"Well, you have found something to be interested in!"
Here the assistant, a smartly-dressed officer, entered the side door.
"Here, see the Prince into Menshoff's cell, No. 21," said the inspector to his assistant, "and then take him to the office. And I'll go and call--What's her name? Vera Doukhova."
The inspector's assistant was young, with dyed moustaches, and diffusing the smell of eau-de-cologne. "This way, please," he said to Nekhludoff, with a pleasant smile. "Our establishment interests you?"
"Yes, it does interest me; and, besides, I look upon it as a duty to help a man who I heard was confined here, though innocent."
The assistant shrugged his shoulders.
"Yes, that may happen," he said quietly, politely stepping aside to let the visitor enter, the stinking corridor first. "But it also happens that they lie. Here we are."
The doors of the cells were open, and some of the prisoners were in the corridor. The assistant nodded slightly to the jailers, and cast a side glance at the prisoners, who, keeping close to the wall, crept back to their cells, or stood like soldiers, with their arms at their sides, following the official with their eyes. After passing through one corridor, the assistant showed Nekhludoff into another to the left, separated from the first by an iron door. This corridor was darker, and smelt even worse than the first. The corridor had doors on both sides, with little holes in them about an inch in diameter. There was only an old jailer, with an unpleasant face, in this corridor.
"Where is Menshoff?" asked the inspector's assistant.
"The eighth cell to the left."
"And these? Are they occupied?" asked Nekhludoff.
"Yes, all but one."