The five domes did not fall, aloof from the petty chaos of the world
below. While the church remained standing, scores in the crowd were
bleeding, wounded, weeping. As surely as if the sky had clouded over,
Lazar sensed the mood change. Doubts surfaced. Had some unearthly
power intervened and stopped this crime? Spectators began to leave,
a few slowly, then others joined them, more and more, hurrying away.
No one wanted to watch anymore. Lazar struggled to suppress a laugh.
The crowd had broken apart while the church had survived! He turned
to the married couple, hoping to share this moment with them.
The man standing directly behind Lazar was so close they were
almost touching. Lazar hadnt heard him approach. He was smiling
but his eyes were cold. He didnt wear a uniform or show his identity
card. However, there was no question that he was State Security, a
secret police officer, an agent of the MGB a deduction possible not
through what was present in his appearance but what was absent. To
the right and left there were injured people. Yet this man had no interest
in them. Hed been planted in the crowd to monitor peoples reactions. And Lazar had failed: hed been sad when he shouldve been
happy and happy when he shouldve been sad.
The man spoke through a thin smile, his dead eyes never moving
A small setback, an accident, easily fixed. You should stay: perhaps
it will still happen today, the demolition. You want to stay, dont you?
You want to see the church fall? It will be quite spectacular.
A careful answer and also the truth, he did want to stay, but no, he
didnt want the church to fall and he certainly wouldnt say so. The
This site is going to become one of the largest indoor swimming
pools in the world. So our children can be healthy. It is a good thing, our
children being healthy. What is your name?
The most ordinary of questions and yet the most terrifying:
My name is Lazar.
What is your occupation?
No longer masquerading as casual conversation, it was now an
open interrogation. Subjugation or persecution, being pragmatic or
principled Lazar had to choose. And he did have a choice, unlike
many of his brethren who were instantly recognizable. He didnt have
to admit that he was a priest. Vladimir Lvov, former chief procurator
of the Holy Synod, had argued that priests need not set themselves
apart by their dress and that they may throw off their cassocks, cut their
hair, and be changed into ordinary mortals. Lazar agreed. With his trim
beard and unremarkable appearance, he could lie to this agent. He
could disown his vocation and hope that the lie would protect him. He
worked in a shoe factory or he crafted tables anything but the truth.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...