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Diary of a U-boat Commander, 1914-1918
Previous Page Page 135 of 162 Next Page
The priest who has been with me comes again an hour
before the dawn, and he has promised to deliver these my last words of
love into your hands.

My real name is Zoe Xenia Olga Sbeiliez, and I was born twenty-nine
years ago at my father's country house at Inkovano, near Koniesfol. I
am Polish; at least, my father was, and my mother comes from the Don
country. There was a day when my father's ancestors were Princes in
Poland. Poor Poland was torn by the vultures of Europe, just as your
countrymen, my Karl, are tearing poor Belgium and France, and so my
family lost estates year by year, and my grandfather is buried
somewhere in the dreary steppes of Siberia because he dared to be a
Polish patriot.

My father bowed before the storm, and under my mother's influence he
never became mixed up with politics. Thus he lived on his estates at
Inkovano, and nursed them for my younger brother, Alexandrovitch, the
child of his old age. Alex would be nineteen now, had he lived. The
estates were large as these things go in Western Europe, but they were
but a garden as compared with the lands held by my great-grandfather,
Boris Sbeiliez.

My father had a dream, and he dreamed this dream from the day Alex was
born to the day they both died in each other's arms.

My father dreamt that one day the Tsars would soften their heart to
Poland, and raise her up from the dust to a place amongst the nations,
and my father dreamt that Alexandrovitch Sbeiliez would become a leader
of Poland, as his ancestors had been before him. And so my father
nursed his estates and pinched and saved, in preparation for the day
when his beautiful dream should come true.

[Illustration:
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Diary of a U-boat Commander, 1914-1918. Family Tree Legends Records Collection (Online Database). Pearl Street Software, 2004-2005. The Diary of a U-boat Commander
With an Introduction and Explanatory Notes by Etienne. Anon.