8. CHAPTER VIII.
The flat occupied by Gania and his family was on the third floor
of the house. It was reached by a clean light staircase, and
consisted of seven rooms, a nice enough lodging, and one would
have thought a little too good for a clerk on two thousand
roubles a year. But it was designed to accommodate a few lodgers
on board terms, and had beer) taken a few months since, much to
the disgust of Gania, at the urgent request of his mother and his
sister, Varvara Ardalionovna, who longed to do something to
increase the family income a little, and fixed their hopes upon
letting lodgings. Gania frowned upon the idea. He thought it
infra dig, and did not quite like appearing in society
afterwards--that society in which he had been accustomed to pose
up to now as a young man of rather brilliant prospects. All these
concessions and rebuffs of fortune, of late, had wounded his
spirit severely, and his temper had become extremely irritable,
his wrath being generally quite out of proportion to the cause.
But if he had made up his mind to put up with this sort of life
for a while, it was only on the plain understanding with his
inner self that he would very soon change it all, and have things
as he chose again. Yet the very means by which he hoped to make
this change threatened to involve him in even greater
difficulties than he had had before.
The flat was divided by a passage which led straight out of the
entrance-hall. Along one side of this corridor lay the three
rooms which were designed for the accommodation of the "highly
recommended" lodgers. Besides these three rooms there was
another small one at the end of the passage, close to the
kitchen, which was allotted to General Ivolgin, the nominal
master of the house, who slept on a wide sofa, and was obliged
to pass into and out of his room through the kitchen, and up
or down the back stairs. Colia, Gania's young brother, a
school-boy of thirteen, shared this room with his father.
He, too, had to sleep on an old sofa, a narrow, uncomfortable
thing with a torn rug over it; his chief duty being to look
after his father, who needed to be watched more and more
The prince was given the middle room of the three, the first
being occupied by one Ferdishenko, while the third was empty.