1 Zverkov winced, but he tried not to notice it.
2 This Zverkov had been all the time at school with me too.
3 "It is not very handsome," Zverkov observed majestically.
4 "You never were on good terms with Zverkov," Trudolyubov added, frowning.
5 Zverkov walked in at the head of them; evidently he was the leading spirit.
6 So it was to this Zverkov that my schoolfellows were going to give a dinner on his departure.
7 They would abandon Zverkov, he would sit on one side, silent and ashamed, while I should crush him.
8 He was some sort of distant relation of Zverkov's, and this, foolish as it seems, gave him a certain importance among us.
9 Moreover, it was, as it were, an accepted idea among us that Zverkov was a specialist in regard to tact and the social graces.
10 He was one of those worshippers of Zverkov who made up to the latter from interested motives, and often borrowed money from him.
11 Trudolyubov was on my left, Simonov on my right, Zverkov was sitting opposite, Ferfitchkin next to him, between him and Trudolyubov.
12 He and all of them were laughing; but, seeing me, Zverkov drew himself up a little, walked up to me deliberately with a slight, rather jaunty bend from the waist.
13 There was not a word about the marriage, however, but the story was adorned with generals, colonels and kammer-junkers, while Zverkov almost took the lead among them.
14 In spite of superficial, fantastic and sham notions of honour and dignity, all but very few of us positively grovelled before Zverkov, and the more so the more he swaggered.
15 "So the three of us, with Zverkov for the fourth, twenty-one roubles, at the Hotel de Paris at five o'clock tomorrow," Simonov, who had been asked to make the arrangements, concluded finally.
16 I got the better of him on that occasion, but though Zverkov was stupid he was lively and impudent, and so laughed it off, and in such a way that my victory was not really complete; the laugh was on his side.
17 They were engaged in warm and earnest conversation about a farewell dinner which they wanted to arrange for the next day to a comrade of theirs called Zverkov, an officer in the army, who was going away to a distant province.
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