Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol1.djvu/288

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276

DEAD SOULS

by his legs, for he was sleeping like the dead). Dogs began barking, the gates yawned, and at last, though with difficulty, swallowed up this uncouth monster of the road.

The carriage drove into the narrow yard which was filled up with stacks of wood, poultry-houses and sheds; a lady alighted: this lady was no other than Madame Korobotchka. Soon after our hero's departure, the old lady had been overcome by such anxiety as to the possibility of his deceiving her, that after lying awake for three nights in succession she made up her mind to drive into the town, regardless of the fact that the horses were not shod, hoping there to find out for certain what price dead souls were going for, and whether she had not—God forbid—made a terrible blunder by selling them at a third of their proper price. The effect produced by this incident may be understood by the reader from a conversation which took place between two ladies. This conversation—but this conversation had better be kept for the following chapter.