Serafima Aleksandrovna stood up erect, sighed in a lost way, smiled, and called loudly: “Lelechka!”
Lelechka was being carried out. The mother threw herself after the coffin with despairing sobs, but she was held back. She sprang behind the door, through which Lelechka had passed, sat down there on the floor, and as she looked through the crevice, she cried out: “Lelechka, tiu-tiu!”
Then she put her head out from behind the door, and began to laugh.
Lelechka was quickly carried away from her mother, and those who carried her seemed to run rather than to walk.
BY I.N. POTAPENKO
“Well?” Captain Zarubkin’s wife called out impatiently to her husband, rising from the sofa and turning to face him as he entered.
“He doesn’t know anything about it,” he replied indifferently, as if the matter were of no interest to him. Then he asked in a businesslike tone: “Nothing for me from the office?”
“Why should I know? Am I your errand boy?”
“How they dilly-dally! If only the package doesn’t come too late. It’s so important!”
“Who’s an idiot?”
“You, with your indifference, your stupid egoism.”
The captain said nothing. He was neither surprised nor insulted. On the contrary, the smile on his face was as though he had received a compliment. These wifely animadversions, probably oft-heard, by no means interfered with his domestic peace.
“It can’t be that the man doesn’t know when his wife is coming back home,” Mrs. Zarubkin continued excitedly. “She’s written to him every day of the four months that she’s been away. The postmaster told me so.”
“Semyonov! Ho, Semyonov! Has any one from the office been here?”
“I don’t know, your Excellency,” came in a loud, clear voice from back of the room.
“Why don’t you know? Where have you been?”
“I went to Abramka, your Excellency.”
“The tailor again?”
“Yes, your Excellency, the tailor Abramka.”
The captain spat in annoyance.
“And where is Krynka?”
“He went to market, your Excellency.”
“Was he told to go to market?”
“Yes, your Excellency.”
The captain spat again.
“Why do you keep spitting? Such vulgar manners!” his wife cried angrily. “You behave at home like a drunken subaltern. You haven’t the least consideration for your wife. You are so coarse in your behaviour towards me! Do, please, go to your office.”
“If the package comes, please have it sent back to the office and say I’ve gone there. And listen! Some one must always be here. I won’t have everybody out of the house at the same time. Do you hear?”
“Yes, your Excellency.”