At a border post in the Swedish north in the area of Haparanda my luggage was searched, and a female officer was called to search my person. Fearing for the letter from Lenin, I stowed it away in my corset, but thankfully the officer was more interested in my voluminous hair and asked me to remove the pins that were holding it back. She, of course, found nothing.
I received a fine letter from my darling wife yesterday - uplifting and comforting. My boys are carrying themselves with dignity: the elder refuses point blank to wear a red ribbon, and the younger objected to the removal of the Tsar’s portrait. In a word, they are accounting for themselves with more nobility and discipline than your Ruzskys, Bursilovs, Voyeikovs or most of the grand dukes.
Today it is a week since our arrest. I feel weak, and blood rushes to my head and to my heart at the thought that we could die a violent death at the hands of soldiers. I know that these soldiers are roaming through the corridors of the palace at night, and I hear them smash through our doors, which we carefully look from the inside. What a frightful feeling!
Gorky does not like the Russian peasant, who is so dear to Tolstoy. He shows the peasant more often as someone wild, stupid and cruel. A person from the masses whom Gorky sympathises with is the worker. But it seems that with age, and with the rise of fame, Gorky has calmed down.
Quite practically, it seems, will arise the question of returning to Russia. From all sides this question rises. In Bern, Zinoviev and I discussed the prospects with others. They learned from Temps that Gorky has responded to the request of the Volunteer, Agafonov and others with a telegram: revenez tous, to which they responded with a telegram to Kerensky and Chkheidze to “arrange all measures” for transportation. And today a telegram from St.Petersburg has arrives in Temps: “The bankers handed Kerensky 5 million francs collected by them for organising the transportation of emigrants.” I begin to think that my idea is not utopia: to charter a streamer, and from England to be delivered under the escort of a Russian torpedo boat, which more or less guarantees against an attack.
On the banners, which were carried by demonstrators in Kiev, who were full of revolutionary enthusiasm, with clear letters were written new political slogans:
“We demand an immediate peace!”
“We demand the return of our husbands and sons from the front!”
“Down with the government of capitalists!”
“We need peace, not bloodshed!”
“We demand an independant Ukraine.”
If some seer could assure us that in case of a great war we should have a year or so to prepare for it, we could continue on out happy-go-lucky course. That has not been the history of the way wars commence.
Our captivity at Tsarskoie-Selo did not seem likely to last long, and there was talk about our imminent transfer to England. Yet the days passed and our departure was always being postponed. The fact was that the Provisional Government was obliged to deal with the advanced wing and gradually felt that its authority was slipping away from it. Yet we were only a few hours by railway from the Finnish frontier, and the necessity of passing through Petrograd was the only serious obstacle.
It was a wonderful cold sunny day. I sat with Dolgorukov as always now with the accompaniment of one of the officers of the guard. I took a good walk, Marie and Anastasia's condition was the same as yesterday. They slept badly and Marie's high temperature broke the record, since during the day her temperature was 40.9 degrees. The rest improved quite a bit. During the day I walked a long way and worked. Until dinner I read, and in the evening I sat with the children until 10:00 and we drank tea twice.
PETROGRAD. The work of agitators, whose efforts are designed to hinder the successful accomplishment of the revolution, is becoming apparent with the subsidence of activity on the part of the military, which forced the supporters of the old regime to keep in hiding during the early days of the upheaval.
The indications of such work in Petrograd, which are indefinite in form, are confused with the possible designs of a horde of criminal prisoners who were released from the jails with political offenders. One definite instance has been recorded, however. Yesterday a motor car speeding along the streets scattered proclamations calling upon the people to undertake wholesale massacres of the intelligent classes. On other occasions, during the night time, similar cars have been running about without lights. The occupants of them are said to have fired on the militia. The militia is thoroughly alive to the danger of such counter-manifestations, and the commandant has issued strict orders for vigilance.
Strange chalk markings on the rear doors of apartments throughout the city are causing much uneasiness, and, in the absence of other explanations, they are being linked with the general mass of rumors and reports of efforts being made for a counter-revolution.
From Kharkov, Kiev, and points along the Volga come reports of efforts on the part of the old secret police to stir up opposition to the new government. The situation in South Russian cities has been complicated by the wholesale escape of desperate criminals, either consciously or otherwise, who are assisting in the disorganization fomented by enemies of the government.
As an instance, while 50 military prisoners at Kharkov were being released 700 convicts made a dash for liberty. At Zhitomir the convicts mutinied, and a battle between them and the guards took place, At the Vintsa prison, in the Kiev district, 300 desperate criminals escaped and were making their way toward Kiev, hunted by the new militia. Many of the men returned voluntarily, however, unwilling to complicate the task of the new government.