The Secret of the Night [NOOK Book]

The Secret of the Night

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Overview

CONTENTS

Chapter

I GAYETY AND DYNAMITE
II NATACHA
III THE WATCH
IV "THE YOUTH OF Moscow Is DEAD"
V BY ROULETABILLE'S ORDER THE GENERAL PROMENADES
VI THE MYSTERIOUS HAND
VII ARSENATE OF SODA
VIII THE LITTLE CHAPEL OF THE GUARDS
IX ANNOUCHEA
X A DRAMA IN THE NIGHT
XI THE POISON CONTINUES
XII PERE ALEXIS
XIII THE LIVING BOMBS
XIV THE MARSHES
XV "I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU"
XVI BEFORE THE REVOLUTIONARY TRIBUNAL
XVII THE LAST CRAVAT
XVIII A SINGULAR EXPERIENCE
XIX THE TSAR




THE SECRET OF THE NIGHT




I. GAYETY AND DYNAMITE


"BARINIA, the young stranger has arrived."

"Where is he?"

"Oh, he is waiting at the lodge."

"I told you to show him to Natacha's sitting-room. Didn't you understand
me, Ermolai?"

"Pardon, Barinia, but the young stranger, when I asked to search him, as
you directed, flatly refused to let me."

"Did you explain to him that everybody is searched before being allowed
to enter, that it is the order, and that even my mother herself has
submitted to it?"

"I told him all that, Barinia; and I told him about madame your mother."

"What did he say to that?"

"That he was not madame your mother. He acted angry."

"Well, let him come in without being searched."

"The Chief of Police won't like it."

"Do as I say."

Ermolai bowed and returned to the garden. The "barinia" left the
veranda, where she had come for this conversation with the old servant
of General Trebassof, her husband, and returned to the dining-room
in the datcha des Iles, where the gay Councilor Ivan Petrovitch was
regaling his amused associates with his latest exploit at Cubat's
resort. They were a noisy company, and certainly the quietest among them
was not the general, who nursed on a sofa the leg which still held him
captive after the recent attack, that to his old coachman and his two
piebald horses had proved fatal. The story of the always-amiable Ivan
Petrovitch (a lively, little, elderly man with his head bald as an
egg) was about the evening before. After having, as he said, "recure
la bouche" for these gentlemen spoke French like their own language
and used it among themselves to keep their servants from
understanding--after having wet his whistle with a large glass of
sparkling rosy French wine, he cried:

"You would have laughed, Feodor Feodorovitch. We had sung songs on the
Barque* and then the Bohemians left with their music and we went out
onto the river-bank to stretch our legs and cool our faces in the
freshness of the dawn, when a company of Cossacks of the Guard came
along. I knew the officer in command and invited him to come along with
us and drink the Emperor's health at Cubat's place. That officer, Feodor
Feodorovitch, is a man who knows vintages and boasts that he has never
swallowed a glass of anything so common as Crimean wine. When I named
champagne he cried, 'Vive l'Empereur!' A true patriot. So we started,
merry as school-children. The entire company followed, then all the
diners playing little whistles, and all the servants besides, single
file. At Cubat's I hated to leave the companion-officers of my friend at
the door, so I invited them in, too. They accepted, naturally. But the
subalterns were thirsty as well. I understand discipline. You know,
Feodor Feodorovitch, that I am a stickler for discipline. Just because
one is gay of a spring morning, discipline should not be forgotten. I
invited the officers to drink in a private room, and sent the subalterns
into the main hall of the restaurant. Then the soldiers were thirsty,
too, and I had drinks served to them out in the courtyard. Then, my
word, there was a perplexing business, for now the horses whinnied. The
brave horses, Feodor Feodorovitch, who also wished to drink the health
of the Emperor. I was bothered about the discipline. Hall, court, all
were full. And I could not put the horses in private rooms. Well, I made
them carry out champagne in pails and then came the perplexing business
I had tried so hard to avoid, a grand mixture of boots and horse-shoes
that was certainly the liveliest thing I have ever seen in my life. But
the horses were the most joyous, and danced as if a torch was held under
their nostrils, and all of them, my word! were ready to throw their
riders because the men were not of the same mind with them as to the
route to follow!
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013621756
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 8/27/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 248 KB

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