Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol2.djvu/37

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
27
BOOK ONE

down into the street, keeping his cheek bandaged as a precaution. Going out was for him, as for every convalescent, like a holiday. Everything that caught his eye looked smiling,—the houses, and some passing peasants who however did in reality look glum, and one of whom had just boxed his brother's ears. He meant to pay his first visit to the governor. All sorts of ideas came into his mind on the road: the fair daughter was continually in his thoughts, and he indulged in flights of fancy, till at last he began to mock and laugh at himself. In such a frame of mind he reached the governor's door. He was on the point of hurriedly flinging off his overcoat in the entrance hall, when the hall porter astonished him by the utterly unexpected words: 'I've orders not to admit you!'

'What! what do you mean! I suppose you don't know me? You should look at one more carefully!' Tchitchikov said to him.

'Not know you indeed, it is not the first time I have seen you,' said the porter. 'Why it is just you I've orders not to let in, I may admit any one else.'

'Well, upon my soul! Why? What for?'

'That's my orders; so I suppose that's right,' said the hall porter, and added the word, 'Yes,' after which he stood facing him in the most free and easy attitude, completely dropping the ingratiating air with which on other occasions he had hastened to help him off with his coat. He seemed as he looked at him to think, 'Aha,