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"Be pleased to ask them how this affair
happened."

"I am astonished to find you here, but tell
me what it means," said the interpreter.

I told him plainly and truly, and said that as I
did not want to pass a night in the office, if ten
roubles would be of any use——"Oh!" he said,
"that is the very thing to settle the whole question;
give them to me." After getting the
roubles, he turned to the magistrate, and I heard
him explaining the case exactly as I told it. The
magistrate laughed heartily at my handy man's
mistake. "But why pretend ignorance of the
language here," he said to me.

"I was afraid my tongue might get us into
trouble with imperfect Russ. But had I known
you better I should have told all at once."

"Come here," he said to the yeamshicks.
"Ye sons of dogs, here are four roubles from
this gentleman to heal your faces, but take
care you don't come hither again with such a
lying tale about a mad Englishman and an
iron bar. Begone, pigs!" They received the
money and bowed themselves out, evidently well
pleased with this morsel of justice.

On the way home, I asked the English
interpreter what was done with the other six roubles?

"Hush!" he said; "I suppose they have
neglected to give back the change."

"Shall I run back and ask for it?"

"I think you had better not. Let well alone."

But, my day's adventures with the police were
not over. No sooner had I returned to my
lodgings, than I found fresh trouble. My wife
had laid down a diamond ring on the washing-
stand in her room, when washing her hands, and
had left it there. It was gone; so was a Russian
girl, a servant of the house, who was the only
person who had been in the room. Now, the
ring being a favourite, and received on a
momentous occasion, my wife was resolved to
get it back, and she had taken instant measures
for the purpose, just as she would have done in
England: forgetting for the moment that she
was in Russia, where no stolen property ever is
got back. She had found somebody to show
her the nearest police-office, had gone there,
and had given information of her loss. Her statement
had been taken down on a large document,
which it had taken an hour to write; and
this she had signed. After her return to the
house, two police-officers who had come to
make minute investigation of the premises, had
asked and received food and vodka. They had
also written out another long document, which
both the landlord and my wife had to sign, and
then they had gone away saying that she would
have to appear to-morrow again, and be
re-examined by the chief of the police. This was the
state of things I found, on coming in. My wife
was beginning to cool, and to perceive also that
it was one thing to lose a diamond ring in Russia,
and quite another thing to hope to get it back. I
took my hat without a word, and made for the
police-office as fast as an "isvostchick" could
take me, with the pleasant sense of another ten
roubles gone. Making my way to the chief
officer on duty, I said, "Pray excuse me, your
honour. My wife has been here about a
diamond ring?"

"Oh yes, that affair is all in hand; we have
taken two depositions already, and to-morrow
we shall take a third. After that, we shall want
your testimony about the ring being in your
wife's possession, and a description of it: where
it was made, and its value. We shall then
begin to look out for the girl."

"You are very kind. There is no doubt
of your zeal in the affair, but I am come to
say it is all a mistake on my wife's part. She
has made a very unlucky mistake about this
ring."

"How so, sir? After all the trouble she has
put us to, she has not lost the ring? A fine
story! But the case must go on."

"Yes, she is quite aware of, and sorry for,
the great trouble you have had; and there are
ten roubles as a recompense for that trouble, and
there are two for the clerks. She will take it as a
great favour if you will do no more in the
matter. Just let it pass as the mistake of a
woman. Now, will you be so kind as to stop
all further proceedings in this matter?"

"Whyah!—yes; you see it is against rule
this. But as the papers have not gone before
the chief, it can be done, I dare say. I am glad
you have found the ring. You shall hear no
more of it. Adieu!"

We had very nearly been in for six months'
waiting in Moscow, and endless worry and
expense, without the most remote chance of
recovering the stolen trinket.

NEW WORK
BY SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON.
NEXT WEEK
Will be continued (to be completed next March)
A STRANGE STORY,
BY THE
AUTHOR OF "MY NOVEL," "RIENZI," &c. &c.

Now ready, in 3 vols. post 8vo,
FIFTH EDITION of
GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
BY CHARLES DICKENS.
CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY.

Just published, price 5s. 6d., bound in cloth,
THE FIFTH VOLUME
OF
ALL THE YEAR ROUND.
Containing from Nos. 101 to 126, both inclusive.
The preceding Volumes are always to be had.

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