The irritable general grew hot.
'Well, it is too much! Newspapers! Shown up! If it depended on me, I would not let anything be printed in those papers but the taxes on meat or bread, and announcements of sales of boots or furs.'
'And gentlemen's properties up for auction,' put in Ratmirov.
'Possibly under present circumstances. . . . What a conversation, though, in Baden au Vieux-Château.'
'Mais pas du tout! pas du tout!' replied the lady in the yellow hat, 'j'adore les questions politiques.'
'Madame a raison,' interposed another general with an exceedingly pleasant and girlish- looking face. 'Why should we avoid those questions . . . even in Baden?'
As he said these words he looked urbanely at Litvinov and smiled condescendingly. 'A man of honour ought never under any circumstances to disown his convictions.. Don't you think so?'
'Of course,' rejoined the irritable general, darting a look at Litvinov, and as it were indirectly attacking him, 'but I don't see the necessity . . .'
'No, no,' the condescending general interposed with the same mildness, 'your friend,