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Unless one is wealthy there is no use in being a charming fellow. Romance is the privilege of the rich, not the profession of the unemployed. The poor should be practical and prosaic. It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating. These are the great truths of modern life which Hughie Erskine never realised.
In the course of the five or six years I spent in Russia I was several times killed and liquidated by various organizations and individuals. When I returned home to Czechoslovakia I found I had been hanged three times, shot twice, and quartered once by wild Kirghiz insurgents near Lake Kale-Yshel. Finally I was definitely stabbed to death in a wild brawl with drunken sailors in one of the Odessa taverns.
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