Chapter 4


BOGACHEVSKY, OR FATHER EVLISSI, is still alive and well, and has the good fortune to be an assistant to the abbot of the chief monastery of the Essene Brotherhood, situated not far from the shores of the Dead Sea.

This brotherhood was founded, according to certain surmises, twelve hundred years before the Birth of Christ; and it is said that in this brotherhood Jesus Christ received his first initiation.

I met Bogachevsky, or Father Evlissi, for the first time when he was a very young man and when, having finished his course at the Russian Theological Seminary, he was waiting to be ordained to the priesthood and was a deacon at the military cathedral of Kars.

Soon after his arrival in Kars he consented, at the request of my first tutor, Dean Borsh, to become my teacher in place of Krestovsky, another candidate for the priesthood, who several weeks before had received a post as chaplain to a regiment somewhere in Poland. Bogachevsky had then taken his place at the cathedral.

Bogachevsky turned out to be a very sociable and kindly man; he soon won the confidence of all the cathedral clergy, even of Ponomarenko, who was also a candidate, but crude and, in the full sense of the word, a boor, and not on good terms with anyone. With Bogachevsky, however, he got along so well that they even shared the same lodgings, taking rooms together near the public gardens close to the military fire­-brigade.