Apollo Apollonovich Ableukhov, a senator of a very respectable kind: he has his ancestor Adam. However, if we talk about times not so remote, then during the reign of Anna Ioannovna, the Kirkiz-Kaisak Mirza Ab-Lai entered the Russian service, was baptized by Andrew and received the nickname of the ears. He was the great-great-grandfather Apollo Apollonovich.
Apollo Apollonovich is preparing to go to the Institution, he was the head of the Institution and from there he sent circulars all over Russia. He ran the circulars.
Apollo Apollonovich had already risen, wiped his cologne, recorded in the “Diary” – which will be published after his death – the thought that came to his mind. He bit off the kofi, inquired about his son, and, learning that his son
Molodtsevaty, in a black hat, in a gray coat, pulling on a black glove, Apollon Apollonovich runs off the porch and sits in a carriage.
The carriage flew to Nevsky. I flew in a greenish fog along the infinity of rushing avenue, past the cubes of houses with strict numbering, past the circulating public, from which Apollo Apollonovich was safely shielded by four perpendicular walls. The senator did not like open spaces, could not tolerate zigzag lines. He liked the geometric correctness of cubes, parallelepipeds, pyramids, the clarity of the lines, the planning of the Petersburg avenues. The islands, rising in the fog, into which the arrows of the avenues pierced, aroused his fear. An inhabitant of the islands, an innocent, factory people, inhabitants of chaos, the senator considered, threaten Petersburg.
From a huge gray house on the seventeenth line of the Vasilievsky Island, descending a black streaked cucumber stairs, a stranger with a black mustache appears. In the hands
A carriage stopped at the crossroads… Suddenly. He raised his hands in gloves in fright, Apollon Apollonovich, as if trying to protect himself, leaned back in the depths of the carriage, hit the wall with a cylinder, and uncovered a bare skull with huge protruding ears. A flaming, staring at him, close to the carriage of the raznochintsy who was walking, pierced him.
A carriage flew by. The stranger was farther infatuated with the stream of people.
The pair ran after Nevsky couple, the words of the scraps formed into phrases, the Neva gossip rattled: “They are going to…”, “Toss…”, “To whom…”, “To Abl…”. Provocation spree on Nevsky, the provocation turned into a stranger in a stranger, the provocation was in him himself. “Look, what boldness, Elusive,” – heard the stranger behind him.
From the autumn dankness a stranger enters the restaurant.
Apollon Apollonovich on this day was somehow particularly concentrated. Idle thoughts were played, a brain game started. He remembers that he saw a stranger in his house. From the brain game of the senator, a stranger emerged from ephemeral existence and became established in reality.
When the stranger disappeared at the door of the restaurant, two silhouettes appeared; thick, tall, obviously stood out by the addition and a number of a parsimonious figure of a short-haired gentleman with a huge wart on his face. The separate phrases of their conversation flared up: “Senator Ableukhov has to issue a circular…”, “The Elusive One has to…”, “Nicholas Apollonovich is due…”, “The Case is Set as Clockwork…”, “Would Have Received a Salary” .
A figure of an unpleasant fat man appeared in the doors of the building, the stranger turned around, the person waved him a friendly hat with a friendly smile. “Alexander Ivanovich..”, “Lippanchenko.” The person sits down at the table. “Be careful,” – warns his stranger, noticing that the fat man wants to put his elbow on the newspaper sheet: a sheet covered with a knot. Lippanchenko’s lips quivered. He asks a dangerous knot to carry to the custody of Nikolai Apollonovich Ableukhov, and at the same time to pass a letter.
For two and a half years, Nikolai Apollonovich no longer meets his father for morning coffee, he does not wake up before noon, walks in Bukhara dressing gown, Tatar shoes and skullcap. However, as before, he reads Kant and deduces, he builds chains of logical premises. In the morning he received a box from the dresser: in a box a satin red domino. Nikolai Apollonovich sent Nikolai Apollonovich to St. Petersburg’s dank twilight, throwing Nikolayevka on his shoulders. A piece of red satin is peeking under the nicholas. Memories of unsuccessful love gripped him, remembered that foggy night when he almost rushed from the bridge into the dark waters and when a plan was ready in him to make a promise to one frivolous party.
Nikolay Apollonovich enters the entrance of the house on the Moika and remains in the driveway darkness. A woman’s shadow, with her face buried in a muffle, runs along the Moika, enters the entrance. The maid opens the door and screams. In the dark strip of light – a red domino in a black mask. Putting the mask forward, the domino stretches a bloody sleeve. And when the door slammed, the lady sees a business card lying at the door: a skull with bones instead of a noble crown and a typed word in a fashionable font – “I’m waiting for you in a masquerade there, such and such a number.” Red jester. “
In the house on the Moika there lives Sofya Petrovna Lihutina, she is married to the lieutenant Sergey Sergeevich Lihutin; Nikolai Apollonovich was best man at her wedding. Nikolai Apollonovich often visited this house, where he came and the Little Russian Lippanchenko, and the student Varvara Evgrafovna, secretly in love with Ableukhov. Kind noble Nicholas Apollonovich carried away in the beginning Sophia Petrovna, but behind the antique mask opened in him suddenly something frog. Sophia Petrovna loved and hated Ableukhov, attracting, pushing away from herself and once in anger she called the Red Fool. Ableukhov stopped coming.
In the morning a stranger with a mustache comes to Nikolai Apollonovich. The visit is not very pleasant for Ableukhov, he remembers the rashly given promise, thinks to refuse, but somehow does not come out. A stranger wants to take a bundle for storage, open up, complain about insomnia, loneliness. All Russia knows him as the Elusive, and he himself is locked up in his apartment on Vasilievsky Island, does not go anywhere. After the exile of Yakutsk with a special one he met in Helsingfors and now depends on the person.
Apollo Apollonovich is coming, his son is introducing him to the university student Alexander Ivanovich Dudkin. In it Apollo Apollonovich learns yesterday’s raznochintsy.
A rumbling rumbles over Petersburg. There will be a rally. With the news of the rally to Sofya Petrovna, Varvara Evgrafovna comes and asks me to send a letter to Nikolai Apollonovich Ableukhov, whom, according to rumors, Sofia Petrovna is supposed to meet at the Tsukatova’s ball. Nikolai Apollonovich knew that Sofya Petrovna would attend the rally. Always everyone at the rallies leads Varvara Evgrafovna. In Nicholas, put on top of a red domino, he rushes into the Petersburg twilight.
Escaping from the stuffy room, where speakers spoke and shouting “Strike!”, Sofya Petrovna ran to her house. On the bridge she sees: a red domino in a black mask rushed to meet her. But two steps away from Sofya Petrovna the red domino slips and falls, revealing light green pantaloon stripes. “A frog, a freak, a red jester,” Sofya Petrovna screams, and in the anger of a jester awards kicks. Home she resorts frustrated and in a fit tells everything to her husband. Sergey Sergeevich came to a terrible excitement, pale, clenching his fists, pacing the room. To go to the ball to Tsukatov he forbade. Sophia Petrovna was offended. In offense to her husband and to Ableukhov, she opened a letter brought by Varvara Evgrafovna, read and conceived revenge.
In the suit of Mrs. Pompadour, despite the prohibition of her husband, Sofya Petrovna came to the ball. Apollo Apollonovich also arrived. Waited for masks. And then a red domino appears, and then other masks. Madame Pompadour invites the red dominoes to dance, and in the dance she hands a letter. Ableukhov does not recognize Sofya Petrovna. In the corner room, he tears off the envelope, raises the mask and discovers himself. Scandal. Red dominoes – Nikolay Ableukhov. And already a short-lived gentleman with a wart informs Apollo Apollonovich about this.
Running out of the entrance, in the alley under the light of the lamp, Ableukhov again reads the letter. He does not believe his eyes. They remember this promise, they propose to blow up their own father with a time-bomb, which, in the form of a sardine, is kept in a bundle handed to him. And then a short-haired gentleman comes up, carries with him, leads to a tavern. At first it seems to be the illegitimate son of Apollon Apollonovich, and then Pavel Yakovlevich Morkovin, an agent of the security department. He says that if Nikolai Apollonovich does not fulfill the demands, in the letter of the foregoing, he will arrest him.
Sergei Sergeevich Lihutin, when she went to the ball, despite the prohibition, Sofya Petrovna, decides to commit suicide. He shaved his mustache and shaved his neck, smeared the rope with soap, attached it to the chandelier, and climbed onto a chair. A doorbell rang at the door, at that moment he stepped off the chair and… fell. I was underpaid. By humiliation, the lieutenant Likhutin turned out to be a suicide. So Sofya Petrovna discovered it. She bent over him and cried softly.
Apollo Apollonovich firmly decided that his son was a notorious villain; scandal at the ball, that is, the appearance of Nicholas Apollonovich in the red domino, makes him decide to clarify the relationship. But at the last moment Apollo Apollonovich learns about the arrival of Anna Petrovna and unexpectedly for herself, this only tells her son and looks not with hatred, but with love. A moment later, Nikolai Apollonovich would have rushed to his father’s repentance, but, noticing his movement, Apollo Apollonovich suddenly pointed to the door in anger and shouted that Nikolai Apollonovich was no longer his son.
In his room Nikolai Apollonovich takes out a sardine, a sardineess of horrible content. Without a doubt, it should be thrown into the Neva, but for now… while at least delay the terrible event by twenty times turning the key of the clockwork mechanism.
Alexander Ivanovich wakes up broken and sick. With difficulty he climbs and goes outside. Here Nikolai Apollonovich, flustered and indignant, flies at him. From his confused explanations, it becomes clear to Dudkin who the “sardineess of horrible content” is intended for, recalls a letter that he forgot to convey to Nikolai Apollonovich and asked Varvara Evgrafovna to do so. Alexander Ivanovich assures Ableukhov that a misunderstanding has occurred, promises to settle everything and asks to immediately throw out the sardine in the Neva.
The strange word “enfranshish” is beating in Alexander Ivanovich’s head. He comes to a small house with a garden. The dacha went out to the sea with windows, a bush crashed into the window. He is greeted by the hostess Zoya Zakharovna Fleisch. She is talking to some Frenchman. Singing sounds from the next room. Zoya Zakharovna explains that this is the Persian Shishnarfiev. The last name seemed familiar to Dudkin. Comes Lippanchenko, he looks disdainfully at Dudkin, even disgusted. He talks with the Frenchman, he expects to talk to himself.
As a highbrow he addresses with Alexander Ivanovich. And now the person has power. Dudkin is suspended, he has no influence, he depends entirely on the person, and the person does not hesitate to threaten him. Dudkin comes home. On the stairs, he meets darkness and strange shadows at the door of the apartment. A guest is waiting for him in the room, Shishnarfiev, assures that St. Petersburg, a city in the swamp, is in fact the realm of the dead; recalls the meeting in Helsingfors, when Alexander Ivanovich spoke out for the destruction of culture, said that Satanism would replace Christianity. “Enfranshish!” exclaims Dudkin. “You called me, so I came,” answers the voice. The Persian is thinning, turns into a silhouette, then simply disappears and speaks already as if from Alexander Ivanovich himself. That’s who he signed with in Helsingfors, and Lippanchenko was just the image of these forces.
Heavier clinking is heard outside the window. The Bronze Horseman enters the room. He puts his hand on Dudkin’s shoulder, breaking his collarbone: “Nothing: die, be patient,” and spilled hot metal into his veins.
We need to find a metal place, in the morning understands Dudkin, goes to the store and buys scissors…
On the street, Nikolai Apollonovich meets Lihutin. He in civilian clothes, shaven, without a mustache; takes him home, carries him home for explanations, drags Ableukhov into the apartment, pushes the room into the back. Sergei Sergeyevich nervously pacing, it seems, he will now kill Ableukhov. Nikolai Apollonovich pities his pardon…
That morning Apollo Apollonovich did not go to the Institution. In her dressing-gown, with a rag in her hands, wiping the dust off the bookshelves, she finds a young, gray-haired Anninsky gentleman who came with the news of a general strike. Apollo Apollonovich resigns, began to speak at the Institution.
Apollo Apollonovich goes around his deserted house, enters the room of his son. The opened drawer of the desk attracts his attention. In absent-mindedness he takes some strange heavy object, leaves with him and forgets in his office…
Nikolai Apollonovich tried to escape from Lihutin, but was thrown back into the corner and lies humiliated, with the torn tail of the tailcoat. “I will not kill you,” Sergey Sergeyevich said. He dragged Ableukhov to his place, because Sophia Petrovna told him about the letter. He wants to lock Ableukhov, go to his house, find a bomb and throw it into the Neva. Pride awoke in Nikolai Apollonovich, he is outraged that Sergei Sergeyevich could count him as capable of killing his own father.
The dacha went out to the sea with windows, a bush crashed into the window. Lippanchenko and Zoya Zakharovna were sitting in front of the samovar. The bush was boiling. In the branches he was hiding a figure, languishing and trembling. It seemed to her, the rider with his outstretched hand points to the windows of the dacha. The figure approached the house and back again… Lilpanchenko looks around, the noise outside the windows attracts his attention, with a candle he goes around the house – no one… The little figure runs up to the house, climbs into the bedroom window and hides… The candle casts fantastic shadows, Lippinchenko locked the door and went to bed. In the approaching phosphoric twilight, a shadow clearly emerges and approaches it. Lippanchenko rushes to the door and feels like a stream of boiling water passed over his back, and then felt a jet of boiling water in his under the navel… When they came to his room in the morning, Lippanchenko was not, and there was – a corpse;
Apollo Apollonovich came to the hotel to Anna Petrovna and returned home with her… Nikolai Apollonovich in the room of his closet breaks off in search of a sardine. Nowhere is it. The servant comes in with the news – Anna Petrovna has arrived – and asks to the drawing-room. After two and a half years, the Ableukhovs again dine with the three of them… Nikolai Apollonovich decides that Lihutin has already taken away the sardine in his absence. He escorts his mother to the hotel, visits Lihutin, but in the windows of their apartment – darkness, Lihutins were not at home…
Nikolai Apollonovich could not fall asleep that night. He went out into the corridor, squatted down, exhausted from sleep. I woke up on the floor in the corridor. There was a heavy roar…
Nikolai Apollonovich ran to the place where the door to his father’s office had just been opened. There was no door: there was a huge failure. Apollo Apollonovich was sitting in the bedroom on the bed, gripping his knees with his hands, and roaring. When he saw his son, he started running away from him, ran through the corridor and locked himself in the toilet…
Apollo Apollonovich retired and moved to the village. Here he lived with Anna Petrovna, wrote memoirs, the year of his death they saw the light.
Nikolai Apollonovich, who spent all his time in a fever, went abroad to Egypt. He returned to Russia only after his father died.