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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/33

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21
THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER.

that time, and it was only subsequently I guessed that it referred to the army of the Yaïk, which had but recently been subdued after the mutiny of 1772. Savelitch was listening with an air of great displeasure. He looked with suspicion from the host to the guide. The inn, or as it is there called, the oumet, was situated in the steppe, at a distance from any village, and much resembled a robber's retreat. But there was no help for it. To think of continuing the journey was useless. Savelitch's agitation amused me much. I made myself comfortable for the night, stretching myself on a bench. Savelitch made up his mind to sleep on the stove, and our host lay on the floor. Everybody was soon snoring, and I fell into a deep sleep.

Awaking at a late hour on the following morning, I found the storm had ceased. The sun was shining. The dazzling white snow stretched like a sheet over the boundless steppe. The horses were ready; I settled with our host, who took from us so moderate a sum that even Savelitch did not grumble, nor did he attempt to bargain as was his wont, and his suspicions of the previous day were quite forgotten. I called our guide, thanked him for his aid, and desired Savelitch to give him half a rouble as a tip.

Savelitch frowned. "Half a rouble as a tip!" said he; "what for? Is it because thou hast given him a lift to the inn? No, sir, we have no spare money to waste. If we are to give a tip to everybody, we shall soon ourselves have to starve."