TRADING IN BLOOD.
New Zealand Tablet, Rōrahi XII, Putanga 10, 27 Pipiri 1884, Page 3
TRADING IN BLOOD.
It would be hard to realise anything more daring or more deliberately treasonable than the conspiracy which has come to light for the murder of Count Tolstoi, the Minister of the Interior in Russia. A statement is about to be published in one of the Nihilist journals emanating from Degaieff, the assassin of Colonel Soudaikin, in which it will be shown that Soudaikin, who was second in command of the political police in Russia, and whose death was so bitterly deplored ?, Jr m ? eror and the Empress as that of their most faithful and able official, was himself the centre of a plot within a plot for the murder of Count Tolstoi, and for the destruction of all official power in the empire but bis owb. Degaieff, the assassin, was Soudaikin's most trusted agent— the basest treachery turns up with every name. According to a Times correspondent, who is enabled to give a summary of the revelations, this trusted agent, at once spy and Nihilist, was to form a detachment of Terrorists, a sort of inner circle, absolutely secure from the police ; for no one should be allowed to know of their existence excepting Soudaikin and Degaieff. When once thi* had been accomplished Soudaikin intended to resign ou the ground that the incapacity of his superiors rendered it impossible for him to perform his duty. As an alternative plan he also proposed to organise a pretended attack on his own person, and resign on the pretext of being wounded. In either case, Soudaikin's retirement was to be followed by immediate energetic action on the part of Degaieff and his inner Terrorist circle. The first victim marked out was Count Tolstoi, and this murder was to be followed by that of the Grand Duke Vladimir, brother of the Czar, who had been appointed Resent m case Alexander 111. should die before the majority of the Heir Apparent. Such a revival of terrorism would, it was thought, have so alarmed the Csarasto render the necessity of recalling Soudaikin self-evident. Soudaikin would then, however, bs able to make his own conditions ; and this the more easily as, with Count Tolstoi's death, the most capable person in the Czar's 'surroundings would be removed and the office of Minister of the Interior rendered vacant, touch were Soudaikin's schemes and dreams. In his fancf, he saw Degaieff becoming the most popular man among the revolutionary party, who would doubtless select him as a member of their Execaiive Committee, or else be might organise a new centre of directicn. amid the terrorists. Then, these two men would form together a secret nut still the only real government, ruling alike the open and the clandestine Russia. The Czar and his Ministers held in hand by Soudaikin, the revolutionists led by Degaieff, all the elements that compose the nation would be at their disposal, and bring tnem to some splendid but undefined future. Soudaikin's assassination with one of his own daggers rudely dispelled the dream. This, however, was the man with regard to whom the Czar felt so well disposed that he had conceived the idea that the arch-intriguer was bis only saving angel ; and behind whose coffin a crown sent by the Empress was carried, bearing the touching inscription, " To one who has fulfilled his duty to the last." Histoiy and fiction allied 6Carce supply such a record of infamous plotting, closing in a scene so full of refined UonJ'-iU on J'-i c all dee P tra g edie8 > the Tolstoi conspiracy has its moral. Boudaikm traded in blood. Tbe chief function of his office was to track men to death by means not less foul, not less relentless, than the means by which his victims sought their regicidal ends. He became familiar with the work, and, knowing its efficacy, turned his weapons against bis employers. It has seldom been otherwise. When a Government employs officials to do work of a degrading character it can never be sure of its men. They areas likely to betray the Government for their own purposes as" they are to betray others in itß service. The moral is not confined to Russia.—Dublin Freeman.
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