THE STEEL FLEA
andra Alexyevna looked at the flea's variations, and burst out laughing, but she did not occupy herself with it.
"My state is now that of a widow," said she, "and no sort of amusement is seductive to me;" and on her return to Petrograd, she gave this marvel and all the other treasures in the inheritance to the new Emperor.
The Emperor Nikolai Pavlovitch also paid no heed to the flea at first, because there was a disturbance at his accession to the throne. But later on, one day, he began to inspect the casket which had come to him from his brother, and from it he drew forth the snuff-box, and from the snuff-box the diamond as big as a walnut, and in it he found the steel flea, which had not been wound up for a long time, and therefore did not work, but lay as though petrified.
The Emperor gazed at it and marvelled. "What sort of a nonsensical
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