Moscow was quiet here, in a place called Blagusha. Firsov surveyed the surroundings and experienced a fine and desponding emptiness, familiar from experience, when here, just as before, for other books, a handful of human destinies ripened in him.
And then Firsov saw how waking up that Nikolka Zavarikhin had come to Moscow from the village. He ran to his uncle, then walked around his countrymen and found out that his capital was not enough for a commercial initiative in the city.
From grief Zavaryhin took a walk in the pub. A magnificent beauty appeared on the platform, but then a certain gentleman in a raccoon coat and the same expensive hat attracted the attention of all visitors. For his restraint felt a hidden power. That was the famous thief-bear-bearer Mitya Vekshin.
Until recently, Vekshin was, as they say, almost a commissar of a small cavalry unit. The elevation was interrupted by one incident: Vekshin maimed an unarmed captive lieutenant boy, then fell
into a drinking-bout, and the secretary of the regimental cell Artasheshe was forced to write a report to the political department of the division for the best friend. Vekshina was removed from office and expelled from the party. When the civil war ended, Vekshin arrived in the capital. He looked at the bait of NEP with the contempt of the tamer. When suddenly a trifling street scene with Nepmanshey – at the entrance to the chic deli, the dressed lady slapped him on the arm, mistakenly believing that Vershin was eager to enter before her – destroyed his confidence of the winner.
By night Vekshin got drunk in a nasty slum, and soon became a gang of a gang. He tried to convince himself that he was a partisan against the old world. Together with the master “trains” Vasily Vasilyevich they stole a suitcase from a neighbor on the coupe. In it there were female rags, a circus tackle and a photo. For her, Mitya also realized that he had robbed his own sister Tatyanka, who in her childhood had run away from home and now became the famous aerial acrobat Gela Velton. All this was established by the writer
In the past of the past, there was another character – the black-haired beauty Masha Dolomanova. At first they had a childhood friendship, which was renewed every summer at the time of the Machine Vacations. But over the years, it was quite different between them… and it broke off. For several years they had not seen each other.
Then the meeting did happen. Tired and plump, the matured Vekshin from work and met unrecognizablely blossomed, elegant Masha under a lace umbrella. The girl found out through mazut and soot, called Mitya, who turned away. Apparently, self-esteem was stronger than attachment. I did not want to think that he, a golodranets, was marking the well-to-do Dolomanov with his son-in-law.
Soon Mitya became an assistant to the machinist, got acquainted with political parties. At the bottom of his chest invariably lay a cheap ring with turquoise, not bought from Masha, bought from the first earnings. But Masha did not forget Mitya ever.
In the fatal evening of early spring she was carried into impenetrable deafness. Even Firsov could not understand why. Suddenly, Agy Stolyarov, the famous robber and murderer, came out to the shore of the lake and took it. When Agyika offered Masha a joint life, she agreed. Hence, there was in her terrible groom something worthy, deliberately not shown by Firsov.
So Masha became a thief Manka Blizzard. And when she met Mitya, she promised: for giving her to the vile Agey, who even thieves avoid, even if she does not expect mercy from her. Even the ring with turquoise did not soften it. She said straight out what would make of proud Mitya “worse than those” whom he now despises. He will burn him with innocent blood. And the ring, she said, it will come in handy. Masha only Tatyanka admitted that this Mitya then appointed her a date in the wilderness, but he did not come, having stayed on the party work.
Soon Mitya went with him to work and, only when he opened the safe, he found out that the institution had been robbed, where the old friend of Artashes was the boss. The compromised safe had a clue – the very ring. But Artasheshev, recognizing the ring, returned it to the owner on occasion.
Nikolka Zavarikhin meanwhile opened his trade – and fell in love with Gela Welton, that is, Tanya Vekshin. And Tanya in it. The good-natured girl was clearly aware of how this crude, assertive shopkeeper did not suit her. But she was looking for support. With her there was a misfortune: in the arena her fear became frightened. From Nikolka, strength and confidence came to her.
One night, returning from the bridegroom, Tanya met Firsov and asked directly: how many pages left in his story for her share?
The writer also went to Masha and made a stormy speech, explaining that his writing power only seems ghostly, but in fact his kingdom is from this world that he can lead Masha through a crowd of characters, give her the power to decide their destinies….
No one interfered with their conversation, since Masha, under suspicious circumstances, had become a widow and brought to her a long and hopelessly in love with her the thief Donka, either as a bodyguard or as a gatekeeper. Handsome Donna served her as a slave, but he did not hide his hopes for the future. Vekshin was very concerned about such a neighborhood, but he could do nothing: he fell asleep one day and was forced to leave Moscow.
Vekshin went to his homeland. While searching for his father, he unexpectedly got to the wedding of his stepbrother Leonty. Then he spent several homeless nights in nature, pondering his life and earthly destiny. It ripened “an image of electric reins that can not only curb, but also saturate with a higher historical meaning… meaninglessly flowing before the lowlands of history of the human thicket.”
In a complex mental state Vekshin somehow not too violently reacted to the death of his sister. Tanya’s fears were justified: she broke up, performing her crown number penalty. Though Mitya’s thoughts took revenge on the opponent, as he began to suspect, now he is already lucky. He had already forgotten what the vengeful Masha wanted to do with the murderer, and he conceived a cunning plan for the destruction of Donka on the rules, that is, the thieves’ court of honor.
In the Firsov story it was picturesquely described how, after the unsuccessful murder of Donka, Vekshin was traveling somewhere to the Trans-Siberian distance, when he came out at a random semi-station where his loggers sheltered him… But in fact his fallen hero was faced with a very different social reforging.
Either the writer described the everyday way of Vekshin as a shaky bridge from crime to enlightenment, or he used the biography of the character as a blank to try on some of his thoughts “about the culture and filling of the human…”
A middle-aged woman visited the writer Firsova – that was his muse who had served the term of Manka Vjuga. Something told the author about the fate of his characters. The writer did not notice when and how she managed to leave the bouquet under the epilogue draft.