Notes of the hunter: Date
Birch grove. Mid-September. “Since the morning, a light rain has fallen, replaced by a warm sunshine at times, there was a fickle weather, the sky was all clouded with loose white clouds, then suddenly it was cleared for a moment, and then azure, clear and tender, appeared from behind the parted clouds… “.
The hunter slept serenely, “nestling” under the tree, “whose boughs began low above the earth” and could protect from the rain, and when he woke up, saw twenty steps away from himself a young peasant girl. She sat, “thoughtfully lowering her head and dropping both hands on her knees.” She wore a checkered skirt and a “clean white shirt, fastened at the throat and brushes.”
She was waiting for someone; woke up when something cracked in the forest, listened for a few moments, sighed. “Her eyelids blushed, her lips moved bitterly, and a new tear rolled from under thick eyelashes, stopping and radiantly flashing on her cheek.”
She waited a long time. Again something rustled and she started. “Strong, quick steps” were heard. Well, now he will come, her idol. Mountains of books, thousands of songs about it… And in the 20 th century the same trouble:
“Why do you, the beautiful girls love,
Some suffering from that love!”
“She looked, flashed suddenly, happily and happily smiled, she wanted to get up and immediately fell again all, turned pale, embarrassed and only then raised a trembling, almost praying look at the man who came when he stopped next to her…
It was, by all accounts, a spoiled valet of a young, wealthy master. His clothes revealed
“- And that – he asked, sitting down next to, but calmly looking off to the side and yawning – long have you been here?
– A long time with Victor Alexandrovich, – she said at last in a barely audible voice.
– A..! I completely forgot it, and besides, you see, it’s raining! (He yawned again.) The Cases of the Abyss: for all you do not see, and he still scolds. We’re going tomorrow…
“Tomorrow?” – said the girl and fixed on him a frightened look.
– Tomorrow… Well, well, well, please, – he picked up hurriedly and with vexation, please, Akulina, do not cry. You know, I can not stand it…
“Well, I will not, I will not,” Akulina said hurriedly, swallowing tears with effort. ”
(He did not care if they still have to see
each other ). ” – See you, see you. Not next year – so after. Barin, it seems, wants to go to St. Petersburg to serve, … and maybe we’ll leave for the border.
“You’ll forget me, Victor Alexandrich,” Akulina said sadly.
– No, why? I will not forget you; only you be smart, do not be fooled, obey your father… And I will not forget you – no-em. (And he stretched calmly and yawned again).
“Do not forget me, Victor Alexandrich,” she continued in an imploring voice. “It seems that I loved you, everything, it seems, for you… You say you must listen to my father, Victor Alexandrich… How can I obey my father…
” “What?” (He said this, lying on his back and with his hands under his head).
“Well, Viktor Alexandrovich, you yourself know…
” “You, Akulina, are a clever girl,” he said at last: “and so do not tell a nonsense… I want your kindness… Of course, you’re not stupid, not quite a peasant, so to speak; and your mother, too, was not always a peasant. Yet you are without education, so you must obey when they tell you.
– Yes, it’s terrible, Victor Alexandritch.
“And-what nonsense, my dear: what fear has found!” What do you have, “he added, moving to her:” Flowers? “
“Flowers,” Akulina answered sadly. “I grabbed a rowan on the field,” she went on, somewhat animated. “It’s good for the calves.” And this is the turn – against scrofula. Look at that wonderful flower; I have never seen such a wonderful flower… I’m here for you, “she added, taking out from under the yellow ashberry a small bundle of blue-tipped cornflowers tied with a thin grass:” Do you want to? ” Victor lazily extended his hand, took it, carelessly sniffed the flowers and began to twirl in fingers, looking thoughtfully upwards. Akulina looked at him… There was so much tender devotion, reverent submissiveness, love in her sad gaze. She was afraid of him, and did not dare to cry, and said goodbye to him, and admired them for the last time; and he lay, falling apart like a sultan, and with generous patience and condescension carried her adoration… Akulina was so good at this moment: her whole soul trustingly, passionately opened before him, stretched and fondled to him, and he… he dropped cornflowers on the grass, took from a side pocket of his coat a round glass in bronze frame and began to squeeze it into eye; but, as he tried to keep him with a frown, raised his cheek and even his nose, – the glass all fell out and fell into his hand.
– What is it? – Asked, finally, the amazed Akulina.
“Lornet,” he answered with importance.
– For what?
– And to see better.
– Show me.
Victor frowned, but gave her a glass.
“Do not break it, look.”
“I bet I will not break it.” (She timidly raised it to her eye). I do not see anything, “she said innocently.
“But you’re eye-to-eye, shut your eyes,” he retorted in the voice of a disgruntled mentor. (She squeezed her eyes, in front of which she held a glass). – Yes, not that one, not the one, stupid! Other! – Victor exclaimed and, not having allowed her to correct her mistake, took her lorgnette from her.
Akulina blushed, laughed a little and turned away.
“We do not seem to be good,” she said.
– Still would!
The poor girl paused and took a deep breath.
“Oh, Victor Alexandrovich, how can this be without you?” she said suddenly.
Victor wiped the lorgnette hollow and put it back in his pocket.
“Yes, yes,” he said, at last: “At first it will be hard for you, exactly.” (He condescendedly patted her on the shoulder, she quietly took his hand from her shoulder and shyly kissed it). Well, yes, yes, you are exactly a good girl, “he continued smugly:” but what should I do? You yourself judge! We can not stay here with the master; Now it’s winter soon, and in the village in the winter, – you yourself know, – just filthiness. Whether business in Petersburg! There are just such miracles as you, silly, and in a dream you can not imagine. At home, what, streets, and generality, education – just surprise! .. (Akulina listened to him with devouring attention, slightly opening her lips like a child). However, – he added, turning over on the ground: – why am I telling you all this? You can not understand this. “
In the soul of a serf peasant, “peasant,” for all its primitiveness, savagery was at times Christian indulgence, humble simplicity. A footman, at least a little in touch with the master’s luxury, privileges, fun, but unlike the rich master this is all devoid of; and in addition never studied, well, at least as his master: “anything and somehow”; such a lackey was often corrupted. The dark guy, after seeing “the kindness” and various “miracles”, Petersburg or even overseas, looks down on former “brothers in class” and for his own fun nobody will spare.
But back to Akulina and the valet.
“- Why, Viktor Alexandrovich? I understood, I understood everything.
” “Look, what!”
Akulina looked down.
“You used to talk to me before, Victor Alexandrich,” she said, not looking up.
Before? .. Before! You see, you! .. Before! he remarked, as if indignant.
They were both silent.
“But it’s time for me to go,” Viktor said, and was already leaning on his elbow.
“Wait a little longer,” Akulina said in a pleading voice.
“Why wait?” After all, I said goodbye to you.
“Wait,” Akulina repeated. Her lips twitched, her pale cheeks faded weakly…
“Victor Alexandrich,” she said at last, in a broken voice: “it’s a sin for you… it’s a sin for you, Viktor Alexandritch…
” “What?” is it a sin? he asked, frowning.
“It’s a sin, Victor Alexandrich. If only a good word were said to me at parting; if only a word was said to me, a miserable orphan…
“What can I tell you?”
– I dont know; you know it better, Viktor Alexandritch. Here you go, and at least a word… What did I deserve?
“How strange you are!” What can I do!
“If only a word.”
“Well, it’s the same charge,” he said with vexation and stood up.
“Do not be angry, Victor Alexandrich,” she added hastily, barely restraining her tears.
“I’m not angry, but only you are stupid… What do you want?” I can not marry you, can I? Can not I? Well, so what do you want? What? ..
“I do not want anything,” she answered, stuttering and scarcely daring to stretch out her trembling hands to him: “and if only a word for goodbye…
” And tears streamed down her stream.
“Well, that’s it, went to cry,” Viktor said coolly, pushing the cap over his eyes.
“I do not want anything,” she went on, sobbing and covering her face with both hands. “But what am I now in the family, what do I feel?” And what will become of me, what will become of me, miserable? For the unskilled will be given a sirotino… Poor my little head!
“Hummock it, hummer,” muttered Victor in a low voice, shifting on the spot.
– And he even a word, at least one… Say, Akulina, I say…
Sudden sighs that cut her breasts prevented her from finishing her speech-she fell face to face on the grass and bitterly, wept bitterly… Her whole body was convulsively worried… A long, restrained grief poured forth at last. Victor stood over her, stood, shrugged, turned and walked away in great strides.
A few moments passed… She was quiet, raised her head, jumped up, looked around and flung up her hands; she wanted to run after him, but her legs gave way – she fell to her knees “…
The author of” Notes “rushed to her, but as soon as he saw it, she” rose with a faint cry and disappeared behind the trees, leaving scattered flowers on the ground.
I stood, picked up a bundle of cornflowers and left the grove, in the field. “
Totally deprived. In addition to his youth, a sweet untouched charm. Yes, and it sacrificed to the random crook. And he, too, in fact, all devoid of, yet morally mutilated. A parrot trustingly gazing at “generality,” “education,” and so on.
And for her, he is not only the first love, but, perhaps, the personification of unknown, distant “miracles”, “what are you, stupid and in a dream you can not imagine”; he is from a dream, beautiful and inaccessible.
It’s not just about unrequited love, it’s about social prejudice.
“There was no more than half an hour until evening, and the dawn was barely lit. A gusty wind quickly rushed to meet me through the yellow, dried stubble, hastily puffing up in front of him, small pasted leaves, past through the road, a gloomy, though fresh smile of withering nature, seemed to creep through the dismal fear of a near-winter. “