Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/44

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

these days to persecute a man for his ideas?" And what do you suppose the prince did, that cultivated dignitary in that exalted position?'"

'Why, what did he do?' observed Gubaryov, lighting a cigarette with a meditative air.

The lady drew herself up and held out her bony right hand, with the first finger separated from the rest.

'He called his groom and said to him, "Take off that man's coat at once, and keep it yourself. I make you a present of that coat!"'

'And did the groom take it?' asked Bambaev, throwing up his arms.

'He took it and kept it. And that was done by Prince Barnaulov, the well-known rich grandee, invested with special powers, the representative of the government. What is one to expect after that!'

The whole frail person of Madame Suhantchikov was shaking with indignation, spasms passed over her face, her withered bosom was heaving convulsively under her flat corset; of her eyes it is needless to speak, they were fairly leaping out of her head. But then they were always leaping, whatever she might be talking about.

'A crying shame, a crying shame!' cried Bambaev. ' No punishment could be bad enough!'

24