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Chapter 35

  • THE governor of S. was one of those good-natured, happy-go-lucky, worldl_enerals who, endowed with wonderfully clean, snow-white bodies and souls t_atch, of good breeding and education, are turned out of a mill where they ar_ever ground down to becoming the "shepherds of the people." Nevertheless the_rove themselves capable of a tolerable amount of administrative ability— d_ittle work, but are forever sighing after St. Petersburg and paying court t_ll the pretty women of the place. These are men who in some unaccountable wa_ecome useful to their province and manage to leave pleasant memories behin_hem. The governor had only just got out of bed, and was comfortably seate_efore his dressing-table in his night-shirt and silk dressing-gown, bathin_is face and neck with eau-de-cologne after having removed a whole collectio_f charms and coins dangling from it, when he was informed of the arrival o_ipiagin and Kollomietzev upon some urgent business. He was very familiar wit_ipiagin, having known him from childhood and constantly run across him in St.
  • Petersburg drawing-rooms, and lately he had begun to ejaculate a respectful
  • "Ah! " every time his name occurred to him—as if he saw in him a futur_tatesman. Kollomietzev he did not know so well and respected less i_onsequence of various unpleasant complaints that had been made against him; however, he looked upon him as a man qui fera chemin in any case.
  • He ordered his guests to be shown into his study, where he soon joined them, as he was, in his silk dressing-gown, and not so much as excusing himself fo_eceiving them in such an unofficial costume, shook hands with them heartily.
  • Only Sipiagin and Kollomietzev appeared in the governor's study; Pakli_emained in the drawing-room. On getting out of the carriage he had tried t_lip away, muttering that he had some business at home, but Sipiagin ha_etained him with a polite firmness (Kollomietzev had rushed up to him an_hispered in his ear: "Ne le lacher pas! Tonnerre de tonnerres!") and take_im in. He had not, however, taken him to the study, but had asked him, wit_he same polite firmness, to wait in the drawing-room until he was wanted.
  • Even here Paklin had hoped to escape, but a robust gendarme at Kollomietzev'_nstruction appeared in the doorway; so Paklin remained.
  • "I dare say you've guessed what has brought me to you, Voldemar," Sipiagi_egan.
  • "No, my dear, no, I can't," the amiable Epicurean replied, while a smile o_elcome played about his rosy cheeks, showing a glimpse of shiny teeth, hal_idden by his silky moustache.
  • "What? Don't you know about Markelov?"
  • "What do you mean? What Markelov?" the governor repeated with the same joyfu_xpression on his face. He did not remember, in the first place, that the ma_ho was arrested yesterday was called Markelov, and, in the second, he ha_uite forgotten that Sipiagin's wife had a brother of that name. "But why ar_ou standing, Boris? Sit down. Would you like some tea?"
  • Sipiagin's mind was far from tea.
  • When at last he explained why they had both appeared, the governor uttered a_xclamation of pain and struck himself on the forehead, while his face assume_ sympathetic expression.
  • "Dear me! what a misfortune! And he's here now—today… . You know we never kee_hat sort with us for more than one night at the outside, but the chief o_olice is out of town, so your brother-in-law has been detained. He is to b_ent on tomorrow. Dear me! what a dreadful thing! What your wife must hav_one through! What would you like me to do?"
  • "I would like to have an interview with him here, if it is not against th_aw."
  • "My dear boy! laws are not made for men like you. I do feel so sorry for you… . C'est affreux, tu sais!"
  • He gave a peculiar ring. An adjutant appeared.
  • My dear baron, do please make some arrangement there … " He told him what h_anted and the baron vanished. "Only think, mon cher ami, the peasants nearl_illed him. They tied his hands behind him, flung him in a cart, and brough_im here! And he's not in the least bit angry or indignant with them you know!
  • He was so calm altogether that I was amazed! But you will see for yourself.
  • C'est un fanatique tranquille."
  • "Ce sont les pires," Kollomietzev remarked sarcastically. The governor looke_p at him from under his eyebrows. "By the way, I must have a word with you, Simion Petrovitch."
  • "Yes; what about?"
  • "I don't like things at all—"
  • "What things?"
  • "You know that peasant who owed you money and came here to complain—"
  • "Well? "
  • "He's hanged himself."
  • "When?"
  • "It's of no consequence when; but it's an ugly affair."
  • Kollomietzev merely shrugged his shoulders and moved away to the window with _raceful swing of the body. At this moment the adjutant brought in Markelov.
  • The governor had been right; he was unnaturally calm. Even his habitua_oroseness had given place to an expression of weary indifference, which di_ot change when he caught sight of his brother-in-law. Only in the glanc_hich he threw on the German adjutant, who was escorting him, there was _omentary flash of the old hatred he felt towards such people. His coat ha_een torn in several places and hurriedly stitched up with coarse thread; hi_orehead, eyebrows, and the bridge of his nose were covered with small scar_aked with clotted blood. He had not washed, but had combed his hair.
  • "Sergai Mihailovitch!" Sipiagin began excitedly, taking a step or two toward_im and extending his right hand, only so that he might touch him or stop hi_f he made a movement in advance, "Sergai Mihailovitch! I am not here to tel_ou of our amazement, our deep distress—you can have no doubt of that! Yo_anted to ruin yourself and have done so! But I've come to tell you … that … that … to give you the chance of hearing sound common-sense through the voic_f honour and friendship. You can still mitigate your lot and, believe me, _ill do all in my power to help you, as the honoured head of this province ca_ear witness!" At this point Sipiagin raised his voice. "A real penitence o_our wrongs and a full confession without reserve which will be duly presente_n the proper quarters—"
  • "Your excellency," Markelov exclaimed suddenly, turning towards th_overnor—the very sound of his voice was calm, though it was a little hoarse;
  • "I thought that you wanted to see me in order to cross-examine me again, bu_f I have been brought here solely by Mr. Sipiagin's wish, then please orde_e to be taken back again. We cannot understand one another. All he says is s_uch Greek to me."
  • "Greek, eh!" Kollomietzev shrieked. "And to set peasants rioting, is tha_reek too? Is that Greek too, eh?
  • "What have you here, your excellency? A landowner of the secret police? An_ow zealous he is!" Markelov remarked, a faint smile of pleasure playing abou_is pale lips.
  • Kollomietzev stamped and raged, but the governor stopped him.
  • "It serves you right, Simion Petrovitch. You shouldn't interfere in what i_ot your business."
  • "Not my business … not my business … It seems to me that it's the business o_very nobleman—"
  • Markelov scanned Kollomietzev coldly and slowly, as if for the last time an_hen turned to Sipiagin.
  • "If you really want to know my views, my dear brother-in-law, here they are. _dmit that the peasants had a right to arrest me and give me up if the_isapproved of what I preached to them. They were free to do what they wanted.
  • I came to them, not they to me. As for the government— if it does send me t_iberia, I'll go without grumbling, although I don't consider myself guilty.
  • The government does its work, defends itself. Are you satisfied?"
  • Sipiagin wrung his hands in despair.
  • "Satisfied!! What a word! That's not the point, and it is not for us to judg_he doings of the government. The question, my dear Sergai, is whether yo_eel" (Sipiagin had decided to touch the tender strings) "the utte_nreasonableness, senselessness, of your undertaking and are prepared t_epent; and whether I can answer for you at all, my dear Sergai."
  • Markelov frowned.
  • "I have said all I have to say and don't want to repeat it."
  • "But don't you repent? Don't you repent?"
  • "Oh, leave me alone with your repentence! You want to steal into my very soul?
  • Leave that, at any rate, to me."
  • Sipiagin shrugged his shoulders.
  • "You were always like that; never would listen to common-sense. You have _plendid chance of getting out of this quietly, honourably…
  • "Quietly, honourably," Markelov repeated savagely. "We know those words. The_re always flung at a man when he's wanted to do something mean! That is wha_hese fine phrases are for!"
  • "We sympathise with you," Sipiagin continued reproachfully, "and you hate us."
  • "Fine sympathy! To Siberia and hard labour with us; that is your sympathy. Oh, let me alone! let me alone! for Heaven's sake!"
  • Markelov lowered his head.
  • He was agitated at heart, though externally calm. He was most of all torture_y the fact that he had been betrayed—and by whom? By Eremy of Goloplok! Tha_ame Eremy whom he had trusted so much! That Mendely the sulky had no_ollowed him, had really not surprised him. Mendely was drunk and wa_onsequently afraid. But Eremy! For Markelov, Eremy stood in some way as th_ersonification of the whole Russian people, and Eremy had deceived him! Ha_e been mistaken about the thing he was striving for? Was Kisliakov a liar?
  • And were Vassily Nikolaevitch's orders all stupid? And all the articles, books, works of socialists and thinkers, every letter of which had seemed t_im invincible truth, were they all nonsense too? Was it really so? And th_eautiful simile of the abcess awaiting the prick of the lancet—was that, too, nothing more than a phrase? "No! no! " he whispered to himself, and the colou_pread faintly over his bronze-coloured face; "no! All these things are true, true … only I am to blame. I did not know how to do things, did not put thing_n the right way! I ought simply to have given orders, and if anyone had trie_o hinder, or object—put a bullet through his head! there is nothing else t_e done! He who is against us has no right to live. Don't they kill spies lik_ogs, worse than dogs?"
  • All the details of his capture rose up in Markelov's mind. First the silence, the leers, then the shrieks from the back of the crowd … someone coming u_ideways as if bowing to him, then that sudden rush, when he was knocked down.
  • His own cries of "What are you doing, my boys?" and their shouts, "A belt! _elt! tie him up! " Then the rattling of his bones … unspeakable rage … filt_n his mouth, his nostrils … "Shove him in the cart! shove him in the cart!"
  • someone roared with laughter. .
  • "I didn't go about it in the right way … " That was the thing that mos_ormented him. That he had fallen under the wheel was his personal misfortun_nd had nothing to do with the cause—it was possible to bear that … but Eremy!
  • Eremy!!
  • While Markelov was standing with his head sunk on his breast, Sipiagin dre_he governor aside and began talking to him in undertones. He flourished tw_ingers across his forehead, as though he would suggest that the unfortunat_an was not quite right in his head, in order to arouse if not sympathy, a_ny rate indulgence towards the madman. The governor shrugged his shoulders, opened and shut his eyes, regretted his inability to do anything, but mad_ome sort of promise in the end. "Tous les egards … certainement, tous le_gards," the soft, pleasant words flowed through his scented moustache. "Bu_ou know the law, my boy!"
  • "Of course I do!" Sipiagin responded with a sort of submissive severity.
  • While they were talking in the corner, Kollomietzev could scarcely stand stil_n one spot. He walked up and down, hummed and hawed, showed every sign o_mpatience. At last he went up to Sipiagin, saying hastily, " Vous oublie_'autre!"
  • "Oh, yes!" Sipiagin exclaimed loudly. "Merci de me l'avoir rappele. You_xcellency," he said, turning to the governor (he purposely addressed hi_riend Voldemar in this formal way, so as not to compromise the prestige o_uthority in Markelov's presence), "I must draw your attention to the fac_hat my brother-in-law's mad attempt has certain ramifications, and one o_hese branches, that is to say, one of the suspected persons, is to be foun_ot very far from here, in this town. I've brought another with me," he adde_n a whisper, "he's in the drawing- room. Have him brought in here."
  • "What a man!" the governor thought with admiration, gazing respectfully a_ipiagin. He gave the order and a minute later Sila Paklin stood before him.
  • Paklin bowed very low to the governor as he came in, but catching sight o_arkelov before he had time to raise himself, remained as he was, half ben_own, fidgetting with his cap. Markelov looked at him vacantly, but coul_ardly have recognised him, as he withdrew into his own thoughts.
  • "Is this the branch?" the governor asked, pointing to Paklin with a long whit_inger adorned with a turquoise ring.
  • "Oh, no!" Sipiagin exclaimed with a slight smile. "However, who knows!" h_dded after a moment's thought. "Your excellency," he said aloud, "th_entleman before you is Mr. Paklin. He comes from St. Petersburg and is _lose friend of a certain person who for a time held the position of tutor i_y house and who ran away, taking with him a certain young girl who, I blus_o say, is my niece.
  • "Ah! oui, oui," the governor mumbled, shaking his head, "I heard the story … The princess told me—"
  • Sipiagin raised his voice.
  • "That person is a certain Mr. Nejdanov, whom I strongly suspect of dangerou_deas and theories—"
  • "Un rouge a tous crins," Kollomietzev put in.
  • "Yes, dangerous ideas and theories," Sipiagin repeated more emphatically. "H_ust certainly know something about this propaganda. He is … in hiding, as _ave been informed by Mr. Paklin, in the merchant Falyaeva's factory—"
  • At these words Markelov threw another glance at Paklin and gave a slow, indifferent smile.
  • "Excuse me, excuse me, your excellency," Paklin cried, "and you, Mr. Sipiagin, I never … never—"
  • "Did you say the merchant Falyaeva?" the governor asked, turning to Sipiagi_nd merely shaking his fingers in Paklin's direction, as much as to say,"
  • Gently, my good man, gently." "What is coming over our respectable, bearde_erchants? Only yesterday one was arrested in connection with this affair. Yo_ay have heard of him—Golushkin, a very rich man. But he's harmless enough. H_on't make revolutions; he's grovelling on his knees already."
  • "The merchant Falyaeva has nothing whatever to do with it," Sipiagin began; "_now nothing of his ideas; I was only talking of his factory where Mr.
  • Nejdanov is to be found at this very moment, as Mr. Paklin says—"
  • "I said nothing of the kind!" Paklin cried; "you said it yourself!"
  • "Excuse me, Mr. Paklin," Sipiagin pronounced with the same relentles_recision, "I admire that feeling of friendship which prompts you to deny it."
  • ("A regular Guizot, upon my word!" the governor thought to himself.) "But tak_xample by me. Do you suppose that the feeling of kinship is less strong in m_han your feeling of friendship? But there is another feeling, my dear sir, yet stronger still, which guides all our deeds and actions, and that is duty!"
  • "Le sentiment du devoir," Kollomietzev explained.
  • Markelov took both the speakers in at a glance.
  • "Your excellency!" he exclaimed, "I ask you a second time; please have m_emoved out of sight of these babblers."
  • But there the governor lost patience a little.
  • "Mr. Markelov!" he pronounced severely, "I would advise you, in your presen_osition, to be a little more careful of your tongue, and to show a littl_ore respect to your elders, especially when they give expression to suc_atriotic sentiments as those you have just heard from the lips of your beau- frere! I shall be delighted, my dear Boris," he added, turning to Sipiagin,
  • "to tell the minister of your noble action. But with whom is this Nejdano_taying at the factory?"
  • Sipiagin frowned.
  • "With a certain Mr. Solomin, the chief engineer there, Mr. Paklin says."
  • It seemed to afford Sipiagin some peculiar pleasure in tormenting poor Sila.
  • He made him pay dearly for the cigar he had given him and the playfu_amiliarity of his behaviour.
  • "This Solomin," Kollomietzev put in, "is an out-and-out radical an_epublican. It would be a good thing if your excellency were to turn you_ttention to him too."
  • "Do you know these gentlemen … Solomin, and what's his name … Nejdanov?" th_overnor asked Markelov, somewhat authoritatively.
  • Markelov distended his nostrils malignantly.
  • "Do you know Confucius and Titus Livius, your excellency?"
  • The governor turned away.
  • "Il n'y a pas moyen de causer avec cette homme," he said, shrugging hi_houlders. "Baron, come here, please."
  • The adjutant went up to him quickly and Paklin seized the opportunity o_imping over to Sipiagin.
  • "What are you doing?" he asked in a whisper. "Why do you want to ruin you_iece? Why, she's with him, with Nejdanov!"
  • "I am not ruining any one, my dear sir," Sipiagin said loudly, "I am onl_oing what my conscience bids me do, and—"
  • "And what your wife, my sister, bids you do; you dare not stand up agains_er!" Markelov exclaimed just as loudly.
  • Sipiagin took no notice of the remark; it was too much beneath him!
  • "Listen," Paklin continued, trembling all over with agitation, or may be fro_imidity; there was a malignant light in his eyes and the tears were nearl_hoking him—tears of pity for them and rage at himself; "listen, I told yo_he was married—it wasn't true, I lied! but they must get married—and if yo_revent it, if the police get there—there will be a stain on your conscienc_hich you'll never be able to wipe out—and you—"
  • "If what you have just told me be true," Sipiagin interrupted him still mor_oudly, "then it can only hasten the measures which I think necessary to tak_n this matter; and as for the purity of my conscience, I beg you not t_rouble about that, my dear sir.
  • "It's been polished," Markelov put in again; "there is a coat of St.
  • Petersburg varnish upon it; no amount of washing will make it come clean. Yo_ay whisper as much as you like, Mr. Paklin, but you won't get anything out o_t!
  • At this point the governor considered it necessary to interfere.
  • "I think that you have said enough, gentlemen," he began, "and I'll ask you, my dear baron, to take Mr. Markelov away. N'est ce pas, Boris, you don't wan_im any further—"
  • Sipiagin made a gesture with his hands.
  • "I said everything I could think of!"
  • "Very well, baron!"
  • The adjutant came up to Markelov, clinked his spurs, made a horizonta_ovement of the hand, as if to request Markelov to make a move; the latte_urned and walked out. Paklin, only in imagination it is true, but with bitte_ympathy and pity, shook him by the hand.
  • "We'll send some of our men to the factory," the governor continued; "but yo_now, Boris, I thought this gentleman" (he moved his chin in Paklin'_irection)" told you something about your niece … I understood that she wa_here at the factory. Then how…
  • "It's impossible to arrest her in any case," Sipiagin remarked thoughtfully;
  • "perhaps she will think better of it and return. I'll write her a note, if _ay."
  • "Do please. You may be quite sure … nous offrerons le quidam … mais nou_ommes galants avec les dames et avec celle-la donc!"
  • "But you've made no arrangements about this Solomin," Kollomietzev exclaime_laintively. He had been on the alert all the while, trying to catch what th_overnor and Sipiagin were saying. "I assure you he's the principa_ingleader! I have a wonderful instinct about these things!"
  • "Pas trop de zele, my dear Simion Petrovitch," the governor remarked with _mile. "You remember Talleyrand! If it is really as you say the fellow won'_scape us. You had better think of your—" the governor put his hand to hi_hroat significantly. "By the way," he said, turning to Sipiagin, "et c_aillard-la" (he moved his chin in Paklin's direction). "Qu'enferons nous? H_oes not appear very dangerous."
  • "Let him go," Sipiagin said in an undertone, and added in German, "Lass' de_umpen laufen!"
  • He imagined for some reason that he was quoting from Goethe's Gotz vo_erlichingen.
  • "You can go, sir!" the governor said aloud. "We do not require you any longer.
  • Good day."
  • Paklin bowed to the company in general and went out into the street completel_rushed and humiliated. Heavens! this contempt had utterly broken him.
  • "Good God! What am I? A coward, a traitor?" he thought, in unutterabl_espair. "Oh, no, no! I am an honest man, gentlemen! I have still some manhoo_eft!"
  • But who was this familiar figure sitting on the governor's step and looking a_im with a dejected, reproachful glance? It was Markelov's old servant. He ha_vidently come to town for his master, and would not for a moment leave th_oor of his prison. But why did he look so reproachfully at Paklin? He had no_etrayed Markelov!
  • "And why did I go poking my nose into things that did not concern me? Wh_ould I not sit quietly at home? And now it will be said and written tha_aklin betrayed them— betrayed his friends to the enemy!" He recalled the loo_arkelov had given him and his last words, "Whisper as much as you like, Mr.
  • Paklin, but you won't get anything out of it!" and then these sad, aged, dejected eyes! he thought in desperation. And as it says in the scriptures, he
  • "wept bitterly" as he turned his steps towards the oasis, to Fomishka an_imishka and Snandulia.