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By Bill O'Reilly

Then it occurred. someday I blurted out a few dumb comment, and sister lurana was once on me like a panther. Her black behavior blocked out all distractions as she leaned down, regarded me within the eye, and uttered phrases i haven't forgotten: " William, you're a daring clean piece of humanity"...

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The great wave of refugees from the north, already well acquainted with famine and havoc, ate themselves sick in the as yet undevastated Ukraine, trying to put on all the fat they could before they were swept on somewhere else. Our money was gradually falling in value, * A poem attacking Lenin’s seizure of power in October 1917. jg Hope Abandoned but people who had brought worthless wads of paper money from Moscow were overjoyed at the amount of good food they could still buy for it. , though just as light-hearted as everybody else of his age, was yet different in some way.

Our sudden friendship annoyed every­ body for some reason. The boys came and argued with me, telling me I should leave M. without more ado. : if you—he used the familiar “ thou”—want to go to Koktebel,* then go down to Voloshin; he’s reliable, and you won’t come to any harm with him. ) I knew that Ehrenburg was dying to clear out himself and go to stay with Voloshin—he hoped to shelter behind him, as though he were a stone wall. I don’t know how Voloshin had ac­ quired such a reputation, but I imagine he had created it himself, with the help of all the women around him—such legends die hard.

The group was headed by Lopatinski, the artist once connected with the “World of Art” t—God alone knows why he had been entrusted with this extremely tricky job—and consisted of various friends of his who had been appointed to responsible positions by Centroevac. Lopatinski had once served under M. in the Commissariat of Education.! * See Appendix B for this and other references to Russian literary organi­ zations. t Avant-garde art movement (and journal) formed under the leadership of Alexander Benois in the early 1890’s.

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