To begin with I wish to disclaim the possession of those high gifts of imagination and expression which would have enabled my pen to create for the reader the personality of the man who called himself, after the Russian custom, Cyril son of Isidor -- Kirylo Sidorovitch -- Razumov. If I have ever had these gifts in any sort of living form they have been smothered out of existence a long time ago under a wilderness of words. . . .