THE STEEL FLEA
thrust his pipe out of the opposite window and smoked away in the breeze. And thus they journeyed until they reached Petrograd; and the Emperor did not take Platoff to Priest Feodot with him.
"Thou art intemperate in spiritual converse," said he, "and" thou smokest so excessively that soot has settled in my head from thy fumes."
Platoff was offended, and lay upon the couch of vexation at home. And there he lay incessantly, and smoked Zhukoff tobacco without intermission.
The wonderful flea, of burnished English steel, remained in Alexander Pavlovitch's casket beneath the fish's bone until he died in Taganrog, he having given it to Priest Feodot to transmit to the Empress later, when she should have grown calm. The Empress Alex-
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