“In one of the remote streets of Moscow, in a gray house with white columns, a mezzanine and a crooked balcony, once lived a lady, a widow surrounded by numerous courtyards…
From among all her servants the most remarkable person was the janitor Gerasim, a man of twelve heights of growth, built by a hero and a deaf-mute from birth. The mistress took him from the village, where he lived alone, in a small hut, apart from his brothers, and was considered almost the most serviceable draft man. Gifted with extraordinary strength, he worked for four… “.
But then Gerasim was brought to Moscow, they gave a broom and a shovel in their hands, they determined to be a janitor. “He did not like his new life at first, since childhood he was accustomed to fieldwork, to village life.” At last he was used to city life.
The old lady kept the servants numerous. Once she decided to marry her shoemaker, the bitter drunkard of Capito.
“Maybe he will settle down,” she told her chief butler, Gavril.
“Why not marry, sir, you can, sir,” answered Gavrilo, and it will be very good, even. “
Immediately the mistress ordered that the laundress Tatiana be married to a drunkard.
Tatyana, “a woman of about twenty years old, small, thin, blond, with moles on her left cheek.” Moles on her left cheek are revered in Russia as a bad sign – a foretaste of unhappy life… Tatyana
“She used to be a beauty once, but beauty came off her very soon.” She was very humble, or rather, frightened, to herself she felt completely indifferent, others-afraid of death, only thought about how the work would by the time she came to an end, she never spoke to anyone and trembled at the same name of the lady, although she almost did not know it. “
And now about Gerasim’s love for Tatiana. “She fell in love with him: a mild expression of a person, timidity of movements…”. Once he met her in the courtyard, he grabbed her by the elbow and, tenderly mooing, handed her a carrot – a cockerel with gold leaf on the tail and wings. “From that day, he did not give her any rest: wherever she used to go, he was already here, he was coming towards her, smiling, mumbling, waving her hands, suddenly pulling the ribbon from behind her bosom and giving it to her, with a broom in front of her The poor girl simply did not know what to do and what to do, soon the whole house found out about the tricks of the silent janitor, ridicule, jokes and tattered words fell on Tatiana, but not everyone dared to ridicule Gerasim: he did not like jokes; and she was left in peace with him. “I’m not glad to be glad, but the girl got under his protection.”
Seeing once that the drunkard Kapiton “somehow kindly cleared up with Tatyana, Gerasim called him to him with his finger, took him to the carriage barn, and grabbed the drawbar standing in the corner, slightly, but pointedly threatened him with it. spoke to Tatyana. “
Now Gerasim wanted to ask the lady permission to marry Tatyana, waited only for the new caftan that the butler had promised him: he wanted to appear in front of the lady in a decent manner. He was very much afraid of her, for all his fearlessness.
So one stupid, empty old woman disposed of human destinies. Gerasim, Tatyana, Kapiton and others… They have neither education, nor development, nor sense in life! The social situation of people is crippling.
Drunk Kapiton liked the bride very much, but everyone knew that Gerasim was not indifferent to her.
“Hey, Gavrilo Andreitch, he’ll kill me, I swear he’ll kill me like a fly, he’s got a hand, because you have to see what his hand is, because he’s just got Minin and Pozharsky’s hand “.
“Well, get out of here,” Gavrilo interrupted impatiently.
Kapiton turned away and moved.
“And suppose he was not there,” the butler shouted after him, “do you agree?”
“I’m lying,” Kapiton retorted and left the room.
Eloquence did not leave him even in extreme cases. “
Then the butler called Tatyana. The girl is nice, beautiful, hard worker. Kind, gentle soul. But to what extent it is hammered and humiliated!
“What do you order, Gavrilo Andreitch?” She said in a low voice.
The butler stared at her intently.
“Well,” he said, “Tanya, do you want to marry?” The lady’s got you a fiance.
“I’m listening, Gavrilo Andreitch. And who does she appoint me to the bridegrooms? she added hesitantly.
– Capito, the shoemaker.
– I’m listening, sir.
“He’s a frivolous person, that’s for sure.” But the lady is hoping for you in this case.
– I’m listening, sir.
– One trouble… this wood grouse, then, Geraska, he’s after you, looks after you. And than you bewitch this bear to yourself? But he will kill you, perhaps, a bear like that.
“He will kill, Gavrilo Andreitch, he will kill without fail.”
“He’ll kill… Well, we’ll see.” As you say: he will kill. Does he have the right to kill you, judge for yourself.
“I do not know, Gavrilo Andreitch, whether he has, or not.”
– Uh-huh! You did not promise him anything…
“What do you think?”
The butler paused and thought:
“You are an unrequited soul!”
It was necessary to perform the fleeting whim of the old lady, but so as not to disturb her with some kind of incident.
It was repeatedly noticed that Gerasim could not stand drunkards… They decided to teach Tatiana that she pretended to be drunk and would stagger and sway past Gerasim. The poor girl did not agree for a long time, but she was persuaded… The trick worked out as well as possible. ” Gerasim lost all interest in Tatyana, although he experienced a great shock: he did not leave his room for the whole day and the guard of Antipka saw through the crack as Gerasim sat on the bed, putting his hand to his cheek, quietly, evenly and only occasionally mooing – sang, that is, swayed, closed his eyes and shook his head, like coachmen or boatmen, when they tightened their melancholy songs. Antipke became creepy and he moved away from the crack. When the next day Gerasim left the closet, there was no special change in it. He just became as if pogrujume,
And a year later, when Kapiton finally drank himself and was sent to his distant village with his wife, Gerasim left his cubicle at the time of their departure, approached Tatiana and gave her a red paper handkerchief that she had bought for her a year ago “. And she, shedding tears, and “sitting down in a cart, kissed Hrassim three times as a Christian.” He wanted to see her, but then suddenly stopped, “waved his hand and went along the river.”
It was getting dark. Suddenly he noticed that in the mud near the shore a white puppy with black spots floundered and could not get out. Gerasim picked up the “unfortunate little dog,” “thrust her into his bosom,” and put the house on his bed, brought from the kitchen a cup of milk. “The poor dog was only three weeks old, she did not know how to drink from the cup and only trembled and squinted.” Gerasim took her lightly with two fingers over his head and pushed her face to the milk. “The dog suddenly began to drink greedily, snorting, shaking and choking. Gerasim looked, and how he suddenly laughed… All night he worked with her, laid her down, wiped it and fell asleep, finally, by herself, by some kind of joyful and quiet sleep.
No mother takes care of her child like Gerasim took care of her pet. “Gradually, the feeble, puny, ugly puppy turned into a very good dog.” “She became passionately attached to Gerasim and did not lag behind him a single step.” He she was called Mumu.
Another year has passed. And suddenly, “one fine summer day,” the lady saw Mumu through the window and told her to bring her. The footman rushed to carry out the order, but only with the help of Gerasim himself managed to catch her.
“- Mumu, Mumu, come to me, come to the lady, – said the lady: – come, silly… do not be afraid…
“Come, come, Mumu to the lady,” the prizhvalki repeated: “Come here.” But Mumu looked around mournfully and did not move from her place. “
They brought a saucer with milk, but Mum did not even smell it, “and all trembled and looked around as before.”
– Oh, what are you! – said the lady, coming up to her, bent down and wanted to stroke her, but Mumu turned her head convulsively and bared her teeth. The lady quickly withdrew her hand…
“Take her out,” the old woman said in a changed voice. “A nasty little dog!” How evil she is! “
The next morning she said:
“- And what’s the dumb dog? Who let him keep dogs in my yard? ..
“So that it is not here today… you hear?” She ordered to Gavrila.
Having received the order from the butler, the lackey Stepan caught Mum at the very moment when Gerasim brought a bundle of firewood to the manor house, and the dog, as usual, stayed outside the door to wait for him. Stepan immediately sat down on the first hired cabman, galloped to the Okhotny Ryad and sold someone to the dog for fifty kopecks. At the same time, he agreed that she would be kept on her leash for a week.
How Gerasim was looking for her! Until very late. The next day he did not show up, the next morning he went out of his cubicle to work, but his face was petrified.
“The night has come, moonlight, clear.” Gerasim lay in the hayloft and “suddenly felt as though he was being pulled behind the floor, he was trembling, but he did not raise his head, he even shut his eyes, but again…”. Before him was Mumu with a scrap of neck, he “squeezed her in his arms,” and she instantly licked his whole face.
The only being that he loved and who loved him so much. People have already explained to him by signs how his Mumu “sprinkled” on the lady, he understood that they decided to get rid of the dog. Now he began to hide it: all day he kept him locked up in the closet, he would take him out at night.
But when a drunkard lay down on the fence of their yard for the night, Mumu burst into loud barking at night. A sudden barking woke the lady.
“Again, again this dog! .. Oh, send for the doctor. They want to kill me…”.
The whole house was raised to his feet. Gerasim, seeing the flashing lights and shadows in the windows, grabbed his Mum and locked himself in the closet. Already bursting in his door. Gavrilo ordered everyone to watch until the morning, and he himself “through a senior companion Lyubov Lyubimovna, with whom she steals and took into account tea, sugar and other groceries, told the lady that the dogs will not be alive tomorrow, so that the lady would do mercy, calmed down. “
The next morning, “a whole crowd of people moved through the courtyard in the direction of the Gerasim’s closet.” Shouts, knock did not help. There was a hole in the door stuffed with an Armenian. They pushed the stick into it…
Suddenly, “the door of the closet quickly flew open – all the servants immediately fell headlong down the stairs… Gerasim stood motionless on the threshold, the crowd gathered at the foot of the stairs, Gerasim looked at all these people in German caftans from above, lightly leaning his hands on his hips, in his red, peasant shirt, he seemed some kind of giant before them. “Gavrilo took a step forward.
“Look, brother,” he said, “do not mischief me.
And he began to explain to him by signs that the mistress, they say, absolutely demanded
Your dog: give it, they say, now…
Gerasim looked at him, pointed at the dog, gestured with his hand to his neck, as if tightening a noose, and looked inquiringly at the butler.
“Yes, yes,” the latter objected, nodding his head: “Yes, certainly.”
Gerasim lowered his eyes, then suddenly shook himself, again pointed to Mumu, who was standing next to him, innocently wagging his tail and curiously leading his ears, repeated the sign of suffocation over his neck and significantly struck himself in the chest, as if announcing what he was taking on himself destroy Mumu himself.
“You’re deceiving,” Gavrilo waved back.
Gerasim looked at him, smiled contemptuously, again hit himself in the chest and slammed the door…
“Leave him, Gavrilo Andreitch,” said Stepan. “He will do it, if he promised.”
He’s so… Oh, if he promises, it’s probably. He does not mean that our brother. What is true is the truth. Yes”.
An hour later, Gerasim, driving on a rope Mumu, left the house. First, at the tavern, he took soup with meat, crumbled the bread there, chopped the meat, and put the plate on the floor, Mumu began eating with her usual politeness, barely touching the mug to the dish. Gerasim looked at her for a long time, two heavy tears rolled out of his eyes… He shielded his face with his hand. “Mumu ate half a plate and walked away, licking.” Gerasim stood up, paid for the cabbage soup and went out… “
He walked, not hurrying, not taking Mum out of the rope. Passing by the building under construction, he took a couple of bricks from there. Then he came from the Crimean Brod to the place where two boats stood and jumped up with Mumu to one of them. He “so much started rowing, although against the flow of the river, that in one instant he raced off a hundred yards… He threw the oars, his head against Mum” …
The only being that he loved and who loved him so much. Kill this creature with your own hands! But he did not even think of breaking the order of the lady. I managed at least not to give the dog to the torture in other people’s hands.
At last he straightened himself, wrapped the rope around the bricks he had taken, attached a loop, put it on Mumu’s neck, lifted her over the river, looked at her for the last time… She looked at him trustingly and waved her tail lightly, squeezed his eyes shut and opened his hands… “.
“In the evening on the highway a giant with a bag on his shoulders and with a long stick in his hands walked unceasingly, it was Gerasim.” He hurried away from Moscow, to his own country, to his homeland, although no one was waiting for him there.
“The summer night just arrived was quiet and warm, on the one hand, where the sun had set, the edge of the sky was still white and faintly fogged with the last gleam of the vanishing day, on the other side a blue, gray dusk was already rising. they rattled around, quarrels echoed the cornetes… Gerasim could not hear them, he could not hear the sensitive nighttime rustling of the trees, too… but he felt the familiar smell of ripening rye, which so blew from the dark fields, felt like the wind flying towards to meet him, – the wind from the genus ina – gently hit him in the face… “.
Two days later he was already in his hut, prayed before the images and went to the headman. The headman was surprised, but haymaking was coming and “Gerasimu, as an excellent worker, immediately gave a braid in his hands.”
And in Moscow the lady was angry and at first ordered to return him immediately, and then stated that “such an ungrateful person does not need her at all.”
And he lives alone in his village hut. The soul of this noble warrior is tender, vulnerable. Therefore, he does not look at women anymore and does not keep a single dog.
The power of some people over others. How she maims both.
For the time being, are people still such that they need a bridle? And the less perfect these people are, the stronger the bridle must be. Above them, power is usually what they deserve. If you are all or the overwhelming majority such as Gerasim – honest, sincere, selfless, hard-working, there would be some completely different order, another social system. But so far, only a man “out of this world” has turned out to be such a deaf-mute person, who almost does not perceive all the information, all the signals of “this world”.
And Tatyana, a bright soul in essence, is crushed by this life and completely obedient. It can be rotated and adjusted as you like. It can be manipulated, as well as the entire crowd.
It turned out to be a sad, sometimes touching and very real picture of life.