From a Russian Diary 1917-1920.
August 23. — Last night the soldiers went to the
monastery, where the Abbot lay ill. The monks
fearing that their churches were to be robbed, rang
the tocsin ; the other churches at once followed suit,
and people began to flock to their own parish church
as had been arranged. The Red Guards fired and
dispersed them ; nobody was killed. When the Bol-
sheviks heard the tocsin they put up two red balls
on the fire-tower, so that people thought they had
made a mistake and that the tocsin rang for fire,
and they all started going home. Afterwards the
Abbot was arrested and taken to the W Hospital.
[This hospital was used as a prison.] Nearly all
burguee houses were searched ; it seems we came off
well ; some people had drunken soldiers in their
houses. The Soviet was guarded by machine-guns. Seventy soldiers searched the convent after having
broken open the gate ; they ate all the bread prepared
for church use. Many motor-lorries hurried down the
High Street to the Soviet ; people were not allowed
to pass the convent.
Tatiana Nicolaevna had to spend the night on the
other side. Many merchants were arrested.
To-day many say that the Abbot has been shot ;
probably not true ; of course the W Hospital has
a bad name; that, in fact, may be the origin of the
Some say that all those written down in the Brother-
hood [a religious society] are to be arrested. If so,
the Baroness will be one of the first. I do not
believe it. An awkward letter of Maria Petrovna's
was taken last night ; perhaps they won't understand
it. The Baroness is very much upset, though quite
calm. Nadia's influenza quite passed with last night's
excitement. The town is under martial law again —
or rather, it was under that before, now it is what they
call Siege Law. Nobody allowed out after 7 p.m.
[old sun-time]. All men between 18 and 45 are being
mobilised. We half expect another search to-night.
Shall have my dressing-gown handy. The electric Hght
in our half of the house is spoilt. No tickets to
Moscow are being issued. Some say there is trouble
there; most probable.
People say that Michael Michaelovitch is thought to
be among those arrested last night ; all along he has
refused to hide.
Vera Vassiliovna came just now and told us how
the inventory of her belongings was drawn up. If it
were not all so sad it would be screamingly funny.
One of her grand pianos was written down as a
" grand," the other as a " harmonium." She is still
uncertain whether she may live here ; she goes to
inquire to-morrow. We hope she may. She is very
much upset about her youngest nephew ; he is already
In town they say there was an attempted contra-
revolution in Moscow.
Vera Vassihovna told us an almost unbeHevable
tale ; but we are in Russia, and it may be true. The
peasants hate the deputies. One village sent many
versts away to a deputy, who was something like a
coroner, to say that a female had committed suicide.
He came; the female turned out to be a mouse which
had allowed itself to be caught in a trap.