I HAD but few opportunities of seeing him, for, swift as the wind of the desert, he traversed all Russia, especially the southern part, in which were the principal Circles he was connected with, while I always remained in St. Petersburg. It was in that city I saw him when he came for only three or four days, to disappear afterwards like a lightning flash, and this time for ever.
It was an ugly time. General Mesentzeff had been killed in broad daylight, in one of the principal streets in the capital, and those by whom he was killed had disappeared without leaving any trace behind them. This being the first act of the kind, it produced an immense impression. The first moment of bewilderment over, the police scoured the whole city. Innumerable searches were made, and summary arrests took place in the streets on the slightest suspicion. The report ran, though perhaps it was an exaggeration, that during the first two days the number of arrests reached a thousand.
It was extremely dangerous for us illegal men to show ourselves out of doors. I was compelled, therefore, to subject myself to one of the greatest annoyances which