Ilf and Petrov
End of spring or early summer 1930. The Cabinet of the Arbat Pre-Executive Committee includes a citizen who poses as the son of Lieutenant Schmidt and who therefore needs financial assistance.
This Ostap Bender, saved by the surgeon from death after Kisa Vorobyaninov, the hero of the novel “The Twelve Chairs”, slashed his throat with a razor.
Having received some money and food stamps, Bender sees that another young man appears in the cabinet, also representing the son of Lieutenant Schmidt. A ticklish situation is resolved by the fact that the “brothers” recognize each other. Going out onto the porch, they see that another “Lieutenant Schmidt’s son” is approaching the building – Panikovsky,
Ostap Bender tells his “dairy brother” Shura Balaganov about the dream: take five hundred thousand on a silver platter and go to Rio de Janeiro. “Once in the country some money signs wander, then there must be people who have a lot of them.” Balaganov names the name of the underground Soviet millionaire living in the city of Chernomorsk, Koreiko. Acquainted with Adam Kozlevich, the owner of the only car in the Arbatovo brand “Loren-Ditrich”, renamed Bender in “Antelope-Gnu”, young people take him with them, and along the road they pick Panikovsky who stole the goose and escapes from the pursuers.
Travelers get on the road of the rally, where they are mistaken for the participants and solemnly greeted as the head car. In the city of Udoev, a distance of a thousand kilometers from Chernomorsk, they are waiting for lunch and a rally. With two Americans stuck in the siege, Bender takes two hundred rubles for the recipe for moonshine, which they are looking for in the villages. Only in Luchansk impostors expose the telegram that came there, demanding to detain the swindlers. Soon they are overtaken by a column of participants of the rally.
In the nearest town green “Antelope-Gnu”, which is wanted, is repainted in egg-yellow color. In the same place, Ostap Bender promises to heal the monarchist Khvorobyov, who is suffering from Soviet dreams, by saving him, according to Freud, from the original source of the disease, Soviet power.
The secret millionaire Alexander Ivanovich Korejko was an insignificant employee of the financial and accounting department of an institution called Hercules. Nobody suspected that he, who received forty-six rubles a month, had a suitcase in the storage room at the station with ten million rubles in foreign currency and Soviet banknotes.
For some time now, he feels someone’s attention. That beggar with a gold tooth impudently pursues him, muttering: “Give me a million, give me a million!” They send insane telegrams, then a book about American millionaires. At the time of the old man Sinitsky’s timepiece, Koreiko unrequitedly fell in love with his granddaughter Zoshu. One day, while walking with her late at night, he is attacked by Panikovsky and Balaganov, who steals an iron box with ten thousand rubles from him.
A day later, wearing a police cap with the coat of arms of the city of Kiev, Bender goes to Koreiko to give him a box of money, but he refuses to accept it, saying that no one robbed him and he had no money to take them.
Bender moved through a newspaper ad to one of the two rooms of Vasisualia Lokhankin, from whom Varvara’s wife went to engineer Ptiburdukov. Because of the squabbles and scandals of tenants of this communal apartment, her name was “Crow’s Slobodka.” When Ostap Bender first appears in it for the first time, in the kitchen they just blow Lokhankin’s rods for not putting out the lights in the restroom.
The great combinator Bender opens on the stolen from Korejko ten thousand office for the preparation of horns and hooves. Formal head of the institution becomes Fuchs, whose work is that under any regime he sits for someone else’s bankruptcy. Finding the origin of Koreiko’s wealth, Bender interrogates the accountant Berlaga and other leaders of the Hercules. He travels to the places of Koreiko’s activities and in the end makes up his detailed biography, which he wants to sell to him for a million.
Not trusting the commander, Panikovsky and Balaganov penetrate Koreiko’s apartment and steal from him large black weights, thinking that they are made of gold. The driver of the Antelope-Gnu Kozlevich is scowled by the priests, and Bender’s intervention and a dispute with the priests are needed so that Kozlevich and the car return to Horns and Hoofs.
Bender finishes the indictment in the “Koreiko case.” He discovered and abducted him a train with food, and the creation of lime artels, and the ruined power station, and speculation in currency and furs, and the establishment of bloated joint-stock companies. An invisible clerk Koreyko was also the actual head of the Hercules, through which he pumped huge sums.
All night, Ostap Bender accuses Koreiko. The morning comes, and they go together to the station, where there is a suitcase with millions to give to Bender one of them. At this time in the city begins the educational anti-chemical alarm. Koreiko, suddenly wearing a gas mask, becomes indiscernible in the crowd of his kind. Bender, despite the resistance, is carried on a stretcher in a gas shelter, where he, incidentally, meets with Zosia Sinitskaya, the beloved girl of an underground millionaire.
So, Koreiko disappeared in an unknown direction. In “Horns and hoofs” comes an audit and takes Fuchs to prison. At night, “Crow Slobodka” burns down, where the companions live: the tenants, except Lokhankin and the old woman, who do not believe in either electricity or insurance, insured their property and set fire to their homes themselves. From ten thousand, stolen from Koreiko, practically nothing remains. On the last money Bender buys a large bouquet of roses and sends it to Zose. Having received three hundred rubles for the script just written and already lost at the film factory “Neck”, Bender buys gifts to his comrades and chic with Zosia. Suddenly, she tells Ostap that she received a letter from Koreiko from the construction of the Eastern Highway, where he works in the Northern settlement town.
Comrades urgently leave for a new address of Alexander Ivanovich Koreiko on his “Antelope-Gnu.” On a country road the car falls apart. They walk. In the nearest village, Bender takes fifteen rubles for an evening performance, which they will give on their own, but Panikovsky kidnaps a goose here, and everyone has to flee. Panikovsky does not stand the burden of the road and dies. At a small railway station, Balaganov and Kozlevich refuse to follow their commander.
On the Eastern Mainline to the place of the link between the two railways is a special letter train for government members, drummers, Soviet and foreign journalists. It turns out and Ostap Bender. The companions take him for a provincial correspondent, who has caught up with the train on an airplane, and is fed up with home provisions. Bender tells a parable about the Eternal Jew walking around Rio de Janeiro in white pants, and after crossing with the smuggling of the Romanian border by the Petlyura beaten. In lack of money, he also sells one of the journalists a manual for writing articles, feuilletons and poems for significant occasions.
Finally, at the celebration of the railway link in the thundering key, Bender finds an underground millionaire. Koreiko is forced to give him a million and in exchange burns the dossier on himself in the stove. Returning to Moscow is hampered by the absence of a ticket for a scheduled train and an aircraft special flight. It is necessary, having bought camels, to reach them through desert. The nearest Central Asian city in the oasis, where Bender and Koreiko fall, has already been rebuilt on a socialist basis.
For a month Bender did not manage to get to any hotel, theater or clothes, except in a commission shop. In the Soviet Union, everything is decided not by money, but by armor and distribution. Bender, having a million, has to impersonate an engineer, a conductor and even again for the son of Lieutenant Schmidt. In Moscow at the Ryazan station he meets Balaganov and gives him “for full happiness” fifty thousand. But in an overcrowded tram in Kalachevka, Balaganov automatically steals a penny handbag, and in front of Bender he is dragged to the police.
Neither a house to buy, nor even talk with an Indian philosopher about the meaning of life a single individual outside the Soviet collective has no possibility. Remembering Zos, Bender goes by train to Chernomorsk. In the evening, his companions in the compartment talk about getting million inheritances, in the morning – about millions of tons of cast iron. Bender shows his students with whom he made friends, his million, after which the friendship ends and the students scatter. Even the new car Kozlevichu Ostap Bender can not buy. He does not know what to do with money – to lose? send the People’s Commissar of Finance? Zosia married a young man named Femidi. “Horns and hooves,” invented by Bender, turned into a large state enterprise. 33-year-old, who is at the age of Christ, Bender has no place on the Soviet land.
March night of 1931 he crossed the Romanian border. He wears a double coat, a lot of currency and jewelry, including a rare Order of the Golden Fleece, which he calls the Golden Calf. But the Romanian frontier guards robbed Bender before the thread. By chance, he only has the order. We have to return to the Soviet shore. Monte Cristo of Ostap did not work. It remains to re-qualify as a manager.