The watchdog Ruslan heard how something out of the night outside exhaled, lanterns shook with a gnash. Calmed down only by morning. The master came and took him to the service. But when the door opened, a white bright light suddenly poured into his eyes. Snow – that’s what it got out at night. And there was something else, which made Ruslan prick up his ears. Extraordinary, unheard of silence hung over the world. The camp gate is wide open. The tower was completely ruined – one searchlight was lying down below, covered with snow, the other hung on the wire. Disappeared from her somewhere and a white sheepskin coat, a fur hat, and a black ribbed trunk, always turned down. And in the barracks, Ruslan felt it at once, there was nobody. Ruslana was stunned by the loss and destruction. The dog ran away, the dog understood, and the fury overwhelmed him. Pulling the leash, he dragged the owner through the gate – to catch up! The owner cried out angrily, Then he let go of the leash and waved his hand. “Search” – so Ruslan understood him, but only he did not feel any trace and was confused. The owner looked at him, unkindly twisting his lips, then slowly pulled the submachine gun from his shoulder. And Ruslan understood: everything! Only it is not clear, for what? But the master knows best what to do. Ruslan submissively waited. Something prevented the owner from firing, some clanking and clanking. Ruslan looked around and saw an approaching tractor. And then something absolutely improbable followed – a driver emerged from the tractor, little like a prisoner, and spoke to the owner without fear, energetically and cheerfully: “Hey, Vologda, I’m sorry that the service was over?” And the dog would not touch. The dog is expensive. ” “Go on,” said the landlord, “you talk a lot.” The owner did not stop the driver even then, When the tractor began to crush the pillars of the camp fence. Instead, the owner waved Ruslan a hand: “Go away, and I will not see you again.” Ruslan obeyed. He ran along the road to the village, at first in great perplexity, and then, suddenly guessing where and why he was sent, in full swing.
… In the morning of the next day, the railwaymen at the station observed a picture that would probably strike them, if they did not know its real meaning. Ten dozen dogs gathered on the platform near the dead end, walked around it or sat, amicably barking out trains passing by. The animals were beautiful, worthy to admire them from afar, no one dared to climb the platform, the local people knew that it would be much more difficult to get off it. The dogs waited for the prisoners, but they were not brought either on that day, or the next, or a week, or two. And the number of them, coming to the platform, began to decrease. Ruslan also came here every morning, but he did not stay, but, having checked the guard, fled to the camp, – here, he felt it, still his master remained. He was alone in the camp. Other dogs gradually began to settle in the village, raping their own nature, agreed to serve with new owners or steal chickens, chasing cats. Ruslan suffered hunger, but did not take food from other people’s hands. His only food was field mice and snow. From constant hunger and pains in the abdomen, the memory was weakening, he began to turn into an incompetent wandering dog, but he did not leave the service – every day he appeared on the platform, and then fled to the camp.
Once he smelled the owner here in the village. The smell brought him to the station buffet. The owner sat at a table with some shabby peasant. “You were slow, Sergeant,” Shabby said to him. “All your long smudges have been smeared.” – “I did the job, kept the archive, you are all free now and think that you can not get to you, but everything in the archive is worth it.” A little while, and all of you are back. “Our time is yet to come.” The owner was delighted with Ruslan: “This is where our power stands”. He held out the bread. But Ruslan did not take it. The master became angry, smeared the bread with mustard and ordered: “Take!” Around voices were heard: “Do not torment the dog, the escort!” “You ought to get... rid of him, or you are all pitiful, and there is no pity for anyone to kill,” snapped the host. Reluctantly unfolding his fangs, Ruslan took bread and looked back, where to put it. But the owner slammed his jaws hard. The poison burned from within, the flame flared in the belly. But even more terrible was the betrayal of the master. From now on the master became his enemy. And so the next day Ruslan responded to the call of Shabby and followed him. Both were pleased, Shabby, believing that he had acquired a loyal friend and defender, and Ruslan, who nevertheless returned to his former service-escorting a prisoner, even if he was a former one.
Ruslan did not take food from his new owners – he was hunting in the woods. As before, Ruslan appeared daily at the station. But the camp was no longer running, only memories remained from the camp. Happy – about the service. And unpleasant. Say, about their canine riots. This is when in the terrible frosts, which usually did not work, the camp stammer came running to the head and reported something like this, after which the Chief and all the bosses rushed to one of the barracks. “Come to work,” ordered Chief. Barak did not obey. And then, on the orders of the Chief Guard, they dragged a long bowel from the fire pump to the barrack, water rushed from the gut of this prison, washing off the prisoners with their heads, knocking out the windows in the windows. People fell, covered with icy crust. Ruslan felt his rage effervesce at the sight of a thick living moving bowel, from which water gushed. He was preceded by Ingus, the cleverest of their dogs, – tightly grasped his teeth in his sleeve and did not react to the cries of the guards. Ingusa shot from the machine Chief. But all the other camp dogs already tore the hose with their teeth, and the authorities were powerless…
Once Ruslan decided to visit the camp, but what he saw there, stunned him: from the barracks and the trail is gone – the huge, half-glassed buildings stood there. And no barbed wire, no towers. And everything is so stained with cement, bonfires, and there are no smells of the camp…
And finally Ruslan waited for his service. A train approached the platform, and crowds of people with backpacks began to emerge from it, and these people, as in the old days, were built in columns, and before them the chiefs spoke, only Ruslan could hear the words of some unknown strangers: the construction site, the combine. Finally the columns moved, and Ruslan began his service. It was unaccustomed only to the absence of escorts with automatic rifles and the excessively gay behavior of those who were walking in the column. Well, nothing, thought Ruslan, at first all the noise, then subsided. And really, they began to subside. This is when from the alleys and streets to the column the camp dogs began to come running together and line up along the edges, accompanying the going. And the views of the local windows turned sullen. The people who were going to the end did not understand what was happening, but they were on their guard. And there was an inevitable – someone tried to get out of the column, and one of the dogs rushed to the offender. There was a scream, a dump began. Observing the order, Ruslan watched the formation and saw the unexpected: from the column camp dogs began to jump out and cowardly leave to the neighboring streets. Ruslan rushed into battle. The fight was unexpectedly heavy. People refused to obey dogs. They beat Ruslan with bags, sticks, poles, broken from the fence. Ruslan became enraged. He jumped, aiming at the throat of the young boy, but missed and immediately received a crushing blow. With a broken ridge, he fell silent on the ground. There was a man, maybe the only one from whom he would have taken help. “Why the ridge was broken,” said the Shabby. “Now everything is finished.” It’s a pity for the dog. ” Ruslan still found the strength to jump and with his teeth intercept the shovel that had been brought to strike. People retreated, leaving Ruslan to die. Is he, maybe he could still survive if he knew what for. He, who honestly performed the service, which his people taught him, was brutally punished by them. And there was no need to live for Ruslan.