A ST. PETERSBURGH ADVENTURE.
One evening Maria Ascharowna, the wife of a distinguished State official, was driving homewards from a party through the dimly-lighted Ssarotnaj street, in St. Petersburg!!, when she suddenly felt herself grasped from behind, and, turning round, beheld with horror Satan himself, “ in his habit as he lived,” perched at the back of the sledge, gnashing his teeth ferociously, and glaring at her with his gleaming eyes. Screaming to the saints for protection, she clutched her isvostchick round the waist and clung desperately to him, while the Evil One climbed into her place in the sledge, and drew her towards him with such irresistible force that, after a brief struggle, she found herself, to her inconceivable consternation, actually seated in the Enemy of Mankind’s lap. Fortunately at this moment a policeman hove in sight, whereupon the ivsostchik, scarcely less frightened than his mistress, pulled up, and the gorodovoi promptly conveyed Lucifer to the lockup. It is painful to relate that the infernal potentate was found to bo so drunk that he was unable to explain his extraordinary conduct, or to give any satisfactory account of himself. Next morning, however, sobered by a night’s repose in the watch-house, he confessed himself to be one Mr. Michael Spilantieff, the son of a wealthy Petersburg merchant, and stated that, having assumed the garb of Satan, with a view to attending a masquerade, ho had dined with some joyous companions, indulged in too copious libations, and sallied forth into' the public streets. Further his remembrance extended not. It is to be hoped the especial patron of the forger’s guild did not defraud Russian justice by paying his flue in spurious notes.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 98, 11 May 1880
A ST. PETERSBURGH ADVENTURE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 98, 11 May 1880
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