Notes of the hunter: Office
Wandering in the autumn with a gun in the fields, the hunter reached a large village. He even noticed the hut from a distance above others and decided that it was the dwelling of the headman. Opening the door, he saw several tables, littered with papers, two red cabinets, inkwells, sandboxes, long feathers. On one of the tables sat a “small twenty years old” in a gray caftan, who reported that there was “the main manor office” here. Then a man of about fifty appeared from the next room, fat, short, with a bull’s neck and eyes bulging.
“What do you want?”
“To be discussed.
” “There’s no place here.
” “I did not know that the office
– After that the fat man, the chief clerk, as it turned out later, invited the hunter, (the author of the Notes) to the third room, separated from the office by a partition, offered to undress and rest.
“” Could not you have some tea with cream?
“” Now, now. ”
The estate belonged to Ms. Losnyakova.
The hunter went to the window. The dirt in the street was terrible. Near the manor estate, the girls were darting about in faded cotton dresses, courtyard people wandered along the mud, the tied horse waved its tail, the hens clucked, and the turkeys echoed.
The same fellow in gray caftan, clerk on duty, brought a samovar, a teapot, a glass with a broken saucer, a cream pot… The author of “Notes” began to question him and found out that there was a German manager in the estate, but the lady herself disposes, and in the office herself sit six people – the chief cashier and clerks.
“Well, are you writing well?”
The small man smiled and brought a scrap of paper.
“- Here is my writing.”
“- On a quarter of a gray paper with a beautiful and large handwriting” it was written:
“Order from the main manor house Ananyev office burmistru Mihaila Vikulova, № 209.
It is ordered to you immediately on receipt of this: find out who last night, in a drunken state and with indecent songs, passed through the Aglitsa garden, and the governess Madame Enzheny woke up and disturbed the Frenchwoman? And what did the guards look at, and who was the watchman in the garden? And these riots allowed? All the above prescribed is ordered to you in details to scout and immediately to inform the office.
Chief clerk Nikolai Khvostov. “A
huge stamp with the inscription” Seal of the main master’s Ananyev office “was attached to the order, and below it there was a postscript:” Exactly execute. Elena Losnyakova.
“” Is this the mistress herself attributed, or what? ” I asked.
“How, sir, yourself: they are always themselves.” And then the order can not act.
“No, he’ll come and read it himself.” That is, they will read it to him; he does not know the letter… And what, he added, grinning: “Is it well written, sir?”
– I did not write something, I confess, it’s not me. At that Koskenkin master.
– How? .. Do you have orders first?
– And how? ”
Then the guest slept for a couple of hours, and when he woke up, he heard a quiet conversation in the office behind the partition.” The fat man, the chief clerk, agreed on something with a certain merchant.
“- Tek-s, tek-s, Nikolai Eremeyich, said one voice: “Teak.” The latter can not be taken into account; you can not, just…
“” Believe me, Gavrila Antonych, “the fat man replied,” if I do not know the local order, judge for yourself. ”
They traded for a long time.
“So be it, Nikolai Yeremeyich, so be it… two gray and white of your kindness, and there (he nodded his head at the court yard) six and a half. On hands, or what?
“Four gray ones,” replied the clerk.
“What kind of intractable one,” muttered the merchant. “I’d better finish it myself with the mistress.”
“As you wish,” the fat man answered.
“Well, it’s full, full, Nikolai Yeremeyich.” I’m angry right now! I after all эф so have told.
– No, what’s really…
– It’s full, they say… They say, joked. Well, take your three and a half what you’re going to do with you.
“Four would have to be taken, but I, the fool, hurried,” the fat man growled.
“So there, in the house, six-fifty-six, Nikolai Yeremeyich, is it given for six and a half bread?”
– Six and a half, already said.
“Well, then, Nikolay Yeremeyich… So I, my dear Nikolai Eremeyich, will now go to the lady-s… and so I’ll say: Nikolay Yeremeyich, they say, for six and a half-year, they decided.”
“So tell me, Gavrila Antonych.
“Now, if you please, get it.”
The merchant handed the clerk a small bundle of paper, which he began to disassemble.
Then came Sidor, “a man of enormous stature, about thirty, healthy, red-cheeked, with blond hair.”
“Well, why did you come?”
“Yes, you hear, Nikolai Yeremeyich, the carpenters are demanding of us.
” “Well, do not you have them, or what?”
“How can they not be with us, Nikolai Eremeyich… Yes, then a worker, Nikolai Eremeyich.
– Working time! That’s it, you’re hunters to work for others, and do not like to work for your mistress…. See how you spoiled. Come on, you!
“Yes, and that, Nikolai Yeremeyich, will work for just a week, but will be kept for a month.” That material will not suffice, and even in a garden will send paths to clean.
– Little is there! The lady herself ordered me to order, so there’s nothing to discuss with you…
“” Our… peasants… Nikolai Eremeyich… “Sidor finally began, stammering at every word:” They ordered your mercy… right here. ” He will… (He launched his arm in the bosom of the armagh and began to pull out a rolled towel with red divorces from there).
– What are you, what are you, a fool, crazy, or what? the fat man interrupted him hurriedly. – Go, go to my hut… there asked his wife… she’ll give some tea, I’ll be right there, go “He was evidently afraid that the hunter behind the partition was already awake and listening..
There were cries in the street: “Cooper! Kupry! “A short, puny man in an old coat with a bundle of firewood on his shoulders was accompanied by a noisy household of five, five people shouting:” Kupry! .. They made Kuprya in stamping-pots! ”
It turns out that this Kupry, that is, Kupriyan – tailor, “and a good tailor, from the first masters in Moscow, he studied and sewed for the generals.” But the lady ordered… Or maybe Kupry was guilty of this, that he did not condescend the office in time? Who knows.
“Listen, confess, Kupry,” Nikolai Yeremeyich, complacently speaking, seemed disposed and pampered: “After all, it’s bad in staples, is it?” “Empty tea, is it all?”
“Yes, Nikolai Eremeyich,” said Kuprian: “here you are now our chief clerk, exactly
, there is no doubt that there was no dispute, and you, too, were under disgrace, and lived in a peasant’s hut. “” Do not look at me, however, do not forget, “the fat man interrupted him with a passion: you, fool, joke, you would be a fool, should feel and be grateful that you, fool, do.
– By the way, etc. shlos, Nikolai Yeremeich, sorry…
– That’s right the way.
Then the fat man went to her mistress, noisy crowd remove the remaining one.
The clerk on duty, but soon the chief cashier appeared, red-haired, with whiskers, in an old black frock coat and soft boots. He looked like a cat and hid himself rather than walked.
Suddenly a man of a completely different order collapsed into the office: tall, with an expressive and daring face.
“Is he here?” He asked, glancing quickly around.
“Nikolai Eremeyich is at the lady’s,” answered the cashier. “What do you need, tell me, Pavel Andreich: you can tell me… What do you want?”
“What do I want? ” “… I want to give him a lesson, a belly bad boy, an obsolete earpiece… I’ll give him a headset!”
Pavel rushed to the chair.
“What do you mean, Pavel Andreitch? Calm down… Shame on you, do not you forget, about whom you are talking, Pavel Andreitch! “the cashier spat.
“About whom?” And what’s the matter with me, that he went to the main clerks! That’s nothing to say, found someone to visit! That’s for sure, you can say, let the goat in the garden!
“Completeness, fullness, Pavel Andreyevich, fullness! Throw it…
“” Well, Fox Patrikeyevna, she began to wag her tail! .. Ah, yes, he complains, “he added, glancing out the window:” it’s light at the sight… ”
The fat man’s face was beaming with pleasure, but at the sight of Pavel he somewhat embarrassed.
“Hello, Nikolai Eremeyich,” said Pavel, moving slowly towards him: “Hello.”
The chief clerk did not answer…
“Why do not you answer me?” continued Pavel. “However, no… no,” he added. “That’s not the case; cry and swear nothing will take. No, you better tell me kindly, Nikolai Eremeyich, why do you want to kill me? “The
fat man pretended to be uncomprehending, but Pavel advanced.
” – Well, why do not you give the poor girl a chance to live? What do you need from her?
“Who are you talking about, Pavel Andreitch?” asked the fat man with feigned amazement.
– Eka! Do not know, I suppose? I’m talking about Tatyana. Be afraid of God, why are you taking revenge? You are ashamed: you are a married man, the children are already growing with me, and I’m not that different… I want to get married: I am acting according to honor.
“What am I to blame, Pavel Andreitch?” The lady does not allow you to marry: her master’s will! What am I here?
– What are you? And you did not strike with this old witch, with the housekeeper? I bet. Not earpiece, eh? Tell me, do not cock any fiction on the defenseless girl? Probably, it was not at your mercy that she was brought out of her laundresses to the dishwashers! And they beat her and in a shambles not at your mercy? .. Be ashamed, be ashamed, you are an old man! …
– Swear, Pavel Andreich, swear… How long do you have to swear something!
– What? To threaten me? – With a heart he spoke. “Do you think I’m afraid of you?” No, brother, I did not stumble on that, why should I be afraid? .. I’ll find bread for myself everywhere. Here you are – another matter. You just live here, let’s talk, and steal…
“After all, he was so conceited,” interrupted the clerk, who also began to lose patience: the firchel was simply a fershel, the healer was empty; but listen to him, – fu what an important person! ..
– Listen, Nikolai Eremeyich, – Paul spoke with despair; – The last time I ask you… you forced me – I’m unbearable. Leave us alone, do you understand? The
fat man disagreed.
“I’m not afraid of you,” he cried; – do you hear, sucker! I coped with your father, I broke his horn and him – you have an example, look!
“Do not remind me of your father…
” “Vaughn!” What are you to me for the tiredman!
– They tell you, do not remind!
– And they tell you, do not forget yourself… And the girl is right for Tatiana… Wait, not that she’ll be back!
Pavel rushed forward with his hands up, the clerk heavily rolled to the floor.
The author of “Notes” on the same day returned home, and a week later learned that Ms. Losnyakova “left both Paul and Nicholas in his service, and sent the girl Tatiana away: apparently it was not needed.”
In the backwoods, in the estate of the landowner is quite a bureaucratic institution with homegrown, primitive, but in its own way influential officials. The clerks write unnecessary papers, mediate, influence decision-making and terribly harm others if they do not receive a decent bribe. In general, they parasitize and interfere, but, apparently, they give a certain weight to the affairs and decisions of the lady.
This office is like a prototype of the future unjust in the majority of institutions; Then instead of a sovereign lady, then the boss will appear, and all will accept other, not so primitive, patriarchal forms.