THE STEEL FLEA
down to the very date of the Crimean campaign. At that time, when they began to load their guns the bullets rattled about in them,because they had been cleaned with brick-dust. Then Martyn-Solsky reminded Count Tchernyscheff of the left-handed man, and Count Tchernyscheff said: "Go to the devil, you windbag! Don't meddle with what does not concern you, or I'll deny that I ever heard anything about this from you—and won't you just catch it!"
Martyn-Solsky reflected: "He actually will deny it," and so he held his tongue.
But if he had reported the left-handed man's words to the Emperor in season, the war with the enemy in the Crimea would have taken quite a different turn.
And now all this is "a matter of bygone days" and "traditions of the olden
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