'Well, thank you! Good-bye, Daddy. God willing we may meet again,'
said Olenin, getting up and moving towards the passage.
The old man, who was sitting on the floor, did not rise.
'Is that the way one says "Good-bye"? Fool, fool!' he began. 'Oh
dear, what has come to people? We've kept company, kept company
for well-nigh a year, and now "Good-bye!" and off he goes! Why, I
love you, and how I pity you! You are so forlorn, always alone,
always alone. You're somehow so unsociable. At times I can't sleep
for thinking about you. I am so sorry for you. As the song has it:
"It is very hard, dear brother, In a foreign land to live."
So it is with you.'
'Well, good-bye,' said Olenin again.
The old man rose and held out his hand. Olenin pressed it and
turned to go.
'Give us your mug, your mug!'
And the old man took Olenin by the head with both hands and kissed
him three times with wet moustaches and lips, and began to cry.
'I love you, good-bye!'
Olenin got into the cart.
'Well, is that how you're going? You might give me something for a
remembrance. Give me a gun! What do you want two for?' said the
old man, sobbing quite sincerely.
Olenin got out a musket and gave it to him.
'What a lot you've given the old fellow,' murmured Vanyusha,
'he'll never have enough! A regular old beggar. They are all such
irregular people,' he remarked, as he wrapped himself in his
overcoat and took his seat on the box.
'Hold your tongue, swine!' exclaimed the old man, laughing. 'What
a stingy fellow!'
Maryanka came out of the cowshed, glanced indifferently at the
cart, bowed and went towards the hut.
'LA FILLE!' said Vanyusha, with a wink, and burst out into a silly
'Drive on!' shouted Olenin, angrily.
'Good-bye, my lad! Good-bye. I won't forget you!' shouted Eroshka.
Olenin turned round. Daddy Eroshka was talking to Maryanka,
evidently about his own affairs, and neither the old man nor the
girl looked at Olenin.
- Tolstoy's The Cossacks (one of the best stories I've ever read).