"That you will have those dreadful dogs of yours tied up, They nearly worried poor Grisha to death when he entered the courtyard, and I am sure they will bite the children some day."
No sooner did Grisha hear himself mentioned that he turned towards our table and showed us his torn clothes. Then, as he went on with his meal, he said: "He would have let them tear me in pieces, but God would not allow it! What a sin to let the dogs loose--a great sin! But do not beat him, master; do not beat him! It is for God to forgive! It is past now!"
"What does he say?" said Papa, looking at him gravely and sternly. "I cannot understand him at all."
"I think he is saying," replied Mamma, "that one of the huntsmen set the dogs on him, but that God would not allow him to be torn in pieces, Therefore he begs you not to punish the man."
"Oh, is that it? " said Papa, "How does he know that I intended to punish the huntsman? You know, I am pot very fond of fellows like this," he added in French, "and this one offends me particularly. Should it ever happen that--"
"Oh, don't say so," interrupted Mamma, as if frightened by some thought. "How can you know what he is?"
"I think I have plenty of opportunities for doing so, since no lack of them come to see you--all of them the same sort, and probably all with the same story."
I could see that Mamma's opinion differed from his, but that she did not mean to quarrel about it.