Prince Yuri Lubovedsky

When he arrived at his post and had done several weeks of compulsory service as a private soldier in the second company, he was assigned to what was called the Kushka Line, but soon afterwards he fell ill with jaundice and was sent to the hospital at Merv, where his company was stationed. When he recovered he was sent to the battalion headquarters at Samarkand, and then to the military hospital there, to be examined for his fitness for further military service.

In the main building of the hospital, in which Soloviev was placed, there was also a ward for prisoners. Walking along the corridor, and occasionally talking with the prisoners through a little window, he made the acquaintance of one of them, a Pole, who had been accused of counterfeiting.

When Soloviev was given leave from service on account of poor health and discharged from the hospital, this prisoner asked him to take a letter to a friend of his who lived near the station in Samarkand. As thanks for delivering the letter, he stealthily handed him a phial of blue liquid, explaining that this liquid could be used to counterfeit the green three-rouble notes—but not any other kind—and that this was done in the following way:

Special paper, moistened with this liquid, was applied to both sides of the note and then everything was pressed together in a book. The negatives obtained in this way from both sides of the note gave three or four good copies.

In Central Asia, where people were not well acquainted with Russian money, these notes were very easy to pass. Soloviev, who first tried this process out of curiosity, found himself in need of money just before his departure for home and with no particular risk passed a small quantity of his counterfeits.

At home he was warmly welcomed, and his father urged him to stay and help him as the younger brother was doing. Soloviev consented and was given the direction of one of the mills somewhere outside Samara. But after working there several months he began to get bored and, longing for his vagabond life, went to his father and told him frankly that he could not go on any longer. His father let him go and even gave him a good deal of money.