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Lelechka was asleep, and Serafima Aleksandrovna was sitting in her own room, thinking with joy and tenderness of Lelechka. Lelechka was in her thoughts, first a sweet, tiny girl, then a sweet, big girl, then again a delightful little girl; and so until the end she remained mamma's little Lelechka. Serafima Aleksandrovna did not even notice that Fedosya came up to her and paused before her. Fedosya had a worried, frightened look. "Madam, madam," she said quietly, in a trembling voice. Serafima Aleksandrovna gave a start. Fedosya's face made her anxious. "What is it, Fedosya?" she asked with great concern. "Is there anything wrong with Lelechka?" "No, madam," said Fedosya, as she gesticulated with her hands to reassure her mistress and to make her sit down. "Lelechka is asleep, may God be with her! Only I'd like to say somethingyou seeLelechka is always hiding herselfthat's not good." Fedosya looked at her mistress with fixed eyes, which had grown round from fright. "Why not good?" asked Serafima Aleksandrovna, with vexation, succumbing involuntarily to vague fears. "I can't tell you how bad it is," said Fedosya, and her face expressed the most decided confidence. "Please speak in a sensible way," observed Serafima Aleksandrovna dryly. "I understand nothing of what you are saying." "You see, madam, it's a kind of omen," explained Fedosya abruptly, in a shamefaced way. "Nonsense!" said Serafima Aleksandrovna. She did not wish to hear any further as to the sort of omen it was, and what it foreboded. But, somehow, a sense of fear and of sadness crept into her mood, and it was humiliating to feel that an absurd tale should disturb her beloved fancies, and should agitate her so deeply. "Of course I know that gentlefolk don't believe in omens, but it's a bad omen, madam," Fedosya went on in a doleful voice, "the young lady will hide, and hide..." Suddenly she burst into tears, sobbing out loudly: "She'll hide, and hide, and hide away, angelic little soul, in a damp grave," she continued, as she wiped her tears with her apron and blew her nose. "Who told you all this?" asked Serafima Aleksandrovna in an austere low voice. "Agathya says so, madam," answered Fedosya; "it's she that knows." "Knows!" exclaimed Serafima Aleksandrovna in irritation, as though she wished to protect herself somehow from this sudden anxiety. "What nonsense! Please don't come to me with any such notions in the future. Now you may go." Fedosya, dejected, her feelings hurt, left her mistress. "What nonsense! As though Lelechka could die!" thought Serafima Aleksandrovna to herself, trying to conquer the feeling of coldness and fear which took possession, of her at the thought of the possible death of Lelechka. Serafima Aleksandrovna, upon reflection, attributed these women's beliefs in omens to ignorance. She saw clearly that there could be no possible connexion between a child's quite ordinary diversion and the continuation of the child's life. She made a special effort that evening to occupy her mind with other matters, but her thoughts returned involuntarily to the fact that Lelechka loved to hide herself. When Lelechka was still quite small, and had learned to distinguish between her mother and her nurse, she sometimes, sitting in her nurse's arms, made a sudden roguish grimace, and hid her laughing face in the nurse's shoulder. Then she would look out with a sly glance. Of late, in those rare moments of the mistress' absence from the nursery, Fedosya had again taught Lelechka to hide; and when Lelechka's mother, on coming in, saw how lovely the child looked when she was hiding, she herself began to play hide and seek with her tiny daughter.