Riukhin sat in complete solitude, hunched over his bream, drinking glass after glass, understanding and recognizing that it was no longer possible to set anything right in his life, that it was only possible to forget.
‘Yesterday, in your office, I saw this individuum briefly, but it only takes a fleeting glance at his face to understand that he is a bastard, a squabbler, a trimmer and a toady.’
Today I’m an unofficial person, and tomorrow, lo and behold, I’m an official one! And it also happens the other way round — oh, how it does!’
The counting-up took place, interspersed with Koroviev’s quips and quiddities, such as ‘Cash loves counting’, ‘Your own eye won’t lie’, and others of the same sort.
It was necessary at once, right on the spot, to invent ordinary explanations for extraordinary phenomena.
Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck us both at once.
‘Can they be crooks?’ the magician asked worriedly of his visitor. ‘Can there be crooks among the Muscovites?’
Never ask for anything! Never for anything, and especially from those who are stronger than you. They’ll make the offer themselves, and give everything themselves.