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because I have made up my mind to marry her so soon as circumstances will permit."

Here Savelitch clasped his hands in indescribable amazement.

"Marry!" he repeated. "The child wants to marry! What will his father say? What will his mother think of it?"

"They will consent, they will certainly consent," I replied, "when they know Maria Ivanovna. I also rely upon thee. My father and mother have faith in thee; thou wilt speak in our behalf, wilt thou not?"

The old man was moved.

"Oh! my little father, Piotr Andrevitch!" answered he. "Although thou hast taken it into thy head to marry too early, still Maria Ivanovna is such a dear young lady that it would be a sin to miss such an opportunity. Then let it be as thou sayest. I shall accompany the angel of God, and shall humbly submit that such a bride need not have a dowry."

I thanked Savelitch, and laid me down in the same room with Zourine. Being very excited, I grew talkative. At first Zourine conversed readily, but by degrees his speech became indistinct, and he finally answered me with a snore. I ceased talking, and soon followed his example.

The next morning I went to Maria Ivanovna. I communicated to her my plans. She admitted that they were wise, and at once agreed with me. Zourine's detachment was to quit that same day. No time was to be lost. I bid Maria Ivanovna "good-bye" on the instant, entrust-