It was not yet two, when the large glass doors of the boardroom
suddenly opened and someone came in.
All the officials sitting on the further side under the portrait
of the Tsar and the eagle, delighted at any distraction, looked
round at the door; but the doorkeeper standing at the door at
once drove out the intruder, and closed the glass door after him.
When the case had been read through, Stepan Arkadyevitch got up
and stretched, and by way of tribute to the liberalism of the
times took out a cigarette in the boardroom and went into his
private room. Two of the members of the board, the old veteran
in the service, Nikitin, and the Kammerjunker Grinevitch, went in
"We shall have time to finish after lunch," said Stepan
"To be sure we shall!" said Nikitin.
"A pretty sharp fellow this Fomin must be," said Grinevitch of
one of the persons taking part in the case they were examining.
Stepan Arkadyevitch frowned at Grinevitch's words, giving him
thereby to understand that it was improper to pass judgment
prematurely, and made him no reply.
"Who was that came in?" he asked the doorkeeper.
"Someone, your excellency, crept in without permission directly
my back was turned. He was asking for you. I told him: when
the members come out, then..."
"Where is he?"
"Maybe he's gone into the passage, but here he comes anyway.
That is he," said the doorkeeper, pointing to a strongly built,
broadshouldered man with a curly beard, who, without taking off
his sheepskin cap, was running lightly and rapidly up the worn
steps of the stone staircase.b One of the members going down--a
lean official with a portfolio--stood out of his way and looked
disapprovingly at the legs of the stranger, then glanced
inquiringly at Oblonsky.