Prince Yuri Lubovedsky

According to his last letters, the prince should by then have been in Ceylon, but to my astonishment he turned out to be still in Constantinople and even at home. As I have already said, we frequently wrote, but it was two years since we had seen each other, and this meeting was therefore a happy surprise for both of us.

I put off my trip to Broussa and even had to give up my plan of going straight to the Caucasus, in view of the prince’s request that I should accompany to Russia a young woman on whose account his trip to Ceylon had also been temporarily abandoned.

That same day I went to the bath, tidied myself up and had supper with the prince. While telling me about himself he related, with great animation and very vividly, the story of the young woman whom I had agreed to take to Russia.

As from my point of view this woman subsequently became remarkable in every respect, I wish not only to repeat her story as it was recounted by Prince Lubovedsky, but also to tell something about her later life, based on my personal meetings with her and on my own observations; the more so since the original manuscript in which I had written a more complete description of the life of this remarkable woman, under the title of ‘Confessions of a Polish Woman’, has remained in Russia among my many other manuscripts, the fate of which is still entirely unknown to me.



The prince told me the following story:

‘A week ago I was leaving for Ceylon on a ship of the Volunteer Fleet. I was already on board. Among those who were seeing me off was an attache of the Russian Embassy, who in the course of conversation drew my attention to a certain passenger, a venerable­looking old man.

‘ “You see that old man,” he said. “Can anyone possibly believe that he is an important agent of the white slave traffic? Nevertheless it is so.”