I thought of papa and mamma and Mogilev and Grumaher. . . . I prayed. . . . But happily . . . it frightens me even to think of it. . . ." Alexandr Ivanitch gave a constrained smile and rubbed his forehead with his hand. "But happily it fell beside me and only caught this side a little. . . . It tore off coat, shirt and skin, you know, from this side. . . . The force of it was terrific.
"I trust," he went on, "that you appreciate the delicacy of our honoured Alexandr Pavlovitch, who has addressed himself to me not officially, but privately. I, too, have asked you to come here unofficially, and I am speaking to you, not as a Governor, but from a sincere regard for your father.
Alexandr Mihalitch had never married, and did not care for women; his house was the centre of a bachelor society. He lived in grand style; he had enlarged and sumptuously redecorated his ancestral mansion, spent fifteen thousand roubles on wine from Moscow every year, and enjoyed the highest public consideration.
His Excellency Alexandr Pavlovitch, justly supposing that your conduct might serve as a bad example, and considering that mere persuasion on his part would not be sufficient, but that official intervention in earnest was essential, presents me here in this letter with his views in regard to you, which I share."
As the only faculty there is medicine I shall not show myself an ignoramus. I have bought myself a fur coat, an officer's waterproof leather coat, big boots, and a big knife for cutting sausage and hunting tigers. I am equipped from head to foot. STEAMER "ALEXANDR NEVSKY 23," April, 1890, early in the morning. My dear Tunguses! Did you have rain when Ivan was coming back from the monastery?
Laevsky moved hurriedly about the furniture and windows, looking for his cap. "Thank you," he muttered, sighing. "Thank you. . . . Kind and friendly words are better than charity. You have given me new life." He found his cap, stopped, and looked guiltily at Samoylenko. "Alexandr Daviditch," he said in an imploring voice. "What is it?" "Let me stay the night with you, my dear fellow!"
I put it to him, 'Won't you come home, Ilya Stepanitch; Alexandr Vassilitch is very much worried about you. And he said to me, 'What does he want to worry for! I want to be in the fresh air. My head aches. Go home, he said, 'and I will come later." "And you left him?" I cried, clasping my hands. "What else could I do? He told me to go ... how could I stay?"
I was beginning, however, to feel bored, when suddenly I was joined by a young man, one Voinitsin by name, a student without a degree, who resided in the house of Alexandr Mihalitch in the capacity of...it would be hard to say precisely, of what. He was a first-rate shot, and could train dogs. I had known him before in Moscow.
There's Korolyov Alexandr Vladimirovitch for instance; you know him, perhaps isn't he every inch a nobleman? He is handsome, rich, has studied at the 'versities, and travelled, I think, abroad; he speaks simply and easily, and shakes hands with us all. You know him?... Well, listen then. Last week we assembled at Beryozovka at the summons of the mediator, Nikifor Ilitch.
Some one came out of the house and stood on the steps; it was Alexandr Timofeitch, or, as he was always called, Sasha, who had come from Moscow ten days before and was staying with them. Years ago a distant relation of the grandmother, a gentleman's widow called Marya Petrovna, a thin, sickly little woman who had sunk into poverty, used to come to the house to ask for assistance.