psna.ru

Magazine for tourists

Table of contents


Kinds of tourism

Excursion (author BV Emelyanov)

introduction

1. Fundamentals Excursion

2. guided technique

3. Professional skills guide

Tunisia (author Danielle shetar Friedrich chum)

In the Sikhote-Alin (author VK Arseniev)

Michail bulgakov. the heart of a dog

 One
 Two
 Three
 Five
 Six
 Seven
 Eight
 Nine
 Epilogue
Mikhail bulgakov. the master and margarita

Charlotte bronte. jane eyre

F. scott fitzgerald / the great gatsby

Jerome klapka jerome / three men in a boat


 Home
     Michail bulgakov. the heart of a dog
          Six

Six

'No, no, no!' insisted Bormenthal. 'You must tuck in vour napkin.'

'Why the hell should I,' grumbled Sharikov.

'Thank you, doctor,' said Philip Philipovich gratefully. 'I simply

haven't the energy to reprimand him any longer.'

'I shan't allow you to start eating until you put on your napkin. Zina,

take the mayonnaise away from Sharikov.'

'Hey, don't do that,' said Sharikov plaintively. 'I'll put it on

straight away.'

Pushing away the dish from Zina with his left hand and stuffing a

napkin down his collar with the right hand, he looked exactly like a

customer in a barber's shop.

'And eat with your fork, please,' added Bormenthal.

Sighing long and heavily Sharikov chased slices of sturgeon around in a

thick sauce.

'Can't I have some vodka?' he asked.

'Will you kindly keep quiet?' said Bormenthal. 'You've been at the

vodka too often lately.'

'Do you grudge me it?' asked Sharikov, glowering sullenly across the

table.

'Stop talking such damn nonsense . . .' Philip Philipovich broke in

harshly, but Bormenthal interrupted him.

'Don't worry, Philip Philipovich, leave it to me. You, Sharikov are

talking nonsense and the most disturbing thing of all is that you talk it

with such complete confidence. Of course I don't grudge you the vodka,

especially as it's not mine but belongs to Philip Philipovich. It's simply

that it's harmful. That's for a start; secondly you behave badly enough

without vodka.' Bormenthal pointed to where the sideboard had been broken

and glued together.

'Zina, dear, give me a little more fish please,' said the professor.

Meanwhile Sharikov had stretched out his hand towards the decanter and,

with a sideways glance at Bormenthal, poured himself out a glassful.

'You should offer it to the others first,' said Bormenthal. 'Like this

- first to Philip Philipovich, then to me, then yourself.'

A faint, sarcastic grin nickered across Sharikov's mouth and he poured

out glasses of vodka all round.

'You act just as if you were on parade here,' he said. 'Put your napkin

here, your tie there, "please", "thank you", "excuse me" -why can't you

behave naturally? Honestly, you stuffed shirts act as if it was still the

days oftsarism.'

'What do you mean by "behave naturally"?'

Sharikov did not answer Philip Philipovich's question, but raised his

glass and said: 'Here's how . . .'

'And you too,' echoed Bormenthal with a tinge of irony.

Sharikov tossed the glassful down his throat, blinked, lifted a piece

of bread to his nose, sniffed it, then swallowed it as his eyes filled with

tears.

'Phase,' Philip Philipovich suddenly blurted out, as if preoccupied.

Bormenthal gave him an astonished look. 'I'm sorry? . . .'

'It's a phase,' repeated Philip Philipovich and nodded bitterly.

'There's nothing we can do about it. Klim.'

Deeply interested, Bormenthal glanced sharply into Philip Philipovich's

eyes: 'Do you suppose so, Philip Philipovich?' 'I don't suppose; I'm

convinced.'

'Can it be that . . .' began Bormenthal, then stopped after a glance at

Sharikov, who was frowning suspiciously. 'Spdter . . .' said Philip

Philipovich softly. 'Gut,' replied his assistant.

Zina brought in the turkey. Bormenthal poured out some red wine for

Philip Philipovich, then offered some to Sharikov.

'Not for me, I prefer vodka.' His face had grown puffy, sweat was

breaking out on his forehead and he was distinctly merrier. Philip

Philipovich also cheered up slightly after drinking some wine. His eyes grew

clearer and he looked rather more approvingly at Sharikov, whose black head

above his white napkin now shone like a fly in a pool of cream.

Bormenthal however, when fortified, seemed to want activity.

'Well now, what are you and I going to do this evening?' he asked

Sharikov.

Sharikov winked and replied: 'Let's go to the circus. I like that

best.'

'Why go to the circus every day?' remarked Philip Philipovich in a

good-humoured voice. 'It sounds so boring to me. If I were you I'd go to the

theatre.'

'I won't go to the theatre,' answered Sharikov nonchalantly and made

the sign of the cross over his mouth.

'Hiccuping at table takes other people's appetites away,' said

Bormenthal automatically. 'If you don't mind my mentioning it...

Incidentally, why don't you like the theatre?' Sharikov held his empty glass

up to his eye and looked through it as though it were an opera glass. After

some thought he pouted and said:

'Hell, it's just rot . . . talk, talk. Pure counter-revolution.'

Philip Philipovich leaned against his high, carved gothic chairback and

laughed so hard that he displayed what looked like two rows of gold

fence-posts. Bormenthal merely shook his head.

'You should do some reading,' he suggested, 'and then, perhaps . . .'

'But I read a lot . . .' answered Sharikov, quickly and surreptitiously

pouring himself half a glass of vodka.

'Zina!' cried Philip Philipovich anxiously. 'Clear away the vodka, my

dear. We don't need it any more . . . What have you been reading?'

He suddenly had a mental picture of a desert island, palm trees, and a

man dressed in goatskins. 'I'll bet he says Robinson Crusoe . . .'he

thought.

'That guy . . . what's his name . . . Engels' correspondence with . . .

hell, what d'you call him ... oh - Kautsky.'

Bormenthal's forkful of turkey meat stopped in mid-air and Philip

Philipovich choked on his wine. Sharikov seized this moment to gulp down his

vodka.

Philip Philipovich put his elbows on the table, stared at Sharikov and

asked:

'What comment can you make on what you've read?'

Sharikov shrugged. 'I don't agree.'

'With whom - Engels or Kautsky?'

'With neither of 'em,' replied Sharikov.

'That is most remarkable. Anybody who says that . . . Well, what would

you suggest instead?'

'Suggest? I dunno . . . They just write and write all that rot ... all

about some congress and some Germans . . . makes my head reel. Take

everything away from the bosses, then divide it up . . .'

'Just as I thought!' exclaimed Philip Philipovich, slapping the

tablecloth with his palm. 'Just as I thought.'

'And how is this to be done?' asked Bormenthal with interest.

'How to do it?' Sharikov, grown loquacious with wine, explained

garrulously:

'Easy. Fr'instance - here's one guy with seven rooms and forty pairs of

trousers and there's another guy who has to eat out of dustbins.'

'I suppose that remark about the seven rooms is a hint about me?' asked

Philip Philipovich with a haughty raise of the eyebrows.

Sharikov hunched his shoulders and said no more. 'All right, I've

nothing against fair shares. How many patients did you turn away yesterday,

doctor?' 'Thirty-nine,' was Bormenthal's immediate reply. 'H'm . . . 390

roubles, shared between us three. I won't count Zina and Darya Petrovna.

Right, Sharikov - that means your share is 130 roubles. Kindly hand it

over.'

'Hey, wait a minute,' said Sharikov, beginning to be scared. 'What's

the idea? What d'you mean?'

'I mean the cat and the tap,' Philip Philipovich suddenly roared,

dropping his mask of ironic imperturbability. 'Philip Philipovich!'

exclaimed Bormenthal anxiously. 'Don't interrupt. The scene you created

yesterday was intolerable, and thanks to you I had to turn away all my

patients. You were leaping around in the bathroom like a savage, smashing

everything and jamming the taps. Who killed Madame Polasukher's cat? Who . .

.'

'The day before yesterday, Sharikov, you bit a lady you met on the

staircase,' put in Bormenthal.

'You ought to be . . .' roared Philip Philipovich.

'But she slapped me across the mouth,' whined Sharikov 'She can't go

doing that to me!'

'She slapped you because you pinched her on the bosom,' shouted

Bormenthal, knocking over a glass. 'You stand there and . . .'

'You belong to the lowest possible stage of development,' Philip

Philipovich shouted him down. 'You are still in the formative stage. You are

intellectually weak, all your actions are purely bestial. Yet you allow

yourself in the presence of two university-educated men to offer advice,

with quite intolerable familiarity, on a cosmic scale and of quite cosmic

stupidity, on the redistribution of wealth . . . and at the same time you

eat toothpaste . . .'

'The day before yesterday,' added Bormenthal.

'And now,' thundered Philip Philipovich, 'that you have nearly got your

nose scratched off - incidentally, why have you wiped the zinc ointment off

it? - you can just shut up and listen to what you're told. You are going to

leam to behave and try to become a marginally acceptable member of society.

By the way, who was fool enough to lend you that book?'

'There you go again - calling everybody fools,' replied Sharikov

nervously, deafened by the attack on him from both sides.

'Let me guess,' exclaimed Philip Philipovich, turning red with fury.

'Well, Shvonder gave it to me ... so what? He's not a fool ... it was

so I could get educated.'

'I can see which way your education is going after reading Kautsky,'

shouted Philip Philipovich, hoarse and turning faintly yellow. With this he

gave the bell a furious jab. 'Today's incident shows it better than anything

else. Zina!'

'Zina!' shouted Bormenthal.

'Zina!' cried the terrified Sharikov.

Looking pale, Zina ran into the room.

'Zina, there's a book in the waiting-room ... It is in the

waiting-room, isn't it?'

'Yes, it is,' said Sharikov obediently. 'Green, the colour of copper

sulphate.'

'A green book . . .'

'Bum it if you like,' cried Sharikov in desperation. 'It's only a

public library book.'

'It's called Correspondence . . . between, er, Engels and that other

man, what's his name . . . Anyway, throw it into the stove!'

Zina flew out.

'I'd like to hang that Shvonder, on my word of honour, on the first

tree,' said Philip Philipovich, with a furious lunge at a turkey-wing.

'There's a gang of poisonous people in this house - it's just like an

abscess. To say nothing of his idiotic newspapers . . .'

Sharikov gave the professor a look of malicious sarcasm. Philip

Philipovich in his turn shot him a sideways glance and said no more.

'Oh, dear, it looks as if nothing's going to go right,' came

Bormenthal's sudden and prophetic thought.

Zina brought in a layer cake on a dish and a coffee pot.

'I'm not eating any of that,' Sharikov growled threateningly.

'No one has offered you any. Behave yourself. Please have some,

doctor.'

Dinner ended in silence.

Sharikov pulled a crumpled cigarette out of his pocket and lit it.

Having drunk his coffee, Philip Philipovich looked at the clock. He pressed

his repeater and it gently struck a quarter past eight. As was his habit

Philip Philipovich leaned against his gothic chairback and turned to the

newspaper on a side-table.

'Would you like to go to the circus with him tonight, doctor? Only do

check the programme in advance and make sure there are no cats in it.'

'I don't know how they let such filthy beasts into the circus at all,'

said Sharikov sullenly, shaking his head.

'Well never mind what filthy beasts they let into the circus for the

moment,' said Philip Philipovich ambiguously. 'What's on tonight?'

'At Solomon's,' Bormenthal began to read out, 'there's something called

the Four. . . . the Four Yooshems and the Human Ball-Bearing.'

'What are Yooshems?' enquired Philip Philipovich suspiciously.

'God knows. First time I've ever come across the word.'

'Well in that case you'd better look at Nikita's. We must be absolutely

sure about what we're going to see.'

'Nikita's . . . Nikita's . . . h'm . . . elephants and the Ultimate in

Human Dexterity.'

'I see. What is your attitude to elephants, my dear Sharikov?' enquired

Philip Philipovich mistrustfully. Sharikov was immediately offended.

'Hell - I don't know. Cats are a special case. Elephants are useful

animals,' replied Sharikov.

'Excellent. As long as you think they're useful you can go and watch

them. Do as Ivan Arnoldovich tells you. And don't get talking to anyone in

the bar! I beg you, Ivan Arnoldovich, not to offer Sharikov beer to drink.'

Ten minutes later Ivan Arnoldovich and Sharikov, dressed in a peaked

cap and a raglan overcoat with turned-up collar, set off for the circus.

Silence descended on the flat. Philip Philipovich went into his study. He

switched on the lamp under its heavy green shade, which gave the study a

great sense of calm, and began to pace the room. The tip of his cigar glowed

long and hard with its pale green fire. The professor put his hands into his

pockets and deep thoughts racked his balding, learned brow. Now and again he

smacked his lips, hummed 'to the banks of the sacred Nile . . .' and

muttered something. Finally he put his cigar into the ashtray, went over to

the glass cabinet and lit up the entire study with the three powerful lamps

in the ceiling. From the third glass shelf Philip Philipovich took out a

narrow jar and began, frowning, to examine it by the lamplight. Suspended in

a transparent, viscous liquid there swam a little white blob that had been

extracted from the depths of Sharik's brain. With a shrug of his shoulders,

twisting his lips and murmuring to himself, Philip Philipovich devoured it

with his eyes as though the floating white blob might unravel the secret of

the curious events which had turned life upside down in that flat on

Prechistenka.

It could be that this most learned man did succeed in divining the

secret. At any rate, having gazed his full at this cerebral appendage he

returned the jar to the cabinet, locked it, put the key into his waistcoat

pocket and collapsed, head pressed down between his shoulders and hands

thrust deep into his jacket pockets, on to the leather-covered couch. He

puffed long and hard at another cigar, chewing its end to fragments.

Finally, looking like a greying Faust in the green-tinged lamplight, he

exclaimed aloud:

'Yes, by God, I will.'

There was no one to reply. Every sound in the flat was hushed. By

eleven o'clock the traffic in Obukhov Street always died down. The rare

footfall of a belated walker echoed in the distance, ringing out somewhere

beyond the lowered blinds, then dying away. In Philip Philipovich's study

his repeater chimed gently beneath his fingers in his waistcoat pocket . . .

Impatiently the professor waited for Doctor Bormenthal and Sharikov to

return from the circus.


... previous page     next page...