Prince Yuri Lubovedsky

After this, Soloviev went to Moscow and to St. Petersburg, again took to drink, and finally arrived, drunk, in Warsaw. It was about a year after he had been given leave from military service. In Warsaw he was stopped on the street by a man who turned out to be the prisoner he had known in the Samarkand hospital. It seemed he had been acquitted by the court and had come to Warsaw chiefly for paper and for a note-printing machine which he was expecting from Germany. He invited Soloviev to enter into partnership with him and help him in his ‘work’ in Bukhara.

Soloviev was tempted by this criminal but easy profit. He went to Bukhara to wait for his companion, but the Polish counterfeiter was delayed in Warsaw waiting for his machine. Soloviev continued to drink and, having squandered what was left of his money, got some job with the railway, where he had been working for three months before I met him—drinking incessantly all the while.

Soloviev’s frank story touched me deeply. At that time I already knew a great deal about hypnotism and, after bringing a man into a certain state, could influence him by suggestion to forget any undesirable habit. I therefore proposed to Soloviev that I should help him, if he really wished to get rid of this pernicious habit of drinking vodka, and explained to him how I would do it. He agreed, and the next day and each day thereafter I brought him into the hypnotic state and made the necessary suggestions. He gradually came to feel such an aversion to vodka that he could not even bear to look at this ‘poison’, as he called it.

By this time Soloviev, having given up his railway work, had moved over to stay with me. He began to help me make the flowers, and sometimes took them to the market to sell.

When he had thus become my assistant and we had grown accustomed to living together like two good brothers, my friend, the dervish Bogga-Eddin, of whom I had had no news for two or three months, finally returned to Old Bukhara. Learning that I was in New Bukhara, he came to see me the next day.