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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/26

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RUSSIAN ROMANCE.

"And look what is going on there. "

(The yemstchick pointed with his whip to the east.)

"I don't see anything except a white steppe, and a clear sky."

"And there—there!—that little cloud!"

I did indeed perceive on the horizon a small white cloud, which I at first took for a distant mound. The yemstchick explained to me that that small cloud presaged a snow storm.

I had heard of the snow storms in those regions, and was aware that entire trains of waggons were sometimes overwhelmed by them. Savelitch was of the yemstchick's opinion, and advised our returning. But I did not imagine that the wind was very high; I hoped to reach the next station in time, and gave orders to drive faster.

The yemstchick went off at full spead, but still kept looking at the east. The horses were doing their work well. The wind was, however, rising fast. The small white speck had become a dense white cloud, which, as it heavily rolled onwards, stretched out, enveloping the whole sky. A little snow began to fall, which soon increased to heavy flakes. The wind commenced to howl, and we were in for a snowstorm. In an instant the dark sky and the white sea of snow had blended into one. Everything had disappeared from sight.

"Well, sir," shouted the yemstchick, "we are done for; this is a snow-storm!"

I looked out of the kibitka; all was darkness and tempest. One might have mistaken for human sounds, what were but the fierce and expressive howlings of the