows; and I still remember one night during the terrible time we had just been through when, exhausted and near to nervous prostration, I flung myself weeping on my bed. Djibi had sprung towards me, with an expression of human compassion, whimpering that he could not comfort me. See more
Vova and I took him to the garden at Strelna, where he had so recently trotted and played. This time the soldiers who occupied my datcha behaved touchingly and helped us to dig and fill in the little grave.
Kschessinsky’s house on the Kamenny Prospekt has been taken over by a gang, an insignificant gang of communists with Lenin at their head, who appear on the terrace every morning to inspire the people to steal from and murder the bourgeois. See more
In vain has the owner of the house appealed to the authorities to remove the trespassers. Their answer is always the same: “resorting to force against citizens is inappropriate in a free country”.
Many thought, probably the participants themselves, that with the disappearance of Rasputin everything would improve; the evil surrounding the throne would be removed, the malevolent forces on the Emperor would subside, Russia would finally breathe again, and the glory days would arrive. But oh, how everyone was mistaken. Maybe some of it counted. But from that very moment, everything began to roll towards the fateful conclusion.
One day I was visited by Semion Nicolaievitch Rogov, the balleto- mane and journalist, whom I knew well. He had been called up and drafted to the reserve battalion of the Kexholm Regiment, part of the Guard; he wore the uniform and mixed constantly with the soldiers. He was therefore perfectly informed on the state of mind prevailing in the barracks and on what went on there. See more
Rogov called on me to make me a strange and rather unexpected proposal: would I participate in a performance which the soldiers of his regiment were organising in the Conservatoire Theatre? I was naturally appalled at this idea, which seemed preposterous. I, Kschessinska, to dance before soldiers and at such a time? It was pure madness ! In spite of my objections, Rogov set out to convince me that it was a serious and long-thought-out plan. He tried to prove that I would do much better to give my own free consent: these performances were becoming frequent, and artists were more or less constrained to take part. Rogov finally succeeded in gaining my support with the assurance that I should be in no danger and that my appearance would be greeted with universal enthusiasm. Afterwards I should be able to move freely about town without fear, instead of hiding as hitherto. My wardrobe was still intact, and my Russian costume and everything needed was brought.
Michel Alexandrovitch Stakhovitch, an admirer and great friend, appointed Governor-General of Finland by the Provisional Government, came to assure me that he was ready to do anything to improve my position.