Several years ago, an old Russian gentleman lived in one of their estates, Kiril Petrovich Troyekurov. his wealth, noble family and connections gave him great weight in the provinces, where his estate was. The neighbors were happy to cater to his slightest whim; Provincial officials have trembled at his name; Kiril Petrovich took signs of servility as an appropriate tribute; his house was always full of guests, ready to entertain his aristocratic idleness, separating noisy, and sometimes violent his amusement. No one dared to refuse his invitation, or on certain days do not be with due respect to the village of Pokrovskoye. In the home Kiril Petrovich showed all human vices uneducated. pampered all, only surrounded him, he was accustomed to give free rein to all the passionate impulses of his disposition and all diversions rather limited mind. In spite of the extraordinary power of physical abilities, He twice a week suffering from binge eating, and every night been drunk. In one of the wings of his house lived 16 maids, doing needlework, peculiar to their sex. The windows in the wing were blocked by wooden lattice; the doors were locked locks, from whom the keys were kept in Kiril Petrovitch. Young hermit in the required hours went into the garden and strolled under the supervision of two old women. From time to time Kiril Petrovitch gave some of them married, and new arrived in their place. With peasants and domestics treated it strictly and capriciously; but they are vanity wealth and glory of his master, and, in turn, allowed themselves much with respect to their neighbors, relying on its strong patronage.
Everlasting lesson Troekurova consisted of extensive traveling around his possessions, in the long feasts and pranks, moreover, daily invent and sacrifice of which usually been some new acquaintance; though an old friend is not always avoided them except for one Andrew Gavrilovic Dubrovsky. this Dubrovsky, retired lieutenant Guard, It was his next-door neighbor and owned seventy souls. Troyekurov, arrogant in dealing with people of the highest rank, respected Dubrovsky, despite his humble state. They were once teammates on the service, and Troyekurov knew from experience impatience and determination of his character. Circumstances separated them for a long time. * Dubrovsky frustrated with the state was forced to retire and live the rest of his village. Cyril P., knowin ', He offered him his patronage, but Dubrovsky thanked him and remained poor and independent. A few years later Troyekurov, retired general-in-chief, He came to his estate; they saw each other and rejoiced with each other. Since then, every day they were together, Kiril Petrovich, he has never udostoivavshy anyone with a visit, breezing easily in the little house of his old friend. As peers, born in one class of society, brought up the same way, they skhodstvovali partly in character and inclinations. In some respects, and their fate was the same: Both married for love, Both soon widowed, both remained on the child. Son Dubrovsky was brought up in St. Petersburg, Kiril Petrovitch's daughter grew up in the eyes of the parent, and Troyekurov often said Dubrovsky: "Hear, brother, Andrew G.: when the path will be tvoem Volodko, so I give him Masha; even though he was not a stitch ". Andrei Gavrilovich shook his head and answered generally: "Not, Cyril P.: My fiance Mary Volodya not Kirilovna. The poor gentleman, what he, better marry poor dvoryanochke, but to be the head in the house, than become a clerk spoiled wench ".
Envied agreement, reigning between haughty Troyekurov and the poor of his neighbor, and marveled at the courage of this latter, when he was at his desk at Kiril Petrovitch directly he expressed his opinion, not caring, whether it protivurechilo opinions host. Some were trying to imitate him, and get out of the limits of due obedience, but Kiril Petrovich so their pugnul, that repelled all their desire for such encroachments, Dubrovsky and one remained outside the general law. An unexpected event upset everything and changed.
Once at the beginning of autumn Kiril Petrovitch was going in the outlying field. On the eve of the order was given Psara and aspiring to be ready by five o'clock in the morning. Tents and food were sent ahead to place, where Kiril Petrovitch had dinner. The host and the guests went to the kennel yard, where more than five hundred hounds and greyhounds live in comfort and warmth, praising the generosity of Kiril Petrovitch on his dog language. Immediately there was an infirmary for sick dogs, under the supervision of head physician Timoshka, and separation, where noble bitches oschenyalis and feed their pups. Kiril Petrovitch was proud sim wonderful institution and never missed a chance to brag to your guests add-on, of which each osmotrival it for at least the twentieth time. He paced the kennel, surrounded by his guests and accompanied Timoshkov and chief Psara; I stopped before some kennel, then inquiring about the health of patients, that making observations more or less rigorous and fair, then beckoning to her friends dogs and gently talking to them. Guests revered Duties Kennel admire Kiril Petrovich. One Dubrovsky was silent and frowning. He was hot hunter. His condition allowed him to keep only two hounds and a pack of greyhounds; he could not refrain from a certain envy at the sight of this magnificent institution. "What are you frowning, brother, - asked Kiril Petrovitch, - or my kennel you do not like?" - "Not, - he replied sternly, - kennel wonderful, people hardly your habitation is Well, how your dogs ". One of Psara offended. "We are on our habitation, - he said, - thanks to God and the master does not complain, and that the truth, the truth, and another gentleman would not be a bad exchange for any of the local manor konurku. He was used and a hearty and warm ". Cyril
Petrovich laughed loudly at his insolent remark slave, and the guests followed suit laughed him, although it felt, Houndmaster joke that could be attributed to him. Dubrovsky turned pale and did not say a word. At that time and put it in a basket Kiril Petrovich newborn puppies; he took them, I chose two, others ordered to drown. Meanwhile, Andrei Gavrilovich vanished, and one that did not notice.
Returning guests with kennel yard, Kiril Petrovitch sat down to dinner and then only, seeing Dubrovsky, Enough about it. people answered, Andrei Gavrilovich went home. Troyekurov told him at once to catch up and turn up without fail. He has never traveled it for hunting without Dubrovsky, experienced and thin connoisseur canine virtues and error-free solver of all kinds of hunting dispute. Servant, poskakavšij nim, returned, both sat at the table, and reported to their lord, what, they say, Andrew Gavrilovic did not listen and did not want to come back. Cyril P., according to his custom heated liqueurs, angry, and the second sent the same servant to tell Andrey Gavrilovich, that if he does not immediately come to spend the night at Pokrovskoe, it on, Troyekurov, quarreled with him forever. Valet jumped dreams, Cyril P., rose up from the table, let the guests and went to sleep.
The next day it was the first question: Is Andrew Gavrilovic here? Instead of answering, he was handed a letter, folded triangle; Kiril Petrovich ordered his clerk to read it aloud and heard the following:
"My lord most graciously,
I have so far is going to go to Pokrovskoe, until you do not send me to obey Houndmaster Paramoshko; and is my way to punish him or pardon, I tolerate jokes on your lackeys do not intend to, And from you they do not sterplyu, because I do not clown, and the old gentleman. Behind this service to remain humble
Andrey Dubrovsky ".
According to current concepts about etiquette letter these things would be very indecent, but it angered Kiril Petrovitch not strange style and location, but his essence: "How, - thundered Troyekurov, I jumped out of bed barefoot, - to send him my men to confess, he is free to pardon them, punish! But what he really thought of; but if he knows, Who to contact? Here I'll show him ... I have it Naplachetsya, learns, what is going on Troekurova!»
Kiril Petrovitch he dressed and went hunting with his usual pomp, but the hunt was unsuccessful. During the entire day we saw only one hare and that etched. Lunch in a field under a tent also failed, or at least it was not like Kiril Petrovich, who nailed cook, He scolded the guests and on the way back with all his hunt deliberately drove Dubrovsky's fields.
A few days later, and hostility between the two neighbors was not appeased. Andrew Gavrilovic did not return to Pokrovskoe, Kiril Petrovitch was bored without him, and shame poured it out loud in the most insulting terms, that, due diligence there the nobility, reached Dubrovsky corrections and additions. New circumstance and destroyed the last hope for reconciliation.
Dubrovsky went round once a small possession; closer to a birch grove, he heard the blows of an ax and a minute crack fell a tree. He hurried into the woods and ran at Pokrovsky men, calmly stealing his wood. seeing him, They were rushed to flee. Dubrovsky and his coachman caught two of them and brought them related to his yard. Three enemy's horse got immediately a prey to the winner. Dubrovsky was exceedingly angry: Never before this people Troekurova, known robbers, We did not dare to misbehave within his possessions, knowing his friendly relationship with their master. Dubrovsky saw, that they now enjoy a break occurred, and decided, contrary to all notions of the Law of War, punish their captives bars, with which they have stocked in his own grove, and horses to give the work, attributing to the aristocratic cattle.
Rumor concerning this incident the same day reached Kiril Petrovitch. He lost his temper and in the first minute of anger like it was with all his serf inflict attack on Kistenevka (It was the name of the village of his neighbor), destroy it to the ground and lay siege of the landowner in his estate. Those exploits were it not curiosity. But his thoughts soon took another direction.
Walking up and down with heavy steps up and down the hall, he inadvertently looked out the window and saw the gate to stop three; a little man in a leather cap and a frieze coat came out of the cart and went into the lodge to the bailiff; Troyekurov learned assessor Shabashkin and commanded him to be called. A minute later Shabashkin stood before Kiril Petrovitch, bowing of the bow and reverently awaiting his orders.
- Health, I mean how is your name, - I told him Troyekurov, - what for granted?
- I rode into town, Your Excellency, - posted Shabashkin, - and I went to Ivan Demyanov learn, not whether any orders from your Excellency.
- Very useful stopped, I mean how is your name; I need you to. Drink vodka so listen.
Such affectionate reception pleasantly astonished assessor. He refused the vodka and listened to Kiril Petrovitch with all kinds of attention.
- My neighbor has, - said Troyekurov, - melkopomestnыy bully; I want to take his possessions. What do you think about that?
- Your Excellency, if there are any documents or ...
- Liar, my boy, what documents you. On the orders. That's the power of, without any right to deprive the estate. Wait but w. This estate once belonged to us, It was bought from some Spitsyna and then sold to Dubrovsky's father. Whether it is impossible to find fault with this?
- mudra, your Excellency; probably, Sia sale committed to law.
- Think, my boy, Look good.
- If, eg, Your Excellency, how could there not a way to get from your neighbor record or bill of sale, by virtue of which he owns his estate, then, of course ...
- Understand, But the trouble - he has all the papers were burned in a fire.
- How, Your Excellency, it burned paper! why are you better? - in this case, if you please act according to the laws, and without a doubt get your complete satisfaction.
- You think? Well, see also. I rely on your zeal, but you can be sure of my gratitude.
Shabashkin bowed almost to the ground, I went out, since the days began to work on the case is conspired, and, thanks to his agility, exactly two weeks Dubrovsky received an invitation from immediately deliver adequate explanations about his tenure hamlet Kistenevka.
Andrew G., Amazed unexpected request, on the same day he wrote in response to a rather rude attitude, I mean he declared, Selco Kistenevka that fell to him on the death of his parents dead, he holds it by inheritance, Troyekurov that before him there is no case and that any outside claim to his property is this very sneak and fraud.