THE POLITOVSKI FILES


Admiral Folkersham, commanding the 2nd division of battleships (in it are the Sissoi, Oslyabya, Navarin, Nachimoff, and another), distinguished himself when passing through the English Channel. He approached the English coast and coaled his ships from the transports. We are all laughing to think of the horror of our Minister for Foreign Affairs (by the way, all the ministers were opposed
to the dispatch of the fleet, but the admiral insisted on it).
The Minister will be informed of the firing on the steamers. That will be the first European complication. They will then tell him about the coaling near England—a second complication. Finally he will learn that a whole division of our fleet has called at the neutral port of Vigo.
October 13th.—In Vigo Bay.
No communication with the shore allowed. I gave my letter No. 6, of thirty-two pages, to be forwarded by the Consulate. Of course, there were no stamps. I wonder if you will get it !
We shall not remain here more than twenty-four hours. The Spanish authorities do not allow a longer stay. This place is hot and sunny. There were 200 R. in the shade. The place is pretty. There are hills all around. The town is evidently not large.
12 o’clock.—-The authorities do not allow us to stop for a moment. In order to gain time, the admiral asked the local captain of the port to telegraph to Madrid, to ask that we might stay here five days to make good defects. In spite of the prohibition we are about to take in coal, without which our fleet would be checkmated. Sentries will be posted over the hawsers (ropes which fasten the ships to the colliers), with orders to allow no one to cast them off. What will be the end of all this ?
1 A collier lies near each battleship, but they are not allowed to coal. Telegrams are sent everywhere. They are now waiting for a reply from Madrid. Will they really not allow us to coal !
The admiral has received a telegram stating that England is in a ferment—not at our having fired on the steamers, but because the torpedo-boat which was left on the scene of the drama gave no help to the sufferers. None of our torpedo-boats were there. They were at Cherbourg. The admiral replied to this effect to our ambassador in London.
An answer has been received from Madrid. It I announces that the Government requests us to refrain from coaling, but will inform us to-morrow how much we may take.

 

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