A House of Gentlefolk, by Ivan Turgenev

Chapter III

“How do you do, Marya Dmitrievna?” cried the young man in a pleasant, ringing voice. “How do you like my new purchase?”

Marya Dmitrievna went up to the window.

“How do you do, Woldemar! Ah, what a splendid horse! Where did you buy it?”

“I bought it from the army contractor . . . . He made me pay for it too, the brigand!”

“What’s its name?”

“Orlando . . . . But it’s a stupid name; I want to change . . . . Eh bien, eh bien, mon garcon . . . . What a restless beast it is!” The horse snorted, pawed the ground, and shook the foam off the bit.

“Lenotchka, stroke him, don’t be afraid.”

The little girl stretched her hand out of the window, but Orlando suddenly reared and started. The rider with perfect self-possession gave it a cut with the whip across the neck, and keeping a tight grip with his legs forced it in spite of its opposition, to stand still again at the window.

“Prenez garde, prenez garde,” Marya Dmitrievna kept repeating.

“Lenotchka, pat him,” said the young man, “I won’t let him be perverse.”

The little girl again stretched out her hand and timidly patted the quivering nostrils of the horse, who kept fidgeting and champing the bit.

“Bravo!” cried Marya Dmitrievna, “but now get off and come in to us.”

The rider adroitly turned his horse, gave him a touch of the spur, and galloping down the street soon reached the courtyard. A minute later he ran into the drawing-room by the door from the hall, flourishing his whip; at the same moment there appeared in the other doorway a tall, slender dark-haired girl of nineteen, Marya Dmitrievna’s eldest daughter, Lisa.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 20:05