Mr. Gubaryov, at whose rooms I had the pleasure of meeting you to-day,' he began, 'did not introduce me to you; so that, with your leave, I will now introduce myself — Potugin, retired councillor. I was in the department of finances in St. Petersburg. I hope you do not think it strange. ... I am not in the habit as a rule of making friends so abruptly . . . but with you. . . .'
Here Potugin grew rather mixed, and he asked the waiter to bring him a little glass of kirsch-wasser. 'To give me courage,' he added with a smile.
Litvinov looked with redoubled interest at the last of all the new persons with whom it had been his lot to be brought into contact that day. His thought was at once, 'He is not the same as those.'
Certainly he was not. There sat before him, drumming with delicate fingers on the edge of