other, and to him, too, her face said: “Ah, what have you done to me, and why?” And the old man turned angrily away, when he caught sight of the face.

In another five days there followed the christening of the young prince, Nikolay Andreitch. The nurse held the swaddling clothes up to her chin, while the priest with a goose feather anointed the baby’s red, wrinkled hands and feet.

His grandfather, who was his godfather, trembling and afraid of dropping the baby, carried him round the battered tin font, and handed him over to the godmother, Princess Marya. Faint with terror that they would let the baby drown in the font, Prince Andrey sat in an adjoining room, waiting for the conclusion of the ceremony. He looked joyfully at the baby when the nurse brought him out, and nodded approvingly when the nurse told him that a bit of wax with the baby’s hairs in it, thrown into the font, had not sunk in the water but floated on the surface.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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