The four of us, Pogossian, Yelov, Karpenko and I, were at that time having many discussions about a proposal made to us a short time before by Prince Yuri Lubovedsky, to join him and his friends in a big expedition on foot, starting from the frontier town of Nakhichevan and crossing Persia to the Persian Gulf.
These discussions of ours, and all the perspectives opened up by this kind of travel, interested Ekim Bey so much that he asked us to put in a word with the prince for him to be allowed to join this expedition, and he began to think out how to obtain his father’s permission and a year’s leave of absence from his superiors.
The upshot of it all was that, after making the necessary arrangements, partly by telegram, and partly in person on his return home to prepare for this long journey, he began his first big expedition in our company on the day we set out from Nakhichevan, the first of January of the following year.
We started at midnight from Nakhichevan and by morning were already exposed to a demonstration of the ‘wisdom’ of those biped inhabitants of our dear planet who are called frontier guards, and who are everywhere equally highly developed in the art of expressing their perspicacity and omniscience.
There were twenty-three of us, including all those friends and comrades of mine to whom I have decided to devote separate chapters in this series of my writings.
Three of them, Pogossian, Yelov, and Prince Lubovedsky, I have already written about; with Dr. Ekim Bey I will acquaint the reader in this chapter; and to the two others, Karpenko the engineer, and the archaeology professor Skridlov, I will devote the subsequent chapters of this book.
Our journey to the town of Tabriz, which we reached ten days later, passed without any special incident. But not long after leaving Tabriz an event occurred which I will describe in as much detail as possible, not merely because Ekim Bey took an active part and manifested a deep interest in it, but also because it turned my own outlook on life completely upside down.