"Oh, I can't bear those muzhiks! I can't bear the sight of them--I'd shoot the lot!" said Burun, an inveterate townsman.
Burun's favourite amusement at the market was to go up to some villager, standing beside his cart, eyeing with distaste the town miscreants milling around him, and to ask him:
"Are you a crook?"
The villager would forget his cautiousness in his indignation.
"Oh, you're a muzhik!" Burun would exclaim, laughing, unexpectedly moving with the rapidity of lightning towards the sack on the cart. "Look out, Pop!"
The villager would respond with a string of oaths, which was just what Burun wanted--he enjoyed it as the amateur of music enjoys a symphony concert.