Page:Korolenko - Makar's Dream and Other Stories.djvu/234

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swered out of the darkness. "Wait a minute, I'll kiss you on the nose with my fist! I'll teach you to interfere with people!"

"Come, come, never mind!" said the miller, stepping back. "One would think you were doing something important! You're a bad lad, you are, to smack a girl like that; you make a man envious. Oh, what are people coming to!"

He stood still for a moment, thought a bit, scratched his head, and finally turned aside, threw his leg over the hedge, and crossed a field to a widow's cottage that stood a little way back from the road in the shade of a tall poplar tree.

The khata was a tiny, lop-sided affair, crumbling and falling to pieces. Its one little window was so minute that it would have been almost invisible had the night been at all dark. But now the whole cottage was glowing in the moonlight; its straw roof was shining like gold, its walls seemed to be made of silver, and the little window was blinking like a dark eye.

No light shone behind it. Probably the old woman and her daughter had no fuel and nothing to cook for supper.

The miller paused a moment, then knocked twice at the window and went a few steps aside.

He had not long to wait before two plump girlish arms were wound tightly around his neck, and something glowed among his whiskers that felt very much