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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 367 pages of information about Yama.
of the little old woman, did in reality know it very well; and not only did not condemn her business but even bore themselves with respect toward those enormous percentages which she earned upon her capital.  And these charming friends, the joy and consolation of an untroubled old age, were:  one—­the keeper of a loan office; another—­the proprietress of a lively hotel near the railroad; the third—­the owner of a jewelry shop, not large, but all the go and well known among the big thieves, &c.  And about them, in her turn, Anna Markovna knew and could tell several shady and not especially flattering anecdotes; but in their society it was not customary to talk of the sources of the family well-being—­only cleverness, daring, success, and decent manners were esteemed.

But, even besides that, Anna Markovna, sufficiently limited in mind and not especially developed, had some sort of an amazing inner intuition, which during all her life permitted her instinctively but irreproachably to avoid unpleasantnesses, and to find prudent paths in time.  And so now, after the sudden death of Roly-Poly, and the suicide of Jennka which followed the next day, she, with her unconsciously—­penetrating soul foreguessed that fate—­which had been favouring her house of ill-fame, sending her good fortunes, turning away all under-water shoals—­was now getting ready to turn its back upon her.  And she was the first to retreat.

They say, that not long before a fire in a house, or before the wreck of a ship, the wise, nervous rats in droves make their way into another place.  And Anna Markovna was directed by the same rat-like, animal, prophetic intuition.  And she was right:  immediately right after the death of Jennka some fearful curse seemed to hang over the house, formerly Anna Markovna Shaibes’, but now Emma Edwardovna Titzner’s:  deaths, misfortunes, scandals just simply descended upon it ceaselessly, becoming constantly more frequent, on the manner of bloody events in Shakespeare’s tragedies; as, however, was the case at all the remaining houses of the Yamas as well.

And one of the first to die, a week after the liquidation of the business, was Anna Markovna herself.  However, this frequently happens with people put out of their accustomed rut of thirty years:  so die war heroes, who have gone into retirement—­people of insuperable health and iron will; so quickly go off the stage former stock brokers, who have happily gone away to rest, but have been deprived of the burning allurement of risk and hazard; so, too, age rapidly, droop, and grow decrepit, the great artists who leave the stage ...  Her death was the death of the just.  Once at a game of cards she felt herself unwell; begged them to wait a while for her; said that she would lie down for just a minute; lay down in the bedroom on a bed; sighed deeply, and passed on into another world—­with a calm face, with a peaceful, senile smile upon her lips.  Isaiah Savvich—­her faithful comrade on the path of life, a trifle downtrodden, who had always played a secondary, subordinate role—­survived her only a month.

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