expression to his merry face, sat down with his elbows on his knees beside Olenin and whittled away at a stick.
‘Why do you smoke?’ he said with assumed curiosity. ‘Is it good?’
He evidently spoke because he noticed Olenin felt ill at ease and isolated among the Cossacks.
‘It’s just a habit,’ answered Olenin. ‘Why?’
‘H’m, if one of us were to smoke there would be a row! Look there now, the mountains are not far off,’ continued Lukashka, ‘yet you can’t get there! How will you get back alone? It’s getting dark. I’ll take you, if you like. You ask the corporal to give me leave.’
‘What a fine fellow!’