[Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [HMK Home] SUITORS AND SUPPLIANTS


Armenian Disaster

March 4, 1919

Even before the Conference assembled, the Armenian delegates, official and otherwise, were on hand. Perhaps today I should review their activities as far as they are known to me. They hail Mr. Wilson as their liberator after twenty four centuries of slavery; and as one of them told me, the Fourteen Points, their charter of liberty, they regard as Holy Writ. "Your Wilson came from Washington," said Aharonian, chairman of the delegation, "but he was sent by God."

They have had their day before the Council of Ten (on February 26), and Lord Bryce is working for them day and night. My sympathy has been with them from the beginning, and I have been as helpful as I could be with propriety. (How silly that sounds, and yet it is the simple truth.) I do not have to read the atrocity stories which Lord Bryce has filed with us because with my own eyes during my days in Turkey I saw things that were even more bloodcurdling. I do not close my eyes to the crimes which the Armenians have since committed in the way of retaliation from time to time when the rare occasion presented against the diabolical Kurds and the Turkish irregulars the Bashi-Bazouks. Indeed, I approve of them.

One, and I sometimes think not the least, of the handicaps of this unfortunate people is that in their church allegiance they are divided. Many of them are Gregorians, some are Roman Catholics, and not a few are Protestants. There is even a group of Nestorians. The result is, absurd as it seems, the Armenians do not benefit by the zealous and undivided support of any of the great churches. How strong are these sectarian animosities was brought home to me during my stay in Jerusalem. The political and social life of the "holy" city is poisoned by it. If there had been any other halfway decent place for me to lodge, I would have left the Greek Hospice and the stern control of Brother Stephanos, who kept such a watchful eye upon me. He deplored my relations with the Abyssinians, although he knew what very definite obligations their pilgrims had placed me under. Brother Stephanos admitted that the Armenians belonged to the Christian tribes, but yet as schismatics they were beyond the pale. In the Holy City, how these Christians do not love each other!

March 5, 1919

A long talk with Nubar Pasha (the ranking delegate of the Egyptian-Armenian contingent) today. He takes me back to the cradle of his unfortunate people. He says the Armenians are closely related to the Hittites, although he admits that some of the Arab clans in Syria claim, mistakenly of course, similar descent. I refuse to follow Nubar back to the dawn of history. There should be limits as to the research of national paternity, I insist, and finally he agrees. He maintains that the pure inhabitants of the Van plain do not know what you are driving at when you call them Armenians. They call themselves Hai and trace descent to a certain great chief, who may be mythical but who for all that is very real to them, called Haik. What we call Armenia is to them Haiistan, and the word Armenia, being of Persian origin, is most distasteful. However, Nubar is not dogmatic and is inclined to be lenient with our mistakes. He insists, however, that in the days of Herodotus western Asia was better known to the civilized world than it is today, even to our most expert geographers.

Skipping many epochs and ignoring many national vicissitudes, I bring Nubar down to date, or almost, and I am rewarded by facts that will have a bearing on the settlement of the question, if one is reached. He concedes that in many districts of Anatolia in Turkey before the war the Armenians had sizeable majorities which were indeed before the massacres of 1896 overwhelming majorities but that they are now minorities. 'But," he argues, "should our people lose their homes and their lands because they have that is, so many of them lost their lives?"

I can see, too, that this, like the Silesia problem with its crusade of Germanization, is not one that can be fairly settled by the application of our American panacea of a "free and fair election." That would only be the case if the murdered and the exiled could come to the ballot boxes.

March 6, 1919

One of the reasons why we are making so little progress in carving up Turkey is undoubtedly the confusion in the plans and proposals of the Giaours, for which all good Moslems pray every day at the afternoon prayer - and, apparently, these prayers are heard. The President's original plan, or purpose, contemplated international control for Constantinople and the Straits. This is now interpreted by many as meaning that the Turks are to remain masters of Anatolia. When we look at Point Twelve for guidance, we read:

The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolute, unmolested opportunity of autonomous development.

These words do not warm the hearts of my Armenian visitors. The same assurances were given them at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, and Great Britain, France, Russia, in fact all the Great Powers, sponsored the arrangement and accepted responsibility for its fulfillment. But nothing happened, and Turkish rule continued its ruthless sway. After all, the Armenians ask, what does autonomous development mean, what does it promise? Certainly not an independent sovereign state. Autonomy on the tongue of the Turk, the Armenians say, means nothing except the prelude to another series of massacres, and they cite many instances in the history of the last fifty years to support this interpretation.

And turning to the commentary on the Fourteen Points as drawn up by Frank Cobb and Walter Lippmann during the armistice proceedings (as we are officially urged to do in seeking light), and which when cabled to the President received his approval,[20] we find more confusion than clarification as regards Point Twelve:

Anatolia should be reserved for the Turks... Armenia must be given a port on the Mediterranean and a protecting power established; France may claim it, but the Armenians would prefer Great Britain.

Of course it is impossible to carve a new Armenia out of Anatolia if that region is to be "reserved for the Turks." And the coastline on which the Commentary says the Armenians should have a port, their ardently desired "window on the western world," has been earmarked for the Italians, the French, and the Greeks, and they are all fighting briskly over their allotments provided for in the secret and conflicting treaties. It is plain that some of the slices of Turkey will have to be curtailed, and perhaps even worse is to come. At times, Lord Bryce fears that the whole idea of a free and independent Armenia, to which we are all pledged, will be dropped. I hate the whole wretched business, and from now on I shall decline to urge the Armenians to cherish hopes which I fear will never be realized.

Today (March 8) Boghos Nubar Pasha had his hour in court, and while his statement of the Armenia case was somewhat rambling, all agreed that he acquitted himself well. He first spoke in impeccable French for M. Clemenceau, and then in High Church English for the benefit of President Wilson and Mr. Balfour. Right at the beginning he pitched into the middle of things.

'It would be shameful," he announced, "to leave us under the domination of the Turks. We are as deserving of liberty and independence as are the Greeks, the Arabs, and the Zionists, although, I admit, not more so. Indeed, we have the same aspirations and pursue the same high ideals. Nothing can divide us from these noble peoples who have suffered similar hardships and vicissitudes - not even the question of Trebizond - although of course Armenia to survive must have an outlet on the Black Sea. Between people of our culture this problem can and will be adjusted. To negotiate with a noble man like M. Venizelos is a very different affair from negotiating with Abdul Hamid[21] and those who have come after him, who have only changed their names but who pursue the same diabolical objectives.

"I trust that no one here will seek to restore the Turkish Empire even on a reduced scale. It has been kept alive for generations by the unhappy rivalries of the European Powers with the result that it has generated wars and revolutions, rebellions and massacres without end. Turkey was given a chance to reform and to survive in 1914. Had she not joined the Central Powers, had she remained at least neutral in the struggle, something might be said today in her behalf; but she joined up against civilization and by her action prolonged the war for at least two years. Had she remained neutral, Bulgaria in all probability would not have entered the struggle or, in any event, could have been easily and quickly crushed. How many millions of dead is she responsible for? The flower of our generation is gone!"

"There can be no mistake about it. Civilization must not permit non-Ottoman peoples to remain under the yoke of Turkish oppression. The extinction of Turkey is essential to world peace. Otherwise it will prove an idle dream and indeed a cruel one for which thousands will have died in vain."

"We deserve independence on another score: We have fought for it. We have poured out our blood for it without stint. Our pcople have played a gallant part in the armies that have won the victory."

"I disagree with those who assume that in the hour of triumph the suffering and the blood shed by my people, our contribution to the common victory, is to be forgotten, and I shall be precise in telling you what we expect at your hands. It is an independent Armenia embracing Cilicia and the six Armenian vilayets of Turkey; and to these must be joined the Armenian provinces of Russia whose inhabitants, numbering over two million and having the advantage of forming a compact body, have already been successful in forming an independent government of their own. This reunited and independent Armenia, we think, should be placed under the collective protection of the Christian nations, or under that of the League, which is to us the hope of the world. We also ask for the particular guidance of any one of these nations to stand by us in the transition period we are entering upon. It is clear that this aid and guidance will be indispensable to us as we begin the reconstruction of our devastated country, now reduced to ashes, blackened fields, and heaps of rubble by the Turks in retaliation for our unflagging devotion to the cause of the Allies."

Nubar's statement and his appeal were much more eloquent than would appear from the scrappy notes which I here recall. He was listened to with sympathetic attention by the great men who today hold the balance of power. But there was a faraway look in their eyes and no promises were made. That indeed is the trouble. Armenia is far away, and other problems nearer at hand and hence thought more urgent are coming home to roost.

March 3, 1919

Yesterday Sir William Wiseman of the British Intelligence Service dropped in and it was evident he had something on his mind. He often acts as a messenger for Lloyd George and not seldom he comes on missions that are evidently self-imposed. During the war, when he served in New York, Wiseman had many contacts with the Colonel, who thinks that they were to his advantage. On this point we of his staff are not in complete agreement. After beating about the bush for some minutes, Wiseman came to the point.

"I wonder if you could tell me, and through me, the P.M., confidentially of course, when the President is planning to bring the Armenian question before the Council for final adjustment."

I answered I could not, and then suggested that the President, perhaps, would not intervene in the matter at all. Wiseman registered surprise and then, "Why not?"

"Of course I do nor know, but possibly he thinks he should not interfere with the British plans in this quarter."

Wiseman registered even more complete surprise and asked me to be more explicit. I then showed him a copy of the Prime Minister's speech made at the Guild Hall in 1916, which with malicious purpose I had held on my desk for some weeks. As he seemed to, shy away, I read it aloud: " 'Britain is resolved to liberate the Armenians from the Turkish yoke and to restore them to the religious and political freedom they deserve and of which they have been so long deprived.'

"It seems to have been your job, and you accepted it at least a year before we entered the war. Why should the President barge in? Après vous, messieurs les Anglais!"

Wiseman scurried away with a bee in his bonnet, perhaps even a hornet, and doubtless reported my discourtesy in exalted quarters. If bad temper ever can be justified, I think mine was on this occasion. Among the things that the deplorable treatment of the Armenians reveals is the skill of the Powers with whom we are associated in "passing the buck." Both England and France before we entered the war officially announced that they would re-establish the Armenian people in their ancient rights and within their traditional boundaries, but as the extreme difficulty of their task becomes more and more apparent, they have earmarked the ugly job for Simple Simon, that is, for Uncle Sam.

As a matter of fact, the Armenian problem is a hard nut to crack and the anxiety expressed by their delegates here, and by Lord Bryce, their sponsor, is fully justified. The survivors of the massacres that have raged almost without interruption for four decades are hemmed in by enemies and the few localities that they still defend are difficult of access. Should a rescuing force be sent for their protection, the losses would be heavy, and it is quite apparent that none of the Powers who promised protection and rehabilitation for these unfortunate people have stomach for any further expense or casualties.

Indeed, we are hearing with increasing frequency of another and, what seems to me, a most faint-hearted solution of the problem. It is to transfer the remnant of this unfortunate nation to the once Turkish province of Cilicia. These regions border on the eastern Mediterranean and the naval powers that rule the midland sea could extend protection. The Armenians do nor wish to move. They prefer the mountains and the caves of their ancient territory which, as their delegates explain, they have defended against all comers for twenty-four hundred years.

There is another and, I fear, a more potent reason why this plan will not prosper. It is increasingly apparent that both France and Italy have other plans for Cilicia. They do not harmonize with the new doctrine of self-determination and the rights of people to control their destiny. These plans clearly reveal a relapse into the practices of imperialism that brought about the present world disaster. And Cilicia? Well, we can find it on the map, but further than that even the most voluble of the ethnic experts maintain a discreet silence. I have a vague idea it is the country which Cicero, as pro-consul, looted so that he might have the means to build his villas and his fish ponds and where he received those charming gossipy letters with which his good friend Atticus enlivened his months of exile from Rome.

March 70, 1919

The Colonel is willing - indeed more than willing, he is eager - to accept our share of responsibility for the Armenian settlement, but he is not willing to go into it with our eyes shut. He has noted the increasing reluctance of our people to shoulder European responsibilities, and he is particularly averse to going into an Asiatic adventure which may lead us we know not whither. The problem has been with us for years, long before the outbreak of the war, but whenever it reaches the agenda it is sidetracked and placed in cold storage, where I fear it is likely to remain for a long time, if not forever.

March 9, 1919

While the President was in America and House was taking his place at the meetings of the Supreme Council on March 7, Lloyd George and Clemenceau formally raised the question of the future of Armenia and the disposition of the Rhinelands. House made immediately a report by cable to the President in Washington. He said: "In discussing the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire both George and Clemenceau expressed the wish that we accept mandates for Armenia and for Constantinople."

In his cabled reply, the President instructed House as follows: "I hope you will not even provisionally consent to the separation of the Rhenish Provinces from Germany under any arrangement but will reserve the whole matter until my arrival."

There was not a word about Armenia, which seemed ominous to me. It was clear that House could do nothing until the President returned or until explicit instructions came. It was equally clear, however, that, rightly or wrongly, both the French and the British expect the initiative in the Armenian settlement to be taken by him. Of course, the President went very far in this matter in the Fourteen Points, so far that I do not see how he can draw back, but at the same time it would be manifestly unfair to saddle America with the exclusive responsibility.

March 18, 1919

The President has ordered a report on Armenia - another! And I am it! He asks that Lord Bryce be consulted (that indeed will be easy, as this interesting old Scot practically "parks" in our office). But, says the President, the data which he (His Lordship) submits must be carefully "tested." My main difficulty with His Lordship is to keep him from dragging in Bulgaria - as he admits, the peasant state is a hobby of his - and then of bringing him up to date. He loves to linger on the days when the Mongols lorded it over ancient Armenia and he is fascinated by the problem which he says divides historians. Was Armenia a tributary to Parthia, or merely a client state?

When we get past this we are confronted with the difficulty of describing the geographic situation of Armenia today; and even as it was in the yesterday of the last century is not easy. How can we lay down these metes and bounds which Lord Bryce believes are about to be restored when there are discrepancies of hundreds of thousands of square miles between what might be called the actual frontiers and the traditional boundaries of this ancient people? However, Lord Bryce tells me, and incidentally he tells House, that the President and Lloyd George are in complete agreement that the state they are pledged to re-establish shall, in some way they do nor more narrowly describe, extend from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. How in these circumstances Anatolia is to be "secured and safeguarded" to the Turks, I have no idea and what is more important neither have they.

The Armenians have been "let down" so frequently by the Christian powers that it is amazing to me that they should have any confidence in our promises. Nevertheless they do. The explanation would seem to be found in the words of one ribald observer, "They would rather be crucified than circumcised."

Lord Bryce is strongly in favor of drawing the veil of charity over this story of continued bad faith, but I stand by my guns and insist that an intelligent solution is only possible if we face the facts honestly and squarely. By the treaty of San Stefano [March, 1878], which after their costly campaign the victorious Russians imposed upon the defeated Turks, an end of their long servitude was promised the Armenians. They were assured religious freedom, political autonomy, protection against the murderous Kurds, and all manner of reforms. And this was the only clause of the San Stefano treaty which survived the Congress of Berlin [June - July, 1878] that wiped out practically all the other achievements of the Russian victory and threw the Balkans and the Middle East back into anarchy. It may be recalled, although with blushes, that it was from this Congress that Disraeli returned to London with the announcement, "I have brought you peace with honor."[22] Ar any event, he brought Cyprus to the British Empire, doubtless as his brokerage fee.

By 1880 it was apparent that the clause in the treaty that safeguards the Armenians was a dead letter and that the six powers who signed the agreement and had accepted responsibility for its observance should do something; and indeed they did protest to Stamboul, but feebly. The Sublime Porte merely laughed its Jovelike laughter.

"Alexander II, the [Russian] emancipator of his serfs and the liberator of the Balkan peoples, was dead - murdered," explained Bryce. "He seems to have been the only steadfast friend of our unfortunate people. And his successor? He had troubles of his own at home and did nothing about it. Nobody did anything about it. Our job is to find another Alexander II," said Bryce.

"Do you see one on the horizon?"

"We have Lloyd George," and he smiled sadly. "And you have Wilson."

"But now that the war is over and a sort of peace is being arranged, our President is no longer an autocrat. The checks and balances of our system are coming to life again," I commented. "Wilson is no longer omnipotent."

Our memorandum went to the President through House. What became of it? I have no idea.

May 2, 1919

Colonel House told me that the President had decided to send a fact-finding mission to Armenia and he will ask General Pershing to designate a competent officer to head it. He will publish the report and then await popular reaction at home on its findings. Poor Nubar! Poor Aharonian! Unfortunate Armenians! Our promises are out the window, and the reconstituted Armenian state has not a Chinaman's chance.

[In April, 1920, the Supreme Council of the Allies, seated still in Paris (the qualifying epithet "War" had been dropped), returned to the charge and formally requested that the United States assume the mandate over Armenia. No attempt was made to describe the geographical limits of what had become a phantom state or the exact whereabouts of these unfortunate people, and Congress took no action in the matter.]

Washington, January, 1922

Thanks to information received from the Honorable Carter Glass, Secretary of the Treasury under the War President, I am able to say that, unlike many who sponsored Armenia at the Peace Conference, Mr. Wilson, at least, stood by his guns. It was our misfortune and not his fault that later these guns did not carry the heavy metal they fired in 1918, when the Fourteen Points promised to a distracted world a new freedom.

An hour or two before leaving for the San Francisco Democratic National Convention (1920) Mr. Glass, who was also mentioned as a candidate for the Democratic nomination, an honor which he sought to avoid, called at the White House to ascertain the President's wishes and hopes as to the party's standard-bearer. Right out of the box the President said: "The nomination of Cox would be a joke." "To which I fervently assented," comments Glass.

As Glass was leaving, the President said, handing him a slip of paper, "I wish you would get this into the platform." On the train, the senator from Virginia told me, "I read the paper and found it to be a declaration for an Armenian mandate to be assumed by the United States." Written by the President himself on his typewriter and initialed, "'W. W.," the suggested plank read:

"We hold it to be the Christian duty and privilege of our Government to assume the responsible guardianship of Armenia, which now needs only the advice and assurance of a powerful friend to establish her complete independence and to give her distracted people the opportunities for peaceful happiness which they have vainly sought for through so many dark years of suffering and hideous distress."

This was hardly a clarion note, but when it came back from the drafting committee, largely through the opposition of Senator Walsh of Montana, it sounded like the squeak of a penny whistle. As placed in the platform, the President's resolution reads:

"We express our deep and earnest sympathy for the unfortunate people of Armenia, and we believe that our Government, consistent with its Constitution and principles, should render every possible and proper aid to them in their efforts to establish and maintain a government of their own."

After a bitter struggle in the committee Glass secured the approval of the Treaty and the Covenant that is written in the party platform; but, as he admits, the opposition to the President's original Armenia policy was overwhelming.

January, 1924

Here is the sequel to this episode which, though tempted, I cannot suppress. General Harbord and his associates made a very intelligent report upon the Armenian problem, but there was no perceptible reaction to it in America or anywhere else. A vague, face-saving clause was inserted in the Versailles Treaty, but it never became operative. It read: "An area to be delimited by the President of the United States is to be given to the Armenians," doubtless for the purpose of "constituting their free State."

The Treaty of Sèvres [1920], with a similar provision, was signed by the then puppet Sultan of the Turks, but Mustapha Kemal rebelled, the Sultan was forced into exile, and the treaty was never ratified. America washed, or tried to wash, her hands of the whole miserable business.

After their crushing defeat by the Turks at Marash early in 1920, the French contented themselves with merely holding on to Syria, which, however, proved to be quite a handful. Kemal, with his reorganized army, was soon in complete control of the situation as a direct result of secret alliances which flowed from the conference which was to put an end to all of them. The Turks attacked the Armenians from the west while the Soviets attacked from the east. Capturing Erivan, the Russians set up a government of Armenian Bolsheviki, and although Lenin had proclaimed the independence of the Armenian lands, Moscow came to terms with the new war lord by ceding to Turkey all the territory that had belonged to her in 1914, plus the district of Kars, which had been annexed by Russia in 1878. The Turks enlarged their frontiers on the east and Lloyd George's and President Wilson's Armenia vanished into thin air.

The Treaty of Lausanne, signed in July, 1923, consecrated the Turkish triumph, and the general cancellation of the peace treaties got under way. Lloyd George called this document "an abject, cowardly, and infamous surrender," and while he himself was not without guilt, the little Welshman was quite right. It may be a redeeming feature of the situation to admit that but few of the Armenians were returned to Turkish slavery. For the most part they had died in battle, or more miserably in concentration camps and in enforced exile. Few indeed survived to realize how mistaken they had been to believe that the civilized world and the churches of Christ would not abandon them to destruction at the hands of their traditional oppressors.

All that remains of the Armenia that the British government promised in 1916 to establish and of which Mr. Wilson dreamed in 1918 - the Armenian State extending from Batoum to Baku, from the Black Sea to the Caspian is a small district around Erivan, and even that today is in the hands of a gang of Armenian Communists subsidized and under the control of Lenin. The high hopes with which the Armenians threw themselves into the war and with which they came to the Conference resulted in disaster, indeed in one of the outstanding failures of the Conference. There are some who take comfort in the thought that another little war was avoided by the complete abandonment of the fragment of the Armenian people who still survived. This is perhaps true, but what a price has been paid! In the future, who will place any reliance on the given word of the civilized nations or in their solemn covenant to save the weak from the criminal aggressor?

* * * *

March - undated, 1919

As a relief to the tragic history of his unfortunate people, Nubar told me last evening a story which ranks with that of Queen Marie Antoinette's necklace and its disappearance, our of which so many mystery yarns have been spun. However, from this incident far-reaching political repercussions are not likely to flow, thanks to the prestige of his powerful father, the great Nubar.

When but a boy, in 1869, the young Nubar participated in all the fêtes with which the Suez Canal was opened and the so-called marriage of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea was celebrated. The announced purpose of the great work was "to spread civilization, expand commerce, and end wars," and consequently all the great ones of the earth were invited to be present. Among those who came in an official capacity were the Earl of Dudley and his wife, whose stately beauty was still remembered when a generation later I lived in London. They came as the favored guests of Khedive Ismail, the great spendthrift and connoisseur of female beauty.

As always when she traveled abroad, Lady Dudley left her famous pearl necklace in the vault of her London bank, only bringing with her reproductions of this and other famous jewels. While away on an excursion to the Fayoum, the necklace disappeared, and before the return of her ladyship the frantic maid called in the police, who immediately ransacked Cairo in search of the precious ornaments and the thief. Also Lady Dudley found awaiting her the secretary of Ismail, who assured her that if not recovered the Khedive would replace the necklace and send it to her with his compliments and his apologies. This placed the Dudleys in a quandary. It was, of course, impossible to admit to Ismail that they had come to his resplendent court and attended a function that would become historic, like the meeting on the Cloth of Gold, with false jewels. No, that could never be. Finally they hit upon a plan. They would on their return to London rediscover the real jewels, advise the Khedive of their find, and beg his pardon for all the trouble that had been caused by the flighty maid, who had failed to bring the necklace to Egypt in the first place.

In the meantime the Khedive, greatly mortified and chagrined at what apparently had happened, sent his secretary to Paris with the commission to duplicate the jewels, whatever the cost.

"Ismail was unfortunate in the choice of his secretary," continued Nubar, "as in many other respects. This fellow was a Turk and not a reliable Armenian or even a Greek as he should have been. This scoundrel came to terms with a famous jeweler who had seen and was perfectly familiar with the Dudley necklace and agreed in a little time to reproduce it for forty thousand pounds. 'Let us say fifty, whispered the secretary, 'and it is a bargain.

"While the pearls were being assembled, the secretary got in touch with a Palais Royal merchant, expert in such matters, and had a duplicate made which in due season he sent to the Dudleys in London with the compliments of the Khedive. For some days the Dudleys could neither sleep nor eat. What was to be done? What could they do? In a few days, however, they were delivered from their dilemma. They had the necklace "veted" by their jeweler, who reported that it was a reproduction and not a very good one at that. So Lady Dudley sat down and sent a charming perfumed note to Ismail, assuring him of her eternal gratitude. How magnificently wonderful he had been! There the matter ended as far as she was concerned. The faked necklace had been replaced by a reproduction that was nearly, if not quite, as satisfactory.

"The real necklace, which cost Ismail fifty thousand pounds, was deposited in an Amsterdam bank and the wily secretary returned to Cairo with ten thousand pounds pocket money. Poor Ismail showed him the grateful letter he had received from Lady Dudley and congratulated him upon the skillful way in which he had accomplished his delicate mission. In a few days the secretary pretended to fall ill and had himself ordered to a German spa. But he never went there. Instead he turned up in Amsterdam, reclaimed the necklace, sold some of the pearls, and pocketed the rest."

"And then?" I inquired.

"Then he demonstrated once again that patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel," said Nubar. "He had heard that some of his cousins, the Turki of Turkestan, had risen against the Russians. He joined them and was killed in the first battle. The jewels, found in his pocket, were turned over to General Skobeleff who commanded the Russians, and he, when he returned to Moscow, gave them to a song bird in one of the cafés who enjoyed his favor."

"And where do you think they are now?"

"I do not know, but I have an idea. Probably the Queen of the Bolsheviki is wearing them, or, like the thirty pieces of silver which Judas garnered by his treachery, they have just naturally gravitated toward the Soviet treasury."

I should perhaps add that Nubar's opinion of the Lenin crusade is absolutely unprintable.

 [Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [HMK Home] SUITORS AND SUPPLIANTS