The Invaders, and Other Stories : Part 3, Chapter 8

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1887

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(1828 - 1910) ~ Father of Christian Anarchism : In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "If, in former times, Governments were necessary to defend their people from other people's attacks, now, on the contrary, Governments artificially disturb the peace that exists between the nations, and provoke enmity among them." (From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 1....)
• "People who take part in Government, or work under its direction, may deceive themselves or their sympathizers by making a show of struggling; but those against whom they struggle (the Government) know quite well, by the strength of the resistance experienced, that these people are not really pulling, but are only pretending to." (From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, Au....)
• "You are surprised that soldiers are taught that it is right to kill people in certain cases and in war, while in the books admitted to be holy by those who so teach, there is nothing like such a permission..." (From : "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)

(? - 1935)
Nathan Haskell Dole (August 31, 1852 – May 9, 1935) was an American editor, translator, and author. He attended Phillips Academy, Andover, and graduated from Harvard University in 1874. He was a writer and journalist in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. He translated many works of Leo Tolstoy, and books of other Russians; novels of the Spaniard Armando Palacio Valdés (1886–90); a variety of works from the French and Italian. Nathan Haskell Dole was born August 31, 1852, in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He was the second son of his father Reverend Nathan Dole (1811–1855) and mother Caroline (Fletcher) Dole. Dole grew up in the Fletcher homestead, a strict Puritan home, in Norridgewock, Maine, where his grandmother lived and where his mother moved with her two boys after his father died of tuberculosis. Sophie May wrote her Prudy Books in Norridgewock, which probably showed the sort of life Nathan and his older brother Charles Fletcher Dol... (From : Wikipedia.org.)

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Part 3, Chapter 8

About midnight the merchant's people and Polikéï were aroused by a knocking at the gate and the shouting of muzhíks. It was the contingent of recruits, whom they were bringing in from Pokrovskoé. There were ten men in all: Khoriushkin, Mitiushkin, and Ilya, Dutlofs nephew, two substitutes, the stárosta or elder, the old man Dutlof, and three drivers. The night-lamp was burning in the house, and the cook was asleep on the bench under the holy images. She sprang up, and began to light the lamps. Polikéï also woke up, and bending down from the stove tried to see who the muzhíks were.

Some of them came in, crossed themselves, and sat down on the bench. They were all extremely quiet, so that it was impossible to make out who belonged to the detachment. They greeted each other, jested, and asked for something to eat. To be sure, some were silent and glum; on the other hand, others were extraordinarily gay, and apparently the worse for liquor. In this number was Ilya, who had never been drunk before.

"Well, boys, are you going to have something to eat, or are you going to bed?" asked the village elder.

"Have something to eat," replied Ilya, throwing back his sheepskin, and sprawling out on the bench. "Send for some vodka."

"You've had enough vodka!" rejoined the elder shortly, and turned to the others.... "Better* lunch on some bread, boys, and not keep the people sitting up."

"Give us some vodka," repeated Ilya, not looking at any one, and in a tone of voice that made it evident that he was not going to be put off.

The muzhíks listened to the elder's advice, brought from the cart a great loaf of bread, ate it up, asked for kvas,[12] and lay down to sleep; some on the floor, some on the stove.

Ilya kept saying occasionally, "Give me vodka, I say, give me vodka." Suddenly he caught sight of Polikéï. "Ilyitch—there's Ilyitch! you here, dear old fellow! Here I am going as a soldier; said good-by to mama, and my wife,—how bad she felt! They made me a soldier.—Set up some vodka!"

"No money," said Polikéï. "However, it's as God gives: maybe they'll find you disqualified," he added in a comforting tone.

"No, brother, I have always been as sound as a birch: how could they find me disqualified? How many soldiers more does the Czar need?"

Polikéï began to relate a story of how a muzhík gave a bribe to a dokhter, and so escaped.

Ilya came up to the stove, and continued the conversation.

"No, Ilyitch, now it's done, and I myself don't want to get off. My uncle didn't buy me off. Wouldn't they have bought themselves off? No, he didn't want to spare his son, and he didn't want to spare his money; and they sent me instead.... And now I don't want to get off. [He spoke quietly, confidentially, under the influence of deep dejection.] However, I'm sorry for mama. And how the sweetheart took on! Yes,* and my wife—that's the way they kill the women. Now it's all over; I am a soldier. Better not to have got married. Why did they make me marry? To-morrow we go."

"Why did they take you away with short notice?" asked Polikéï "Nothing had been said about it, and then suddenly" ...

"You see, they were afraid I should do something to myself," replied Ilyushka smiling. "I wouldn't have done any thing, of course. I sha'n't be ruined by going as a soldier; but I'm sorry for the old woman. Why did they make me marry?" he repeated in a soft and melancholy tone.

The door opened, squeaking loudly, and the old man Dutlof, shaking the wet from his hat, came into the room in his huge sabots, which fitted his feet almost like canoes.

"Afanási," said he, crossing himself and addressing the porter,[13] "isn't there some one to hold a lantern while I give the horses their oats?"

Dutlof did not look at his nephew, but quietly busied himself with making a candle-end burn. His glove and whip were thrust into his belt, and his cloak was closely buttoned; he had just come with the baggage. His ordinarily calm, peaceful, and thoughtful face was full of care.

Ilya, when he saw his uncle, stopped talking, again turned his eyes gloomily toward the bench, and then addressing the stárosta said,—

"Give me some vodka, Yermil; I want something to drink."

His voice was angry and stern.

*

"This is no time for wine now," replied the stárosta, sipping his cup of kvas.—"Don't you see the folks have gone to bed? What do you want to make a disturbance for?"

The words "make a disturbance" apparently suggested to him the idea of making a disturbance.

"Stárosta, I'll do myself some harm, if you don't give me some vodka."

"You'd better bring him to reason," said the stárosta to Dutlof, who had now lighted the lantern, but stood listening to what was coming, and looking askance with deep commiseration at his nephew, as though wondering at his childishness.

Ilya, in a tone of desperation, repeated his threat,—

"Give me wine, or I'll do myself some harm."

"Don't, Ilya," said the stárosta gently, "please don't. It's better not."

But these words had scarcely passed his lips ere Ilya leaped up, smashed the window-pane with his fist, and screamed with all his might.

"You won't listen, here's for you," and darted for the other window to smash that also.

Polikéï, in the twinkling of an eye, rolled over twice, and hid himself in an angle of the stove, raising a panic among all the cockroaches. The elder threw aside his cup, and hastened after Ilya. Dutlof slowly put down the lantern, took off his girdle, clucked with his tongue, shook his head, and went to Ilya, who was already struggling with the elder and the porter, who tried to keep him from the window. They had his hands behind his back, and held him tight apparently; but as soon as he saw his uncle with the belt in his hand, tenfold strength was given to him. He tore himself away, and, rolling his eyes in frenzy, f* lung himself upon Dutlof with doubled fist.

"I'll kill you, don't you dare—You have ruined me! Why did you make me marry? Don't you dare—I will kill you!"

Ilyushka was frantic. His face was purple, his eyes were wild, his whole healthy young body trembled as in an ague. It seemed as if he could and would kill all three of the muzhíks who were trying to subdue him.

"You will shed your kinsman's blood, you bloodhound!"

Something passed over Dutlofs ever-calm face. He made a step forward.

"You'd better not do it," he said; and then, however he got his energy, he threw himself with a quick motion on his nephew, rolled over with him on the floor, and with the help of the elder, began to bind his hands. Within five minutes they had him fast. At last Dutlof, with the aid of the muzhíks, got up, tearing Ilya's hands from his sheepskin, in which they were convulsively clutched, got up himself, and then carried the young man, with his hands behind his back, to a bench in one corner of the room.

"I said it would be worse," he remarked, getting his breath after the struggle, and adjusting his shirt-band. "Why should he sin? We must all die. Let him have a cloak for a pillow," he added, turning to the dvornik; "the blood will run to his head" and, after girding himself with a rope, he took his lantern, and went out to his horses.

Ilya with disheveled locks, pale face, and disordered linen, glared about the room as though he were trying to remember where he was. The porter picked up the broken glass, and put a jacket in the window so as* to keep out the cold. The elder again sat down with his cup of kvas.

"Aye, Ilyúkha, Ilyúkha, I'm sorry for you, indeed I am. What's to be done? Here's Khoriushkin, he's married too. No way of avoiding it."

"My uncle is my enemy, and he wants to kill me," reiterated Ilya with tearless wrath. "Much he pities his own!... Mátushka said the overseer told him to hire a substitute. He wouldn't do it. He says he wouldn't borrow. Did I and my brother bring nothing into the house?... He is our enemy."

Dutlof came into the house, said a prayer before the holy images, took off his coat and hat, and sat down by the elder. The maid brought him also a cup of kvas and a spoon. Ilya said nothing, shut his eyes, and lay still on the cloak. The stárosta silently pointed to him, and shook his head. Dutlof waved his hand.

"Am I not sorry to have him go? He's my own brother's son. And though I pity him so, they make it out that I'm his enemy. His wife[14] put it into his head; a crafty woman, but quite too young. The idea of her thinking that we had money enough to hire a substitute! And so she blamed me. And yet I'm sorry for him."

"Akh, he's a fine young fellow," said the stárosta.

"With my little means I couldn't do any thing for him. To-morrow I am going to send Ignat in, and his wife will want to go."

"Send her along, first-rate," said the stárosta, and he got up and mounted the stove. "What's money? Money's dust."

*

"Who would begrudge money if he had it?" asked one of the merchant's people, lifting his head.

"Ekh! money, money! it causes many a sin," replied Dutlof. "Nothing in the world causes so much sin as money, and it says so in the Scriptures."

"It says every thing," said the porter. "A man told me the other day: there was a merchant, he had made a lot of money, and he did not want any of it to remain behind him. He loved his money so that he took it with him into his tomb. He came to die, and ordered every penny that he had to be put into a pillow in the grave with him. And so they did. By and by his sons began to seek for his money. None anywhere. One of them suspected that it was in the cushion. They go to the Czar, and get permission to dig it up. And what do you think? They discovered that there was nothing there, but the grave was full of mold and worms; and then they dig again, and there they find the money."

"Truly, much sin!" said Dutlof, and, standing up, he began to say his prayers.

After he had prayed, he looked at his nephew. He was asleep. Dutlof went to him, took off his belt, and then lay down. Another muzhík went out to sleep with the horses.

[12] A sort of beer made of rye-bread soaked in water and fermented.

[13] dvornik.

[14] khozyáïka.

(Source: Published by Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., New York, 13 Astor Place, 1887.)

From : Gutenberg.org

Chronology

November 30, 1886 :
Part 3, Chapter 8 -- Publication.

June 09, 2021 18:04:01 :
Part 3, Chapter 8 -- Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

June 09, 2021 18:55:20 :
Part 3, Chapter 8 -- Last Updated on https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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