Anna Markovna’s institution is not one of the most luxurious ones, as, say, Treppel’s institution, but not of low-grade ones, there were only two such in the Yama, the rest – rubles and fifty rubles, for soldiers, thieves, gold coins.
Late May evening, Anna Markovna in the hall for guests housed a company of students with whom was privat-docent Yarchenko and the reporter of the local newspaper Platonov. The girls had already gone out to them, but the men continued the conversation started on the street. Platonov said that for a long time and well knows this institution and its inhabitants. He, you can say, is his own person here, but he never visited any of the “girls”. He wanted to enter this world and understand it from the inside. All the loud phrases about the trade in women’s meat – nothing in comparison with everyday, business trivia, prosaic everyday life. The horror is that this is not perceived as horror. Meshchanskie everyday life – and only. And the most incredible converge here uncombined, it seemed, the beginning: sincere, for example, piety and natural gravitation to crime. Here Simeon, the local bouncer. He takes away the prostitutes, beats them, in the past he’s probably a murderer. And he made friends with him on the works of John of Damascus. Religious is extraordinary. Or Anna Markovna. The bloodsucker, hyena, but the most tender mother. Everything for Bertochka: a horse, an Englishwoman, and diamonds
In the hall at this time entered Zhenya, which Platonov, and customers, and the inhabitants of the house were respected for their beauty, mocking impudence and independence. She was agitated today and spoke quickly and quickly in a conditional slang with Tamara. However, Platonov understood him: because of the influx of the public, Pasha had already been taken to the room more than ten times, and this resulted in hysteria and fainting. But as soon as she came to, the hostess again sent her to the guests. The girl was in great demand because of her sexuality. Platonov paid for it so that Pasha would rest in their company… The students soon wandered about the rooms, and Platonov, left alone with Likhonin, an ideological anarchist, continued his story about the local women. As for prostitution as a global phenomenon, it is an unavoidable evil.
Lichonin listened sympathetically to Platonov and suddenly declared that he did not want to remain only a sympathetic spectator. He wants to take the girl from here, to save. “Save it? Return back,” Platonov said with conviction. “He’ll be back,” Zhenya responded in a tone. “Lyuba,” Lichonin turned to another returning girl, “do you want to leave from here?” Not for maintenance, I’ll help you, you’ll open the dining room. “
The girl agreed, and Lichonin, for taking the ten from the housekeeper for an apartment for the whole day, the next day he was going to demand her yellow ticket and change it for a passport. Taking responsibility for the fate of a person, the student had a poor idea of the burdens associated with it. His life became complicated from the very first hours. However, friends agreed to help him develop the saved. Lichonin began teaching her arithmetic, geography and history, and it was his duty to take her to exhibitions, to the theater and to popular lectures. Nezheradze undertook to read to her “Knight in the Panther’s Skin” and teach him to play guitar, mandolin and zurna. Simanovsky suggested studying Marx’s “Capital”, the history of culture, physics and chemistry.
All this took a lot of time, required a lot of money, but gave very modest results. In addition, fraternal relations with her did not always succeed, and she perceived them as a disregard for her feminine virtues.
To get a yellow ticket from the mistress of Lubin, he had to pay more than five hundred rubles of her debt. At twenty-five I had a passport. The relationship between his friends and Lyuba, who was well-groomed and well-groomed outside the brothel, became a problem. Soloviev unexpectedly found himself submitting to the charm of her femininity, and Simanovsky more and more often turned to the theme of a materialistic explanation of love between a man and a woman and, when drawing the outline of these relationships, leaned so low over the seated Anyone that heard the smell of her breast. But for all his erotic nonsense, she answered “no” and “no”, because she became more and more attached to her Vasil Vasilich. The same, having noticed that she likes Simanovsky, already thought about that, having caught them inadvertently, to arrange a scene and get rid of a really unbearable burden for him.
Lyubka reappeared with Anna Markovna after another extraordinary event. Famous throughout Russia singer Rovinskaya, a large, beautiful woman with green eyes of an Egyptian, in the company of Baroness Tefting, lawyer Rozanova and a secular young man Volodya Chaplinsky, from boredom, went round the institutions of Yama: first expensive, then average, then dirtiest. After Treppel went to Anna Markovna and took a separate room, where the housekeeper drove the girls. The last to enter was Tamara, a quiet, pretty girl who had once been a novice in a monastery, and before that someone else, at least spoke fluent French and German. Everyone knew that she had a “cat” Senechka, a thief, to whom she was fairly wasted. At the request of Elena Victorovna, the young ladies sang their usual, canonical songs. And everything would be fine, if the drunk Manka Little had not rushed into them. In a sober manner, it was the most gentle girl in the whole institution, but now she fell to the floor and cried: “Hooray! We got new girls!” The Baroness, indignant, said that she was patronizing the monastery for the fallen girls – the shelter of the Magdalene.
And then Zhenya arose, who suggested that this old fool get out immediately. Her shelters are worse than the prison, and Tamara stated that she knows full well that half of decent women are on maintenance, and the rest, older, contain young boys. Of prostitutes, hardly one per thousand did an abortion, but they all several times.
During Tamarina’s tirade, the baroness said in French that she had already seen this face somewhere, and Rovinskaya, also in French, reminded her that before them was the chorister Margarita, and it is enough to recall Kharkov, the hotel of Konyakin, the entrepreneur Soloveichik. Then the Baroness was not yet a baroness.
Rovinskaya got up and said that, of course, they will leave and the time will be paid, and while she will sing to them the romance of Dargomyzhsky “We parted proudly…”. As soon as the singing ceased, the indomitable Zhenya fell to her knees in front of Rovinskaya and sobbed. Elena Viktorovna bent down to kiss her, but she whispered something to her, to which the singer replied that several months of treatment – and all will pass.
After this visit, Tamara asked about Zhenya’s health. She confessed that she had contracted syphilis, but did not announce it, and every evening purposely infects ten to fifteen bipedal scoundrels.
The girls began to recall and curse all of their most unpleasant or prone to perversion of customers. After this, Zhenya remembered the name of the person who was sold by her own mother, ten years old. “I’m small,” she cried to him, but he replied: “Nothing, you’ll grow up,” and then he repeated this cry of her soul as a walking anecdote. Zoya remembered the teacher of her school, who said that she should listen to him in everything or he would expel her from school for bad behavior.
At that moment Lyubka appeared. Emma Eduardovna, the housekeeper, at the request to take her back, responded with an abuse and beating. Zhenya, unable to endure, clung to her hair. In the next room they were scared, and the fit of hysteria swept the whole house. Only an hour later Simeon with his two fellows by profession was able to calm them, and at the usual hour the younger housekeeper Zosia shouted: “Young ladies, dress up! In the hall!”
… Cadet Kolya Gladishev invariably came to Zhenya. And today he was sitting in her room, but she asked him not to hurry and did not allow to kiss herself. Finally she said she was ill and let him thank God: the other would not have spared him. After all, those who are paid for love hate payers and they never regret it. Kolya sat on the edge of the bed and covered his face with his hands. Zhenya got up and crossed him: “May God protect you, my boy.”
“Will you forgive me, Zhenya?” – he said. “Yes, my boy.” Forgive me, too… I will not see you again! “
In the morning Zhenya went to the port, where, leaving the newspaper for the vagabond life, he worked to unload the watermelons of the Platons. She told him about her illness, and he said that probably she had been infected by Sabashnikov and a student named Ramses, who shot himself, leaving a note where he wrote that he was to blame for what happened, because he took the woman for money, without love.
But a loving Zhenya Sergey Pavlovich could not resolve her doubts that swept her after she regretted Kolya: the dream of infecting everyone was not stupidity, fantasy? Nothing makes sense. She only has one… Two days later during the physical examination, she was found hanged. It smacked to establish some scandalous fame. But now it could only worry Emma Eduardovna, who finally became the mistress, having bought a house from Anna Markovna. She announced to the young ladies that from now on she needs a proper order and unconditional obedience. Her institution will be better than Treppel’s. Immediately she suggested Tamara become her main assistant, but that Senechka did not appear in the house.
Through Rovinskaya and Rezanova, Tamara settled the matter with the funeral of Zhenya’s homicide on the Orthodox rite. All the young ladies followed her coffin. Following Zhenka, Pasha died. She finally fell into dementia, and she was taken to a madhouse where she died. But this did not end Emma Eduardovna’s troubles.
Tamara, together with Senka, soon robbed a notary who, by playing a married woman in love with him, she instilled complete trust. She mixed the sleeping powder with a notary, let Senka enter the apartment, and he opened the safe. A year later, Senka got in Moscow and gave Tamara, who fled with him.
Then Vera passed away. Her lover, an official of the military department, squandered official money and decided to shoot himself. Vera wanted to share his fate. In the room of an expensive hotel after a gorgeous feast, he fired at her, smiled and only wounded himself.
Finally, during one of the fights, Manka the Little One was killed. The ruin of Emma Eduardovna was completed, when to the aid of two fighters, who had been cheated in a neighboring institution, came a hundred soldiers who ruined at once and all nearby.