Maize / Twilight

Twilight_MaizeFrom Redd’s journal, February 1913: “Bitter cold in Saint Petersburg. Having not seen Nicholas since our encounter in Japan nearly a decade ago, I have to admit approaching our meeting with some trepidation. He greeted me on the steps of the palace and shook my hand warmly, but there was something to his posture—such a formality in his expression, and yet so nervous—that unsettled me then, and still nags at my conscience. Trying to dispel some of the dread in the air, I ventured some light mockery over Romanov’s acquired title. “Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, now? Impressive—I had no idea there was more than one.” Nicholas humored my joke with a laugh.

Having no more to say, we entered the palace, which glowed with ghostly hues of yellow-gold, lit from within by flickering candlelight, and from without by the gleaming face of the full moon, hanging ominously in the twilit night.”