THE STEEL FLEA
from the Emperor's emissary, but just because you have doubted us and have thought that we are capable of deceiving even the Imperial name, we will not tell you our secret, but you will please to carry it to the Emperor. He will see what sort of people he has in us, and whether he will suffer shame because of us."
But Platoff roared: "Come, you are lying, you rascals! I'll not part from you, but one of you shall go to Petrograd with me, and there I will put him to the question as to the nature of your cunning devices."
Thereupon, he stretched out his hand, seized the squint-eyed, left-handed smith by the collar with his stubby fingers, so that all the hooks flew off the man's coat, and flung him at his feet in the calash.
"Sit here," says he, "in the manner of a poodle, until we get to Petrograd-
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