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troops and fifty Cossacks. Such an expedition would be injudicious, and I cannot possibly take the responsibility upon myself."

I bowed. I was seized with despair. A sudden thought flashed in my mind. What it was my reader will learn in the following chapter, as old novel writers say.





I left the general and hurried to my lodgings. Savelitch met me with his usual admonition: "What pleasure canst thou find, sir, in conferring with the tipsy robbers? Is it a gentlemanly occupation? All times are not alike; thou shalt perish heedlessly. Well, it would be different if thou foughtest against the Turk or the Swede; but just now, it is a sin even to name who the enemy is."

I interrupted him by asking how much money I had altogether.

"Enough for thee," he answered, with a satisfied air. "However well the robbers searched for it, still I managed to conceal it." With these words he pulled out of his pocket a long knitted purse full of silver.

"Well, Savelitch," I said, "give me one-half and take the rest thyself. I go to the fortress of Byĕlogorsk."

"My little father, Piotr Andrevitch," said the good servant, in a trembling voice; "do not tempt God! How art thou to travel now, when all the roads are blocked up