Summary of “Listrigonov”

Summary of “Listrigonov”

In October, after the departure of the summer residents, in Balaklava becomes fresh, cozy and at home in a businesslike manner. All the ancient Greek population of the city creeps out onto the street. Now all the residents’ interest is focused on the fish. In the coffee houses fishermen gather and the ataman is elected. At nine o’clock in the evening the city plunges into a dream, and nowhere in Russia there is such silence, as in Balaklava.

Near Balaklava is a mountain, like a fairy monster. When you look at her in mind, Homer’s verse about the narrow black sea bay, in which Odysseus saw the bloodthirsty lystrongs, sweeps.

It’s autumn, the water is getting colder, and while only a small mackerel fish is caught. Among the fishermen, Yura Paratino, a

small, strong, salted and grilled Greek of about forty years, enjoys special respect. Yura – the bravest, the most dexterous and the most cunning among fishermen. Still mackerel only thinks of going from Kerch, and already Yura knows where to put the plant.

The first long-awaited barge sells fish at the highest price. And first comes Jura. While he is trading, the other longboats just enter the bay, trying to outrun each other, as the prices for the fish all fall and fall.

After the arrival of the longboats, Yura enters the coffee shop and treats all the coffee with a broad gesture. And the whole of Balaklava stinks unbearably with fish.

In the evening all coffee tables are occupied in the cafes. Someone is playing something, some are bored. Several fishermen leave the coffee shop, as the bay is full of cedar. Dolphins, or, as they are called here, pigs, drove fish into the bay and rush through the bay, devouring it. Fishermen have set up their networks, although this is a crime: in the bay it is allowed to fish only for bait.

The fishermen return to the coffee shop and catch a roguish glance: they are not the only ones who are engaged in poaching.

In winter, fishermen catch the beluga. In huge boots, waterproof raincoats and leather pants, they go on longboats to the open sea. Every ataman has his

secret places. For a long journey to the open sea, the helper makes gear. The next day or every other day the fishermen pull out the tackles and, if lucky, bring the beluga.

Once a young fisherman Vanya Andrutsaki goes to sea in bad weather, which fishermen usually do not do. First there are several belugochki, then catching goes worse, hooks are empty. Suddenly one of the fish caught was startled. This is a good sign for the fishermen – waiting for her friend. Vanya immediately sees in his move a huge fish and informs his artel about it, although to prevent events forbids the fishing habit. The fish swiftly rushes down and carries away the gear. The fishermen rush after her, the hook of the drop pierces Vanya in the palm of his hand, the tangles get confused, the boat jumps along the waves, but Vanya brings his work to the end. Artel sells fish at a good price, Balaklava fishermen go to Sevastopol, walk there to glory, and behind Vanya fixed the glory of this salty ataman.

Lord fish

Another salt ataman Kolya Kostandi knows many legends. Once the catch was bad, but there was one small fish with two small spots on its sides, which was called the Lord. If it is pulled out of the sea for a second, it no longer exists. When Jesus was resurrected, and no one recognized him, he came to the mother who was frying fish. Mother said that he must create a miracle, then she will believe. Jesus took the fish with two fingers and the fish came to life. Since then, there are two spots on the fish, a trace of the fingers of the Lords. Also it is called Zeusov’s fish.

When the bora is blowing, or northeast, a furious mysterious wind that beats trees and telegraph poles, fishermen do not go to sea – it is possible to disappear without a trace. One of the fishermen, Vanya Andrutsaki, went out, despite the bora, and returned back. For three days his longboat was running around the sea. After three days without sleep, eating and drinking, Vanya could not remember what happened to him. No one in Balaklava was sleeping, everyone was waiting for the return of the fishermen.

Returning, the fishermen went to the coffee shop, demanded wine and danced to the music like crazy. Having fallen asleep, they looked at their trip as if for a walk to Sevastopol.

The ships do not enter the Balaklava bay, but during the Sevastopol siege the bay contained almost a quarter of the allied fleet. According to the legend of the Greeks it is believed that only thanks to the stamina of the Greek battalion Sevastopol held out so long. Once Nikolay I. came to his greeting. “Hello, guys!”, The Balaklava battalion did not answer, and the surprised emperor was explained that there were no children, some captains. And until now a good third of the Balaklava inhabitants bear the surname of the Captain.

They say that here, seeking rescue from the storm, once sank the English squadron with a lot of gold on board. And all of a sudden a huge, old-fashioned design, an unusually dirty ship of Genoa, unexpectedly entered the bay. All the male population of Balaklava gathered at the pier, wondering who it was. The sailors turned out to be Italians. There are rumors that they want to raise English ships. Nobody believes in success of this, as many unsuccessfully tried to obtain sunken gold.

Among the Italians was the diver Salvatore Trama, who told strange things. As he descended to the bottom of the Bay of Biscay and met there with an electric ramp, he saw dead sailors thrown overboard the ship, and how his relative had hallucinations.

The Italians lived on a ship and rarely came ashore. With the fishermen they had polite, cold relations. True, once the fishermen rendered to the Italians a favor – they rescued their small boat when it stormed into the sea.

With the help of the new apparatus, the Tram plunged into the water. The dive was successful, but after returning, choking, with a black face from the blood, Trama said that the ship was heavily sucked into the bottom, and it was impossible to lift it.

The Italians were about to sail, but then came the day of the baptism of the Lord. They were greeted with applause of the one who drew the cross thrown from the water by the priest.


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Summary of “Listrigonov”