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stretch thyself not again upon thy couch of vexation, but go thou to the peaceful Don, and hold there with my men of the Don internecine converse with regard to their life and loyalty, and as to what pleaseth them. And when thou shalt pass through Tula, show thou this nymfozoria to my Tula artisans, and bid them meditate upon it. Say to them from me that my brother marvelled at this thing and praised the people who made the nymfozoria above all others; but I am convinced that my own people are no worse than they. They will not let my words pass unheeded, but will make something."


Platoff took the steel flea, and as he passed through Tula on his way to the Don he showed it to the Tula gunsmiths and repeated to them the Emperor's words, and they asked: "And now,

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