Tolstoy and Chekhov became friends early in Gorky’s career. He supported both Mayakovsky and Babel (who said he owed everything to Gorky); Ivanov was another protégé. Repin painted him, Stanislavski was an important colleague, and Shklovsky showed him Triolet’s letters from Tahiti. Gorky implored his friend Lenin to have Gumilyov (another friend) freed, unaware he’d already been shot; but his influence helped save Zamyatin’s skin. Twain sat beside him at a New York dinner, but disapproved strongly of his domestic arrangements. Sibelius met him when his political activities led him to hide away in Helsinki.