Chapter 6
A Volga Tour with Rykov and Yagoda

ABOUT A MONTH FOLLOWING my return to Moscow the Soviet Premier invited three American correspondents, Walter Duranty, William Henry Chamberlin, and myself, to accompany him on a tour of the Volga regions. Duranty could not come because of illness. It took me nearly a week to find a substitute to do my work in Moscow. The Premier's party had left meanwhile. I joined them at Saratov. Chamberlin came a day or two later.

A week on the Volga had made Rykov look more robust than when I saw him in the Kremlin. He was relaxed and was evidently enjoying a much needed rest. There was a gleam of cheer in his eye as he welcomed me aboard the Soviet yacht-formerly a pleasure craft of the royal family. At the gangplank he introduced me to his entourage--his two secretaries, Nyesterov and Mrs. Nyesterov, Gorbunov, Secretary of the Council of People's Commissars, Svidersky, Vice-Commissar of Education, Michael Koltsov, a well-known Soviet journalist--and " ComradeYagoda," as the Premier said simply, omitting to specify his place and title.


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