CHAPTER IV

THE days glided by one after the other, like the beads of a rosary, and grew into weeks and months. Every Saturday Pavel’s friends gathered in his house; and each meeting formed a step up a long stairway, which led somewhere into the distance, gradually lifting the people higher and higher. But its top remained invisible.

New people kept coming. The small room of the Vlasovs became crowded and close. Natasha arrived every Saturday night, cold and tired, but always fresh and lively, in inexhaustible good spirits. The mother made stockings, and herself put them on the little feet. Natasha laughed at first; but suddenly grew silent and thoughtful, and said in a low voice to the mother:

“I had a nurse who was also ever so kind. How strange, Pelagueya Nilovna ! The workingmen live such a hard, outraged life, and yet there is more heart, more goodness in them than in—those ! ” And she waved her hand, pointing somewhere far, very far from herself.

“See what sort of a person you are,” the older woman answered. “ You have left your own family and everything—” She was unable to finish her thought, and heaving a sigh looked silently into Natasha’s face with a feeling of gratitude to the girl for she knew not what. She sat on the floor before Natasha, who smiled and fell to musing.

-41-

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Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • List of Illustrations xvii
  • Part I 1
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 11
  • Chapter III 24
  • Chapter IV 41
  • Chapter V 50
  • Chapter VI 62
  • Chapter VII 71
  • Chapter VIII 80
  • Chapter IX 93
  • Chapter X 102
  • Chapter XI 114
  • Chapter XII 125
  • Chapter XIII 131
  • Chapter XIV 155
  • Chapter XV 166
  • Chapter XVI 179
  • Chapter XVII 192
  • Chapter XVIII 205
  • Chapter XIX 217
  • Chapter XX 225
  • Part II 237
  • Chapter I 239
  • Chapter II 252
  • Chapter III 271
  • Chapter IV 287
  • Chapter V 300
  • Chapter VI 309
  • Chapter VII 323
  • Chapter VIII 332
  • Chapter IX 341
  • Chapter X 355
  • Chapter XI 371
  • Chapter XII 392
  • Chapter XIII 404
  • Chapter XIV 421
  • Chapter XV 435
  • Chapter XVI 456
  • Chapter XVII 469
  • Chapter XVIII 477
  • Chapter XIX 489
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