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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/15

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THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER.

We lived hand in glove with each other. I did not wish for another mentor. But fate soon parted us, owing to the following circumstances:

The laundress Paláshka, a fat pock-marked girl, and the one-eyed dairy-maid Akoulka, had, it appears, agreed to throw themselves at my mother's feet, and whilst accusing themselves of culpability, to complain weepingly of Monssié, who would take advantage of their inexperience. My mother did not treat such matters as a joke, and carried the complaint to my father. His way of settling it was summary. He immediately sent for that rascal of a Frenchman. He was informed that Monssié was giving me my lesson. My father came into my room. Beaupré was sleeping on my bed the sleep of innocence. I was busy. It should be stated that a map had been ordered for me from Moscow. It had hung on the wall without the slightest use having been made of it, and its size, and the good quality of the paper, had long tempted me. I decided upon making a kite of it, so, taking advantage of Beaupré being asleep, I set to work. My father walked in as I was about to attach a wisp tail to the Cape of Good Hope. Perceiving that these were my studies in geography, my father pulled my ears, then rushing at Beaupré, he awoke him roughly, and assailed him with reproach. In his confusion, Beaupré would have risen, but he could not—the unfortunate Frenchman was dead drunk. My father dragged him off the bed by the collar, pushed him outside the door, and sent him off that same day, to the inexpressible joy of Savelitch. Thus ended my education.