Notes of a hunter: Kasyan with a beautiful sword
The author returns to the cart with a hunt. The path crosses the mourning train: a priest and men with naked heads carry a coffin. In the people it is considered that to meet on the road of the deceased is a bad omen.
After some time the driver stops, tells the author that their cart broke the axis, and adds that the accompanying coffin to the women learned who they are burying (Martyna the carpenter). On the broken axis, the author and the driver somehow get to the Yudin settlement, consisting of six small, low huts. In the two huts, no one is found, finally, in the courtyard of the third house, the author stumbles upon a man sleeping on the stove. After waking him up, he discovers that it’s a “dwarf of about fifty, small, with a small, swarthy face and a wrinkled nose, brown, barely perceptible eyes and curly, thick black hair.” The dwarf was extremely thin and frail. The author asks
where you can get a new axis, the dwarf in the answer is interested, whether they are hunters. Having received an affirmative answer, the dwarf says: “The birds of the sky are shooting, I suppose? Yes, beasts of the forest? And it’s not a sin for you to kill God’s birds, to shed innocent blood? “The author is surprised, but nevertheless repeats his request.” The old man refuses, says that there is no one to help anyone, and he himself is tired, since he went to the city. The dwarf agrees to take the travelers to the felling site, where, in his words, one can find a good oak axis. The driver sees the dwarf and greets him, calling him Kasyan and informs about the mourning procession he met on the way, blames Kasyan for not curing Mar (Kasyan the doctor), Kasyan accompanies the author and the driver before cutting down, then asks the author where he is going, and when he finds out that he is hunting, he asks for him. On the way, the author watches Kasyan: Kasyan walks unusually agile and jumps up on running, it is no accident that fellow villagers nicknamed him “flea”. Kasyan whistles
with the birds, bends down, tears off some grass, puts them in his bosom, mutters something to himself, from time to time glances at the author with a strange, inquiring glance. They go for a long time, the game does not fall. Finally, the author notices a bird, shoots, falls. Kasyan at this time closes his eyes and does not move, then comes to the place where the bird fell, shakes his head and mutters that it’s a sin. It should describe the beautiful day, the spiritualized Russian nature. Suddenly Kasyan asks why the “master” killed the bird. When the author responds that the corpse is game and it can be eaten, Kasyan argues that the author killed him not because he was hungry, but for his fun. He says that a “free bird” is not put to man for food,
When the author is interested, it is not sinful, according to Kasyan, to kill the fish, he answers that “the fish is a mute creature, it has cold blood,” that it “does not feel”, and blood is a “holy cause”. The author asks what Kasyan lives, what he does. He responds that he lives “as the Lord commands,” and until the spring of nightingales he catches, but does not kill them, because “death will take its toll.” He recalls Martyn, a carpenter who “did not live long and died, and his wife is now being killed about her husband, about small children.” Caught by nightingales, Kasyan gives “good people.” The author is perplexed and asks what else Kasyan is doing. He says that he is not doing anything any more, because he is a bad worker. However, he is literate. He has no family. Then the author asks if Kasyan really cures. After receiving an affirmative answer, the author is interested in why Kasyan did not cure Martyn the carpenter. Kasyan says that he learned late about the disease, and besides, everyone still dies when someone is written in the family. Further, Kasyan says that he himself, with Krasivoy Swords, has got a verst 100 miles from here, that they moved them here four years ago. Kasyan recalls the beauty of his native places, says that he does not mind going to his homeland. It turns out that Kasyan went to Simbirsk, Moscow, “Okookormilitsa”, and “Volgumatushka” a lot, “he saw a lot of people” and “visited the cities honestly”. that he himself, with the Beautiful Sword, had gotten miles from a hundred miles away, that they had moved them here four years ago. Kasyan recalls the beauty of his native places, says that he does not mind going to his homeland. It turns out that Kasyan went to Simbirsk, Moscow, “Okookormilitsa”, and “Volgumatushka” a lot, “he saw a lot of people” and “visited the cities honestly”. that he himself, with the Beautiful Sword, had gotten miles from a hundred miles away, that they had moved them here four years ago. Kasyan recalls the beauty of his native places, says that he does not mind going to his homeland. It turns out that Kasyan went to Simbirsk, Moscow, “Okookormilitsa”, and “Volgumatushka” a lot, “he saw a lot of people” and “visited the cities honestly”.
In his native place, despite this, did not go, and now regrets it. Kasyan begins to hum the song, which he composes here, on the run. This surprises the author. Suddenly the author and Kasyan meet a girl of eight, with whom Kasyan greets and in relation to whom the author notices his companion with incomprehensible tenderness. The author asks if it’s his daughter, but Kasyan avoids answering, calling the girl “a relative.” The author does not succeed in extracting anything from Kasyan. After returning to the settlement. Kasyan suddenly confesses that it was he who “took all the game away to the master.” The author is skeptical of this statement. Annushki (whom the author and Kasyan met in the forest) is not in the hut, but there is a body with mushrooms, which she collected. Kasyan suddenly becomes silent and unfriendly, food and drink for the horses of the guests turn out to be bad. Fixing the axis, the author and the driver with displeasure leave. The dear author tries to ask the driver what kind of person Kasyan is. He replies that “a wonderful person,” complains that he does not work, but “hangs that the sheep is boundless.” The driver curses Kasyan, saying that he is a man “incongruous and useless”, although he admits that he sings well. When asked how Kasyan treats, the driver answers that he is not treating well, that all this is nonsense, although he mentions that Kasyan himself cured him of scrofula. When asked who the girl is living in Kasyan’s house, the driver answers that she is an orphan, that no one knows her mother, that perhaps Kasyan is her father, it really hurts him, but nobody knows anything about this to the end. At the end, the driver assumes that Kasyan will still be good at learning Annushka to read and write,