“They say he really did have a great deal to put up with from journalists. The papers were always full of sly insinuations of every kind. After a few drinks with his cronies, Rasputin was supposed to have divulged interesting details about the personal lives of people in the very highest places. Whether this was true or just newspaper sensationalism, I don’t know. But I do know that there were two levels of security around Rasputin: one set of guards whom he knew about and who protected him from attempts on his life; another set whom he was supposed not to know about and who kept track of whom he was talking to and whether or not he was saying anything he shouldn’t. Just who was responsible for this second set of guards I can’t say for certain, but I suspect it was someone who wanted to undermine Rasputin’s credibility at court.

He had keen senses, and some animal instinct told him he was surrounded. Not knowing where the enemy lay, he was on the alert, his eyes quietly darting everywhere…”