"THE MAN WITH A HEAD LIKE A SADDLE"
After drinking tea at Djam Bolon's yurta I rode back to my quarters and packed my few belongings. The Lama Turgut was already there.
"The Minister of War will travel with us," he whispered. "It is necessary."
"All right," I answered, and rode off to Olufsen to summon him. But Olufsen unexpectedly announced that he was forced to spend some few days more in Urga--a fatal decision for him, for a month later he was reported killed by Sepailoff who remained as Commandant of the city after Baron Ungern's departure. The War Minister, a stout, young Mongol, joined our caravan. When we had gone about six miles from the city, we saw an automobile coming up behind us. The Lama shrunk up inside his coat and looked at me with fear. I felt the now familiar atmosphere of danger and so opened my holster and threw over the safety catch of my revolver. Soon the motor stopped alongside our caravan. In it sat Sepailoff with a smiling face and beside him his two executioners, Chestiakoff and Jdanoff. Sepailoff greeted us very warmly and asked:
"You are changing your horses in Khazahuduk? Does the road cross that pass ahead? I don't know the way and must overtake an envoy who went there."
The Minister of War answered that we would be in Khazahuduk that evening and gave Sepailoff directions as to the road. The motor rushed away and, when it had topped the pass, he ordered one of the Mongols to gallop forward to see whether it had not stopped somewhere near the other side. The Mongol whipped his steed and sped away. We followed slowly.
"What is the matter?" I asked. "Please explain!"
The Minister told me that Djam Bolon yesterday received information that Sepailoff planned to overtake me on the way and kill me. Sepailoff suspected that I had stirred up the Baron against him. Djam Bolon reported the matter to the Baron, who organized this column for my safety. The returning Mongol reported that the motor car had gone on out of sight.