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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/94

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RUSSIAN ROMANCE.

my sick niece, wilt thou believe it, he looked daggers at me? However, he did not betray me; let us thank him even for so much."

Drunken shouts and the voice of Father Gherassim reached our ears. The guests were clamouring for wine, the host was calling after his helpmate. The priest's wife fidgeted.

"Go home, Piotr Andrevitch," said she. "I have no time to think about you just now; we must entertain the wretches. Harm may befall you, if you get into their drunken hands. Good-bye, Piotr Andrevitch; what is to be, will be. Let us hope that God will not forsake us."

She left me. I returned home, my anxiety being slightly relieved. Passing by the square, I saw several Bashkirs gathered at the foot of the gallows, and drawing the boots off the corpses that were hanging; I restrained, with difficulty, an outburst of indignation, feeling that any interference on my part would have been useless. The fortress was in the possession of the robbers, who were plundering the officers' houses. In all directions were heard the shouts of the tipsy rebels. I reached home. Savelitch met me at the threshold.

"God be praised!" exclaimed he, on seeing me. "I began to think that the wretches had again got hold of thee. Well, my little father, Piotr Andrevitch! Canst thou believe it! the rascals have plundered us of everything—clothes, linen, crockery—nothing is left to us. But that does not matter! Thank God that they let thee