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012. Eve of the Three Saints. Jan 30/Feb 12 1964

Dear Brother in Christ, Gleb,

I received today the first English books for our stock, 3 copies of the Pilgrim purchased with credit I had at an English bookstore. Apart from that, however, I feel rather paralyzed from lack of money. I learned today that we have to put up a bond of $200 to guarantee payment of sales taxes. The money is refunded to us when we go out of business, but at the present moment it’s just another burden. That brings our initial expenses up to $800. Against this we have the first month’s rent paid ($85), $35 in cash, $50 from Genya Zavarin, total $170. Then there is the $85 for one month’s rent which you have found — if they can pay it on March 15; and $25 from Iuri — if he can give it to us within two weeks or so. This gives us $280. Finally, Alyosha Zavarin will give us something ($50, I hope) if he gets a job soon; and we can get another $50 from early sale of Jordanville books — if they arrive soon. Therefore, even the most optimistic estimate gives us only half of what we need. (That is, unless Fr. Nick will still buy his books, but even then we will be $300 short.)

What’s to be done? The wisest thing, I suppose, is simply to give the whole thing up and curse the world for being so complicated. It would be very sad if we had to do that, especially after finding the store building and having prepared to opened accounts with 20 or 30 publishers. There is no way of cutting down expenses. $300 is the absolute minimum for books in English, and $500 is the minimum total expense to April 1. There’s only one other source I can think of: my parents. If they can lend me $400, we can begin. I’m not sure how they will react to such a request. There would be no trouble if I needed the money personally, but I don’t know what they’ll think about such a business venture. But if we can really order as many books from Jordanville as we need without beginning to pay for them for at least 6 months, we should be able to pay off all other debts by that time, assuming that the business is at least moderately successful.

About the business itself, it would be easiest and probably best if it is organized in the beginning in my name alone, especially since, as it now stands, I will be personally responsible for most of the money involved. That way no legal documents or contracts will be required; everything will simply be accountable to me, and I will be responsible for everything. This is just for the bookstore, of course, not the Brotherhood. In fact, it would probably be best to concentrate in the beginning on the bookstore. We could say in the introductory brochure that one of the purposes of the bookstore was to serve as a material foundation for the Father Herman Brotherhood. We would probably have a better idea of precisely what the Brotherhood should be after we see what interest the bookstore inspires, and also how much money it makes. Tell me what you think about these ideas.

Concerning Mr. Gubin’s idea I am somewhat dubious. If the bookstore is connected with the Kiosk, there would probably be legal complications, besides which the whole thing would probably frizzle out in the end. (And I doubt that Khrarov or anyone will want to pay $85 for a Kiosk anyway.)

I haven’t heard yet about the bookshelves. Jon looked at them through the window and was pleased with them, and he also thought he saw some tables we might use. Someone called this number a few days ago (twice) and asked for Evgeny Zavarin. Is it possible that you gave them my number but the wrong name?

We can talk about other things when you come up. You have to come up this weekend, because our final decision whether to proceed or not must be made immediately. Books must be ordered right away. Try to bring some money with you if you can get it (from Iuri, for example).

Pray! God’s Saints will show us the way, if what we do is pleasing to Him!

Your Brother in Christ,

P.S. Be thinking about a name for the bookstore. All I can think of is “Orthodox Christian Bookstore and Icon Shop.”

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