LOUD and repeated knocks at my door made me start from my bed.
What could be the matter? Had I been in Russia I should have immediately thought that it was the police. But I was in Switzerland; there was no danger.
'Qui est là?' I exclaimed, in French.
'It is I,' replied in Russian a well-known voice. 'Open the door at once.'
I lit the candle, for it was dark, and hastily dressed. My heart was oppressed by a sad presentiment.
A fortnight before, a member of our party, one of my earliest friends, who was seriously compromised in the final attempts against the Emperor, after staying some months abroad, set out for Russia. For several days we had waited in vain for the news that he had crossed the frontier.
A terrible suspicion, which I dared not express, flashed across my mind. I hastily slipped on my clothes.
I opened the door.