of the audience, a sailor, told The Daily Tribune's journalist,
“It's an amazing sight, watching him riding on his head. I
have traveled to many countries but haven't seen anything like that
before. I'm sure he can shave while riding a horse.” According
to an article in Tsnobis Purtseli dated December 21, 1897, “Mr.
Chkhartishvili received a gold medal for his riding skills inscribed
with the words: “To Russia's famous player from American society.”
Other newspapers wrote, “The twelve Cossacks are in charge
of Prince Lukka, a man of royal blood, and who, while he cannot
speak much English, is as polite as a Cherterfield” (Baltimore
American, September 30, 1895), “Their leader, Prince Lucas,
distinguished from his band by a costume of snowy four, rode with
all the abandon of a madman, hanging to his fiery steed by the point
of his mall boot. After the show Lucas turned out to be a mild-mannered
and charmingly pleasant gentleman, who spoke in softest tones of
his “papa” and “mamma,” his “sweet
little sister,” and his happy home.” (The Dispatch,
August 31, 1897).
Here's another interesting quote from Fred Gipson's book which
the author dedicated to Zack Miller, one of the owners of Millers
Brothers' “101 Ranch,” where Luka Chkhartishvili worked
from 1908 – 1914, They were all packed, and Zack was in their
quarters talking to them when in walked some British officers with
orders to put the Cossacks on a boat going to Belgium. From there,
they would go into Russia and eventually into the war. Lucca, the
head of Cossacks, broke down and cried like a kid.” Zack tried
to console him. “When this is over, he said, “I’ll
still have a place for you boys.” But Lucca shook his head.
“For us sir, he said, “It is all over now. We shall
never see the 101 again.” This conversation took place in
London in August 1914 after the beginning of the First War. Indeed,
Luka never managed to get back to America. He wanted to apply for
a citizenship but couldn't for reasons that are unknown.