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Newspaper Page Text
THE HOUR OF GRACE
Why the Czar's Chief of De-
"During my. year of office as
the czar's chief of detectives' I
frustrated nine separate plots,"
said Casimir Boutcheff. "But
my nerves broke down and I had
to resign my post.
"Imagine nine desperate men,
each reckless of his life, each bent
upon wiping out his ruler in the
most devilish and ingenious
ways, and you can imagine some
thing of my own difficulties.
"The ninth, the anarchist Stro
goff, was. the immediate cause of
my "resigning. Nothing but the
slightest oversight, the most
providential forgetfulness of a
single natural phenomenon, frus
trated this last attempt. He was J
the man who was blown to pieces
in the king's gardens, Copen
hagen, by some mysterious and
never understood agency."
"The man who succeeded in
obtaining a postias assistant in
the King of Denmark's kitchen ?"
asked the interrogator.
"Precisely," replied Boutcheff
smiling. "As you know, the czar
was formerly very fond of visit
ing his august relative at Copen
hagen.' There he felt free from
the constant nervous tension" in
duced by the presence of those
who wished his death.
"Here he would picnic in the
royal gardens, secure in the
knowledge "that no anarchist
past the sentv'
"Yes, Sfrogoff niariaged to
pierce the circle of sentries, for
he" was one of the men detailed to
open the royal picnic hamper, and
none suspected his evil purpose.
"But even so, I was there, dis
guised as a waiter, and he could
never have penetrated to within
fifty yards of where the czar sat,
laughing and chatting among his
relatives, under the' elm tree be
neath which the feast was spread.
He relied upon a plan,which had
been carefully considered by the
inner circle of assassins that sent
".You have doubtless seen those
bottles, much used in this coun-,,
try, consisting of an inner and
outer case, with a vacuum be
tween, designed to keep! liquids
either hot or cold for a period of
hours, i Six of these were in use
among the royal party, and it was
through the agency of one of
these that the murder was to be
'accomplished, -for to substitute
the prepared bottle for any of the
others was comparatively easy.
"One of these bottles had been
filled in a laboratory at St. Peters-
burg with .liquid air, compressed
at an almost impossible tempera
ture below zero. Of course you
know that liquid air, a substance
which has only been made in la- fi
boratories during the past few t
years, will, when allowed to ex- .,
pand to the gaseous point
through the raising of the tem
perature, explode with terrific o
violence; in fact, if it were prac- n
ticable to keep it at a regulated is.