Orpheus no Mado Encyclopaedia – Synopses

Chapter 11 – Into the storm

This chapter starts the third part of Orpheus no Mado, set in Russia.
The first half of this chapter is devoted finally to describe Klaus' past.
We get back to 1893: Alekseij (Klaus' true name, which is generally used in the third part), 7 years in May, is taken to his grandmother's house after the death of his mother, Maria Uroskaja, the mistress of Marquis Mihailovic (we don't know anything about him).
At his grandmother's house Alekseij meets his half–brother Dimitrij (legitimate child of Marquis Mihailovic and his wife – they're both dead by now).
Alekseij is torn between his two relatives. His grandmother, Vassilissa Mihailovna, is a severe and rigid old woman, not used to show tender feelings toward her grandson; at the very deep of her heart she loves Alekseij desperately, but she is unable to express it. Alekseij mistakes her behaviour for hostility and he is prone to break the rules and to get into troubles. He is a lazy schoolboy and is rude with his little friends, Antonia and Anastasia Krijkofskaja.
On the other hand he adores his brother, and Dimitrij tells him the story of the Decembrist revolt, arousing in him the desire to become a revolutionary. Years passes between lessons with Professor von Egenolf and mischieves with Antonia and Anastasia Krijkofskaja.
When Alekseij is 14, Dimitrij comes back from the Musical Academy of Moscow, apparently to frequent the high society at the court. In reality, he's preparing the liberation of some political prisoners condemned to Siberia with his group of revolutionaries; one of the leading figures of the group is Arlaune, the daughter of Professor von Egenolf.
Alekseij falls in love with Arlaune and he would like to declare himself to her, but to his astonishment he discovers that she is Dimitrij's fiancée. Another person, much more dangerously, falls in love with Arlaune: Yuri Preshkov, the weak point in the group.
Rejected by Arlaune, Yuri sneaks on Dimitrij's revolutionary activities to Alexander Strahoff, a violinist hostile to Dimitrij (Dimitrij had stolen him a place as first violin with the orcherstra of S. Petersburg). As a consequence of Preshkov's traison, Dimitrij is arrested and sentenced to be shot. Immediately after the arrest, Arlaune flees to Germany with Alekseij.
The old grandmother curses Alekseij's and Dimitrij's names. Dimitrij dies under the gunshots. It is 1900.
The second half of chapter 11 is set five years later, in 1905.
Julius arrives in S. Petersburg in search of Klaus (see chapter 7). She catches a glimpse of him in the crowd, during a little revolt, but before she could reach him she is hit by a stray bullet.
When she awakes, she finds herself in the luxurious palace of the Yusupov family, assisted by Vera Yusupov. Leonid Yusupov, her brother, suspects Julius to be a German spy, and his suspicions raises when she asks him of Alekseij Mihailovic. Both Dimitrij's and Alekseij's name were banned by order of the tsar and now Alekseij is wanted n. 1.
The fact that Julius is searching Alekseij means that he's in Russia not only for general Yusupov, but also for Anastasia Krijkofskaja, who is now bound to marry Alexander Strahoff, Dimitrij's spy, now become earl Strahoff and director of S. Petersburg orchestra.
Vera Yusupov makes Julius and Anastasia to meet: threatening her with a knife Julius takes Anaskasia as a hostage and escape from Yusupov palace.
This chapter introduces two main changes in the narration.
The first change is the increasingly importance of historical explanations about Russian revolution.
On May 5th, 1905 Russia is heavily defeated in a naval battle and loses the war agains Japan; in the country strikes and revolts follow one another, the working class being extremely weakened by the conflict. The war has exploited Russian resources to the last drop. On June 14th, 1905 the Potëmkin battleship does mutiny; in Yusupov's opinion, this episode showed to the people the possibility of joining forces with the army to break out the revolution.
The second main change is that, after being cured by Vera, everyone knows that Julius is a woman and then she will not have to pretend being a man anymore.

Characters appearing in chapter 11:

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