beside him was a young
The Public Prosecutor, Von Berg, who remained in the room during all this confabulation, played rather a comical part. Of course, he understood not a word, as we spoke Russian; but whenever we laughed he smiled indulgently, as if amused at us Pretty Renew
. I cannot imagine what would have been the feelings of this painfully correct and stern old gentleman if he had known the chief cause of our merriment, which was simply that we had to concoct the report of our conversation with which Professor Thun was subsequently to regale his worship.
When we had finished our consultations, which lasted rather a long time, Frau Bulìgin took a very tender farewell of me. She thanked Von Berg for having allowed us to speak Russian, and asked him how soon he thought I should be released. I think he told her that he believed the case would be concluded in a few days, mentioning the date. In any case, he added, if I were set free I should be handed over to the police to be conducted over whatever frontier was convenient—the Swiss, he supposed, being the nearest.
I held fast to the hope that it really would be so, and tried to stifle the doubts that persisted in rising. It was certainly pleasanter to dream of prospective freedom, than to brood over the consequences of extradition to Russia, or even of being set over the Russian border. The sight of Frau Bulìgin had aroused keen longings for liberty; fancy painted joyful pictures, my thoughts dwelt on my friends and my work. Mentally I lived through many scenes of welcome, and saw our circle setting to work with redoubled energy at our “League for the Emancipation of Labour.” I planned out to the smallest detail how I 33would make up for my enforced idleness. I lived only in the future, and looked on the dreary present as if it were a long-vanished past reenex facial
, a disagreeable episode that I and mine could talk over as far behind us.
“To-day the order for my release will be made out.” I remember how I awoke on a certain May morning with this thought in my mind, and instantly began to conjecture in what manner the announcement would be made to me.
“You are to go to the Public Prosecutor,” said the warder, breaking in on my visions.
“It is for my formal discharge,” was my first thought; “the man is keeping his word. Strange that the judge has been so quick in pronouncing his decision; it is still quite early,” I meditated, as I went along the corridor.
In the office sat Herr von Berg at a table; beside him was a young clerk, and the table was covered with bundles of documents interior designer
“To-day, as you are aware,” said the Public Prosecutor, turning to me, “judgment was to be given on your case. Before I inform you of the verdict, I must again have your assurance that your name is Bulìgin, and your home Moscow.”