Bif Strogenov
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Bif Strogenov
Yet I allowed a stowaway like you to trespass. It compels me to throw you into the sea this instant.

Bif Strogenov was a Russian working as the head sailor onboard the S.S. Burya during Ryunosuke Naruhodo's journey from Japan to England.

Saving the "princess"[edit | edit source]

Main article: The Case of the Stricken Steamship

At some point prior to the S.S. Burya's journey from Japan to England at the end of 1899, Strogenov and the other crew befriended Nikolina Pavlova, a young Russian ballerina who wanted to escape from her homeland to seek asylum in the United States. The Burya's crew agreed to help her do so, smuggling her onto their ship when they stopped in Shanghai. They accomplished this by putting sleeping pills in the chicken dinner given to the passengers before she came aboard and hiding her in a first-class cabin room while the potential witnesses slept.

Strogenov also managed to sneak his harmless pet snake Piroshko on board, despite the strict no pet policy, and placed a mouse trap in the ship corridor to collect rodents for the reptile to eat.

However, shortly after Pavlova came on board, she accidentally seemingly killed one of the passengers, a Japanese student called Kazuma Asogi, whom she believed was going to expose her. Strogenov arrived to find Asogi's body on the cabin floor, and immediately began helping to cover-up her deed by arranging the crime scene to implicate Ryunosuke Naruhodo, a Japanese stowaway they discovered hiding in Asogi's room. This seemed to work, as even the famous detective Herlock Sholmes, who was also on board the ship, fell for the trick and implicated Naruhodo.

Under the watch of a suspicious Susato Mikotoba, Naruhodo began investigating the Burya in an attempt to clear his name, and soon encountered Strogenov guarding the door to the second class cabin area. The Russian told them not to enter the first class cabin where Pavlova was secretly hiding, lying that a passenger called "Grimesby Roylott" (a disguised Pavlova) was staying there and did not wish to be disturbed. He also lied to them that "Roylott" had no relation to the case and that he himself had not seen anything suspicious at the time of Asogi's death.

After Strogenov left to see that ship captain, Sholmes proceeded to kick down the locked door to Pavlova's room after hearing a woman's scream (which later turned out to be Pavlova reacting to a newspaper article about her escape from Russia). Although Naruhodo attempted to ask "Roylott" some questions about the murder, Strogenov returned and took the disguised Pavlova away to to see the captain, before guarding the entrance to her cabin.

With Piroshko wrapped around his head.

However, despite his best efforts, Naruhodo figured out that "Roylott" was Pavlova in disguise after managing to sneak back inside her cabin. Strogenov and Pavlova both demanded that Naruhodo be arrested for Asogi's murder, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Piroshko, who proceeded to wrap himself around Strogenov's head. Seeing this, Sholmes immediately accused the snake of being the true culprit of Asogi's death, but was soon persuaded otherwise after Naruhodo gently corrected his faulty reasoning and Strogenov revealed Piroshko's harmless nature.

Naruhodo then began to accuse Pavlova of being the true culprit, which Strogenov attempted to refute by pointing out that Naruhodo had seemingly been the only one in the locked room when Asogi was killed. Naruhodo responded to this by showing Stroganov the blank pages of the voyage log he had discovered, which indicated that something had been deliberately kept hidden on the night of the murder, despite the sailor previously stating that nothing unusual had happened then.

After Naruhodo experienced a headache and remembered that Asogi disliked chicken and thus would not have eaten the chicken dinner served to the passengers, Strogenov admitted that he had drugged the food on that night. He also admitted that he had deliberately shut the latch to Asogi's cabin via an emergency stop to divert suspicion away from Pavlova.

Pavlova eventually tearfully admitted her guilt and was arrested by Satoru Hosonaga in order to be handed over to Scotland Yard, with Strogenov declaring that he would also hand himself over the authorities once they reached England for his part in the cover-up.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Mugshot.

Strogenov is a very intimidating, blunt, and easily-angered man who greatly dislikes finding stowaways on board his ship. However, he does have a softer side that he tends not to show, in that is very protective of those he cares about, such as Pavlova and Piroshko. He also decided to get himself arrested, which may come from guilt.

Name[edit | edit source]

  • His Japanese given name "Mitrov" is a play on meatloaf.
  • His family name "Stroganov" is a reference to beef stroganoff, a Russian dish.
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