Summary Badge of Trouble

Summary Badge of Trouble

V. V. Bykov
Sign of trouble
Stepanida and Petrok Bogatka live on the farm Jáchymovschina, three kilometers from the town of Vyselki. Their son Fedya serves in tank troops, the daughter of Fenya studies “on the doctor” in Minsk. The war begins. The front is rapidly rolling to the east, the Germans are coming. There comes a terrible life in the unpredictability of new misfortunes.
At first, the Germans only manage the place and do not visit the village. The first are “their own” – policemen Guzh and Kolondenok. Kolondenok once, at the time of collectivization, was a village boy in errands. Although Guzh is Petrok’s distant relative, he roughly degrades the owners, demanding unquestioning obedience. Petroc suffers insults and threats, Stepanida keeps herself proud and provocative. Guzh recalls that she was a collective farm activist, and threatened with reprisal. Finally policemen leave, having drunk brought with them a moonshine. Stepanida scolds her husband for his ingratiating behavior. The arrival of the Polizei was not accidental – Guzh had looked after the farm for the standing of the German officer with the team. A few days later, the Germans arrive on a heavy truck. They order the owners to wash the hut for the officer, Stepanida and Petrok themselves are driven out to live in the boiler-house. The Germans are making a complete rout of the farm. The hosts are watching with fear all this and are waiting for

more troubles. When Stepanida tries to show that the cow gives little milk, the Germans milk the cow themselves and beat the hostess for “resistance.” The next time Stepanida secretly throws out all the milk in the grass. Not having received milk, the sergeant-major fires the cow. While the Germans are working with the cow carcass, Stepanida manages to hide behind the farm, in a badger hole, a surviving pig. Helps her in this deaf-mute shepherdess Yanka. At night Stepanida steals the rifle of the cook and throws it into the well. The next morning, the Germans shake up the whole outpost in search of a rifle, taking Petrok’s violin at the same time. In the daytime he is forced to dig for a cloister for an officer. Encouraged by the fact that the officer praised him for his work, Petroc decides to go to ask the violin in the evening. He plays the Germans for a long time. The violin is returned. At night, close shots and shouts are heard: “Banditen!” The Germans drag Yanka into the yard, it is not known why he came to the farm. The next day, after the arrival of a messenger on a motorcycle, the Germans gather and leave the farm. Stepanida seems that she ceases to feel herself in this world, and thinks only: for what? Why did such a punishment fall on her, on people? And the memory carries it to ten years ago… that she ceases to feel herself in this world, and thinks only: for what? Why did such a punishment fall on her, on people? And the memory carries it to ten years ago… that she ceases to feel herself in this world, and thinks only: for what? Why did such a punishment fall on her, on people? And the memory carries it to ten years ago…
Then a collective farm was organized in Vyselky. At the next meeting, an authorized representative from the district spoke, scolded everyone for being unconscious – except for the members of the comrade, no one was registered in the collective farm. The eighth meeting ended the same way. A day later, a representative of the Okrug Novik applied a new method of organizing the collective farm: the squad was put on the question of dekulakization of those who did not want to sign up. Intimidating the members of the comrades with the repetitive words “sabotage” and “deviationism”, Novik tried to ensure that the preponderance in the vote was for dekulakization. At these meetings there was a boy running errands at the village council – the Potapka Kolondenok overgrown, who used everything he heard in his notes to the district newspaper. Then the members of the comrade read with horror these notes signed by the pseudonym Gramotey. They mentioned many small townspeople, not fists at all. But since they used hired force, they were dekulakized. Stepanida recalls the grief of families who were thrown out of their houses on the snow, taken away with small children to the unknown. Militiaman Vasya Goncharik, from the local, after he dispossessed the family of his beloved girl, shot himself. He was the elder brother of Yankee, who was then three years old and who, who became a deaf-mute for the rest of his life, will be shot by Germans on the farm of Jáchymovschina.
He remembers Stepanida and how Petrokom got this farm. It belonged to Pan Jachymovsky, an impoverished nobleman, a lonely old man. Stepanida and Petrokom, married, worked with the old man and lived with him on the farm. After the revolution, they began to take property and land from the people and divide them among the poor. Farms went to the Gods; from the vast landed estates that Yakhimovsky rented, Stepanida and Petroc cut two tithes on the mountain. To take away the misfortunes from the earth, Petroc placed a cross on the mountain, and the people nicknamed this mountain Golgotha. When Stepanida came to Yakhimovsky to apologize – she was tormented by the conscience that she owns other people’s property, – the old man replied: “Ban Jesus will forgive.” Stepanida was justified, they say, not by them, they would still be given to others, but the old man said in a pity: “But you did not refuse…” her sign. So it happened. Pala horse, clay land did not bear, and the whole difficult life did not bring the Gods either happiness or joy. Then – collectivization with its human grief, hopeless collective farm work, and now – the war… her sign. So it happened. Pala horse, clay land did not bear, and the whole difficult life did not bring the Gods either happiness or joy. Then – collectivization with its human grief, hopeless collective farm work, and now – the war…
For the murdered Yanka come Guzh and Kolondenkom on the cart. Guzh orders Petroc to go to work to finish building the bombed-out bridge. From work Petroc comes barely alive. He decides to drive out the moonshine to pay off the policemen. For the coil for the apparatus, he exchanges his violin. But moonshine does not help – the policemen demand it more and more, once the policemen and the police from the remote village come in. Not finding the moonshine, which has already taken Guzh, the “foreign” policemen beat the hosts to death. Petroc decides to end the moonshine – he breaks the apparatus, digs out a bottle of pervas hidden in the forest, carries it home to treat the beaten Stepanida. It already waits for Guzh. Despair causes Petroc to scream at the policemen and Germans all the curses that have accumulated in his soul. Policemen beat him, drag him, half-dead, to a place – and Petroc disappears forever. .. A person who has never done evil to anyone, weak-willed, has lost his life, but once he touched the ruthless millstones of history. Once upon a time in the snow, some cars were stuck in the highway near the farm. People from the cars went into the house to warm themselves. The main one, looking at the hard life of the owners, gave them a chervonetz – for a medicine for a sick daughter. This man was the chairman of the Central Executive Committee of Belarus, Chervyakov. And when they arrested the chairman of the collective farm Levon, Stepanida collected signatures from the collective farmers under a letter about the innocence of the chairman and sent Petrok to Minsk – to give a letter to Chervyakov and at the same time to repay the debt – a chervonetz. Petroc was late for the day – Chervyakov was already buried… Once upon a time in the snow, some cars were stuck in the highway near the farm. People from the cars went into the house to warm themselves. The main one, looking at the hard life of the owners, gave them a chervonetz – for a medicine for a sick daughter. This man was the chairman of the Central Executive Committee of Belarus, Chervyakov. And when they arrested the chairman of the collective farm Levon, Stepanida collected signatures from the collective farmers under a letter about the innocence of the chairman and sent Petrok to Minsk – to give a letter to Chervyakov and at the same time to repay the debt – a chervonetz. Petroc was late for the day – Chervyakov was already buried… Once upon a time in the snow, some cars were stuck in the highway near the farm. People from the cars went into the house to warm themselves. The main one, looking at the hard life of the owners, gave them a chervonetz – for a medicine for a sick daughter. This man was the chairman of the Central Executive Committee of Belarus, Chervyakov. And when they arrested the chairman of the collective farm Levon, Stepanida collected signatures from the collective farmers under a letter about the innocence of the chairman and sent Petrok to Minsk – to give a letter to Chervyakov and at the same time to repay the debt – a chervonetz. Petroc was late for the day – Chervyakov was already buried… Stepanida collected signatures from the collective farmers under a letter about the innocence of the chairman and sent Petrok to Minsk – to give a letter to Chervyakov and at the same time to repay the debt – a chervonetz. Petroc was late for the day – Chervyakov was already buried… Stepanida collected signatures from the collective farmers under a letter about the innocence of the chairman and sent Petrok to Minsk – to give a letter to Chervyakov and at the same time to repay the debt – a chervonetz. Petroc was late for the day – Chervyakov was already buried…
Stepanida, recovering from the beating, after hearing the massacre of Guzha over Petrok, decides to take revenge on the policemen, the Germans – all who have destroyed the already miserable life. She knows that at the bridge someone from the local took an unexploded bomb. Stepanida is sure that only Cornila could do it. She goes to the place to try to send something to eat Petroku in jail and ask Kornily for a bomb. She is driven from prison by taking the transfer. Sly Kornila agrees to bring her a bomb on the cart – in exchange for the surviving pig. Stepanida decides to bomb the bridge with a bomb, which is already built anew. Stepanida bury the bomb in the ground until now. In the town she meets a convoy leading somewhere to Kornilu, and in fear she returns home to hide the bomb better. Exhausted, Stepanida lays down to rest in the boiler-house. The policemen break into the door, they demand, so she showed where the bomb was. Stepanida does not open. The door begins to break, shoot through it. Stepanida pours the inside of the heater from the inside with kerosene and sets it on fire. Thinking that the bomb is inside, the policemen scatter. No one extinguishes the blazing flame, fearing a powerful bomb explosion. “But the bomb was waiting for its time.”


Summary Badge of Trouble