Yagoda's Frantic Efforts to Balance Evil with Good
EVER SINCE OUR VISIT TO THE GPU, Mills and I had been hearing from Yagoda. He would telephone to remind us of our promise to visit his "children" at the near-by GPU colony for delinquents. As it had to be on a Sunday we kept postponing it, for our week ends were busy. But one evening his first assistant Prokofiev, a middle-aged, soft- spoken man with a gentle face, called and insisted on our going the next Sunday. He was personally in charge of the colony which, he said, was creating a stir among reformers of juvenile delinquents the world over.
"You will find material there for more than one article," he assured us.
Early on the following Sunday, Yagoda and Prokofiev called for us in a brand new Cadillac. We were surprised to see them both in civilian attire, but Yagoda was not long in explaining the mystery. He and his comrade thought it might embarrass us to be seen in public with uniformed Chekists. It was the first time I had heard him use that dreaded word.
"Please translate to your friend," he said, "that we went to all this trouble to avoid gossip about you two joy riding with