The comrades of Kerensky, and in some cases the actual betrayers, had found refuge in the Directorate of Five and the Council of Ministers, and were continuing to play the same double game which had brought ruin on the first National Assembly and disaster upon the Russian people. They were members of the same futile crowd of useless charlatans who by their pusillanimity had made their country a byword and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk possible. I was in a position to judge. I was certain that this young man was the wrong sort to allow the execution of his chief to pass without attempting punishment.
He had drifted down to Southern Russia and joined General Denikin in his first efforts against the Bolsheviks. Sent from Denikin with dispatches to Omsk, he became the centre of a group of desperadoes who were in want of a cool brain to make them formidable. The state of Omsk at this time was simply indescribable. Every night as soon as darkness set in rifle and revolver shots and shouts could be heard in all directions. The morning sanitary carts picked up from five to twenty dead officers. There were no police, no courts, no law, no anything. In desperation the officers grouped themselves together and hit back indiscriminately at the people they thought responsible for the murder of their comrades. So a fair proportion of civilian bodies became mixed up with those wearing uniforms. That the officers got home at last on the right people is proved by the fact that these nightly murders became fewer and then practically ceased altogether.
It was into this scene of blood that we were hurled, and this was the condition which had become quite normal in the capital under the rule of the five-pointed Directorate. Its members were the most unmitigated failures that even poor distracted Russia had so far produced, and the people waited, hoping and longing, for their speedy removal. I was not at all surprised when, next morning, my liaison officer, Colonel Frank, returned from the Russian Headquarters in great perturbation and with great excitement informed me that Russia was doomed never to rise out of her troubles. I asked why. He answered that during the night some villains had arrested the Social Revolutionary members of the Directorate and Government, that no one at Headquarters knew the persons who had again upset the whole government of the country, and he had no doubt that the members of the late Government were already murdered. I took the necessary precautions for the safety of my command and awaited developments. I knew that the telegraph to the east was cut and that a coup d’etat was in course of execution.
WHAT HAPPENED AT OMSK