Zhenya Lewers was born and grew up in Perm. In the summer they lived on the banks of the Kama River at the dacha. One day, waking up in the middle of the night, Zhenya was frightened by the lights and sounds on the other side of the river and burst into tears. Father, entering the nursery, shamed her and briefly explained: this is Motovilikha. The next morning the girl learned that Motovilikha was a state factory and made cast iron there… She did not deliberately set the most significant, disturbing questions. This morning she left the infancy in which she was still at night, for the first time suspecting a phenomenon in something that the phenomenon leaves to itself or opens only to adults.
Years passed. For Zhenya, these were years
In Yekaterinburg, life has gone in a new way. Seryozha and Zhenya entered the gymnasium. A friend appeared – Liza Defendova, the daughter of a psalm-reader. Seryozha made friends with the Ahmedyan brothers.
Among his father’s colleagues was a handsome Belgian, Negarat, soon forced to return to his homeland. Before leaving, he said that he left some of his books from Tsvetkov. If desired, Lewers can use them.
One day in August, Zhenya climbed onto the woodpile and saw a strange garden. Three strangers in the garden looked at something. After a while they went to the gate, and a short, lame man carried a large album or atlas behind them. The limping young man continued to occupy it in the days that followed. She saw him with her tutor Wild going out of the bookshop, where a minute later he and Seryozha went in behind Turgenev. It turns out that the lame one was the same Tsvetkov, of which Negarat spoke.
Once the parents gathered in the theater, and Zhenya sat down for an
Living with strangers, Zhenya first measured the depth of her affection for her mother. She suddenly felt that she was terribly like her. It was a feeling of a woman, feeling her appearance and charm. From the room assigned to her, she did not come out with her own, changed, new gait.
At night at the Defendovs she again saw Tsvetkov, Lame walked away from the window with a lamp raised in his hand. Behind him, long shadows moved along, swaying, and behind them a sledge, which quickly flared up: they rolled into darkness.
On her return home, she was explained the reason for her mother’s illness. At the end of the performance, their stallion began to beat, recovered and killed the passer-by at the moment of the appearance of the passer-by, and her mother fell ill with a nervous breakdown. “Then a dead brother was born?” asked Zhenya, who had heard about this from the Defendovs.
In the evening a tutor, dejected by something, came. His friend, Tsvetkov, died. Zhenya screamed and rushed out of the room. “How can we explain this splash in sensitivity?” Dikikh thought, “Obviously, the deceased made a particularly deep impression on this little woman, who has his own name.”
Here he was mistaken. The impression was indeed vital and significant, but its meaning was that another person entered the life of her, the third person, that which the evangelical commandments mean when they speak of love for one’s neighbor.