I never heard communism seriously propounded or argued; perhaps I was too deeply preoccupied with my own dissipations; and, as it turned out in the end it was a way of thought that I was denied or spared by a geographical fluke. From the end of these travels till the War, I lived, with a year's interruption, in Eastern Europe, among friends whom I must call old-fashioned liberals. They hated Nazi Germany; but it was impossible to look eastwards for inspiration and hope, as their western equivalents-peering from afar, and with the nightmare of only one kind of totalitarianism to vex them-felt able to do. For Russia began only a few fields away, the other side of a river; and there, as all her neighbours knew, great wrong was being done and terrible danger lay. All their fears came true. Living among them made me share those fears and they made stony ground for certain kinds of grain.
Patrick Leigh Fermor
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I found my mind wandering at games; loved boxing and was good at it; and in summer, having chosen rowing instead of cricket, lay peacefully by the Stour, well upstream of the rhythmic creaking and the exhortation, reading Lily Christine and Gibbon and gossiping with kindred lotus-eaters under the willow-branches.
Patrick Leigh Fermor
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