Poems & Short Stories: 4,271
Forum Members: 70,634
Forum Posts: 1,033,546
And over 2 million unique readers monthly!
THE minister was receiving petitioners at the usual hour appointed for
the reception. He had talked successively to three of them, and now a
pretty young woman with black eyes, who was holding a petition in her
left hand, approached. The minister's eyes gleamed when he saw how
attractive the petitioner was, but recollecting his high position he put
on a serious face.
"What do you want?" he asked, coming down to where she stood. Without
answering his question the young woman quickly drew a revolver from
under her cloak and aiming it at the minister's chest fired--but missed
The minister rushed at her, trying to seize her hand, but she escaped,
and taking a step back, fired a second time. The minister ran out of the
room. The woman was immediately seized. She was trembling violently, and
could not utter a single word; after a while she suddenly burst into a
hysterical laugh. The minister was not even wounded.
That woman was Katia Turchaninova. She was put into the prison of
preliminary detention. The minister received congratulations and
marks of sympathy from the highest quarters, and even from the emperor
himself, who appointed a commission to investigate the plot that had led
to the attempted assassination. As a matter of fact there was no plot
whatever, but the police officials and the detectives set to work
with the utmost zeal to discover all the threads of the non-existing
conspiracy. They did everything to deserve the fees they were paid;
they got up in the small hours of the morning, searched one house after
another, took copies of papers and of books they found, read diaries,
personal letters, made extracts from them on the very best notepaper and
in beautiful handwriting, interrogated Katia Turchaninova ever so
many times, and confronted her with all those whom they suspected of
conspiracy, in order to extort from her the names of her accomplices.
The minister, a good-natured man at heart, was sincerely sorry for the
pretty girl. But he said to himself that he was bound to consider his
high state duties imposed upon him, even though they did not imply much
work and trouble. So, when his former colleague, a chamberlain and a
friend of the Turins, met him at a court ball and tried to rouse his
pity for Turin and the girl Turchaninova, he shrugged his shoulders,
stretching the red ribbon on his white waistcoat, and said: "Je ne
demanderais pas mieux que de relacher cette pauvre fillette, mais vous
savez le devoir." And in the meantime Katia Turchaninova was kept
in prison. She was at times in a quiet mood, communicated with her
fellow-prisoners by knocking on the walls, and read the books that were
sent to her. But then came days when she had fits of desperate fury,
knocking with her fists against the wall, screaming and laughing like a
|Art of Worldly Wisdom Daily|
In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.
Shakespeare wrote over 150 sonnets! Join our Sonnet-A-Day Newsletter and read them all, one at a time.