Part 1. In the rear
Svejk is a former soldier who left the service a few years ago because of his idiocy. Now Švejk lives in Prague, trades with the sale of dogs and, in addition to idiocy, suffers from rheumatism.
The novel begins in June 1914, after the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. This historic event did not leave Svejk indifferent. He enthusiastically expounds to the servant, Mrs. Müller, his own ideas on this subject, interspersing the story with suitable stories from the lives of many acquaintances. Svejk continues to rant also in the tavern “U Chasi”, where he is professionally watched by the secret police agent Bretschneider. Schweik’s squeakiness and rather original statements about Austria’s military policy in the Balkans lead to the fact that a brave soldier is arrested along with the innkeeper Palivets.
In the police department, Svejk readily agrees with all the charges against him, including treason. He is then transferred to a criminal court, then to a madhouse, then again to the police; often interrogated by investigators and examined by doctors, declaring it an idiot or a simulator. In the end, Švejk is released by a civil servant, who was struck down by Švejkovsky’s innocent look.
On the way home, a brave soldier enters the tavern “U chashi”, where he learns that Palivtsa was sentenced to 10 years. There he again meets with Bretschneider, who is ordered to come together with Sheik closer on the ground of trade in dogs.
At home, Svejk finds a doorman at a night cafe with a young lady, Mamler put on a flat. After sending the residents out and calming the maid who thought up it was thrown out of shame with shame, Svejk returned to business. In a short time, he sells Bretschneider, and then detective Kalous, a lot of mongrel dogs, pretty draining the police money and bringing Bretschneider to the infamous end – the agent was eaten by the bought dogs.
However, the habitual life of a brave soldier is soon interrupted – he is sent a summons to military medical examination. Courageously overcoming the next attack of rheumatism, not listening to the doctor and singing the songs, Svejk sits down in a borrowed wheelchair borrowed from the confectioner and rides to Strshelecky Island. In a new cap, with a bunch of flowers, stunning crutches with a cry of “On Belgrade!”, Schweik gives the impression that articles about him appear
in Prague newspapers. Do not touch only the doctor who examines Svejk – he considers the soldier a simulator and puts him in a garrison prison.
In the hospital barrack, the simulants are treated with a strict diet, quinine, wet wraps and enemas. Once Baroness von Botzenheim arrives in prison, having read about Shveyke in the newspaper and wished to see a brave soldier. The Baroness appears at the bedside of Svejk with presents and food. Food is eaten by Svejk and friends in a few minutes, but then washed out of the stomach by persistent doctors. Another medical commission sends Svejk to the cell.
The next day a brave soldier with his cellmates goes to the prison chapel, where he listens to the sermon of the feldkurat Otto Katz. Katz’s speeches usually caused laughter in the prisoners, but the sensitive Svejk burst into tears in the middle of the service. The surprised feldkurat tries to find out what Svejk is sitting for, but does not find his papers and finally agrees that this soldier be given to him in batman. Soon, Svejk, dressed in an old uniform, a uniform, a huge cap, and having drunk beforehand with his escorts in the tavern, appears in front of the feldkurat’s house in Karlin.
The service at Katz consists in dragging the drunk feldkurat home, in extracting money from Katz’s acquaintances, escaping creditors and secretly selling furniture belonging to the householder. Then Svejk visits his apartment, finds there a cousin of Mrs. Muller and learns that she herself is now in a concentration camp, and in his room the dressmakers who live there have arranged a women’s salon. Not at all saddened, Svejk returns to the feldkurat and serves him faithfully and truthfully, helping even in the celebration of the Mass. Sometimes the church cup is replaced by a sports cup, oil is hemp oil, and the ministrant is Svejk himself. The marching altar is to be found in the Vršovice church, where it comes from the sold master’s couch. And another feldkurat, pious and teetotal, after the religious dispute remains in Katz’s house until the morning and looks no more sober than the owner. In a word,
The new owner of Švejk is a lover of animals and women. Svejk helps Lukash in his affections: he hospitably receives the lady who came to visit the lieutenant. However, after a while it is necessary to send a telegram to the husband of the guest and to get Cathy home. Svejk skillfully manages with animals: he accidentally feeds the beloved canary of the lieutenant to the scout cat. The dog, which Lukash asks for him to buy, Svejk steals from Colonel Zillergut. The last incident ends in the fact that Lukash and Svejk are sent to the ninety-first regiment in Budejovice.
Part 2. At the front
The wiles of Svejk and Lukas begin on the platform – they stole a suitcase from them. In the compartment, the orderly and the lieutenant who rapes him bring on the wrath of the third passenger, Major-General. Accompanied, finally, from the compartment Svejk with the help of the railwayman accidentally stops the train with an emergency brake. For this brave soldier led to the head of the station in Tabor, and Lieutenant Lukash with great joy goes to the front without Svejk.
A fine for Svejk is paid by some kind gentleman, he also gives the soldier on the road five kroons, which Svejk safely drinks in the station buffet. After a short conversation in the commandant’s office of the station batman goes on foot to the Budejovice Regiment. True, Svejk is going absolutely different from Budejovice side, but he sings good songs along the way. And none of the people met on the road – neither the compassionate old woman, nor her brother, soldiers who deserted the regiment, nor a tramp or an old shepherd – can convince Svejk that he is not going there. “It can not be that I did not get to Budejovice!” “the brave soldier says firmly and gets to Putim, straight to the gendarmerie.
The Gendarme sergeant receives Svejk for a Russian spy and protects him strictly. Grandmother Peizlerka, who wore gendarmes and Svejku beer from a neighboring tavern, swears to not tell anyone about the captured intelligence officer and at the same time – about the drunk gendarme sergeant-major. After numerous interrogations, Svejk is sent to Pisek, where he appears strapped to his escort by hand-shackles, smashed to the drunk after visiting the inn on the way. From there the brave soldier, at last, travels to Budejovice by train and appears before the eyes of Lieutenant Lukas.
After a slight loss of consciousness, Lukash hastily sends the batman to the guardhouse. There, Svejk has a good time with the free-choice Marek for conversations and songs. Three days later the batman goes with the regiment to Kiral-Hidu, in a compartment with Marek and a drunk feldkurat Latsina. On arrival, Svejk receives an important task from Lieutenant Lukash: he must send a letter to the wife of the hardware dealer Kakon, who met the lieutenant in the Hungarian theater and smashed into the heart. The company Svejku is a sapper Vodichka, who starts a fight with Kakonem, mistakenly read the love letter of Lukash. The fight continues on the street, becomes numerous and is publicized. Now the regimental sympathy of the loving lieutenant is known to the regimental superiors. Only the intervention of Colonel Schroeder saves Svejk from the divisional court.
Meanwhile, Lukash becomes commander of the 11th march company, Svejk on returning – orderly. After a long mess, the soldiers are put on the train and sent to the front.
Part 3. The solemn flogging
In a train traveling to Galicia, Svejk is in the company of a new batman, Lukash – the former miller, the great glutton of Baloon, and also the former apothecary, now the clerk Vanek, the cook-occultist Juride and the telegraph operator Khodounsky. The company spends time behind cards and stories. In the staff car in the meantime, officers are introduced to the new system of encryption of field dispatches – the key to the cipher is the second volume of L. Gangofer’s novel Sins of the Fathers. Officers, however, distributed only the first volume – of course, because of Svejk, who read a lot of books, but never started reading from the first volume.
The error is discovered by the Cadet Bigler, a future military writer, as well as the author of schemes of outstanding battles. Schemes, however, are criticized by Captain Sagner and then used by the offended Bigler in the toilet on purpose. The cadet has a very sore head and stomach – evidently for this reason he sees a strange dream, in which he talks with the Lord God. In fact, I’m sending Biagler to the medical isolation ward.
The train arrives in Budapest, where soldiers are announced about Italy’s entry into the war. Departure is delayed. Echelon inspects the decrepit general, and also visits a delegation of two ladies with a gift – twenty boxes of fragrant tablets. However, there is no real food, and Lukash sends Svejk to buy something. The soldier returns under escorts – he tried to steal the chicken for the lieutenant. For the chicken is paid, and Svejk cooks soup from it, from which Baloun tries to steal a chicken leg. For this, Svejk forces him to practice marching. Soon, Svejk himself exercises in rifle receptions, but even here he can not refrain from telling stories, which leads the commander of the sergeant-major to faint. At last the train starts to move.
At one of the stops, Lukas is visited by the unfortunate thought of sending Svejk for brandy. The orderly finds cognac from the traders of the forbidden goods, however, Lieutenant Dub, who long ago took Svejk for a note, finds him. The soldier has to give out cognac for the water, and then drink it all. While Svejk falls asleep, the clerk Vanek reads to the comrades the history of the battalion written by him, where he presents them in advance as unparalleled heroes.
Relations between the seamstress and the Oak are deteriorating more and more – especially after Svejk reports to the authorities that Oak has beaten his orderly Kunert. Even Svejk once appeared in a brothel where Oak rested from the road, and sent a drunk Oak to a battalion meeting.
The battalion is now on its way. Svejk and Vanek are instructed to find accommodation for soldiers, but at a crossroads Svejk for some reason decides that he must go to the right, according to the map, and to the left. The travelers are divided. In the evening, Svejk meets a bathing Russian deserter on the pond and changes into his uniform for the sake of curiosity. In this form, he is taken by his field patrol of the gendarmerie.
Part 4. Continuation of the solemn flogging
Svejk, along with other Russians, is taken prisoner. He is mistaken for a Jew and appointed senior among the prisoners. The soldier tries in vain to explain that this is a mistake. Only Major Wolf understands what’s what – he considers Svejk peremetnuvshimsya to Russian and wants to hang. Svejk spends time locked up in a company of mice. Then follows the military court and the farewell order of Martinez’s feldkurat before the execution. At night, Svejk in the cell dies a major, who decided to interrogate him and asleep.
For the happiness of a brave soldier, a telegram comes from his regiment, where it is said that Svejk is missing. He is released, and Svejk finally meets up with his old comrades and Lukash, after catching up his battalion in the village of Klimontovo.