scarcely a white spot on it, and it had not merely begun to dry, but had stiffened into a crumpled ball and could not be pulled apart. Mitya threw it angrily on the floor.

“Oh, damn it!” he said. “Haven’t you a rag of some sort … to wipe my face?”

“So you’re only stained, not wounded? You’d better wash,” said Pyotr Ilyitch. “Here’s a wash-stand. I’ll pour you out some water.”

“A wash-stand? That’s all right … but where am I to put this?”

With the strangest perplexity he indicated his bundle of hundred-rouble notes, looking inquiringly at Pyotr Ilyitch as though it were for him to decide what he, Mitya, was to do with his own money.

“In your pocket, or on the table here. They won’t be lost.”

“In my pocket? Yes, in my pocket. All right.…But, I say, that’s all nonsense,” he cried, as though suddenly coming out of his absorption. “Look here, let’s first settle that business of the pistols. Give them back to me. Here’s your money…because I am in great need of them…and I haven’t a minute, a minute to spare.”

And taking the topmost note from the bundle he held it out to Pyotr Ilyitch.

“But I shan’t have change enough. Haven’t you less?”

“No,” said Mitya, looking again at the bundle, and as though not trusting his own words he turned over two or three of the topmost ones.

“No, they’re all alike,” he added, and again he looked inquiringly at Pyotr Ilyitch.

“How have you grown so rich?” the latter asked. “Wait, I’ll send my boy to Plotnikov’s, they close late—to see if they won’t change it. Here, Misha!” he called into the passage.

“To Plotnikov’s shop—first rate!” cried Mitya, as though struck by an idea. “Misha,” he turned to the boy as he came in, “look here, run to Plotnikov’s and tell them that Dmitri Fyodorovitch sends his greetings, and will be there directly.…But listen, listen, tell them to have champagne, three dozen bottles ready before I come, and packed as it was to take to Mokroe. I took four dozen with me then,” he added (suddenly addressing Pyotr Ilyitch); “they know all about it, don’t you trouble, Misha,” he turned again to the boy. “Stay, listen; tell them to put in cheese, Strasburg pies, smoked fish, ham, caviare, and everything, everything they’ve got, up to a hundred roubles, or a hundred and twenty as before.…But wait: don’t let them forget dessert, sweets, pears, watermelons, two or three or four—no, one melon’s enough, and chocolate, candy, toffee, fondants; in fact, everything I took to Mokroe before, three hundred roubles’ worth with the champagne…let it be just the same again. And remember, Misha, if you are called Misha.…His name is Misha, isn’t it?” He turned to Pyotr Ilyitch again.

“Wait a minute,” Pyotr Ilyitch intervened, listening and watching him uneasily, “you’d better go yourself and tell them. He’ll muddle it.”

“He will, I see he will! Eh, Misha! Why, I was going to kiss you for the commission.…If you don’t make a mistake, there’s ten roubles for you, run along, make haste.…Champagne’s the chief thing, let them bring up champagne. And brandy, too, and red and white wine, and all I had then.…They know what I had then.”

“But listen!” Pyotr Ilyitch interrupted with some impatience. “I say, let him simply run and change the money and tell them not to close, and you go and tell them…Give him your note. Be off, Misha! Put your best leg forward!”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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