The first book. Kurymushka.
In Yelets, my hometown, all the old merchants’ surnames were double. Our first family name, Prishvin, was generic, official, and the second, “street”, was the Alpatovs.
I was born in 1873 in the village of Khrushchev, Solovyov volost, Yelets county, Orel province. The village of Khrushchev was a small village with thatched roofs and earthen floors. Near the village was the manor of the landowner. I was born in this big landlord’s house. This small estate, about 200 acres, was bought by my grandfather Dmitri Ivanovich Prishvin from a nobleman, General Levshin. After the family division Khrushchev got my father, Mikhail Dmitrievich Prishvin. So it happened that Yeletsky merchant’s son, my father, became a landowner. In the estate my father began to breed Orlov trotters, he traveled them and more than once in Orel took prizes. Still my father was a wonderful gardener, an excellent hunter and led a cheerful life. How sorry I am for my father, who did not know how to get out to something more serious than life-long life.
Happened one day, he lost a large amount of money in the cards; to pay the debt, had to sell the entire stud farm and lay the estate on a double mortgage. My father did not survive the misfortune, he died, and my mother, a woman of forty years with five children, allowed me to work all my life “on the bank.”
My mother, Maria Ivanovna Ignatova, was born in the city of Belovo on the banks of the Oka River. Working tirelessly from morning till night, considering every penny, my mother at the end of life still bought the estate and all five of us allowed to get higher education.
In our house there was an ancient, made still with serf hands, huge armchair Kurym. Nobody knew why it was called that way. They said that as a boy I was very much like an armchair, but I did not know what it was like. Often I thought, sitting in this huge chair. I thought that each of us has a life like a shell of a folding Easter egg. Sometimes everything lived starts to fly off like a shell, and a little boy Kurymushka comes out at the bedside of his sick father. His father made a sign with his only healthy hand, and his mother gave him a sheet of paper and a pencil. He painted some extraordinary animals and signed: blue beavers.
That night everyone was running around with fire, they were beating and whispering. In the morning Kurymushka learned that his father had died. Of all the conversations, Kurymushka realized that some Bank had grabbed Mom and she would work for him; it is still not good that he is an orphan, that “we are merchants” and that the land will pass to the peasants. Only blue beavers were good.
Mother always gets up before the sun and leaves in the fields. At dinner she sits tanned and mighty, eats and talks about matters with the elder, Ivan Mihalych. Later in the autumn, when it starts to get dark early, the time of the guests comes. A neighbor often visits her mother Sofya Alexandrovna and Aunt Dounia. Kurymushka adds to himself tales of them.
It was, it seems to Kurymushka, three suitors from Sofya Alexandrovna, two good, and one Mad. The elder ordered Sofya Alexandrovna to go for good, but she went after the Mad. The mad master was an atheist, but what this means, Kurymushka did not know. Sofya Alexandrovna wanted to get away from Madness, but the elder ordered to be patient. She tolerated and obeyed the old man in everything.
Another fairy tale was about Dounia. One of my mother’s brothers had a boy named Garibaldi. He lived in a big house with Dunia. When Garibaldi became big, he raised an uprising in this house and left. With him left his sister Dunia. Where they left – it was impossible to know. For some reason they hated the tsar, such a good, liberator of the peasants.
There was a peasant Gusek in the village. He often stomped in the hall and begged the earthmen for his mother. Mother gave the earth, but it did not bring any benefit. Guska had a dream: to catch a white quail and sell to merchants for a lot of money. But although he spent to catch quail all the time, he came across nothing but gray. Even Kurymushka happened to go hunting with him.
When the estate come visit, feral brothers Little Peterkin, gymnasium, run up an abandoned garden. Little Peterkin also need to run away from the guests, and do not pass the beater from the brothers for a joy. One day, Kurymushka’s secret desire came true: all the guests were seized by the guests, and they sat at the table like tied rappers. Near Kurymushki was a dish with dried pears. He stole one – and in his pocket. Brother Kolya noticed this and began to force Kurymushka to carry different things for him, threatening to tell everyone about the pear. Once even a twenty-dollar had to be pulled out of his mother’s purse. Every day the power of the secret of the dried pear grew, and then another disaster arrived.
The brothers beat the biggest priest’s goose with sticks to roast it on the fire, like Robinson. They disappear on the “mischievous trail” leading through the wheat to some unknown place. Kurymushka – secretly behind them. Wheat from all sides, like a forest, but the big Blue looks from above and sees everything. It became scary. Kurymushka decided to join the brothers – come what may. Only he began to approach, when suddenly one of the brothers dropped his gander. The goose banged loudly on the ground – and how he would scream. Kurymushka jumped into the wheat and ran, leaving behind a wide road. On this road a bloody gander set off after him. Kurymushka was sure that this Blue punished the villains and let the gander go. On the run, he read all the prayers that he knew until he got out of the wheat. It did not occur to Kurymushka to make a secret from the bloody gander a secret against the brothers. He only realized,
Once in Khrushchev, General Levshin drove with his daughter Masha, asked permission to bypass the estate, in which she lived for many years. For Kurymushka, the girl became a fairy-tale beauty, Marya Morevna. Masha stayed to stay and immediately tamed the wild schoolboys, and Kurymushku relieved from the mystery of the dried pear.
Since my mother hired a new groom, Ivan. He was so terrible that even Maria Ivanovna was a little afraid of him, but Kurymushka thought for a long time that it was not Balda. Ivan always did something nasty with the maid on the stove. Kurymushka thought that this was his terrible secret. They also said that Ivan was a spitting Alexander Mikhailovich, a mad master. One winter evening there was a rumor: the king was killed. Ivan said that now the Lord will be cut, and the land will be dismantled. Then the police arrived and took Ivan away somewhere.
It’s a bright day. The houses were told: “Today Masha will come.” Sofya Alexandrovna said that Masha is expansive and she must go to the old man, she will learn humility. Kurymushka understands these words in his own way. Sofya Aleksandrovna wants to give Masha to the old man. Now the old man seems to him Kashchei immortal. But he will tell Marya Morevna and Kashchei all the same.
Mother gathers guests. This time they are waiting for the Madman himself. Sofya Aleksandrovna took him to the old man, and he changed a lot. At dinner the conversation about the tsar came, but Dunia did not like it: she did not like the new tsar either. There was a heavy silence at the table, as if Kashchei had tied all his chain. To break this chain, Kurymushka loudly asked why everyone was talking about Ivan: the spitting Alexander Mikhailovich. As if something had broken at the table, and Kurymushka was sent to bed. At night, he did not sleep – he was sorry that he could not break Kashcheev’s chain. Then he made his way to Marya Morevna, told her about Kashchei and quietly fell asleep in her bed when a large Blue entered the room.
Kurymushka became a schoolboy. He was placed in a boarding house by a kind German woman, Wilhelmina Schmol. A wave picked up Kurymushka and threw it on the very back of the desk, next to the schoolgirl – the repeater named Achilles. He immediately told Kurymushka about the teachers. Director – a fair Latvian. For him the main thing is neatness in clothes. The inspector likes to read Gogol’s funny stories and the very first laughs. The laughter goes on in the classroom, like in a monkey forest, for which the Monkeys nicknamed it. The goat, the geography teacher, is considered to be crazy, with him – how lucky. The most terrible teacher of mathematics is the cow’s death. If he set the unit for the first time, the unit will remain the whole year, and the student will be called a cow.
Kurymushka became a cow at the first lesson of mathematics. But he dealt with geography with great pleasure, and Kozel said that something would come out of him, maybe a great traveler. Kurymushka thought: what it’s like to be a traveler, and decided to go to Asia in search of a country where blue beavers live. To this feat he beat two of his friends: Achilles and Sasha Ryurikov, nicknamed Rurik. After careful gathering, the expedition set off and continued for three days. Returned travelers to the homeland of the village of Krupkin. During the expedition the travelers were heroes in the eyes of all the gymnasiums of the city, but when they were brought back, they tortured Kurymushka in the gymnasium for a long time. They followed and said: “I went to Asia, I came to the gymnasium”.
Passed year after year. Deep somewhere in the shower, as if covered with ashes, the country of blue beavers slept. And so, when Alpatova began to curl her fair hair and slightly tapered tendrils, when all classmates began to dream of dancing in the girls’ gymnasium and write poetry to Vera Sokolova, as if the volcano had exploded, and everything turned somersault.
Against the fourth grade, where Alpatov studied, there was a physical cabinet. Once he looked at the amazing machines, and one of the older students, Nezgovorov, spoke to him and gave him a book on physics. Gradually, Alpatov entered the circle of high school students, where they read forbidden literature. There Alpatova was called Kupidosha because of curly hair. In order not to call him that, Alpatov cut his hair nylon, and even rejected Vera Sokolova.
Soon Alpatov decided that it remained for him to learn about the latter, it seemed to him, an unknown and great secret. There was a whole group of students in the class headed by Kalakutsk, they knew about it all. Alpatov asked him directly about this. Kalakutsk has agreed to take him to his friend, Nastya. “Nastya loves boys, she will treat you alive,” said Kalakutsky, “but we must drink for courage.” In the hare way, for free, he led Alpatov to Nastya. On the way he said that the Hare is also walking here, but the Kozel is not, he is with him. Nastya was a large porcelain woman with bright spots on her cheeks. Alpatov was very frightened, vodka for courage did not help, he ran away. All night long, he had nightmares about Hare and Goat.
The next morning Alpatov went to the gymnasium with a vague decision to start his life in a completely different way. The first was a lesson in geography. Seeing the goat, Alpatov remembered that he had been told about him. Misha became disgusted, he began to be rude to Kozlu. In the end, Alpatova was expelled from the classroom, and then from the gymnasium.
Uncle Kurymushki, a rich Siberian merchant and steamer Ivan Astakhov, appeared in the sister’s house whenever there was any trouble. He also appeared this time. Through a dream Kurymushka heard the conversations of the elders. They talked about Guska, as if he, like Adam, had been driven out of paradise to plow, but the land was completely taken away by the landlords. They talked about Marya Morevna, that she lives in Florence, in a family, she washes the floors, erases, prepares, teaches children, and she is idolized there. And then my uncle offered to take Kurymushka with him to Siberia, to Asia. Uncle Ivan was always an example of luck and luck in the family, and his mother hoped that he would make a son out of a son. Kurymushka himself was glad that he was finally going to Asia.
First we went by fast train. My uncle, who always studied something, bought at the station in Nizhny Novgorod a large encyclopedia of Brockhaus and Efron and forced Kurymushka to read aloud the articles with the letter “A”. Then they moved to the steamer. Sailed along the Kama, then by train – through the severe Ural Mountains. And now, finally, the pillar, on one side of which is written: “Europe”, and on the other: “Asia.” Then we sailed on the ship “Ivan Astakhov”. The ship carried the settlers, descendants of the second Adam, who did not get land. The old god was bored with the complaints of the first Adam, and he created another man. The second Adam also sinned and was banished from paradise in the sweat of his face to cultivate the land. Only God forgot that the earth is already occupied, and now the new Adam wanders in search of free land, but nowhere does he find.
Ivan Astakhov, the commander of the Siberian punks, a two-storey house with a tower, built a steamshipman, huge and gloomy, not resembling anything. At the bottom there are twelve rooms and at the top there is the same number, on the tower – a telescope. In this palace, Ivan Astakhov lived alone, only the silent footman walked around the house the trained footman Alexander.
My uncle arranged Alpatov for a gymnasium. It takes two years. The first one is Alpatov in the gymnasium. He is very proud, it is difficult for him to give everything, and that is why he is lonely. Everything goes to achieve the first, and among the other students there is an interesting, mysterious and inaccessible life. There was a group in the gymnasium, the director was her secret leader. Nikolay Opolin, a swarthy and strong young man, had time to feed his family, and to be in the first disciples. The director’s son, Lyova, became a real scientist. Popovich Fortifikantov, a beginner of the philosophers, was transferred from the seminary for freethinking. There was also a Ukrainian, a lazy fellow, but he was the best at politics. Semen Lunin, the poorest in the class, fed his family and was engaged in statistics. This company in the classroom seated next door, they also did not part with the changes. No matter how hard the Alpatov tried to join them, nothing happened,
Throughout Siberia, a rumor ran that the mighty and unyielding Ivan Astakhov, when he brought bread and salt to the heir to the Russian throne, was scared, did not finish his speech, and dropped his silver dish at his feet. Finally, Astakhov himself appeared. Never saw Mikhail his uncle like that. Now the head of the Siberian punks met enthusiastic stories about the heir. Hearing about this, the director of the gymnasium came to Astakhov and immediately stopped everything. Seeing the director at the window, Misha went downstairs to listen. It turned out that the director creates a school of people’s leaders in the gymnasium. Alpatov was stunned. He spent three years on unnecessary achievements, and they were preparing for a great cause. And again he is the second Adam without earth. Two weeks later, Alpatov came to his uncle to say goodbye: he graduated from the course and left for Russia.
Alpatov died an old nanny, this event changed all of Maria Ivanovna’s plans and even threatened to upset her anniversary. During this time Maria Ivanovna bought out the estate and refurbished everything. Throughout the province, it was the glory of a wonderful hostess. From the very first days after the death of the nurse, it turned out that she had the whole housekeeping, and only because of this Maria Ivanovna could regularly manage the affairs of the estate. She tried to shift part of the economy to her eldest daughter, Lydia, but she was completely unprepared for this, and they constantly quarreled. Maria Ivanovna did not know what to do with her daughter-to send for courses or to marry.
Soon after Easter, Maria Ivanovna received a letter from Misha’s son that he had graduated from high school, but he did not want to serve with his uncle, but would enter the Polytechnic and become an engineer.
In the end, Maria Ivanovna decided to share her entire household among the children. She wrote to them, and the sons began to come together. The first to arrive was Nikolai’s eldest son. He was an extraordinary lazy person, he dreamed of settling down somewhere in a remote town and was fishing all day long. Soon came a lively and gypsy-looking medical student Alexander, and then a future judge, Sergei. Mikhail was the last to appear. Mother asked everyone what to do with Lydia, but they could not advise her anything.
Alpatov went around his native places, hunted with Gus on quails and looked in school to Dunia. In the city he met Yefim Nesgovorov. He was in an underground organization, where he joined the Alpatov. Misha told Yefim about the school of people’s leaders, and he immediately became interested in this idea. At the head of the organization was Danilych. Misha was instructed to translate from the German Bebel “Woman and Socialism”.
Alexander was going to marry the poor noblewoman Maria Otletayeva. He completely changed, became a stranger, spoke enthusiastically about his future relatives, and this greatly tormented Maria Ivanovna. Misha has also changed. He considers himself an obstetrician of history, he must cut the umbilical cord that connects man and god and liberate the world from the kashchey chain.
The second book. Marriage flight.
Maria Ivanovna heard the news that Misha had been arrested and put in jail. At first she was very excited, but then gradually calmed down. Many guests came to see Maria Ivanovna on her anniversary. The Otletayevs brought their distant relative Inna Rostovtsev with them. In the evening, Maria Ivanovna persuaded Inna to stay with her. She saw in Inna Turgenevskaya girl.
The case of Alpatov was investigated by a comrade of the prosecutor from St. Petersburg, Mr. Anatsevich. He had the idea to collect from... all higher educational institutions the students’ initial applications, check the handwriting with the documents found during the search, and so establish the personalities of the “school of proletarian leaders”. Mikhail Alpatov was arrested at the very beginning of the investigation. In the courtyard of the prison to which he was brought, a real wild crane named Fomka was nursed. He had a broken wing, and he lived here for the second year. Alpatova was put in solitary confinement № 27. Most of all, Misha was depressed by the constant observation of him through the peephole in the door. In order not to go insane, Alpatov invented himself as “a trip” to the North Pole, where, khreya over gold, Kashchei sits immortal. Misha calculated, how many diagonals of the camera will be required for the whole trip. It was an inner journey in return for the present.
In prison, political people had meetings with girls who were not known to prisoners, as with brides. Sometimes even there were marriages.
Alpatov liked the warder Kuzmich, and with his help he managed to move to a lighter chamber. From the window one could see a huge tree and a crane of Fomka. From time to time Anatevich came to Alpatovy, persuaded him to repent, promised to ease the punishment, but Misha did not give up. Slowly creeping time, like a prison wool blanket. Snow.
When the day began to arrive, Misha received a letter from Inna Rostovtseva’s “bride”. From the letter it became clear that he would be released after Easter, and he should go abroad, where he would meet with Inna. It was the Spring Festival. A “bride” came to Alpatova. She entered the meeting room under a thick veil and stood on the other side of the grate. His face, he never saw, but remembered the voice.
Alpatov fell into anguish. Once he fought his fist against the wall to replace the mental pain of the physical. From behind the wall he was answered by a knock. It was Yefim Nezgovorov. They began to talk with the help of the Morse code. Then it was noticed, and it all ended.
On one clear spring day, a flock of cranes began to swirl over the prison. With them flew Fomka.
After Easter, Alpatov was released. Gendarme captain ordered him to choose a city for three years. Michael promised to go abroad in a week. Swaying, with a huge knot on his shoulder, Alpatov approaches the gate and lets out the watchman.
Michael moved to a foreign car in Verzhbolov and rushed to Europe. On the way, he met Nina Belyaeva. She, like Inna, graduated from the Smolny and now went to study in Germany. Alpatov did not know that she was a close friend of Rostovtseva. Nina liked Mikhail.
Alpatov came to Berlin and settled in a cheap apartment with metalworker Otto Schwartz. Schwartz was a Social Democrat only because it was profitable for him. This did not prevent him from bowing to the emperor Wilhelm.
Wanting to find Inna, Alpatov filed a request to the address table. Soon came the reply with the address. It was still early for visits, and Mikhail decided first to go to university. There Alpatov long tormented the clerks with certificates, wishing to find out which department Inna had registered, but her name was nowhere to be found. At last he decided to go to Inna, but she was gone: an hour ago she went to Yen. Alpatov rushed after her. The yen is a small city, and all foreigners stopped at Frau Professor Nipperdai. Innu Alpatov again did not find, but he was described in detail by her further route: first Wartburg, then Dresden. Inna forgot her white shawl from the professor and Alpatov took her with him as a talisman.
He chased Inna through Green Germany and lagged behind for two days, then for a day. On the pier at Elba he was informed that the Russian lady-in-waiting had driven to Dresden yesterday, accompanied by a young Swede. Alpatov decided that in Dresden she would go and see the “Sistine Madonna”.
The picture was as big as the ocean. Alpatov for a long time could not tear himself away from it. In the hall where the painting hung, Mikhail unexpectedly met Yefim Nezgovorov. He confessed to Alpatov that he was drawn to destroy the Madonna, for him she was an idol. Yefim reminded Alpatov of his duty, but Misha this man became unpleasant. They broke up.
The same day Alpatov met Nina and invited her to his hotel to drink tea. There she accidentally saw Inna’s white shawl. Misha found out that Rostovtsev and Belyaeva were friends, and that Inna went to Paris with a young Swede.
Alpatov gave himself up to the influence of Yefim. Nezgovorov suggested that Misha go to Leipzig to study and gradually organize there, in a Russian colony, a Marxist circle. Alpatov was delighted with this proposal, promised to work as at home, having lost sight of the fact that he himself was already different. After this chase after the elusive bride, Alpatov wanted to get rid of all his whims from his head with great work.
At the University of Leipzig Alpatov enrolled at once for all courses he was interested in. He was not only Russian, there were a lot of them. Aksenov, a handsome blond blond, was from Simbirsk. A tall brunette with black burning eyes, like a French hypnotist, turned out to be Ambar from Petersburg. Chizhov from Yekaterinburg is a strange man in a blue shirt with a gray jacket without a waistcoat. Rosa Katzenellenbogen from Pinsk came with fiery red hair and frequent freckles. There were many more Russians, and everyone wanted to study philosophy.
At the first meeting of the Russian colony, Alpatov understood that it would not be possible to organize a circle here. He went out into the street depressed and stricken. On the boulevard Misha met Ambarova. He admitted that only in Leipzig he has three wives, and before that he lived in Rome, in Paris, in Zurich. Ambarov said good-bye to Alpatov and asked him to visit him in the technical laboratory, where he works every day.
Alpatov was carried away by chemistry and also began to work in the laboratory. His neighbor was Rosa Katzellenbogen. Ambar taught him a lot.
It is very possible that the whole trouble came from Alpatov because of the volume of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, which he once bought in a bookshop. Having learned this book, Alpatov could no longer listen to philosophical lectures and write down everything in the notebook. No, real knowledge flies like a meteor, and Alpatov rushed to work at a single point, abandoned all lectures and did only tests in the laboratory. A month later, he was far ahead of Rosa, but chemistry is given by measured labor. Alpatov met with higher mathematics, and now day and night he sits over integrals, to which he is utterly incapable. Rose easily overtakes him. With astonishment, he asks Rosa, what is her success. She calmly explains that she is studying chemistry for pharmaceuticals, and eventually becomes a pharmacist in the Pinsk pharmacy.
In the evening, Alpatov goes somewhere vaguely along the boulevard and again meets Ambarov by the arm with his new wife. They go down to one of the basement pubs and sit down at the white marble table. Talk about women. Ambarov was a satiated person, and he started chemistry because he was interested in explosives – only they give real power. This frightened Alpatov-he recognized the madman in Ambarov.
At this time, one burdock from Concordia so brazenly watched the swing of the legs of his third wife, Ambarov, that Alpatov could not stand it and showed him his tongue. Bursh summoned him to a duel. Alpatov wanted to apologize, but then decided that it was embarrassing: then all Russians would be considered cowards. For several days Misha is attending a fencing master. The duel took place in a large, well-ventilated room, fought on shlegerah to the first blood. It was not a duel, but, rather, a rite, to which the Germans took very seriously. After the duel, a friendly drinking took place. Alpatov was stunned by the stupidity of everything that was happening. Unable to even laugh, he quickly began to drink beer. I woke up Alpatov in the morning on someone’s wide double bed. A young woman was sleeping beside him. Alpatov peered at him and barely understood the cruel joke of Ambarov: with him lay that same third wife,
Humiliated and crushed, Alpatov steals into the street. Everywhere a great movement, everyone is preparing to celebrate the New Year. Alpatov finds out in the crowd Rosa Katzenellenbogen, and they come together to have breakfast in a small cafe. Under the influence of all that happened, the Alpatians almost asked Rosa to marry him, but in time woke up. It was Rosa who led him to think of becoming an engineer for draining swamps, a peatmaster.
At home Alpatova was waiting for the guest – Yefim Nezgovorov, the very same Yefim, who was dearer to him in his homeland, who did not recognize anything but revolution. Nezgovorov realized that Alpatov had not fulfilled the instructions, and between them everything was over.
For several years Alpatov lived in Leipzig, in the family of a widow of one famous composer. The course of marsh sciences was almost over. Alpatova remained on her graduate project of the hydrotrophic machine to make a red circle in order to emphasize her own invention. In the drawing room, there was no necessary carmine for it, I had to go after him home. On the way back to the drawing room, Alpatov saw a summer round cloud at the end of the street in the sky – the first sign of spring. This cloud reminded Alpatova of his spring light, it called to break from the spot, fly into the blue world. He sat in the omnibus, walking towards the cloud, in which, by a strange accident, only young girls sat. One of them called Alpatova. He recognized the voice: it was Inna.
They spent all day together. Inna told about the Swede: he had an upset stomach, she helped – bought a medicine and parted with him in Brussels. The next morning Alpatov woke up as a child, ready to embrace the whole world with love. Together with the coffee he was given a letter on a tray. “I’m not the one you love: you made up your own bride, and I, too, can not love you in one day.” Good-bye, I’m leaving at night, “was in this letter. Alpatov puts the last group on the graduation project and buys a ticket to Moscow. Here comes another letter: she is in Paris, repents and calls him to her.
In Paris, the carnival, which is there in the middle of the post. They meet in the Luxembourg garden near the Medici fountain, and again spend the whole day together. Inna confessed that she was afraid of her mother – she would not accept Michael. Inna’s mother was a born countess, and her father was a merchant. For the sake of her, he changed his name (he was Chizhikov, became Rostovtsev), refused to study, dropped out of the university and became a real national counselor in the forest department. But in spite of everything, he remained for her Chizhikov. After much agony and hesitation, it was decided: Alpatov goes to Russia to arrange her situation, and she studies at the Sorbonne and waits for him.
Alpatov stayed a little on the estate with his mother. At this time, Gusek dies – he never caught a white quail. Misha tells his mother that he intends to marry Inna. Maria Ivanovna was very happy about this news. Before the trip to St. Petersburg Alpatov wanted to stay in Moscow for several days. There he was immediately summoned to the police. The colonel, who was assigned this case, turned out to be a good man. They agreed: he will send a request abroad, and while he will go, Alpatov will have time to create a position in Petersburg.
In St. Petersburg Alpatov came to Petro Petrovich Rostovtsev and asked him to arrange for a live job. Rostovtsev promised him a place in the department. Places had to wait, and Rostovtsev took while Alpatova to his secretary, to work on an encyclopedia of flora and fauna. They worked at night, and during the day Alpatov wrote long, crazy letters to his bride. Rostovtsev he never admitted that he was in love with his daughter.
Inna did not write for a long time, and then a letter came from her, which was for Alpatova as a glass of poison. The letter read: “We speak different languages, we do not follow the path, this time I firmly and resolutely say: no.” It turned out that the world “in return for Inna” does not exist. Alpatova suddenly felt drawn to nature, wanted to see tits on birches, and he went without seeing anything around him. Behind him, without losing sight of, was a small man with a cake of pine nuts. Alpatov noticed the little man only when he went out of town, and suddenly he realized that he had been sent a phyler, and the most stupid one. Reaching out his hand, Alpatov squeezed his neck with relish, and then pushed him with his knee and told him to run away. He runs away without looking back.
After a seven-day wanderings in the vicinity of St. Petersburg, Alpatov came up with the idea: to open his father, who fell in love with him, and go to her. Returning to St. Petersburg, Mikhail with horror learns that Peter Petrovich died. He was buried at Volkov cemetery, among scientists and writers.
Some time later, Alpatov returned to St. Petersburg. He again received a letter from Inna and hoped for reconciliation. On the train with him spoke a stranger. He called himself Pavel Filippovich Chernomashentsev, a longtime acquaintance of Maria Ivanovna. Chernomashentsev knew about Alpatov’s life to the smallest detail and was, as it later turned out, an agent assigned to Alpatov for surveillance. Waiting for Chernoma Ashentsev to fall asleep, Alpatov came out at the first station he came across. At first he wanted to take another train and get to Petersburg, but suddenly he heard the spring song of black grouses in the forest surrounding the small station, and went to the sound. On the way, he fell over his neck into the icy water and lit a fire to dry out, and then threw all things into the fire that reminded him of Inna, lay down on a juniper bush and fell sound asleep.
Alpatova found a local hunter Churka and led to the river. At that time the ice started, and Alpatov saw his: dirty ice floes floated like links in the broken Kashchey chain.
This autobiographical novel “Kashcheev’s chain” ends. But it seems to me possible to tell here how Alpatov became a writer after he “went into nature.”
The first person to leave a mark on my life was my mother. In this man I see, as in a pure mirror, that my good motherland, for whom it is worth living on earth and standing up for her. After met on my way a great wanderer Gorky Alexei Maksimovich. This was after the 1905 revolution. I told him how during my student years, as a chemist, I went to the Caucasus to destroy the phylloxera in the vineyards, I was then with something twenty years. I then joined the Marxists and became acquainted with the work of August Bebel “A Woman in the Past, Present and Future”. Later, the “woman of the future” turned for me into Marya Morevna. Gorky called me a romantic.
Having told this conversation with Gorky, I ran for about ten years ahead of the time in which I felt the opportunity to become a writer. At that time I was a student in Riga, and after the Caucasus I came to work in the Social Democratic Party under the leadership of Danilich (Vasily Danilovich Ulrich). I tried to do the most, but was extremely incapable of political work and suffered greatly from my inability. According to the Riga case, I was in prison and was in exile. After I managed to escape to Germany. There, my “romance” with German Social-Democracy was cracked and I started to study.
Soon I found myself a zemstvo agronomist in the city of Klin in the Moscow province. I went out and fell ill with an unknown mental illness. The roots of this disease were fueled by my painful and unsuccessful love for the vanished bride. The secret of my illness was that I began to be afraid of sharp objects. Every time I saw a sharp object, I wanted to grab it and use it. This was aggravated by the fact that I had to trade in braids, sickles, axes and suchlike things. In the end, I wrote a confession letter and went to Moscow to the well-known psychiatrist Professor Merzheevsky. The professor was leaving. He hastily read my confession, said: “Nothing special” and with a quick movement pinned it, like a beetle, on a long needle for prikolki incoming papers. His advice was: take a bath at 27 degrees. Likely, he understood my illness simply as a disease of growth. Driven to the extreme, I turned to the first neurologist who came across. A small man with red hair gave me a box of pills, refused money and promised: “In a month you will be healthy.” And it happened.
Once I went from Moscow to Yelets. There was this in one station. It was difficult to wait for the train. From boredom I took a sheet of paper and began to write some memories from my childhood. When I came to my senses, I realized that the greatest discovery in my life had come to pass – I now have nothing to fear from myself and my loneliness. Then I had not the slightest idea that it could be printed and live by it.
Driving one day in a cab, I remembered the house where my savior, a neurologist, lived. I decided to go and thank him. To my amazement, it was not a doctor – I then made a mistake on the floor. He just felt sorry that such a young man is tormented by trifles, and he gave me pills made from powdered sugar. I was cured by an ordinary optician.
Since childhood, I was taught that for great, real happiness, you need to put all your soul for friends and to be left with nothing. But in a long life it turned out that good friends, realizing a worthy person, they themselves begin to serve him and pay for his good. So it seems to me that I, like the whole Russian person, are strong with this happiness!