Page:The Steel Flea.djvu/74

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fastened on; for that no melkoscope whatever can be used."

The Emperor said: "Where is your melkoscope with which you could produce this marvel?"

And the left-handed man replied: "We are poor folk, and because of our poverty we have no melkoscope, but we have trained eyes."

Then other courtiers still, perceiving that the left-handed man's case had proved auspicious, began to kiss him, and Platoff gave him a hundred rubles and said: "Forgive me, good brother, for hauling you by the hair."

The left-handed man replied: "God forgives[1]—this is not the first time that that sort of thing has happened to me."

And he said no more, neither was there any time for him to speak at length, for the Emperor commanded

  1. The genuine Russian form of saying, "I forgive you."

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