The First and Rightful Lover
With his long, rapid strides, Mitya walked straight up to the table. Gentlemen, he said in a loud voice, almost shouting, yet stammering at every word, I Im all right! Dont be afraid! he exclaimed, Itheres nothing the matter, he turned suddenly to Grushenka, who had shrunk back in her chair towards Kalganov, and clasped his hand tightly. I Im coming, too. Im here till morning. Gentlemen, may I stay with you till morning? Only till morning, for the last time, in this same room?
So he finished, turning to the fat little man, with the pipe, sitting on the sofa. The latter removed his pipe from his lips with dignity and observed severely:
Panie, were here in private. There are other rooms.
Why, its you, Dmitri Fyodorovitch! What do you mean? answered Kalganov suddenly. Sit down with us. How are you?
Delighted to see you, dear and precious fellow, I always thought a lot of you. Mitya responded, joyfully and eagerly, at once holding out his hand across the table.
Aie! How tight you squeeze! Youve quite broken my fingers, laughed Kalganov.
He always squeezes like that, always, Grushenka put in gaily, with a timid smile, seeming suddenly convinced from Mityas face that he was not going to make a scene. She was watching him with intense curiosity and still some uneasiness. She was impressed by something about him, and indeed the last she expected of him was that he would come in and speak like this at such a moment.
Good evening, Maximov ventured blandly, on the left. Mitya rushed up to him, too.
Good evening. Youre here, too! How glad I am to find you here, too! Gentlemen, gentlemen, I (He addressed the Polish gentleman with the pipe again, evidently taking him for the most important person present.) I flew here. I wanted to spend my last day, my last hour in this room, in this very room where I, too, adored my queen. Forgive me, panie, he cried wildly, I flew here and vowed. Oh, dont be afraid, its my last night! Lets drink to our good understanding. Theyll bring the wine at once. I brought this with me. (Something made him pull out his bundle of notes.) Allow me,panie! I want to have music, singing, a revel, as we had before. But the worm, the unnecessary worm, will crawl away, and therell be no more of him. I will commemorate my day of joy and my last night.
He was almost choking. There was so much, so much he wanted to say, but strange exclamations were all that came from his lips. The Pole gazed fixedly at him, at the bundle of notes in his hand; looked at Grushenka, and was in evident perplexity.
If my suverin lady is permitting he was beginning.
What does suverin mean? Sovereign, I suppose? interrupted Grushenka. I cant help laughing at you, the way you talk. Sit down, Mitya, what are you talking about? Dont frighten us, please. You wont frighten us, will you? If you wont, I am glad to see you
Me, me frighten you? cried Mitya, flinging up his hands. Oh, pass me by, go your way, I wont hinder you!
And suddenly he surprised them all, and no doubt himself as well, by flinging himself on a chair, and bursting into tears, turning his head away to the opposite wall, while his arms clasped the back of the chair tight, as though embracing it.
Come, come, what a fellow you are! cried Grushenka reproachfully. Thats just how he comes to see mehe begins talking, and I cant make out what he means. He cried like that once before, and now hes crying again! Its shameful! Why are you crying? As though you had anything to cry for! she added enigmatically, emphasising each word with some irritability.
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