Summary of “Sotnikov” Bykov

Sotnikov and Rybak, who were given the task of finding products for the partisans, walked through the winter fields, trying not to catch sight of the Germans. Sotnikov did not feel at all important – he was tormented by a cough, he could hardly walk. Entering one of the villages, they found the elders’ house, who told them that “to his people” he was “not the enemy.” Rybak and Sotnikov took a sheep from him and went on.

Further the path lay across the field, where it was difficult to hide. Rybak and Sotnikov heard the noise of the submarine, it was necessary to quickly run forward to get to the coppice, but Sotnikov could not do it – he was very weak. Then, hearing the order will stop, he lay down in the field and began to shoot. After receiving the wound, he thought only that Rybak might have reached a safe place – Sotnikov did not want that because he could not move quickly, Rybak and the partisans who needed food were injured.

But Rybak did not go away – he returned for Sotnikov, and helped him to get to the nearest village, where they entered the house, in which there were four children. The oldest girl was 9 years old, she fed them with boiled potatoes. The fisherman told Sotnikov that he would leave him in this house, and he himself would go further. At that moment a mother of children entered the house. She first took Rybak and Sotnikov for the Germans, and then, learning that they were Red Army men, she began to treat the wound on Sotnikov’s leg. The fisherman, looking out of the window, saw that policemen came to the house. Demichikh (so everyone called the woman) told Rybak and Sotnikov to go up to the attic. Policemen came for vodka and were about to leave when they heard a cough coming from the attic. They seized Rybak and Sotnikov, and along with them, Demichikh was also arrested.

On the way to the police station Sotnikov worried only that because of him, and arrested Rybak, and the mother of four children. At the interrogation Sotnikov did not say anything to the investigator, despite the torture. But Rybak tried

to politely and in detail answer the questions of the investigator, and he offered him to serve Germany in the police, if what he had said would turn out to be true. Returning to the basement and seeing what had become of Sotnikov, Rybak rejoiced in the soul that he had not been subjected to such tortures.

And in the morning everyone who was in the basement – and besides Rybak and Sotnikov, there was Demicikh, the headman from whom they took the sheep, and who was arrested for not giving them out, and the Jewish girl, was brought to “liquidation” . And then Rybak, coming forward, told the investigator that he agreed to serve in the police. Sotnikov was ashamed both for him and for the fact that he, Sotnikov, could not save people who were in trouble because of him, but he thought that he had no right to judge Rybak. They were brought to the place of execution, where five rope loops were already prepared. The fisherman helped Sotnikov to climb a low stool, and himself knocked out this bench from under Sotnikov’s feet. After the execution, Rybak was ordered to join other police officers. At first he still hoped that right now he could escape, get to his own,

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Summary of “Sotnikov” Bykov