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The rolling stopped and Pavel Ivanich cheered up. He was no longer peevish. His face had an arrogant, impetuous, and mocking expression. He looked as if he were on the point of saying: "I'll tell you a story that will make you die of laughter." Their port-hole was open and a soft wind blew in on Pavel Ivanich. Voices could be heard and the splash of oars in the water.... Beneath the window some one was howling in a thin, horrible voice; probably a Chinaman singing. "Yes. We are in harbour," said Pavel Ivanich, smiling mockingly. "Another month and we shall be in Russia. It's true; my gallant warriors, I shall get to Odessa and thence I shall go straight to Kharkhov. At Kharkhov I have a friend, a literary man. I shall go to him and I shall say, 'now, my friend, give up your rotten little love-stories and descriptions of nature, and expose the vileness of the human biped.... There's a subject for you.'" He thought for a moment and then he said: "Goussiev, do you know how I swindled them?" "Who, Pavel Ivanich?" "The lot out there.... You see there's only first and third cla** on the steamer, and only peasants are allowed to go third. If you have a decent suit, and look like a nobleman or a bourgeois, at a distance, then you must go first. It may break you, but you have to lay down your five hundred roubles. 'What's the point of such an arrangement?' I asked. 'Is it meant to raise the prestige of Russian intellectuals?' 'Not a bit,' said they. 'We don't let you go, simply because it is impossible for a decent man to go third. It is so vile and disgusting.' 'Yes,' said I. 'Thanks for taking so much trouble about decent people. Anyhow, bad or no, I haven't got five hundred roubles as I have neither robbed the treasury nor exploited foreigners, nor dealt in contraband, nor flogged any one to d**h, and, therefore, I think I have a right to go first-cla** and to take rank with the intelligentsia of Russia.' But there's no convincing them by logic.... I had to try fraud. I put on a peasant's coat and long boots, and a drunken, stupid expression and went to the agent and said: 'Give me a ticket, your Honour.' "'What's your position?' says the agent. "'Clerical,' said I. 'My father was an honest priest. He always told the truth to the great ones of the earth, and so he suffered much.'" Pavel Ivanich got tired with talking, and his breath failed him, but he went on: "Yes. I always tell the truth straight out.... I am afraid of nobody and nothing. There's a great difference between myself and you in that respect. You are dull, blind, stupid, you see nothing, and you don't understand what you do see. You are told that the wind breaks its chain, that you are brutes and worse, and you believe; you are thrashed and you kiss the hand that thrashes you; a swine in a raccoon pelisse robs you, and throws you sixpence for tea, and you say: 'Please, your Honour, let me kiss your hand.' You are pariahs, skunks.... I am different. I live consciously. I see everything, as an eagle or a hawk sees when it hovers over the earth, and I understand everything. I am a living protest. I see injustice—I protest; I see bigotry and hypocrisy—I protest; I see swine triumphant—I protest, and I am unconquerable. No Spanish inquisition can make me hold my tongue. Aye.... Cut my tongue out. I'll protest by gesture.... Shut me up in a dungeon—I'll shout so loud that I shall be heard for a mile round, or I'll starve myself, so that there shall be a still heavier weight on their black consciences. k** me—and my ghost will return. All my acquaintances tell me: 'You are a most insufferable man, Pavel Ivanich!' I am proud of such a reputation. I served three years in the Far East, and have got bitter memories enough for a hundred years. I inveighed against it all. My friends write from Russia: 'Do not come.' But I'm going, to spite them.... Yes.... That is life. I understand. You can call that life." Goussiev was not listening, but lay looking out of the port-hole; on the transparent lovely turquoise water swung a boat all shining in the shimmering light; a fat Chinaman was sitting in it eating rice with chop-sticks. The water murmured softly, and over it lazily soared white sea-gulls. "It would be fun to give that fat fellow one on the back of his neck...." thought Goussiev, watching the fat Chinaman and yawning. He dozed, and it seemed to him that all the world was slumbering. Time slipped swiftly away. The day pa**ed imperceptibly; imperceptibly the twilight fell.... The steamer was still no longer but was moving on.