And there was his rich enemy, kneeling and praying to be forgiven for the many tears he had caused orphans to shed. He crossed himself ardently and struck his forehead against the ground.
Mikheyich’s heart boiled within him, and the dusky faces of the ikons frowned down upon human sorrow and human wickedness.
All that was past, behind him. For him the whole world was now bounded by this bell-tower, where the wind moaned in the darkness and stirred the ropes. … “God be your judge!” muttered the old man, drooping his gray head, while tears rolled gently down his cheeks.
“Mikheyich, ay, Mikheyich! Have you fallen asleep up there?” shouted someone from below.
“What?” the old man answered, rising to his feet. “God! Have I really been sleeping? Such a thing never happened before!”
With quick, experienced hands he grasped the ropes. Below him, the easant mob moved about like an ant-hill; banners,