THE STEEL FLEA
of thine; don't spoil my politics. They have their own customs." And he inquires: "What is the value of this walnut, in which the flea is lodged?"
The Englishmen rated it at five thousand more.
"Pay them," said the Emperor Alexander Pavlovitch; and himself dropped the tiny flea into the little nut, and the key with it; and in order that he might not lose the walnut itself, he placed it in his gold snuff-box, and ordered the snuff-box to be placed in his travelling-casket, which was all encrusted with mother of pearl and fish-bone. And the Emperor dismissed the English workmen with honor, and said to them: "You are the finest artisans in the world, and my people can do nothing in comparison with you."
They were highly pleased with this, and Platoff could utter nothing con-
- Walrus ivory.
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