"Well, thank you," Nekhludoff said, taking the paper, and without listening further he bade good-day to his former comrade.
"And won't you go in to see my wife?"
"No, pray excuse me; I have no time now."
"Dear me, why she will never forgive me," said Maslennikoff, accompanying his old acquaintance down to the first landing, as he was in the habit of doing to persons of not the greatest, but the second greatest importance, with whom he classed Nekhludoff; "now do go in, if only for a moment."
But Nekhludoff remained firm; and while the footman and the door-keeper rushed to give him his stick and overcoat, and opened the door, outside of which there stood a policeman, Nekhludoff repeated that he really could not come in.
"Well, then; on Thursday, please. It is her 'at-home.' I will tell her you will come," shouted Maslennikoff from the stairs.