By Olga Alexandrovna
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Extra resources for 25 Chapters of My Life
It is possible that he was right, but my mother was so furious with him for being such a egoist … both she and Father thought more about those poor people who had been injured than about themselves. Father walked around and spread some cheer as well as he could and Mother made herself useful where there was need for her. She comforted the dying by holding their hands – they were all so fond of her. My own dear Nana who had protected me so well was among the injured. She had a big purple-blue bruise on her chin and on one cheek after my head had given her a heavy blow.
As he fell down into the net, his knees hit his chin and his mouth was severely injured. It looked terrible – so terrible that I still remember the incident and I couldn’t have been more than three or four years old when it happened. The injured cadet was the future admiral and Greenland explorer George Amdrup. We children were frightfully spoilt with toys. In one of the halls in Gatchina a real slide has been set up, where we had great fun almost every evening before it was time for bed. It was high and steep so we slid down it very speedily on small bright red mats.
He was so crafty in the manner he spoke with or to us in that he also managed to make us ‘invent’ small plays and act them ourselves – and if we had been very good and especially diligent – he would act amusing pieces himself – while we watched him with open eyes and wide-open ears and his ‘audience’ would shout with joy at every single one of his many jokes. He was a proper teacher. And then, I do not really know if he was better than our English tutor, Mr. Heath. He had white, curly hair and was very fatherly in his manner.