"Yes," replied a voice from within.
Upon that the pitcher-faced Ivan Antonovitch made his appearance in the doorway, and bowed.
"Take these indentures, Ivan Antonovitch," said the President, "and see that they--"
"But first I would ask you to remember," put in Sobakevitch, "that witnesses ought to be in attendance--not less than two on behalf of either party. Let us, therefore, send for the Public Prosecutor, who has little to do, and has even that little done for him by his chief clerk, Zolotucha. The Inspector of the Medical Department is also a man of leisure, and likely to be at home--if he has not gone out to a card party. Others also there are--all men who cumber the ground for nothing."
"Quite so, quite so," agreed the President, and at once dispatched a clerk to fetch the persons named.
"Also," requested Chichikov, "I should be glad if you would send for the accredited representative of a certain lady landowner with whom I have done business. He is the son of a Father Cyril, and a clerk in your offices."
"Certainly we shall call him here," replied the President. "Everything shall be done to meet your convenience, and I forbid you to present any of our officials with a gratuity. That is a special request on my part. No friend of mine ever pays a copper."
With that he gave Ivan Antonovitch the necessary instructions; and though they scarcely seemed to meet with that functionary's approval, upon the President the purchase deeds had evidently produced an excellent impression, more especially since the moment when he had perceived the sum total to amount to nearly a hundred thousand roubles. For a moment or two he gazed into Chichikov's eyes with an expression of profound satisfaction. Then he said: