need them, why then remember, comrades,
when we shall have won, they will crawl at
our feet!" Inquiries as to when the meeting
would be over are met with impatient shrugs.
There is a feeling of exaltation, of effort keyed
up and triumphant. Men look as if they have
not slept for weeks, but their eyes burn.
On the top floor in a little room the Military
Revolutionary Committee sits sleeplessly, the
center of far-flung insurrection. Couriers
come running, couriers burst out, running.
A deep, determined humming sounds from
that room. We send in to find out if the presidium is there. As we wait my friend the
anarchist explains his position
"I am a follower of Kropotkin, yes. This
is no time for a revolution.
"There are no people to run a revolution.
Why, the intelligentsia is against them! . . . .
How dirty they are! How ignorant! What
will Europe think of us?"
The door opened and a figure comes out, a
squat man with short bow-legs and a long
trunk; wide face, mouth appearing to smile,
straggly beard and young eyes and forehead;
dirty, unkempt, drunk with loss of sleep; a
plain uniform, with the insignia of an officer
student, and the red-white-and-blue cord of a
"Krylenko!" says my friend, with a smile,
and comes forward, holding out his hand and
calling him by name. Krylenko, in a few
hours to be Commander-in-Chief of all the
Russian armies, looks at him keenly.
"Don't you remember me?" asks the follower of Kropotkin. "I am Andre Pavlovitch.
We were together in Minsk prison. . ."
"Oh yes," answers Krylenko, with a pleasant smile, taking his hand.
We go down the hall toward the meeting
room. My companion is still complacently
critical. "No finesse, no sense of the dramatic," he keeps saying. "How uncultivated
we Russians are. Just savages. We shall be
laughed at in Europe."
Now the Left Socialist Revolutionaries were
come, weary but excited—Kamkov, Maria
Spiridonova, Karelin, Kalagayev in the lead.
In a moment the Bolsheviki, all crowded
around Lenine—Zinoviev, Kameniev, Tchoud-
novsky, Volodarsky; Riazonov a bitterly objecting minority of one. Then the presidium
mounted the stage—these with Alexandra
Kollontai, Martov for the Mensheviki-Inter-
nationalists, Trotzky, a scattering of Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, Abramovitch
for the Bundf Kramarov temporarily for the
Novaia Zhizn group.
Kameniev presides. He reads the order of
business, which was drawn up, as usual, by
the presidium. This night the assembly is to
take up the questions of War and Peace, the
creation of a Government, the defense of the
capital against Kerensky. But of course the
order of business is only sketchily followed.
The great debates, in which anyone may be
heard, are broken into by all sorts of speakers on extraneous matters; by soldier delegates with greetings from their regiments at
the front; by officers and intelligentsia protesting against the uprising; by wealthy peasants
who have come to curse the Bolsheviki for
arresting Minister Maliantovitch—"He too is
a Socialist." A member of the Central Executive Committee of the Railwaymen's Union
brings word that he and his men will oppose
the Bolsheviki with all their power.
Bitterly, furiously, the representatives of
the other political parties, even the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, protest .against the
arbitrary actions of the Bolsheviki. Karelin
tells how the Red Guards have seized their
printing shop and closed their paper, Znamia
Trouda. The Bund delegates again publicly
"leave this assembly of traitors."
All night long the audience roars and
stamps its applause and its anger; the hall
tosses like a stormy sea. Motions are made
to limit speeches to fifteen minutes, to half an
hour, to an hour, to three hours, and are voted
down. The delegates of the other parties
protest against the make-up of the presidium,
alleging that the overwhelming Bolshevik
"fraction" should not insist upon dictating the
whole course of the Congress, but ought to be
more generous—to allow the voice of the minority to be heard. Trotzky responds, in a
voice like polished steel, "When we Bolsheviks were a minority party last July, and
begged you for generosity, you did not listen.
Nor will we listen to you now. Your purpose