And she told me, too, Nellie went on, growing more and more earnest, and seeming anxious to answer Nikolay Sergeyitch, though she addressed Anna Andreyevna, she told me that grandfather was very angry with her, and that she had behaved very wrongly to him; and that she had no one in the whole world but grandfather. And when she told me this she cried. ‘He will never forgive me,’ she said when first we arrived, but perhaps he will see you and love you, and for your sake he will forgive me,’ Mother was very fond of me, and she always used to kiss me when she said this, and she was very much afraid of going to grandfather. She taught me to pray for grandfather, she used to pray herself, and she told me a great deal of how she used to live in old days with grandfather, and how grandfather used to love her above everything fucoidan.

She used to play the piano to him and read to him in the evening, and grandfather used to kiss her and give her lots of presents. He used to give her everything; so that one day they had a quarrel on mother’s nameday, because grandfather thought mother didn’t know what present he was going to give her, and mother had found out long before. Mother wanted ear-rings, and  her and told her it was going to be a brooch, not ear-rings; and when he gave her the ear-rings and saw that mother knew that it was going to be ear-rings and not a brooch, he was angry that mother had found out and wouldn’t speak to her for half the day, but afterwards he came of his own accord to kiss her and ask her forgiveness.

Nellie was carried away by her story, and there was a flush on her pale, wan little cheek. It was evident that more than once in their corner in the basement the mother had talked to her little Nellie of her happy days in the past, embracing and kissing the little girl who was all that was left to her in life, and weeping over her, never suspecting what a powerful effect these stories had on the frail child’s morbidly sensitive and prematurely developed feelings.But Nellie seemed suddenly to check herself. She looked mistrustfully around and was mute again. The old man frowned and drummed on the table again. A tear glistened in Anna Andreyevna’s eye, and she silently wiped it away with her handkerchief.Mother came here very ill, Nellie went on in a low voice.

Her chest was very bad. We were looking for grandfather a long time and we couldn’t find him; and we took a corner in an underground room.A corner, an invalid! cried Anna Andreyevna.Yes . . . a corner . . answered Nellie. Mother was poor. Mother told me, she added with growing earnestness, that it’s no sin to be poor, but it’s a sin to be rich and insult people, and that God was punishing her.It was in Vassilyevsky Island you lodged? At Mme. Bubnov’s, wasn’t it? the old man asked, turning to me, trying to throw a note of unconcern into his question. He spoke as though he felt it awkward to remain sitting silent.

No, not there. At first it was in Myestchansky Street, Nellie answered part time diploma course business. It was very dark and damp there, she added after a pause, and mother got very ill there, though she was still walking about then. I used to wash the clothes for her, and she used to cry. There used to be an old woman living there, too, the widow of a captain; and there was a retired clerk, and he always came in drunk and made a noise every night. I was dreadfully afraid of him. Mother used to take me into her bed and hug me, and she trembled all over herself while he used to shout and swear. Once he tried to beat the captain’s widow, and she was a very old lady and walked with a stick. Mother was sorry for her, and she stood up for her; the man hit mother, too, and I hit him. . .Nellie stopped. The memory agitated her; her eyes were blazing.Good heavens! cried Anna Andreyevna, entirely absorbed in the story and keeping her eyes fastened upon Nellie, who addressed her principally.