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clothes and disposed of my affairs, ordered him to give a hundred roubles to the boy.

"How? why?" asked the astonished Savelitch.

"I owe them to him," I answered, in the coolest manner possible.

"Thou owest them?" reiterated Savelitch, more and more astonished; "whenever didst thou find the time to get into debt? This business is not clear. Do what thou wilt, sir, but I shall not give the money."

I felt that unless I made the obstinate old man give in to me at this decisive moment, I would thereafter find it difficult to free myself of his tutelage, and looking proudly at him, said—

"I am thy master, and thou my servant. The money is mine. I lost it because I chose to do so; but I advise thee not to argue the point, and to do what thou art told."

Savelitch was so taken aback, that he raised his arms, and remained motionless.

"What dost thou stand there like that for?" I shrieked angrily.

Savelitch burst into tears.

"Oh, my little father,[1] Piotr Andrevitch," he murmured, "do not kill me with grief. My light! do listen to an old man! Write to that scoundrel to say it was a joke, that we never possessed so much money! One hundred roubles! Good gracious! Tell him that thy parents have strictly forbidden thee playing for anything but nuts. . . ."

"Leave off lying," I interrupted severely; "let me have the money, or I shall kick thee out."

  1. Bátyoushka, a term of endearment.—Tr.