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Page:Complete Works of Count Tolstoy - 02.djvu/95

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77
A MORNING OF A LANDED PROPRIETOR

remained sitting at the door, silently gazing at him, and now and then shaking her gray hair.

Suddenly there came to him the tróyka of sweaty horses, and Ilyúshka's handsome and strong figure, with his blond curls, beaming, narrow blue eyes, ruddy cheeks, and light-coloured down just beginning to cover his lip and chin. He remembered how Ilyúshka was afraid he would not be permitted to go teaming, and how warmly he defended his cause, which he liked so well. And he saw a gray, misty morning, a slippery highway, and a long row of heavily laden, mat-covered three-horse wagons, marked with big black letters. The stout-legged, well-fed horses, jingling their bells, bending their backs, and tugging at their traces, pulled evenly up-hill, straining their legs so that the sponges might catch on the slippery road. Downhill, past the train of wagons, came dashing the stage, tinkling its little bells, which reëchoed far into the large forest that extended on both sides of the road.

"Whew!" shouted, in a childish voice, the first driver, with a tin label on his lambskin cap, raising his whip above his head.

Karp, with his red beard and gloomy look, was striding heavily in his huge boots beside the front wheel of the first wagon. From the second wagon stuck out the handsome head of Ilyúshka, who, at the early dawn, was making himself snug and warm under the front mat. Three tróykas, laden with portmanteaus, dashed by, with rumbling wheels, jingling bells, and shouts. Ilyúshka again hid his handsome head under the mat, and fell asleep.

Now it was a clear, warm evening. The plank gate creaked for the tired teams that were crowded in front of the tavern, and the tall, mat-covered wagons, jolting over the board that lay in the gate entrance, disappeared one after another under the spacious sheds.

Ilyúshka merrily greeted the fair-complexioned, broad-