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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/91

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beds, boxes, the tea-service, linen, and all sorts of things.

"Oh, my little fathers!" cried the poor old woman, "have pity on me, my fathers; let me go to Ivan Kouzmitch." She looked at the gibbet, and recognized her husband. "Wretches!" she exclaimed, distracted, "what have you done to him? My light, my Ivan Kouzmitch, brave soldier's heart! The bayonets of the Prussians did not touch thee, neither did the Turkish bullets; thou hast not laid down thy life in an honourable fight—thou hast perished at the hands of an escaped convict——"

"Let the old witch be quieted!" said Pougatcheff.

A young Cossack struck her on the head with his sabre, and she fell dead on the house-steps. Pougatcheff rode away, the crowd rushing after him.





The square became deserted. I remained on the same spot, unable to collect my thoughts, disturbed as they had been by such terrible events. The uncertainty of Maria Ivanovna's fate tortured me most. Where was she? What had happened to her? Had she had time to conceal herself? Was her refuge a safe one? Filled with anxiety, I entered the commandant's house. It was empty; chairs, tables, boxes, were all destroyed; the