I liked our room. We had all our things, and although we shared, you can see there were screens for privacy.
Now, Father Grigory was never in our room, although people have said some awful things about him. He is a holy man, a starets. He's not a priest, but he is very wise, and Mama says she can see God in his eyes. God is very important to Mama, even though she was brought up a Lutheran. She converted before she married Papa, and no one is more devout than she is.
I love God too, but I don't much like going to church. It's so long! I make up games and try to make Marie laugh. I get in trouble with Trina, our governess. Dear Trina, she is so patient with me.
But Father Grigory: here's what happened when Alexei was very sick, at our Polish estate in Spala. The doctors thought for sure he would die. His pain was horrible to see. He was all curled up in a ball of agony. We sat with him and prayed over him. The doctors tried this and that and nothing worked. Then Mama sent for Grigory Rasputin. He did not come because he was thousands of miles away, in his home in Siberia, but he sent the message that Mama should not let the doctors trouble Alexei, and he would get well.
She sent all the doctors away, and Alexei did get well. He has not been so bad since. So Mama thinks him a saint. I don't know what I think, except that he smells, and he has eyes that can be frightening. Here is a picture of Grigory. I didn't take it. I was afraid he'd break my camera!
You see what I mean about his eyes? They're a piercing blue, like the sky over the steppes.