standing in a very close relation to Irina . . . Potugin, without speaking, looked long at Irina, and consented. She wept, and flung herself all in tears on his neck. And he too wept . . . but very different were their tears. Everything had already been made ready for the secret marriage, a powerful hand removed all obstacles. . . . But illness came . . . and then a daughter was born, and then the mother . . . poisoned herself. What was to be done with the child? Potugin received it into his charge, received it from the same hands, from the hands of Irina.
A terrible dark story . . . Let us pass on, readers, pass on!
Over an hour more passed before Litvinov could bring himself to go back to his hotel. He had almost reached it when he suddenly heard steps behind him. It seemed as though they were following him persistently, and walking faster when he quickened his pace. When he moved under a lamp-post Litvinov turned round and recognised General Ratmirov. In a white tie, in a fashionable overcoat, flung open, with a row of stars and crosses on a golden chain in the buttonhole of his frockcoat, the general was returning from dinner, alone. His eyes, fastened with insolent persistence on Litvinov, expressed such contempt and such hatred, his whole deportment was suggestive of