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I had not yet sold. After an hour and a that. Potatoes were 200 rubles a pound, half they left. Everything was turned and were often half-frozen. Tea and upside-down: bedding, pillows, books, coffee cost thousands of rubles the clothing - all were heaped in the mid- pound. For a time I drank an infusion dle of the floor.

of black-currant leaves and also of cran. In a few weeks we had a second mid- berry leaves, which would have been night raid; but this time they were quite pleasant if I could have had any searching for incriminating documents sugar. The Bolsheviki opened soupand did not disturb any of our person

kitchens, for which each person received al belongings. In November, 1919, we a monthly ticket on application to a experienced the worst raid of all. Every certain department of the Soviet. Often letter or scrap of written matter my I have stood for a long, long time in a friend and I possessed was taken from queue, waiting with a pitcher to receive us, and we were also relieved of what- a portion of soup, which was simply waever personal effects appealed to the ter, with some cabbage-leaves or pieces invaders. From me they took all my of frozen potato floating in it. For this husband's medals and decorations. I the charge was eight rubles. Hunger begged them to allow me to keep the made me glad to eat this soup, but crosses of Saint Anna and of Stanislav there were days when it smelled so bad, as a remembrance of him, but they re- especially when they had added herring fused saying, 'No one has orders now, heads to it, that I gave it to someone in and we need the gold. After searching the queue, or poured it out. for nearly two hours, they ordered my

The members of the working class refriend to get on some clothes, as she ceived a special ticket and got a second. must go with them. They took her dish, perhaps some potatoes or a salt away at four o'clock in the morning, herring; but these extras were denied and she was kept in prison for three to the Intelligentsia, who suffered far months. At the end of that time she more than did the workers. Sometimes, was released; but she was never given when it was impossible to procure bread, the satisfaction of knowing why she many of us used to buy turnips and eat was arrested.

them raw as a substitute. You will be I was most fortunate, as I was arrest surprised that we did not boil them, ed only once and was not then sent to but we found them more satisfying prison. When I came home one day, when raw. As they were very dear, we a soldier arrested me at my door and could not afford to buy more than a marched me off to a hall where there few. Some who were hungry even made were several other prisoners. There we soup of fresh green grass. This I never were detained for eight hours, and then tried, but soup made of rhubarb leaves released without any explanation as to I found could be eaten. At first, when the cause of our arrest.

we still had coffee, we used to mix a One did not have to be in prison to little flour with the coffee-grounds, and know what hunger means. Those of us

make cookies; but I must say that I who were not imprisoned learned the could eat these only when I was very lesson only too well. Lack of food be hungry. The Intelligentsia could recame more and more acute, and the ceive on their bread-cards only two prices were such that it was impossible ounces per day; and when it was possito earn enough in one day to buy even a ble to buy any extra, the price was pound of black bread. Milk cost 250 exorbitant. The working class was rubles a bottle, and was well watered at allowed much more.

Any extra bread


could be bought only by chance on the logs of wood, and many of them much street, from peasants, or in the open mar- decomposed. The difficulty was to get ket, and often there was more sawdust a sufficient supply of coffins. Two bodand minced straw in it than flour. Fre- ies were placed in each coffin, which quently, when the Bolsheviki ran out was merely a few boards of wood roughof flour, so that they were unable to give ly nailed together. One could often see us bread on our bread-cards, they sub- carts piled up with these coffins, which stituted oats; but the amount was so were taken outside of the city, where meagre that, when we ground it down, the bodies were put into a pit and the very little flour came out.

coffins brought back to be used for the All stores and shops were closed, and bodies of other victims. Those whose one could buy only in the open markets. friends died at home had to convey Butter in 1919 sold at 2800 rubles per

the coffins themselves to the cemetery, pound, and bacon at 3000. Peasants either on a sledge or otherwise. brought in milk and produce from the The funeral of a Bolshevik was a country and bartered it for clothing. very grand affair. The coffin was alThey did not want money, as they said ways covered with bright-red cloth, there was nothing to buy with it. It the hearse also being draped in red, was sad to see ladies standing in the and with wreaths from which scarlet market, bartering or selling their beau- ribbons were suspended. There was tiful dresses and linen to get money for always a band, and a procession with food. As long as they had things to sell, many red banners flying. Processions they got good prices; but what was to bearing red banners, eulogizing Combe done, once they had parted with all munism or Bolshevism and denouncing their belongings? It was no uncommon the old régime, were a common sight. thing to see peasant women wearing The suffering of poor animals was beautiful fur coats and exquisite eve- also terrible, and horses dropped dead ning dresses and also jewelry, probably on the street from starvation. The fodreceived in exchange for food.

der was so bad that horses that were Some ladies, friends of mine, who were starving would turn away from it. Beformerly well to do, had to sell flowers hind the house where I lived the Bolsheand newspapers in the street, to earn a viki had a number of horses stabled. livelihood. All women under fifty years Every week I saw several dead ones of age had to take their turn at sweep- carried out; and one of the soldiers who ing the snow on the streets, breaking up cared for the animals told me that there the ice, and emptying the dust-bins. was not a scrap of woodwork left within

There were so many sick that the reach of the horses, because they had hospitals were over-crowded. The lack gnawed it all away in their hunger. If of even the most necessary medicines a dead horse were left in the street at was great. In former times Germany night, by the next day nothing would be provided great quantities of the medic- left of it but the ribs and perhaps the aments used. Doctors were scarce, as

which some gaunt dog so many had been sent to the front. would be gnawing. People had come in Typhus, of course, was raging and the night and taken away all other claimed many victims. A friend of mine, parts of the carcass for food. Many ate who went to one of the hospitals to cats and dogs, and said the flesh tasted identify a relative who had died, told good. me that, in the mortuary, the bodies Many a night I was not able to sleep were stacked from floor to ceiling, like for hunger. But lack of food was not my

head, upon

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only privation. Before the Revolution we did all in our power to help one anI had never known what it was to be other. One of my pupils (for I was trycold indoors; wood, which was used for ing to keep body and soul together by fuel in Petrograd, was plentiful and teaching English) was a Russian naval cheap. During my last two winters officer; he used to bring me occasionally there, there was great suffering caused a small piece of bread which he had left by lack of fuel. In Finland and parts of over. He was serving under the BolsheRussia there was plenty of wood, cut viki - under compulsion, like so many and ready to be sent to the cities; but others. It was his plan to learn to speak the transportation system had broken English and then to try to escape from down completely. This want of wood Russia. To my great sorrow, for he became more and more acute; many was my favorite pupil and could conwooden dwelling-houses were pulled verse fairly well in English, he was ardown, and all wooden fencing around rested by his masters and sent away to gardens and wooden walks was utilized Cologda. I never could find out the for fuel. More than once I was thank- reason for his arrest or hear anything. ful when I could buy an old beam, tie a further about him. He once told me rope around my waist, and drag it home that, if he were arrested, he would take to be sawed up into short pieces. We his own life; and I often wonder if he is were permitted to buy only a small still alive. quantity each month and had to show I was deeply touched one day by a the paper with the date of the preceding workingwoman's bringing me a teapurchase, which was compared with the spoonful of dry tea. This was a wonderentry in the official books. Often I have

ful present, as she had only a very small left the house in pitch darkness (no quantity, which had been given to her, lights in the streets), at four o'clock on and tea was at a premium. I did not a winter's morning, to get my place in wish to accept it, but she insisted, bethe queue at the wood-store, so as to be

cause sometimes I had helped her and one of the first to be attended to when her children with a little food, and had the office opened at ten o'clock. It was once procured a situation for her. no joke to wait six hours with the tem- So in such ways we tried to cheer perature below zero. Sometimes the one another. Often, when one did show soldiers who were on duty would admit a little kindness, one was repaid fourus to a room they had and permit us to fold or more. I remember that once, warm ourselves for a few minutes. By when crossing the Nicholas Bridge, I ten o'clock there were hundreds in line, came upon an elderly lady struggling to and when you reached the window you carry a very heavy bag. I asked her in were given only a piece of paper which what direction she was going, and as it entitled you to receive the wood on a was not very far from my own destinaspecified day. Think of what this meant tion, I carried the bag home for her. to poor mothers who had to leave young When she thanked me at parting, she children at home for hours! One poor said, 'I hope that, if ever you have to woman in the queue one morning had a carry something that is too heavy for sick baby which she could not leave at you, you also will meet some kind perhome; it died in her arms before she son to help you.' A few days later I had reached the window.

to bring to my home some wood which The shortage of food and the other was very heavy. I tried to carry it on privations all helped to make us more my back, but found it beyond my sympathetic toward one another, and strength to do so, as my house was quite



a good distance away. Just as I was sit- With all my suffering I cannot but ting on a doorstep wondering whatever feel that God dealt mercifully with me. I should do, a soldier came along, and I I will give you one instance of this. On summoned up my courage to ask if he Christmas Eve, 1918, I was alone and would help me, even for a short distance. without a scrap of food in the house. He immediately picked up the wood, As I thought back over my past happy slung it on his back, and asked me life and the loved ones who had gone where I lived. When I told him, he from me, I naturally felt much depresssaid, 'I can easily go by that street.' He ed. How I could manage to live to the took me right to the door of my house, New Year, I could not imagine. Before and when I offered him money, he re- retiring to rest that night, I asked God fused. 'I was only too glad to help you,' to send me some food. The next mornhe said; 'I should not like to see my ing, at eight o'clock, the back-door bell mother carry such a load.' The old rang; and when I opened the door, I lady's wish for me was not long in saw standing there an old servant who being realized.

had served me faithfully for seventeen On the streets one seldom encounter- years, but whom I had had to dismiss ed an old person, all having died from several months previously because of malnutrition. Some elderly people, un- my inability to feed her. Her people able to work and add to their small in- were farmers in Poland. She said that comes, suffered terribly, as food prices she had come to spend Christmas with were impossible. In the homes for old me and that she had brought with her men and women, where, under the old

some provisions, such as black bread, régime, they were well fed, many deaths flour, and a little bacon, and some sugar from starvation took place every week. and potatoes. Truly, this was an answer

One thing the Bolsheviki tried to do to prayer. In those trying times we was to feed the children. They had no learned to live by the day and to rest use for old people and even said openly on the promise, 'As thy days, so shall that they ought to die; but they had to thy strength be.' think of the rising generation, for the Many whom I knew, who were servfuture of the country. At the schools, ing under the Bolsheviki, were merely children received a free dinner, which doing so to earn a livelihood, and it was consisted of soup and a good piece of indeed hard for them to serve such masblack bread, or often some cooked ce- ters. In fact, many were at the point of real. Of course, there was no fat in the starvation when they accepted positions food and little nourishment for growing under the Soviet. As one put it, ‘To all children. Then the Bolsheviki tried to

appearances we are Red, but we are just nationalize the children, asking the like red radishes; scratch us but a little parents to give them up at a certain age, and we are white underneath.' that they might be brought up and Of course, you know that in Russia educated in colonies and trained in all the custom of giving tips (or, as it is callthe principles of Bolshevism. When I ed there, tea-money) was carried to left, in 1920, they were trying to carry great lengths. If you dined with friends, this out; but the parents objected, so I or paid a call, you were expected to tip do not know what success they met the servant who removed your overwith later. One mother said to me, coat or wrap. At Christmas and Easter “Where is the joy of motherhood if I the dvoriks, postmen, chimney-sweeps, must give up my child whenever his in- and men who polished your floors, all fancy is over?'

called upon you, to receive their teamoney. I heard a very good story rela- fuges employed to get out of Russia. A tive to this habit of tipping. After the Scotch friend of mine, who had married Revolution, everyone was supposed to a Russian and thus become a Russian be on the same level —, no distinction subject, got permission to leave with of class. The working class was de- her three little children, by going before lighted with this equality. An officer the Soviet with her husband. There who frequently visited at the house of they asked to be divorced. A few quessome friends, had been in the habit of tions were asked them, one of which giving the house-porter a liberal tip was, if the mother wished the children. each time. On his first visit after the She answered ‘Yes,' and a paper was Revolution, the porter met him with the written out, for which they paid thesmall greeting, 'Well, comrade, how are you?' sum of ten rubles, according them the and shook him by the hand. The officer, divorce, and giving back to my friend returning the handshake, answered, her British nationality, so that she was “Thank you, comrade, I am well.' At able to leave the country with her the conclusion of the visit, when the three little ones in April, 1920. The husporter opened the door for the officer, band, of course, had to remain behind; the latter held out his hand and said, but it was easier for a man to get along Good-bye. Of course, now we are com- alone, than if he had a wife and childrades, it is impossible for me to offer

ren to feed. you a tip.' The man was so taken aback In the early part of 1920, when I saw that his hand dropped to his side and different parties of British refugees finalhis jaw fell with astonishment. In this ly being permitted to leave Russia while case, he did not appreciate the equality. I was detained as a Russian subject be-.

In 1919 quite a number of British and cause of my marriage, I lost all hope of other subjects escaped without passes ever getting away. By this time my from the Bolsheviki, who had forbidden health was much impaired; my feet and anyone to leave Petrograd. Those who legs, and often my face, were badly escaped did so by the back door, as it swollen, and at times I felt so giddy was called in Russia, that is, illegal- that it was hard for me to get along. ly, through Finland. There was a secret Owing to physical weakness, I suppose, society which, for large sums of money, I became quite apathetic and did not arranged these escapes, taking the fugi- seem to care what became of me, altives across the ice. It was a hazardous though I realized that I could not live journey, and no one could undertake it through another such winter as the last, with children, as they had long distances since I had already parted with nearly to walk, and often had to crawl on their all my belongings and would have nothhands and knees, or lie flat in a bog, ing to supplement my earnings. Early while the Bolsheviki were throwing in April we were told that the Bolshesearchlights on the frontier. All fugi- viki were considering the advisability tives had to wear some covering of of allowing the British-born widows of white over their clothes, so as to be less Russian subjects to leave the country, liable to be seen on the white snow. I and a few days later a decree was met one lady in Finland who had thus published according this permission. In escaped. Her experiences had been so five days we must leave with some other terrible that her eyeballs stuck out, refugees. Permits and passes had to be from the nervous strain she had under. obtained. No books or written matter gone.

of any kind could be taken with us, and Many and strange were the subter- I even had to get the Soviet stamp put

VOL. 128 -- NO. 6

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