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1 GOD OF THE GODLESS By FERDINAND A. OSSENDOWSKI Author of quot Beasts, Men and Gods, quot quot The Fire of Dessert Folk quot quot Slaves of the Sun, quot Etc. Translated From the Polish by GREGORY MACDONALD 1931 iE. P. DUTTON CO., INC New York IN GOD OP quot THE G quot OBLSS, COPYRIGHT BY. E. P.-DUTJON. St. CO INC. I ALL RIGHTS RESE V D MINTED IN u. s. A. LENIN GOD OF THE GODLESS LENIN GOD OF THE GODLESS CHAPTER I LITTLE VLADIMIR ULYANOV was sitting very still, thought fully watching his mother s preparations. Maria Alexandrovna herself, pale and spiritless, was helping the servant-girl to lay the table. For it was Saturday, when her husband s friends would descend upon them, and she had grown more and more to dislike their weekly assemblies. Her children, except Vladimir, shared her feelings. The girls were tidying up the drawing-room and comparing notes on their father s guests. The elder boy, as usual, had slipped out of the house, cursing them for a gang of brigands. Only Vladimir looked forward to the evening with impatience. At last Ulyanov came into the room. He was a grizzled, broad-shouldered man, with the narrow Mongolian eyes of his younger son, and he knew that he looked a man of substance in his dark-blue frock coat with gold buttons, especially when the red and white ribbon on his chest held the cross of St. Vladimir, which conferred an authority of its own. He sat down in an armchair, drew up a small table, and set out the chess-men, in readiness for a game with Doctor Titov. The Doctor always captured the imagination of Vladimir. The lad would have liked to see him go swimming. No mat ter how deep the water might be, the man would not sink. He would bob up and down like a fishing-float on the surface. A round, bulky man was Doctor Titov. The father said nothing to Maria Alexandrovna. He knew very well that she did not like his guests. On the other hand, he did not want to spoil his pleasures by a quarrel with his wife. 4 LENIN But Madame Ulyanova began the conversation at once. quot My dear, quot she said, quot we would both be better off if you gave up those friends of yours. What good can it do you to have that drunken priest. Father Makary, with his rusty old cassock, or Doctor Titov, or the School Inspector, Peter Petro vitch Shustov That old ramrod he s good for neither God nor Devil 5 Her husband twisted uneasily in his chair and began to wipe his perspiring forehead with a red handkerchief. quot We ve been friends for a long time, quot he muttered. quot Be sides, they have very good connections. They can help one along in life. The great ones of the earth have ears, you know, and when my friends whisper a good word about me. . . . quot U O Lord quot groaned his wife. quot You and your good word You remind me of Tiapkin-Lapkin in Gogol s Inspector. He did that too. He took care to ask the Inspector, when he re turned to Petersburg, to tell the Ministers where Tiapkin-Lapkin was living quot She began to laugh, silently and with bitterness. quot That s no sort of a comparison, my dear, quot he said reproach fully. quot Yes, it is It s exactly the same, quot rejoined his wife. quot You re making a fool of yourself, that s all. Why don t you invite some people who really count, young people or men of in tellect For instance, Dr. Dokhturov, or that school master Nilov, or that marvelous monk, the preacher, Brother Alexis I met them at Madame Vlasova s. They have intelligence. They re worth paying attention to quot quot God forbid quot hissed Ulyanov. There was some fear in his voice, and he waved his hands helplessly. quot Those fellows are dangerous types. They are, well . . . political agitators. quot quot Political agitators quot asked Maria Alexandrovna. quot What do you mean by that quot quot Nothing very good, quot he replied in an impressive whisper. quot The Police Commissioner warned me about them...
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