Monday, January 04, 2016

First Paragraph

A succession of national disasters led to the downfall of Count Kornowski. The droughts of 1924 and 1925 halved the crop from his estates at Jezow; a fall in the world price of timber and sugar meant lower prices for what he could sell; and finally, in the middle of 1925, came the German tariff war against Poland which cut him off from his best customers. A man who was shrewd and careful might have survived these blows of fate; but the Count had an aristocratic disdain for the details of business. He sustained his extravagant way of life by borrowing money on the security of his estate. And in 1925 he gave a party lasting from Christmas Eve until the Epiphany which he paid for with the money set aside for his daughter's dowry. 

- From Polonaise by Piers Paul Read

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