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|Part II||Fyodor Dostoevsky|
|Page 3 of 5||
"We'll put your name down," Simonov decided, addressing me. "Tomorrow at five-o'clock at the Hotel de Paris."
"What about the money?" Ferfitchkin began in an undertone, indicating me to Simonov, but he broke off, for even Simonov was embarrassed.
"That will do," said Trudolyubov, getting up. "If he wants to come so much, let him."
"But it's a private thing, between us friends," Ferfitchkin said crossly, as he, too, picked up his hat. "It's not an official gathering."
"We do not want at all, perhaps ..."
They went away. Ferfitchkin did not greet me in any way as he went out, Trudolyubov barely nodded. Simonov, with whom I was left TETE-A-TETE, was in a state of vexation and perplexity, and looked at me queerly. He did not sit down and did not ask me to.
"H'm ... yes ... tomorrow, then. Will you pay your subscription now? I just ask so as to know," he muttered in embarrassment.
I flushed crimson, as I did so I remembered that I had owed Simonov fifteen roubles for ages--which I had, indeed, never forgotten, though I had not paid it.
"You will understand, Simonov, that I could have no idea when I came here .... I am very much vexed that I have forgotten ...."
"All right, all right, that doesn't matter. You can pay tomorrow after the dinner. I simply wanted to know .... Please don't ..."
He broke off and began pacing the room still more vexed. As he walked he began to stamp with his heels.
"Am I keeping you?" I asked, after two minutes of silence.
"Oh!" he said, starting, "that is--to be truthful--yes. I have to go and see someone ... not far from here," he added in an apologetic voice, somewhat abashed.
"My goodness, why didn't you say so?" I cried, seizing my cap, with an astonishingly free-and-easy air, which was the last thing I should have expected of myself.
"It's close by ... not two paces away," Simonov repeated, accompanying me to the front door with a fussy air which did not suit him at all. "So five o'clock, punctually, tomorrow," he called down the stairs after me. He was very glad to get rid of me. I was in a fury.
"What possessed me, what possessed me to force myself upon them?" I wondered, grinding my teeth as I strode along the street, "for a scoundrel, a pig like that Zverkov! Of course I had better not go; of course, I must just snap my fingers at them. I am not bound in any way. I'll send Simonov a note by tomorrow's post ...."
But what made me furious was that I knew for certain that I should go, that I should make a point of going; and the more tactless, the more unseemly my going would be, the more certainly I would go.
And there was a positive obstacle to my going: I had no money. All I had was nine roubles, I had to give seven of that to my servant, Apollon, for his monthly wages. That was all I paid him--he had to keep himself.
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