A third-person narrative. A lot of general comments, reasonings of a publicistic nature. The narrative is also interrupted by memories.
March. Ivan Petrovich is a driver. He just returned from work, tired. His wife meets Alain. Suddenly he hears people cry: a fire.
Burn Orsovsky warehouses. Ivan Petrovich makes a fuss of what to take with him to extinguish the fire. He takes an ax with him. “A Russian man, and always wise, was a back mind, and he always arranged himself so that it was convenient to live and use, and not as more capable and easier to protect himself and be saved.” And then, when the village was hurriedly put on, and even more so thinking: trying to escape from the water, who thinks about the fire? “
Both parts of the warehouse are burning: both food and industrial. Ivan Petrovich immediately noticed that the spontaneous struggle with the fire was led by two reliable people: Afonya and Semyon Koltsov. Rasputin describes fire as a living being, the main property of which is greed, ferocity.
The authorities are going to.
The village was built by the forestry enterprise. It was built not for life, but for a while, until the next nomad. He will never become habitable. There are no trees or gardens in it.
In the village there is no construction of social facilities, because nothing is needed by anyone. While there is work – a tree, but after 3-4 years it will not remain, the workers will work in the
Appears head of the site Boris Timofeeich Vodnikov. He, though he always swears with everyone, knows how to lead, and you can rely on him.
Alain helps in extinguishing the fire no less than men: she saves some things.
Arkharovtsy – brigade of orgagna (hired non-local workers). They are negative characters in the story.
Valya, the storekeeper, does not want to open the warehouse, because she is afraid that she will be charged if the property is plundered in panic. Boris Timofeevich orders the Arkharov to break down the warehouse. He is looking for the chief of the ORS (warehouse), but recalls that he is at a regular meeting. Ivan Petrovich advises to put the watchman and old Khampo to prevent looting.
Sasha the Ninth, one of the Arkharovs, tells the protagonist, stopping him in front of the fire: “Not here, not here, citizen legalist.” “Burn it-who will we have the right to pump?!” In this – all of their relationship. The Arkhars are the bearers of camp concepts, the representatives of the city, where everyone treats work as a duty, to get rid of which is a worthy cause. Therefore, Ivan Petrovich is not loved for his adherence to principles. The Arkhars of Rasputin is an expression of the gloomy sides of civilization, of progress.
Ivan Petrovich lived in the village of Egorovka, and his name – Egorov. He fought as a tank driver. People began to leave the village after the war – they knew about flooding in advance. But Ivan Petrovich remained, although it was hard to look at the deserted village. He does not become a city dweller because he marries Alena, his mother is ill. And Goshka’s brother, having gone to the city, drank alcohol. In the end, he had to move to a new settlement – Sosnovka (where the events of the story take place). Ivan Petrovich thinks that he will have to move even now, although he does not want to.
Ivan Petrovich breaks into one of the warehouses. The abundant supplies of food, gradually destroyed by the chaos of panic and heat, are described menacingly, hostilely. Ivan Petrovich catches himself in a grin: after all, there is always not enough food in all logging enterprises, where does it come from? “We cried the manufactured goods warehouses, we cried the Japanese blouses and native frying pans – would it be so much compared to the outlawed ones there, in this heat?! But the food warehouses, having gone right, can still be saved now, be a car and be more order. “, the only one for the entire timber industry, another two years ago it was smashed into spare parts, it is only listed on the armament…”
The author (or the hero?) Talks about the moment when life went wrong. Everything changed when they started cutting down the forest. This is a work that does not require a soul, it is the destruction not only of the forest, but also of man. Sosnovka began as a normal village: there was mutual assistance, people communicated among themselves. But more and more began to come “light” people who did not want to acquire an au pair, but worked only for the sake of rest, food and booze. If before drinking, shy of it, now there were whole “brigades” with their leaders. The social situation is deteriorating, crime is growing. The headmaster of the school, Yuri Andreevich, counted: for the war as many villagers were killed, how many died not by their death in the young Sosnovka.
In Sosnovka do not like conscientious people. Forester Andrey Solodov once fined the timber industry for too high stumps, because of which they severely delayed their salaries. After that, he burnt the sauna and lost his horse. A similar attitude to Ivan Petrovich. He tried to prove to the head of the site that the matter was not in terms of, but in people, in natural resources. But the boss has his own worries and his bosses. Therefore, he has to give vodka to the workers at his own expense, so that they make a plan.
Ivan Petrovich lives in a world of absolute values and is ready to defend them actively. But another life position is also presented. Afonya Bronnikov, also from Yegorovka, also an honest man, says: “I think so: I work honestly, I live honestly, do not steal, I do not do it – and it’s enough.” Our business is to live right, to give an example of life, and not to put a stick in your From the stick there will not be any sense. ” Obviously, Rasputin does not agree with this position. Through the mouths of Ivan Petrovich he says: “But they were too late, too late for the example, it’s too late!”
When the fire got close to the vodka, the local residents and the Arkharsians show miracles of organization: they pass the bottles through the chain, rescuing them and as they go along. Ivan Petrovich alone rescues vegetable oil. Afonya drags him to save the flour. Someone screams, only waking up: “Goriiyim!”
Rasputin describes the psychological drama in the soul of Ivan Petrovich. Life has changed. The values of the hero ceased to be recognized by society as absolute. But he can not refuse them and can not understand the present.
Ivan Petrovich continues to save flour and sugar. He understands that it will not be possible to save everything, but there are no assistants. He begins to break the fence. And then he comes to help, oddly enough, Sasha the Ninth.
Ivan Petrovich runs into Alena. They are horrified to watch how the remnants of the manufactured goods are plundered.
With Alena, they live 32 years. 2 years ago, on the 30th anniversary of the wedding, they decided to visit the children, two daughters and a son. One daughter is a teacher in a village. The second daughter is in Irkutsk. The son is a pilot, in the village of Syrniki near Khabarovsk. Most liked Ivan Petrovich from his son: the son follows the house, grows apples, is friends with neighbors, relatives of his wife. So when he asked his parents to move in with him, Ivan Petrovich agreed.
Sosnovka can not be saved. It all began with the arrival of the last Arkharov brigade a year ago. They are very close-knit, aggressive. Ivan Petrovich tried to put them in their place, but was almost killed (they wanted to arrange an accident).
Alena worked in the library. Ivan Petrovich himself did not notice when, but the wife became an integral part of his own personality. Rasputin idealizes their relationship: complete mutual understanding. And on the issue of leaving, she had the same opinion: we must leave, but somehow not a hunt.
Ivan Petrovich helps to drag the flour. But suddenly the helpers disappear. Occasionally drunk arkharovs appear, but they are already incapable of anything. Work Ivan Petrovich and Afonya, as well as Panteleyev. Soon, there is no time left to take the bags away, they immediately drop out of the warehouse. Ivan Petrovich gets dark in his eyes.
Uncle Misha Hampo was paralyzed since childhood. His hand did not work, speech was broken. But “many words are not necessary to understand each other, many things are needed – not to understand.” Hampo everyone loved. He was hardworking. My wife died a long time, I lived alone. He always worked as a watchman, almost for free – Rasputin invests in this symbolic sense: Hampo is the keeper of values. When the theft was established, even him, the most conscientious, had to get used to.
The life of Ivan Petrovich in Sosnovka loses its meaning. He can not work only for prosperity. Work for him is the creation of something eternal. The moral foundations are destroyed, everything is mixed: good and evil. One day, Afonya asked Ivan Petrovich why he was leaving. Ivan Petrovich replied that he was tired. Afonya regrets: who will remain, what about Egorovka? Ivan Petrovich wanted to reply that Egorovka was in each of us. But Afonya had in mind just his own bizarre venture to put a monument to Egorovka on the surface of the reservoir.
The stronger the fire, the more helpers. The flour manages to save, although almost all the participants were drunk. Valya the housekeeper yelling about the fact that a lot of stolen, and her answer. Ivan Petrovich is already losing consciousness, he needs to rest. In a drunken stupor, the Arkhar people kill Hampo with a beater, but Hampo manages to crush one of them (Sonya). Lying two corpses.
The morning comes. Now there will be many commissions, the deserted ashes are cordoned off. Ivan Petrovich goes to Athos with a question: what now to do? Afonya says: we will live. Ivan Petrovich agrees.
Ivan Petrovich goes to the spring forest to rest there and calm down. He feels the awakening of the earth and all nature. And he expects that the earth will indicate where to go to him, a man who has lost his way.