There is a strong rumour afloat here that v[on]. Plehve [the Interior Minister] is going and that your old friend [Count] Witte is coming - in the former's place. Can't vouch for the truth of it, but I was assured today that it is definitely settled; the date is the only matter in doubt. I don't like the look of things in the Far East. It smells somewhat [gun]"powdery" over there, I guess"Well, the unpopular and reactionary von Plehve did go - but not in the way the writer imagined. He was assassinated in 1904. But Sergei Witte did not replace him: Chairman of the [unimportant] Committee of Ministers in 1903, he became Chairman of the [important] Council of Ministers only in 1905, when the Tsar was under pressure from popular unrest and Witte's more conciliatory approach was (briefly) needed
So much for Predictions. And I don't think the World has come to an end today, either.
Anyway, this is my last Blog Post for 2012 and I wish all my readers an enjoyable end to this year and Good Health and Good Collecting in 2013.