"Because the wind blew from thence," answered the stranger; "I perceived the smell of smoke; it means that a village is near."
His quick perception and acute sense of smelling astonished me; I directed the yemstchick to drive on. The horses were stepping heavily over the deep snow. The kibitka advanced slowly, now rising over a hillock, then plunging into a ditch; again turning over from side to side. It was like the motion of a ship on a stormy sea. Savelitch groaned, and was continually striking against me. I let down the tzynovka wrapped myself up in my pelisse, and dozed, lulled by the music of the storm and the rocking of the slow motion.
I dreamt a dream, which I never could forget, and in which, even now, I see something prophetic when I associate it with the peculiar events of my life. The reader will make every allowance for me, for he probably knows by experience how prone one is to give way to superstition, notwithstanding every feeling of contempt for such prejudices.
I was in that state when reality, giving place to fancies, is mingled with them in the dim visions of first sleep. I fancied the storm was still raging, and that we were still straying over the snowy steppe. . . . Suddenly I saw a gate, and I drove into the court of our house. My first thought was a dread lest my father should be angry with me for my involuntary return to the parental roof, and lest he should consider such to be an act of premeditated disobedience. In my uneasiness, I jumped out of the
- A bast matting let down in front of the hood.—Tr.