Postal station dictator.
Who has not cursed the station keepers, who are not with them branivalsya? Who, in a moment of anger, not required of them fatal book, in order to enter in the judges his useless complaint of harassment, rudeness and failure? Who does not honor their monsters of the human race, equal or late scribes, at least, Murom robbers? We will however hold, We try to get into their position and, может быть, let us judge them more lenient. What is the stationmaster? Who is a martyr of the fourteenth class, Fenced his rank tokmo battered *, and it is not always (I am referring to the conscience of my readers). What is the position of this dictator, as it is called jokingly Prince Vyazemsky? Is not the real hard labor? No rest day, or night. all vexation, accumulated during a boring drive, traveler takes out the inspector. Weather obnoxious, bad road, the driver stubborn, horses do not carry - and to blame the superintendent. Going into his house the poor, the traveler looks at him as an enemy; OK, if it is possible he will soon get rid of the intruder; but unless there horses?.. Christ! some swearing, what threats will fall on his head! The rain and sleet forced it to run from house to house; in a storm, Epiphany frost leaves it to the porch, to just relax for a moment from crying and irritable tremors guest. comes General; trembling postmaster gives him the last two triples, including courier. General rides, not thank him. After five minutes - bell!.. courier and throws it on the table a roadside!.. May consider in all of this good, and instead of indignation, our heart turns sincere compassion. A few words: for twenty years on end, I traveled all over Russia in all directions; almost all post roads I know; several generations of coachmen familiar to me; caretaker rare I do not know in person, a rare case, I did not have; curious stock travel my observations I hope to publish in a short time; meanwhile I can only say, that the class of station keepers presented the general opinion in the false light. These so slandered rangers generally are peaceful people, by nature helpful, prone to the hostel, modest in the claims to the honors and not too covetous. From their conversations (wherewith inappropriately neglected gentlemen passing) you can learn many interesting and instructive. As for me, the, I confess, I prefer their conversation speeches of some officials 6th grade *, on government business.
One can easily guess, that I have friends of the venerable estate caretakers. Indeed, one of them, my memory is precious. Circumstances brought us together once, and on it something I'm now going to talk with dear reader.
AT 1816 year, in the month of May, I happened to pass through *** ical province, on path, now destroyed. I was in the small rank, I am riding on the chaise and pay runs for two horses *. As a consequence of this the rangers do not stand on ceremony with me, Biran and often I fight it, what, in my opinion, I should rightly. Being young and hot-tempered, I was indignant at the baseness and cowardice caretaker, when this latter cooked gave me three under wheelchair bureaucratic master. Just as long I could not get used to, intelligible to me slave portages dish at the governor's dinner. Now both it seems to me a matter of course. Indeed, what would happen to us, if instead obscheudobnogo rules: rank rank Honor, coined another, eg: crazy mind Honor? Whatever disputes arose! and the servants with whom would the feeding dish? But speaking to my story.
The day was hot. Two miles from the station *** it became drizzle, and a minute later torrential rain soaked me to the skin. On arrival at the station, the first concern was to quickly change clothes, the second to ask yourself some tea. "Hey, Dunja! - cried the superintendent, - samovar but to go for the cream ". With these words came out from behind the partition girl of about fourteen, and ran into the hall. I was struck by her beauty. "This is your daughter?"- I asked the caretaker. "Look-a, - he replied overlooking satisfied vanity;- Yes, such a reasonable, such prompt, all in the dead woman's mother '. Then he began to rewrite my travel, I take up the pictures, adorned his humble, but tidy abode. They depicted the story of the prodigal son. The first venerable old man in the nightcap and dressing-gown to a restless youth, which quickly takes his blessing and a bag of money. The other striking features shown dissolute young man's behavior: he sits at the table, surrounded by false friends and shameless women. Further, promotavshiysya teenager, in sackcloth and three-cornered hat, tending the pigs and shared a meal with them; in his face deep sorrow and repentance shown. Finally presents the return him to his father; good old man in the same nightcap and dressing-gown runs out to meet him: prodigal son kneels; in the cook kills the fatted calf, and older brother asks the servants of the reason for such joy. Under each picture I read decent German poems. All this is preserved to this day in my memory, as well as pots of balsam, and a bed with colorful curtains, and other items, me while surrounded. I see, as it is now, of the owner, quinquagenarian, fresh and cheerful, and his long green sertuk with three medals on faded ribbons.
Before I could pay off my old coachman, how Dunya returned with samovar. Little coquette at second sight noticed impression, she had made on me; She lowered her big blue eyes; I began to talk to her, she answered me without any timidity, like a girl, videvšaâ world. I offered her father a glass of punch; Doon gave me a cup of tea, and the three of us began to talk, as if the age were familiar.
Horses have long been ready, and I do not want to part with the superintendent and his daughter. Finally, I said goodbye to them; father wished me bon voyage, and daughter spent to cart. In the hall, I stopped and asked her permission to kiss her; Dunya agreed ... I can count a lot of kisses, Since, like doing it, but none left in me so long, such pleasant memories.
Several years have passed, and circumstances have led me to the same path, in those places. I remembered the old postmaster's daughter and was delighted at the thought, I'd see her again. But, I thought, old caretaker, может быть, It has been replaced; probably, Dunya was already married. The thought of death, or that also flashed through my mind, and I walked up to the station *** with a sad foreboding.
Horses stood at the mail house. Voshed room, I immediately recognized the pictures, depicting the story of the prodigal son; table and bed were in the same places; but there was no color in the windows, and all circles show the disrepair and neglect. The caretaker was asleep under a sheepskin coat; my arrival woke him; He stood up ... This was exactly Samson Vyrin; but how he had aged! Meanwhile he was going to rewrite my travel, I looked at his gray hair, on deep wrinkles have long unshaven face, I bent back on - and could not Hanadiv, like three or four years could turn cheerful man in a frail old man. "Do you recognize me? - I asked him,;- you and I are old acquaintances ". - "It may be, - he replied sullenly;- the road is big; many passers I have visited ". - "Does your Dunya Zdorova?"- I continued. The old man frowned,. "And God knows it ', - he answered. "So it is clear Married?" - I said. The old man pretended, if they did not hear my question and continued to read my travel posheptom. I stopped their questions and told him to put the kettle on. Curiosity was beginning to bother me, and I was hoping, that the punch will allow the language of my old friend.
I was not wrong: The old man did not refuse the cup. I noticed, rum clarified his sullenness. On the second glass he became talkative; or I remembered view, if I remembered, and I learned from him the story, which at that time greatly occupied me and touched.
"So you knew my Dounia? - he started. - Who does not know her? Brother, Dunja, Dunja! What a girl she once was! Sometimes, who either will pass, commendable, Has no one condemned. The ladies gave it, and platochkom, and earrings. Lord purposely stayed carriageways, if dinner, dine al, and in fact, just to look at her Podoliev. Sometimes the master, Whatever may have been angry, when it dies down and graciously spoke to me. you believe it, sir: couriers, courier with her for half an hour to start talking. She kept the house: that lay, what to cook, for all time to. And I, old fool, not nahlyazhus, happened, not naraduyus; Do I really did not like my Dunya, eh I did not cherish my child; so there was no habitation her? Well no, out of trouble is not otbozhishsya; is destined, that is inevitable ". Then he began to tell me in detail their grief. - Three years ago, one day, in winter evening, when the superintendent razlinovyval new book, and his daughter behind a partition sewed a dress, trio arrived, and a traveler in a Circassian cap, military overcoat, wrapped in a shawl, entered the room, requiring horses. The horses were all in the dispersal. When news of this and the traveler was lifted up his voice and whip; but Dunja, accustomed to such scenes, He ran out from behind the screen, and gently asked the carriageway with a question: I do not want to be him something to eat? The emergence of Duni produced its ordinary effect. traveler's anger was; He agreed to wait for the horses and ordered supper. removing wet, kosmatuyu cap, otputav shawl and pulled off his coat, He was a young traveler, slim hussar with a small black mustache. It is located at the ranger, fun started talking with him and his daughter. served dinner. Meanwhile, the horse came, and the warden ordered, to immediately, do not feed, harnessed them to the tent traveler; but, returning, he found a young man lying almost unconscious on the bench: he fainted, chairman razbolelas, it was impossible to go ... How to be! the superintendent gave him her bed, it should have been, if the patient will not be easier, in the morning to send for the doctor With ***.
The next day the hussar was worse. Man it rode to town for the doctor. Dounia tied his handkerchief head, soaked in vinegar, and I sat with her sewing at his bedside. The patient with postmaster groaned and did not say a word about, Well but I drank two cups of coffee and groaning ordered lunch. Dunya did not depart from it. He kept asking to drink, Dunya and presented him a cup of lemonade she harvested. Sick dipped his lips and every time, returning mug, in gratitude to his feeble hand shaking hand Dunyushkinu. By lunchtime, the doctor came. He felt the patient's pulse, I spoke to him in German, and declared in Russian, that he needed to calm one and that after two days it will be possible to go on the road. Hussar handed him twenty-five rubles for a visit, I invited him to dinner; doctor agreed; both ate with great appetite, We drank a bottle of wine and parted very pleased with each other.
Another day passed, and hussar recovered completely. He was very cheerful, incessantly joking with the Duneyu, with the caretaker; whistling songs, I talked to the carriageway, I enter their roadside post in book, and so fond of the good superintendent, that he was sorry to leave on the third morning with gracious to their guests. It was a Sunday; Dunya going to church. Husar gave tent. He said goodbye to the caretaker, generously rewarded him for his post and refreshments; Duneyu simply and volunteered to take her to the church, which was on the edge of the village. Dunya stood in disbelief ... "What are you afraid? - she told her father, - because His Honor is not a wolf, and you will not eat: prokatys ka church ". Dunya sat in the tent beside the hussar, servant jumped on obluchok, coachman whistled, and the horse jumped.
Poor caretaker did not realize, how could he let her go with the Dune hussar, How did you find him dazzle, and then what happened to his mind. Less than an hour, how his heart began to ache, whine, and anxiety possessed him to such an extent, that he could not resist and went himself to Mass. Approaching the church, he saw, that people have disagreed, but Dunya was not in the fence, our tufts. He hurried into the church: the priest left the altar; sexton extinguished candles, Two old women were praying back in the corner; but Dunya in the church was not. Poor father could hardly bring himself to ask the sexton, Whether she was at Mass. sexton posted, that there are no. The superintendent went home more dead than alive. One hope remained to him: Dunia frivolity taken in head of a young age, может быть, ride to the next station, where her godmother lived. In painful excitement he expected the triple return, where he let her go. The driver did not return. Finally in the evening, he arrived one and hops, with murderous news: "Dunya with the station went on with the hussar".
The old man blew his misfortune; he immediately came down to the very bed, where the day before lay a young trickster. Now the overseer, wondering all the circumstances, I guessed, that the illness was feigned. The poor man was sick severe fever; he was taken to the S *** and in its place determined at the time of the other. The same doctor, who came to the hussar, treated and. He assured the superintendent, that the young man was quite well, and that was still guessed his evil intent, but silent, fearing his whip. Is it true or just a German wanted to boast visionary, but it is the least those not consoled poor patient. Only opravyasy of sorrows, superintendent begged S *** postmaster vacation for two months, without saying a word to anyone about his intention, foot went for his daughter. He knew from Podorojnaya, that Captain Minsky was traveling from Smolensk to Petersburg. coachman, who drove his, I was telling, that in all the way Dunya cried, although, it seemed, He went on his hunting. "Perhaps, - I thought the superintendent, - I'll bring home the lost sheep of my ". With this thought he arrived in St. Petersburg, I stayed in the Izmailovo Regiment *, in the house of a retired noncommissioned officer, his old colleague, and he began his search. Soon he learned, that Captain Minsky in St. Petersburg and lived in the inn Demutovom *. The superintendent decided to come to him.
Early in the morning he came to the front and asked him to report to his excellency, the old soldier wished to see him. military footman, cleaning of boots on the block, announced, that the master is resting and that before eleven o'clock will not accept anyone. The caretaker left and returned at the appointed time. Minsky himself came out to him in a dressing gown, in a red calotte. "What, brother, thou shalt?"- he asked him,. the old man's heart boil, Tears welled up in my eyes, and he said in a trembling voice only: "Your honor!.. make this Divine mercy!.."Minsky glanced at him quickly, erupted, I took his hand, He led into the office and locked the door behind him. "Your honor! - the old man, - that a cart fell, something missing; give me the, at least, my poor Dunya. After all, you have a good laugh it; Well not ruin it for nothing ". - "What is done, not be undone, - said the young man in extreme confusion; - guilty before thee, and am pleased to ask you for forgiveness; but do not think, so that I could leave Dounia: she will be happy, I give you my word. Why do you need it? She loves Me; she weaned from their former status. neither you, nor is it - you will not forget that, what happened". Then, thrusting something to him by the sleeve, he opened the door, and caretaker, alone do not remember how, He found himself in the street.
For a long time he stood motionless, finally I saw the cuff of his sleeve bundle of papers; he took them and turned a few five and ten-crumpled banknotes. Tears again welled up in his eyes, tears of indignation! He clenched his notes into a ball, I threw them down, stamp down heel, and I walked a few steps ... Otoshed, he stopped, I thought ... and came back ... but there was no assignations. A well-dressed young man, seeing him, I ran to the cab, I sat down hurriedly, and cried: "Go!.."The caretaker did not chase after him. He decided to go home to his station, but first I wanted at least once to see his poor Dunya. For this two days he returned to Minsk; but the military waiter told him sternly, that the master no one takes, breasts drove him from the front and slammed the door in his face. The superintendent stood, I stood - and went.
On this very day,, in the evening, he was walking along the Foundry, otsluzhiv church service in Vseh Skorbyashtih. Suddenly raced before him foppish droshky, and the warden learned Minsk. The carriage stopped in front of a three-story house, near the entrance, Hussar and ran to the porch. A happy thought flashed through my head ranger. He returned and, poravnyavshys with Kucher: "Whose, brother, horse? - he asked, - Do not Minsk?"-" Just, - replied the driver, - and what you?"-" Yes, that's what: your master has ordered me to include a note to his Dunya, and I Forget, where Dunya somehow it lives ". - "Yes, that's here, Second floor. I missed you, brother, with your note; now I have it her own ". - "There is no need, - said the superintendent with the inexplicable movement of the heart, - thank, has advised that, and I'll do the trick ". And with these words he went down the stairs.
Doors were locked; he called, it took several seconds for him in painful anticipation. The key rattled, he opened the. "It is worth Avdotia Samsonovna?" - he asked. "Here, - replied the young maid;- Why do you need it ought?"Ranger, not responding, I entered the room. "You can not, must not! - shouted after him servant, - at Avdotya Samsonovna guests ". but the superintendent, not listening to, I went further. The first two rooms were dark, the third was the fire. He walked to the open door and stood. In the room, perfectly harvested, Ming sat in thought. Dunja, dressed with all the luxury fashion, I sat on the arm of his chair, as a rider on his English saddle. She tenderly looked at the Minsk, winding his black curls on his glittering fingers. poor superintendent! Never had his daughter seemed to him so beautiful; he involuntarily admired her. "Who's there?"- she said, without raising her head. He was silent all. Receiving no response, Dunya raised her head ... and with a cry fell on the carpet. Scared Minsky rushed her to raise and, suddenly I see the door of the old caretaker, left Dunya, and I went up to him, yeast anger. "What do you want? - he said to him,, clenched teeth, - what are you sneaking around behind me, as a thief? or do you want me to kill? Go away!"and, strong hand grabbed the old man by the collar, I pushed him to the stairs.
The old man came to his apartment. His friend advised him to complain; but the superintendent thought, He waved his hand and decided to withdraw. After two days he went from St. Petersburg back to his station, and again took up his post. "This is the third year, - he concluded, - How do I live without Dunya, and how about it no hearing nor the spirit. Is Live, whether, God knows it. any case. Not her first, not her last seduced traveler playboy, and he held it there and the cast. Many of them in St. Petersburg, young fools, today in satin and velvet, and tomorrow, pohlyadysh, sweep the streets with golyu Taverns. When I think sometimes, that Dunja, может быть, then disappears, so inevitably sin, but wish her grave ... "
Such was the story of my friend, old caretaker, story, repeatedly interrupted by tears, which he picturesquely wiped his skirt of his coat, how hard Terentich in the beautiful ballad Dmitrieva *. These tears were partly excitability punch, whose five glasses he pulled during his narrative; but whatsoever, they greatly touched my heart. Parted, a long time I could not forget the old postmaster, I've been thinking about poor Dun ...
recently more, passing through town ***, I remembered my buddy; I found out, that the station, of which he was the chief, already destroyed. To my question: "Is he alive the old postmaster?"- no one could give me a satisfactory answer. I decided to visit a familiar side, I took freestyle horses and launched into a village H.
It happened in the autumn. Gray sky covered clouds; A cold wind blew from the reaped fields, carrying red and yellow leaves of trees colliding. I came to the village at sunset, and stopped at the mail house. In the fall of (where once I kissed my poor Dunya) A fat woman came out and my questions answered, that the old postmaster with a year died, that settled in his house brewer, and that she was the wife brewer. I felt sorry for my wasted journey and the seven rubles, had spent in vain. "Why did he die?"- I asked Pivovarov wife. "SPIL, father ", - she replied. "Where he was buried?"-" on the outskirts, beside his dead mistress'. - "Can you bring me to his grave?"-" Why not. Hey, Vanya! full you messing with cats. Spend a minute master in the cemetery but tell it smotritelevu grave ".
With these words a ragged boy, red and curve, She ran up to me and immediately took me outside the village.
- you knew the deceased? - I asked him dear.
- How to know! He taught me fife grave. Sometimes (Rest in peace!), It comes out of the tavern, And we him: "Grandfather, grandfather! nuts!"- and he gives us nuts and. Everything, happened, us busy.
- A carriageways whether his recall?
- Yes Nona little roadways; unless the assessor zavernet, but that is not to the dead. Here in the summer drove lady, so she asked about the old postmaster and went to his grave.
- What a lady? - I asked with curiosity.
- Beautiful lady, - answered the boy; - she was riding in a carriage of six horses, with three small barchatami and nurse, and a black pug; and how she was told, the old caretaker died, so she began to cry and told the children: "Sit quietly, and I'm going to the cemetery ". I had volunteered to bring it. And the lady said,: "I know very expensive". And she gave me a nickel silver - such a kind lady!..
We came to the cemetery, bare place, no fenced, dotted with wooden crosses, not shaded by a single tree. He has never seen such a sad cemetery I.
- This is the tomb of the old postmaster, - he told me the boy, vsprygnuv on a pile of sand, which is either anchored to a black cross with a copper way.
- And a lady came here? - I asked.
- Comes, - I replied Vanka; I watched her from afar. She lay there and lay for a long time. And then the lady went to the village and called the priest, I gave him the money and went, and he gave me a nickel silver - Nice lady!
And I gave the boy penny and did not regret any longer about the trip, Neither the seven rubles, I ystrachennыh.