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Ohose ill the dining-room heard
the sounds of the fall, mingled with
a sudden burst of foolish laughter,
and then a deep groan. Afterward
there was silence.
The groom hurried, .with the oth
eTs, to the bottom of the stairs.
Openta had already picked himself
up. His facewas white and drawn
with pain, .but he did not seem to
have received any serious injury. He
kept feeling the small of his back
with one hand and taking quick, snif
"He's all right," said the groom,
and he began to distribute green
backs among the waiters.
The others, all but Odeskalki and
Openta, hurried" back to the dining
roont fqr the remnants -of the feast,
"What a stupid fellow you are,"
said Odeskalki,''"to get drunk and fall
down stairs. You might have broken
your neck. Come, let us go."
""I have hurt my back," said
"Wnere?" said Odeskalki brutally.
He prodded Openta's spine with his
thumb. Tears of anguish ran out of
Openta's eyes and he staggered.
"Curse you!" he cried.
Odeskalki was taken aback for a
moment. "Don't be a fool, little
man," he said presently. "Put your
self together, and don't curse your
"'I am sorry for what I said, Odes
kalki," said Openta meekly. "But you
shouldn't have jmnched me so hard."
"Punched you," said Odeskalki
scornfully. "I punch you! Man, if I
punched you you'd know it My fist
would come out the other side."
Openta went up town by the Third
Avenue Elevated and got out at 125th
street, but his back hurt him so that
he could hardly walk. The pain made
him cold and sober,
Olenka was sound asleep. Openta
stood looking at her until the match
which he had lighted burned his fin
gers. Then, walking on tiptoe, he
crept into bed with his father. All
night the old man slept and snored.
T All night the .young man lay awake
The next morning Odeskalki called
to find out what had become of Or
loff Openta. The invalid was asleep.
Old man Ojxenta and Olenka took
Odeskalki to the furthest corner of
the room and conversed with him
in low tones.
"He fell down a flight of stairs,"
said Odeskalki, "and injured his
spine. He had just reached the head
of the stairs when we called him to
come back and receive a present of
money. He must have slipped in turn
ing. We heard him fall and found
him at the bottom of the stairs."
"We have drawn the bed close to
lthe s6ve," said Olenlca, "because he
complains that his legs are cold."
"Id is doo bad' said the old man.
"Have you consulted a physician?"
asked Odeskalki. ,
"Yes,"" said Olenka, "and he said
that Orloff must lie still for a long
Orloff Openta stirred in his bed and
awoke. "Are you there, Olenka?" he
Olenka flew tothe bedside. "Yes,"
she said, "and here is Mr. Odeskalki
to ask after you."
"That is very friendly of 'him,"
said Openta. "I hope you are well,
"I am 'well," he said, "but it seems
that you are not well, my friend. Do
you. feel any pain?"
"No," said Openta, "I do not think
that I feel any p&in, but my legs do
not .get warm."
Olenka slipped her hand under the
bedclothes andfelt of his feet.
"Tney are like ice," she said.
"Can you move you legs?" Odes
kalki asked. ,..
"Yes," said Openta. "But if I do
it hurts my back.",
"Hum," said Odeskalki, and looked
"What worries me," said Openta,
"is that all our savings will be spent,
and 'that perhaps I shall not be
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