It was a sore point with the Montenegrins, from the Prince down, that Jonine was so officious in his intervention even in military advice, where he had not the least competence; and in general the Montenegrins resented the dictation of the Russian staff, even where it had every reason to urge its own views of the operations.
But I am persuaded that at that time the Russian government had not urged the movement, though a secret visit from Jonine on the Russian dispatch boat at an early stage of affairs was evidence that the position was being studied by Russia.
Petersburg more than was suspected. There is no doubt that Jonine, on his own responsibility and in opposition to the wishes of the Czar, did what he could to stimulate the movement in Herzegovina, and that this was the tendency of all the Russian agents in the Balkans.
One such messenger I remember to have been sent to Cattaro, in Austrian territory, with a sum of three thousand florins to be paid to the banker there, and he came back before night and reported at the prison. Jonine told me that one day, being in Cattaro, he was accosted by a Montenegrin, who begged for his intercession with the Prince to let him out of prison.
The jealousy of Jonine had been so excited by my always forestalling him with the news of the war, that he persuaded the Prince not to advise me of the movement; so, while I was waiting at Cettinje for the promised summons to join the staff, the army moved across the country to Rieka secretly, and the first warning we had of the movement was the firing of guns at Antivari.
On the occasion of the next birthday of the Czar, which was as usual celebrated in Montenegro by a diplomatic and official dinner, the Prince refused to come to the table, sending Duby to preside. Jonine was extremely unpopular with Prince and people, owing to his dictatorial ways.
The official Russians were not, however, popular in Montenegro, the people possessing an unusual degree of independence, and the Russians attaching more importance to their aid and coöperation than the circumstances made it politic to show; and Jonine, who became minister-resident at Cettinje, was, perhaps, the most unpopular foreigner there, while Monson, who became English agent there, was, both with prince and public, the most popular.