THE strictest steps were taken the the Uskovs\" family an enig might not leak out and become normally known. Half of the servants were sent off to the theatre or the circus; the other half were sit in the kitchen and also not permitted to leave it. Assignment were offered that no one was to be admitted. The mam of the Colonel, she sister, and also the governess, despite they had actually been initiated into the secret, kept up a pretence of discovering nothing; they satellite in the dining-room and also did not display themselves in the drawing-room or the hall.

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Sasha Uskov, the young guy of twenty-five who was the reason of every the commotion, had arrived part time before, and also by the advice of kind-hearted Ivan Markovitch, his uncle, who was taking his part, he sat meekly in the room by the door resulting in the study, and also prepared self to do an open, frank explanation.

The various other side that the door, in the study, a family council was being held. The topic under conversation was one exceedingly disagreeable and also delicate one. Sasha Uskov had actually cashed at one of the financial institutions a false promissory note, and also it had come to be due for payment 3 days before, and now his two paternal uncles and Ivan Markovitch, the brother of his dead mother, to be deciding the concern whether they have to pay the money and also save the family honour, or wash their hand of it and also leave the situation to walk for trial.

To outsiders who have no an individual interest in the matter such questions seem simple; for those who room so unfortunate as to have to decision them in earnest castle are exceptionally difficult. The uncles had actually been talking for a lengthy time, but the trouble seemed no nearer decision.

\"My friends!\" said the uncle who was a colonel, and there to be a keep in mind of exhaustion and also bitterness in his voice. \"Who states that family honour is a mere convention? i don\"t say the at all. I am just warning you against a false view; i am stating the opportunity of one unpardonable mistake. How can you fail to watch it? ns am not speaking Chinese; ns am speak Russian!\"

\"My to ~ fellow, we execute understand,\" Ivan Markovitch protested mildly.

\"How deserve to you recognize if you say that ns don\"t think in household honour? ns repeat when more: fa-mil-y ho-nour fal-sely un-der-stood is a prejudice! Falsely understood! That\"s what i say: every little thing may it is in the motives because that screening a scoundrel, everyone he might be, and also helping him to escape punishment, it is contrary to law and unworthy of a gentleman. It\"s not conserving the family members honour; it\"s civic cowardice! take the army, because that instance. . . . The honour that the military is an ext precious to united state than any type of other honour, yet us don\"t display our guilty members, but condemn them. And does the honour that the army suffer in consequence? rather the opposite!\"

The other paternal uncle, an main in the Treasury, a taciturn, dull-witted, and rheumatic man, satellite silent, or spoke just of the fact that the Uskovs\" name would get into the newspapers if the situation went for trial. His opinion was that the situation ought to be hushed increase from the very first and not become public property; but, except publicity in the newspapers, he advanced no other dispute in support of this opinion.

The maternal uncle, kind-hearted Ivan Markovitch, spoke smoothly, softly, and also with a tremor in his voice. He began with saying that youth has its rights and also its peculiar temptations. Which of us has actually not to be young, and who has actually not to be led astray? come say nothing of simple mortals, even an excellent men have actually not escaped errors and also mistakes in their youth. Take, because that instance, the story of great writers. Did no every among them gamble, drink, and draw down upon himself the anger of right-thinking civilization in his young days? If Sasha\"s error bordered upon crime, they need to remember the Sasha had received virtually no education; he had been expelled native the high school in the fifth class; he had actually lost his parental in early on childhood, and also so had actually been left at the tenderest period without guidance and also good, benevolent influences. He was nervous, excitable, had actually no for sure ground under his feet, and, over all, he had been unlucky. Even if he were guilty, anyway the deserved indulgence and also the sympathy of all compassionate souls. That ought, of course, to be punished, however he was punished as it was by his conscience and also the agonies he was enduring now while awaiting the sentence of his relations. The comparison through the army made by the Colonel to be delightful, and did credit to his lofty intelligence; his appeal come their emotion of public duty spoke for the chivalry the his soul, but they should not forget the in each individual the citizen is closely linked v the Christian. . . .

\"Shall we be false to civic duty,\" Ivan Markovitch exclaimed passionately, \"if rather of punishing one erring boy we host out come him a help hand?\"

Ivan Markovitch talked more of household honour. He had actually not the honour come belong come the Uskov household himself, but he knew their identified family went ago to the thirteenth century; that did no forget for a minute, either, the his precious, beloved sister had been the mam of among the representatives of the name. In short, the family was dear come him for many reasons, and also he refused to admit the idea that, for the services of a paltry fifteen hundreds roubles, a blot need to be cast on the escutcheon the was past all price. If every the engine he had lugged forward were no sufficiently convincing, he, Ivan Markovitch, in conclusion, begged his listeners to ask themselves what was intended by crime? Crime is an immoral act started upon ill-will. However is the will of man free? Philosophy has actually not yet provided a hopeful answer to the question. Different views were hosted by the learned. The latest college of Lombroso, because that instance, denies the flexibility of the will, and considers every crime as the product the the completely anatomical peculiarities of the individual.

\"Ivan Markovitch,\" stated the Colonel, in a voice the entreaty, \"we are talking serious about crucial matter, and you bring in Lombroso, you clever fellow. Think a little, what room you saying every this for? have the right to you imagine that all your thunderings and rhetoric will certainly furnish response to the question?\"

Sasha Uskov satellite at the door and also listened. He felt no terror, shame, no one depression, however only weariness and inward emptiness. It seemed to him that it made absolutely no difference to him whether they forgave him or not; he had come here to hear his sentence and also to explain himself simply since kind-hearted Ivan Markovitch had begged him to perform so. The was no afraid that the future. It made no difference to him whereby he was: below in the hall, in prison, or in Siberia.

\"If Siberia, climate let it be Siberia, damn it all!\"

He to be sick of life and found that insufferably hard. He was inextricably connected in debt; he had actually not a farthing in his pocket; his family members had become detestable to him; that would have to component from his friends and also his ladies sooner or later, as they had begun to be too contemptuous of his sponging top top them. The future looked black.

Sasha to be indifferent, and was only disturbed by one circumstance; the other side of the door they were calling that a scoundrel and also a criminal. Every minute he was on the point of jumping up, bursting right into the study and shouting in answer to the detestable metallic voice of the Colonel:

\"You room lying!\"

\"Criminal\" is a devastating word -- that is what murderers, thieves, robbers are; in fact, wicked and also morally hopeless people. And Sasha was very far from being all that. . . . It was true he fan a great deal and also did no pay his debts. But debt is no a crime, and it is inexplicable for a guy not to be in debt. The Colonel and Ivan Markovitch were both in debt. . . .

\"What have I excellent wrong besides?\" Sasha wondered.

He had actually discounted a forged note. Yet all the young guys he knew walk the same. Handrikov and also Von Burst constantly forged IOU\"s from your parents or friends as soon as their allowances were not paid in ~ the constant time, and also then once they obtained their money from house they redeemed them prior to they became due. Sasha had done the same, but had not redeemed the IOU due to the fact that he had not acquired the money i beg your pardon Handrikov had promised to lend him. The was no to blame; it was the error of circumstances. It to be true the the usage of an additional person\"s signature was taken into consideration reprehensible; but, still, it was not a crime yet a generally accepted dodge, an ugly formality which injured no one and was rather harmless, because that in forging the Colonel\"s signature Sasha had actually had no intention of causing anybody damages or loss.

\"No, it doesn\"t median that i am a criminal . . .\" assumed Sasha. \"And it\"s not in my personality to bring myself to commit a crime. Ns am soft, emotional. . . . Once I have the money I assist the poor. . . .\"

Sasha to be musing ~ this fashion when they walk on talk the other side the the door.

\"But, mine friends, this is endless,\" the Colonel declared, gaining excited. \"Suppose us were to forgive him and pay the money. You know he would certainly not offer up top a dissipated life, squandering money, do debts, going come our tailors and also ordering suits in ours names! deserve to you guarantee that this will be his critical prank? As far as ns am concerned, I have actually no faith every little thing in his reforming!\"

The official of the Treasury muttered other in reply; after that Ivan Markovitch started talking blandly and also suavely again. The Colonel moved his chair impatiently and drowned the other\"s words with his detestable metallic voice. At last the door opened and Ivan Markovitch came out that the study; there to be patches the red top top his skinny shaven face.

\"Come along,\" the said, taking Sasha by the hand. \"Come and speak frankly from your heart. There is no pride, my dear boy, humbly and from her heart.\"

Sasha got in the study. The official of the Treasury to be sitting down; the Colonel was standing prior to the table v one hand in his pocket and also one knee on a chair. It to be smoky and stifling in the study. Sasha did no look in ~ the official or the Colonel; that felt all of sudden ashamed and also uncomfortable. The looked uneasily in ~ Ivan Markovitch and also muttered:

\"I\"ll pay it . . . I\"ll give it back. . . .\"

\"What did friend expect once you discounted the IOU?\" that heard a metallic voice.

\"I . . . Handrikov promised to loan me the money before now.\"

Sasha might say no more. That went out of the study and sat down again on the chair close to the door.

He would have actually been happy to walk away altogether at once, but he to be choking v hatred and he awfully wanted to remain, come tear the Colonel come pieces, come say miscellaneous rude to him. He satellite trying come think of something violent and effective come say come his hated uncle, and at that moment a woman\"s figure, shrouded in the twilight, showed up at the drawing-room door. It was the Colonel\"s wife. She beckoned Sasha to her, and, wringing her hands, said, weeping:

\"Alexandre, I know you don\"t like me, but . . . Listen to me; listen, ns beg you. . . . But, my dear, how can this have actually happened? Why, it\"s awful, awful! because that goodness\" sake, beg them, defend yourself, entreat them.\"

Sasha looked at her quivering shoulders, in ~ the huge tears that were rolling under her cheeks, heard behind his ago the hollow, concerned voices of worried and exhausted people, and also shrugged his shoulders. He had not in the the very least expected that his aristocratic relationships would raise together a tempest over a paltry fifteen hundred roubles! He can not recognize her tears no one the quiver of your voices.

An hour later on he heard that the Colonel was gaining the finest of it; the uncles were lastly inclining to let the case go because that trial.

\"The matter\"s settled,\" stated the Colonel, sighing. \"Enough.\"

After this decision all the uncles, also the emphatic Colonel, came to be noticeably depressed. A silence followed.

\"Merciful Heavens!\" sighed Ivan Markovitch. \"My negative sister!\"

And he started saying in a subdued voice that most likely his sister, Sasha\"s mother, was current unseen in the research at the moment. He felt in his soul just how the unhappy, saintly woman was weeping, grieving, and also begging for she boy. For the services of she peace beyond the grave, they need to spare Sasha.

The sound that a muffled sob to be heard. Ivan Markovitch was weeping and muttering something which that was difficult to record through the door. The Colonel acquired up and paced from corner to corner. The long conversation began over again.

But climate the clock in the drawing-room struck two. The household council to be over. To protect against seeing the person who had actually moved that to together wrath, the Colonel go from the study, not right into the hall, however into the vestibule. . . . Ivan Markovitch come out right into the hall. . . . He was agitated and also rubbing his hand joyfully. His tear-stained eyes looked good-humoured and also his mouth to be twisted right into a smile.

\"Capital,\" he said to Sasha. \"Thank God! You deserve to go home, mine dear, and sleep tranquilly. We have made decision to pay the sum, but on problem that you repent and come through me tomorrow into the nation and collection to work.\"

A minute later on Ivan Markovitch and also Sasha in their great-coats and also caps were going under the stairs. The uncle to be muttering other edifying. Sasha did not listen, but felt together though some uneasy weight were slowly slipping off his shoulders. They had forgiven him; that was for free! A gust of joy sprang up within him and sent a sweet chill come his heart. The longed to breathe, to relocate swiftly, come live! Glancing in ~ the street lamps and the black sky, the remembered the Von Burst was celebrating his name-day the evening in ~ the \"Bear,\" and also again a rush of pleasure flooded his soul. . . .

\"I to be going!\" he decided.

But climate he remembered he had actually not a farthing, that the companions he was going to would despise him at as soon as for his north pockets. He must acquire hold of some money, come what may!

\"Uncle, lend me a hundreds roubles,\" he stated to Ivan Markovitch.

His uncle, surprised, looked into his face and also backed against a lamp-post.

\"Give it to me,\" stated Sasha, changing impatiently indigenous one foot to the other and also beginning come pant. \"Uncle, i entreat you, give me a hundred roubles.\"

His confront worked; he trembled, and also seemed ~ above the allude of attacking his uncle. . . .

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\"Won\"t you?\" he retained asking, seeing that his uncle to be still amazed and did not understand. \"Listen. If you don\"t, I\"ll provide myself up tomorrow! ns won\"t allow you pay the IOU! I\"ll present an additional false note tomorrow!\"

Petrified, muttering miscellaneous incoherent in his horror, Ivan Markovitch take it a hundred-rouble note out that his pocket-book and gave it come Sasha. The young guy took it and walked quickly away indigenous him. . . .

Taking a sledge, Sasha thrived calmer, and felt a rush of happiness within him again. The \"rights the youth\" of which kind-hearted Ivan Markovitch had spoken at the household council woke up and also asserted themselves. Sasha pictured the drinking-party prior to him, and, among the bottles, the women, and his friends, the believed flashed with his mind: