Under the Big Dipper

earlier cable says, in substance, in code of course, that within the last ten days a revolt had occurred in the capital. Rumors of the heir’s disappearance had emboldened the disaffected factions of the kingdom, who struck—and struck fearfully! The king had always lived simply—and trusted his people and his army. The few palace guards were easily overpowered; the king was taken prisoner and with him his consort. The ministers of state were forced to resign, a de facto republican government was proclaimed, and Demeter Sturdza, the leader of the Radicals, an old schemer and a villain masquerading as a patriot, has been appointed acting President. Everything is in chaos. The later cable is still more distressing. A trusty friend of mine, the late minister of Finance, sends it to me from Constantinople, to which place he has flown. He is one of the few of the old administration who escaped.”

The Count opened the portfolio nervously, took

← Page-99 p.100 Page-101 →