The Invaders, and Other Stories

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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.)
• "...for no social system can be durable or stable, under which the majority does not enjoy equal rights but is kept in a servile position, and is bound by exceptional laws. Only when the laboring majority have the same rights as other citizens, and are freed from shameful disabilities, is a firm order of society possible." (From : "To the Czar and His Assistants," by Leo Tolstoy, ....)
• "It is necessary that men should understand things as they are, should call them by their right names, and should know that an army is an instrument for killing, and that the enrollment and management of an army -- the very things which Kings, Emperors, and Presidents occupy themselves with so self-confidently -- is a preparation for murder." (From : "'Thou Shalt Not Kill'," by Leo Tolstoy, August 8,....)
• "There are people (we ourselves are such) who realize that our Government is very bad, and who struggle against it." (From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, Au....)

(? - 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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This document contains 63 sections, with 99,676 words or 595,989 characters.


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On the 24th of July, Captain Khlopof in epaulets and cap—a style of dress in which I had not seen him since my arrival in the Caucasus—entered the low door of my earth-hut. "I'm just from the colonel's," he said in reply to my questioning look; "to-morrow our battalion is to move." "Where?" I asked. "To N——. The troops have been ordered to muster at that place." "And probably some expedition will be made from there?" "Of course." "In what direction, think you?" "I don't think. I tell you all I know. Last night a Tatar from the general came galloping up,—brought orders for the battalion to march, taking two days' rations. But whither, why, how long, isn't for them to ask. Orders are to go—that's enough." "Still, if they are going to take only two days' rations, it's likely the army will not stay longer." "That's no argument at all."... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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At four o'clock on the morning of the next day, the captain came riding up to my door. He had on an old well-worn coat without epaulets, wide Lesghian trousers, a round white Circassian cap, with drooping lambskin dyed yellow, and an ugly-looking Asiatic saber across his shoulder. The little white horse on which he rode came with head down, and mincing gait, and kept switching his slender tail. In spite of the fact that the good captain's figure was neither very warlike nor very handsome, yet there was in it such an expression of good-will toward every one around him, that it inspired involuntary respect. I did not keep him waiting a minute, but immediately mounted, and we rode off together from the gate of the fortress. The battalion was already two hundred sazhens ahead of us, and had the appearance of some black, solid body in motion. It was possible to make out that it was infantry, only from the circumstan... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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Scarcely had the bright sun risen above the mountains, and begun to shine into the valley where we were riding, when the undulating clouds of mist scattered, and it grew warm. The soldiers with guns and knapsacks on their backs marched slowly along the dusty road. In the ranks were frequently heard Malo-Russian dialogues and laughter. A few old soldiers in white linen coats—for the most part noncommissioned officers—marched along the roadside with their pipes, engaged in earnest conversation. The triple rows of heavily laden wagons advanced step by step, and raised a thick dust, which hung motionless. The mounted officers rode in advance; a few jiggited, as they say in the Caucasus; that is, applying the whip to their horses, they spurred them on to make four or five leaps, and then reined them in suddenly, pulling the head back. Others listened to the song-singers, who notwithstanding the heat and the oppressive air indefa... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The sun had traveled half its course, and was pouring down through the glowing atmosphere its fierce rays upon the parched earth. The dark blue sky was absolutely clear; only the bases of the snow-capped mountains began to clothe themselves in pale lilac clouds. The motionless atmosphere seemed to be full of some impalpable dust; it became intolerably hot. When the army came to a small brook that had overflowed half the road, a halt was called. The soldiers, stacking their arms, plunged into the stream. The commander of the battalion sat down in the shade, on a drum, and, showing by his broad countenance the degree of his rank, made ready, in company with a few officers, to take lunch. The captain lay on the grass under the company's transport-wagon; the gallant lieutenant Rosenkranz and some other young officers, spreading out their Caucasian mantles, or burki, threw themselves down, and began to carouse as was manifest by the flasks and bottles scatt... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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At seven o'clock in the evening, dusty and weary, we entered the wide, fortified gate of Fort N——. The sun was setting, and shed oblique rosy rays over the picturesque batteries and lofty-walled gardens that surrounded the fortress, over the fields yellow for the harvest, and over the white clouds which, gathering around the snow-capped mountains, simulated their shapes, and formed a chain no less wonderful and beauteous. A young half moon, like a translucent cloud, shone above the horizon. In the native village or aul, situated near the gate, a Tatar on the roof of a hut was calling the faithful to prayer. The singers broke out with new zeal and energy. After resting and making my toilet I set out to call upon an adjutant who was an acquaintance of mine, to ask him to make my intention known to the general. On the way from the suburb where I was quartered, I chanced to see a most unexpected spectacle in the fortress of N——. I w... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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At ten o'clock in the evening the troops were ordered to march. At half-past nine I mounted my horse, and started off to find the general; but on reflecting that he and his adjutant must be busy, I remained in the street, and, tying my horse to a fence, sat down on the terrace to wait until the general should come. The heat and glare of the day had already vanished in the fresh night air; and the obscure light of the young moon, which, infolding around itself a pale gleaming halo against the dark blue of the starry sky, was beginning to decline. Lights shone in the windows of the houses and in the chinks of the earth huts. The gracefully proportioned poplars in the gardens, standing out against the horizon from behind the earth huts, whose reed-thatched roofs gleamed pale in the moonlight, seemed still taller and blacker. The long shadows of the houses, of the trees, of the fences, lay beautifully across the white dusty road. In the river rang incess... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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We had now been marching more than two hours. I began to feel chilly, and to be overcome with drowsiness. In the darkness the same indistinct objects dimly appeared: at a little distance, the same black shadow, the same moving spots. Beside me was the crupper of a white horse, which switched his tail and swung his hind-legs in wide curves. I could see a back in a white Circassian shirt, against which was outlined a carbine in its black case, and the handle of a pistol in an embroidered holster: the glow of a cigarette casting a gleam on a reddish mustache, a fur collar, and a hand in a chamois-skin glove. I leaned over my horse's neck, closed my eyes, and lost myself for a few minutes: then suddenly the regular hoof-beat and rustling came into my consciousness again. I looked around, and it seemed to me as though I were standing still in one spot, and that the black shadow in front of me was moving down upon me; or else that the shadow stood... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The guide pointed out the ford; and the vanguard of cavalry, with the general and his suite immediately in its rear, began to cross the river. The water, which reached the horses' breasts, rushed with extraordinary violence among the white boulders which in some places came to the top, and formed foaming, gurgling whirlpools around the horses' legs. The horses were frightened at the roar of the water, lifted their heads, pricked up their ears, but slowly and carefully picked their way against the stream along the uneven bottom. The riders held up their legs and fire-arms. The foot-soldiers, literally in their shirts alone, lifting above the water their muskets to which were fastened their bundles of clothing, struggled against the force of the stream by clinging together, a score of men at a time, showing noticeable determination on their excited faces. The artillery-men on horseback, with a loud shout, put their horses into the water at full trot. The cannon and gree... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The aul was already in the possession of our men, and not a soul of the enemy remained in it when the general with his suite, to which I had joined myself, entered it. The long neat huts or saklí, with their flat earthen roofs and red chimneys, were situated on rough, rocky hills, between which ran a small river. On one side were seen the green gardens, shining in the clear sun-light, with monstrous pear-trees, and the plum-trees, called luitcha. The other side bristled with strange shadows, where stood the high perpendicular stones of a cemetery, and the tall wooden poles adorned at the ends with balls and variegated banners. These were the tombs of jigits. The army stood drawn up within the gates. After a moment the dragoons, the Cossacks, the infantry, with evident joy were let loose through the crooked streets, and the empty aul suddenly teemed with life. Here a roof is crushed in; the ax rings on the tough trees, a... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The general had gone on ahead with the cavalry. The battalion with which I had come from Fort N—— remained in the rear-guard. The companies under command of Captain Khlopof and Lieutenant Rosenkranz were retreating together. The captain's prediction was fully justified: as soon as we had reached the narrow forest of which he had spoken, from both sides the mountaineers, mounted and on foot, began to show themselves incessantly, and so near that I could very distinctly see many crouching down, with muskets in their hands, and running from tree to tree. The captain took off his hat, and piously made the sign of the cross; a few old soldiers did the same. In the forest were heard shouts, the words, "iáï! Giaur! Urús! iáï!" Dry, short musket reports followed in quick succession, and bullets whizzed from both sides. Our men silently replied with rapid fire; only occasionally in the ranks... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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Four soldiers bore the ensign on a litter; behind them followed a soldier from the suburb, leading a lean, foundered horse laden with two green chests in which were the surgeon's implements. They were expecting the doctor. The officers hurried up to the litter, and tried to encourage and comfort the wounded lad. "Well, brother Alánin, it'll be some time before you dance and make merry again," said Lieutenant Rosenkranz coming up with a smile. He probably intended these words to sustain the handsome ensign's courage; but as could be easily seen from the coldly mournful expression in the eyes of the latter, these words did not produce the wished-for effect. The captain also came up. He gazed earnestly at the wounded young fellow, and his always cold, calm face expressed heartfelt pity. "How is it, my dear Anatoli Ivánuitch?" said he in a tone which rang with a deeper sympathy than I had expected from him: "we see it's as... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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It was late when the expedition, deploying in a broad column, entered the fortress with songs. The sun had set behind the snow-covered mountain crest, and was throwing its last rosy rays on the long delicate clouds which stretched across the bright pellucid western sky. The snow-capped mountains began to clothe themselves in purple mist; only their upper outlines were marked with extraordinary distinctness against the violet light of the sunset. The clear moon, which had long been up, began to shed its light through the dark blue sky. The green of the grass and of the trees changed to black, and grew wet with dew. The dark masses of the army, with gradually increasing tumult, advanced across the field; from different sides were heard the sounds of cymbals, drums, and merry songs. The leader of the sixth company sang out with full strength, and full of feeling and power the clear chest-notes of the tenor were borne afar through the translucent evening air. (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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It was already dark night, and the camp was lighted only by the flickering bonfires, when I rejoined my soldiers, after giving my orders. A great smoldering log was lying on the coals. Around it were sitting only three of the men,—Antónof, who had set his kettle on the fire to boil his ryábko, or hard-tack and tallow; Zhdánof, thoughtfully poking the ashes with a stick; and Chikin, with his pipe, which was forever in his mouth. The rest had already turned in, some under gun carriages, others in the hay, some around the fires. By the faint light of the coals I recognized the backs, the legs, and the heads of those whom I knew. Among the latter was the recruit, who, curling up close to the fire, was already fast asleep. Antónof made room for me. I sat down by him, and began to smoke a cigarette. The odor of the mist and of the smoke from the wet branches spreading through the air made one's eyes smart, and the same penetrating dri... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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At seven o'clock in the evening, having taken my tea, I started from a station, the name of which I have quite forgotten, though I remember that it was somewhere in the region of the Don Cossacks, not far from Novocherkask. It was already dark when I took my seat in the sledge next to Alyoshka, and wrapped myself in my fur coat and the robes. Back of the station-house it seemed warm and calm. Though it was not snowing, not a single star was to be seen overhead, and the sky it seemed remarkably low and black, in contrast with the clear snowy expanse stretching out before us. We had scarcely passed by the black forms of the windmills, one of which was awkwardly waving its huge wings, and had left the station behind us, when I perceived that the road was growing rougher and more drifted; the wind began to blow more fiercely on the left, and to toss the horses' manes and tails to one side, and obstinately to lift and carry away the snow stirred up by the runners... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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At this moment we heard behind us the bells of a troïka which was rapidly overtaking us. "A courier's bell," said my driver. "There's one such for every station." And, in fact, the bell of the courier's troïka, the sound of which now came clearly to me on the wind, was peculiarly beautiful,—clear, sonorous, deep, and jangling a little. As I then knew, this was a huntsman's team; three bells,—one large one in the center, with the crimson tone, as it is called, and two small ones tuned in thirds. The sound of this triad and the tinkling fifth, ringing through the air, was extraordinarily effective and strangely pleasant in this dark desert steppe. "The posht is coming," said my driver when the foremost of the three troikas drew up in line with ours. "Well, how is the road? is it possible to go on?" he cried to the last of the drivers. But the yamshchík only shouted to his horses, and made no reply. (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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My driver, without waiting for the last troïka to pass, began awkwardly to turn around; and the thills hit the horses attached behind. One of the troïka teams shied, tore away the reins, and galloped off. "Hey there, you squint-eyed devil! Don't you see where you are turning? Running people down, you devil!" in a hoarse, discordant voice scolded one of the drivers, a short, little old man, as I judged by his voice and expression. He sprang hastily out of the hindmost sledge where he had been sitting, and started to run after the horses, still continuing roughly and violently to vilify my yamshchík. But the horses did not come back. The driver ran after them, and in one instant both horses and driver were lost from sight in the white mist of the storm. "Vasi-i-i-li! bring the bay horse here. Can't ketch him, so-o-o," echoed his voice in the distance. One of the drivers, a very tall fellow, got out of his sledg... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The storm became more and more violent, and the snow fell dry and fine; it seemed as if we were in danger of freezing. My nose and cheeks began to tingle; more frequently the draft of cold air insinuated itself under my furs, and it became necessary to bundle up warmer. Sometimes the sledges bumped on the bare, icy crust from which the snow had been blown away. As I had already gone six hundred versts without sleeping under roof, and though I felt great interest in the outcome of our wanderings, my eyes closed in spite of me, and I drowsed. Once when I opened my eyes, I was struck, as it seemed to me at the first moment, by a bright light, gleaming over the white plain: the horizon widened considerably, the lowering black sky suddenly lifted up on all sides, the white slanting lines of the falling snow became visible, the shapes of the head troikas stood out clearly; and when I looked up, it seemed to me at the first moment that the clouds had scattered, and that only... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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It was already about midnight, I judge, when the little old man and Vasíli, who had gone in search of the runaway horses, rejoined us. They had caught the horses, and had now overtaken us; but how in the world they had accomplished this in the thick, blinding snowstorm, in the midst of the bare steppe, was more than I could comprehend. The little old man, with his elbows and legs flying, came trotting up on the shaft-horse (the two other horses he had caught by the collars; it was impossible to lead them in the snowstorm). When they had caught up with me, he began to scold at my driver. "You see, you cross-eyed devil! you"— "O Uncle Mitritch," cried the talkative fellow in the second sledge, "you alive? Come along where we are!" The old man did not answer him, but continued to scold. When he had satisfied himself, he rejoined the second sledge. "Get em all?" was asked him. "Why, of course we... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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Things remembered and things conceived mixed and mingled with wonderful quickness in my imagination. "The mentor who is always shouting from the second sledge, what kind of a man must he be? Probably red-haired, thick-set, with short legs, a man somewhat like Feódor Filíppuitch our old butler," is what I say to myself. And here I see the staircase of our great house, and five of the house-servants who with towels, with heavy steps, carry the pianoforte from the L; I see Feódor Filíppuitch with the sleeves of his nankeen coat tucked up, carrying one of the pedals, and going in advance, unbolting the door, taking hold of the door-knob here, there pushing a little, now crawling under the legs; he is here, there, and everywhere, crying with an anxious voice continually, "Look out, take more weight, you there in front! Be careful, you there at the tail-end! Up—up—up—don't hit the door. There, there!"... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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"If you please: all ready!" shouted Alyoshka from the front sledge. The storm was so violent that only by violent exertion, leaning far forward and holding down the folds of my cloak with both hands, was I able to make my way through the whirling snow, drifting before the wind under my very feet, over the short distance between me and the sledge. My former driver was still on his knees in the middle of the empty sledge; but when he saw me going he took off his big cap, the wind angrily tossing up his hair, and asked me for a fee. Apparently he did not expect me to give it to him, because my refusal did not affront him in the least. He even thanked me, waved his cap, and said, "Well, good luck to you, sir!" and picking up the reins, and clucking to the horses, turned from us. Immediately Ignashka straightened his back, and shouted to his horses. Again the sound of crunching hoofs, voices, bells, took the place of the howling w... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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"Can it be that I am going to freeze to death?" I asked myself, as I dropped off. "Death, they say, always begins with drowsiness. It's much better to drown than freeze to death, then they would pull me out of the net. However, it makes no difference whether one drowns or freezes to death. If only this stake did not stick into my back so, I might forget myself." For a second I lost consciousness. "How will all this end?" I suddenly ask myself in thought, for a moment opening my eyes, and gazing at the white expanse,—"how will it end? If we don't find some hayricks, and the horses get winded, as it seems likely they will be very soon, we shall all freeze to death." I confess, that, though I was afraid, I had a desire for something extraordinarily tragic to happen to us; and this was stronger than the small fear. It seemed to me that it would not be unpleasant if at morning the horses themselves should bring us, half-frozen, to some far... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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I sleep sound. But all the time I can hear the chords of the bells, and in my dream I can see a dog barking and jumping after me; then the organ, one stop of which I seem to draw out; then the French poem which I am composing. Then it seems to me that this triad is some instrument of torture with which my right foot is constantly compressed. This was so severe that I woke up, and opening my eyes I rubbed my leg. It was beginning to grow numb with cold. The night was, as before, light, melancholy, white. The sledge and its passengers were still shaken by the same motion; there was Ignashka sitting on one side and stamping his feet. There was the off-horse as before, straining her neck, lifting her feet, as she trotted over the deep snow; the tassel slipping along the reins, and whipping against the horse's belly; the head of the shaft-horse, with the waving mane, alternately pulling and loosening the reins attached to the bell-bow as it nodded up and down. But... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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I sunk into a sound sleep. When Alyoshka awoke me by punching me in the leg, and I opened my eyes, it was morning. It seemed even colder than it had been during the night. There was nothing to be seen but snow; but a strong dry wind still swept the powdery snow across the field, and especially under the hoofs of the horses, and the runners of the sledge. The sky on the right toward the east was of a deep purple color, but the bright reddish-orange rays of the sunrise kept growing more and more clearly defined in it; above our heads, between the hurrying white clouds, scarcely tinged as yet, gleamed the sickly blue of the sky; in the west the clouds were bright, light, and fluctuating. Everywhere around, as far as the eye could see, lay the snow, white and deep, in sharply defined strata. Everywhere could be seen gray hillocks where lay the fine, dry, powdery snow. Nothing was to be seen,—not even the shadow of a sledge, nor of a human being, nor of a beast. The... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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His features were not dark, dry, and regular, as I had reason to expect from his hair and build. His face was round, jolly, with a snub nose and a big mouth, and clear-shining eyes, blue and round. His cheeks and neck were like well-worn cloth. His eyebrows, his long eyelashes, and the beard which evenly covered the lower part of his face, were crusted thick with snow, and perfectly white. The distance to the station was all of a half-verst, and we stopped. "Only be quick about it," I said. "Just a minute," replied Ignashka, springing down from his seat, and going up to Filipp. "Let us have it, brother," said he, taking the glass in his right hand; and throwing his mitten and whip down on the snow, tipping back his head, he drank down at a gulp the glass of vodka. The inn-keeper, who must have been a discharged Cossack, came, with a bottle in his hand, out of the door. "Who have you got there?" he asked. (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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"As you may please to order, madame. But it would be too bad to send any of the Dutlofs. They are all, without exception, good boys; but if you don't take one of the house-servants you will have to send one of them without fail," said the overseer; "and now all point to them. However, as you wish." And he placed his right hand on his left, holding them both over his stomach, tipped his head on one side, sucked in his thin lips, almost smacking them, turned away his eyes, and held his peace, with the evident intention of holding it long, and of listening without reply to all the nonsense which the mistress might say to him in this regard. The overseer had formerly been one of the household servants, and now, this autumn evening, he was holding conference with his mistress, and was standing before her, clean-shaven, in his long coat, the special dress of the overseer. The conference as the mistress understood it was to be devoted to... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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Polikéï, as a man of no consequence, and inclined to be disreputable, and moreover as being from another village, had no one to look out for his interests, neither the housekeeper nor the butler, neither the overseer nor the housemaid. And his corner, where he lived with his wife and five children, was as wretched as it could be. The corners had been arranged by the late lamented bárin as follows: The hut was about twenty feet long, and built of stone; in the middle stood the great Russian stove; around it ran a corridor, as the servants called it; and in each corner a room was partitioned off by boards. Of course there was not much room, especially in Polikéï's corner which was next the door. The nuptial couch, with quilted counterpane and chintz pillows; a cradle with a baby in it; a three-legged table which served for cooking, washing, piling up all the household utensils, and as a work-table for Polikéï... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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On that very evening, while the elders had come together at the office to settle upon a recruit, and while their voices were heard amid the chill darkness of the October night, Polikéï was sitting upon the edge of his bed at the table, and was triturating in a bottle some veterinary medicament, the nature of which he himself knew not. It was a mixture of corrosive sublimate, sulfur, Glauber's salts, and grass, which he was compounding, under some impression that this grass was good for broken wind and other ailments. The children were already abed; two on the stove, two on the couch, one in the cradle, beside which sat Akulína with her spinning. The candle-end, which remained from some of his mistress's that had not been properly put away, and Polikéï had taken care of, stood in a wooden candlestick on the window; and in order that her husband might not be disturbed in his important task, Akulína got up to snuff the candl... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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A half-hour passed by. The baby began to cry. Akulína took him, and gave him the breast. She was no longer weeping; but resting her thin, tear-stained face on her hand, she fixed her eyes on the flickering candle, and asked herself why she had got married, and why so many soldiers were needed, and, still more, how she might pay back the joiner's wife. Her husband's steps were heard; she wiped away the traces of the tears, and got up to light his way. Polikéï came in with an air of triumph, threw his hat on the bed, drew a long breath, and began to take off his clothes. "Well, what was it? why did she call you?" "Hmm! a good reason! Polikushka is the lowest of men; but, when there is something needed, who is called on? Polikushka!" "What is it?" Polikéï did not make haste to reply: he smoked his pipe, and kept spitting. "She wants me to go to the merchant, and get her money."... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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Meantime the office was buzzing with the voices of the muzhíks. It was no laughing matter. Almost all the muzhíks were in the meeting; and while Yégor Mikháïlovitch was conferring with her ladyship, the men put on their hats, more voices began to be heard above the general conversation, and the voices became louder. The murmur of many voices, occasionally interrupted by some eager, heated discourse, filled the air; and this murmur, like the sound of the roaring sea, came to the ears of the lady of the house, who felt at hearing it a nervous unrest analogous to the feeling excited by a heavy thunder-shower. It was neither terrible nor yet unpleasant to her. It seemed to her that the voices kept growing louder and more turbulent, and then some one person would make himself heard. "Why should it be impossible to do every thing gently, peaceably, without quarrel, without noise?" she said, "according to the sweet law of Christianity... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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In fact, Yégor Mikhaïlovitch at this moment came out of the house. The peasants one after another removed their hats, and, as the overseer advanced, there were exposed one after another heads in various stages of baldness, and shocks of white, gray, black, red, or blond hair; and little by little, little by little, the voices were hushed, and finally there was perfect silence. The overseer stood on the step, and made it evident that he had something to say. Yégor Mikhaïlovitch, in his long frock coat, with his hands negligently thrust into his pockets, with his factory-made uniform cap pushed well forward, and standing firmly, with his legs set wide apart, on a height looking down upon all these faces lifted and turned to him, faces for the most part dignified with age, and for the most part handsome and full-bearded, had an entirely different mien from that which he wore in presence of his mistress. He was majestic. "W... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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On the next day, early in the morning, there was drawn up before the door of the wing a traveling carriage (the one which the overseer generally used), with a wide-tailed brown gelding called, for some inscrutable reason, Barabán, or the drum. At a safe distance from his head stood Aniutka, Polikéï's oldest daughter, barefoot, in spite of the rain and sleet, and the cold wind, holding the bridle in one hand with evident terror, and protecting her own head with a yellow-green jacket, which fulfilled in the family the manifold functions of dress, sheepskin, head-dress, carpet, overcoat for Polikéï, and many other uses besides. In the corner a tumult was let loose. It was still dark. The morning light, ushering in a rainy day, fell through the window, the broken panes of which were in places mended with pieces of paper. Akulína, who was up betimes to get ready for breakfast, and her children, the young... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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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 appa... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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As soon as all was quiet, Polikéï, like one engaged in some guilty deed, quietly slipped down from the stove, and began to make ready to depart. It somehow seemed to him a trying task to spend the night here with the recruits. The cocks were already calling to each other. Barabán had eaten all his oats, and was stretching after water. Ilyitch harnessed him, and led him out past the teams of the muzhíks. His cap with its precious contents was safe, and his carriage-wheels were soon rolling anew over the frosty Pokrovskí road. Polikéï began to breathe more easily as soon as he got out of the city. At first, somehow, it seemed to him that he heard some one right behind him, following him; it was as though they stopped him, and bound his hands behind him instead of Ilya, and to-morrow he would have to go to camp. It was neither from the cold nor from terror that a chill struck down his back, and he urged and urged Barab... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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That whole day no one at Pokrovskoé saw Polikéï. The mistress several times after dinner made inquiries, and Aksiutka flew down to Akulína: but Akulína said that he had not come; that the merchant must have detained him, or something had happened to the horse. "Can't he have gone lame?" she suggested. "The last time Maksim was gone four and twenty hours,—walked the whole way." And Aksiutka's pendulums brought back the message to the house; and Akulína thought over all the reasons for her husband's delay, and tried hard to calm her fears, but she did not succeed. Her heart was heavy, and her preparations for the next day's festival made little progress in her hands. She tormented herself all the more because the joiner's wife was convinced that she had seen him. "A man just like Ilyitch had driven up the proshpect, and then turned back again." The children also waited restlessly and impatiently for... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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For some minutes it was impossible to bring any order out of the general chaos. The people ran about in crowds, all screaming, all talking; children and old people weeping. Akulína lay in a dead faint. At last some peasants, the joiner, and the overseer, who came running up, mounted the stairs; and the joiner's wife for the twentieth time related how she, without any thought of any thing, went after her clothes, looked in this way: "I see a man; I look more close: there's a cap lying on one side. I see his legs twitching. Then a cold chill ran down my back. At last I make out a man hanging there, and ... that I should have to see that! How ever I got down is more than I can tell. And it is a miracle that God saved me. Truly the Lord had mercy. It was so steep, and—such a height! I might have got my death." The men who went into the loft told the same story. Ilyitch was hanging from the beam, in his shirt and stockings alone, with the very rope th... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The festival was not gay at Pokrovskoé. Notwithstanding the fact that the day was beautiful, the people did not go out to enjoy themselves: the girls did not collect to sing songs: the factory-boys who came out from the city did not play the harmonica or on the balaláïka; they did not jest with the girls. All sat around in the corners; and if they talked, they talked quietly, as though some ill-disposed person were there, and might overhear them. All day nothing happened. But in the evening, as it grew dusk, the dogs began to howl: and, as though signifying some misfortune, a wind sprang up and howled in the chimneys; and such fear fell upon all the inhabitants of the dvor, that those who had candles lighted them before, it was necessary; those who were alone in any corner went to ask their neighbors to give them a night's lodging where there were more people; and whoever had to go to the stables... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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"Is our lady asleep, or not?" asked a muzhík's hoarse voice suddenly near Aksiutka. She opened her eyes, which had been tightly shut, and saw a form which it seemed to her was higher than the wing. She wheeled round, and sped back so fast that her petticoat did not have time to catch up with her. With one bound she was on the steps, with another in the sitting-room, and giving a wild shriek flung herself on the lounge. Duniasha, her aunt, and the second girl almost died of fright; but they had no time to open their eyes, ere heavy, deliberate, and irresolute steps were heard in the entry and at the door. Duniasha ran into her mistress's room, dropping the cerate. The second girl hid behind a skirt that was hanging on the wall. The aunt, who had more resolution, was about to hold the door; but the door opened, and a muzhík strode into the room. It was Dutlof in his huge boots. Not paying any heed to the affrighted women, his eyes... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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Making his way out into the fresh air, Dutlof turned off from the road to the lindens, unloosed his belt so the more conveniently to get at his purse, and then began to put away the money. He moved his lips, sucking them in and pushing them out again, though he made no sound. After he had stowed away the money, and buckled his girdle again, he crossed himself, and went roiling along the path as though he were drunk; so absorbed was he by the thoughts rushing through his brain. Suddenly he saw before him the form of a muzhík, coming to meet him. He screamed. It was Yefím, who with a club was acting as guard on the outside of the wing. "Ah, uncle Sem'yón," said Yefímka joyfully as he came nearer. [It was rather gloomy for him to be all alone.] "Well, have you got the recruits off?" "Yes. What are you doing?" "They stationed me here to guard Ilyitch, who hung himself." "But where is Ilyitch?" "Her... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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Dutlof, still moving his lips, went home. At first, it was hard for him; but in proportion as he drew near the village, this feeling passed away, and a feeling of pleasure more and more penetrated his heart. Songs and drunken voices were heard in the village. Dutlof never drank, and now he went straight home. It was already late when he reached his cottage. His old woman was asleep. His oldest son and the grand-children were asleep on the oven, the other son in the closet. The nephew's wife was the only person awake; and she, in a dirty, everyday shirt, with her hair unkempt, was sitting on the bench and weeping. She did not get up to open the door for the uncle, but began to weep more bitterly, and to reproach him, as soon as he came into the cottage. By the old woman's advice she talked very clearly and well, though, being still young, she could not have had any practice. The old woman got up, and began to get her husband... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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Constantly higher and higher the sky lifted itself, wider and wider spread the dawn, whiter and whiter grew the unpolished silver of the dew, more and more lifeless the sickle of the moon, more vocal the forest. The men began to arise; and at the stables belonging to the bárin were heard with increasing frequency the whinnying of the horses, the stamping of hoofs on the straw, and also the angry, shrill neighing of the animals collecting together, and even disputing with each other over something. "Noo! you got time enough; mighty hungry, ain't you?" said the old drover, quickly opening the creaking gates. "Where you going?" he shouted, waving his hands at a mare which tried to run through the gate. Nester, the drover, was dressed in a Cossack coat, with a decorated leather belt around his waist; his knout was slung over his shoulder, and a handkerchief, containing some bread, was tied into his belt. In his arms he carried a... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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After driving the herd down to the river, near which the horses were to graze, Nester dismounted and took off the saddle. Meantime the herd began slowly to scatter over the as yet untrodden field, covered with dew and with vapor rising alike from the damp meadow and the river that encircled it. Taking off the blanket from the piebald gelding, Nester scratched him on his neck; and the horse in reply expressed his happiness and satisfaction by shutting his eyes. "The old dog likes it," said Nester. The gelding really did not like this scratching very much, and only out of delicacy intimated that it was agreeable to him. He shook his head as a sign of assent. But suddenly, unexpectedly, and without any reason, Nester, imagining perhaps that too great familiarity might give the horse false ideas about what he meant,—Nester, without any warning, pushed away his head, and, lifting up the bridle, struck the horse very severely with the buckl... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The sun was now risen above the forest, and shone brightly on the grass and the winding river. The dew dried away and fell off in drops. Like smoke the last of the morning mist rolled up. Curly clouds made their appearance, but as yet there was no wind. On the other side of the gleaming river stood the rye, bending on its stalks, and the air was fragrant with bright verdure and the flowers. The cuckoo cooed from the forest with echoing voice; and Nester, lying flat on his back, was reckoning up how many years of life lay before him. The larks arose from the rye and the field. The belated hare stood up among the horses and leaped without restraint, and sat down by the copse and pricked up his ears to listen. Vaska went to sleep, burying his head in the grass; the mares, making wide circuits around him, scattered themselves on the field below. The older ones, neighing, picked out a shining track across the dewy grass, and constantly tried to find some place whe... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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He was old, they were young; he was lean, they were fat; he was sad, they were happy. So he was thoroughly strange, alien, an absolutely different creature; and it was impossible for them to have compassion on him. Horses have pity only on themselves, and rarely on those whose places they may easily come themselves to fill. But, indeed, was not the piebald gelding himself to blame, that he was old and gaunt and crippled?... One would think that he was not to blame. But in equine ethics he was, and only those were right who were strong, young, and happy; those who had all life before them; those whose every muscle was tense with superfluous energy, and curled their tails into a wheel. Maybe the piebald gelding himself understood this, and in tranquil moments was agreed that he was to blame because he had lived out all his life, that he must pay for his life; but he was after all only a horse, and he could not restrain himself often from feeling hurt,... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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In the middle of the yard, flooded with the moonlight, stood the tall, gaunt figure of the gelding, still wearing the high saddle with its prominent pommel. The horses, motionless and in deep silence, stood around him, as though they were learning something new and extraordinary from him. And, indeed, something new and extraordinary they learned from him. This is what they learned from him:— . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FIRST NIGHT. "Yes, I was sired by Liubeznuï I. Baba was my dam. According to the genealogy my name is Muzhík I. Muzhík I., I am accord... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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SECOND NIGHT. As soon as the horses were driven in, they once more gathered around the piebald. "In the month of August," continued the horse, u I was separated from my mother, and I did not experience any unusual grief. I saw that she was already suckling a small brother,—the famous Usan,—and I was not what I had been before. I was not jealous, but I felt that I had become more than ever cool toward her. Besides, I knew that in leaving my mother I should be transferred to the general division of young horses, where we were stalled in twos and threes, and every day all went out to exercise. I was in one stall with Milui. Milui was a saddle-horse, and afterwards belonged to the emperor himself, and was put into pictures and statuary. At that time he was a mere colt, with a shiny soft coat, a swan-like neck, and slender straight legs. He was always lively, good-natured, and lovable; was always ready to frisk, and be caressed, a... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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THIRD NIGHT. The moon had quartered; and her narrow band poured a mild light on Kholstomír, standing in the middle of the yard, with the horses clustered around him. "The principal and most surprising consequence to me of the fact that I was not the property of the count nor of God, but of the equerry," continued the piebald, "was that what constitutes our chief activity—the eager race—was made the cause of my banishment. They were driving Lebedi around the ring; and a jockey from Chesmenka was riding me, and entered the course. Lebedi dashed past us. He trotted well, but he seemed to want to show off. He had not that skill which I had cultivated in myself; that is, of compelling one leg instantly to follow on the motion of the other, and not to waste the least degree of energy, but use it all in pressing forward. Lebedi dashed by us. I entered the ring: the jockey did not hold me back. "'Say, will you time my piebald?'... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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FOURTH NIGHT. The next evening when the gates were closed, and all was still, the piebald continued thus:— "I had many experiences, both among men and among my own kind, while changing about from hand to hand. I staid with two masters the longest: with the prince, the officer of the hussars, and then with an old man who lived at Nikola Yavleonoï Church. "I spent the happiest days of my life with the hussar. "Though he was the cause of my destruction, though he loved nothing and nobody, yet I loved him, and still love him, for this very reason. "He pleased me precisely, because he was handsome, fortunate, rich, and therefore loved no one. "You are familiar with this lofty equine sentiment of ours. His coldness, and my dependence upon him, added greatly to the strength of my affection for him. Because he beat me, and drove me to death, I used to think in those happy days, for that very reason I was all... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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FIFTH NIGHT. The weather began to change. The sky was over-cast; and in the morning there was no dew, but it was warm, and the flies were sticky. As soon as the herd was driven in, the horses gathered around the piebald, and thus he finished his story:— "The happy days of my life were soon over. I lived so only two years. At the end of the second winter, there happened an event which was most delightful to me, and immediately after came my deepest sorrow. It was at Shrove-tide. I took the prince to the races. Atlásnui and Buichók also ran in the race. "I don't know what they were doing in the summer-house; but I know that he came, and ordered Feofán to enter the ring. I remember they drove me into the ring, stationed me and stationed Atlásnui. Atlásnui was in racing gear, but I was harnessed in a city sleigh. At the turning stake I left him behind. A laugh and a cry of victory greeted my achievement... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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As the herd returned home the following evening, they met the master and a guest. Zhulduiba, leading the way, cast her eyes on two men's figures: one was the young master in a straw hat; the other, a tall, stout, military man, with wrinkled face. The old mare gazed at the man, and swerving went near to him; the rest, the younger ones, were thrown into some confusion, huddled together, especially when the master and his guest came directly into the midst of the horses, making gestures to each other, and talking. "Here's this one. I bought it of Voyéïkof,—the dapple-gray horse," said the master. "And that young black mare, with the white legs,—where did you get her? Fine one," said the guest. They examined many of the horses as they walked around, or stood on the field. They remarked also the chestnut mare. "That's one of the saddle-horses,—the breed of Khrenovsky." They quietly gazed a... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The rain continued to fall. In the paddock it was gloomy, but at the manor-house it was quite the reverse. The luxurious evening meal was spread in the luxurious dining-room. At the table sat master, mistress, and the guest who had just arrived. The master held in his hand a box of specially fine ten-year-old cigars, such as no one else had, according to his story, and proceeded to offer them to the guest. The master was a handsome young man of twenty-five, fresh, neatly dressed, smoothly brushed. He was dressed in a fresh, loosely-fitting suit of clothes, made in London. On his watch-chain were big expensive charms. His cuff-buttons were of gold, large, even massive, set with turquoises. His beard was à la Napoleon III.; and his mustaches were waxed, and stood out as though he had got them nowhere else than in Paris. The lady wore a silk-muslin dress, brocaded with large variegated flowers; on her head, large gold hai... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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The host returned, and smiled as he sat down opposite his guest. Neither of them spoke. "Oh, yes! I was speaking of Atlásnui. I had a great mind to buy the mares of Dubovitsky. Nothing but rubbish was left." "He was burned out," said Sierpukhovskoï, and suddenly stood up and looked around. He remembered that he owed this ruined man twenty thousand rubles; and that, if burned out were said of any one, it might by good rights be said about himself. He began to laugh. Both kept silence long. The master was revolving in his mind how he might boast a little before his guest. Sierpukhovskoï was cogitating how he might show that he did not consider himself burned out. But the thoughts of both moved with difficulty, in spite of the fact that they tried to enliven themselves with cigars. "Well, when shall we have something to drink?" asked the guest of himself. "At all events, we must have something t... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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If Kholstomír remembered any thing that night, it was the frolic that Vaska gave him. He threw over him a blanket, and galloped off. He was left till morning at the door of a tavern, with a muzhík's horse. They licked each other. When it became light he went back to the herd, and itched all over. "Something makes me itch fearfully," he thought. Five days passed. They brought a veterinary. He said cheerfully,— "The mange. You'll have to dispose of him to the gypsies." "Better have his throat cut; only have it done to-day." The morning was calm and clear. The herd had gone to pasture. Kholstomír remained behind. A strange man came along; thin, dark, dirty, in a caftan spotted with something black. This was the scavenger. He took Kholstomír by the halter, and without looking at him started off. The horse followed quietly, not looking round, and, as always, dragging his legs and kicking up th... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

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1887 :
The Invaders, and Other Stories -- Publication.

June 09, 2021 ; 5:08:43 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

June 09, 2021 ; 5:12:13 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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