Chapter Four: The Killing of Rasputin
Yusupov begged Irina to go along with his coaxing. He did not fill her in about the plan to kill Rasputin. Just begged her to flirt with the man. He did not have to work to hard to get her to do what he wanted. Many women in the royal palace wanted a clandestine meeting with the man of mystery. The rumor which was true was Rasputin was a great lover and a man of enormous size where it counted. It was intriguing to the women who had bragging rights of their conquests. In fact many women used men as stepping stones to secure wealth, prestige and a place at the royal table. Switching hitters was commonplace to say the least. Irina was a rather thin woman of twenty but she had a charm and lured men with craft. She did what her brother asked and not to reluctantly.
Rasputin disliked the flirting aspect of the royal arena but tolerated it. He had bedded so many that he had no count. Loyalty to his wife was buffered by the wealth that he was starting to accumulate. He had three children and he insisted they never starved. His wife stayed at the castle given to him by the Czarinist for his handling of her son. He was getting a lot of power by his connections and his Jew baiting was winning over a lot of dukes, barons, and earls who secretly wanted the Jews gone from Russia. Rasputin wanted that too but he was more interested in acquiring their land as it was being abandoned. He had even set up a system where the ships on the northern coasts would take thousands of the Jews and bring them to America.
It was December 29 and the castle was decorated with lights and there was a certain amount of festivity in the air. Around seven o’clock Yusupov made his way over to the priest. He was always attracted to him. Rasputin swung occasionally both ways but usually that was for the purpose of advancement.
DSC01055, Yusupovs’ Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia (Photo credit: jimg944)
His long tunic hid a massive frame. He was six foot four and for a man who prayed for a living quite muscular. For peasant stock he was dense in muscles but smart in cunning. He was hung like a horse. The rumors were fourteen inches and that was close enough. His eyes were dark and seemed to have no life in them. His voice could be very soothing like he was putting a person into a trance. He was never happy with Yusupov thinking him as a fop. But the sister had intrigued him and conquest was an ego thing with him.
Yusupov came over and mentioned that at his establishment his sister awaited their attendance. Rasputin was hooked like a fish. He jumped at the chance. He joined Yusupov in his carriage for the ride over. A little chit chat and thirty minutes later they arrived.
Yusupov said his sister would be finished with her quests upstairs at about nine o’clock. In the meantime Rasputin could join him downstairs at a bar area he had set up years ago. Rasputin accepted. A little drinking and a leg of lamb or such would go down just nicely. Then at nine o’clock a little debutchery would crown off the evening. His alarm system was muted. He was not aware of anything out of the usual.
Downstairs a bar had been installed on one side of the room. A bartender had been brought down to serve them from the party that was still in swing upstairs. There were four tables with chairs around them. It seemed that smell of whiskey and vodka one associates with a bar with no window. The table towards the rear away from the stairs was empty and that is where the two men sat. Pieces of meat and cheese were brought to the table by the bartender. He had already served the three men sitting at a table at the far end. They were boisterous but stayed by themselves. Rasputin did not recognize them but assumed they were of the guard by the overcoats they were wearing. He preferred to be left alone to enjoy the food and the drinks ordered but Yusupov insisted on staying with him.
Conversation was practically non existant between the priest and the fop. Drinking and eating was more important. Rasputin had an immense appetite for both, and then throw in sex and that was a big aspect of his life. Still Rasputin had instincts but in this case they let him down. He never figured that the door leading out to the storage area had three men on the other side whose only concern was his death. There in hiding was the Baron, Izzy and
the Baron’s brother. They were armed with pistols and knifes just in case. The bartender was part of the cadre. He had set up certain glasses with the poison in them behind the bar. When he brought out the glasses he gave one to Rasputin, laced and the other to Yusupov. He amply poured the poison in hoping for a quick death. The three men at the far table were also in on the situation. One with his back to Rasputin was Pavlovich. The other two Igor and Sasha were part of the conspiracy but not to get involved unless all hell broke lose.
Within the first fifteen minutes all went well except that Rasputin who now had drunk two steins full to the brim seemed unaffected. Rasputin called for another refill. The waiter showed some nervousness. The priest caught the drift of something wrong. He moved his chair.
There was a giant piece of cheese on a plate on the table. It had a small knife in it as to allow the eaters to slice off a piece.
“I think I will have a piece of cheese.” stated Rasputin, “this knife is for children” and with that he reached under his coat and pulled out a ten inch blade with a handle of ivory. “This will due and he sliced a piece from the chunk. The waiter was pouring the vodka mixture into Rasputin’s stein and because of a shudder at seeing the knife spilled some onto the table. “Be careful you fool. Here bartender pour some into my friends glass”
The bartender hesitated just a second for the filling jug was filled with poison. How would Yusupov handle the situation. Would he take take the poison and go on with the subtrafuge? Would he give away the plan?
Rasputin took the knife and after slicing off a piece of cheese stuck the blade into the wood of the table with a powerful show of force. He liked the jump back effect it had on both the waiter and Yusupov. But there was something amiss. Something he could not put his finger on. A twinge of vulnerabiltity became aware in his brain.
Rasputin jumped up and yelled at the bartender, “Why are you so nervous?”
The man jumped back and cowered as if the priest was going to strike him.
At this moment the three Jews realizing that the priest had figured out the situation abruptly entered the room with their pistols drawn. Originally they were not going to use pistols because of the noise of the shots but now they felt they had no choice in the matter.