The conductor’s eyes suddenly widened, became blood-shot.
“O-oh! You sheeny!” he began to roar. “I ought to take a skunk like you and under the train with you!”
But Horizon at once flew at him like a cock.
“What? Under the train? But do you know what’s done for words like that? A threat by action! Here, I’ll go right away and will yell ‘help!’ and will turn the signal handle,” and he seized the door-knob with such an air of resolution that the conductor just made a gesture of despair with his hand and spat.
“May you choke with my money, you mangy sheeny!”
Horizon called his wife out of the Coupe:
“Sarochka! Let’s go out on the platform for a look; one can see better there. Well, it’s so beautiful—just like on a picture!”
Sarah obediently went after him, holding up with an unskilled hand the new dress, in all probability put on for the first time, bending out and as though afraid of touching the door or the wall.
In the distance, in the rosy gala haze of the evening glow, shone the golden cupolas and crosses. High up on the hill the white, graceful churches seemed to float in this flowery, magic mirage. Curly woods and coppices had run down from above and had pushed on over the very ravine. And the sheer, white precipice which bathed its foot in the blue river, was all furrowed over with occasional young woods, just like green little veins and warts. Beautiful as in a fairy tale, the ancient town appeared as though it were itself coming to meet the train.
When the train stopped, Horizon ordered three porters to carry the things into the first class, and told his wife to follow him. But he himself lingered at the exit in order to let through both his parties. To the old woman looking after the dozen women he threw briefly in passing:
“So remember, madam Berman! Hotel America, Ivanukovskaya, twenty-two!”
While to the black-bearded man he said:
“Don’t forget, Lazer, to feed the girls at dinner and to bring them somewhere to a movie show. About eleven o’clock at night wait for me. I’ll come for a talk. But if some one will be calling for me extra, then you know my address—The Hermitage. Ring me up. But if I’m not there for some reason, then run into Reiman’s cafe, or opposite, into the Hebrew dining room. I’ll be eating GEFILTEH Fisch there. Well, a lucky journey!”
All the stories of Horizon about his commercial travelling were simply brazen and glib lying. All the samples of drapers’ goods, suspenders gloire and buttons helios, the artificial teeth and insertible eyes, served only as a shield, screening his real activity—to wit, the traffic in the body of woman. True, at one time, some ten years ago, he had travelled over Russia as the representative for the dubious wines of some unknown firm; and this activity had imparted