2. CHAPTER II
"What a stupid thing I've done," he thought to himself, "they have
Sonia and I want it myself." But reflecting that it would be
impossible to take it back now and that in any case he would not have
taken it, he dismissed it with a wave of his hand and went back to his
lodging. "Sonia wants pomatum too," he said as he walked along the
street, and he laughed malignantly--"such smartness costs money. . . .
Hm! And maybe Sonia herself will be bankrupt to-day, for there is
always a risk, hunting big game . . . digging for gold . . . then they
would all be without a crust to-morrow except for my money. Hurrah for
Sonia! What a mine they've dug there! And they're making the most of
it! Yes, they are making the most of it! They've wept over it and
grown used to it. Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!"
He sank into thought.
"And what if I am wrong," he cried suddenly after a moment's thought.
"What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the
whole race of mankind--then all the rest is prejudice, simply
artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it's all as it should