Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol1.djvu/289

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In the morning, earlier than the hour usually fixed for calls in the town of N., a lady in a smart checked cloak darted out of the door of an orange-coloured wooden house with a mezzanine and blue columns. She was escorted by a footman in a livery coat, with many collars and gold braid on his round, shining hat. With unusual haste the lady at once skipped up the lowered steps of a carriage that stood at the door. The footman instantly slammed the carriage door, pulled up the steps and catching hold of a strap at the back of the carriage, shouted to the coachman: 'Off!' The lady was taking with her a piece of news she had only just heard, and was conscious of an irresistible longing to communicate it as soon as possible. She was every minute looking out of the window and seeing to her unspeakable vexation that they had only gone half-way. Every house seemed longer than usual; the white almshouse with its narrow windows seemed interminable, so that at last she could not resist saying: 'The confounded building, there is no end to it.' Already twice the coachman had received the order: 'Make haste, make haste, Andryushka! You are insufferably slow to-day.' At last the goal was reached. The carriage stopped before