For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.
Aksinya was found not guilty and released to the custody of Father Dobrushin. They say goodbye to Natalya and make their way out of the courtroom...
Natalya hugged Aksinya, “I have to go, Princess, Herr von Taaffe is waiting for me.”
Aksinya took her hand, “I pray this is not the last time I shall see you.”
“If it is the last or not, I will never forget you, Princess. Go with all the blessings of the earth.” She moved quickly to where Ernst von Taaffe stood at the side of the room. He made a slight bow toward Aksinya, but he didn’t smile.
“And all the blessings of the heavens,” Father Dobrushin continued for her. “Come, Princess, the day is not over and we have work that must be finished before tomorrow.” He placed his long coat over her shoulders and started for the door.
Aksinya rushed to catch up to him, “What must we do before tomorrow?”
“We will speak about it at dinner. First, we must negotiate the reporters. They will take your picture.”
“I look terrible.”
“You won’t look any better if you don’t smile. I suggest that you hold your shoulders very straight, act like the princess you are, and smile at every opportunity.”
“Yes…yes, I shall.”
“Then come on.”
Aksinya took his arm. Before they left the Rathaus, Sergeant Nagel brought Aksinya’s blankets and the Greek Bible to them. Father Dobrushin put them under his arm and carried them for Aksinya.
The trial is at an end, and we think Aksinya has won. Perhaps in some measure she has. Could the demon have ever thought that Aksinya could be found not guilty and be released. She herself seems to realize just how important her freedom is.
Natalya leaves her as both a friend and, to a degree, an equal. Ernst is waiting for her, and though Ernst can't find it in himself to smile at Aksinya, he does honor her. Natalya sends Aksinya away with a great blessing. It is a blessing that Father Dobrushin completes. Natalya chooses Ernst over Aksinya--this is significant. We will shortly see someone else who has made such a choice.
Father Dobrushin places his coat over Aksinya and they head for the door--then a foreshadowing: "...we have work that must be finished before tomorrow.” Then about the reporters and Aksinya's picture. Father Dobrushin tells her, they will speak about everything at dinner. Aksinya is back to herself a little. She says she looks terrible. I want to remind you of this. She doesn't think she is very pleasant to look at already, and she has not bathed or changed her clothing in weeks. Even in this time, she must present a terrible picture. Father Dobrushin advises her to smile and continue smiling. If you look terrible, you might as well try to look the best you can.
At the end, I don't want you to forget about everything that has gone before. Everything is not over yet--the blankets and the other things from Aksinya's cell remind you of that. Plus, Captain Gerber hasn't returned. Nothing happened to him, but he hasn't found Asmodeus. Tomorrow, dinner.