3. CHAPTER III
It was now close on twelve o'clock.
The prince knew that if he called at the Epanchins' now he would
only find the general, and that the latter might probably carry
him straight off to Pavlofsk with him; whereas there was one
visit he was most anxious to make without delay.
So at the risk of missing General Epanchin altogether, and thus
postponing his visit to Pavlofsk for a day, at least, the prince
decided to go and look for the house he desired to find.
The visit he was about to pay was, in some respects, a risky one.
He was in two minds about it, but knowing that the house was in
the Gorohovaya, not far from the Sadovaya, he determined to go in
that direction, and to try to make up his mind on the way.
Arrived at the point where the Gorohovaya crosses the Sadovaya,
he was surprised to find how excessively agitated he was. He had
no idea that his heart could beat so painfully.
One house in the Gorohovaya began to attract his attention long
before he reached it, and the prince remembered afterwards that
he had said to himself: "That is the house, I'm sure of it." He
came up to it quite curious to discover whether he had guessed
right, and felt that he would be disagreeably impressed to find
that he had actually done so. The house was a large gloomy-looking
structure, without the slightest claim to architectural
beauty, in colour a dirty green. There are a few of these old
houses, built towards the end of the last century, still standing
in that part of St. Petersburg, and showing little change from
their original form and colour. They are solidly built, and are
remarkable for the thickness of their walls, and for the fewness
of their windows, many of which are covered by gratings. On the
ground-floor there is usually a money-changer's shop, and the
owner lives over it. Without as well as within, the houses seem
inhospitable and mysterious--an impression which is difficult to
explain, unless it has something to do with the actual
architectural style. These houses are almost exclusively
inhabited by the merchant class.