A Peculiar Man

Between twelve and one at night a tall gentleman, wearing a top-hat and a coat with a hood, stops before the door of Marya Petrovna Koshkin, a midwife and an old maid. Neither face nor hand can be distinguished in the autumn darkness, but in the very manner of his coughing and the ringing of the bell a certain solidity, positive-ness, and even impressiveness can be discerned. After the third ring the door opens and Marya Petrovna herself appears.

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