Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/330

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
SMOKE

broken with a billiard-cue. Yes, yes, hard times have come now! But still I say, Russia . . . ah, our Russia! Only look at those two geese; why, in the whole of Europe there 's nothing like them! The genuine Arzamass breed!'

And with this last tribute to his irrepressible desire for enthusiasm, Bambaev ran off to the station hut, where again, seasoned with opprobrious epithets, his name was shouted.

Towards the close of the same day, Litvinov was nearly reaching Tatyana's village. The little house where his former betrothed lived stood on the slope of a hill, above a small river, in the midst of a garden recently planted. The house, too, was new, lately built, and could be seen a long way off across the river and the open country. Litvinov caught sight of it more than a mile and a half off, with its sharp gable, and its row of little windows, gleaming red in the evening sun. At starting from the last station he was conscious of a secret agitation; now he was in a tremor simply—a happy tremor, not unmixed with dread. 'How will they meet me?' he thought, 'how shall I present myself?' . . . To turn off his thoughts with something, he began talking with his driver, a steady peasant with a grey beard, who charged him, however, for twenty-five miles, when the

310