Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/46

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SMOKE

'No, no, one minute, I tell you what,' shrieked Bambaev in his turn.

'A spy, a spy,' persisted Madame Suhantchikov.

'No, no! There 's Tentelyev now, that 's a different matter,' roared Bambaev with all the force of his lungs.

Madame Suhantchikov was silenced at once.

'I know for a fact about that gentleman,' he continued in his ordinary voice, 'that when he was summoned before the secret police, he grovelled at the feet of the Countess Blazenkrampff and kept whining, "Save me, intercede for me!" But Pelikanov never demeaned himself to baseness like that.'

'Mm. . . . Tentelyev . . .' muttered Gubaryov, 'that . . . that ought to be noted.'

Madame Suhantchikov shrugged her shoulders contemptuously.

'They're one worse than another,' she said, 'but I know a still better story about Tentelyev. He was, as every one knows, a most horrible despot with his serfs, though he gave himself out for an emancipator. Well, he was once at some friend's house in Paris, and suddenly in comes Madame Beecher Stowe — you know, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Tentelyev, who's an awfully pushing fellow, began asking the host to present him; but directly she heard his name. What?"

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