WITH his long, rapid strides, Mitya walked straight up to the table.
"Gentlemen," he said in a loud voice, almost shouting, yet stammering at ever_ord, "I… I'm all right! Don't be afraid!" he exclaimed, "I- there's nothin_he matter," he turned suddenly to Grushenka, who had shrunk back in her chai_owards Kalganov, and clasped his hand tightly. "I… I'm coming, too. I'm her_ill morning. Gentlemen, may I stay with you till morning? Only till morning, for the last time, in this same room?"
So he finished, turning to the fat little man, with the pipe, sitting on th_ofa. The latter removed his pipe from his lips with dignity and observe_everely:
"Panie,* we're here in private. There are other rooms."
* Pan and Panie mean Mr. in Polish. Pani means Mrs., Panovie, gentlemen.
"Why, it's you, Dmitri Fyodorovitch! What do you mean?" answered Kalgono_uddenly. "Sit down with us. How are you?"
"Delighted to see you, dear… and precious fellow, I always thought a lot o_ou." Mitya responded, joyfully and eagerly, at once holding out his han_cross the table.
"Aie! How tight you squeeze! You've quite broken my fingers," laughe_alganov.
"He always squeezes like that, always," Grushenka put in gaily, with a timi_mile, seeming suddenly convinced from Mitya's face that he was not going t_ake a scene. She was watching him with intense curiosity and still som_neasiness. She was impressed by something about him, and indeed the las_hing she expected of him was that he would come in and speak like this a_uch a moment.
"Good evening," Maximov ventured blandly on the left. Mitya rushed up to him, too.
"Good evening. You're here, too! How glad I am to find you here, too!
Gentlemen, gentlemen, I- " (He addressed the Polish gentleman with the pip_gain, evidently taking him for the most important person present.) "I fle_ere… . I wanted to spend my last day, my last hour in this room, in this ver_oom … where I, too, adored… my queen… . Forgive me, Panie," he cried wildly,
"I flew here and vowed- Oh, don't be afraid, it's my last night! Let's drin_o our good understanding. They'll bring the wine at once… . I brought thi_ith me." (Something made him pull out his bundle of notes.) "Allow me, panie!
I want to have music, singing, a revel, as we had before. But the worm, th_nnecessary worm, will crawl away, and there'll be no more of him. I wil_ommemorate my day of joy on my last night."
He was almost choking. There was so much, so much he wanted to say, bu_trange exclamations were all that came from his lips. The Pole gazed fixedl_t him, at the bundle of notes in his hand; looked at Grushenka, and was i_vident perplexity.
"If my suverin lady is permitting- " he was beginning.
"What does 'suverin' mean? 'Sovereign,' I suppose?" interrupted Grushenka. "_an't help laughing at you, the way you talk. Sit down, Mitya, what are yo_alking about? Don't frighten us, please. You won't frighten us, will you? I_ou won't, I am glad to see you… "
"Me, me frighten you?" cried Mitya, flinging up his hands. "Oh, pass me by, g_our way, I won't hinder you!… "
And suddenly he surprised them all, and no doubt himself as well, by flingin_imself on a chair, and bursting into tears, turning his head away to th_pposite wall, while his arms clasped the back of the chair tight, as thoug_mbracing it.
"Come, come, what a fellow you are!" cried Grushenka reproachfully. "That'_ust how he comes to see me- he begins talking, and I can't make out what h_eans. He cried like that once before, and now he's crying again! It'_hamefull Why are you crying? As though you had anything to cry for!" sh_dded enigmatically, emphasising each word with some irritability.
"I… I'm not crying… . Well, good evening!" He instantly turned round in hi_hair, and suddenly laughed, not his abrupt wooden laugh, but a long, quivering, inaudible nervous laugh.
"Well, there you are again… . Come, cheer up, cheer up!" Grushenka said to hi_ersuasively. "I'm very glad you've come, very glad, Mitya, do you hear, I'_ery glad! I want him to stay here with us," she said peremptorily, addressin_he whole company, though her words were obviously meant for the man sittin_n the sofa. "I wish it, I wish it! And if he goes away I shall go, too!" sh_dded with flashing eyes.
"What my queen commands is law!" pronounced the Pole, gallantly kissin_rushenka's hand. "I beg you, panie, to join our company," he added politely, addressing Mitya.
Mitya was jumping up with the obvious intention of delivering another tirade, but the words did not come.
"Let's drink, Panie," he blurted out instead of making a speech. Everyon_aughed.
"Good heavens! I thought he was going to begin again!" Grushenka exclaime_ervously. "Do you hear, Mitya," she went on insistently, "don't prance about, but it's nice you've brought the champagne. I want some myself, and I can'_ear liqueurs. And best of all, you've come yourself. We were fearfully dul_ere… . You've come for a spree again, I suppose? But put your money in you_ocket. Where did you get such a lot?"
Mitya had been, all this time, holding in his hand the crumpled bundle o_otes on which the eyes of all, especially of the Poles, were fixed. I_onfusion he thrust them hurriedly into his pocket. He flushed. At that momen_he innkeeper brought in an uncorked bottle of champagne, and glasses on _ray. Mitya snatched up the bottle, but he was so bewildered that he did no_now what to do with it. Kalgonov took it from him and poured out th_hampagne.
"Another! Another bottle!" Mitya cried to the inn-keeper, and, forgetting t_link glasses with the Pole whom he had so solemnly invited to drink to thei_ood understanding, he drank off his glass without waiting for anyone else.
His whole countenance suddenly changed. The solemn and tragic expression wit_hich he had entered vanished completely, and a look of something childlik_ame into his face. He seemed to have become suddenly gentle and subdued. H_ooked shyly and happily at everyone, with a continual nervous little laugh, and the blissful expression of a dog who has done wrong, been punished, an_orgiven. He seemed to have forgotten everything, and was looking round a_veryone with a childlike smile of delight. He looked at Grushenka, laughin_ontinually, and bringing his chair close up to her. By degrees he had gaine_ome idea of the two Poles, though he had formed no definite conception o_hem yet.
The Pole on the sofa struck him by his dignified demeanour and his Polis_ccent; and, above all, by his pipe. "Well, what of it? It's a good thing he'_moking a pipe," he reflected. The Pole's puffy, middle-aged face, with it_iny nose and two very thin, pointed, dyed and impudent-looking moustaches, had not so far roused the faintest doubts in Mitya. He was not eve_articularly struck by the Pole's absurd wig made in Siberia, with love-lock_oolishly combed forward over the temples. "I suppose it's all right since h_ears a wig," he went on, musing blissfully. The other, younger Pole, who wa_taring insolently and defiantly at the company and listening to th_onversation with silent contempt, still only impressed Mitya by his grea_eight, which was in striking contrast to the Pole on the sofa. "If he stoo_p he'd be six foot three." The thought flitted through Mitya's mind. I_ccurred to him, too, that this Pole must be the friend of the other, as i_ere, a "bodyguard," and no doubt the big Pole was at the disposal of th_ittle Pole with the pipe. But this all seemed to Mitya perfectly right an_ot to be questioned. In his mood of doglike submissiveness all feeling o_ivalry had died away.
Grushenka's mood and the enigmatic tone of some of her words he completel_ailed to grasp. All he understood, with thrilling heart, was that she wa_ind to him, that she had forgiven him, and made him sit by her. He was besid_imself with delight, watching her sip her glass of champagne. The silence o_he company seemed somehow to strike him, however, and he looked round a_veryone with expectant eyes.
"Why are we sitting here though, gentlemen? Why don't you begin doin_omething?" his smiling eyes seemed to ask.
"He keeps talking nonsense, and we were all laughing," Kalgonov bega_uddenly, as though divining his thought, and pointing to Maximov.
Mitya immediately stared at Kalgonov and then at Maximov
"He's talking nonsense?" he laughed, his short, wooden laugh, seeming suddenl_elighted at something- "ha ha!"
"Yes. Would you believe it, he will have it that all our cavalry officers i_he twenties married Polish women. That's awful rot, isn't it?"
Kalgonov was well aware of Mitya's attitude to Grushenka, and he guessed abou_he Pole, too, but that did not so much interest him, perhaps did not interes_im at all; what he was interested in was Maximov. He had come here wit_aximov by chance, and he met the Poles here at the inn for the first time i_is life. Grushenka he knew before, and had once been with someone to see her; but she had not taken to him. But here she looked at him very affectionately: before Mitya's arrival, she had been making much of him, but he seemed someho_o be unmoved by it. He was a boy, not over twenty, dressed like a dandy, wit_ very charming fair-skinned face, and splendid thick, fair hair. From hi_air face looked out beautiful pale blue eyes, with an intelligent an_ometimes even deep expression, beyond his age indeed, although the young ma_ometimes looked and talked quite like a child, and was not at all ashamed o_t, even when he was aware of it himself. As a rule he was very wilful, eve_apricious, though always friendly. Sometimes there was something fixed an_bstinate in his expression. He would look at you and listen, seeming all th_hile to be persistently dreaming over something else. Often he was listles_nd lazy; at other times he would grow excited, sometimes, apparently, ove_he most trivial matters.
"Only imagine, I've been taking him about with me for the last four days," h_ent on, indolently drawling his words, quite naturally though, without th_lightest affectation. "Ever since your brother, do you remember, shoved hi_ff the carriage and sent him flying. That made me take an interest in him a_he time, and I took him into the country, but he keeps talking such rot I'_shamed to be with him. I'm taking him back."
"The gentleman has not seen Polish ladies, and says what is impossible," th_ole with the pipe observed to Maximov.
He spoke Russian fairly well, much better, anyway, than he pretended. If h_sed Russian words, he always distorted them into a Polish form.
"But I was married to a Polish lady myself," tittered Maximov.
"But did you serve in the cavalry? You were talking about the cavalry. Wer_ou a cavalry officer?" put in Kalgonov at once.
"Was he a cavalry officer indeed? Ha ha!" cried Mitya, listening eagerly, an_urning his inquiring eyes to each as he spoke, as though there were n_nowing what he might hear from each.
"No, you see," Maximov turned to him. "What I mean is that those pretty Polis_adies … when they danced the mazurka with our Uhlans… when one of them dance_ mazurka with a Uhlan she jumps on his knee like a kitten… a little whit_ne… and the pan-father and pan-mother look on and allow it… They allow it… and next day the Uhlan comes and offers her his hand… . That's how it is… offers her his hand, he he!" Maximov ended, tittering.
"The pan is a lajdak!"* the tall Pole on the chair growled suddenly an_rossed one leg over the other. Mitya's eye was caught by his huge grease_oot, with its thick, dirty sole. The dress of both the Poles looked rathe_reasy.
"Well, now it's lajdak! What's he scolding about?" said Grushenka, suddenl_exed.
"Pani Agrippina, what the gentleman saw in Poland were servant girls, and no_adies of good birth," the Pole with the pipe observed to Grushenka.
"You can reckon on that," the tall Pole snapped contemptuously.
"What next! Let him talk! People talk, why hinder them? It makes it cheerful,"
Grushenka said crossly.
"I'm not hindering them, pani," said the Pole in the wig, with a long look a_rushenka, and relapsing into dignified silence he sucked his pipe again.
"No, no. The Polish gentleman spoke the truth." Kalgonov got excited again, a_hough it were a question of vast import. "He's never been in Poland, so ho_an he talk about it? I suppose you weren't married in Poland, were you?"
"No, in the Province of Smolensk. Only, a Uhlan had brought her to Russi_efore that, my future wife, with her mamma and her aunt, and another femal_elation with a grown-up son. He brought her straight from Poland and gave he_p to me. He was a lieutenant in our regiment, a very nice young man. At firs_e meant to marry her himself. But he didn't marry her, because she turned ou_o be lame."
"So you married a lame woman?" cried Kalganov.
"Yes. They both deceived me a little bit at the time, and concealed it. _hought she was hopping; she kept hopping… . I thought it was for fun."
"So pleased she was going to marry you!" yelled Kalganov, in a ringing, childish voice.
"Yes, so pleased. But it turned out to be quite a different cause. Afterwards, when we were married, after the wedding, that very evening, she confessed, an_ery touchingly asked forgiveness. 'I once jumped over a puddle when I was _hild,' she said, 'and injured my leg.' He he!"
Kalgonov went off into the most childish laughter, almost falling on the sofa.
Grushenka, too, laughed. Mitya was at the pinnacle of happiness.
"Do you know, that's the truth, he's not lying now," exclaimed Kalganov, turning to Mitya; "and do you know, he's been married twice; it's his firs_ife he's talking about. But his second wife, do you know, ran away, and i_live now."
"Is it possible?" said Mitya, turning quickly to Maximov with an expression o_he utmost astonishment.
"Yes. She did run away. I've had that unpleasant experience," Maximov modestl_ssented, "with a monsieur. And what was worse, she'd had all my littl_roperty transferred to her beforehand. 'You're an educated man,' she said t_e. 'You can always get your living.' She settled my business with that. _enerable bishop once said to me: 'One of your wives was lame, but the othe_as too light-footed.' He he!
"Listen, listen!" cried Kalganov, bubbling over, "if he's telling lies- and h_ften is- he's only doing it to amuse us all. There's no harm in that, i_here? You know, I sometimes like him. He's awfully low, but it's natural t_im, eh? Don't you think so? Some people are low from self-interest, but he'_imply so, from nature. Only fancy, he claims (he was arguing about it all th_ay yesterday) that Gogol wrote Dead Souls about him. Do you remember, there'_ landowner called Maximov in it, whom Nozdryov thrashed. He was charged, d_ou remember, 'for inflicting bodily injury with rods on the landowner Maximo_n a drunken condition.' Would you believe it, he claims that he was tha_aximov and that he was beaten! Now can it be so? Tchitchikov made hi_ourney, at the very latest, at the beginning of the twenties, so that th_ates don't fit. He couldn't have been thrashed then, he couldn't, could he?"
It was diffcult to imagine what Kalgonov was excited about, but his excitemen_as genuine. Mitya followed his lead without protest.
"Well, but if they did thrash him!" he cried, laughing.
"It's not that they thrashed me exactly, but what I mean is- " put in Maximov.
"What do you mean? Either they thrashed you or they didn't."
"What o'clock is it, panie?" the Pole, with the pipe, asked his tall friend, with a bored expression. The other shrugged his shoulders in reply. Neither o_hem had a watch.
"Why not talk? Let other people talk. Mustn't other people talk because you'r_ored?" Grushenka flew at him with evident intention of finding fault.
Something seemed for the first time to flash upon Mitya's mind. This time th_ole answered with unmistakable irritability.
"Pani, I didn't oppose it. I didn't say anything."
"All right then. Come, tell us your story," Grushenka cried to Maximov. "Wh_re you all silent?"
"There's nothing to tell, it's all so foolish," answered Maximov at once, wit_vident satisfaction, mincing a little. "Besides, all that's by way o_llegory in Gogol, for he's made all the names have a meaning. Nozdryov wa_eally called Nosov, and Kuvshinikov had quite a different name, he was calle_hkvornev. Fenardi really was called Fenardi, only he wasn't an Italian but _ussian, and Mamsel Fenardi was a pretty girl with her pretty little legs i_ights, and she had a little short skirt with spangles, and she kept turnin_ound and round, only not for four hours but for four minutes only, and sh_ewitched everyone… "
"But what were you beaten for?" cried Kalganov.
"For Piron!" answered Maximov.
"What Piron?" cried Mitya.
"The famous French writer, Piron. We were all drinking then, a big party o_s, in a tavern at that very fair. They'd invited me, and first of all I bega_uoting epigrams. 'Is that you, Boileau? What a funny get-up!' and Boilea_nswers that he's going to a masquerade, that is to the baths, he he! And the_ook it to themselves, so I made haste to repeat another, very sarcastic, wel_nown to all educated people:
Yes, Sappho and Phaon are we!
But one grief is weighing on me.
You don't know your way to the sea!
"They were still more offended and began abusing me in the most unseemly wa_or it. And as ill-luck would have it, to set things right, I began telling _ery cultivated anecdote about Piron, how he was not accepted into the Frenc_cademy, and to revenge himself wrote his own epitaph:
Ci-git Piron qui ne fut rien,
Pas meme academicien,*
* Here lies Piron, who was nothing, not even an Academician.
They seized me and thrashed me."
"But what for? What for?"
"For my education. People can thrash a man for anything," Maximov concluded, briefly and sententiously.
"Eh, that's enough! That's all stupid, I don't want to listen. I thought i_ould be amusing," Grushenka cut them short, suddenly.
Mitya started, and at once left off laughing. The tall Pole rose upon hi_eet, and with the haughty air of a man, bored and out of his element, bega_acing from corner to corner of the room, his hands behind his back.
"Ah, he can't sit still," said Grushenka, looking at him contemptuously. Mity_egan to feel anxious. He noticed besides, that the Pole on the sofa wa_ooking at him with an irritable expression.
"Panie!" cried Mitya, "Let's drink! and the other pan, too! Let us drink."
In a flash he had pulled three glasses towards him, and filled them wit_hampagne.
"To Poland, Panovie, I drink to your Poland!" cried Mitya.
"I shall be delighted, panie," said the Pole on the sofa, with dignity an_ffable condescension, and he took his glass.
"And the other pan, what's his name? Drink, most illustrious, take you_lass!" Mitya urged.
"Pan Vrublevsky," put in the Pole on the sofa.
Pan Vrublevsky came up to the table, swaying as he walked.
"To Poland, Panovie!" cried Mitya, raisin, his glass. "Hurrah!"
All three drank. Mitya seized the bottle and again poured out three glasses.
"Now to Russia, Panovie, and let us be brothers!"
"Pour out some for us," said Grushenka; "I'll drink to Russia, too!"
"So will I," said Kalganov.
"And I would, too… to Russia, the old grandmother!" tittered Maximov.
"All! All!" cried Mitya. "Trifon Borissovitch, some more bottles!"
The other three bottles Mitya had brought with him were put on the table.
Mitya filled the glasses.
"To Russia! Hurrah!" he shouted again. All drank the toast except the Poles, and Grushenka tossed off her whole glass at once. The Poles did not touc_heirs.
"How's this, Panovie?" cried Mitya, "won't you drink it?"
Pan Vrublevsky took the glass, raised it and said with a resonant voice:
"To Russia as she was before 1772."
"Come, that's better!" cried the other Pole, and they both emptied thei_lasses at once.
"You're fools, you Panovie," broke suddenly from Mitya.
"Panie!" shouted both the Poles, menacingly, setting on Mitya like a couple o_ocks. Pan Vrublevsky was specially furious.
"Can one help loving one's own country?" he shouted.
"Be silent! Don't quarrel! I won't have any quarrelling!" cried Grushenk_mperiously, and she stamped her foot on the floor. Her face glowed, her eye_ere shining. The effects of the glass she had just drunk were apparent. Mity_as terribly alarmed.
"Panovie, forgive me! It was my fault, I'm sorry. Vrublevsky, pani_rublevsky, I'm sorry."
"Hold your tongue, you, anyway! Sit down, you stupid!". Grushenka scolded wit_ngry annoyance.
Everyone sat down, all were silent, looking at one another.
"Gentlemen, I was the cause of it all," Mitya began again, unable to mak_nything of Grushenka's words. "Come, why are we sitting here? What shall w_o… to amuse ourselves again?"
"Ach, it's certainly anything but amusing!" Kalgonov mumbled lazily.
"Let's play faro again, as we did just now," Maximov tittered suddenly.
"Faro? Splendid!" cried Mitya. "If only the panovie-"
"It's lite, panovie," the Pole on the sofa responded, as it were unwillingly.
"That's true," assented Pan Vrublevsky.
"Lite? What do you mean by 'lite'?" asked Grushenka.
"Late, pani! 'A late hour' I mean," the Pole on the sofa explained.
"It's always late with them. They can never do anything!" Grushenka almos_hrieked in her anger. "They're dull themselves, so they want others to b_ull. Before came, Mitya, they were just as silent and kept turning up thei_oses at me."
"My goddess!" cried the Pole on the sofa, "I see you're not well-disposed t_e, that's why I'm gloomy. I'm ready, panie," added he, addressing Mitya.
"Begin, panie," Mitya assented, pulling his notes out of his pocket, an_aying two hundred-rouble notes on the table. "I want to lose a lot to you.
Take your cards. Make the bank."
"We'll have cards from the landlord, panie," said the little Pole, gravely an_mphatically.
"That's much the best way," chimed in Pan Vrublevsky.
"From the landlord? Very good, I understand, let's get them from him. Cards!"
Mitya shouted to the landlord.
The landlord brought in a new, unopened pack, and informed Mitya that th_irls were getting ready, and that the Jews with the cymbals would most likel_e here soon; but the cart with the provisions had not yet arrived. Mity_umped up from the table and ran into the next room to give orders, but onl_hree girls had arrived, and Marya was not there yet. And he did not kno_imself what orders to give and why he had run out. He only told them to tak_ut of the box the presents for the girls, the sweets, the toffee and th_ondants. "And vodka for Andrey, vodka for Andrey!" he cried in haste. "I wa_ude to Andrey!"
Suddenly Maximov, who had followed him out, touched him on the shoulder.
"Give me five roubles," he whispered to Mitya. "I'll stake something at faro, too, he he!"
"Capital! Splendid! Take ten, here!"
Again he took all the notes out of his pocket and picked out one for te_oubles. "And if you lose that, come again, come again."
"Very good," Maximov whispered joyfully, and he ran back again. Mitya, too, returned, apologising for having kept them waiting. The Poles had already sa_own, and opened the pack. They looked much more amiable, almost cordial. Th_ole on the sofa had lighted another pipe and was preparing to throw. He wor_n air of solemnity.
"To your places, gentlemen," cried Pan Vrublevsky.
"No, I'm not going to play any more," observed Kalganov, "I've lost fift_oubles to them just now."
"The pan had no luck, perhaps he'll be lucky this time," the Pole on the sof_bserved in his direction.
"How much in the bank? To correspond?" asked Mitya.
"That's according, panie, maybe a hundred, maybe two hundred, as much as yo_ill stake." "A million!" laughed Mitya.
"The Pan Captain has heard of Pan Podvysotsky, perhaps?"
"In Warsaw there was a bank and anyone comes and stakes against it.
Podvysotsky comes, sees a thousand gold pieces, stakes against the bank. Th_anker says, 'Panie Podvysotsky, are you laying down the gold, or must w_rust to your honour?' 'To my honour, panie,' says Podvysotsky. 'So much th_etter.' The banker throws the dice. Podvysotsky wins. 'Take it, panie,' say_he banker, and pulling out the drawer he gives him a million. 'Take it, panie, this is your gain.' There was a million in the bank. 'I didn't kno_hat,' says Podvysotsky. 'Panie Podvysotsky,' said the banker, 'you pledge_our honour and we pledged ours.' Podvysotsky took the million."
"That's not true," said Kalganov.
"Panie Kalganov, in gentlemanly society one doesn't say such things."
"As if a Polish gambler would give away a million!" cried Mitya, but checke_imself at once. "Forgive me, panie, it's my fault again; he would, he woul_ive away a million, for honour, for Polish honour. You see how I talk Polish, ha ha! Here, I stake ten roubles, the knave leads."
"And I put a rouble on the queen, the queen of hearts, the pretty littl_anienotchka[](footnotes.xml#footnote_11) he! he!" laughed Maximov, pulling out his queen, and, as though trying to conceal it from everyone, h_oved right up and crossed himself hurriedly under the table. Mitya won. Th_ouble won, too. "A corner!" cried Mitya. "I'll bet another rouble, a 'single'
stake," Maximov muttered gleefully, hugely delighted at having won a rouble.
"Lost!" shouted Mitya. "A 'double' on the seven!" The seven too was trumped.
"Stop!" cried Kalganov suddenly. "Double! Double!" Mitya doubled his stakes, and each time he doubled the stake, the card he doubled was trumped by th_oles. The rouble stakes kept winning. "On the double!" shouted Mity_uriously. "You've lost two hundred, panie. Will you stake another hundred?"
the Pole on the sofa inquired. "What? Lost two hundred already? Then anothe_wo hundred! All doubles!" And pulling his money out of his pocket, Mitya wa_bout to fling two hundred roubles on the queen, but Kalgonov covered it wit_is hand. "That's enough!" he shouted in his ringing voice. "What's th_atter?" Mitya stared at him. "That's enough! I don't want you to pla_nymore. Don't!" "Why?" "Because I don't. Hang it, come away. That's why. _on't let you go on playing." Mitya gazed at him in astonishment. "Give it up, Mitya. He may be right. You've lost a lot as it is," said Grushenka, with _urious note in her voice. Both the Poles rose from their seats with a deepl_ffended air. "Are you joking, panie?" said the short man, looking severely a_alganov. "How dare you!" Pan Vrublevsky, too, growled at Kalganov. "Don'_are to shout like that," cried Grushenka. "Ah, you turkey-cocks!" Mity_ooked at each of them in turn. But something in Grushenka's face suddenl_truck him, and at the same instant something new flashed into his mind- _trange new thought! "Pani Agrippina," the little Pole was beginning, crimso_ith anger, when Mitya suddenly went up to him and slapped him on th_houlder. "Most illustrious, two words with you."cried Grushenka. "What do yo_ant?" "In the next room, I've two words to say to you, something pleasant, very pleasant. You'll be glad to hear it." The little pan was taken aback an_ooked apprehensively at Mitya. He agreed at once, however, on condition tha_an Vrublevsky went with them. "The bodyguard? Let him come, and I want him, too. I must have him!" cried Mitya. "March, panovie!" "Where are you going?"
asked Grushenka, anxiously. "We'll be back in one moment," answered Mitya.
There was a sort of boldness, a sudden confidence shining in his eyes. Hi_ace had looked very different when he entered the room an hour before. He le_he Poles, not into the large room where the chorus of girls was assemblin_nd the table was being laid, but into the bedroom on the right, where th_runks and packages were kept, and there were two large beds, with pyramids o_otton pillows on each. There was a lighted candle on a small deal table i_he corner. The small man and Mitya sat down to this table, facing each other, while the huge Vrublevsky stood beside them, his hands behind his back. Th_oles looked severe but were evidently inquisitive. "What can I do for you, panie?" lisped the little Pole. "Well, look here, panie, I won't keep yo_ong. There's money for you," he pulled out his notes. "Would you like thre_housand? Take it and go your way." The Pole gazed open-eyed at Mitya, with _earching look. "Three thousand, panie?" He exchanged glances with Vrublevsky.
"Three, panovie, three! Listen, panie, I see you're a sensible man. Take thre_housand and go to the devil, and Vrublevsky with you d'you hear? But, a_nce, this very minute, and for ever. You understand that, panie, for ever.
Here's the door, you go out of it. What have you got there, a great-coat, _ur coat? I'll bring it out to you. They'll get the horses out directly, an_hen-good-bye, panie!" Mitya awaited an answer with assurance. He had n_oubts. An expression of extraordinary resolution passed over the Pole's face.
"And the money, panie?" "The money, panie? Five hundred roubles I'll give yo_his moment for the journey, and as a first instalment, and two thousand fiv_undred to-morrow, in the town- I swear on my honour, I'll get it, I'll get i_t any cost!" cried Mitya. The Poles exchanged glances again. The short man'_ace looked more forbidding. "Seven hundred, seven hundred, not five hundred, at once, this minute, cash down!" Mitya added, feeling something wrong.
"What's the matter, panie? Don't you trust me? I can't give you the whol_hree thousand straight off. If I give it, you may come back to her to-morrow… . Besides, I haven't the three thousand with me. I've got it at home in th_own," faltered Mitya, his spirit sinking at every word he uttered. "Upon m_ord, the money's there, hidden." In an instant an extraordinary sense o_ersonal dignity showed itself in the little man's face. "What next?" he aske_ronically. "For shame!" and he spat on the floor. Pan Vrublevsky spat too.
"You do that, panie," said Mitya, recognising with despair that all was over,
"because you hope to make more out of Grushenka? You're a couple of capons, that's what you are!" "This is a mortal insult!" The little Pole turned as re_s a crab, and he went out of the room, briskly, as though unwilling to hea_nother word. Vrublevsky swung out after him, and Mitya followed, confused an_restfallen. He was afraid of Grushenka, afraid that the Pan would at onc_aise an outcry. And so indeed he did. The Pole walked into the room and thre_imself in a theatrical attitude before Grushenka. "Pani Agrippina, I hav_eceived a mortal insult!" he exclaimed. But Grushenka suddenly lost al_atience, as though they had wounded her in the tenderest spot. "Spea_ussian! Speak Russian!" she cried, "not another word of Polish! You used t_alk Russian. You can't have forgotten it in five years." She was red wit_assion. "Pani Agrippina-" "My name's Agrafena, Grushenka, speak Russian or _on't listen!" The Pole gasped with offended dignity, and quickly an_ompously delivered himself in broken Russian: "Pani Agrafena, I came here t_orget the past and forgive it, to forget all that has happened till to-day-"
"Forgive? Came here to forgive me?" Grushenka cut him short, jumping up fro_er seat. "Just so, Pani, I'm not pusillanimous, I'm magnanimous. But I wa_stounded when I saw your lovers. Pan Mitya offered me three thousand, in th_ther room to depart. I spat in the pan's face." "What? He offered you mone_or me?" cried Grushenka, hysterically. "Is it true, Mitya? How dare you? Am _or sale?" "Panie, panie!" yelled Mitya, "she's pure and shining, and I hav_ever been her lover! That's a lie… " "How dare you defend me to him?"
shrieked Grushenka. "It wasn't virtue kept me pure, and it wasn't that I wa_fraid of Kuzma, but that I might hold up my head when I met him, and tell hi_e's a scoundrel. And he did actually refuse the money?" "He took it! He too_t!" cried Mitya; "only he wanted to get the whole three thousand at once, an_ could only give him seven hundred straight off." "I see: he heard I ha_oney, and came here to marry me!" "Pani Agrippina!" cried the little Pole.
"I'm- a knight, I'm- a nobleman, and not a lajdak. I came here to make you m_ife and I find you a different woman, perverse and shameless." "Oh, go bac_here you came from! I'll tell them to turn you out and you'll be turned out,"
cried Grushenka, furious. "I've been a fool, a fool, to have been miserabl_hese five years! And it wasn't for his sake, it was my anger made m_iserable. And this isn't he at all! Was he like this? It might be his father!
Where did you get your wig from? He was a falcon, but this is a gander. H_sed to laugh and sing to me… . And I've been crying for five years, damne_ool, abject, shameless I was! She sank back in her low chair and hid her fac_n her hands. At that instant the chorus of Mokroe began singing in the roo_n the left- a rollicking dance song. "A regular Sodom!" Vrublevsky roare_uddenly. "Landlord, send the shameless hussies away!" The landlord, who ha_een for some time past inquisitively peeping in at the door, hearing shout_nd guessing that his guests were quarrelling, at once entered the room. "Wha_re you shouting for? D'you want to split your throat?" he said, addressin_rublevsky, with surprising rudeness. "Animal!" bellowed Pan Vrublevsky.
"Animal? And what sort of cards were you playing with just now? I gave you _ack and you hid it. You played with marked cards! I could send you to Siberi_or playing with false cards, d'you know that, for it's just the same as fals_anknotes… And going up to the sofa he thrust his fingers between the sof_ack and the cushion, and pulled out an unopened pack of cards. "Here's m_ack unopened!" He held it up and showed it to all in the room. "From where _tood I saw him slip my pack away, and put his in place of it- you're a chea_nd not a gentleman!" "And I twice saw the pan change a card!" cried Kalganov.
"How shameful! How shameful!" exclaimed Grushenka, clasping her hands, an_lushing for genuine shame. "Good Lord, he's come to that!" "I thought so, too!" said Mitya. But before he had uttered the words, Vrublevsky, with _onfused and infuriated face, shook his fist at Grushenka, shouting: "You lo_arlot!" Mitya flew at him at once, clutched him in both hands, lifted him i_he air, and in one instant had carried him into the room on the right, fro_hich they had just come. "I've laid him on the floor, there," he announced, returning at once, gasping with excitement. "He's struggling, the scoundrel!
But he won't come back, no fear of that!… " He closed one half of the foldin_oors, and holding the other ajar called out to the little Pole: "Mos_llustrious, will you please to retire as well?" "My dear Dmitr_yodorovitch," said Trifon Borissovitch, "make them give you back the mone_ou lost. It's as good as stolen from you." "I don't want my fifty rouble_ack," Kalgonov declared suddenly. "I don't want my two hundred, either,"
cried Mitya, "I wouldn't take it for anything! Let him keep it as _onsolation." "Bravo, Mitya! You're a trump, Mitya!" cried Grushenka, an_here was a note of fierce anger in the exclamation. The little pan, crimso_ith fury but still mindful of his dignity, was making for the door, but h_topped short and said suddenly, addressing Grushenka: "Pani, if you want t_ome with me, come. If not, good-bye." And swelling with indignation an_mportance he went to the door. This was a man of character: he had so good a_pinion of himself that after all that had passed, he still expected that sh_ould marry him. Mitya slammed the door after him. "Lock it," said Kalganov.
But the key clicked on the other side, they had locked it from within. "That'_apital!" exclaimed Grushenka relentlessly. "Serve them right!"