Hunting to live The
central heroes of the work are old Nikitich and a young fellow. The action takes place in the taiga.
The old man Nikitich, who, from “small years dragged along the taiga”, sometimes lives in huts, which are cut down in the taiga. So it was this time. Uninhabited, but already warmed by the heat burning in the stove firewood, it seemed long-lived. Nikitich was sitting and smoking. Suddenly on the street, “skimmed skis,” then knocked on the door with a stick. The voice that fell from the frost asked if it was possible to enter. Nikitich immediately understood: “Not a hunter,” because the hunter would not ask, but would immediately go in. A guy appeared on the threshold. He did not have weapons, and he was dressed easily. This again confirmed Nikitich’s guess.
While the guy warmed his hands, the old man examined him. The guy was handsome, but thin. Most of all Nikitich surprised look – some straight and “shy.” We talked. Then they drank. The guy smoked a lot, scolded someone, mentioned even Christ, and then admitted to the old man that he had escaped from prison. Having said this, he again looked at the old man with his “shy” look and asked if Nikitich would hand him over. Nikitich was surprised: he did not think about something like that. And the guy said one thing: “They’ll catch me, I should have sat out.” Nikitich liked the guy,
Nikitich was sitting and smoking when there was another knock at the door. The guy woke up, jumped up, grabbed Nikitich’s gun. The old man barely reassured him. There were three people who entered, and among them there was the chief of the district militia. Those who came with him were visitors. The policeman Protokin, who knows Nikitich, became interested in who was sleeping in the hut except the old man. Without thinking, the old man said that this was a geologist, behind his own. Soon the guests also fell asleep.
Nikitich woke up early, “there was hardly a window in the wall.” The guy was not around. Nikitich struck a match and saw: no boy, no sweatshirt, no gun. The old man felt hurt and annoyed. He quickly dressed, took the gun of one of the sleeping ones, and went out. A fresh track showed the direction by which the guy left. Soon the old man overtook him. And, knowing the way, in one place Nikitich turned into the forest: he wanted to meet the guy face to face, “I wanted to see the beautiful face of the guy again”.
As soon as the guy came out of the clearing, the old man rose to meet him. With a cry of “hands up”, Nikitich sent a gun into it. In the eyes of the guy horror was reflected. Nikitich smiled, and then lowered his gun. He began to scold the guy for stealing a gun and a sweatshirt. The guy began to say that he did not want to wake the old man, but Nikitich did not believe it. Then the guy asked to sell the gun. Nikitich refused. Have decided to act in another way. The guy could take a gun, but coming out of the taiga to the village where Nikitich lived, he had to give the gun to the Krainyu Cottage, the kumu Nikitich. The guy and the old man said goodbye and went in different directions.
Nikitich had already passed through the entire glade when he suddenly heard a sound like a crackling bitch. Nikitich had already passed through the entire glade when he suddenly heard a sound like a crackling bitch. At that moment, he felt a sharp pain and fell face to the snow. He heard nothing more, and did not feel, even the fact that he had been removed from the gun and showered with snow. And as they said: “It’s better, father, more reliable.”