"Мы все входим в тариф бакалавра,
Пока зажигалки зажигают воздух,
И изношенные одуванчики,
Корона лета в их волосах,
Но теперь, когда ледяная хватка Зимы
Замерзший лед вокруг нашего корабля,
Мы сидим в порту и неуклонно глотаем
Наш ежедневный грог, зазор после зажима!"
the Sailors' Song (see yesterday's QQ for English translation – Ed) which had been belted out in a rich baritone died away as two figures emerged from a door behind the Guard Post: Comrade Stalin and Comrade Trotsky both paused and gazed on the tableau that presented itself: there was Trotsky's stepson, who had been nine when he and the boy's mother had married; true, the marriage had not lasted, but the Times had not favoured any kind of family life; and Stalin saw his young protégé, Parkoff, only son of Count Petrov Matzfalinkov, a radical social reformer who had begun his life as a disciple of Tolstoy, but where the great writer found his salvation in religion and based the reforms he advocated and put into practice, on his own lands, on the teachings of Christ, Matzfalinkov had discovered Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in his youth, seen that the old Feudal order which in Russia had survived well into the end of the 19th Century, would senesce and give way to Capitalism before progressing in turn to Socialism and Communism, became a Social-Democrat and devout Marxist, turning his own Estates into an early form of Worker and Peasant Soviet; Comrade Lenin was in regular correspondence with the older Matzfalinkov, and Stalin had seen early promise in the son – neither weakly shilly-shallying and easily lead, nor too pushy and foolhardy to pose a threat; "Comrade Parkoff!" his voice filled the Hallway, "if you have finished your debate on the merits of baked potatoes as weaponry in Class War with Comrade Corporal Dubledey, come and take a turn with Comrade Trotsky here, I believe your skills in making and defusing Bombs may prove very useful to him!" so, with a grin and a quick handshake, the half-brothers parted, promising to meet up later and fill in some of the gaps in their lives over the past twenty years apart.