“Nastasia Philipovna!” said the general, in persuasive but agitated tones.
Everyone in the room fidgeted in their places, and waited to see what was coming next.
“Well, gentlemen!” she continued, gazing around in apparent astonishment; “what do you all look so alarmed about? Why are you so upset?”
“But — recollect, Nastasia Philipovna,” stammered Totski, “you gave a promise, quite a free one, and — and you might have spared us this. I am confused and bewildered, I know; but, in a word, at such a moment, and before company, and all so-so-irregular, finishing off a game with a serious matter like this, a matter of honour, and of heart, and — ”