THE Justice of the Peace, who had received a letter from Petersburg, had set the news going that the owner of Yefremovo, Count Vladimir Ivanovitch, would soon be arriving. When he would arrive — there was no saying.
“Like a thief in the night,” said Father Kuzma, a grey-headed little priest in a lilac cassock. “And when he does come the place will be crowded with the nobility and other high gentry. All the neighbours will flock here. Mind now, do your best, Alexey Alexeitch…. I beg you most earnestly.”