Not far from my estate there is a young landowner, an officer in retirement, Arkady Pavlovich Penochkin. He is a sensible and educated man, he cares for his subjects and punishes them for their own good. Growth is small and not bad. From his light brown eyes and ruddy cheeks, he is bursting with health and goodwill. Arkady Pavlovich is considered one of the most educated nobles and enviable grooms of our province. He is cautious, and was not involved in any story. His house in St. Petersburg is in enviable order. Arkady Pavlovich speaks in a soft and pleasant voice, abundantly peppering the speech with phrases in French. Despite all these advantages, I visit him reluctantly. In my house, I am struck by a strange uneasiness.
Once I had to spend the night with Arkady Pavlovich. In the
With him Arkady Pavlovich seized the abyss of things and the cook. We drove for a long time, and came straight to Shipilovka. That day I had to forget about hunting and submit to my fate. At the outskirts of the village we met the headman, the son of the burmist, a huge red-haired man. Sofron himself was not at home. We drove through the village. At the sight of our carriage, people fell silent and fled. An alarming excitement spread through the village. The burmistress’s wife met us at the porch and kissed the arm of Arkady Pavlovich for a long time.
We already managed to settle in the cold hut when the burgher arrived. He was small, stout, broad-shouldered and gray, with a red nose, small blue eyes and a beard in the form of a fan. Entering the hut, he spoke in a sing-song manner and, with tears of emotion, kissed the master’s pen. We were served dinner, and the burmist all reported on business and complained that there was not enough land. He told how on the ground Penochkin found a dead body, and he ordered
The next day Arkady Pavlovich persuaded me to stay, to show me his estate. We were accompanied by Sofron. During the inspection, he pressed everything on the fact that there was not enough land, and Penochkin allowed to buy it on his behalf. Leaving the barn after inspecting the winnowing machine, we saw two men in patched shirts. The elder was called Antip. They came to complain about the bailiff. It turned out that Sofron paid for arrears for them and took them into bondage, and not just them. All the adult sons of Antipas Sofron gave to the soldiers, and the latter wanted to give. Arkady Pavlovich did not want to listen to them until the end. Until my departure he was pouting Sofron.
An hour later I was already in Ryabov and together with a familiar peasant Anadist was going to hunt. I spoke with the Anadist about Sofron. He told me that Shipilovka was only registered as Penkin, and that it was owned by the bailiff. He has much more land than Penochkin thinks, besides, the burmist is also engaged in trade. Antip somehow argued with the burmistre, and now Sofron takes revenge on him.
Peredkazala Julia Peskovaya
My neighbor is the young landowner Arkady Penochkin. An officer in retirement, a well-educated and sensible person, Penochkin cares about his people, and does not forget to punish. Arkady has a pleasant appearance, puffs up health and studies goodwill. A cautious and plausible nobleman is considered an enviable fiancé in our province. In spite of the fact that Penochkin is a nice person in every sense, I visit him reluctantly, because there is some kind of restless atmosphere in his house.
Somehow I had to spend the night with Arkady, he did not let me go in the morning without breakfast, and when he found out that I was going to Ryabovo, he offered to spend, since in those places there was his village – Shipilovka. Penochkin flattered about the burgeon Sofronet, who runs in his village.
We took with us a bunch of things, cooks and set off. Arriving in the village, I had to give up hunting and spend the whole day with Arkady. Our arrival alarmed the villagers. We were met by the son of a burmist, who served in the village as a prefect. Sofron himself was not at home, so we were met by his wife.
Later came the burmist, a short, dense man with blue eyes and a gray beard. Having seen the master, the burmist obsequiously put his lips to Arkady’s hand. We sat down to supper and Sofron began to entertain us with talk about village affairs. He mentioned the case when a landlord was found on the land of the master, and the cunning burmist ordered the body to be transferred to the neighboring territory. The master told me that since the time Sofron served as a burmistre, the peasants had no arrears.
The next morning Arkady dragged me to inspect his estate. The captain accompanied us and constantly complained that there was not enough land. The master allowed Sofron to buy more land in his own name. When we examined the next barn, men came to our meeting. They complained about the commissioner for paying the arrears for them, and now they are working for him for nothing. Arkady did not want to listen to men, but on Sofron he pouted for such treatment with peasants.
When I arrived in Ryabovo and went hunting, I asked one of my friends about Sofron. He replied that, despite the fact that Shipilovka on paper belongs to Penochkin, it is there that Sofron controls everything. And the land in his possession is much more than the master thinks.