On the fifth day, I stormed. In white from snow and a cold big house there was a twilight and there was a grief: the child was seriously ill. In the heat, delirium, he often cried and asked him to give him some red bast shoes. Mother, who did not leave the bed, also cried for her helplessness: the husband is away, the horses are bad, the doctor is far away to the nearest doctor, and the doctor will not go in such weather.
In the hallway, Nefed came, piled straw on the firebox and asked how things were.
The woman replied that it is bad, it seems – will not survive. All sorts of red bast shoes ask. Nefed asked what kind of bast shoes they were. Mother did not know. The child raved, all burned.
Nefed took off his hat and thought about it. He decided that it was necessary to go, get the bast shoes, since the soul of the child asks them. When asked by the mother of the child where he would go, Nefed replied that he was going to the village of Novoselki. You have to get bast shoes and paint them with magenta. The woman was horrified – six versts to her, yes, in such weather! Nefed thought and said that he was not going to ride a horse, but he would probably walk. All the snow dust in his back will be.
He closed the door and left. Above his coat he pulled the zipun, took the whip in his hand, went out, drowned over the snowdrifts, got out of the gate and drowned in a white, somewhere wildly rushing steppe sea.
Dined, it became dusk. Nefed
Mother rushed to her knees, beat herself in the chest and asked God to protect and help.
And when it was completely light, someone came up to the house, and there was a knock at the window.
They were Novoselskie muzhiks who brought the frozen, snow-clad body of Nefed. They told us that they themselves were wandering and accidentally stumbled on felt boots sticking out from under the snow. They rushed to rake the snow – it turned out, a familiar man.
So only they were saved. Realized that he had left near his home…
In the bosom of Nefed lay a new baby’s bast shoes and a vial of fuchsin.