There can certainly be no doubt about it. Something’s got into guests these days. You’ve got to keep an eye on them all the time. Even to make sure it’s their own overcoat they’re putting on. And that they don’t squeeze on an extra sheepskin hat.

Well of course, they can have food. But why do they have to go and fill their napkins with the stuff? That really is going too far. If you don’t keep an eye on that sort of thing, after a couple of parties the guests will have walked off with everything you possess, even the beds and the sideboards. That’s the sort of guests we’ve got these days!

On account of this, a little bit of an incident occurred to some people I know during the recent holidays. There were about fifteen guests of every description invited for Christmas. There were ladies present as well as the not so ladylike. Drinkers and drunkards.

It was a magnificent party. On the grub alone they’d spent around seven rubles. As for the booze, the costs were shared. Two-fif…