Episode 32: “RASPUTIN’S REAL FACE”

One day, the trusted men of Papus (or Gérard Encausse in case his wife does not hear us) were called to an urgent meeting at the headquarters of the Rosicrucian Order on the Rue des Chartres. When I arrived I found a painter standing on a staircase, replacing the sign above the door’s lintel. Apparently, the Order had recently changed its name. It was no longer called “The Rosicrucian Order of the Temple” but “The Templar Order of the Rosicrucian.” The painter was saying nasty things about the board of directors concerning its compulsive tendency to change the name of the Order. I left the irate man and entered the ancient stone building. There I met the Marquis de Guaita and Josephin Péladan (who, by means of a sprinkling can, was watering the “clod”on his head). After a while, Papus burst into the room in a state of great stress, as we deduced from his attitude of beating his head against the walls. When, as a result of the blows, he collapsed in a faint, we were finally able to clarify what was happening.  The key to the enigma was provided by a letter he was holding in his hand. Addressed to “Monsieur Papus”, it came signed by Rasputin who scoffed at Papus’ naivety for temporarily lending him “the book fallen from the sky” to shim a wobbling table. When Papus came to his senses, he confirmed the disastrous news: Rasputin had fled with the mysterious book. By now, he should be on his way to Russia. Péladan tried to reassure him by saying that Russia was very far away and, if we hurried, it might still be early enough to intercept him. Immediately we got going. We rushed out and asked the first one who was passing by: “¿Do you know which way Russia is?” But it just so happened that our informant knew the way like the back of his hand. Every single inch! As if he made the way to Russia daily. And since he insisted on giving us such precise indications (At the end of this street turn right, then go straight until you find a square, turn around the square and then turn left, take the street on the right and walk around two hundred meters, then …), Papus was forced to interrupt him by knocking him down with a loud slap. Then we ran through the intricate streets that surround the Rue des Chartres until we ended up again in front of the headquarters of the Order. We tried other itineraries, but we always ended up in the same place. Wisely, Stanislas de Guaita said that, unless someone pursues you with a mallet,“haste makes waste”and that the only way to get out of that maze was to stop running and walk calmly. So we did, and shortly after we returned to the starting point.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

Rasputin



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