He deals in horses; he’s known to all the hussars about here. I tell you, he’s such a clever rogue that he’ll make a false bank-note before your very eyes, and pass it off upon you though you’ve seen it. He wears a tunic, though it’s a velvet one, and looks like a Slavophile (though I think it suits him); but put him into a fine dress-coat, or something like it, and take him to the English club and call him the great landowner, count Barabanov; he’ll pass for a count for two hours, play whist, and talk like a count, and they’ll never guess; he’ll take them in baidu seo.

He’ll come to a bad end. Well, Mitroshka’s got a gr574e9258d109b3de3399256ecfbf6c81800a4c96
eat grudge against the fat man, for Mitroshka’s hard up just now. Sizobryuhov used to be very thick with him, but the fat man’s carried him off before Mitroshka had time to fleece him. If they met there must be something up. I know something about it, too, and can guess what it is, for Mitroshka and no one else told me that
they’d be here, and be hanging about these parts after some mischief. I want to take advantage of Mitroshka’s hatred for Arhipov, for I have my own reasons, and indeed I came here chiefly on that account.

I don’t want to let Mitroshka see, and don’t you keep looking at him, but when we go out he’s sure to come up of himself and tell me what I want to know . . . . Now come along, Vanya, into the other room,
do you see? Now, Stepan, he said, addressing the waiter, you understand what I want.Yes , sir.And you’ll bring it.Yes, sir.Mind you do. Sit down, Vanya. Why do you keep looking at me like that? I see you’re looking at me. Are you surprised? Don’t be surprised. Anything may happen to a man, even what he’s never dreamed of . . . especially in the days when . . . well, in the days when we used to cram Cornelius Nepos together. And, Vanya, be sure of one thing: though Masloboev may have strayed from the true path his heart is still unchanged, it’s only circumstances that have altered. Though I may be in the soot I’m no dirtier than the rest. I set up for being a doctor, an574e9258d109b3de3399256ecfbf6c81800a4c96
d I trained as a teacher of Russian literature, and I wrote an article on Gogol, and thought of going to the gold-diggings, and meant to get married. A living soul longs for something sweet in life, and she consented, though I was so poor I had nothing to tempt a cat with.

I was on the point of borrowing a pair of good boots for the marriage ceremony, for mine had been in holes for eighteen months. . . . But I didn’t get married. She married a teacher and I went as a counting-house clerk, not a commercial counting-house, but just a counting-house. But then the tune changed. Years have rolled by, and though I’m not in the service, I make enough to jog along: I take
bribes without ruth and yet stand firm for the truth. I hunt with the hounds and I run with the hare. I have principles. I know, for instance, that one can’t fight single-handed, and I mind my own business. My business is chiefly in the confidential line, you understand.