"Alone, or with her husband?" inquired Matvey.
Stepan Arkadyevitch could not answer, as the barber was at work
on his upper lip, and he raised one finger. Matvey nodded at the
"Alone. Is the room to be got ready upstairs?"
"Inform Darya Alexandrovna: where she orders."
"Darya Alexandrovna?" Matvey repeated, as though in doubt.
"Yes, inform her. Here, take the telegram; give it to her, and
then do what she tells you."
"You want to try it on," Matvey understood, but he only said,
Stepan Arkadyevitch was already washed and combed and ready to be
dressed, when Matvey, stepping deliberately in his creaky boots,
came back into the room with the telegram in his hand. The
"Darya Alexandrovna told me to inform you that she is going away.
Let him do--that is you--as he likes," he said, laughing only
with his eyes, and putting his hands in his pockets, he watched
his master with his head on one side. Stepan Arkadyevitch was
silent a minute. Then a good-humored and rather pitiful smile
showed itself on his handsome face.
"Eh, Matvey?" he said, shaking his head.
"It's all right, sir; she will come round," said Matvey.
"Do you think so? Who's there?" asked Stepan Arkadyevitch,
hearing the rustle of a woman's dress at the door.
"It's I," said a firm, pleasant, woman's voice, and the stern,
pockmarked face of Matrona Philimonovna, the nurse, was thrust
in at the doorway.
"Well, what is it, Matrona?" queried Stepan Arkadyevitch, going
up to her at the door.