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307
THE COSSACKS

dragged off, another man takes his place. What stupidity!" repeated the old man, shaking his head. "They ought to scatter, and walk one by one. And they ought to walk as if nothing were the matter. Then they would not find you out. That's the way it ought to be done."

"Well, good-bye, uncle! If God will grant it, we shall see each other again," said Olénin, rising and walking out to the vestibule.

The old man was sitting on the floor, and did not get up.

"Is this the way to say farewell? Fool, fool!" he said. "What people they are now! He has kept company with me, a whole year he has kept company, and now, 'Good-bye,' and off he goes. Don't you know, I love you, and am sorry for you? You are so gloomy, so lonely, such a lonely man! You are so shy! Many a time, when I could not sleep, have I thought of you, and felt sorry for you. As the song says:

"'Not so easy, my dear brother,
'Tis in foreign lands to live.'

And so it is with you."

"Well, good-bye," again said Olénin.

The old man got up and gave him his hand. Olénin pressed it, and wanted to leave.

"Your mug, your mug! Let me have it!"

The old man took him by the head with both his fat hands, kissed him three times with his wet moustache and lips, and began to weep.

"I love you, good-bye!"

Olénin seated himself in the vehicle.

"And so you are going! Give me, at least, a memento, my father! Give me a gun. What do you want two for?" said the old man, sobbing, and shedding real tears.

Olenin got the gun and gave it to him.