Spring of the 45th found us in Serpukhov. After all that was on the front, the hospital whiteness and silence seemed to us somewhat improbable. Budapest was fallen, Vienna was taken. The ward radio did not turn off even at night.
“In the war as in chess,” said Sely Sivanov, lying in the far corner, a swarthy Volgarian with a Tatar ridge, “E-two-e-four, bang, and there’s no pawn!”
Sasha’s thickly bandaged leg was sticking out above the bedcover like a cannon, for which he was nicknamed Self-propelled.
“Was not you in any trouble?” – My right-wing neighbor Borodukhov used to work. He was from the Mesensk muzhiks-loggers, already in the years.
On the left of me lay the soldier Kopeshkin. Both Kopeshkin’s hands were broken, cervical vertebrae were damaged, and there were some other injuries. He was immured in a solid breastplate plaster, and his head was bandaged to a lubke, put under the back of his
head. Kopeshkin lay only on his back, and both his hands, bent at the elbows, were also bandaged to the very toes.
In recent days, Kopeshkin was ill. He spoke less and less, and even then, without a voice, only with his lips. Something was breaking him, burning under a plaster suit, he had completely withered his face.
Once in his name came a letter from home. The leaves were unfolded and inserted into his hands. For the rest of the day the sheet protruded in Kopeshkin’s motionless hands. Only the next morning he asked to turn it over to the other side and for a long time considered the return address.
Finally, Berlin itself collapsed and capitulated! But the war still lasted on May 3, and the fifth, and the seventh… How much more?!
On the night of the eighth of May, I woke up from the sound of boots hacking along the corridor. The head of the hospital, Colonel Turantsev, talked with his deputy on the estate of Zvonarchuk: “Give everyone a clean bed and linen, Pin a boar, then it’s good to have wine for dinner…”
Steps and voices separated. Suddenly Sayenko
threw up his hands: “It’s all over!” he screamed. And, finding no more words, cool, happily vymaterilsya for the whole ward. “
A crimson rocket blossomed out of the window, bursting with clusters. She crossed herself green. Then the hooters sounded well.
Hardly had they waited for the dawn, all who could have poured out onto the street. The corridor was buzzing with creaking and the sound of crutches. The hospital garden was filled with homon people.
And suddenly the unknown orchestra suddenly burst out: “Get up, the country is huge…”
Before dinner, we were changed to linen, shaved, then Aunt Zina, roar, distributed the boar soup, and Zvonarchuk brought in a tray with a few dark-red glasses: “With the victory, comrades.”
After dinner, drunk, everyone began to dream of returning to their homeland, praised their places. Kapeshkin wiggled his fingers. Sayenko jumped up, leaned over him: “Yeah, it’s clear.” Says they’re fine too, this is where it’s? Ah, it’s clear… You’re a penny. “
I tried to imagine Kopeshkin’s homeland. He drew a log cabin with three windows, a shaggy tree, like an inverted broom. And he put this plain picture in his hand. He barely approvingly nodded his pointed nose.
Before dusk he kept my picture in his hands. And he himself, it turns out, was no more. He went unnoticed, no one noticed when.
The orderlies carried the stretcher. And the wine, to which he did not touch, we drank in his memory.
In the evening sky, festive rockets flashed again.
The story is from the first person. The author in the spring of the 45th was in the hospital Serpukhov. After the front, it seemed to him unreal cleanliness and silence in the wards. Budapest and Vienna were liberated. In the hospital, the radio continued to broadcast even at night.
In the corner of the ward was Sasha Selivanov, who compared the war to the game of chess, where everything depended on the course. This swarthy guy was nicknamed the Self-propelled gun, because he was wounded in the leg, and bandaged it resembled a cannon. To the right of the author lay a man in the years Borodukhov, and to the left a soldier Kapeshkin, plastered over his chest. He had fractures on both hands and damaged the spine. Since the head was bandaged to the bed, Kapeshkin lay only on his back. Every day the soldier got worse, he practically did not speak, only moved his lips, his face grew thin, and under the gypsum something burned. One day a letter was brought to him from a house, which Kapeshkin kept for the whole day in his plastered hand and only the next day he asked to turn over that to look at the return address.
Finally, Berlin was taken. But the fighting continued. In the middle of the night of the eighth of May the author heard in the corridor the conversation between the head of the hospital and his deputy about the need to give out clean linen to everyone, to stab the wild boar and to serve wine for dinner. Suddenly, Sayenko began to cry about the end and from happiness to swear. Outside the window began to produce multi-colored missiles. In the morning everyone started to go out into the street, the sound of crutches could be heard in the corridor, an orchestra played. Before dinner everyone changed into clean clothes and shaved. For dinner there was soup from a wild boar, and the deputy head of the hospital carried everyone glasses with wine and congratulated on the victory. After drinking a little, everyone began to share their dreams about their native places. Kapeshkin whispered in Saenko’s ear that he is also well in Penza
The author presented the soldier’s homeland and drew a picture depicting a wooden hut and a nearby tree. Kopeshkin liked the image, he died in the evening, holding the picture in his hand. The soldiers carried away, and outside the window began to launch the holiday missiles.