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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/25

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"Ah, my little father, Piotr Andrevitch!" answered he, with a deep sigh. "I am angry with myself; it is all my own fault throughout. How could I ever leave thee all alone at the inn? What is to be done? I was tempted. I bethought myself of going to the deacon's wife, to see my Koumā.[1] Well, so it was; I went to my Koumā, and thus have got into trouble. A bad business! How shall I ever be able to look my master and my mistress in the face again? What will they say when they find out that their child drinks and gambles?"

I promised, in order to console poor Savelitch, that I should never henceforth dispose of a single kopeck without his consent. He gradually calmed down, but still kept grumbling to himself occasionally, as he nodded his head: "A hundred roubles!—no joke!"

I was nearing the place of my destination. Dreary plains, intercepted by mounds and hollows, stretched around me. All was covered with snow. The sun was setting. The kibitka was driving along a narrow road; or, more correctly speaking, a track made by the peasants' sledges. Suddenly, the yemstchick[2] began to look around him, and taking off his cap, he said to me—

"Wilt thou not order me to turn back, sir?"

"What for?"

"The weather is threatening—the wind is rising gradually. See how it sweeps the early snow?"

"Well, where is the harm?"

  1. A godfather and a godmother stand in the relation of Koum (m.) and Koumā (f.) to each other.—Tr.
  2. The driver of a travelling carriage.—Tr.