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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/106

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RUSSIAN ROMANCE.

"How dost thou dare to come to me with such rubbish as this!" he exclaimed, tearing the paper out of the secretary's hands, and throwing it in Savelitch's face. "Stupid old man! you have been plundered—what a great misfortune! Know, old owl, that you must pray to God unceasingly for me and my boys, for that thou and thy master are not hanging up there by the side of the rebels . . . Hare touloup! dost thou not know that I might have thee skinned alive, to make touloups of?"

"As thou pleasest," answered Savelitch; "but I am not a free man, and must give an account of my master's property."

Pougatcheff was evidently in a generous mood. He turned and rode away, without adding another word. Shvabrine and the chiefs followed him. The forces left the fortress in military order. The crowd rushed out to escort Pougatcheff. I and Savelitch only remained in the square. He was holding his inventory, which he looked at regretfully.

Sensible of the good understanding existing between Pougatcheff and myself, he thought of turning it to advantage; but his ingenuity was ill rewarded. I was about to scold him for his misplaced zeal, but had some difficulty in suppressing my laughter.

"Laugh, sir," said Savelitch, "laugh; we shall see whether it is a laughing matter when we have to provide a new outfit."

I hurried away to the priest's house, to see Maria Ivanovna. The priest's wife met me with a sad announcement. Maria Ivanovna had been attacked during the