"She entered the Conservatoire, but there is such disorder there. She has a great gift," said the inspector, as they went down the stairs. "She means to play at concerts."
The inspector and Nekhludoff arrived at the prison. The gates were instantly opened as they appeared. The jailers, with their fingers lifted to their caps, followed the inspector with their eyes. Four men, with their heads half shaved, who were carrying tubs filled with something, cringed when they saw the inspector. One of them frowned angrily, his black eyes glaring.
"Of course a talent like that must be developed; it would not do to bury it, but in a small lodging, you know, it is rather hard." The inspector went on with the conversation, taking no notice of the prisoners.
"Who is it you want to see?"
"Oh, she's in the tower. You'll have to wait a little," he said.
"Might I not meanwhile see the prisoners Menshoff, mother and son, who are accused of incendiarism?"
"Oh, yes. Cell No. 21. Yes, they can be sent for."
"But might I not see Menshoff in his cell?"
"Oh, you'll find the waiting-room more pleasant."
"No. I should prefer the cell. It is more interesting."