radius of this rifle is three hundred miles, but the best
"I shall sleep badly to-night," she said to me when the mazurka was over.
"Grushnitski is to blame for that."
And her face became so pensive, so sad, that I promised myself that I would not fail to kiss her hand that evening.
The guests began to disperse. As I was handing Princess Mary into her carriage, I rapidly pressed her little hand to my lips. The night was dark and nobody could see.
I returned to the saloon very well satisfied with myself.
The young men, Grushnitski amongst them, were having supper at the large table. As I came in, they all fell silent: evidently they had been talking about me. Since the last ball many of them have been sulky with me, especially the captain of dragoons; and now, it seems, a hostile gang is actually being formed against me, under the command of Grushnitski. He wears such a proud and courageous air. . .
I am very glad; I love enemies, though not in the Christian sense. They amuse me, stir my blood. To be always on one's guard, to catch every glance, the meaning of every word, to guess intentions, to crush conspiracies, to pretend to be deceived and suddenly with one blow to over- throw the whole immense and laboriously con- structed edifice of cunning and design -- that is what I call life.
During supper Grushnitski kept whispering and exchanging winks with the captain of dragoons.