“You will admit yourself, general, that for an honourable man, if the author is an honourable man, that is an--an insult,” growled the boxer suddenly, with convulsive jerkings of his shoulders.

She was a fine woman of the same age as her husband, with a slightly hooked nose, a high, narrow forehead, thick hair turning a little grey, and a sallow complexion. Her eyes were grey and wore a very curious expression at times. She believed them to be most effective--a belief that nothing could alter.

The neighbours undoubtedly did hear. Varia rushed out of the room.

“What did the fellow do?--yell?”

“Oh general, spare Ferdishenko!” replied the other, smiling. “I have special privileges.”

“What are you doing there?” she asked.

“The son is not responsible for the misdeeds of his father; and the mother is not to blame,” added Hippolyte, with warmth.
The prince understood at last why he shivered with dread every time he thought of the three letters in his pocket, and why he had put off reading them until the evening.
“No--I know nothing about it,” said Nastasia, drily and abruptly.

She gazed attentively at him.

Just before he dozed off, the idea of Hippolyte murdering ten men flitted through his brain, and he smiled at the absurdity of such a thought.