The entrance-hall suddenly became full of noise and people. To judge from the sounds
which penetrated to the drawing-room, a number of people had already come in, and
the stampede continued. Several voices were talking and shouting at once; others were
talking and shouting on the stairs outside; it was evidently a most extraordinary visit that
was about to take place.
Everyone exchanged startled glances. Gania rushed out towards the dining-room, but a
number of men had already made their way in, and met him.
"Ah! here he is, the Judas!" cried a voice which the prince recognized at once. "How
d'ye do, Gania, you old blackguard?"
"Yes, that's the man!" said another voice.
There was no room for doubt in the prince's mind: one of the voices was Rogojin's, and
the other Lebedeff's.
Gania stood at the door like a block and looked on in silence, putting no obstacle in the
way of their entrance, and ten or a dozen men marched in behind Parfen Rogojin. They
were a decidedly mixed-looking collection, and some of them came in in their furs and
caps. None of them were quite drunk, but all appeared to De considerably excited.
They seemed to need each other's support, morally, before they dared come in; not one
of them would have entered alone but with the rest each one was brave enough. Even
Rogojin entered rather cautiously at the head of his troop; but he was evidently
preoccupied. He appeared to be gloomy and morose, and had clearly come with some
end in view. All the rest were merely chorus, brought in to support the chief character.
Besides Lebedeff there was the dandy Zalesheff, who came in without his coat and hat,
two or three others followed his example; the rest were more uncouth. They included a
couple of young merchants, a man in a great-coat, a medical student, a little Pole, a
small fat man who laughed continuously, and an enormously tall stout one who
apparently put great faith in the strength of his fists. A couple of "ladies" of some sort
put their heads in at the front door, but did not dare come any farther. Colia promptly
banged the door in their faces and locked it.
"Hallo, Gania, you blackguard! You didn't expect Rogojin, eh?" said the latter, entering
the drawing-room, and stopping before Gania.