Caressingly, she just barely drew her fingers over his arm.
“Don’t pay any attention. Just so ... our womanish affairs ... It won’t be interesting to you.”
But immediately, turning to Tamara, she passionately and rapidly began saying something in an agreed jargon, which presented a wild mixture out of the Hebrew, Tzigani and Roumanian tongues and the cant words of thieves and horse-thieves.
“Don’t try to put anything over on the fly guy, the fly guy is next,” Tamara cut her short and with a smile indicated the reporter with her eyes.
Platonov had, in fact, understood. Jennie was telling with indignation that during this day and night, thanks to the influx of a cheap public, the unhappy Pashka had been taken into a room more than ten times—and all by different men. Only just now she had had a hysterical fit, ending in a faint. And now, scarcely having brought Pashka back to consciousness and braced her up on valerian drops in a glass of spirits, Emma Edwardovna had again sent her into the drawing room. Jennie had attempted to take the part of her comrade, but the house-keeper had cursed the intercessor out and had threatened her with punishment.
“What is it all about?” asked Yarchenko in perplexity, raising high his eyebrows.
“Don’t trouble yourself ... nothing out of the way...” answered Jennie in a still agitated voice. “Just so ... our little family trifles ... Sergei Ivanich, may I have some of your wine?”
She poured out half a glass for herself and drank the cognac off at a draught, distending her thin nostrils wide.
Platonov got up in silence and went toward the door.
“It’s not worth while, Sergei Ivanich. Drop it...” Jennie stopped him.
“Oh no, why not?” objected the reporter. “I shall do a very simple and innocent thing, take Pasha here, and if need be—pay for her, even. Let her lie down here for a while on the divan and rest, even though a little ... Niura, run for a pillow quick!”
Scarcely had the door shut behind his broad, ungainly figure in its gray clothes, when Boris Sobashnikov at once commenced speaking with a contemptuous bitterness:
“Gentlemen, what the devil for have we dragged into our company this peach off the street? We must needs tie up with all sorts of riff-raff? The devil knows what he is—perhaps he’s even a dinny? Who can vouch for him? And you’re always like that, Lichonin.”
“It isn’t Lichonin but I who introduced him to everybody,"’ said Ramses. “I know him for a fully respectable person and a good companion.”
“Eh! Nonsense! A good companion to drink at some one else’s expense. Why, don’t you see for yourselves that this is the most ordinary type of habitue attached to a brothel, and, most probably, he is simply the pimp here, to whom a percentage is paid for the entertainment into which he entices the visitors.”
“Leave off, Borya. It’s foolish,” remarked Yarchenko reproachfully.