The Horse-Stealers -- Ward No. 6 -- The Petchenyeg -- A Dead Body -- A Happy Ending -- The Looking-Glass -- Old Age -- Darkness -- The Beggar -- A Story Without A Title -- In Trouble -- Frost -- A Slander -- Minds In Ferment -- Gone Astray -- An Avenger -- The Jeune Premier -- A Defenceless Creature -- An Enigmatic Nature -- A Happy Man -- A Troublesome Visitor -- An Actor's End
Translated by Constance Garnett
ust the stick in and dragged it through. I went plop into the ice-hole just as I was, in my fur coat and my high boots, while they stood and shoved me, one with his foot and one with his stick, then dragged me under the ice and pulled me out of the other hole."
Lyubka shuddered and shrugged.
"At first I was in a fever from the cold," Merik went on, "but when they pulled me out I was helpless, and lay in the snow, and the Molokans stood round and hit me with sticks on my knees and my elbows. It hurt fearfully. They beat me and they went away . . . and everything on me was frozen, my clothes were covered with ice. I got up, but I couldn't move. Thank God, a woman drove by and gave me a lift."
Meanwhile Yergunov had drunk five or six glasses of vodka; his heart felt lighter, and he longed to tell some extraordinary, wonderful story too, and to show that he, too, was a bold fellow and not afraid of anything.
"I'll tell you what happened to us in Penza Province . . ." he began.
Either because he had