Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/328

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SMOKE

Bambaev was slowly moving after the brothers. . . . Litvinov called him by his name. He looked round, lifted up his head, and recognising Litvinov, positively flew at him with outstretched arms; but when he had run up to the carriage, he clutched at the carriage door, leaned over it, and began sobbing violently.

'There, there, Bambaev,' protested Litvinov, bending over him and patting him on the shoulder.

But he went on sobbing. 'You see . . . you see ... to what . . .' he muttered brokenly.

'Bambaev!' thundered the brothers from the hut.

Bambaev raised his head and hurriedly wiped his tears.

'Welcome, dear heart,' he whispered, 'welcome and farewell! . . . You hear, they are calling me.'

'But what chance brought you here?' inquired Litvinov, 'and what does it all mean? I thought they were calling a Frenchman. . . .'

'I am their . . . house-steward, butler,' answered Bambaev, and he pointed in the direction of the hut. 'And I 'm turned Frenchman for a joke. What could I do, brother? You see, I 'd nothing to eat, I 'd lost my last farthing, and so one 's forced to put one's head under the yoke. One can't afford to be proud.'

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