Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/48

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SMOKE

'But that 's slander, upon my word!' vociferated Bambaev.

'Slander? . . . slander? In the first place, Prince Vahrushkin, who was also dining at your Mihnyov's——'

'Prince Vahrushkin,' Gubaryov interpolated severely, 'is my cousin; but I don't allow him to enter my house. ... So there is no need to mention him even.'

'In the second place,' continued Madame Suhantchikov, with a submissive nod in Gubaryov's direction, 'Praskovya Yakovlevna told me so herself.'

'You have hit on a fine authority to quote! Why, she and Sarkizov are the greatest scandalmongers going.'

'I beg your pardon, Sarkizov is a liar, certainly. He filched the very pall of brocade off his dead father's coffin. I will never dispute that; but Praskovya Yakovlovna — there 's no comparison! Remember how magnanimously she parted from her husband! But you, I know, are always ready——'

'Come, enough, enough, Matrona Semyonovna,' said Bambaev, interrupting her, 'let us give up this tittle-tattle, and take a loftier flight. I am not new to the work, you know. Have you read Mlle. de la Quintinie? That 's something charming now! And quite

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