The Times from Shreveport, Louisiana on August 16, 1914 · Page 37
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The Times from Shreveport, Louisiana · Page 37

Shreveport, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 16, 1914
Page 37
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I Rasputin,, the Mysterious i 1 he Illiterate Siberian Scripture Reader Who "Hypnotizes" the Czar, Soothes and Inspires the Empress, Overthrows Ministries and Dictates Momentous Affairs of State, Is Here Authoritatively Portrayed for the First Time. . ."Grtforl RiMputla has been stabbed by a woiuuij." OrUIuarUj there If no specially tartilng' Interest In a news despatch telling ol the assassination, or at tempted ansasNlnutlon of a private In-ditlduul In Russia, But the one here quoted I sensational, and In an ex. traordlnary degree. 'Why! Because Gregorl llaputln, the monkish mystic, fanatic, Impostor, or it hat yon will, through the Inscrutlble and seemingly absolute Inline nee which lie wields over the I'xar of All the ltuHNln and the Imperial household, Is about the mobt dangerously . potent, keenly watched, blindly followed, supersti-tlously feared and violently hated man In Europe to-day. WHILE Rasputin was visiting his family recently In his native town ot Krekovsky, Province of Tobolsk, Siberia, a woman named Guseva plunged a dagger Into his ebdomen. She wished, she said, to put an end to the awful evil wrought by this man tn Russia by his Impostures and intrigues under the guise ot prophet. ' But Rasputin will recover. And Those who are seeking to trace the motive springs f the Czar's fin r1 in , Rasputin j their most absorbing problem.' (Continued from. Preceding Page.), river flows within forty yards ot my back door, and the tanyard Is empty at night. I am irald, Mr. "Brooke, that the public will have to wait a little tls for that Interview with me which you proposed writing." Brooke looked from one to the other, lip to the present moment, at any rate, he had felt no fear. Yet there was something a little disquieting In the txprcsIou with which they regarded him; something ominous, too, in that sense of men waiting without. He remembered several disappearances lately. He knew suddenly that murder had been done In this place. Yet he was still without tear. Perhaps he was to some textent a fatalist. Death seemed to him always a thing so unlikely. "I shall be missed,"' he remarked affably. "Miss Robinson knows taai . have come to see you." . Cammerley nodded. -t "The young lady who overheard our conversation at the Forward Club," he explaiued to Lucy. "It is a pity thai she did not accompany you, sir." "Perhaps," Brooke replied, "she is tetter where she ial" The telephone bell rang. Caminerley held the receiver to hie ear. when be does, woe to his enemies! He blames It all on Hellodorus, Abbot ot Tsarltsyn, whom Rasputin, by his Influence." Drove from the imperial court, Rasputin will live, be declares, In spite ot Hellodorus, and he' will take a terrible reckoning. Who Is Rasputin? Since the spring ot this year keenest watchera of the Russian skies have taken a second long took at Qer-gorl Rasputin. This strange, quiet personality, unobtrusive and yet conspicuous, used to be the target mainly (or scandalmongers and tor the vast number of Russians who are disgusted . at ' the character ot the dominant Influence In the Czar's household. But recently people of harder fibre lambltious men hjga la the councils of the empire who are struggling and scheming against one another, and the ablest member! of the foreign embassies, who are seeking to trace the motive springs for the working of the Czar's will, And in Rasputin their most absorbing problem; The politically ambitious pay him court by sending their wives tq the receptions arranged by tjts devoted STAJVLEy "This is Mr. Cammerley speaking," he declared. "What can I do tor you? 1 Yes, Mr. Brooke is here. You are Miss Constance Robinson?" Brooke maq a movement toward the telephone, but stopped. , "No, am afraid that I cannot say," Cammerley continued, "what time Mr. Brooke will return. He will leave this room in a few minutes. As r the rest, it is difficult. . Yes, I understand." He listened for aome time. His face showed no ohange of expression. He glanced toward the clock. "Very well," he said, "the course you suggest will be quite agreeable to me. It would give me great pleasure to meet you personally. Yes, pray, come. Xs you say, it is only an affair of ten minutes in a taxicab."' Brooke sprang toward the telephone. ''She shall not come here I" he shouted. Mr. Cammerley handed him the receiver. , - ''Really," he said, "you people are wasting a lot of time this afternoon. Tell her yourself to keep away, then." s Brooke snatched the receiver. "Miss Robinson! he called out "Constance, are you there? Constance!" -.. "Miss Rofolnson Is here," was the calm reply. "You are not to come to this man's house!" Brooke exclaimed. "If you do, don't come alone! You understand?" followers. The diplomats must glean what they can from the out aide, for be docs not cultivate the a qualntance ot foreigners,' None of thorn but would admit that the halt-Illiterate Siberian peasant eaerclses greater sway over the mind et the Csar and bis sovereign decisions than did tbe austere and exalted Fobedon-ostiotr, Procurator of tbe Holy Synod, over the stera policy ot Alexander III Middle slsed, middle aged he Is about forty-eight years old ot spare, wiry frame, letting bis light brown hair and beard grow freely In peasant fashion, Orogorl Rasputin holds attention at first sight by his remarkable nose and eyes, .ills gait and his dress are those ot the devout, humble lay brother and Scripture reader, which is the Russian social type to which he approximates. But his large, strong, well set nose Is that ot a man ot commanding will and authority, and be has the large, blue-gray eyes of the seer who will not be drawn into discourse on the plane ot ordinary mundane affairs. Borne men have a kind ot magnetism other than that which manifests Itself on tbe Intellectual or spiritual side ot the personality. It may be exerted physically In the form ot animal magnetism, In the "laying on Ot hands" to allay nervous torture, and even in such healing processes as osteopathy or bone setting. Tea most competent objective, psychologists who have studied Rasputin declare that be possesses this animal piagnetlsm to Quite an amazing degree, and that as a dynamic human organism he la a phenomenon. Much in Russian tradition favors the periodic appearance ot some such wizard and soothsayer. These may be charlatans tor the most part, but now and again they prove to be some thing more. To say that the World has outgrown 'them Is quite erroneous aa regards Russia. . Among the scattered pastoral villages around Tomsk, where Rasputin-first began to exercise bis strange power nearly twenty years ago, the oon,dltiong of dally life and the vocabulary In which the people exchange their thoughts are not ' essentially different from what they, were two or three centuries ago, nor so very different from the early ages when a fetci mo uciLuit vuuju inspire a crusade. -'. . -t- None of Rasputin's followers thus far, whether dupe or devotee, has; come forward in hie hour of great ness to denounce him as an impostor. Such a one would assuredly run no risk if he did, tor Rasputin Is most cordially bated both by the police and tbe press censorship. To people fa miliar with the habits of Russian life it would have sounded incredible a year ago had they been told that the I Government bureaucracy and the1 radical Intelligence would ever agree 1 on anything. Yet to-day they are is one In their antagonism to Rasputin. In a recent Duma debate a much-respected leader of the liberals, Mr.' gphremoff, declared that "the highest! affairs are settled in the highest j spheres, by an obscene ' charlatan." i The press censorship allowed this to be published broadcast and the Crown Prosequor has taken no ac tion. The campaign against Rasputin i Is allowed to jnoceed publicly on lines which among decent Russians 'B'ROOK.E ' "Quite well. There is probably a alight misunderstanding. Au revoirl" "Listen!" Brooke begged. The connection was gone., Cammerley removed the Instrument out ot reach with a little sigh. , "My dear Mr- Brooke," he said, "the young lady is evidently accustomed to having her own way. Who can blame her? Miss Fragade is a little like that too. Now, how shall we spend the time until Miss Robinson arrives? Would you like to see around the place? Would you care to stroll through the tanyard town- to the river? There is a room here which Lucy calls our chamber of horrors. Perhaps you would like to see that? Or would you like to make the acquaintance ot our bodyguard fifty strange looking men?, Most of them, now, I suppose, have gone back to their posts, but there will be a few remaining." - He ewung open the door. There were a dozen men still in the hall, standing against the wall almost like statues. Their eyes were fixed upon Cammerley. They seemed ready to obey his slightest gesture. Brooke glanced at the door; Cammerley smiled. "The only modern thing about the place," he remarked. "A double lock of really wonderful pattern. Would you like to see some of my books? Or would It amuse you to hear Lucy talk of her Continental experiences?" ? ' o1- ' .....y : - A . "... . : ' - v. f A ; -n - - ' v T - - j ? I 1 Vis i . , - V - ' - t. y I " ' , . 1 ft , 7 . . a .j ' ' i v. j v : j-t f -fit t- It: . i a i'ii; l . J - v, ' I ' I f - i ' i"1, a" a J-itj'-' 1 - ,jS i The telephone heii rang asuiu. Cammerley epoke, aiparoatly, to a whip in the House of Commons. "I shall be in my place at 4 o'clock,' Brooke heard hira say. "The division, t suppose, Is nut likely to. come on below dinner time? Ti.aitk you!" "An Inter r'ti :-, thing, the telephone," he contiawd, replacing the receiver aad turniufe to Brooke. "It seems to brln' one t into touch wl;a the outside wmlJ from the most impossible places, doesn't it? Ah, tae taxicab! Stay here, y-hmo, Mr. Brooke. Miss Robinson :!' he properly re- celved, without a Constance room, a moment haired woman a-.i i it. 'inhered into the, by the gray-whu had. admitted Brooke. She was, as usual, exceedingly quiet in her manner and very seit-composed. "It Is Mr. Cammerley, is it not ?" she inquired, holding out her hand. "And I am sure that this ia Lucy Fragade? It is very interesting to meet you both." , - Cammerley smiled. "Without flattery." bo remarked,-"I may say that tb-ro have been many Who have found It interesting:" Constance was standing between Lucy Fragade arid Cammerley. She seemed very smaii- "I have come." she announced, "to take Mr. Brooke !wk with me." Lucy Frae-ade looked at her curtoua- Rasputin in the peasant garb which hehabitually wears, even at brill i ant court func-t i o n s : a strange, uncouth figure, yet radiating magnetism and attracting attention witn ms sin ,U.f"k gulareyes. i ATE DETECTIVE ly. Cammerley smiled. ".Mr. Brooke was a little lonely," he said. "I have no doubt that he will bud your coming of benefit to him." "Ours must lb ouly a ilyiug visit," Constance continued quietly. "Before 1 go-, there is a question I have wanted to ask Mr. Cammerley eVer since 1 know of his existence. This will proba bly be my only chance. Should 1 be top exacting UTbegged for say thirty seconds' ia which to ask it?" 1 have no secrets," Cammerley re plied. "Pray ask your question." Constance looked at him intently. ''It id a question,"' she murmured, "which occurred to mo first when I head that Blaucho Fragade was la-deed" "Lucy Fragade," the woman Interrupted. Constance accepted the correction, but she did r.oi at once continue. She was loo'dns steadfastly at Cammerley. There was pcrh.ips no one elde In the room who n-nict-d any change in him. Yet Brooke, who was nearest, and who found the temp rature of the apartment on the cold side, was suddenly surprised to tee two little drops of perspiration standing out on the man's forehead. " Cammertey looked toward the woman and fail something to her In a tongue whi-h neither Brooke nor Constance understood. She nodded and left the room. Cammerley leaned ossia s Real Rvler are far more subversive ot reverence for the throne than anything that ts eerotIy circulated from tbe revolutionary printing presses. Tbe political hatred directed against Rasimtlu Is based on the fact that he Is the Incarnation of Irresponsible, one-man power, the result being tbe absolute repudiation not only of constitutionalism but of tbe actual administration t,nd bureaucratic system, or indeed of any system at all. He hss checked, Bonplussed and baffled the clever men la tbe Governmental machine and the wily men In the Holy Synod. In the Duma, aome weeks ago, Mr. Millnkoff read a letter ot the present Procurator of the Holy Synod, Mr. Tabler, in which the latter thanked Rasputin for allowing him to retain his high offke! Tabler denounced this as malicious tattle, but be did not deny tbe speciac allegation. The ouly Minister ot the Czar who showed open enmity to Rasputin was Kokovtzoff, and Kokovtzoff had to go. Wandering about tbe corridors of the Tsarkoe-Selo Palace in felt slippers, like the most intimate member of the household, Rasputin waited tor Prime Minister Kokovtzoff to come out from an audience in tbe Czar's Cabinet, and said to him quietly: "Well, how much hast thou stolen to-day?" Kokovtzoff flushed angrily and moved off, but he could neither say a or do anything. A few weeks ago a governess of the Czar's younger daughters was standing at their chamber door at bedtime. Their father had gone in to bid them good night. Rasputin was about to follow, when the governess barred his way, saying that the young Grand Duchesses were retiring for the night. Rasputin made no reply, but forbore to enter. The Czar, when he came out, thanked the governess for her watchfulness over his daughters, but In less than a week she was given notice that her services were no longer required. Each step of Rasputin's progress has been taken with the help of women devotees. He has a quiet, well-modulated, "warm" voice and uses at all times the archaic "thee" and "thou" phraseology of the Bible which sacred book, except for a few simple devotional works of the old Orthodox Church, is the only literature he has ever read. First in Western Siberia, and later along the Volga, he used to sojourn as Scripture reader in the houses ot the provincial merchants and others ot the peasant class who had prospered in a worldly way. These men would often have money enough to be able to indulge their wives in any luxury, but the simple, elementary life in those remote districts provided no means of relaxation. The women would fre quently drop Into the state of nervous depression which is the common malady of idle rich womenkind the world over. Then from household to household spread tbe rumor that Gregorl Rasputin, the Scripture reader, had the marvellous secret of dispelling this restless, nervous feeling. Eastward from Moscow he attained some fame as a "healer" among . bourgeois religious circles. It was part of Rasputin's practice to use absolute patriarchal directness in his talk with his women followers, no matter what the subject discussed might be. The simple word9 he used in relation to the elementary facts in human life would sound coarse to cultured ears. He believed, moreover, in the "laying on ot hands," and practised it literally. This reputation proved nothing In his disfavor, and he advanced into the more select circles little toward Constance as she pit&sed out. "Go on," be said. "Is there any need?" she asked calmly. "I have a friend in Cyril Mansions. The letter is ready for the poet if we do not return." Cammerley's face was for a moment like the face of a skeleton. His eyes shone large behind his spectacles. His lips had parted, showing his strong, yellow teeth. "Your terms?" he whispered. "This is not our affair," Constance said softly. "I was wrong to send him here," she added, motlonlug toward Brooke. "I too am of the people. So long as it is not life you take, he and I are silent." Cammerley asked tor no Dledfe. He understood. For a moment be listened. Then he led the way toward the door. In the hall several shadowy figures came stealing toward them. He waved them back and opened the front door. "You will find a taxicab at the corner," he said. At the corner ot the street they stopped to look around them. Brooke glanced back at the house they bad left. Behind it was the tanyard, and a little farther away they could see the masts In the river. "A queer place," Constance ob served composedly. "They say that he Is a real philanthropist His house U filled with all sorts of outcasts from as the centre of religious assemblages, j A lady ot the Karnovltch family,' whose slstor is now Countess Ilohssv feleen, morganatio wife ot the Qral , Duke Paul, first brought Rasputin t St. Petersburg. There was not much pretense ot religious piety about her salon, but the "healer" was cultivated as a new diversion in a blase exist ence. In fact, the guests looked oa him somewhat tn the light of a spiritual medium, although Rasputin has a ways repudiated any suggestion ot "oances" or ot hypnotism. His absolute sway over man people, especially women, and notably the Empress, and their passlveness undor the spell ot his personality undoubtedly partake, la the broad sense, ot hypnotism. But Rasputin practises none of the hocus-pocus of the craft Rasputin's enemies charge that he. holds and makes silent use of certaia ambiguous messages from the Empress, Indicating his complete dominion at the palace of the Czar. He was Introduced there by Mme. Vyrbova, the wlf ot a naval officer and tbe most inti mate of the Empress's ladles-ln-walfr lng. He goes two or three times week to the palace, remaining from; morning till night, and Is sent for bj telegram whenover the court moves; from one palace to another. In every;! direction his Influence Is felt. Th' Dowager Empress, however, is aa' avowed antl-Rasputlnlte, and since th "monk's" sway set In she has rare!, seen her son, the Czar, or her daughter! in-law except at public ceremonies. For some months after Rasputin's)' coming to tbe palace tbe Czar took' little notice of him. If his ScrlptuTC! reading and conversation brought tht-Empress relief In her acuta neuraftj thenlc state, so much the better, and' that was all. But since the beginning, of the present year the Czar has come under the Czarina's dominion. Therj safe accomplishment of the hazardous; j Journey entailed by the Romanoff tercentenary celebrations and the im-i provement in the little Czarevitch'1 health are put down to the credit of. Rasputin's prayere. Moreover, the strenuous campaign against the vodka monopoly and for temperance In the army originated with Rasputin, and is being pressed-unremittingly, tq tbe dismay ot th-revenue departments of the Govern-; ment. Count Wltte's authority Is) quoted for saying that It was Raspuv tin's warning voice, at each acute' phase of the Turko-Balkan crisis, that kept Russia on the side of peace. The people who see Machiavellian manoeuvres behind everything that takes place in Russian high politics aver that Rasputin is an agent and advocate of Count Witte at court and that he is working for a reconciliation and for that statesman's return to power. The crowning: miracle of Rasputin is this: He has moved the Empress, who for nearly twenty years that she haa shared tbe Russian throne has cared for nothing outside of her domestla affairs and who has not shown the slightest Intellectual curiosity about anything, into an ardor of political Interest sympathetic to that In which th; Czar is acting and working, neither1' through his Ministers nor the peoplej but through a Siberian peasant whejj can scarcely write his own name anS avowed mystery man who represents' absolutism Incarnate. Neither the hn pedal bureaucracy nor the elected legislature has been able as yet to bring Nicholas Jf. into definite light as a reigning sovereign. And now, under the will of a human enigma, behold this same sovereign autocrat emerging and asserting an authority that bewilders alike the defenders, audi the enemies of his throne. ,' the streeU, to whom be gives temporary shelter. That is the reason h lives there." "Is It?" Brooke replied dryly. "Ther is nothing would please me bettefij than to go over it with half a dozea policemen at my back.? 1 She shook her head. 1 "It is forbidden. I think those twos people, mistaken though they may beJ represent things with which we do bet-j ter not to interfere." , , . j "At least," Brooke asked, "I . majji inquire who Blanche is?" 'i "But for Blanche." Constance told; him, "I should never have suffer. you to go to that man's house, because I know that they are suspicious of you and of me. Blanche is Lucy: Fragade's sister. She left her home- mysteriously some years ago. Lucy does not know where she ia. Philip Cammerley doe. There are only two things in life greater than that woman's devotion to her cause. One was her love for her' sister; the other her passion for Cammerley. I should sy that he was a man who feared but one thing In the world. When I spoke he saw the possibility of it" Brooke handed her Into a taxicab. "There seems to be a weak spot ia tbe life ot every strong man," he remarked, "and that weak spot Is always a woman. Even with myself "Don't talk nonsense!" she lnterf rupted. j 1

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