Bogachevsky

 

 

I gave myself up again to reading books, hoping that through them I could satisfy the worm which was gnawing me.

Bogachevsky helped me very much, but unfortunately he soon went away, because two years after his arrival in Kars he was appointed chaplain of the garrison in a town of the Transcaspian region.

While he lived in Kars and was my teacher, he introduced into our relationship a certain peculiarity, namely, although he was not yet a priest, he confessed me every week. When he left he bade me, among other things, write out my confession each week and send it to him in a letter, promising that he would sometimes reply. We agreed that he would send his letters through my uncle, who would forward them to me.

A year later in the Transcaspian region, Bogachevsky gave up his duties as chaplain and became a monk. At the time it was said that the cause of his action was that his wife seemed to be having an affair with some officer, and Bogachevsky had turned her out and had not wished to remain in the town or even to hold office in the church.

Soon after Bogachevsky’s departure from Kars I went to Tiflis. At this time I received two letters from Bogachevsky through my uncle, after which I had no news of him for several years.

Once, much later, I met him quite by accident in the town of Samara as he was leaving the house of the local bishop. He was then wearing the monk’s habit of a well­-known monastery. He did not immediately recognize me, as I had by then grown up and changed a good deal, but when I told him who I was he was very glad to see me, and for several days we saw each other often, until both of us left Samara.

After this meeting I never saw him again. I heard later that he had not wished to remain in his monastery in Russia and had soon left for Turkey, then for Holy Athos, where he also did not stay long. He had then renounced his monastic life and had gone to Jerusalem. There he chanced to become friends with a vendor of rosaries who traded near the Lord’s Temple.

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