the table, a broad-shouldered man, with an ample frame on short legs, a downcast head of curly hair, with very intelligent and very mournful eyes under bushy brows, a thick well-cut mouth, bad teeth, and that purely Russian nose to which is assigned the epithet 'potato'; a man of awkward, even odd exterior; at least, he was certainly not of a common type. He was carelessly dressed; his old-fashioned coat hung on him like a sack, and his cravat was twisted awry. His sudden friendliness, far from striking Litvinov as intrusive, secretly flattered him; it was impossible not to see that it was not a common practice with this man to attach himself to strangers. He made a curious impression on Litvinov; he awakened in him respect and liking, and a kind of involuntary compassion.
'I am not in your way then?' he repeated in a soft, rather languid and faint voice, which was marvellously in keeping with his whole personality.
'No, indeed,' replied Litvinov; 'quite the contrary, I am very glad.'
'Really ? Well, then, I am glad too. I have heard a great deal about you; I know what you are engaged in, and what your plans are. It 's a good work. That 's why you were silent this evening.'