"I wrote, and I say to you once more, that she is not in her right mind," said the prince, who had listened with anguish to what Rogojin said.
"Goodness knows — you may be wrong there! At all events, she named the day this evening, as we left the gardens. 'In three weeks,' says she, 'and perhaps sooner, we shall be married.' She swore to it, took off her cross and kissed it. So it all depends upon you now, prince, You see! Ha, ha!"
"That's all madness. What you say about me, Parfen, never can and never will be. Tomorrow, I shall come and see you — "
"How can she be mad," Rogojin interrupted, "when she is sane enough for other people and only mad for you? How can she write letters to HER, if she's mad? If she were insane they would observe it in her letters."
"What letters?" said the prince, alarmed.
"She writes to HER — and the girl reads the letters. Haven't you heard? — You are sure to hear; she's sure to show you the letters herself."
"I won't believe this!" cried the prince.
"Why, prince, you've only gone a few steps along this road, I perceive. You are evidently a mere beginner. Wait a bit! Before long, you'll have your own detectives, you'll watch day and night, and you'll know every little thing that goes on there — that is, if — "
"Drop that subject, Rogojin, and never mention it again. And listen: as I have sat here, and talked, and listened, it has suddenly struck me that tomorrow is my birthday. It must be about twelve o'clock, now; come home with me — do, and we'll see the day in! We'll have some wine, and you shall wish me — I don't know what — but you, especially you, must wish me a good wish, and I shall wish you full happiness in return. Otherwise, hand me my cross back again. You didn't return it to me next day. Haven't you got it on now?"
"Yes, I have," said Rogojin.
"Come along, then. I don't wish to meet my new year without you — my new life, I should say, for a new life is beginning for me. Did you know, Parfen, that a new life had begun for me?"
"I see for myself that it is so — and I shall tell HER. But you are not quite yourself, Lef Nicolaievitch."