“A man suddenly noticed that the more luck he has in his life, the less luck he has for some other person,” he remarked casually and even unexpectedly, “I did not like this person, but it turned out that way or almost so…”
A typical researcher, Klyucharev, once on the way from work finds a purse in the snow. The next day, the head of the department, an obvious ill-wishers, suggests Klyucharev to put the article in a major scientific journal. After these events, Klyucharev tells his wife: “I started a band of luck.” My wife is shy and even frightened of luck. In the evening she tells Klyucharev about the call of her friend: it turns out that the brilliant and witty Alimushkin, whom Klyucharev hardly recalls, has trouble at work, and in general he is dying… His wife asks Klyucharev to visit Alimushkin. Not understanding why he should visit an unfamiliar person, Klyucharev refuses. He goes out for a walk before going to bed, remembers his luck, looks at the stars and thinks that they, the stars, do not care. They will not interfere and send someone luck,
The next day Klyucharev goes to visit Kolya Krymov. Guests are expecting the arrival of a beautiful woman, whom everyone calls “Korya’s new love”. The name of her Alimushkin. Klyucharev talks to her about her husband. Alimushkina says that her husband keeps repeating the same thing: I’m dying, dying. She stopped loving him and lives with a friend. “And maybe, first you began to live with a friend and have fun, and only then he began to die?” Klyucharev asks. “On the contrary,” the woman replies. And it is clear that she is telling the truth. From the party Klyucharev goes to Alimushkin. The conversation does not work out. Klyucharev leaves home and tells his wife that he was with Alimushkin – “the young man was alive and well, half a face red, and he sleeps like a marmot.”
Klyucharev learns at work that his article in the magazine is accepted. The authorities suggest that he head the department. Klyucharev refuses yet. He seems to try his luck on strength. On the phone comes the news: Alimushkina’s wife left, they exchanged apartment. In addition, he was expelled from work. His wife asks Klyucharyov to go to Alimushkin again.
Klyucharev comes to a new address...to Alimushkin and is amazed at his poor appearance and eerie little room. Alimushkin does not go anywhere, eats up the last money. It is clear that he is not well. They play chess. The mood at Klyucharev is lousy. It would be easier for him if Alimushkin played at least medium.
At work Klyucharev raise the salary. He calls Alimushkin and invites him to his room, into a cozy apartment. Klyucharev comes, but reprimands Alimushkina that Kolya Krymov and the abandoned husband are not at all worthless people, and advises her not to be fooled.
Klyucharev finds Alimushkin during a stroke. At the bed there is a doctor who asks to call the mother to the patient with a telegram. Speech is taken from Alimushkin, he is almost motionless. After leaving the doctor, he still wants to play chess. Klyucharev moves the figures and looks at the floor where the cockroaches run.
Klyucharev goes to his wife’s friend and orders her not to call again, not to irritate his wife. But she invites her to call the last time and say that Alimushkin is doing well and he is leaving, for example, to Madagascar, for a long business trip.
The next time Klyucharev comes to Alimushkin, when he is already lying in bed after another strong blow. Next to her mother – a quiet old woman, who does not understand how her son, strong and cheerful, lies and can not say a word.
At home, his wife, after calling a friend, happily informs Klyucharev that Alimushkin is all right and is preparing for a business trip.
At work Klyucharev gives consent to become the head of the department. The houses are preparing to celebrate this event. My wife and my mother-in-law are bustling about in the kitchen. Call Alimushkin, thanks Klyucharev for advice and asks to be her friend, who can at least call. “Call,” answers Klyucharev. Guests are coming. Klyucharev offers a toast: “For luck to have everyone!”
At night, lying in bed, Klyucharev tells his wife that tomorrow he will look at Alimushkin. My wife says that you do not have to go, “her friend called and said that Alimushkin had flown to Madagascar. At ten in the morning. And his mother accompanied him.
“Klyucharyov said nothing, then suddenly he wanted to smoke and went to the kitchen, and his wife was already sleeping.”