‘The day before yesterday, just after eight o’clock’—mark the day and the hour!—‘a journeyman house-painter, Nikolay, who had been in to see me already that day, brought me this box of gold ear-rings and stones, and asked me to give him two roubles for them. When I asked him where he got them, he said that he picked them up in the street. I did not ask him anything more.’ I am telling you Dushkin’s story. ‘I gave him a note’—a rouble that is—‘for I thought if he did not pawn it with me he would with another. It would all come to the same thing—he’d spend it on drink, so the thing had better be with me. The further you hide it the quicker you will find it, and if anything turns up, if I hear any rumours, I’ll take it to the police.