We took most cordial leave of each other and I promised to stop with him on my return.
"Well, what yarns did Bobroff tell you about us?" was the question with which Kanine and Gorokoff met me when I came back to the station.
"Nothing about you," I answered, "because he did not even want to speak with me when he found out that I was staying in your house. What is the trouble between you?" I asked of them, expressing complete astonishment on my face.
"It is an old score," growled Gorokoff.
"A malicious old churl," Kanine added in agreement, the while the frightened, suffering-laden eyes of his wife again gave expression to terrifying horror, as if she momentarily expected a deadly blow. Gorokoff began to pack his luggage in preparation for the journey with us the following morning. We prepared our simple beds in an adjoining room and went to sleep. I whispered to my friend to keep his revolver handy for anything that might happen but he only smiled as he dragged his revolver and his ax from his coat to place them under his pillow.
"This people at the outset seemed to me very suspicious," he whispered. "They are cooking up something crooked. Tomorrow I shall ride behind this Gorokoff and shall prepare for him a very faithful one of my bullets, a little dum-dum."
The Mongols spent the night under their tent in the open court beside their camels, because they wanted to be near to feed them. About seven o'clock we started. My friend took up his post as rear guard to our caravan, keeping all the time behind Gorokoff, who with his sister, both armed from tip to toe, rode splendid mounts.
"How have you kept your horses in such fine condition coming all the way from Samgaltai?" I inquired as I looked over their fine beasts.