Erick von Lhomond
Erick von Lhomond (loh-MOHN) a Prussian soldier who fought with the White Russians against the Bolsheviks during the Russian civil war. He later became a soldier of fortune, engaged in civil conflicts in central Europe, the Chaco, Manchuria, and Spain. Tall, lean, blue-eyed, and tanned, he retains his youthful elegance at forty, his age when he narrates the story of his relationship with Conrad and Sophie de Reval twenty years earlier. His narrative begins when he returns to Kratovitsy, his boyhood home, after his training as a White Russian soldier. When he returns, he lives on an old, overrun estate that belongs to the de Reval family: Conrad de Reval; his retarded, unmarried aunt; a gardener; and Conrad’s sister, Sophie. He had lived with the family before, when he was sixteen years old. During that idyllic time on the estate, which was like paradise, Erick and Conrad became best friends. Since that time, Erick’s overriding passion has been his love for Conrad. He is indifferent to other people and to political causes and believes that this detachment is the primary reason for his effectiveness as a soldier. He is cold and detached, “morally impotent.” When Sophie, Conrad’s sister, falls in love with him, his unspoken love for Conrad dooms this relationship to a tragic denouement. After Conrad’s death, Erick’s rightist political affiliation forces a mortal confrontation with Sophie, who joined the Reds when she realized Erick’s feelings for her brother. Erick’s emotional and moral detachment determines the outcome of...
(The entire section is 656 words.)