Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/47

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SMOKE

she said, "he presumes to be introduced to the author of Uncle Tom?" And she gave him a slap on the cheek! "Go away!" she says, "at once!" And what do you think? Tentelyev took his hat and slunk away, pretty crestfallen.'

'Come, I think that 's exaggerated,' observed Bambaev. '"Go away" she certainly did say, that 's a fact, but she didn't give him a smack!'

'She did, she did!' repeated Madam Suhantchikov with convulsive intensity: 'I am not talking idle gossip. And you are friends with men like that!'

'Excuse me, excuse me, Matrona Semyonovna, I never spoke of Tentelyev as a friend of mineĀ ; I was speaking of Pelikanov.'

'Well, if it 's not Tentelyev, its another. Mihnyov, for example.'

'What did he do then?' asked Bambaev, already showing signs of alarm.

'What? Is it possible you don't know? He exclaimed on the Poznesensky Prospect in the hearing of all the world that all the liberals ought to be in prison; and what 's more, an old schoolfellow came to him, a poor man of course, and said, "Can I come to dinner with you?" And this was his answer. "No, impossible; I have two counts dining with me to-day ... get along with you!"'

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