was aroused, and I could not take my eyes away from this paper. The insane idea entered my head that it might be a quite peculiar newspaper—unique of its kind. My curiosity increased, and I began to move backwards and forwards on the seat. It might contain deeds, dangerous documents stolen from some archives or other; something floated before me about a secret treaty—a conspiracy.
The man sat quietly, and pondered. Why did he not carry his newspaper as every other person carries a paper, with its name out? What species of cunning lurked under that? He did not seem either to like letting his package out of his hands, not for anything in the world; perhaps he did not even dare trust it into his own pocket. I could stake my life there was something at the bottom of that package—I considered a bit. Just the fact of finding it so impossible to penetrate this mysterious affair distracted me with curiosity. I searched my pockets for something to offer the man in order to enter into conversation with him, took hold of my shaving-book, but put it back again. Suddenly it entered my head to be utterly audacious; I slapped my empty breast-pocket, and said: