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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/120

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RUSSIAN ROMANCE.

by these robbers? Have pity upon thy parents, if thou hast none for thyself. Where dost thou want to go to? What for? Wait a short time; the troops will soon be here and capture the rascals, then thou mayest go wherever thou pleasest."

But my resolution was not to be shaken.

"It is too late now for reflection," said I to the old man. "I must go. I cannot help going. Do not grieve, Savelitch: God is merciful, we may meet again. Do not scruple to make use of the money, and do not stint thyself. Buy whatever thou mayest need, even if the price be risen threefold. I make thee a present of the money. If I do not return within three days . . . ."

"What dost thou say, sir?" interrupted Savelitch; "dost thou think it possible that I should let thee go alone? No; do not expect such a thing, even in thy dream. If thou hast really decided upon going, I shall follow thee even on foot. I shall not desert thee! 'That I should sit behind a stone wall without thee.' Dost thou think me mad? No, sir, I shall not remain behind."

I knew that it was useless to argue the point with Savelitch, and allowed him to prepare for the journey. In half an hour I had mounted my good horse, and Savelitch a lean lame nag which one of the inhabitants had given him gratis, not having the means left wherewith to keep it. We reached the town gates; the sentries allowed us to pass, and we rode out of Orenburg. It was getting dark. My road lay past the village of Berd, Pougatcheff's retreat. The high road was snowed over, but the tracks of horses' hoofs, daily renewed, were