The gardener is pacing up and down the alley, a ladder on his shoulders, scissors in hand, trimming trees. He’s lost weight, shrunk a little, his clothes hang loose on him like a sail on a mast on a windless day. His scissors cut branches with loud angry clicks. I was watching him and thinking that nothing - not an earthquake, not even the Deluge could stop this man from doing his job.
I command that General KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917 surrender the position of High Commander. I command that he notify the city of Petrograd and the Petrograd region of the activation of martial law and that he expand the activity of all regulations associated with martial law to that region.
I call all citizens to maintain the complete calm and order necessary for the rescue of the motherland. I call all officers of the army and navy to self-sacrifice and the calm fulfillment of their duties—the defense of the motherland from her external enemy!
I was waiting for the Prime Minister to depart for Headquarters. Then, in the morning, I received a telegram signed “Kerensky” but without a number. It commanded that I temporarily surrender the position of High Commander and depart for Petrograd. In light of the grave circumstance in which the country and the army currently find themselves, I decided not to surrender my duties and clarify the situation first.
Today it was a little fresher. At 11 o'clock church services were held. We all liked the priest very much who offered the services for us and the four nuns who helped. Alix continued to stay in bed for reasons of caution.
At nine o’clock we were told that a commissar of Kerensky’s called Kuzmin had come with a convoy of ten men and wanted to speak to us. Kuzmin took three papers out of his pocket which he read to us, one after the other. They said that in view of the possible disturbances, and because of the approach of KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917, with the aim of restoring the monarchy, the Provisional Government thought it necessary to put (there followed each of our names) under house arrest and that the garrison at Tsarksoe Selo was charged with guarding us. See more
The Grand Duke took the paper and looked at the signature “Governor General of Petrograd, Boris Savnikov.” So that wretched creature who ordered the killing of the Grand Duke’s brother has now turned on the Grand Duke himself and on his family.
My sweet Fofa, I am writing my last letter to you and sending it to Moscow, where, I suppose, you have already arrived. I want to tell you that in all likelihood, I will be departing from here alone on the 15th of September, and I hope to be in Moscow on the 17th late in the evening. These days, I have been playing in Yalta. I took on this concert just to make a bit of money. See more
Life here is incredibly expensive, and we have spent quite a lot. Disgusting as it is to perform in such times, I decided to do so anyway. Goodbye! I hope we will see each other soon. I’ll take this opportunity to thank you again “for your blood” since I have been “drinking” it since July.