standing and holding a dog behind him with a cord, and, of course, the dog was understood to be Napoleon: “Look out,” says the Briton, “if you don’t do so-and-so, I’ll set the dog on you.” And here they had possibly let him loose from the island of St. Helena; and now he had made his way back to Russia in the shape of Tchitchikoff.

Of course the officials did not believe all this, but still they reflected upon it; and, on scrutinizing the matter, they were of opinion that Tchitchikoff’s face, when he turned and presented his profile to one’s gaze, was very much like the portraits of Napoleon. The chief of police likewise, who had served in the campaign of 1812, and had seen Napoleon in the flesh, could not help confessing that the latter was not in the least taller than Tchitchikoff, and that the cast of Napoleon’s countenance was neither too fat nor too thin. Perhaps some readers will call all this incredible, and the author is also prepared to declare it incredible to please them; but unfortunately, it all took place exactly as narrated. Moreover, it behoves us to remember that all this occurred shortly after the glorious expulsion of the French.

At that period, all our landed gentry, officials, merchants, shopmen, every man who could read and write, and even uneducated people, had been sworn politicians for at least eight years. The Moscow News and The Son of the Fatherland were mercilessly perused, and reached the last reader in tatters, which were unfit for any use whatever. Instead of the questions, “How much have you sold your oats for per measure, my dear fellow?” or, “Did you derive some slight benefit from last night’s light snow?” they said, “What do the newspapers state? Has Napoleon been released from the island again?” The merchants greatly dreaded this contingency, for they put full faith in the prediction of a certain prophet who had been in jail for the last three years. This prophet had come from no one knows whence, in bast shoes and a sheepskin coat, which smelt horribly of stale fish, and had announced that Napoleon was “Antichrist,” and was held fast by a strong chain behind six walls and seven seas, but that hereafter he would break the chain and obtain possession of the whole world. This prophet had been lodged in jail for his prophecy, as he deserved to be; but nevertheless, the prophecy had done its work, and the merchants were thoroughly alarmed.

For a long time afterwards, during a period of the most profitable transactions even, the merchants discussed “Antichrist” when they betook themselves to the taverns to drink their tea. Many of the officials and of the genuine nobility also involuntarily meditated upon the subject, and being inoculated with mysticism, which, as is well known, was then in high fashion, they perceived a special meaning in every letter which composed the name of Napoleon; many even discovered in it the numbers of the Apocalypse.

Thus, there was nothing surprising in the fact that the officials involuntarily meditated upon this point. However, they promptly recovered themselves, on perceiving that their fancies were carrying them along too rapidly, and that this was no solution as regards our hero. They thought and they talked, and finally they decided that it would not be a bad idea to question Nozdreff thoroughly, as he had been the first to start the story of the dead souls, and stood, as they said, in intimate relations to Tchitchikoff; consequently, he must know something of the circumstances of our friend’s life, and an effort must be made to see what he had to say.

So the chief of police wrote Nozdreff a note on the instant, inviting him for the evening; and a policeman in cavalry-boots, with an attractive bloom upon his cheeks, proceeded immediately, with hasty steps, and holding up his sword, to Nozdreff’s lodgings. Nozdreff was engaged with a matter of importance; for four whole days he had neither emerged from his apartments nor admitted anyone to them, but had received his food through the window, and had even grown pale and green. His business demanded the greatest attention; it consisted in selecting from several gross of cards a single pack, the most suitable one upon which one might rely as upon a faithful friend. There was work enough still to last two weeks, and during the whole of this period Porfiriy was to clean the bull-pup with a certain small brush, and to wash him three times a day in soap and water. Nozdreff was greatly incensed at having his solitude intruded upon; first he consigned the policeman to the Devil, but when he had read in the chief of police’s note that a harvest might be expected, since some novice or other was to be at the evening gathering,

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