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THE COSSACKS

same time he calculated how much money he had; how much there would be left; how much he needed to acquit himself of all his debts; and what part of his whole income he would spend in a month. In the evening, after having had his tea, he figured out that to Stavrópol seven-elevenths of the whole road were left; his debts amounted to but seven months of strict economy, and to one-eighth of his fortune; and having calmed himself, he wrapped himself up, let himself down in the bed of the sleigh, and again fell asleep.

His imagination now was in the future, in the Caucasus. All his dreams of the future were connected with pictures of Amalát-bek,[1] Circassian maidens, mountains, avalanches, terrible torrents, and perils. All that presented itself in a dim and indistinct shape; but enticing glory and threatening death formed the chief interest of that future.

Now, with extraordinary valour and surprising strength, he killed and vanquished an endless number of mountaineers; now he was himself a mountaineer, and together with them defended his independence against the Russians. The moment he thought out the details, he found the old Moscow faces taking part in them. Sáshka B—— fought with the Russians, or mountaineers, against him. He knew not how, but even M. Capelle, the tailor, took part in the victor's triumph.

If he recalled his old humiliations, foibles, and mistakes in connection with this, that reminiscence gave him only pleasure. It was clear that there, amidst the mountains, torrents, Circassian maidens, and perils, these mistakes could not be repeated. Having once made that confession to himself, there was an end to them.

There was one, the most precious dream, which mingled in every thought of the young man about the future.

This dream was woman. There, among the mountains,

  1. Character in a novel by Bestúzhev-Marlínski.