Lev Nik. was kind and solicitous. But later on, when I heard Bulgakov had come with some mail, and I asked if there was a letter from Chertkov, he grew furious, and said: “I think I have the right to correspond with whomever I please…He and I have a vast amount of business connected with the printing of my works and various writings…"
Ah yes, but if it was only that sort of business, then there wouldn’t be any of this secret correspondence. When things are secret there is bound to be something bad hidden away. Christ, Socrates—none of the ancient philosophers did things in secret; they preached openly on the squares before the people, fearing nothing and no one. And they were killed for it too—but then they joined the gods. Criminals—conspirators, libertines, thieves—always do things in secret. And Chertkov has inveigled poor saintly Tolstoy into this situation which is alien to his nature.
—Sofia Tolstoy, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy, p. -1