THE STEEL FLEA
When Platoff reported the left-handed man's words to the Emperor, the latter instantly exclaimed with joy: "I knew that my Russian people had not betrayed me!" and he ordered a melkoscope to be brought on a cushion.
The melkoscope was brought that very minute, and the Emperor took the flea, and placed it under the glass, first with its back, then with its side, then with its belly upward,—in short, he turned it on all sides, but nothing was to be seen. But even then the Emperor did not lose faith, and said merely: "Bring hither instantly that gunsmith who is downstairs."
Platoff announced: "His clothing must be changed. I took him just as he was, and now he is in very evil plight."
But the Emperor replied: "Bring him just as he is."
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