Papa takes his hand and talks Russian,
the only language they've taught him.
He won't remember any -- too young.
"Lex," Papa says. "Look at it son,
look at the statue. 'Eternal
worker on the throne,' wrote Pushkin
of he who rode that horse so tall
through his imperium. The one
who stands firm, stands long, my son."
Nicholas has not stood at all,
Papa thinks, and his skin crawls,
goosepimples in the sun,
at the thought of what is to come.
"This first great Czar was called Peter.
We will have to be hard workers,
like he was, to keep our fortune
in our new country. We must keep
making money, or be ruined.
Understand, son?" "Da, Papa, da,"
says the boy, so soft spoken. "Good.
Now, Mama is waiting on the boat.
You would like to ride in a boat, no? Good.
The walk is long. Don't let go of my hand."
And they leave the square.
Martin Alexeyevich Luther
is scared. He walks very fast,
pulling Lex, swatting at squatters
to clear a path. Petty peasants
crowd the streets of Petrograd.
Petrograd! How he hates that name.
This place was St. Petersburg,
westward window on the Baltic,
window on the West that Peter built
in part himself and to which he gave
his name, in German. It cannot save
the war effort to russify names.
Three years of fierce fighting have lamed
the Motherland, erased Teutonic
words from the map and put the lackeys
of petty peasants at the state's helm.
Now is the time to emigrate,
before revolution overwhelms
every family with a good name,
every gentleman with half a brain.
On board, Elaina is crying.
She will for the whole trip, and worse:
for her lands, and the Czar's family,
when she gets word of that tragedy.
Her husband has no such pity --
the end of the monarchy
will mean more room for him
to exploit old connections
from American sanctuary.
Who needs a czar?
He and young Lex spend the voyage
gazing dreamily at the stars.