The surname of my first landlady in the village of Nikolina Gora was Gordon -- which was also the name, I was later told, of a historian who had once lived there, only to be kicked out of his house in the 1930s (and either sent to the camps or executed) by a KGB general. The general was himself later removed by Stalin's evil prosecutor Andrei Vyshinsky, who had long fancied the house also -- but that's another story. Anyway, I wondered at the time what the origin of the name Gordon was. My wife thought it was Jewish. And though that didn't sound right, I still never thought to ask. Now, years later, I've finally found out. And -- I'm delighted to say -- it's almost certainly Scottish. The early connections between Scotland and Russia are well enough known. Architect and landscape designer Charles Cameron built Tsarskoye Selo for the Empress Catherine; and young Russians were sent to study in Glasgow and Edinburgh during the period of the so-called Scottish Enlightenment.