God! how is it all to end?" The kibitka came after us, at a slow pace.
A five minutes' walk brought us to a small house, brightly lit up. The sergeant-major put a sentry over me, and went to report me. He immediately returned, and stated that his lordship had no time to receive me, but that he had ordered that I should be conveyed to the prison, and the lady to his house.
"What does this mean?" I cried beside myself. "Has he lost his senses?"
"I cannot say, your lordship," answered the sergeant-major. "Only his high lordship has ordered your lordship to be taken to the prison, and her ladyship is to be taken to his high lordship, your lordship."
I rushed into the porch. The sentries did not attempt to hold me back, and I ran straight into a room where six Hussar officers were playing at cards. The major was dealing. What was my astonishment, when on looking at him I recognized Ivan Ivanovitch Zourine, who had once cheated me at the inn in Simbirsk.
"Is it possible?" I exclaimed, "Ivan Ivanovitch? is it thou?"
"But! ha! ha! Piotr Andrevitch? What brings thee here? Where art thou from? How art thou? Wilt thou take a card?"
"Thank you, no. Give directions that I should be taken to lodgings somewhere."
"What lodgings? Stay here."
"I cannot; I am not alone."
"Well, then, let thy comrade come also."