The Darling and Other Stories
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. The Darling and Other Stories
THE TWO VOLODYAS
AN ARTIST'S STORY
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ON the deck of a steamer sailing from Odessa to Sevastopol, a rather good-looking gentleman, with a little round beard, came up to me to smoke, and said:
"Notice those Germans sitting near the shelter? Whenever Germans or Englishmen get together, they talk about the crops, the price of wool, or their personal affairs. But for some reason or other when we Russians get together we never discuss anything but women and abstract subjects-but especially women."
Next day Ariadne presented me to the Russian family as: "The son of a distinguished professor whose estate is next to ours."
She talked to this family about nothing but estates and crops, and kept appealing to me. She wanted to appear to be a very wealthy landowner, and did, in fact, succeed in doing so. Her manner was superb like that of a real aristocrat, which indeed she was by birth.