“That was five weeks ago, sir. Yes.... As soon as Katerina Ivanovna and Sonia heard of it, mercy on us, it was as though I stepped into the kingdom of Heaven. It used to be: you can lie like a beast, nothing but abuse. Now they were walking on tiptoe, hushing the children. ‘Semyon Zaharovitch is tired with his work at the office, he is resting, shh!’ They made me coffee before I went to work and boiled cream for me! They began to get real cream for me, do you hear that? And how they managed to get together the money for a decent outfit—eleven roubles, fifty copecks, I can’t guess. Boots, cotton shirt-fronts—most magnificent, a uniform, they got up all in splendid style, for eleven roubles and a half.