October was cold and rainy. Katerina Petrovna became very hard to get up in the morning. She lived in an old house, which was built by her father, a famous artist. The building was of cultural value and was under the protection of the regional museum. There was a house in the village of Zaborje. Every day Katerina Petrovna was visited by the daughter of the shoemaker Maniushka, sometimes Tikhon, the watchman of the fire shed, peered. He remembered the father of Katerina Petrovna and the time when the house was being built.
The only daughter of Katerina Petrovna Nastia lived in Leningrad. Last time she was in the village three years ago. Although she wrote letters to Nastya Katerina Petrovna seldom (she did not want to interfere), but she constantly thought about her. Nastya did not write letters at all, she only sent her mother two hundred rubles every two or three months.
One night Katerina Petrovna heard a knock on the gate, when she came to look, did not see anyone.
On the same night, Nastya wrote a letter where her mother asked her to come urgently.
Nastya worked as a secretary in the Union of Artists and was called Solveig for her big cold eyes and blond hair. Her life was very full. At the time when the letter came from her mother, she was busy preparing the exhibition of the young sculptor Timofeev. She, not reading, put the letter in her bag and even sighed with relief: if the mother writes letters, then she is alive and well.
In the workshop of Timofeev Nastia drew attention to the sculpture of Gogol. She suddenly imagined that the writer was looking at her reproachfully and mockingly.
For two weeks, Nastia did not recall the letter, completely immersed in the concerns about the organization of the exhibition. On the day of her discovery, Nastya was brought a telegram from Zaborye: “Mother is dying.” Tikhon. ” Having crumpled the telegram in her hands, Nastya again felt Gogol’s glance, full of reproach and reproach. On the same day, Nastya was already traveling to the Zabore.
Katerina Petrovna was completely blind. She did not
get out of bed for almost ten days and Maniushka stayed with her for almost a week. Tikhon left for the post office. There he wrote something and then brought Katerina Petrovna a letterhead in which he read: “She left, wait, your loving daughter, Nastya.” Katerina Petrovna thanked the guard for the good news and seemed to fall asleep, turning away from the wall.
The funeral of Katerina Petrovna took place the next day. At the funeral were the old ladies and the guys. When they walked to the cemetery, a young woman teacher saw the funeral procession. She remembered her old, left single mother and went to kiss Katerina Petrovna in a dry, yellowed hand.
On the second day after the funeral, Nastia appeared in Zabore. She was met at the cemetery by a fresh mound and a dark cold room, from which life had just left. In this empty room, Nastya cried all night. Early in the morning, she left Zaborye. She walked away stealthily, so as not to meet anyone and not to answer questions. She understood that only Catherine Petrovna could remove the burden of irreparable guilt from her.