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— "'A terrorist act is in preparation?'
— 'The very same, sir...'
— 'And the victim?...'
— 'A certain high official is to fall...'"
-Bely, Petersburg*

Just before they took their final places...

Just before they took their final places along Plehve's route, Savinkov recalled how the group relaxed together at the church "Pokrov na Sadovoi," which used to be in Turgenev's Square. Savinkov recalls the light atmosphere, casual conversation, and the serene expression on Sazonov's face. Upon Savinkov's cue, the actors said their farewells and left to take their positions.

"It was a bright, sunny day. As I approached the Pokrovskaya Church I saw this picture. Sitting on a bench, Sazonov was telling Sikorsky in great detail how and where to sink his bomb. Sazonov was calm and appeared not to be thinking about himself at all. ..."

"...Sikorsky (above, left) attentively listened to him. Further off, the imperturbable Borishansky sat on a bench and even further away by the church gate Kaliaev (above, right) was standing with his hat off and crossing himself before an icon."

"I went over to him:
"Yanek!"
He turned as he crossed himself.
"Is it time to go?"
I glanced at my watch. It was twenty to ten.
"Of course, it’s time to go."
From the distant bench Borishansky lazily arose. In no hurry, he walked toward Petergof Street. Sazonov and Sikorsky followed him. Sazonov smiled, shook Sikorsky’s hand and with his head held high, quickly followed Borishansky. Kaliaev still had not moved from his spot. "
"Yanek."
"Well, what?"
"Go on."
He kissed me and hurriedly with an easy, beautiful gait started to catch up to Sazonov. Sikorsky slowly followed him. I followed them with my eyes. The sun’s rays shined on Sazonov’s brass buttons. He carried his bomb in his right hand between his elbow and shoulder. It was clear that it was heavy for him."**

 

All citations from Petersburg are taken from the following edition: Andrei Bely, Petersburg: A Novel in Eight Chapters with a Prologue and an Epilogue. David McDuff, Trans. New York: Penguin Books, 1995.

All citations from Savinkov's memoir are taken from the following edition: B. Savinkov, Vospominaniia terroritsa: Pochemu ia priznal sovetskuiu vlast'? Mosvka: Moskovsky Rabochy, 1990. Translations were done by the authors of this website.

* Petersburg, 251.
** Vospominaniia terrorista, 76.