At the end of the warm October day, when the harvest was already grown, and nature was full of a calm autumn, a forty-year-old journalist from a regional newspaper in the Grodno region, seeing an acquaintance on the street, learned that two days ago a young teacher, Miklashevich, from the village of Seltso had died. His heart ached from the consciousness of irreparable guilt. Clinging to the last opportunity to justify himself, he decided to go to Seltso immediately. Passing by the truck was just right. Settled on rolls of roofing paper in the back of the truck, the journalist sank into memories.
Two years ago, at a teacher’s conference, Miklashevich told a journalist that he had long wanted to address him with one confusing matter. Everyone knew that during the teenage years Miklashevich was somehow connected with guerrillas during the occupation, while his five classmates were shot by fascists. The memorial was erected in the honor of Miklashevich in their honor. The teacher was engaged in the history of guerrilla warfare in the Grodno region. And now he needed help in some confusing business. The journalist promised to come and help. But all the time I postponed the trip. Before Selts was about twenty kilometers, and in winter he waited, “until frosts or the blizzard subsided, in the spring – until it dries and becomes warmer, in the summer, when it was dry and warm, all thoughts took leave and hassle for a month on a close, hot south. ” And then I was late.
Before his mind’s eye appeared very thin, sharp-pointed figure of Miklashevich, with his shoulder blades under his jacket and almost boyish neck. He had a faded, wrinkled face. It seemed that it was a battered life, an elderly man. But the look is calm and clear.
Shaking on the potholes, the journalist scolded “vanity for the sake of ghostly insatiable prosperity,” because of which “more important is left aside, and life is significant when filled with care for close or distant people who need your help.”
Behind the turn there was an obelisk standing near the bus stop. After jumping to the ground, the journalist headed for the long avenue of ancient, broad elm trees, at the end of which the school building was white. Approached with a box of “Moscow” vodka zootechnician, suggested that the wake is celebrated in the teacher’s home, behind the school. For the journalist found a free place next to the elderly, judging by the medal of the bar, a veteran. At this time, several bottles were put on the table, and those present noticeably brightened up. The word took the head of the district Ksendzov.
A young man with a certainty on his face lifted the glass and began to say which Miklashevich was a good communist, an active public figure. And now, when the wounds of war are healed, and the Soviet people have achieved outstanding successes in all branches of the economy, culture, science and education…
– What does success mean? – the neighbor-veteran crashed his fist on the table. “We buried a man!” Here lived! We sit, drink in Selce, and no one will remember Frost, whom everyone here should know.
There was something that the journalist did not understand, but what others understood. He quietly asked the neighbor on the right, who such a noisy veteran. It turned out that the former teacher here was Timothy Titovich Tkachuk, who now lives in the city.
Tkachuk went to the exit. The journalist followed him. There was no point remaining. Approaching the stop, Tkachuk sat on the leaves, his feet in a dry ditch, and the journalist, not losing sight of the road, wandered to the obelisk. It was a squat – just above human growth – a concrete structure with a fence made of a fence. The obelisk looked poor, but it was neat and tidy. The journalist was surprised to see a new name on the black metal plate – Moroz AI, displayed above the rest of the white oil paint.
Tkachuk went out to the asphalt and asked the journalist to go with him on the road. They walked in silence. To somehow defuse the situation, the journalist asked Tkachuk if he had known Miklashevich long ago. It turned out long ago. And he considers him a real man and a teacher with a capital letter. The guys followed him with a herd. And when he was a kid, he went to Moroz himself in the herd. The journalist had never heard of Frost, and Timofei Titovich began his story.
In November 1939, when Western Belorussia was reunited with the Byelorussian SSR, the People’s Commissariat for Education sent Timofei Tkachuk, who had completed his two-year teacher courses, to organize schools and collective farms in Western Belorussia. Young Tkachuk, as the head of the district, wandered around the area, he worked in schools. The owner of the manor Selzo Pan Gabrus moved to the Romanians, and in the manor Moroz opened a school for four classes. Together with Moroz worked Pani Podgayskaya, an elderly woman who lived here under Gabrus. She hardly knew Russian, Belarusian understood a little. At first, Pani Podgayskaya resisted the new methods of pedagogical education that Frost introduced, along with the agitation not to go to the church. Even complained to Tkachuk. Tkachuk, taking a bicycle – in this local rovar – went to Seltso to check what is going on in the school.
The children’s playground was full of children. There work was in full swing – wood was harvested. A huge tree fell down a storm, and now it was sawed. There were not enough firewood, complaints from schools about fuel came, and there was no transport in the district. And here they realized and do not wait for them to be provided with fuel. One guy who sawed a thick barrel with a tall teenager, very limp, approached Tkachuk. One leg was turned out of his way and did not straighten out. And so nothing guy – broad-shouldered, face open, look brave. He introduced himself as Moroz Ales Ivanovich.
Ales came from Mogilev. After graduating from the pedagogical training school, he taught for five years. Such a leg since birth. Frost admitted that with drug programs in the school really is not all right, academic performance is not brilliant. The children studied at the Polish school, many poorly cope with the Belarusian grammar. But the main thing is that they understand the national and universal culture. He wanted to make of children not obedient crammed, but above all people. And this is not very developed in the methods. To achieve this can only be a personal example of a teacher. Frost taught the souls to understand the moral postulates. I grafted both literacy and kindness. Have picked up somewhere schoolboys three-lop dog, yes the blind cat, and the Frost has allowed them to lodge at school. Then the starling appeared, fell behind the pack in the fall, so he was made a cage.
One day in the late January evening in 1941, when he was passing by, Tkachuk decided to warm up at school. The door was opened by a skinny little boy of about ten. He said that Ales Ivanovich went to see off through the forest two young twin girls. About three hours later the frosty frost returned. With girlys such a story. The cold came, the mother does not let her into school: the footwear is bad and walking far. Then Moroz bought them a pair of shoes. Usually the girls were accompanied by Kolya Borodich, the one who once with the teacher sawed the deck. Today he did not come to school, so the teacher had to go to the escort. And about his lodger, he said that the boy will stay for a while while at school, at home, they say, disagreements, his father is beating hard. The boy was Pavlik Miklashevich.
Two weeks later the district attorney Sivak ordered Tkachuk to go to Seltso and take the son of citizen Miklashevich from Moroz. The prosecutor did not want to listen to objections: the law! Frost listened in silence, called Paul. He refused to go home. Moroz explains this unconvincingly that according to the law the son should live with his father and, in this case, with his stepmother. The boy cried, and Miklashevich the elder led him to the highway. And now everyone sees how his father removes the strap from the casing and begins to beat the boy. The militiaman is silent, children reproachfully look at adults. Frost, limping, ran across the yard. “Stop,” shouts, “stop the beating!” Tore Pavlov’s hand out of his father’s: “You will not get it from me!” Nearly did not fight, had time to separate them. They sent the whole case to the executive committee, appointed a commission, and the father sued. But Moroz did it all the same: the commission identified the guy in the orphanage. With the fulfillment of this solomonic decision, Moroz was in no hurry.
The war turned the whole way of life. From Grodno came the order: to organize a fighter squad to catch German saboteurs and paratroopers. Tkachuk rushed to collect teachers, traveled six schools, and by lunchtime he was already in the district committee. But the management has left with all its belongings to Minsk. The Germans were advancing, and the retreating Soviet troops were nowhere to be seen.
On the third day of the war, on Wednesday, the Germans were already in Selce. Tkachuk and two teachers had barely time to hide in the forest. We were waiting for our Germans to be driven off in two weeks. If someone said that the war would last for four years, he would be considered a provocateur. And then it turned out that many people not only are not inclined to give resistance to the invaders, but also willingly go to serve the Germans.
Teachers met a group of encirclement, led by the Kuban Cossack Seleznev, a cavalry major. We dug in the tract Wolf’s pits and began to prepare for the winter. There were almost no weapons. Attached to the detachment was Prosecutor Sivak. Here he was already an ordinary soldier. The council decided that it was necessary to establish links with the villages, with reliable people, “to touch the hamlets of the surrounding people who had fled from the units and joined the youngsters.” The major sent out all the local people to whom.
Tkachuk and Sivak decided to go to Seltso, where the prosecutor had a familiar activist. But they found out that activist Lavchenya is walking with a white bandage on her sleeve – she became a policeman. And the teacher Moroz continues to work in the school – the Germans gave permission. True, it’s not in the Gabruseva estate – there is now a police station – and in one of the huts. Tkachuk was amazed. He did not expect this from Ales. And then the prosecutor is itching that in due time, supposedly, it was necessary to repress this Frost – not our man.
It’s getting dark. We agreed that Tkachuk would go alone, and the prosecutor would wait in the underground, behind the bushes. They met Moroz silently. Ales smiled sourly and began to say that we were not going to teach, the Germans would be fooled. And he did not, for two years, humanize these guys to make them feel better. They called the prosecutor. We talked frankly about everything. It became clear that Frost is smarter than others. He took his mind wider. Even the prosecutor understood this. They decided that Moroz would remain in the village, and would notify the partisans of the intentions of the fascists.
Teacher was an indispensable assistant. In addition, he was respected by the villagers. Frost quietly listened to the radio. He will write down the reports of the Sovinformbureau, for which the greatest demand was, will spread among the population and the detachment will hand over. Two times a week, the boys put notes in a cupola, hanging by the forest lodge on a pine, and at night they were taken by partisans. We sat in December on our pits – everything was covered with snow, cold, with food tight, and only the joy that this Morozova post. Especially when the Germans were defeated near Moscow.
At first, everything went well with Moroz. The Germans and the police did not bother, they watched from afar. The only thing that stumbled on his conscience was the fate of those two twins. At the beginning of June, forty-first Moroz persuaded their mother, a cautious village woman, to send their daughters to a pioneer camp. Only they left, and then the war. And the girls were gone.
One of the two local policemen, a former acquaintance of the prosecutor Lavchenya, sometimes helped the villagers and guerrillas, warning of round-ups. In the winter of 1943 the Germans shot him. But the second was the last bastard. In the villages he was called Cain. He brought many troubles to people. Before the war he lived with his father in a farm, he was young, unmarried – a guy like a guy. But the Germans came and the... man was reborn. Probably, in one conditions one part of the character is revealed, and in others – another. There was something vile in this Cain before the war, and maybe it would not come out. And here it’s perverse. He served the Germans with zeal. He shot, raped, robbed. He scoffed at Jews. And Cain suspected something about Frost. Once the police came to school. There were just classes – twenty children in one room at two long tables. Cain breaks in, with him two more and a German officer from the commandant’s office. They shook the student’s bags, checked the books. Nothing was found. Only the teacher was given an interrogation. Then the guys, led by Borodich something conceived. Hidden even from Frost. Once, however, Borodich, as if by the way, hinted that it would be good to strike Cain. There is a possibility. Frost forbade, but Borodich did not think to part with these thoughts.
Pavel Miklashevich was then the fifteenth year. Kolya Borodich was the oldest, he was eighteen. Even the brothers Kozhany – Timka and Ostap, namesake Nikolai Smirny and Smirny Andrey, only six. The youngest – Smurny Nicholas, was about thirteen. This company always stayed together. They had more courage and boldness, but they are not too smart. Long figured out, and, finally, developed a plan.
Cain often came to his father’s farm, across the field from Selts. There he drank and played with the girls. One came rarely, more with other policemen, and even with the German authorities. In the first winter they kept themselves cheeky, they were not afraid of anything. Everything happened unexpectedly. Spring has already come and snow has fallen from the fields. By that time, Tkachuk had become the commissar of the detachment. Early in the morning he was awakened by a sentry. He said that they had detained some lame person. Frost was introduced into the dugout. He sat down on the bunk and said in such a voice, as if he buried his own mother: “The Khloptsev were taken away.”
It turned out that Borodich still achieved his: the guys were waiting for Cain. A few days ago, in a German car with a sergeant-major, a soldier and two policemen, he drove to his father. They spent the night there. Before that, we stopped at Seltso, took the pigs, grabbed a dozen chickens from the huts. On the road, not far from the intersection with the highway, a small bridge was thrown across the ravines. There are two meters to the water, although the water is knee-high. To the bridge led a steep descent, and then the rise, so the car or the supply is forced to take acceleration, otherwise on the rise you will not get out. The boys took this into account. As it got dark, all six with axes and saws – to this bridge. The poles were half-filed, so that a man or a horse could go, but the car did not. Two – Borodich and Smooth Nikolay remained to watch, and the rest were sent home.
But that day Cain was late, and the car appeared on the road when it was already fully light. The car slowly crawled on a bad road and could not take the necessary acceleration. On the bridge the chauffeur began to switch the speed, and then one cross-beam broke. The car tilted and sideways flew under the bridge. As it later turned out, riders and pigs with chickens just moved into the water and immediately safely jumped up. It was not lucky for a German who got under the boat. He was crushed to death.
The boys jerked into the village, but one of the policemen noticed how the figure of the child flashed through the bushes. After an hour, everyone in the village knew what had happened at the ravine. Frost immediately rushed to school, sent for Borodich, but that was not at home. Miklashevich could not stand it and told the teacher about everything. Frost did not know what to think. And at midnight he hears a knock at the door. On the threshold stood a policeman, the same Lavchenya. He said that the boys were seized and are already following Moroz.
Frost left in the detachment. He walked, as if lowered into the water. A couple of days passed. And suddenly Ulyana came running into the forest – connected to a forest cordon. She was only allowed to come in the most extreme case. The Germans demanded to extradite Frost, otherwise they threatened to hang the guys. At night, their mothers came running to Ulyana, asking Christ-God: “Help Ulyanochka.” She answered: “How do I know where that Frost is?” And they: “Go, let him save the boys.” He’s smart, he’s their teacher. “
Six more stones per poor teacher’s soul! It was clear that the guys would not be released, and they would kill him. They got out of the dugout, and then Frost. It stands at the entrance, holds a rifle, but there is no face at all. I heard everything and asked to go. Seleznev and Tkachuk got angry. They shouted that they had to be an idiot to believe the Germans that they would release the lads. Go – reckless suicide. And Moroz calmly replies: “This is true.” And then Seleznev said: “In an hour we will continue the conversation.” And then they discovered that there was no Frost anywhere. They sent Seltsa Gusak, who had a brother-in-law there to see how it would go on. That’s from this Husak, and then already from Pavel Miklashevich and it became known how events developed.
The boys sit in the barn, the Germans interrogate them and beat them. And they are waiting for Frost. Mothers climb into the courtyard to the elder, they ask, they humble themselves, and the policemen drive them. Initially, the guys kept firmly: do not know anything, did nothing. They began to be tortured, and Borodich did not tolerate the first, took it upon himself, and thought that the rest would be released. And at this very time is Frost. Early in the morning, when the village was still sleeping, he stepped into the courtyard of the elder. The Germans twisted Frost’s hands and ripped off the casing. As the hut was brought to the old house, old Bohan seized the moment and said quietly: “It was not necessary, the teacher.”
Now the whole “gang” was assembled. The boys were still in the barn when they heard Ales Ivanovich’s voice outside the door. Until the end, none of them thought that the teacher had come voluntarily. They thought that they had seized him somewhere. And he told them nothing about himself. Just cheered. In the evening they took all the seven out into the street, all somehow kept on their feet, except for Borodich. The elder brother of the twins, Kozhanov, Ivan, made his way forward and says to some German: “How is it? You said that when Frost comes, then release the lads.” German parabellum to him in the teeth, and Ivan his foot in the stomach. Ivan was shot.
Drive along that road, across the bridge. Ahead Frost with Pavlik, followed by twins Kozhany, then namesakes Smug. Behind two police officers dragged Borodich. Politsaev was a man of seven and four Germans. Talk to no one was given. All hands were tied behind. And around – familiar from childhood places. Миклашевич recollected, that such melancholy on it has attacked, though shout. It is understandable. For fourteen to sixteen years, the boys. What did they see in this life?
We went to the bridge. The frost whispers to Pavlik: “As I shout, throw yourself into the bushes.” Pavlik thought then that Frost knew something. And the wood is already near. The road is narrow, two policemen are walking in front, two on either side. Suddenly, Frost shouted loudly: “Here it is, here – look!” And he looks to the left of the road, with his shoulder and head, as if he saw someone there. And so it was natural for him to learn that even Pavlik looked there. But only once I looked, then jumped in the opposite direction and was in more often. After a few seconds someone hit from a rifle, then another. Policemen dragged Pavel. The shirt on his chest was soaked in blood, his head sagging. Frost was beaten so that he could not stand up. Cain, for sure, hit Pavlik with his butt on the head and threw him into a ditch with water.
There he was picked up at night. And those six were taken to the place and held for five more days. On Sunday, just on the first day of Easter, they hung. On the telephone pole, the post was strengthened by a crossbar – a thick such bar, it turned out a semblance of a cross. First Frost and Borodich, then the rest, then one, then the other. For balance. So it stood for a few days. Dug in a career behind a brick factory. Then, when the war was over, they buried him closer to Seltsa.
When the Germans drove out in the 44th, there were some papers in Grodno: police documents, the Gestapo. And they found one paper about Ales Ivanovich Moroz. An ordinary sheet from a notebook in a cage, written in Belarusian, is a report of the senior police officer Gagun Fedor, the same Cain, to his superiors. Like, on April 26, the team of policemen under his command captured the leader of the local partisan gang, Ales Moroz. This lie was needed by Cain, and even by the Germans. They took the guys, and three days later the leader of the gang was caught – there was something to report. In addition, when a lot of dead and wounded people gathered in the detachment, they demanded data from the brigade about the losses. They remembered Frost. He spent only two days in the partisans. Seleznev also says: “Let’s write that he was captured, let them understand.” So our document was added to the German one. And to refute these two pieces of paper was almost impossible. Thanks Miklashevich. He still proved the truth.
But he did not score any health. The chest was shot through, and so much time had lain in the thawed water. Tuberculosis began. Almost every year in hospitals he was treated. Recently, it seemed, not bad felt. But while he was treating the lungs, his heart sank. “The war of our Pavel Ivanovich has ended,” concluded Tkachuk.
A car slipped by, but suddenly slowed down and stopped. Head of the district Ksendzov agreed to give a lift. The car started off. The head turned half-turned and continued the argument started in Selce. Ksendzov mentored in a mentor’s tone that there are heroes who do not like this Moroz who did not even kill a single German. And his act is reckless – he saved no one. And Miklashevich accidentally stayed alive. And he does not see any achievement in this. Tkachuk, no longer restraining himself, replied that the head was mentally short-sighted! And the rest, like him – blind and deaf, despite the posts and ranks. Ksendzow is only 38 years old, and he knows the war from newspapers and movies. But Tkachuk did it with her own hands. And Frost took part. Miklashevich visited her claws, but she did not break away. It ended with the fact that Tkachuk called Ksendzov a “brainless fool” and demanded to stop the car. The driver began to slow down. The journalist tried to stop him. Tkachuk gave a few more phrases about the fact that people like Ksendzov are dangerous because everything is clear for them ahead of time. But you can not live like this. Life is millions of situations, millions of characters and destinies. They can not be squeezed into two or three different schemes, so that there is less trouble. Frost did more than if he killed a hundred Germans. He laid his life on the scaffold voluntarily. There is neither Frost nor Miklashevich. But Timothy Tkachuk is still alive! And he will not keep silent any more. Tell everyone about the feat of Frost. They can not be squeezed into two or three different schemes, so that there is less trouble. Frost did more than if he killed a hundred Germans. He laid his life on the scaffold voluntarily. There is neither Frost nor Miklashevich. But Timothy Tkachuk is still alive! And he will not keep silent any more. Tell everyone about the feat of Frost. They can not be squeezed into two or three different schemes, so that there is less trouble. Frost did more than if he killed a hundred Germans. He laid his life on the scaffold voluntarily. There is neither Frost nor Miklashevich. But Timothy Tkachuk is still alive! And he will not keep silent any more. Tell everyone about the feat of Frost.
Without meeting any objections, Tkachuk fell silent. Ksendzov also remained silent, staring at the road. Headlights brightly cut the darkness. On either side were white columns in the rays of light, road signs, pussy-willows with whitened trunks…
We drove up to the city.