I assured her I would not lose a single instant, and five minutes later I was tearing down the Morskaya in a drosky along the canal and across the Nicholas Bridge to the address upon the envelope. The house was, I found, somewhat smaller than its neighbors, but not let out in flats as the others. Upon the door was a large brass plate bearing the name, "Olga Stassulevitch: modes."
A man named Tsourikoff by some means obtained knowledge of what was intended. Her Majesty heard of it, hence I had him removed two days later. He was met by a certain dancer, and had supper with her at Pivato's, in the Morskaya. An hour after they parted Tsourikoff died mysteriously." "The dancer was a friend of yours, eh? Perhaps a sister-disciple?" remarked the Emperor with a meaning grin.
I was a hindrance, a part of the people's calamity; I was vanquished, cast out, and I was hurrying to the station to go away and hide myself in Petersburg in a hotel in Bolshaya Morskaya. An hour later we reached the station. The coachman and a porter with a disc on his breast carried my trunks into the ladies' room.
The passengers in the train would talk about trade, new singers, the Franco-Russian entente; on all sides there would be the feeling of keen, cultured, intellectual, eager life. . . . Hasten on, on! At last Nevsky Prospect, and Great Morskaya Street, and then Kovensky Place, where he used to live at one time when he was a student, the dear grey sky, the drizzling rain, the drenched cabmen. . . .
When he left I asked Makhalovsky to explain to me what happened to the Baroness. He almost fainted. "For heavens sake! Don't shout that damned name! There are ears everywhere," he whispered. He took me by the arm and dragged me all along the Morskaya, giving me short and hard kicks as soon as I would open my mouth.
At eleven o'clock on the following day I found myself installed in the Hotel de Paris, a comfortable hostelry in the Little Morskaya, having succeeded in evading the vigilance of the spy who had so cleverly followed me from Abo, and in getting my suit-case round from the Hotel Europe. I was beneath the same roof as Elma, although she was in ignorance of my presence.
Court carriages with lackeys in crimson and gold, ambassadors' sledges with cock-plumed chasseurs and cockaded coachmen, the latter wearing their chevrons on their backs; rude wooden sledges, whose sides are made of knotted ropes, filled with superfluous snow; grand ducal troikas with clinking harnesses studded with metal plaques and flying tassels, the outer horses coquetting, as usual, beside the staid trot of the shaft-horse, all mingle in the endless procession which flows on up the Nevsky Prospekt through the Bolshaya Morskaya, Great Sea Street, and out upon the Neva quays, and back again, to see and be seen, until long after the sun has set on the short days, at six minutes to three.
Having hurriedly passed her, Nekhludoff turned off on to the Morskaya, and passed on to the embankment, where, to the surprise of a policeman, he began pacing up and down the pavement. "The other one gave me just such a smile when I entered the theatre," he thought, "and the meaning of the smile was the same.
On opening it I found that it was from the head office of the Azof-Don Commercial Bank, in the Morskaya, officially informing me that a sum of fifty thousand roubles had been placed to my credit there by some person who remained anonymous. The present was certainly a welcome one, made no doubt as reparation for the inconvenience I had suffered.
'That's the Ivolgin with thirteen bullets in him! That's how they speak of me.... Do you see that house, prince? One of my old friends lives on the first floor, with his large family. In this and five other houses, three overlooking Nevsky, two in the Morskaya, are all that remain of my personal friends.