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Hide and Seek

Fiodor Sologub



Sergey Modestovich hurried the funeral. He saw that Serafima
Aleksandrovna. was terribly shocked by her sudden misfortune, and as
he feared for her reason he thought she would more readily be diverted
and consoled when Lelechka was buried.

Next morning Serafima Aleksandrovna dressed with particular care—for
Lelechka. When she entered the parlour there were several people
between her and Lelechka. The priest and deacon paced up and down the
room; clouds of blue smoke drifted in the air, and there was a smell
of incense. There was an oppressive feeling of heaviness in Serafima
Aleksandrovna's head as she approached Lelechka. Lelechka lay there
still and pale, and smiled pathetically. Serafima Aleksandrovna laid
her cheek upon the edge of Lelechka's coffin, and whispered:
"Tiu-tiu, little one!"

The little one did not reply. Then there was some kind of stir and
confusion around Serafima Aleksandrovna; strange, unnecessary faces
bent over her, some one held her—and Lelechka was carried away

Serafima Aleksandrovna stood up erect, sighed in a lost way, smiled,
and called loudly: "Lelechka!"

Lelechka was being carried out. The mother threw herself after the
coffin with despairing sobs, but she was held back. She sprang behind
the door, through which Lelechka had passed, sat down there on the
floor, and as she looked through the crevice, she cried out:
"Lelechka, tiu-tiu!"

Then she put her head out from behind the door, and began to laugh.

Lelechka was quickly carried away from her mother, and those who
carried her seemed to run rather than to walk.