Marguerite finds it difficult to go home again

Marguerite found it difficult to adjust to life back in Baltimore. Baltimore Sun Editor Frank Kent offered her her old job back at the newspaper, and she accepted, hoping to rediscover the pleasure she once had covering Baltimore’s music and theater scene.

But as the weeks passed, Marguerite felt increasingly alienated from those people and values she once held dear. The new social season arrived in Baltimore along with autumn horse races at Pimlico and the Monday night dances. Society matrons dressed in their gowns, set their tables with the finest china, and hosted teas and bridge parties. They invited the long-lost Marguerite to join them, but she no longer could share in their conversations. How could she relate to her friends’ complaints about their servants after having discussed with Mogilevsky the workers’ revolution? What could she add to a conversation about bobbed hairdos and finger waves when she had spent ten months combing lice from her hair?

A onetime zealous patriot, she blamed officials in the U.S. government for her sufferings in Russia. A committed internationalist, she loathed the nativism that seized the America. She hated the Warren Harding administration and was appalled by the resurrection of the Ku Klux Klan. She even began to question the basic principles of American democracy and capitalism.

Marguerite was aware that her sympathetic views of the Bolsheviks that she expressed in articles and lectures sparked rumors that she was a Red agent. Yet she seemed not to care. “I knew that I was regarded by many people as a lady with a mysterious past,” she later wrote. Yet she saw some advantages to the questions people had about her loyalties because she believed the uncertainties attracted audiences to her lectures.

Meanwhile, life in Baltimore became unbearable. Once a leading figure in Baltimore civic and social affairs, Marguerite longed to escape to a new city. She had finished a book, “Marooned in Moscow: The Story of an American Woman Imprisoned in Russia,” which she called an objective portrayal of Soviet Russia. Largely drawn from the series she had written for the Baltimore Sun, the book made no mention of working for the Military Intelligence Division or of spying on foreigners for Cheka. The reviews were favorable, with critics praising the book as entertaining, insightful, and well- written.

 So in the winter, Marguerite decided to make a fresh start as an author and lecturer in New York City.

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