The work begins with a scene in the royal palace. The terrible Tsar Ivan Vasilievich is sitting at the table, behind him are the stalwarts, on the contrary – boyars and princes, on the sides – oprichniks. The king rewards for the glory of God, for his pleasure and merriment. He ordered to pour the wine of the sweet overseas oprichniki. All drank, the king was glorified. Only one out-and-out fighter, a violent fellow, oprichnik Kiribeyevich, sat pensive. The king looked at him like a hawk on a dove, but he did not raise his eyes, the tsar struck with his staff – and then the young soldier did not flinch, only when the tsar spoke in a menacing voice, then he woke up. The king began to ask why his faithful servant Kiribeyevich was not happy. The young man replied that he had
The tsar’s oprichnik completely lost his head. As he sees this girl, so he is not his own. He is ready to go to the end of the world, to flee from his unrequited love.
Tsar Ivan Vasilievich only laughed and promised to help the misfortune of his faithful servant. He ordered Kirillievich to take the royal jaunt’s pens and a pearl necklace and to bow before the clever matchmaker, and then to his Alena Dmitrievna. If you love a young man a beautiful maiden, then let him celebrate the wedding, if he does not fall in love – let him not be angry.
The tsar did not know that the beautiful woman in the church was married to a young merchant by Christian law. The crafty Kiribeyevich was silent about this, he deceived the tsar.
Behind the counter is a young merchant Stepan Paramonovich Kalashnikov. Silk products are laid out, lures customers with speeches affectionate. Yes, only an unpleasant day he asked: the wealthy people walk past, they do not look into his shop. When Vespers in the churches were called back and the merchant’s court was emptied, Stepan Paramonovich locked the shop and went home to the young hostess for the Moscow River.
He comes home and marvels: his young wife does not meet him, the table is not covered, the candle is barely burning before the image. He calls the old female worker Eremeevna and asks her where Alena Dmitrievna is and why she does not see the children. In response, he hears that the landlady went to vespers, but still has not returned home. Already the service was over, and the priest and the priest went home, – Alena Dmitrievna is still not there. Their children do not play, do not sleep, and cry, do not quit.
Then Stepan Paramonovich was embarrassed by the strong thought, went to the window. He sees that the night is dark outside the window and the snow is falling, the human footsteps out.
Suddenly he heard that in the hall the doors were slammed, and then the steps were hurried. Looked back – in front of him is his young wife. Pale, simple-haired, braids are weaved, snow is peppered, eyes are insane, lips whisper incomprehensible speeches.
The merchant was angry, began to ask where she was, did not she walk with the boyars’ sons? He says that they did not marry in the church so that his wife would denigrate his honest name. Alena Dmitrievna fell to her husband’s legs and asked her to listen, since death is not terrible to her, human rumor is not terrible, and only the husband’s disgrace is terrible. She told me that one of the churches was returning in the evening and a man came to her on the way home. He grabbed her hands and said in a low whisper that he was a servant of the tsar, his name was Kiribeyevich. He promised to dress her up like a queen, shower gold and pearls if she answered his love. Alena Dmitrievna rushed from his hands, but in the hands of the robber remained Bukhara scarf, a gift from her husband, and a veil. All this was seen by evil neighbors and pointed at them. Alena Dmitrievna, bursting into tears, asked her husband not to give her “
Stepan Paramonovich sent for two of his smaller brothers. They came and began to ask why the elder brother, whom they honored as their father, sent for them.
Kalashnikov said that his honest family was disgraced by the tsarist oprichnik Kiribeyevich. Tomorrow he will call the oprichnik on a fist fight on the Moskva River and fight with him to the last bit. If he beats Kalashnikov, then let the smaller brothers with fresh forces come out and continue the fight. The brothers said that it will be as he says.
In the morning of the next day, fighters began to converge on the Moscow River at the dawn and begin to laugh at the fist fight. The tsar came with his druzhina, boyars and oprichniki. The king ordered a cry to find the combatants.
First Kiribeyevich came out, began to expect his opponent. Three times clicked the call, no one left. He was already laughing at the bad fighters, when suddenly a merchant Kalashnikov came out of the crowd. He bowed to the king, to the holy churches, then to all the people. He looks at the enemy, straightens his shoulders, pulls up his mittens, and smoothes his beard.
Kiribeyevich asked his rival what his name was, so that he knew who to serve and what to boast about. The merchant replied that his name was Stepan Kalashnikov, he was born of an honest father, he lived in the law of the Lord, a strange woman is not a shame, and said that this fight will really be the last one of them. Kiribeyevich, hearing this, turned pale, and the response words froze on his lips.
The battle began. Kiribeyevich was the first to strike, Kalashnikov’s youthful breast crackled. That retaliatory blow to the temple knocked over his opponent. The tsarist oprichnik fell down dead.
The king, seeing all this, frowned and ordered the merchant to be brought to him. He began to try, free will or unwillingly killed that tsar’s servant. Kalashnikov replied that he had killed him free-will, but for which he would not tell the king, he would only say to the one God. Let the king order him to be executed, but he will not leave the little children, the young widow and his brothers with his royal favor.
The Tsar replied that Kalashnikov “had an honest answer”, for which he would marry his young wife and orphans from the treasury, the merchant’s brothers throughout the whole country are ordered to trade duty-free, and the merchant himself will be executed on the frontal place.
The people began to assemble for execution, and Stepan Paramonovich – to say goodbye to the smaller brothers. I asked to bow to Alena
Dmitrievna, to transfer his mandate, so that she would less grieve, bow to his parents’ house, comrades, and pray for his soul in the church of God.
Kalashnikov was executed by a shameful cruel death. They buried him behind the Moskva River between three roads, Tula, Ryazan and Vladimir. Walk-noisy winds riotous over his nameless grave. Passed by good people: the old man will pass – cross himself, the young man will pass – he will dare, the girl will pass – he will become petrified, and goosears will pass – sing a song.