Notes of the hunter: Biryuk
The author of “Notes” was traveling in the evening with hunting for droshky. A thunderstorm broke out. At the height of the storm, a tall figure of the forester invited the hunter to him. They rode for a long time, finally, in the shine of lightning, a small hut appeared amidst a courtyard enclosed by a fence.
A girl of about twelve, who opened the door to them, sat down on a bench and began to rock the cradle. The forester was “tall, broad-shouldered and built to glory… Black curly beard covered up to half his stern and courageous face, from under the broad eyebrows merged boldly looked small brown eyes”
He said that his name is Thomas, and the nickname is Biryuk. This nickname was known to
And how does Biryuk explain his zeal?
“I celebrate my position,” he replied sullenly, “there is no such thing as a master’s bread.”
He took an ax from behind his belt, sat down on the floor and began to chop the beams.
“Do not you have a mistress?” I asked him.
“No,” he answered, and waved his ax.
“She’s dead, do you know?”
“No… yes… she’s dead,” he added and turned away.
I fell silent; he looked up and looked at me.
“She ran away with the passer-by,” he said with a cruel smile. The girl looked down; the child woke up and cried; the girl went to the cradle.
“Come on, give him,” Biryuk said, putting a dirty horn in her hand.
“So he left him,” he continued in a low voice, pointing to the child. He went to the door, stopped and turned
“You, tea, master,” he began, “you will not eat our bread, but I have about three bread…
” “I’m not hungry.”
– Well, as you know. I’d put you a samovar, but I do not have any tea…
The storm subsided. We went out together. The rain stopped. In the distance, heavy clouds of clouds were still crowded, and occasional long lightning flashes; but above our heads the dark blue sky was already visible here and there. We began to listen. The forester took off his hat and looked down.
“At… here,” he said suddenly, and held out his hand, “you see what a night I chose… I’ll go with you… do you want to?” Come along.
At first, only Biriuk could distinguish the noise of the leaves in the noise of the leaves, then the measured blows began to be audible. “A dull and prolonged rumble was heard…
” “He knocked over,” muttered Biryuk,
while the sky continued to be cleared, and the forest lightened slightly. “The forester told the satellite to wait, and, lifting the gun up, disappeared between the bushes. sounds: the ax gently knocked on the branches, the wheels creaked, the horse snorted…
– Where? Stop! – suddenly rattled the iron voice of Biryuk.
Another voice screamed plaintively, like a hare…
“It’s time, time,” Biryuk gasped, gasping, “you will not leave.”
He threw down the thief, twisted his hands on his back with his sash. The man was wet, in rags.
“Let him go,” I whispered into Biryuk’s ear. “I’ll pay for the tree.” But the forester did not answer. Again it began to rain and soon sprinkled with streams. We made it to the hut with difficulty. The forester threw the captured horse in the middle of his yard, led the peasant into the room, and put him in a corner. He sat motionless on the bench, thin, wrinkled, with a drunk face.
“Foma Kuzmich,” the peasant suddenly began to speak in a voice deaf and broken, “and Foma Kuzmich.”
– What do you want?
– Let go.
Biryuk did not answer.
“Let go… with hunger… let go.”
“I know you… a thief on a thief.”
“Let go,” the peasant repeated, “the pinshik… are ruined, in a way… let go!”
– Robbed! .. Steal no one trace.
“Let go, Foma Kuzmich… do not ruin it.”
Biryuk turned away. The peasant twitched like a fever pounded him. He shook his head and breathed unevenly.
“Let go,” he repeated with despondent despair… To God, from hunger… the children are squeaking, you yourself know. Cool, in a way, it is necessary.
“A horse, then, at least her… one belly is… let go!”
– They say you can not. I, too, are a servant: they’ll ask for me. You do not have to pamper yourself either.
– Let go! Need, Thomas Kuzmich, need, as there is one…
– Eh, what’s the matter with you? sit still…
The peasant suddenly straightened up…
– Well, on, eat, on, choke, on… the damned devil, drink Christian blood, drink…
– Are you drunk, or what to swear up? – the forester spoke with astonishment.
– Drunk! .. Not on your money, damned devil, beast, beast, beast!
“Oh, you… yes, I love you!”
– And me what? All is one – to disappear; where do I go without a horse? Prishibi – one end; that from hunger, that so – all is one. Disappear all: wife, children, – die all… And before you, wait, we’ll get!
Biryuk rose to his feet.
“Bey, hit,” the peasant said in a ferocious voice, “hit, on, on, hit…
” “Silence!” – rang the forester and stepped twice.
“Full, full of Thomas,” I cried, “leave him…”
“I will not remain silent,” the unfortunate man continued. “It’s all the same – to die.” You, a beast, a beast, do not perish with you… Yes, wait, you do not have to reign for long! Hold your breath, wait!
Biryuk grabbed him by the shoulder… I rushed to the aid of the peasant… “Do not touch, sir!” – shouted the forester. I would not be afraid of his threat, and already stretched out my hand, but to my utter amazement, he twisted the girdle from one elbow of a man with one turn, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, slapped his hat over his eyes, dissolved the door and pushed him out.
“Get the hell out of your horse!” – he shouted after him, – but look at me another time…
– Well, Biryuk, – I said at last, – you surprised me: you, I see, a nice fellow.
“Eh, fullness, sir,” he interrupted me with vexation, “do not just say so.” Yes, I better take you, “he added,” you do not have to know the rain. ”
After half an hour he said goodbye to me at the edge of the forest.