Chapter Nineteen - Our Transfer to Ekaterinburg
Since the departure of Their Majesties, the riflemen and Kobylinsky were replaced by a Bolshevik guard, commanded by Commissars Rodionov and Khokhriakov, vulgar and crude men. The guard was comprised almost entirely of non-Russians. Rodionov spent his entire days in the guardroom, armed from head to toe. The no longer let out anyone of the inhabitants of the house, the daily regimen became that of the most strict prison. Khokhriakov went to visit the Tsarevich, Alexei Nicholaievich, who was sick.
One day, Rodianov came to find me and declared: "Tell these young girls not to close the door to their room at night."
I replied that this was completely impossible. "I told you to do it" he insisted.
"It is absolutely impossible, since your soldiers would pass by there all the time in front of the open doors where the young girls would be sleeping."
"My soldiers will not pass by the open doors. But, if you do not exactly as I have ordered you to do, I have the authority to shoot you where you stand." As he spoke these words he took out his revolver.
"I will place a watchman at the door of the bedroom."
"But, that is abominable!" I shouted at him.
"That is my business" he replied.
The watchman was never posted, but the door to the grand duchess' bedroom stood wide open all night.
Once the Tsarevich began to get better and get out of bed, they began to make the preparations for the trip to Yekaterinburg, from where there had been neither letters nor news of any kind.
Once these preparations were under way, Rodionov started to harass General Tatischev by all means he could think of. Rodionov, even went so far, as to insist that Gen. Tatischev's possessions were to be labeled separately (by using his calling cards). What could possibly be the reasons for this insistance? We could not then possibly understand. His conduct greatly upset Gen. Tatistchev, even more so after Baroness Buxhoeveden recalled that she had seen Rodionov during her voyages abroad: he was then a "policeman" at the border station in Verjbolovo.
May 7/20, at noon, a carriage was brought for the Tsarevich. As for the rest of us, we had to go to the pier on foot. There we went on board the ship "Rus", where we settled in. They took along on board from the governor's house not only the belongings which we had, those of the Imperial Family and those of us in the suite, but also those belonging to the house and the governor's furniture. Seeing this, the Tsarevich said to Rodianov: "Why are you taking these things? They don't belong to us, they belong to other people."
"The Master is gone, it is all ours" replied Rodianov.
The boat left at two o'clock and steered in the direction of Tyumen. The conduct of the soldiers during the voyage was abominable. Absolutely no discipline. They fired gunshots and even threw grenades, without rhyme or reason, at birds, up in the air...It was a savage orgy.
Rodianov shut up the Tsarevich in his cabin with the attendant Nagorny, leaving the grand duchesses in peace. Nagorny always contradicted Rodianov and quarrelled with him.
We arrived at Tyumen May 8/21 at 8 in the morning. They transported us over to the train. They put the Tsarevich, the grand duchesses, General Tatischev, Dr. Derevenko, Countess Hendrikova, Miss Schneider, Nagorny and the young chambermaid Miss Herzberg in a second class carriage. All the others were installed in a fourth class carriage: Mr. Gilliard, Mr. Gibbs, Baron Buxhoeveden, Miss Tyeglev, me, the cook Kharitnov, the young Sednev and the others. The train trip passed well.
We arrived in Yekaterinburg very late at night.
They parked our train on a storage track, rather far from the station.
They placed armed guards around the train cars. We spent that night in the train.
It was cold, later a fine rain fell, we were numb from the cold.
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