ashamed not to obey my master's orders. I am not an old cur, but your faithful servant, who obeys his master's orders and has served him zealously up to his gray hairs. I did not write anything about the wound of Piotr Andrevitch, so as not to frighten you without cause, and I hear that our mistress and mother, Avdotia Vassilievna, has, as it is, taken to her bed from fear, and I shall pray to God for her health. Piotr Andrevitch was wounded below the right shoulder, in the breast just below the rib, the wound being about half a vershok deep, and he laid at the commandant's house, where we carried him from the shore, and was attended to by the local barber, Stepan Paramonoff, and now Piotr Andrevitch is, thank God, well, and I have nothing to write of him but what is good. The commandants are, I hear, satisfied with him, and Vassilissa Yegorovna treats him as if he were her own son. And that such an occasion did happen to him, must not be reckoned as a reproach to the young man—a horse has four legs and yet he stumbles. You deign to write that you will send me to feed swine—I submit if it is your lordship's will. Herewith I salute you as a slave.
"Your faithful slave,
I could not help smiling occasionally whilst reading the good old man's writing. I myself was not in a state to answer my father's letter; I considered Savelitch's sufficient for the purpose of tranquillizing my mother.
- A vershok = 1.75 English inch.—Tr.