Alyosha went to Kazan. The young man wanted to go to university, dreamed of learning. However, everything turned out differently.
Upon arrival in the city, the hero began to understand that he would not be able to enter the university. The Evreinov family lived modestly, it was impossible for her to feed another person. Alexey understood this and tried every time to leave the house.
Soon Alyosha began to make friends with the worker of the printing house Guriy Pletnev. After hearing the story about the life of Lesha, Pletnev offered to stay with him and study. The young man agreed and began to live in a huge house among students and the urban poor.
The morning of Alexei began with a campaign for hot water, and during tea drinking Guriy shared interesting news stories. Pletnev worked at night, slept during the day. When Guriy was in the apartment, Alexei worked at the Volga – he helped with sawing wood, worked as a loader. So passed the winter, spring and summer.
In the middle of autumn Alexey Peshkov met Andrey Stepanovich Derenkov, who was the owner of a small grocery store. Nobody would have guessed that Derenkov often gathered young people with revolutionary moods, and in the closet – a whole library of banned literature.
Peshkov became Derenkov’s friend, helped with work, read various books. In the evenings, Andrei Stepanovich’s apartment was attended by high-school students and students. These young people were
New friends Alexei worried about Russia, for the fate of their native people. It seemed to Peshkov that they were voicing his thoughts. Sometimes he was sure that he had seen much and knew more about life than the rest..
After a while Peshkov settled down to work for Semenov – the owner of the bakery. Working conditions were terrible: the basement, mud, insane heat – and so fourteen hours a day! Alexei was surprised at how the workers endured all this and secretly read from them the forbidden publications.
Derenkov opened a new bakery and invited Lesha to work there. All the money from this earnings was used for revolutionary needs. At night, Peshkov prepares bread, and early in the morning delivers him to the students in the dining room. Under the flour products were hidden leaflets, books and pamphlets intended for distribution to the “right” people.
In the bakery was located a special room, where like-minded people gathered. But soon the police and the policeman had suspicions, and Alyosha was constantly interrogated.
A frequent visitor to the “secret room” was Romas Mikhail Antonovich, who was often called “Khokhlom”. He went through the Yakut stages and came to Krasnovidovo with the writer Korolenko. In the village, Khokhol started fishing and opened a small shop – all this served as a “cover”. In fact, active revolutionary propaganda was conducted among the local population.
One summer Romas offered Peshkov to move to the village. Alexei was supposed to assist in the sale of goods, and Mikhail Antonovich would help him with his studies. Alyosha gladly agreed. In the house of the master he spent a lot of time reading, talking with the owner, participated in general meetings with local peasants.
The townsfolk and the village elder went to Mikhail very badly. One day they set fire to a shop with all the good that had been acquired. Peshkov was in the attic then and first of all tried to save the literature, but then threw himself out of the window.
After this incident, Mikhail Antonovich decided to move to another city. When he said goodbye to Alexei, he advised that he treats all events calmly, for all that is not done is necessarily for the better.
Then Peshkov turned twenty. Strong, strong young man with blue eyes. Alexei’s face was rude, with powerful cheekbones, but when a smile appeared on it – the person visibly changed.
Since childhood Alyosha was very angry when someone was offended. He never liked greedy people who had to live. The young man was always ready to argue and rebel against injustice. Grandmother always taught her grandson to remember only good, and evil – to forget. Alexei could not live like this, he thought that the “evil” must be fought. Peshkov strongly attached himself to good people, which he met almost everywhere. For himself, he firmly decided that he would be honest and do good deeds for the benefit of others.
Reading literature was only good, Alex seriously and carefully chose books. From an early age he loved grandmother’s songs and fairy tales, with special trepidation recalled the poems of Lermontov and Pushkin…
The guy wanted to be something like the heroes of works, to be wise and faithful to his good work. Dreams about university studies collapsed, a kind of “university” for him was life itself. And about this he shared a little later in his third autobiographical book “My Universities”.