Open main menu

Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/28

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
16
RUSSIAN ROMANCE.

object, which was also advancing towards ourselves. In a couple of minutes we met a man:

"Halloa! my good man!" shouted the yemstchick; "canst thou tell me which way the road lies?"

"The road is here; I am standing on hard ground," answered the traveller; "but of what use can it be?"

"Listen, my little moujik,"[1] said I; "art thou acquainted with this part of the country? wilt thou undertake to conduct me to some place where we can pass the night?"

"I know the country," said the wayfarer; "thank goodness it has been walked and driven over in all directions. But thou seest what the weather is like; how easy it is to lose one's way. It would be safer to wait here. The snow-storm may blow ever, and the sky clear up; then we shall find our way by the stars."

His assurance supported me; I had already made up my mind to trust myself to God's mercy, and to spend the night in the midst of the steppe, when of a sudden the wayfarer took his seat by the side of the yemstchick saying:

"God be praised, a dwelling is not far off; turn to the right, and go on."

"And why should I turn to the right?" asked the yemstchick, with a dissatisfied air. "Where dost thou see a road there? I dare say thou thinkest: 'The horses are somebody else's, the harness is somebody else's, so drive on and don't stop.'"

It struck me that the yemstchick was right.

"And really," said I, "what makes thee think that a dwelling is not far off?"

  1. Peasant.—Tr.