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Judas Golovlyov by Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin

Anton Vasilyev, the bailiff of a distant estate, was making a report to his lady, Arina Petrovna Golovlyova, about his trip to Moscow where he had gone to collect taxes from her serfs living there. When he had finished and had been given leave to go, he suddenly hesitated with an air of mystery as though he had something else to report, something he was in two minds about putting into words. Arine Petrovna, who could read her people's inmost thoughts, to say nothing of their slightest gestures, at once scented trouble. What did Anton Vasilyev want to say?

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