The police superintendent Otchumyelov is walking across the market square wearing a new overcoat and carrying a parcel under his arm. A red-haired policeman strides after him with a sieve full of confiscated gooseberries in his hands. There is silence all around. Not a soul in the square. . . . The open doors of the shops and taverns look out upon God’s world disconsolately, like hungry mouths; there is not even a beggar near them.
“So you bite, you damned brute?” Otchumyelov hears suddenly. “Lads, don’t let him go! Biting is prohibited nowadays! Hold him! ah . . . ah!”
There is the sound of a dog yelping. Otchumyelov looks in the direction of the sound and sees a dog, hopping on three legs and looking about her, run out of Pitchugin’s timber-yard. A man in a starched cotton shirt, with his waistcoat unbuttoned…
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As night advanced he crouched down under the altar, which supported a dusty image of Buddha. He saw nothing strange and heard no sound till after midnight. Then there came a goblin, having but half a body and one-eye, and said: “Hitokusai!” (There is the smell of a man). But the samurai did not move. The goblin went away.