The lonely sail grows white. The
dacha season is over, and Vasili Petrovich Bachey with his sons Petya and Pavlik was returning to Odessa.
Petya for the last time looked around the endless marine space, glowing with a gentle blue glow. The lines came to mind: “The solitary sail grows white In the fog of the blue sea…”
And yet the main charm of the sea was for the nine-year-old boy not its picturesqueness, but the original mystery: phosphoric glow, the hidden life of the depths, the eternal movement of the waves… Full of mystery there was also a vision of the rebellious battleship that appeared several times on the horizon.
But then the farewell to the sea was over. All three were placed on benches, and the stagecoach started off. When there were about ten versts to Ackerman and there were already vineyards on both sides of the road, passengers heard a rifle shot, and a minute later the back door of the stagecoach opened and the stocky man froze on the step. But then the equestrian crossing appeared ahead, and he quickly dived under the bench. Petya had time to notice the red naval boots and tattooed on his arm, like Papa, he pretended that nothing had happened, and turned away. Half an hour later, my father broke the silence: “It seems that we are approaching… There is not a soul on the road.” There was a rustle, and immediately the door slammed…
On the steamer “Turgenev,”
When Langeron was over, the mustachioed man approached the sleeper and took it by the sleeve: “Rodion Zhukov?” But he pushed the mustached, jumped on board and jumped into the water.
… It was evening when Gavrik and his grandfather chose the overflight and pushed themselves against the oars. Just recently the steamer Turgenev passed. So, it’s already about eight and we must hurry. Suddenly, someone’s hands grabbed the stern of the shaland. When the grandfather and his grandson dragged the swimmer into the boat, he was almost in a faint and hardly spoke: “Do not show me to people. I’m a sailor.”
In the morning Gavrik met Terenti, his elder brother. The sailor was obviously looking for. Near the shooting range at a small coastal fair, the mustachioed gentleman in the cauldron asked Joseph Karlovich whether he had noticed anything suspicious last night. Learning that Gavrik lived nearby, the mustachioed man began to question him, but he managed to achieve little. The boy at his age of nine was judicious and cautious.
On the way to the nearby Mills Gavrik met Petya and invited him to his brother. Petya was strictly forbidden to leave so far and so for a long time, but he did not see Gavrik all summer, besides, I wanted so much to tell about the incident at Turgenev.
Already at dusk, Terenty brought a frail young man in a pince-nez to the hut of his grandfather. Ilya Borisovich confirmed that he had seen Rodion Zhukov near the grave of the Potemkin Vakulinchuk, and handed the sailor a package with clothes. Gavrik went to see if everything was quiet. A boy who was already familiar to him was seized around the corner by a mustachioed man. Gavrik cried out. “Be silent, I will kill!” – The fat pulled him by the ear. Three shadows rushed from the hut to the precipice, a shot rang out… The gendarmes, who were in a frenzy of failure, interrogated the grandfather and took him to the station.
Gavrik moved to Terentiy, wore the grandfather of the transfer, was very worried when he learned that his grandfather was beating every day. Depot, where his brother worked, was on strike, and Gavrik tried to earn what he could. A good income brought the game in the ears.
Petya was also interested in ears, but he was too adventurous, impatient and lost even what he borrowed. Disastrous for any player desire to recoup dragged into the abyss. He tore the buttons of his father’s uniform with meat and fell to the point that he first took the surrender from Dunya’s cook, and then stole money from Pavlik’s coin box, which he collected on a bicycle. But he lost this too, so one day Gavrik announced that he did not want to wait any longer and that Petya was enslaved until he was satisfied.
In the city meanwhile several blocks were surrounded by troops, shooting was heard. Once Gavrik told Petya to bring a satchel and do not forget to take a gymnasium ticket. He loaded the pack with heavy bags of ears, and they went to the areas surrounded by soldiers. Then the ears were taken already in Malaya Arnautskaya, the owner of the shooting gallery of Joseph Karlovich, and the courtyards made their way to the house with a booming courtyard-well. On the whistle of Gavrik a man came down and took away the “goods”. Petya now understood well what the ears were.
The last voyage he had to make alone: at the cordon he was walking around a commemorative man, both of whom were memorized. In a familiar courtyard-well, to his desperate cry (he did not learn how to whistle), a man looked up and called him up. He was a runaway Potemkin seaman, although now he was troubled by a beard and a mustache. Terenty entered the kitchen: “We will not hold out anyway, we’ll leave on the roofs. They put the gun here.”
The boy’s house was waiting for new tests. In the city there were pogroms. The Koganov family came to ask for shelter, and the Bacheys hid them in the back rooms. When a crowd of pogromists entered the entrance, the pope greeted them: “Who gave you the right…” He was seized, struck, and if Dunya’s appearance with the icon in his hands would have taken a nasty turn.
Gavrik appeared under the New Year: “Shove it, and we will be in the calculation.” He handed four familiar heavy bags. Petya barely managed to hide them in his pack, as with a disfigured uniform in a child’s room his father burst in, Pavlik flew after him with a roar: Petya had robbed him!
Dad changed his face: he knows what’s the matter. The son plays gambling, in these, as they are there, pigs, ears… Break the satchel, he took out the bags and threw them into the flaming stove. Petya shouted: “Tick!” – and fainted.
He was ill all winter and only after Easter went to Gavrik. Grandpa died, the family of the hiding Terenty was now in the shack. Petya was delighted and invited to the May Day. The day was magnificent. Friends sat down on the oars, Terenty sat on the stern. At Maly Fontan, the lord jumped in his shawl in a blue suit, cream pants, green socks and white shoes. Straw hat, cane, cane, gloves completed his toilet. It was a sailor. He looked back at the shore and winked at the rowers. Fishermen gathered around the sea to listen to the speech of the Potemkin.
After the May Day, the boys, circling about two hours, landed Rodion Zhukov on Lanzheron, where he immediately mixed with the crowd.
A week later, Gavrik again called Petya in the sea, already sailing. Quickly got to the Great Fountain. There Gavrik told Pety to go up to the cliff and, as the spinner would appear, wave a handkerchief. The sailor was arrested, but the committee prepared an explosion of the prison wall so that Rodion could escape while walking. On a shawl sailing he will go to Romania.
… Long minutes of waiting, and at the end of the alley a span appeared. Petya waved his handkerchief and saw Gavrik come to life at the bottom.
Terenty and the sailor fled to the shaland. A minute later the sail was filled with wind, and a little later it began to decrease, decreasing, but still for a long time was white on the blue expanse of the sea.