THE STEEL FLEA
versations, when he immediately inquired: "Well, and how have my Tula artisans justified themselves against the English nymfozoria?"
"The nymfozoria, Your Majesty," says he, "is still in the same space, and I have brought it back, for the Tula artisans could make nothing more marvellous."
The Emperor replied: "Thou art a valiant old man, but that which thou hast just reported to me cannot be."
Platoff began to assure him, and related the whole course of the matter; and when he had reached the point where the men of Tula entreated him that the flea might be shown to the Emperor, Nikolai Pavlovitch slapped him on the back and said: "Give it here! I know that my own people cannot deceive me. Something beyond comprehension has been done here."
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