All the inhabitants of the village called Yegor Polushkin a poor man. Where the first two letters disappeared, no one remembered. Even Polushkin’s wife, Kharitina, called her husband “a non-human overseas” and “a devil’s poor creature.” Kharitin’s family was from Zaoneezhye, and her insults began from early childhood, when a drunken priest gave her this impossible name. His own sister called her Tina, and good neighbors – Harey. Sister Marytz and lured the Polushkin to this village, built at a woodworking factory. Once around the village, boundless forests rustled. For several decades they were cut down. They remembered when there was only one grove near the Black Lake. She was recognized as “reserved” and put a forester –
The house at Buryanov’s – five-walled mansions, felled by the golden hands of Polushkina. When Egor with his wife and children – the son of Nicholas and daughter Olga, moved to the village. Burianov gave his cousin his old, unsightly hut, from where he brought out even the floors and logs from the cellar. In return, Yegor built Fedor Ipatovich a solid five-walled house, and carved a cockerel on the roof.
The son of Polushkin, Kolka, a “pure-eyed peasant”, went all over to his father. The boy was smart, patient, but very clean and trusting. He cried rarely, and not because of resentment or pain, but only because of pity and sympathy for others. And most of all Kolka was offended when his father was called a poor man. But Vovka, Burianov’s son, took offense often and strongly, and roared only because of his own grievances.
In his native collective Yegor Polushkin was in good standing, but in a new place did not work out. All the troubles Polushkin – from the fact that he did not know how to work without a soul. The first two months, when Yegor Fyodor Ipatovich was building the house from dawn to dusk, was working in joy, “as the heart commanded.” Knowing the crafty Burianov, that the master hurry – more expensive. Then they took Polushkin to the carpentry building brigade – and an endless black line began. Yegor, a skilled carpenter, did not know how to work in a hurry. He did everything without haste, as “for himself,” and ripped off the plan for the construction team.
After touching all the construction crews of the village, Polushkin got into the handymen, but here too he did not stay long. Once, on a warm May day, they instructed Polushkin to dig a trench under the sewer pipe. Yegor worked happily. The trench turned straight as an arrow, until an anthill met on its way. Pawlowed Polushkin industrious shivers, let the trench in bypass, only she realized that there are no curves of sewer pipes. This incident became known throughout the village, and finally strengthened the reputation of Polushkin for the poor man. Kolka began to come from the school bruised.
The next place of Egor’s work was the boat station. It stood near a small lake, which appeared on the site of a dammed river. The station served tourists who were drawn to this living area not only from the district center, but also from Moscow itself. Yegor’s golden hands came here by the way. The head of the boat station, “an elderly, hard-of-life tired” peasant Yakov Prokopych Sazanov, was pleased with Egorova’s work and diligence, and Polushkin himself liked the work.
And Fedor Ipatovich Buryanov, meanwhile, was summoned by a new forest warden and demanded from him all the acts for the cutting of the forest. And what acts, when Buryanova new hut-five-wall for the whole village glows.
Yegor tried the new job as best he could. Only once did he anger his boss-instead of the “black-listed” rules, he drew a funny, bright little animal or flower on the nose of each boat. Seeing Yegorov “art”, Yakov Prokopych became angry and ordered this disgrace to paint over. However, the real trouble was not to wait. The first group of tourists arrived in the boat station this year – “three peasants, and with them two babenochki.” Sazanov Polushkin allocated a valuable motor boat and ordered to transport tourists across the river. Egor took Kolka with him, to help. Tourists were transported, a place was chosen for the camp, but that’s the trouble: there was a huge anthill nearby. Yegor offered to move the camp to another clearing, but one of the tourists said that they are not an ants, and “man is the king of nature”
After the tourists spread the tablecloth, they put the food out and began to treat Yegor with Kolka. Though Polushkin’s treat was accepted, before their eyes they still had burning ants. Never Polushkin alcohol abuse, but now took over the measures, began to dance, fall. Tourists were amused, podozzhivali. Ashamed Kolka for his father. He tried to stop Egor, and Polushkin first raised his son’s hand. Kolka ran away, and Yegor went to the shore. I started the engine in a boat, but did not start it, turned it over only. So, inverted, and dragged by the rope along the shore.
Fedor Ipatovich was in a state of concern and confusion: the new forester Yury Petrovich Chuvalov demanded to pay for the logs that they went to the house. Money at Burianov were, but there was no force to part with them.
Egor took the boat to the station empty – no oar, no motor. He came to himself only two days later and rushed to search, but only in vain. All has disappeared: both the motor, and tanks and oarlocks, and tourists. Kolka left the house, a few days at the teacher Nonna Yurievna lived. For the lost good had to pay Polushkin three hundred rubles – money for him unprecedented. Burianov did not lend money, he had to cut a piglet and carry it to the city for sale. And from the tourists of those Buryans “I’ve had money”. In search of Kolka Vovka was sent. He went to the tourists and found out not only about the “show” of Yegor, but also about the fact that they do not go fishing. That’s brought them Burianov for 30 rubles on the Black Lake, in the protected area.
In the city of Polushkin deceived, and for a pig, he bailed out only 200 rubles. And then the announcement was posted on the zagotkontor: regional procurers buy from the population a waxed linden bacon and pay 50 kopecks per kilogram. While Polushkin hesitated and Fedor Ipatovich took permission, he did not lose time himself. After coming to the forest in a few days, I saw Polushkin completely peeled and ruined a lime grove.
Haritina Polushkina all this time went to the authorities and beat out a nursery for her daughter and work for herself. She began to work as a dishwasher in the dining room. Egor after a failure with a broom waved a hand and washed it down. There were friends, the Shard and Filya, taught Polushkin to shabashit, deceive people and take money from the house.
One of these shabas met Polushkin and Nonna Yurievna. Kolkina was a teacher from Leningrad. In this deaf village she fell after graduation from the institute. Nonna Yurevna lived here as a gray mouse, but rumors of a young and unmarried teacher all the same crept – they were spread by their mistress, who had a teacher. Then Nonna Yurievna showed perseverance and knocked out a separate house – a hut with a leaky roof. On the repair of this roof and hired Nonna three shabashnikov, Polushkina, pottery and Filya. Egor did not begin to deceive the teacher. And the money, which was not enough for repairs, gave Haritina.
The new forester Yuri Petrovich Chuvalov, like the teacher Nona Yurievna, was from Leningrad. His parents died one year after the victory, and a young neighbor was raised by Yura. I learned about this Chuvalov only at the age of 16, but the woman who raised him was left as a mother for Yuri Petrovich. Of course, all this Fedor Ipatovich did not know when he was going to the regional center to hand over to the forest ranger a certificate of payment of the forest, which went to the construction of the Buryanovskaya five-walled building. Here are just references to this was not enough. Yuri Petrovich needed permission to cut a pine forest. In vain did Fyodor Ipatovich whine and wriggle out-Chuvalov was adamant, and his daddy with Buryanov’s references left him.
This Chuvalov did not intend to give anyone a folder, just “could not deny himself the pleasure of leaving Fyodor Ipatovich alone with fear.” However, to visit this distant corner of his farm Yuri Petrovich nevertheless gathered, the good was the occasion: to transfer the parcel to the local teacher from his mother.
In the life of Polushkin again began a “fast lane.” He helped Nonna Yuryevna from the bottom of her heart and did not bother her with “construction” problems. He decided everything himself. Kolka helped his father, although all his thoughts were about Olya Kuzina and about the puppy. In a classmate Olya Kolka was in love, but only Kuzina herself looked solely at his cousin Vovka. A puppy Kolka traded from Vovka for a new compass, saved when Buryanov, Jr. decided to drown the animal. Now the puppy lived at the Burianovs, and Vovka fed him every other day, but Kolka did not give it, he demanded “real price”.
In the midst of this turbulent activity, a new forester came to the house of Nonna Yurievna. Learning that the Chuvalov is going to the Black Lake, Nonna Yurievna advised to take in the conductors of Egor. Yuri Petrovich took to the Black Lake not only Egor and Kolka, but also Nonna Yurievna herself. Kolke forest ranger gave a special assignment: to write down in the notebook all the animals he met on the way. On the way, Nonna Yurievna, a city resident, managed to get lost, but to the Black Lake, everyone was safe and sound. Yuri Petrovich said that earlier this lake was called Lebyazhy.
At the lake found an old camp of tourists and Chuvalov ordered to wipe out a new pillar, marking a reserved place. Only not above the post worked Yegor, when everyone dispersed. He saw him somehow in the morning Nonna swimming in the lake, and cut out from the curve trunk the figure of a naked woman. Cut out – and was scared: he scolded his forester on unauthorized art. However, Chuvalov did not quarrel – the figure turned out to be a real work of art.
Fyodor Ipatovich meanwhile found out that Yegor the forester on the Black Lake led, and harbored anger – decided that Polushkin in his place marks. Two of the bottoms Buryanov frowned, “thought his cast-iron spun,” and then smiled maliciously. Well, Egor was happy. Still no one had ever spoken to him so respectfully, Yegor Savelich did not exalt him and did not take his art seriously. Kolka was also lucky: gave him a real Chukvalov spinning.
After this campaign, Chuvalov realized that no one would look after the protected area better than Polushkin. So Yegor became a forester instead of Burianov. Polushkin got down to business zealously. Forest cleared, and instead of “forbidding” tablets hung on the reserve shields with poems “on the order” of Kolkina’s composition. Yegor drove out of the forest and Filyu with the Skull, who illegally felled the forest.
And Nonna Yurievna meanwhile gathered in the regional center – she contracted to buy a globe, maps and sports equipment for the school. Arriving in the city, she called Yuri Petrovich, who invited her to dinner. Nonna discovered “that in her until now two completely opposite creatures peacefully coexisted” – an adult, self-assured woman, and a cowardly girl. It was the woman who spent the night with Chuvalov, and afterwards Yuri Petrovich confessed that he was married. The marriage of Chuvalov was strange. When he worked in the Altai forestry, a young intern Marina came to him from Moscow. After spending the night with her, Yuri immediately married, and three days later the young wife flew to Moscow. Two months later, Marina reported that she had “lost” her passport with a stamp on marriage and received a new, clean one. Chuvalov did not lose his passport, but I tried to forget about this story. Several years later, Yuri learned that Marina had given birth, but whether it was his child – did not say. Nonna, he did not have time to explain anything – after hearing about marriage, she got dressed and left. Arriving in the village in a few days, Chuvalov learned that Nonna had left for Leningrad.
In the village Chuvalov arrived not just because he brought a boss, who liked Kolkin’s compositions. Then Chuvalov also told Polushkin “the history of his family life.” A week later, a call came from Moscow – Yegor Polushkin was invited to the All-Union Conference of Forestry Workers. In Burianov’s case, it did not matter at all – they were interested in the threat.
In Moscow, Egor rode through the regional center, but Yuri Petrovich was not there – he left for Leningrad. In the capital, Polushkin “participated in the debate” and visited the zoo. He arrived in Moscow with the money almost all residents of the village and a list of “orders”, but, being in the zoo, forgot about the list and bought two pairs of live swans. Polushkin wanted to make the lake become Swan again. And Polushkin found Marina, the wife of Yuri Petrovich, and learned that he had a different family for a long time.
Swans Polushkin arranged in a house near the Black Lake, and on the sides of the house two more birds were put out of a light tree. Yuri Petrovich returned from Leningrad alone. Nonna refused to return, and Polushkin was already thinking: should he go to Leningrad?
That night, when Polushkin heard a strange noise in his forest, “the marvel was mad”. On the eve of the village store, Kolka met the tourist who set fire to an anthill, with a full string of vodka. That’s why Yegor drove his horse through the night, autumn and wet forest, even Kharitina could not resist. Explosions came from the Black Lake – they silenced the fish. Running out into the light, to the fire, Yegor saw over the fire a bowler hat from which swan paws peeped out. The remaining swans, already plucked, lay near the fire, and in the fire burned the fifth swan, wooden. The poachers of these on the lake brought Phil with the Skull, they also beat him, and somebody tried to kick a third dog. We found Egor in the evening of the next day. He crawled to the house, and behind him from the lake stretched a bloody trail.
Polushkina was questioned by the investigator in the hospital, but Yegor did not give out those whom he recognized. And he recognized not only former friends, but also Fedor Ipatovich. Burianov came to the hospital to ask for forgiveness, brought a bottle of expensive cognac. Yegor forgave, but did not want to brandy, and Fyodor Ipatovich seemed bitterly dear to the French drink. He closed his eyes and “overstepped the pain, sadness and longing”, and then galloped on horseback “to where the endless battle is going and where the black creature wriggles, still spewing evil.” Kolka gave Vovka spinning for his puppy.
Getting into the forest, the author always remembers Egor and those who knew him. “The shard fell under orders,” and Phil continues to drink and shabashit. Every spring he paints a tin obelisk on the grave of Polushkin. The house was taken away from Fedor Ipatovich, and he left with the whole family. On the Black Lake – another forester, so Kolka does not like to go there. Yuri Petrovis Chuvalov got an apartment and married a pregnant Nonna Yuryevna. Almost the entire largest room of Chuvalov’s apartment is occupied by the figure of a woman carved by Egor. And Lebedin never saw the Black Lake, “it must be now to Kolka.”