`No, I've forgotten, really. Or was it a dream? Wait a bit, wait a bit! But what's the use of getting in a rage? If you'd drunk four bottles per man yesterday as I did, you'd forget where you were at. Wait a bit, I'll remember!'

Petritsky went behind the partition and lay down on his bed.

`Wait a bit! This was how I was lying, and this was how he was standing. Yes - yes - yes... Here it is!' - and Petritsky pulled a letter out from under the mattress, where he had hidden it.

Vronsky took the letter and his brother's note. It was the letter he was expecting - from his mother, reproaching him for not having been to see her - and the note was from his brother to say that he must have a little talk with him. Vronsky knew that it was all about the same thing. `What business is it of theirs!' thought Vronsky, and crumpling up the letters he thrust them between the buttons of his coat so as to read them carefully on the road. In the porch of the hut he was met by two officers; one of his regiment and one of another.

Vronsky's quarters were always a meeting place for all the officers.

`Where are you off to?'

`I must go to Peterhof.'

`Has the mare come from Tsarskoe?'

`Yes, but I've not seen her yet.'

`They say Makhotin's Gladiator's lame.'

`Nonsense! However, are you going to race in this mud?' said the other.

`Here are my saviors!' cried Petritsky, seeing them come in. Before him stood the batman with vodka and pickled cucumbers on a tray. `Here's Iashvin, ordering me to drink a pick-me-up.'

`Well, you did make it hot for us yesterday,' said one of those who had come in; `you didn't let us get a wink of sleep all night.'

`Oh, didn't we make a pretty finish!' said Petritsky. `Volkov climbed onto the roof and began telling us how sad he was. I said: ``Let's have music, the funeral march!'' He fairly dropped asleep on the roof over the funeral march.'

`Drink it up; you positively must drink the vodka, and then Seltzer water, and a lot of lemon,' said Iashvin, standing over Petritsky like a mother making a child take medicine, `and then a little champagne - just a wee bottle.'

`Come, there's some sense in that. Stop a bit, Vronsky. We'll all have a drink.'

`No; good-by, all of you. I'm not going to drink today.'

`Why, are you gaining weight? All right, then we must have it alone. Give us the Seltzer water and lemon.'

`Vronsky!' shouted someone when he was already outside.


`You'd better get your hair cut, it'll weigh you down - especially at the bald place.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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