St Petersburg

It was the beginning of August, a warm bright night. We were walking from the House of Poets on Liteyny, past the Summer Gardens and the Field of Mars, to our homes. I lived on Pochtamtskaya, Gumilyev in the House of Arts on the Moika. Gumilyev was in good spirits: his verse play Gondla had just been accepted for production, and he was delighted. At the gate of the House of Arts we kissed, as usual. "Till tomorrow." But neither on the morrow nor on any other day did we meet again. The following evening, I went to see Gumilyev, but he was not at home, and on the morning after that I was woken by a phone call. Gumilyev had been arrested.

The last news I had from him was a postcard which I received two days before his death: "Don't worry about me. I feel fine. I spend my time playing chess and writing poetry. Send me some tobacco and blankets..."

From the recollections of Irina Odoevtsova, poetess (1895-1990)
Della Vos-Kardovskaya: Nikolay Gumilyev, 1909