By Maxim Gorky
THE HEART OF A BEGGAR — A STORY BY GORKY
Maxim Gorky is always vivid and usually terrible in his portrayal of the underworld of Russia. In this little character-sketch (translated for us by Montressor Paull), he strikes a note of tenderness that is less usual with him.
A VAGRANT, a brother of beggars, a vagabond like himself, whom he met at a turn of the country road as night came, said to him, “If you wish to do a neat trick, walk straight forward, go across the bridge and follow the edge of the wood, and on the right you will find a villa that looks like a castle. There is no outer wall, and there is no moat. There is nobody guarding it — the gentleman and his family have not yet returned, and the gardener is sick abed. And there is no dog, — a little while ago I stroked his snout with this stick. Once in the house you will be highly puzzled to make a choice. If you have a heart in your body,” said the vagabond in conclusion, “don’t fail to use this opportunity. You can turn the neatest kind of a trick there, sure thing!”
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