Prince Yuri Lubovedsky


Four or five miles from the town of Bukhara, the capital of the Bukharian khanate, the Russians had built round the station of the Transcaspian Railway the big new town called New Bukhara.

I was living in this new town when I first met Soloviev. I had gone there chiefly to visit places where I could gain a more thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of the religion of Mohammed, and to be able to meet Bukharian dervish acquaintances of various sects, among whom was my great and old friend Bogga-Eddin. He was not at that time in Bukhara and nobody knew where he had gone; but I had grounds for counting on his speedy return.

On my arrival in New Bukhara I had taken a small room in the house of a fat Jewess who sold Russian kvass. I lived in this room with my devoted friend, a large Kurd sheep­dog, Philos, who for nine years accompanied me on all my wanderings. This Philos, by the way, quickly became famous in any town or village where I happened to stay for a while, particularly among small boys, thanks to his talent for bringing me hot water for my tea from the chaikhanas and taverns to which I sent him with a kettle. He even used to go with a note from me to make purchases.

In my opinion this dog was so astonishing that I do not consider it superfluous to spend a little of my time acquainting the reader with his rare psyche. I will in any case describe a few incidents showing the associative ingenuity of his psychic manifestations.

A little before this, I had gone to the Bukharian town of P to see several dervishes of a certain sect who were then living there, and with whom Bogga-Eddin had advised me to get acquainted. The first incident took place just after these dervishes had left the town of P and I myself had decided to move to the city of Samarkand.