Liuba seconds her with a stifled alto:
“Monday now is come
They’re supposed to get me out;
Doctor Krasov won’t let me out ...”
In all the houses the windows are brightly lit, while hanging lanterns are burning before the entrances. To both girls the interior in the establishment of Sophia Vasilievna, which is directly opposite, is distinctly visible—the shining yellow parquet, draperies of a dark cherry colour on the doors, caught up with cords, the end of a black grand-piano, a pier glass in a gilt frame, and the figures of women in gorgeous dresses, now flashing at the windows, now disappearing, and their reflections in the mirrors. The carved stoop of Treppel, to the right, is brightly illuminated by a bluish electric light in a big frosted globe.
The evening is calm and warm. Somewhere far, far away, beyond the line of the railroads, beyond some black roofs and the thin black trunks of trees, down low over the dark earth in which the eye does not see but rather senses the mighty green tone of spring, reddens with a scarlet gold the narrow, long streak of the sunset glow, which has pierced the dove-coloured mist. And in this indistinct, distant light, in the caressing air, in the scents of the oncoming night, was some secret, sweet, conscious mournfulness, which usually is so gentle in the evenings between spring and summer. The indistinct noise of the city floated in, the dolorous, snuffling air of an accordeon, the mooing of cows could be heard; somebody’s soles were scraping dryly and a ferruled cane rapped resoundingly on the flags of the pavement; lazily and irregularly the wheels of a cabman’s victoria, rolling at a pace through Yama, would rumble by, and all these sounds mingled with a beauty and softness in the pensive drowsiness of the evening. And the whistles of the locomotives on the line of the railroad, which was marked out in the darkness with green and red lights, sounded with a quiet, singing caution.
“Now the nurse is co-oming
Bringing sugar and a roll,
Bringing sugar and a roll,
Deals them equally to all.”
“Prokhor Ivanich!” Niura suddenly calls after the curly waiter from the dram-shop, who, a light black silhouette, is running across the road. “Oh, Prokhor Ivanich!”
“Oh, bother you!” the other snarls hoarsely. “What now?”
“A friend of yours sent you his regards. I saw him today.”
“What sort of friend?”
“Such a little good-looker! An attractive little brunet ...No, but you’d better ask—where did I see him?”
“Well, where?” Prokhor Ivanovich comes to a stop for a minute.
“And here’s where: nailed over there, on the fifth shelf with old hats, where we keep all dead cats.”
“Scat! You darn fool!”
Niura laughs shrilly over all Yama, and throws herself down on the sill, kicking her legs in high black stockings. Afterward, having ceased laughing, she all of a sudden makes round astonished eyes and says in a whisper: