Was he thinking of the fortunes of Abakum Thirov, or was he meditating as meditates every Russian when his thoughts once turn to the joys of an emancipated existence? "Ah, well!" he sighed, looking at his watch. "It has now gone twelve o'clock. Why have I so forgotten myself? There is still much to be done, yet I go shutting myself up and letting my thoughts wander! What a fool I am!"
"'Abakum Thirov," Chichikov went on after a pause. "What of YOU, brother? Where, and in what capacity, are YOU disporting yourself? Have you gone to the Volga country, and become bitten with the life of freedom, and joined the fishermen of the river?" Here, breaking off, Chichikov relapsed into silent meditation. Of what was he thinking as he sat there?