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could be done with translucent and colored plastic. The

time:2023-12-06 02:57:36 source:Untouched network author:nature read:177次

"And now," continued Chichikov, "go you at once and fetch a blacksmith. Tell him that everything must be put right within two hours at the most. Do you hear? If that should not be done, I, I--I will give you the best flogging that ever you had in your life." Truly Chichikov was almost beside himself with fury.

could be done with translucent and colored plastic. The

Turning towards the door, as though for the purpose of going and carrying out his orders, Selifan halted and added:

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"That skewbald, barin--you might think it well to sell him, seeing that he is nothing but a rascal? A horse like that is more of a hindrance than a help."

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"What? Do you expect me to go NOW to the market-place and sell him?"

"Well, Paul Ivanovitch, he is good for nothing but show, since by nature he is a most cunning beast. Never in my life have I seen such a horse."

"Fool! Whenever I may wish to sell him I SHALL sell him. Meanwhile, don't you trouble your head about what doesn't concern you, but go and fetch a blacksmith, and see that everything is put right within two hours. Otherwise I will take the very hair off your head, and beat you till you haven't a face left. Be off! Hurry!"

Selifan departed, and Chichikov, his ill-humour vented, threw down upon the floor the poignard which he always took with him as a means of instilling respect into whomsoever it might concern, and spent the next quarter of an hour in disputing with a couple of blacksmiths--men who, as usual, were rascals of the type which, on perceiving that something is wanted in a hurry, at once multiplies its terms for providing the same. Indeed, for all Chichikov's storming and raging as he dubbed the fellows robbers and extortioners and thieves, he could make no impression upon the pair, since, true to their character, they declined to abate their prices, and, even when they had begun their work, spent upon it, not two hours, but five and a half. Meanwhile he had the satisfaction of experiencing that delightful time with which all travellers are familiar--namely, the time during which one sits in a room where, except for a litter of string, waste paper, and so forth, everything else has been packed. But to all things there comes an end, and there arrived also the long-awaited moment when the britchka had received the luggage, the faulty wheel had been fitted with a new tyre, the horses had been re-shod, and the predatory blacksmiths had departed with their gains. "Thank God!" thought Chichikov as the britchka rolled out of the gates of the inn, and the vehicle began to jolt over the cobblestones. Yet a feeling which he could not altogether have defined filled his breast as he gazed upon the houses and the streets and the garden walls which he might never see again. Presently, on turning a corner, the britchka was brought to a halt through the fact that along the street there was filing a seemingly endless funeral procession. Leaning forward in his britchka, Chichikov asked Petrushka whose obsequies the procession represented, and was told that they represented those of the Public Prosecutor. Disagreeably shocked, our hero hastened to raise the hood of the vehicle, to draw the curtains across the windows, and to lean back into a corner. While the britchka remained thus halted Selifan and Petrushka, their caps doffed, sat watching the progress of the cortege, after they had received strict instructions not to greet any fellow-servant whom they might recognise. Behind the hearse walked the whole body of tchinovniks, bare-headed; and though, for a moment or two, Chichikov feared that some of their number might discern him in his britchka, he need not have disturbed himself, since their attention was otherwise engaged. In fact, they were not even exchanging the small talk customary among members of such processions, but thinking exclusively of their own affairs, of the advent of the new Governor-General, and of the probable manner in which he would take up the reins of administration. Next came a number of carriages, from the windows of which peered the ladies in mourning toilets. Yet the movements of their hands and lips made it evident that they were indulging in animated conversation--probably about the Governor-General, the balls which he might be expected to give, and their own eternal fripperies and gewgaws. Lastly came a few empty drozhkis. As soon as the latter had passed, our hero was able to continue on his way. Throwing back the hood of the britchka, he said to himself:

"Ah, good friend, you have lived your life, and now it is over! In the newspapers they will say of you that you died regretted not only by your subordinates, but also by humanity at large, as well as that, a respected citizen, a kind father, and a husband beyond reproach, you went to your grave amid the tears of your widow and orphans. Yet, should those journals be put to it to name any particular circumstance which justified this eulogy of you, they would be forced to fall back upon the fact that you grew a pair of exceptionally thick eyebrows!"


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