The Party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 210 pages of information about The Party.

“Uncle, lend me a hundred roubles,” he said to Ivan Markovitch.

His uncle, surprised, looked into his face and backed against a lamp-post.

“Give it to me,” said Sasha, shifting impatiently from one foot to the other and beginning to pant.  “Uncle, I entreat you, give me a hundred roubles.”

His face worked; he trembled, and seemed on the point of attacking his uncle. . . .

“Won’t you?” he kept asking, seeing that his uncle was still amazed and did not understand.  “Listen.  If you don’t, I’ll give myself up tomorrow!  I won’t let you pay the IOU!  I’ll present another false note tomorrow!”

Petrified, muttering something incoherent in his horror, Ivan Markovitch took a hundred-rouble note out of his pocket-book and gave it to Sasha.  The young man took it and walked rapidly away from him. . . .

Taking a sledge, Sasha grew calmer, and felt a rush of joy within him again.  The “rights of youth” of which kind-hearted Ivan Markovitch had spoken at the family council woke up and asserted themselves.  Sasha pictured the drinking-party before him, and, among the bottles, the women, and his friends, the thought flashed through his mind: 

“Now I see that I am a criminal; yes, I am a criminal.”

THE KISS

AT eight o’clock on the evening of the twentieth of May all the six batteries of the N——­ Reserve Artillery Brigade halted for the night in the village of Myestetchki on their way to camp.  When the general commotion was at its height, while some officers were busily occupied around the guns, while others, gathered together in the square near the church enclosure, were listening to the quartermasters, a man in civilian dress, riding a strange horse, came into sight round the church.  The little dun-coloured horse with a good neck and a short tail came, moving not straight forward, but as it were sideways, with a sort of dance step, as though it were being lashed about the legs.  When he reached the officers the man on the horse took off his hat and said: 

“His Excellency Lieutenant-General von Rabbek invites the gentlemen to drink tea with him this minute. . . .”

The horse turned, danced, and retired sideways; the messenger raised his hat once more, and in an instant disappeared with his strange horse behind the church.

“What the devil does it mean?” grumbled some of the officers, dispersing to their quarters.  “One is sleepy, and here this Von Rabbek with his tea!  We know what tea means.”

The officers of all the six batteries remembered vividly an incident of the previous year, when during manoeuvres they, together with the officers of a Cossack regiment, were in the same way invited to tea by a count who had an estate in the neighbourhood and was a retired army officer:  the hospitable and genial count made much of them, fed them, and gave them drink, refused to let them go to their quarters in the village

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The Party from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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