Semyon Ivanov serves as a watchman on the railway. He is a seasoned man, but not too lucky. Nine years ago, in 1878, visited the war, fought with the Turks. He was not wounded, but he lost his health.
He returned to his native village – the farm did not ask, the little son died, and they went with their wife to new places of happiness to look for. Did not find.
Semyon met during the wanderings of the former officer of his regiment. He recognized Semyon, sympathized and found him a job at the railway station, over which he was in charge.
I got Semyon a new booth, you want as much wood as you want, a garden, a salary – and they began to get their own house with the wife. The work of Semyon was not a burden, and he kept his entire section of the road in order.
Familiar Semyon and his neighbor Basil, who was looking after the adjacent site. They began to talk when they met on the detours.
Semyon endures all his
troubles and failures stoically: “God has not given us happiness.” Vasily believes that his life is so poor, because others make money on his work – rich men and bosses, all of them are bloodsuckers and animators, and all of them he hates fiercely.
Meanwhile, an important audit comes from St. Petersburg. Semen on his site all in good order led, he was praised. And on the site of Vasily everything turned out differently. He had long been at loggerheads with the road master. According to the rules, this master had to ask permission for the garden, and Vasili neglected, planted cabbage arbitrarily – he ordered to dig. Vasily got angry and decided to complain about the master to the big boss. Yes, he not only did not accept the complaint, but he shouted at Vasily and punched him in the face.
Vasily threw the booth on his wife – and went to Moscow to look for councils now on this boss. Yes, apparently, I did not find it. Four days passed, Semyon met on the detour of Vasili’s wife, her face was swollen from tears, and she did not want to talk with Semyon.
Just at this time,
Semyon went into the forest to cut the talc: he made pipes for sale from it. Coming back, near the railway embankment he heard strange sounds – like iron tinkling on iron. He crept closer and saw: Vasily had pierced the rail with crowbar and tore the path. Seen Seeds – and off run.
Semen is standing over the razor-cut rail and does not know what to do. With his bare hands you can not put it in place. The key and the scrap of Vasily – but how many did not call him Semyon to return – did not call out. Soon the passenger train should go.
“Here on this rounding he comes off the rail,” thinks Semyon, “and the mound is tall, eleven sazhens, the wagons will roll down, and there are small children…” Semyon ran to the booth for the instrument, but realized that he would not make it. Ran back – there already and a distant whistle is heard – soon the train.
Then he just lighted his head light. He took off his hat, took out his handkerchief, crossed himself, struck his right hand with a knife above the elbow, a stream of blood splashed. He wetted his handkerchief in it, put it on a stick (a trolley that brought from the forest, was useful) – and raised a red flag – signal to the machinist that it was necessary to stop the train.
But, apparently, too deeply injured Semyon’s hand – the blood lashes without restraint, in his eyes it gets dark and only one thought in his head: “Help, Lord, go to change.”
Semyon could not stand it and lost consciousness, fell to the ground, but the flag did not fall – another hand picked it up and raised it high to meet the train. The driver manages to slow down, people jump out onto the embankment and see a man in blood lying without a memory, and next to another, with a bloody rag in his hand…
This is Vasily. He looks around the crowd and says: “Knit me, I raped the rail.”