Notes of a hunter: Singers
A small, poor villager Kolotovka. A few scrawny rakit, a ravine in the middle of the street. “Unhappy look,” but the surrounding residents “go there willingly and often.”
Near the ravine stands a separate hut covered with straw. Her window “in the winter evenings, lit from the inside, far out in the dim fog of frost and not one traveling peasant shimmers a guiding star.” This – a tavern, nicknamed “Haggard”.
Here trades a tavern Nikolai Ivanovich, a fat, gray-haired man “with a swollen face and cunningly good-natured eyes.” Something in him is such that attracts and keeps the guests.
“He has a lot of common sense, he is well acquainted with landlord life, both peasant and philistine.” He knows a lot about everything: in horses, in the woods, in any commodity, in songs and dances, he saw a lot in his time, “knows everything that is
done for a hundred miles around” and, like a cautious man, keeps quiet. Nikolai Ivanovich has a “brisk, sharp-witted” wife, healthy and intelligent children.
On a hot July day, when a weary hunter with a dog came to the vegetable marrow, suddenly a tall man appeared in the frieze overcoat, looking like a courtyard. He was calling someone and already apparently had a drink.
“Well, I’m coming, I’m coming,” a raspy voice rang out and a man appeared from behind the hut to the right, a short, fat and limp man… Who is waiting for me?
“You, Morgach, are wonderful, brother: you’re called to the tavern, and you still ask: why? .. Yashka somehow broke off with a rowman: we put the octopus of beer – who will win over whom, will sing better…
” “Yasha will sing? – with liveliness said a man, nicknamed Morgach. “And you’re not lying, Obloduy?” The
hunter, who is also the author of “Notes”, more than once heard about Yashka the Turk, the “best singer in the neighborhood”
and suddenly had the opportunity “to hear him in competition with another master.”
But first a few words about the structure of the village tavern. It usually consists of “dark hay and a white hut, divided in two by a partition”, for which visitors are not allowed. A large longitudinal hole was made at the wide oak table, wine was sold on this table or rack, sealed shtofs of various sizes stand on the shelves, directly opposite the opening. In the front part of the log hut, given to visitors, there are benches, two or three empty barrels, corner table”.
There was already a “fairly large society”. Nikolai Ivanovich stood behind the counter in a motley cotton shirt. Behind him in the corner was his sharp-eyed wife. In the middle of the room stood Yashka the Turk, “a thin and slender man of about twenty-three”, in a blue nankovoy caftan. “He was looking at the factory factory boy… his whole face exposed the impressionable and passionate man.” He was in great excitement… “. Nearby was a “man of about forty, broad-shouldered, broad-shouldered.” The expression of his swarthy face would have been almost fierce, if it had not been so calm – thoughtfully. He almost did not move and only looked slowly around like a bull from under a yoke… His name was Wild Barin. On the contrary, there was a rower from Zhizdra, short, about thirty years old, with “lively brown eyes.” He glanced briskly around “and”
Hunter asked himself a beer and sat down in a corner near a ragged peasant.
“- Die Zenibi throw – with the arrangement pronounced Wild Barin: – yes, an octopus on the counter.”
Nikolai Ivanovich put the octopus on the table. The first to sing was the rower.
“What song should I sing?” Asked the little soldier, coming to the excitement. ”
They told him to sing what he wanted, “and then we’ll decide on our conscience”.
We are waiting for the match itself, but before it starts there are some data on each of the actors.
Obwald, he’s Evgraf Ivanov. Strolling yard, from which his own gentlemen had long since receded, and who, without working without having a penny, “found however a means to take every day at someone else’s expense.” He had many acquaintances… “.
Morgach, “was once a coachman of an old childless lady,” but fled, taking with him the three horses entrusted to him. After the misfortunes of the wandering life came back lame, rushed to the lady’s feet and then, deserving of mercy by exemplary behavior, got to the clerks. After the death of the lady, Morgach “was not known how, he was released to freedom”, he traded and became rich. This man is experienced, calculating, “grated kalach.” His eyes “never just look – everyone looks and peeps.”
Jacob, nicknamed Turkom, really came from a captive Turkish woman. He “likes the artist”, “and by rank – drawer at a paper mill from a merchant”.
The rowman is a dodgy and lively city-burgher.
Wild Barin, awkward as a bear, was distinguished by “indestructible health”, “irresistible force” and “calm confidence in his own power.” “There was no man more silent and sullen.” Nobody knew what kind of estate he was from and what he lived, but he did have money, though small. “I was especially struck by the mixture of some innate, natural ferocity and the same innate nobility.”
The rowman stepped forward and sang a merry dance song. He had a lyric tenor, everyone listened with great attention and he, feeling that he was dealing “with people well-versed”, “just climbed out of the skin.”
At first, they listened quietly, then suddenly, “Obalduy suddenly shouted with pleasure.” They all started. “The obluvous with Morgachi began to pick up, pull up, shout:” It’s fucking! “… Take it, you rogue! .. Stick it on again, dog you such, dog!”. “Nikolai Ivanovich shook his head approvingly from the counter….” Stunned, at last, he stomped, thrashed his legs and pulled his shoulder-coat, and at Yakov’s eye, they flared up like coals, and he trembled like a leaf “… Encouraged rower “completely swirled” and when, finally, “tired, pale,” he published “the last dying ozglas – a common, fused cry replied violent explosion. Obalduy rushed to his neck “… Even” the peasant in the tattered retinue, could not stand it and, striking his fist on the table, exclaimed: “Ah – ha, well, damn it – good!”
“Well, brother, amused!” shouted Obladuy… He won, brother, he won! Congratulations! Your octopus. Yashka is far away from you… ”
Then Wild Barin ordered to be silent and ordered:” Jacob, start! ”
Looking around, Jacob” closed his hand. “” Everyone so stared at him with eyes, especially the rower, whose face, through the usual self-confidence and triumph of success, there was an involuntary, easy concern…
When, at last, Jacob opened his face, it was pale, like a dead one… He took a deep breath and sang… “Not alone in the field ran the road,” he sang, and all of us became sweet and eerie. I, I admit, rarely heard such a voice: it was slightly broken and rang like a cracked… it had… youth, and strength… and some kind of fascinating-careless, sad sorrow. Russian, truthful, hot soul sounded and breathed in it, and so grabbed your heart, grabbed directly for his Russian strings… He sang, completely forgetting his rival and all of us… He sang, and from each the sound of his voice seemed to be something native and immeasurably wide, as if a familiar steppe was opening before you, leaving in an endless distance. I, I felt, boiled over my heart and rose to the eyes of tears; deaf, restrained sobs suddenly struck me… I looked back – the wife of the tselopalnik was crying, she lay with her breast to the window… Nikolai Ivanovich looked down, Morgach turned away; the gray peasant quietly sobbed to the corner, shaking his head with a bitter whisper; and on the iron face of the Wild – Barin from under the completely raised eyebrows, a heavy tear swept slowly; The rank-bearer brought a clenched fist to his forehead and did not move “…
The song ended, but still waited for a while.
“Yasha,” Wild said, “Barin, put his hand on his shoulder and – was silent.”
We all stood as numb. “The sergeant stood quietly and went up to Yakov.
” You… your… you won; he finally said with difficulty and rushed out of the room “…
Everyone began to talk noisily, joyfully… Morgach began to kiss Yakov, Nikolai
Ivanovich announced that” he adds more of the beer to himself; Wild – Barin chuckled some kind laughter; the gray muzhik kept repeating himself in his corner, wiping his eyes, cheeks, nose and beard with both sleeves: “Well, behold, if I were a dog, well!”
At this moment it is impossible not to love them all, all without exception. Here it is, the same love, about which it is said: “Love your neighbor” …
The hunter then fell asleep in the hayloft and when he woke up it was already evening. “Through the village flashed lights, from a nearby, brightly lit tavern, an uneasy, vague scam ran.”
He went to the window and saw “a gloomy picture: everything was drunk – everything, starting with Jacob.” Absolutely “unraveled” Obladuy “danced headlong”; smiling meaninglessly, “a gray peasant wailed and shuffled his legs”; Morgach laughed mockingly, all red as a cancer… Many new faces were stuffed into the room and everyone was drunk.
Still recently – delight, from the bottom of the heart kindness! And now full swing! In this bedlam, Wild-Barin was not at all, and Nikolai Ivanovich kept his “unchanging cold-blooded”.
“I turned away and began to descend from the hill where Kolotovka is lying on the steps of the hill, at the foot of this hill a wide plain spreads, flooded by the hazy waves of the evening mist, it seemed still immense and seemed to merge with the darkened sky.”