Petersburg Shadows

Shadow was talking to shadow:

‘My dear, dear fellow, you have left out one rather important fact which I have learned with the help of my own methods.’

‘What is it?’

‘You haven’t made a sound about the red domino.’

‘And do you know, then?’

‘Not only do I know: I followed him all the way to his lodgings.’

‘Well, and who is the red domino?’

‘Nikolai Apollonovich.’

‘Hm! Yes, yes: but the incident has not yet come to a head.’

‘Don’t try to wriggle out of it: you’ve simply let it drop.’


‘Yes, yes: you’ve let it drop … And yet you reproached me with the counterfeiter, reproached me with a fifty-copeck piece – remember? While I said nothing about the fact that you have artificial hair.’

‘Not artificial – dyed …’

‘It comes to the same thing.’

‘How is your cold?’

‘Better, thank you.’

‘I haven’t dropped it.’


‘Why do you say that: I’m not short of evidence.’


‘You will just have to believe me.’


But sardonic laughter was heard in reply.

‘Evidence? You need evidence? The evidence is the Petersburg “Diary of Events”. Have you read the “Diary” these last few days?’

‘I will confess: I haven’t.’

‘But I mean, it’s your duty to know what Petersburg is talking about. If you were to look in the “Diary” you would realize that news about the domino preceded his appearance near the Winter Canal.’


‘You see, you see, you see: but now you say something. Ask me who wrote all this in the “Diary”.’

‘Well, who was it?’

‘Neintelpfain, my collaborator.’

‘I will confess that I didn’t expect you to pull off a stunt like that.’

‘And yet you attack me, shower me with caustic remarks: but I’ve told you a hundred times that I’m a collaborator in the cause, that this undertaking has been set like the mechanism of a clock. You’re still in blissful ignorance, and all along my Neintelpfain has been making a sensation.’

‘Hm-hm-hm: speak louder – I can’t hear you.’

‘I hope you will give your agents instructions that they’re to leave Nikolai Apollonovich in perfect peace, otherwise: otherwise – I can’t vouch for success in what lies ahead.’

‘I will confess that I’ve already told the newspapers about this recent incident.’

‘Oh my God, why, you must be a complete …’


‘A complete … idealist: this time, as always, you have interfered in my sphere of authority … I hope to God that at least his father doesn’t find out!’