Colia took the prince to a public-house in the Litaynaya, not far off. In one of the side rooms there sat at a table — looking like one of the regular guests of the establishment — Ardalion Alexandrovitch, with a bottle before him, and a newspaper on his knee.
He was waiting for the prince, and no sooner did the latter appear than he began a long harangue about something or other; but so far gone was he that the prince could hardly understand a word.
“I have not got a ten-rouble note,” said the prince; “but here is a twenty-five. Change it and give me back the fifteen, or I shall be left without a farthing myself.”
“Oh, of course, of course; and you quite understand that I — ”