Sonya struck the first chord of the prelude.

"My God, I'm a ruined and dishonored man! A bullet through my brain is the only thing left me--not singing!" his thoughts ran on.

"Go away? But where to? It's one--let them sing!" He continued to pace the room, looking gloomily at Denisov and the girls and avoiding their eyes.

"Nikolenka, what is the matter?" Sonya's eyes fixed on him seemed to ask.

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