The famed Chossid R’ Zalman Duchman OBM, was a fountain of knowledge, filled with stories of Chabad Rebbes and Chassidim.
The Rebbe, who was keen on Chassidic stories, asked R’ Zalman to write him letters with any story he remembers. R’ Zalman wrote hundreds such letters to the Rebbe, filled with Chassidic stories, which were later published in the book “L’Shema Ozen.”
In a Teshura released in honor of the wedding of his great-grandson Efraim Duchman from Crown Heights to Shaina Barber from Melbourne, Australia, the family published one page of his letter from 5730 (1970), which includes a fascinating anecdote about the Rebbe and Rebbetzin, which occurred in 1927, the year the Frierdiker Rebbe was arrested, describing how R’ Zalman found out from the Rebbe that the Frierdiker Rebbe was freed, something which was kept as a secret from the Chassidim.
“…That Yungerman, is the one that your honor [the Rebbe] gave him a big box of manuscripts [for safekeeping during the Frierdiker Rebbe’s arrest], and … on the 12th of Tamuz (1927) at 1:30 I came, and your honor [the Rebbe] was sitting in the big Zal on the west side. When I gave you [the box of manuscripts], you told me, that as a payment for my work you will reveal to me that the [Frierdiker] Rebbe will come for Shabbos. Later on, in the evening, we drank lots of Mashke, and the Chossid R’ M.S. Elkin danced without his shoes (because it was still a secret).
But the Rebbetzin Mussia [the Rebbe’s wife] was not in town then, and I was told that the [Frierdiker] Rebbe asked specifically that she [Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka] should travel with him to Kostroma, for the older daughter [Chana Gurary] is too sharp, and the younger daughter [Shaina Horenstein] is too quiet, but the middle one [Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka] is very good…”