An evasive answer though would not be good enough, for I also knew the drill, and that one of Adam’s most compelling qualities was the way he took for granted that he would get an intelligent answer to his question; how he unconsciously put people on their mettle, and drew from them by the very force of his genuine interest an unusual amount of uncustomary scintillation. I also knew that it was only when you knew him really well that you realized just how careful you had to be with your answers, and how truthful, because he had a way of storing them up and fitting them into the uncompleted jigsaw of his political conception, so that an untruth would merely burden him. This natural habit of drawing out the best in people conversely did not always work to his advantage, in that he could estimate too highly, demand too much, involve himself too deeply in situations which, superficially at least, would seem of little import, and thus spend himself, the insoluble drawing him like a magnet, and leaving him no peace.

The Past is Myself