Driansky

Notes of a small hunter

   

Authours:

E E Driansky

Year Published:

1857

Edition:

ISBN:

 

Driansky

Link to the original text

Preface

Егор Дриянский ( Egor Drijanskij) «Записки мелкотравчатого» ( first edition 1857) Mелкотравчатый= a suitable synonym may be “small”. That is, the autor speaks of hunters who did not have a complete hunt (a large number of borzois and hounds), like rich landowners. They ( melkotravtschatyi) only had a couple of packs of borzois. (Andrus Kozlov)

Presentation of the author

To live with wolves is to howl wolf”,–says the proverb.I respect all proverbs for the broad meaning that lies in their basis, and the meaning of the latter was as best justified on me.    I lived for a long time in such a fertile place, where every spring flew a lot of game, in spacious fields there was a chasm of hares, and in the swamps and backwaters there the beast was bred. All my neighbors, with rare exceptions, were passionate hunters: looking at them, and I started two greyhounds and gradually learned howling wolf, follow the hare trail on the powder and from the first estimate to distinguish in the fat trail on the lair, to get afox on the scum and soon, and soon. In short, in a short time I, as they say in the comedy,”reached the degrees of the known”, or, as the old hustled, became” in a kind of not the last.”    How all this became and what fates I turned from a mere mortal into the image of a fine-grass, I do not know how. When I think about it with myself, I remember the impressions that accompanied me at the beginning of my care, and, not to forget them at all, I write them down in the way that the memory that has not changed me. One day, sitting in a spacious room at the dinnertable at Count Atukayev’s, in the circle of twenty people of common neighbors-doghunters, I, as a passionate gunsmith, argued fervently about the advantages of a gunman in front of a greyhound. Twenty votes of the toughest opposition were unable to shake my beliefs. The dispute, which sometimes reached frantic exclamations and fist-bumping on the table, ended well past midnight, already at dinner; I ended  up giving my word to the owner to go with him all autumn in the departure and to be the reasonable observer.

In the hole

The deadline for the congress in the agreed place was not far off, so, waiting for the appointed day and laying my road scarb in the trolley, I set off on the road.    To the place of our first night, in the open air, it was necessary to pass a mile and a half. I had a lot of time in reserve, so, without risking to be late, I wrapped on the way to one of the landowners for a cup of tea, and instead of staying with him, as intended, no more than an hour, willy-nilly, I had to play a bullet and sat until ten o’clock in the evening. Looking at the clock, I ed clocked up and, not heeding any beliefs, decided to go. We said goodbye.    Two people, holding each candle in his hand, opened my way up a steep and high staircase; Having reached the last step, I involuntarily ached: the door opened wide open drew my, suddenly blunted, vision a picture of the darkest, wet and cold cellar. Nothing could be seen on the top of my nose, except for the gloom that smelled in my face with something inhospitable. One candle was blown out at once. Finally, through another, flaunted wind, in the staring eyes of mine flashed for a moment the half-sloth of the front wheel and the half of the tail of the left sling. The rest was devoured by darkness.  “Ignatka, are you here?” I asked, stepping forward and waving my arms through the air.    “Here! — Ignatka answered, and by the sound of this long and dry “here” I immediately laughed that Ignatka’s face was a living copy of the darkness and weather.    “How is it? Ten miles is not close. How do we get there?    “A…” We’re going to go out… Gladlymsi…    I found the body of the trolley groping; a big drop of rain fell on my nose; the draw was stirred up and thundered with the fucks; The candle went out. I sat down.    Leaving the yard, it was necessary to turn immediately to the right and go down on the radiating hill, fringed on one side of the garden pot, and on the other – a sheer water wash, which, expanding gradually,– descended along with this narrow passage to the dam, crossing a large pond. This road and the day, as it was known and memorable was for everyone, was considered not the best. At first, the matter went very sedate, although on the frequent shaking of the head of the root bat, I reluctantly understood that he, apparently, lost the hunt for a solid departure of his position.  At last he had come to the trotter: grasping with both hands the beds of the trolley, I did not have time to think about it, as one of the harnesses suddenly disappeared from my eyes; a vociferous voice rang out: “Tprru!” the pair stopped. Ignatka, groaning, groaning and reading something, climbed with the goat. According to the verification, it turned out that it got into a hole from which men dig clay. Having consumed about half an hour on the device of a dangling roller and harness, we finally found ourselves safely on the other end of the dam.

“Shouldn’tyoucomeback,Ignatka?”Fromthebeginning,wewon’tbeabletogetto the placeanytimesoon!    “It’snotlikethat,nowsomething…The stop isthere, the snub…Blowyouup with amountain!..The serpent isdiggingclay…Andthemasterofthem,sinnedsinful…Right,well!Ehma!..Iwould have to getthere…    Allthistypingwas accompanied byadecentnumberofechoes,sighsandslings,whileIgnatkasatdownandpickedupthereins;atlastoneoftheunspeakableinterjectionswasheardandthen:”E-z-bo-gom!”andthehorsesranthelynx.    Thisone,however, did notlastlong;byconvulsiveshakingandatallnotat all deceivablepitchingthecrewinevitablyshouldhavestucktotheratherthoroughthoughtthatwearewalkingnotontheroad;afterahefty joltfollowedtheinevitable:”Tprru!”andtheimmediatedispatchofIgnatkatofind a moreelasticpath.

On the horizon, the spark of fire instantly flashed and went out and dropped a particle of light consideration in my head.    “If this gleam is out of the cabinet,– I thought,– our way lies to the left; if you’re out of the front, you have to turn back.”    “Barin, and the master! We’re not going there,– Ignatka said, coming up to my voice.    “I believe it, my darling! And I even believe that now we are not going anywhere at all, and quietly stand still.    “What about it?    This time the verb “to be” was losing its auxiliary power.    “We have to find our way and go on it,– I answered after a short thought.    “There’s a road over there, to the left, but it’s not ours.    “If there is, so is it ours.    Sighing and reading, Ignatka led the root under the bridle; the two hundred saplings continued to pitch, at last the wheels rolled smoothly; it became noticeable that we had changed direction: a small, loose rain had moisturized my right side. With the help of “glatimsi” I indulged in the pleasure of contemplating Ignatka; in the continuous worship of the road, then right, then left, two hours flowed unnoticed; horses tried several times to escape the lynx, but Ignatka’s interjections and reins prevented their diligence; at last a new one rang out: “Tprrra!” – and the root rested in the inter-pillar. On a thorough inspection it turned out that we are at the crossroads of three roads. Not wanting to get instead of one three questions suddenly, I turned first to Ignatka. “Where do you think we are?”    “Is it us? My atts!.. Oh, blow those mountain!.. Where to now? That was the answer.    Soon Ignatka again tightened: “E-z-god!” – and the horses began to jogge on the unknown path to all of us.    The rain began to stop: I covered my head with a wet collar of the overcoal, deciding not to think about anything, but an hour of time passed on empty. It got boring.    “Ignatka, sing something! You’re a master.    “Eh, sir, that’s a sin! And where it is, that in the eftaki times who began to sing songs. Well, it’s as bad as Uncle Nikifor… Well, how can you not bring… Yes, here… Godpower with us!.. “Ignatka hastily began to be baptized.    Ahead of us, it seemed not far away, suddenly a few separate lights were misguided, all of them seemed to be in motion, some of them glowed very brightly and cast sparks, others were weaker, but in front of them moved some implicit figures and shadows. Believing that this permutation was from the movement of our crew, I told to stop, but the confusion still continued, it was stranger to see how one of these lights suddenly disappeared, and on the spot it appeared another, much brighter and more fiery, and then began to move again. “E-va! We’re talking! Well, sir, where are you going to go now?    “Go straight to the lighting.    Instead of a proper performance, Ignatka turned around and looked me in the eye.    “They say to you, “Go!    “Barin, and the master! Do you want to ruin your soul in vain?    “A fool, where there is fire, there is probably dry, if not warm. Let’s go straight!

After sighing deeply, Ignatka obeyed. Despite the proximity of the lighting, we drove for a very long time, then going down to the ravines, then climbing the hills, as we approached this illumination, it weakened and extinguished; not wanting to lose sight of and the last of these luminess, I told to turn off the road and drive straight; after an agonizing move through the arable land, we got out to the meadow and found ourselves at the edge of the forest. Having confused quite a long time between the chopper and the bumps, we again got to the road, which led us along the edge. Counting on the place and time, I was quite sure that we were near the fire we saw: the smell of smoke and soot could be heard in the air, and through a thick clump of wood a bluish spark of fading fire shone; but the minute I set out to stop to examine this hope of drying, the sleepy thicket seemed to awaken. In an instant there was a ringing of iron, a noise, a crackling, barking and roar of a huge flock of dogs, and at the same time all this horde, it seemed, with all the birch, oaks and aspens, was collapsing right upon us. I didn’t weigh anything more, because at that time there was a frantic cry of Ignatka, and the horses at all jumped us again on the shoal meadow. Clinging tightly to the trolley, I rushed like an arrow; somersaulting from side to side, throwing reins and covering his face with his hands, Ignatka at every jolt jumped in front of me like an elastic ball. One of the most crushing blows on the stump rang out, the trolley quacked, Ignatka jumped above the ordinary, and at the same moment instead of it danced in front of me arc. Leaning to one side, I rushed a few more seedlings forward. Finally followed a desperate leap down, the arc disappeared, under me something crashed, flashed, I flicked my teeth and found myself riding on a snou. I saw a whole pack of dogs at the top, all of them, seemed hesitant to approach me because of the steep descent. Soon there was a clapping of arapniks, and some sypovaty voices shouted: “Atrysh! To him! In the pack!” followed two long-haired shadows between the dogs, like human shadows.

Bysending a fairnumberofquestionpoints,fromtoptobottomandbottomup,thetwoshadowsimmediatelyturnedintoSergeiandWaska,twohumblescorchers.    SoonIwentoutondrylandandwiththehelp of therescuersand the two dogs who arrivedonthevoiceoftheirfirst of allwent on thewantedlist.Allourcallsandappealswentunanswered.Soon,however,wesawfourhoundsamong the meadows,whosniffedsomething.Wewentthere.Lyingbetweentwosoftbumps,Ignatkalayupsidedownandstared at hisstaredeyes.Onlymyvoicewasabletosummonhimoutofthismutecontemplation.Withalltheevidence put together,wefinallybroughthimto his senses,butthebeliefthatwewerebypassed by thebreth,hemadehimselfanoathtokeep”attheendof the coffinoflife”andwenttopullthehorsesoutofthetina.    Meanwhilethelightsweredustingagain;Iwentuptooneofthefiresandtookthewatchoutofmypocket;thearrowshowedthree.Afterhours,myeyeswerepresentedwiththreehugewagons,suchacontainerandsize,thateachofthemwasabletoabsorbthelargestfamilyofthefaithfulKutufta.    Oneofthesebulkswasonthesprings,longerthanothersandon a lotofroundwindows,cutinbothsidesofthebody,wasadogchariot.Inadditiontothesegiantsofthecrewbreed,undertheshadowofthemthereweretremorsandothercoveredcrewsand,moreover,humbleRussiancarts,aroundwhich, heelsanddozens,stoodaboutsixtyhorses.    Framedonbothsidesoftheforest,theplatformwas inserted by thecapeintotheimpenetrabletreebow,underthecanopyofwhichtwotentswerewhite,andnexttothemseveralhuts,hastilyarrangedfrombranchesofstraw,ponop and felt.    Oneoftheasheswasfurnishedwithtrainers,pots,boilers,boxes,samovarsandotherkitchensupplies;inaddition,indifferentplacestherewasalotofstrawonwhichthegreyhoundsrested,ortightlycurled up with apretzeloronallsides,gentlystretchingandstraighteningtiredlegs.

Iunwindedthecigarandbegantoconsider the detailsofthispicture.Thepsariandthestableswokeupalternately,and,crawlingoutofthegreyhounds’environment,thenoutofthethicket,immediatelybegantoexecute the posts,thehorsesbegantoslowlyrustandtappingtheirhooves, looking bravelyatthetorbstooneofthewagonsfor the moundofoats;thensuddenlyoneofthedogsjumpedup,satonallfours,hunched,yawned,stretched her neck,andthen,havingmadeafewvoltson the spot,laydownagainandrolled a tangle:thisshiftontheothersidewas accompanied bytheinevitablegrowlofoneorbothneighbors;otherofthemweresounsettledthat they jumpedupwiththeobviousintentionofafight: there wasageneralgrumbling,inwhichcasethevoiceofwhichofthepsaryimmediatelyjoinedthem:”But-oh!Ah-si-na!Inthedump!”andthecalmwastaken.Buthereinthetent handed outoneofthemulti-knowingquagivings,followedby a soft,elastic:”Hey”-andtwopsarnsrantotheextremehut:”ArtamonNikitic!ArtamonNikitic!Thecountwokeup!” in response,loudandswift rang out,”Now!”–andatall,slenderfellowjumpedoutofthehutinonevest.Heimmediatelyputonhimselfadark Cossack,and,notbaggy,wenttothedrawers:tookoutasilvershipwithanemptyglass,under the leftmouseseized a carafewithwater,andinhisrighthandtookabottlewithalantern.    Abeautifulgreyhounddogcame out ofthetenttomeethim,reachedback,theninadvance,thenrestedonallfourpaws,shookpowerfully,thunderedhercollarandwavedhistail,greetingArtamonNikitich.    Goingafterthecarafeandthebottle,Iheardfirsttheclearsigns of rinsing the earl’smouth,thenrinsingtheglassandsplashingwateronthegrass,then,whenafterthisbursttheglassagainbeganto fill withliquid,nolongerfrom the carafe,butfromthebottle,ImanagedtopattwicesoftandbeautifulcurlsofgrayChaus.

“I think it was raining at night? Atukayev asked his valet after three sonorous sips.    I immediately laughed that a man who had the pleasure of soaking himself for five hours, has every right to report on the rains, slush and other upstarts of nature, and therefore, not wanting to introduce into sin the half-sleep valet, entering the tent, said:    “He was very decent.    In response, I was greeted with the inevitable: “Bah, bah, ba!” – and following the greetings that I fell from the sky.    “Just your sburners pulled me out of some quagmire,– I said, sitting on a graph bed made of a half-penny of hay covered in carpet.    After that, a detailed description of my journey went into motion, in exchange for which, following the example of all novelists, it would be necessary to deal with the description of the count, but we hope that we will have time to read it without these prefaces.    “And it’s beautiful! Atukayev said after listening to my story to the end. Well, now what do you want to do about further wandering?    — It will depend on the conveniences that my crew will present to me when they appear from the swamp. “I think this article will have to be told differently.    “How is it?    “That’s how we’re going to do it. First of all, you, as a stray sheep, willow to our herd by willy-nilly, and I, as a shepherd, take you under my care. The second and most important thing is that I had a pre-ear yesterday (bottom), and in the evening five votes were cast in the hollow and two responded in Asorginsky; that’s why we’re having lunch in Klinsky, and we’re taking the evening field in Glebkov; from there, as you know, will stay at home only eight miles away: therefore, Your Ignatka will fatten the horses here and take the broken cart home on a pair of broken carts; the third will leave with the kitchen and my groovy in Klinsky, and tomorrow your cart, with a new taratayka, will come to us in Glebkovo. Gut? “What a gut! Just for the glory.    “Well, that’s wonderful! So you’re at my disposal now?    “In full. In short, I am one of your most obedient sheep, and the guardianship will begin with the fact that you are telling me to give me a glass of the hottest tea at once. Because I’m a sable to the bone.    “Well, that’s fine! Hey! Tea!    At this time I turned to the flashlight in the corner to light a cigar, and suddenly felt two palms close my eyes, and the ringing tenor uttered above my ear:    “Did you find out?”    “I found out,– I answered at random, wanting to be free soon; but it did not end there: I had to endure a full course of hugs, cuddles and lbrows, and only at the end of this stampede could clearly distinguish the high figure of Luka Lukich Batsov from the double-fur coats that wrapped it.    “What a one’s going to do. I’m a good man! I heard, brother, I heard you all in the swamp… Well, it’s nothing! Imagine, we’ve been here for almost a year. Well, it’s nothing! And here’s what seven people were killed yesterday; And most importantly, imagine, Karai is mine, Karai! The third day is a fox mater, that is, you can imagine, from the first hijacking, how I invested — ji!..

Luka Lukich did not finish the gesture, which he thought was the agility and distance of Karai, as the voice of Mr. Sterlyadkin was familiar to me from a nearby tent.    “It’s lying, everyone’s lying! Don’t believe him…    “So I dragged,– Continued Battsov. Don’t believe him, brother!.. Whatever he says, it’s nothing. Hello, Count! Where are the Khlustikovs?    “Hey! Bring Petrunchik here! “He was so gushing yesterday that I think he’s not remembered yet.”    “Nothing! “It’s not his first time, and it’s not his last. Hello, Count! What’s it like to sleep in the rain?    “It’s good. And we had something fun yesterday. Well, what: on what decided?    “It’s a good thing. Karay will have to tail.    “Do you hear it, Luke?” “And you can bear this blow?” said the count, turning to Batsov. Who’s going with?    “With Azarn! Sterlyadkin shouted.- – On the first suspect; Profits don’t count; and even good would be before the first hijacking, or then right on the hold.    “Wow! So, brother Luke? I think I’m crazy! Your will, my heart is transfixed. I wish I had a dozen more champagnes, or you’d do it yourself, because it’s a shame for life. Bachov silently twisted his mustache; it was noticeable that he was beginning to be cowardly. “It’s ,– he said, but it’s not as loud and clear. The Count did not finish and began to listen. Behind the tent was a terrible romp:    “Listen, I’ll kill you! I’ll be a scoundrel- away! I’m going to stab you!..    I looked out of the tent.    In the hut, from which the valet recently appeared, lay a small man in a hare half-shroud and waving his legs, fighting off two dogs who tried to take possession of it. From the voice and warehouse of a profanity-ed and jerky speech, I immediately recognized Peter Khlustikov in it.    “Drag him, drag him! “Voice from the tent.    “Hear it, Peter Sergeiitch?” The Count is clearing. Come along! “The dog said.    “Come on, fool! You see, I’m sleeping.    “You can’t: ordered to wake up.    “U-o! You can’t, you can’t, brute! Get out!    “Take it, drag him! Batsov’s voice rang out.    – Peter Sergeevich, Luka Lukich calls…    “Lou-ka! Lu-kich! Tell him he’s cattle like you!.. And Karay is just a slut…    There was a general laughter in the tent.    “Drag him, drag him! Sterlyadkin shouted as he left his tent in a cap and a white robe. “Another one! Ah-a-ay! I won’t. Doves, let me in!.. I’m going, right, I’m going! – shouted Khlustikov, floundering in the arms of the dogs.    Tea was served in the tent.    The khlustykov appeared after the samovar.    Decorated with a triple set of freckles, his face was to the extreme a little and in a minute expressed on itself a thousand different shades. Dark brown curly hair, contrary to all hairstyles, constantly ran upwards, in general, the combination of all the small particles of this face bore the expression that generated in each involuntary laughter. In Vlustikov’s opinion, he was about fifty years old.

HeapproachedAtukayev’sbed in anirstrucedmanner,pattinghimontheheadandpattinghimonthecheek.    “Here,Petrunchik,smartgirl!Igotupearly,andnowhe’sgoingtowashup,scratch his head,andshow up foragoodmaninus.    “And they will give himaglassoftea,–Batsovadded,strikinghimwiththeword”tea.”    “Tea…Fool!I’mnotagoose…Hey,cha-la-ek!Retiredprovincialsecretary,alittlebitnotacavalier,PetrSergeyev,sonkhlustikov-atube,vodkaandherring.Butoh!”Thesewordswereutteredinapropertone.    Inaminute,bothwereserved.    Takingashorttubeinonehand,andintheother-pouredaglass,Khlyustikoffsignificantlywinkedhiseye,quacked,spat,showed the tongueofBatsovandinstantlyemptiedtheglass,butatthesamemomenthiseyesbulged,hisfacewrinkled,heshudderedandangrilyhurledaglassundertheman’sfeet.    Agenerallaughbrokeout.    –Pad-le-zu-ksu-su-su…–sisios-sish-squisty,gruntingandspitting.    Atlastheeagerlyproceededtosmoke.AfterthreesweetpuffsinfrontofKhlustikova’snose,afieryfountainfrom the flaredgunpowder,laidonthebottomof the tube,tookoff,andkhlustikofftipped over tothecounty bed.Atlasthejumped up andranawaywithswearingtothehut.    Afterfinishing the secondcupoftea,Ileftthetent.    MyIgnatkasleptsoundly,stretchingoutinfrontof a blazingfire.Stainedinmudandtinhorsesregularlyateoats,emptyingtheirheadsintoabrokencart,whichseemednotatallusable.Everythingwasmovingaroundme: the psariwereridinghorses;thecoachmanwastucked into the chaisesandchariot;Cooksputpotsinboxes;thesburnerswashedoffthehounds;Aspiring,withtwogreyhounds,caughtthecountsandshovedintothechariot.Therewerecontinuoussquabblesandmockingbetween the hunters;dogshowed,jumped,stretchedandwavedtheirtails,caressingtotheirowners.    “Look,look,Kiryukha!SavelyTrofimychknows the samelearning,–Yegorkasaidtohisneighbor.    Everyoneturnedtothechariot.    There,infrontofthecount’saspiring,stood an old-timehunter,aboutsixtyyearsold,withoutahat,andbowedlow;hehadaskinnygreyhounddoginhisarms.    “Eh,Trofimych,yourbeauty,a cross ofthestroller,thoughhigherthanwheretosigh,sointhattime.    Thehunterslaughed.

“And what are you, Father Larivon Petrovich! Dog — thoughts; god, don’t lie. Don’t move, weak-ups, in a spllin. And yes, we… Slowly, as on the mother- she with the Count’s zaigra, the shooter, the ear in the ear! Before God, don’t lie… The saddle under me was cracking… Go, mother, put, pod!.. The old man continued, handing his pet to the aspiring man in his arms.    The dog suddenly found herself in a sob and, looking out the window at the removed Trofimych, cried plaintively.    “She’s not used to honor,– Yegorka said.    “Don’t take it, the count will see! She’s going to hold on to the at that time,– Kiryuha said, tightening her cinch.    I looked again at the sleeping Ignatka, and I felt sorry to wake him up. On the right side through the thicket shined through the dawn. I went again to the tent: there was a voice of Batsov; The count was already dressed; Khlustikoff was still sitting on the bed, cheering, and, squinting his eyes, looked mockingly at Batsov.    “It’s nothing,– Bachov continued,– “After that, you’re going to reassure me that I’m not human.    “Of course you’re human! You’re Batov. Count, darling, order a glass!    “Petrunchik, you’re a sweetheart! I think I intend to go nowhere in the morning,– Atukayev said, pinching his cheek. “Blue, your brilliance! One only, right, one! I drink one at a time…    “Well, there’s nothing to do. Give him the Maders!    “Only whitewash, this, you know, great Russian, from under the eagle… Kha! “There, Khlustikov snapped his tongue, chatted with his foot, and expressed a significant mine.    “Do you know why he was kicked out of court?” Battsov asked, turning to me.    “We were smart, we guessed it. . . . Oh, my Bats, you don’t even know that! Rastalke moa… Kha!    The thuds immediately emptied the glass.    People started raising tent.    Having given some orders to my coachman, I hurried to the society.    Sixty hounds stood in a cramped circle, overseen by four sburners and a catcher, dressed in red jackets and blue gloves with lamps. The catcher, for difference, jacket and hat were embroidered with a pose. The borzatniks were also dressed uniformly, in camel semi-cathtans, with black stripes on their collars, stripes and pockets. The horns hung at each on the punch garus braid with brushes. All of them were surrounded by their dogs and held by the reins of cheerful and beautiful horses of gray suit.    We were let down by saddled horses; people started bringing wine.

“Well, look at me! — began the count, turn to the hunters. It’s not your problem, you missed it, you’ll pay the price with a strap. I noticed that the red beast went at you, don’t get in, give me the field. Cross, or in the tong “Shepherd. ” wait … especially the fox: she was swollen near you without a wash, on the surface – stop, do not care; and there is a place on the prolas, at once the horn is deft send. You, Kondrashka, look, watch out: I saw yourself the last time you had a batow fox, without a voice, etched into a weaning top… And most importantly, to fight . . . You all have this mess; you see, a little clicked which, or there saw a log of the “Wolf’s tail. ” or trumpet “Fox’s tail. ” and went to cry to click — and all, fool, pour to him, and dexterous at least die on the horn: “We have, say, my own care!” Sit down!    People began to sit on horses: dogs gleefully cried out and swept around the hunters.    The catcher,””reigning flock of hounds.” a long wagon with greyhounds trudled behind him; the number one, the Hunter with the Greyhounds, was leveled three in a row. The whistle rang out. Yegorka adjusted his hat, shook his head, coughed and filled with a ringing ir easing tenor:

It was a long time.    Soon the echo in the woods shouted after us:    Oh, it’s overgrown…

Conditions

TheRussiansunlitusupfrom our lefthand.    Leavingamileaway,wesawasmallvillageontheside.TheCountorderedthehunterstogoto the place,andweturnedtotheright,and,accompaniedbytheaspiring,droveatrotalonganarrowcountrypath.Attheextremehutstoodfivesettleddifferent-facedhorses;abouta dozen greyhoundsandtwomeninfull-wheel-edcoats,tightlybeltedwithbelts,roamedthem.    “Hereareoursmall-grassed,–SaidAtukayev,getting off thehorse.    Tomeetusranoutof the hutlow,dense,withtinyearsandswollencheeks,theoldmaninagraycasinocoatandbegantobowonallsides.    “What,yourbrilliance,waited?Andwewereat once just…–hebabble,shakingwithlowbowsatAtukayev’shand.    “Here,pleasemeet:ourlandownerTrutnev,–saidAtukayev,turningtome.    “It’sverynice.Ihavethehonor of recommending,–swantrutnev,shufflinghisfeet.    “IthinkI’vealreadyhadthepleasure of meetingyou?”    “Oh,yes,it’s to blame,atTreschetky’s…they,Iconfesstosay,alittle akin tome…Hello,dearestPeterSergeic,myrespecttoyou,LukaLukich!StepanPetrovich!..

TrutnevremainedontheporchwithSterlyadkin;weenteredthespaciouspeasanthut:twowindowsonthestreetandoneontheyard,stove,flooring,andaroundthebench;intheredcornerstoodalongtable;onehalfofitwasthicklycoloredandlitteredwithmaps,attheotherendwasacarafewithvodka,andnearit-asaltshaker,apieceofblackbreadand a half-gnawedpretzels.Immediately,leaninghiselbowagainsttheendofthetableandthoughtfullyemptying his baldhead,sataposturedmaninacalfyargaka;heheldahung-up between hisfingersand,notpaying any attention,reasonedhimselfwithhimself:    “Mo-shen-no-niyou…Jacksevenwithhalf-tit…Pa-rolelost!Oh,no,you’relying,wow!”Themanwasmuttering.    Amanappeared,rubbedthetableandremovedthecards;thenreachedouttothecountess.    “St,”hesaid.Ku-da?Heyelled.Heslowlyraisedhisheadandlookedatus.    “Grab-bitels!Hesaid,goingdownagain,anddroppedthephonetothefloor.    “Thisoneisnogoodforanythingnow,–Battsovsaid. Trutnevraninandbegantohurriedlywake up amanoutstretchedalongthebenchinabluecoat,withthicksideburns.    “Stepa,stepa,getup!TheCountishere!    Stepafoughtbackwith his elbowandmuttered:    “Idon’twant to get awaywithit!..Well,go!..    “You’vegotthem!BatovtoldTrutnev.    “Stepa…Count!Trutnevshoutedovertheveryear.    Stepaturnedaround,shadedhiseyeswithhishand,lookedathim,andsprang up likeaswomen.    Atthistime,Khlustikovtookpossessionofthecarafe,pouredaglassandsang”MyCharm”andsoon.    –Oh,m-rlecomte!Mille pardons!Sorry,right,sorry!”TheBakenbardswerechattingandrushed to wake up thebaldman.    –PiotrIvanovic!What’sgoingon?Weall…    –Grab-it-el-e…U-k!..    PiotrIvanovichalsothitchedandshookhishead.    “Well,don’tgethim–he’spoisoninghere,–Batsovsaid.We’reout.    Fields,bumps,hollows,woodlands,thentrot,thenwewalkedamileandtenandfinally,goingdowntothemeadow,heardaslenderchorus of songwriters. Enviousofus,theystoppedsingingandbegantowaterhorsesatthestreamandletthegreyhoundsoutofthewagon.Freeingfromimprisonment,thedogsgleefullycriedout,jumped,stretchedandcaressedtohorsesandhunters.Someofthemrushedtouswithanarrowandwithajoyfulsquealbegantojumponthesaddlestotheirgentlemen.    “You,Lark,–saidthecounttotheaspiring,–takenowtohimtheScolding, the WingedandtheUlcer;andtometoChauszlimandReward,andThe Falcon andbirdgivetothehunter,whomherethey,–theCountpointedatme,–willbewillingtotaketohislad.    WhileIthankedtheCountforhisattention,theaspiringdeftlyturneduptomeandwhispered:    “Takeit,sir,Icanor’sgodfather:hehasdogsreceivers.    Ididn’tlikethisoffer:I was tickingonaremotesmall,Yegor.We drove uptothepack.    “Well,chooseanyone,–Atukayevsaid,referringtome.    Eachofthehunters,onwhomIglanced,shoneintheeyesastrongdesiretogettomeonthebarhole.Notwantingtobeinattentivetothesuggestionof the aspiring,Idecidedtomaketwoblowswithonestone.    “KumYegor,withme!Isaidjerkily.    “Eh,sir,forget!Ireportedtoyou:Nikanora,–whisperedtotheaspiring.    “Well,brother,I’msorry!Missed!

Yegorka with a joyful face ran up to me and took on the pack Falcon and Bird.    Climbing on a steep hill, we drove a mile from the field and stopped at the pit. The Count invited the guests and ordered the visitors to take their seats.    A flock of hounds and red jackets immediately separated from us and slowly reached upwards.    “Judge, don’t you let go of the count,– whispered Yegorka. You know, the batsham is still kicking his thorns in there!    We went down and climbed out of the ravine, passed the seedlings two hundred fields and shrubs and stopped in the head of a precipitous watermoin, which, expanding gradually, merged with the hollow. The Count and the aspiring reached from us for the oaks.    The strategic advantage of the item chosen by Yegorka, if not satisfying all the needs needed for an experienced hunter, but my vision was pure expanse. Under our feet, the deep trough of the earth, which formed a swamp with its own, with high balls, overgrown with thick reindeer and reeds, lasted immeasurably. In a wide hollow this, so by the way called a hollow, cut in from all sides rolled hills, crossed by ravines, ravines and water mauls. The point at which we stopped owned the whole area, and I could clearly monitor themovement of hunters and at the same time admire the sharpness of each of them when taking places. Then disappearing, then growing out as if from the ground, the red jackets of the catcher and the squirs slowly floated along the horizon. Finally they drowned in a maze of descents and only a quarter of an hour later appeared again on the slope of a high hill, went straight at us and suddenly stopped. The hunters standing on the ground were all in plain sight: in the neighborhood with me, to the left, the seedlings in one and a half hundred, was Lark-striving, and behind him, further, the count; to the right, in the bush through which we passed, the old man Savely Trofimych and his Beauty fit.    Five minutes passed in inaction; at last Atukayev put a silver horn to his lips: there was a short and crackling sound; the elder of the departing at once repeated it on the other side of the hollow, closer to the dexterous; this signal, translated into human language, meant, “Swords of hounds to the island!” the catchy one drove slowly off the hill, and to his feet, like flies, rolled open hounds, coming off in pairs from a dark spot, in the midst of which swarmed red jackets; at last they were alone and, instantly jumping on the horses, rushed down, after the rest of the hounds. On the edge of the swamp roared the bassist’s horn of catchy, slammed at once four arapniks – and went slinging.  “Now, sir, please take your place!    “Don’t I be there?”    “No. Now we need to be in the back of the ,– Yegorka said. he went on, pointing to the neighborhood.    I took a look. Indeed, the places where the hunters had stood a minute earlier were empty. They all sprawled like flies through the cracks.    “Where are we going?    “And here,– Said Yegorka, and the horse turned.    We went into a thick bush of willy, because of which one could see only one of our heads; the area from here was opened even more clearly.    Soon the voice of one dog joined the piston.    “It’s Budilo,– Yegorka said.    Two more, the same bassists, joined the first voice.    ‘It’s Horn and Kwoksha,– my aspiring continued.    The red jackets stirred in the swamp and began to call “on the hot” “Fresh track.”    “What does that mean?”    “It’s nothing yet! Here’s the Cabs Doll da Nightingale!. Here he comes!.. Oh, they cook… Basement … on the tong! Now, master, hold on tight: the horse under you is a arse. I shortened the reins, strengthened in the saddle, and looked at Yegorka: he was shaking his hands and sorted the curb and straightened the pack; his face pale, his mouth half-open, his eyes glowing like that of a young hawk.    The catcher gave in his horn.    “On the red,– Yegorka said, breathing a little. With ethyl the word in the hollow boiled hell: with the bassoony and on the selection of voices of dogs merged the thin, weeping, irligible and incessant voice of the Doll; to her the whole flock, and a slinging of sling. The reeds crackled, the swamp went on a walker, and seemed to shudder and oscillate under the thunder of this demonic recitative.    “Well, one rolls!– Whispered Yegorka, looking into the swamp.

Istartedlookingatit,too.    Thefoxquietlysneakedpastusthroughtheswamp,likeathinautumnleaf,slammedbetweenthebumps,thenraisingitshead,thenfallingtotheground,itfinallypassedourhole,and,awakenedbyanewtide of slinging,carriedoutonthehillandrolledstraightintothebushes.TheoldmanTrofimychstoodstillmoving;atlastheslurd,pointeditatthedogs,anddisappearedfromview.    Atthesametime,ontheoppositesideofusindifferentplaceshuntersbegantopoisoninafewsvor.    Itseemedtome at lastthattheflockhaddriveninourdirection,andindeed,inaminutesomethingbegantobreakinthereeds;soonthenherolledoutthemother wolf andrushedalongthebumps,rightintothetop,intheheadofwhichwasoursecretpost.    “Yegorka,see?Iasked in awhisper.    Yegorkamyclenchedteethandonly with atremblinghandgavemeasigntobend:he with hisshiningeyesseemedtoburnthebushthroughwhichhelookedatthewolf.    Atlast the beastfounditselfagainstus,thesaplingsatten;Yegorkasilentlyshowedhim to thedogsandthrewthepackoutofhishands.Fivedogsrushedatonce,andFalcon the first,chestinthechest,clungtothewolf:theyboth mergedintooneinseparablewhole,rolledonthegroundanddisappearedinthewatermoin;Theotherdogsgotboredandjumpedinthesameway;wefoundourselvesthere,but,–alas!”Therewasashrillsqueal,andourbraveFalcon,drenched in blood,rolledontheground;thewolfsat,bristlingattheotherdogs,whodarednotapproachhim.Yegorkafiledforafight,butthebeastjumpedtotheclean,tooktotherightandjumpedthefield. Not forlong,however,thisjumplasted:intheroar,againstus,flashed the hatoftheaspiring,andatthesametimethreefreshdogsrushed to meetthedaringfugitive.    Thewolf could notresistthefirstpressureofthereceptionistsandtheusualfighterswiththecase:hewasirrigated,snapped,andwentforahitch,butKrylatandObruihungonit;ourdogscame,bored,andthelandfillbecamecommon;before,however,beforewehad time tojump,thewolfshookoffabunchofdogs,andbristling,satdowninamug,terriblysparklingwithhiseyes;nearhimrolledontheground,withacursedside.Yegorkajumpedfromthehorseandwenttothewolfwithadaggerinhishand.Seeingthenewenemy,theangrybeastrushedfranticallyforwardandran,bristingfromthedogs,pasttheoakstothebush.Butfrombehindthebush,betweenthe wormwood,somethingscurvy,whistlinglikealet-goarrow,andagrayChausintheblinkofaneyeclutchedthebeastandrolledwithitonthearableland;thesobausswoopedonthem with agurgling,andoneinseparabletanglewas formed fromthem. OldSavelyandcountjumpedup to us.    Andhereinthemiddleofthiscirclesomethingwasveryshaken;thedogsflewapart,andinthemidstofthem,astwoworthyfighters,thewolfandChausrosetothebuck,clutchedfuriously,andagainbursttotheground;thedogsagaincoveredthemwithtightarmor.    TheCountorderedtotakethebeast.    Thehuntersjumpedfromthehorses,andYegorkafirstgrabbedthewolfbythebackleg,putadaggerinhisgroinonthehandle;Thedogsbounced;onlyChausremainedontheground:hismouthfellintothewolf’sthroatandfrozeonit;beast,wheezing,layin a growingbag;aspiringrushedtoChausandthrewadaggerathismouth.    Thebravefighterwithgeneralpraisesmovedquietlytothesideandfellagaintotheground,breathingheavily;abloodyfoamfelloutofhisthroat;blood-drenchedeyesglistenedlikehotcoals.    Yegorkawithajoyfulfacebegantoshakethewolflikeatrophy,belongingtohim,byrightofhunting.    “Yourbrilliance!Ihavethehonortocongratulateyourmercy on thefield,Father!–saidoldSavelytakingoffhishat.    “Andyou,too,SavelyTrofimych!”Thecountansweredcheerfully,imitatingtheold man insnatches. Trofimychhadafoxin the toro.    Wehurriedandwent to theleftbankof the basincheerfullytalkingabout the eventsofsuccessfulbullying.IstrokedChaus,whowaswalkingneartheCountandbecamehumbleasasheep.Atukayevwasverypleasedwiththequickactionsandsharpnessofhishunters.    Thecatcher,standingonthehill,summonedthehoundsoftheislandtothehorn:weapproachedhim;soontheotherhuntersbegantomovethere.    Ontheothersideofthepit,twowolvesoftheprofits,afoxandafewhareswerepoisoned.Eachofthehunters,tellingthedetailsofthepersecution,attributedtohispackextraordinaryvirtues;butallofthem,however,lookedenviouslyatYegorkin’storque,becausenoneofthemhadeverbeen able to carry awolflikethat.    “ForfortyyearsIhavebeensittingonahorse,yourbrilliance,–trofimychrepeated,–andIdidnottakethem!    AtthistimeBatsovandSterlyadkinandothergentlemencametous.    “Look,LukaLukich!–Isaid,pointingatthewolf.    “It’snothing,brother.andyouimagine,myKarai,Karai,againfoxislikethis:ji!..    “Whereisshe?”Sterlyadkinasked.    “Well,here,atKiryuha,–AnsweredBatsov,pointingtothecounthunter.    “Soyou’repoisoning other people’sturks!

Everyone laughed.    InAsorginskybeforelunchwestillpoisonedonewolfandtwofoxes,andexactlyatnoontheinhabitantsofKlinsky,allfromsmalltolarge,ranoutforasnubtomeetourtrain.Withaproudandcheerfulview,withtambourines,whistlesandsongsentered the remotehuntersinthevillage,hungwithrichprey.    Thenewandspacious-lookinghutshadhikingbriquettes,andontheporchthere were peopleandcookswaitingforourreturn.    Withnoise,funandlaughter,wesoonsatdownatthetable.    Duringthedinner,theCountalternatelycalledtohimselfdistinguishedhunters,gavethemacertainrewardfor”red”andregaledwithwine.Theyhadalreadyservedusaroastand a sparklingwinein the glasses,whentheoldmanSavelycameinwithhisinseparableBeauty.    “Well, old man,congratulations,onthefield!TheysayThatBeautyisridingwell?Whyisshesoskinny?    “Inthebreak,Fatheryourbrilliance,don’tmove!    “It’sforred,andIgiveyouBeautyfor her hardwork.    “Iammuchpleasedwithyourmercy,–said the oldman!…Fortyyearsonthehorse I sit…Yourlategrandfather, CountPavelPavlovich,servedasafaithandtruth;beforeGod,don’tlie…”hecontinued,wiping his sleevewithjoyfultears.    “Oldman,sellmeBeauty,–Batsovsaid,givingherapieceofcake.    “Howdo you sellsomething,master?..Hisfat,sir,father,he has nothingtodowithit…inhisoldage,nofamily,notribe,oneniecewas–andthat’sGodcleanedup.    “Well,what?You’renotagranddaughter,isshe?Battsovretorted.    TheoldmanlookedfirstatBatsov,thenatTheBeauty,andshookhishead.    “No,sir,notcorrupt!    Wegotup.