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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Schism, parts 3582 - 3585

 3582. The Tsar appreciated this skill of his General, and so made him a minister. He was a minister without portfolio, meaning that he had the position but not a specialty to which it pertained. After the Tsar was made a minister, a year went by before the Tsar gave him his assignments.

 3583. Kutuzov made a visit to the Winter Palace in the late afternoon one day, at the express summons of the Emperor. Katusov found the Tsar in a large room called the “Playroom,” in the palace. It was called the playroom because it was full of assorted toys, large and small, used to entertain the Tsar’s son the Tsarevich, and his occasional playmates.

 3584. The Tsar was at the far end of the room standing a huge table. From the table emanated from time to time, a rumbling sound that the Tsar seemed to be controlling by turning a knob on a black box. The Tsar was playing with a huge model train set which had been installed in the playroom along with some new electric lights.

 3585. Katuzov stood humbly off to the side waiting for the Tsar to acknowledge his presence. A servant had announced his arrival, but the Tsar was so absorbed with playing with the train that several minutes went by. The Emperor turned the switch on and off and the train moved a few feet and stopped. He was trying to get the train to stop exactly at the little model station.

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