Five years ago I was in Lebedyan at the height of the fair. I stopped at the hotel, changed clothes and went to the fair. A sexual at the hotel managed to inform me that Prince N. and many other masters had stopped at them. I wanted to buy three horses for my brichka. I found two, but I did not manage to pick up a third one.
After lunch I went to the coffee shop. In the billiard room, there were about 20 people, among whom I noticed Prince N, a young man of about 22, with a cheerful and somewhat contemptuous face. He played with the retired lieutenant Victor Khlopakov, a small, swarthy and thin man of about 30, with black hair, brown eyes and a blunt, snub nose. Khlopakov possessed the ability to please young Moscow rich men, at the expense of which he lived. The success of the lieutenant consisted in the fact that he used the same expression for a year or two, which is unknown why he was mixing his patrons. After a while this phrase ceased to make laugh, and Khlopakov began to look for a new patron.
The next day I went to see the horses to the famous saint Sitnikov. I liked the gray stallion in apples, and we started bargaining. Suddenly from behind the corner a three horses flew out, drawn in a dandy cart. In it sat Prince N. with Khlopakov. Sitnikov fussed and began to show the prince the best horses. I did not wait for the end of the deal and left.
At the corner of the street I noticed a large sheet of paper attached to the gate of a grayish house. It was written on paper that an Anastasei Ivanych Chernobay, a Tambov landlord, sells horses here. Anastasei Ivanych was an old man of medium height, with white hair, beautiful blue eyes, an amiable smile and a pleasant, juicy voice. I bought an inexpensive horse from him. The next day she was pounded and lame. Back Chernobay horse did not take. I understood what was happening, and resigned myself to my fate. Fortunately, for the lesson I paid inexpensively.
Two days later I left and turned to Lebedyan in a week, on the way back. In the coffee house, I again found Prince N. behind the billiard table, but in the fate of Khlopakov there was an ordinary change – he was replaced by a blond officer.