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Part One Chapter 6

A light shone in only one window of the big old house; the curtains were drawn. Outside Tresor,now chained for the night, suddenly barked in his reverberating bass.
Through a sleepy haze Tonya heard her mother speaking in a low voice.
"No, she is not asleep yet. Come in, Liza."
The light footsteps of her friend and the warm, impulsive hug finally dispelled her drowsiness.Tonya smiled wanly.
"I'm so glad you've come, Liza. Papa passed the crisis yesterday and today he has been sleepingsoundly all day. Mama and I have had some rest too after so many sleepless nights. Tell me all the news." Tonya drew her friend down beside her on the couch.
"Oh, there's plenty of news, but some of it's for your ears only," Liza smiled with a sly look at Yekaterina Mikhailovna.
Tonya's mother smiled. She was a matronly woman of thirty-six with the vigorous movements of a young girl, clever grey eyes and a face that was pleasant if not beautiful. "I will gladly leave you alone in a few minutes, but first I want to hear the news that is fit for everybody's ears," she joked, pulling a chair up to the couch.
"Well, to begin with we've finished with school. The board has decided to issue graduation certificates to the seventh-graders. I am glad. I'm so sick of all this algebra and geometry! What good is it to anyone? The boys may possibly continue their studies, although they don't know where, with all this fighting going on. It's simply terrible. . . . As for us, we'll be married and wives don't need algebra," Liza laughed. After sitting with the girls for a little while, Yekaterina Mikhailovna went to her own room. Liza now moved closer to Tonya and with her arms about her gave her a whispered account of the encounter at the crossroads.
"You can imagine my surprise, Tonya, when I recognised the lad who was running away. Guess who it was?"
Tonya, who was listening with interest, shrugged her shoulders.
"Korchagin!" Liza blurted out breathlessly.
Tonya started and winced.
Liza, pleased with the impression she had made, went on to describe her quarrel with Victor.
Carried away by her story, Liza did not notice Tonya's face grow pale and her fingers pluck nervously at her blue blouse. Liza did not know how Tonya's heart constricted with anxiety, nor did she notice how the long lashes that hid her beautiful eyes trembled. Tonya paid scant heed to Liza's story of the drunken Khorunzhy.

One thought gave her no rest:
"Victor Leszczinski knows who attacked the soldier. Oh, why did Liza tell him?" And in spite of herself the words broke from her lips.
"What did you say?" Liza could not grasp her meaning at once.
"Why did you tell Leszczinski about Pavlusha . . . I mean Korchagin? He's sure to betray him. . . ."
"Oh, surely not!" Liza protested. "I don't think he would do such a thing. After all, why should he?"
Tonya sat up sharply and hugged her knees so hard that it hurt.
"You don't understand, Liza! He and Korchagin are enemies, and besides, there is something else. . . . You made a big mistake when you told Victor about Pavlusha."
Only now did Liza notice Tonya's agitation, and her use of Korchagin's first name confirmed what she had vaguely suspected.
She could not help feeling guilty and lapsed into an embarrassed silence.
"So it's true," she thought. "Fancy Tonya falling in love with a plain workman." Liza wanted to talk about it very much, but out of consideration for her friend she refrained. Anxious to atone for her guilt in some way, she seized Tonya's.
"Are you very worried, Tonya?"
"No, perhaps Victor is more honourable than I think," Tonya replied absently.
The awkward silence that ensued was broken by the arrival of a schoolmate of theirs, a bashful,gawky lad named Demianov.
After seeing her friends off, Tonya stood for a long time leaning against the wicket gate and staring at the dark strip of road leading to town. The wind laden with a chill dampness and the dank odour of the wet spring soil fanned her face. Dull red lights blinked in the windows of the houses over in the town. There it was, that town that lived a life apart from hers, and somewhere there, under one of those roofs, unaware of the danger that threatened him, was her rebellious friend Pavel. Perhaps he had forgotten her—how many days had flown by since their last meeting? He had been in the wrong that time, but all that had long been forgotten. Tomorrow she would see him and their friendship would be restored, a moving, warming friendship. It was sure to return—of that Tonya had not the slightest doubt. If only the night did not betray him, the night that seemed to harbour evil, as if lying in wait for him. . . . A shiver ran through her, and after a last look at the road, she went in.

The thought, "If only the night does not betray him", still drilled in her head as she dozed off.
Tonya woke up early in the morning before anyone else was about, and dressed quickly. She slipped out of the house quietly so as not to wake up the family, untied the big shaggy Tresor and set out for town with the dog. She hesitated for a moment in front of the Korchagin house, then pushed the gate open and walked into the yard.

Tresor dashed ahead wagging his tail. . . .
Artem had returned from the village early that same morning. The blacksmith he had worked for had given him a lift into town on his cart. On reaching home he threw the sack of flour he had earned on his shoulders and walked into the yard, followed by the blacksmith carrying the rest of his belongings. Outside the open door Artem set the sack down on the ground and called out;"Pavka!"
There was no answer.
"What's the hitch there? Why not go right in?" said the smith as he came up.
Setting his belongings down in the kitchen, Artem went into the next room. The sight that met his eyes there dumbfounded him: the place was turned upside down and old clothes littered the floor.
"What the devil is this?" Artem muttered completely at a loss. "It's a mess all right," agreed the blacksmith.
"Where's the boy got to?" Artem was getting angry. But the place was deserted and dead.
The blacksmith said good-bye and left.
Artem went into the yard and looked around.
"I can't make head or tail of this! All the doors wide open and no Pavka."
Then he heard footsteps behind him. Turning around he saw a huge dog with ears pricked standing before him. A girl was walking toward the house from the gate.
"I want to see Pavel Korchagin," she said in a low voice, surveying Artem.
"So do I. But the devil knows where he's gone. When I got here the house was unlocked and no Pavka anywhere about. So you're looking for him too?" he addressed the girl.
The girl answered with a question:
"Are you Korchagin's brother Artem?"
"I am. Why?"
Instead of replying, the girl stared in alarm at the open door. "Why didn't I come last night?" she thought. "It can't be, it can't be. . . ." And her heart grew heavier still.
"You found the door open and Pavel gone?" she asked Artem, who was staring at her in surprise.
"And what would you be wanting of Pavel, may I ask?" Tonya came closer to him and casting a look around spoke jerkily:
"I don't know for sure, but if Pavel isn't at home he must have been arrested."
Artem started nervously. "Arrested? What for?"
"Let's go inside," Tonya said.
Artem listened in silence while Tonya told him all she knew. By the time she had finished he was despairing.
"Damn it all! As if there wasn't enough trouble without this mess," he muttered gloomily. "Now I see why the place was turned upside down. What the hell did the boy have to get mixed up in this business for. . . . Where can I find him now? And who may you be, miss?"
"My father is forest warden Tumanov. I'm a friend of Pavel's."
"I see," Artem said absently. "Here I was bringing flour to feed the boy up, and now this. . . ."
Tonya and Artem looked at each other in silence.
"I must go now," Tonya said softly as she prepared to go. "I hope you'll find him. I'll come back later."
Artem gave her a silent nod.

A lean fly just awakened from its winter sleep buzzed in a corner of the window. On the edge of an old threadbare couch sat a young peasant woman, her elbows resting on her knees and her eyes fixed blankly on the filthy floor.
The Commandant, chewing a cigarette stuck in the corner of his mouth, finished writing on a sheet of paper with a flourish, and, obviously pleased with himself, added an ornate signature ending in a curlicue under the title "Commandant of the town of Shepetovka, Khorunzhy''. From the door came the clinking of spurs. The Commandant looked up.
Before him stood Salomyga with a bandaged arm.
"Hullo, what's blown you in?" the Commandant greeted him.
"Not a good wind, at any rate. Got my hand sliced to the bone by a Bogunets." ( Bogunets—a fighting man of the Red Army Regiment named after Bogun, the hero of the national liberation struggle waged by the Ukrainian people in the 17th century.)
Ignoring the woman's presence Salomyga cursed violently.
"So what are you doing here? Convalescing?"
"We'll have time to convalesce in the next world. They're pressing down pretty hard on us at the front."
The Commandant interrupted him, nodding toward the woman.
"We'll talk about that later."
Salomyga sat down heavily on a stool and removed his cap, which bore a cockade with an enamel trident, the emblem of the UNR (Ukrainian National Republic).
"Golub sent me," he began in a low tune. "A division of regulars is going to be transferred here soon. In general there's going to be some doings in town, and it's my job to put things straight. The 'Chief himself may come here with some foreign bigwig or other, so there's to be no talk about any 'diversions'. What're you writing?"
The Commandant shifted the cigarette to the other corner of his mouth.
"I've got a damn nuisance of a boy here. Remember that chap Zhukhrai, the one who stirred up the railway-men against us? Well, he was caught at the station."
"He was, eh? Go on," Salomyga pulled his stool closer.
"Well, that blockhead Omelchenko, the Station Commandant, sent him over escorted by a Cossack, and on the way the lad I've got in here took the prisoner away from him in broad daylight. The Cossack was disarmed and got his teeth knocked out, and was left to whistle for his prisoner. Zhukhrai got away, but we managed to grab this fellow. Here you have it all down on paper," and he pushed a sheaf of sheets covered with writing toward Salomyga.
The latter scanned through the report, turning over the sheets with his left hand.
When he had finished, he looked at the Commandant.
"And so you got nothing out of him?"
The Commandant pulled nervously at the peak of his cap.
"I've been at him for five days now, but all he says is, 'I don't know anything and I didn't free him.'
The young scoundrel! You see, the escort recognised him—practically choked the life out of him as soon as he saw him. I could hardly pull the fellow off—no wonder, he'd good reason to be sore because Omelchenko at the station had given him twenty-five strokes with the cleaning rod for losing his prisoner. There's no sense in keeping him any more, so I'm sending this off to headquarters for permission to finish him off."
Salomyga spat in disdain.
"If I had him he'd speak up sure enough. You're not much at conducting enquiries. Whoever heard of a theology student making a Commandant! Did you try the rod?"
The Commandant was furious.
"You're going a bit too far. Keep your sneers to yourself. I'm the Commandant here and I'll ask you not to interfere."
Salomyga looked at the bristling Commandant and roared with laughter.
"Ha-ha-ha. . . . Don't puff yourself up too much, priest's son, or you'll burst. To hell with you and your problems. Better tell me where a fellow can get a couple of bottles of samogon?"
The Commandant grinned.
"That s easy. "
"As for this," Salomyga jabbed at the sheaf of papers with his finger, "if you want to fix him properly put him down as eighteen years instead of sixteen. Round the top of six off like that.
Otherwise they mightn't pass it."

There were three of them in the storeroom. A bearded old man in a threadbare coat lay on his side on the bunk, his spindle legs in their wide linen trousers drawn up under him. He had been arrested because the horse of the Petlyura men billeted with him had been missing from the shed.
An elderly woman with small shifty eyes and a pointed chin was sitting on the floor. She made her living by selling samogon and had been thrown in here on a charge of stealing a watch and other valuables. Korchagin lay semiconscious in the corner under the window, his head resting on his crushed cap.
A young woman, in a peasant kerchief, her eyes wide with terror, was led into the storeroom.
She stood for a moment or two and then sat down next to the samogon woman.
"Got caught, eh, wench?" the latter spoke rapidly, inspecting the newcomer with curious eyes.
There was no answer, but the samogon woman would not give up.
"Why'd they pick you up, eh? Nothing to do with samogon by any chance?" The peasant girl got up and looked at the persistent "No, it's because of my brother," she replied quietly.

"And who's he?" the old woman persisted.
The old man spoke up.
"Why don't you leave her alone? She's got enough to worry about without your chattering."
The woman turned quickly toward the bunk.
"Who are you to tell me what to do? I'm not talking to you, am I?"
The old man spat.
"Leave her alone, I tell you."
Silence descended again on the storeroom. The peasant girl spread out a big shawl and lay down,resting her head on her arm.
The samogon woman began to eat. The old man sat up, lowered his feet onto the floor, slowly rolled himself a cigarette and lit it. Clouds of acrid smoke spread out.
"A person can't eat in peace with that stink," the woman grumbled, her jaws working busily.
"You've smoked the whole place up."
The old man returned with a sneer:
"Afraid of losing weight, eh? You won't be able to get through the door soon. Why don't you give the boy something to eat instead of stuffing it all into yourself?"
The woman made an angry gesture.
"I tried, but he doesn't want anything. And as for that you can keep your mouth shut—it's not your food I'm eating."
The girl turned to the samogon woman and, nodding toward Korchagin, asked:
"What is he in here for?"
The woman brightened up at being addressed and readily replied:
"He's a local lad—Korchagin's younger boy. His mother's a cook."
Leaning over to the girl, she whispered in her ear:
"He freed a Bolshevik—a sailor we had hereabouts .who used to lodge with my neighbour Zozulikha."
The young woman remembered the words, she had overheard: "I'm sending this off to headquarters for permission to finish him off."

One after the other troop trains pulled in at the junction, and battalions of regulars poured out in a disorderly mob. The armoured train Zaporozhets, four cars long, its steel sides ribbed with rivets,crawled along a side track. Guns were unloaded and horses were led out of closed box cars. The horses were saddled on the spot and mounted men jostled their way through the milling crowds of infantrymen to the station yard where the cavalry unit was lining up.
Officers ran up and down, calling the numbers of their units.
The station buzzed like a wasps' nest. Gradually the regular squares of platoons were hammered out of the shapeless mass of vociferous, swirling humanity and soon a stream of armed men was pouring into town. Until late in the evening carts creaked and rattled and the stragglers bringing up the rear of the rifle division trailed along the highway.
The procession finally ended with the headquarters company marching briskly by, bellowing from a hundred and twenty throats:

What's the shouting?
What's the noise?
It's Petlyura
And his boys
Come to town. .. .

Pavel Korchagin got up to look out of the window. Through the early twilight he could hear the rumbling of wheels on the street, the tramping of many feet, and the lusty singing.
Behind him a soft voice said:
"The troops have come to town."
Korchagin turned round.
The speaker was the girl who had been brought in the day before.
He had already heard her story—the samogon woman had wormed it out of her. She came from a village seven versts from the town, where her elder brother, Gritsko, now a Red partisan, had headed a poor peasants' committee when the Soviets were in power.
When the Reds left, Gritsko girded himself with a machine-gun belt and went with them. Now the family was being hounded incessantly. Their only horse had been taken away from them. The father had been imprisoned for a while and had a rough time of it. The village elder— one of those on whom Gritsko had clamped down—was always billeting strangers in their house, out of sheer spite. The family was destitute. And when the Commandant had come to the village the day before to make a search, the elder had brought him to the girl's place. She struck his fancy and the next morning he brought her to town with him "for interrogation".
Korchagin could not fall asleep, try as he might he could not find rest, and in his brain drilled one insistent thought which he could not dispel: "What next?"
His bruised body ached, for the guard had beaten him with bestial fury.
To escape the bitter thoughts crowding his mind he listened to the whispering of the two women.
In a barely audible voice the girl was telling how the Commandant had pestered her, how he had threatened and coaxed, and when she rebuffed him, turned on her in fury.

"I'll lock you up in a cellar and let you rot there," he had said.
Darkness lurked in the corners of the cell. There was another night ahead, a stifling, restless night.
It was the seventh night in captivity, but to Pavel it seemed that he had been there for months. The floor was hard, and pain racked his body. There were three of them now in the storeroom. The samogon woman had been released by the Khorunzhy to procure some vodka. Grandpa was snoring on the bunk as if he were at home on his Russian stove; he bore his misfortune with stoic calm and slept soundly through the night. Khristina and Pavel lay on the floor, almost side by side.
Yesterday Pavel had seen Sergei through the window—he had stood for a long time out in the street, looking sadly at the windows of the houses.
"He knows I'm here," Pavel had thought.
For three days running someone had brought sour black bread for him—who it was the guards would not tell. And for two days the Commandant had repeatedly questioned him.
What could it all mean?
During the questioning he had given nothing away; on the contrary he had denied everything.
Why he had kept silent, he did not know himself. He wanted to be brave and strong, like those of whom he had read in books, yet that night when he was being taken to prison and one of his captors had said, "What's the use of dragging him along, Pan Khorunzhy? A bullet in the back will fix him", he had been afraid. Yes, the thought of dying at sixteen was terrifying! Death was the end of everything. Khristina was also thinking. She knew more than the young man. Most likely he did not know yet what was in store for him . . . what she had overheard.
He tossed about restlessly at night unable to sleep. Khristina pitied him, though the prospect she herself faced was hardly better—she could not forget the menace of the Commandant's words: "I'll fix you up tomorrow— if you won't have me it's the guardhouse for you. The Cossacks will be glad to get you. So take your choice." Oh, how hard it was, and no mercy to be expected anywhere! Was it her fault that Gritsko had joined the Reds? How cruel life was!
A dull pain choked her and in the agony of helpless despair and fear her body was racked by soundless sobs. A shadow moved in the corner by the wall. "Why are you crying?"
In a passionate whisper Khristina poured out her woes to her silent cell mate. He did not speak,but laid his hand lightly on hers.
"They'll torture me to death, curse them," she whispered in terror, gulping down her tears.
"Nothing can save me." What could Pavel say to this girl? There was nothing to say. Life was crushing them both in an iron ring.
Perhaps he ought to put up a fight when they came for her tomorrow? They'd only beat him to death, or a sabre blow on the head would end it all. Wishing to comfort the distraught girl somehow, he stroked her hand tenderly. The sobbing ceased. At intervals the sentry at the entrance could be heard challenging a passer-by with the usual "Who goes there?" and then everything was quiet again. Grandpa was fast asleep. The interminable minutes crawled slowly by. Then, to his utter surprise, Pavel felt the girl's arms go around him and pull him toward her.
"Listen," hot lips were whispering, "there is no escape for me: if it isn't the officer, it'll be those others. Take me, love, so that dog won't be the first to have me."
"What are you saying, Khristina!"
But the strong arms did not release him. Full, burning lips pressed down on his—they were hard to escape. The girl's words were simple, tender—and he knew why she uttered them.
For a moment everything receded—the bolted door, the red-headed Cossack, the Commandant,the brutal beatings, the seven stifling, sleepless nights—all were forgotten, and only the burning lips and the face moist with tears existed.
Suddenly he remembered Tonya.
How could he forget her? Those dear, wonderful eyes.
He mustered his strength and broke away from Khristina's embrace. He staggered to his feet like a drunken man and seized hold of the grill. Khristina's hands found him.
"Why, what is the matter?"
All her heart was in that question. He bent down to her and pressing her hands said:
"I can't, Khristina. You are so . . . good." He hardly knew what he was saying.
He stood up again in the intolerable silence and went over to the bunk. Sitting down on the edge,he woke up the old man.
"Give me a smoke, please, Granddad."
The girl, huddled in her shawl, wept in the corner.
The next day the Commandant came with some Cossacks and took Khristina away. Her eyes sought Pavel's in farewell, and there was reproach in them. And when the door slammed behind her his soul was more desolate and dreary than ever.
All day long the old man could not get a word out of Pavel. The sentries and the Commandant's guard were changed. Toward evening a new prisoner was brought in. Pavel recognised him: it was Dolinnik, a joiner from the sugar refinery, a short thickset man wearing a faded yellow shirt under a threadbare jacket. He surveyed the storeroom with a keen eye.
Pavel had seen him in February 1917, when the reverberation of the revolution reached their town.
He had heard only one Bolshevik speak during the noisy demonstrations held then and that Bolshevik was Dolinnik. He had climbed onto a roadside fence and addressed the troops. Pavel remembered his closing words:
"Follow the Bolsheviks, soldiers, they will not betray you!"
He had not seen the joiner since.
Granddad was glad to have a new cell mate, for he obviously found it hard to sit silent all day long. Dolinnik settled down next to him on the edge of the bunk, smoked a cigarette with him and questioned him about everything.
Then the newcomer moved over to Korchagin. "Well, young man?" he asked Pavel. "And how did you get in here?"
Pavel replied in monosyllables and Dolinnik saw that it was caution that kept the young man from speaking. When he learned of the charge laid against Pavel his intelligent eyes widened with amazement and he sat down beside the lad.
"So you say you got Zhukhrai away? That's interesting. I didn't know they'd nabbed you."
Pavel, taken by surprise, raised himself on his elbow. "I don't know any Zhukhrai. They can pin anything on you here."
Dolinnik, smiling, moved closer to him. "That's all right, my boy. You don't need to be cautious with me. I know more than you do."
Quietly, so that the old man should not overhear he continued:
"I saw Zhukhrai off myself, he's probably reached his destination by now. He told me all about what happened." After a moment's pause, Dolinnik added: "I see you're made of the right stuff,boy. Though, the fact that they caught you and know everything is bad, Very bad, I should say."
He took off his jacket and spreading it on the floor sat down on it with his back against the wall,and began to roll another cigarette.
Dolinnik's last remark made everything clear to Pavel. There was no doubt about it, Dolinnik was all right. Besides, he had seen Zhukhrai off, and that meant. . . .
That evening he learned that Dolinnik had been arrested for agitation among Petlyura's Cossacks.
Moreover, he had been caught distributing an appeal issued by the gubernia revolutionary committee calling on the troops to surrender and go over to the Reds.

Dolinnik was careful not to tell Pavel much.
"Who knows," he thought to himself, "they may use the ramrod on the boy. He's still too young."
Late at night when they were settling themselves for sleep, he voiced his apprehensions in the brief remark:
"Well, Korchagin, we seem to be in a pretty bad fix. Let's see what will come of it."
The next day a new prisoner was brought in—the flop-eared, scraggy-necked barber Shlyoma Zeltser.
"Fuchs, Bluvstein and Trachtenberg are going to welcome him with bread and salt," he told Dolinnik gesturing excitedly as he spoke. "I said that if they want to do that, they can, but will the rest of the Jewish population back them up? No, they won't, you can take it from me. Of course they have their own fish to fry. Fuchs has a store and Trachtenberg's got the flour mill. But what've I got? And the rest of the hungry lot? Nothing—paupers, that's what we are. Well, I've got a long tongue, and today when I was shaving an officer—one of the new ones who came recently —I said: 'Do you think Ataman Petlyura knows about these pogroms or not? Will he see the delegation?' Oi, how many times I've got into trouble through this tongue of mine. So what do you think this officer did when I had shaved him and powdered his face and done all in fine style too? He gets up and instead of paying me arrests me for agitating against the authorities." Zeltser struck his chest with his fist. "Now what sort of agitation was that? What did I say? I only asked the fellow. . . . And to lock me up for that. . . ."
In his excitement Zeltser twisted a button on Dolinnik's shirt and tugged at his arms.
Dolinnik smiled in spite of himself as he listened to the indignant Shlyoma.
"Yes, Shlyoma," he said gravely when the barber had finished, "that was a stupid thing for a clever fellow like you to do. You chose the wrong time to let your tongue run away with you. I wouldn't have advised you to get in here."
Zeltser nodded understandingly and made a gesture of despair with his hand. Just then the door opened and the samogon woman was pushed in. She staggered in, heaping foul curses on the Cossack who brought her.
"You and your Commandant ought to be roasted on a slow fire! I hope he shrivels up and croaks from that booze of mine!"
The guard slammed the door shut and they heard him locking it on the outside.
As the woman settled down on the edge of the bunk the old man greeted her jocularly:
"So you're back with us again, you old chatterbox? Sit down and make yourself at home."
The samogon woman darted a hostile glance at him and picking up her bundle sat down on the floor next to Dolinnik.
It turned out that she had been released just long enough for her captors to get some bottles of samogon out of her.
Suddenly shouts and the sound of running feet could be heard from the guardroom next door.
Somebody was barking out orders. The prisoners stopped talking to listen.

Strange things were happening on the square in front of the ungainly church with the ancient belfry. On three sides the square was lined with rectangles of troops—

units of the division of regular infantry mustered in full battle kit.
In front, facing the entrance to the church, stood three regiments of infantry in squares placed in checkerboard fashion, their ranks buttressed against the school fence.
This grey, rather dirty mass of Petlyura soldiers standing there with rifles at rest, wearing absurd Russian helmets like pumpkins cut in half, and heavily laden down with bandoliers, was the best division the "Directorate" had.
Well-uniformed and shod from the stores of the former tsarist army and consisting mainly of kulaks who were consciously fighting the Soviets, the division had been transferred here to defend this strategically important railway junction. Five different railway lines converged at Shepetovka,and for Petlyura the loss of the junction would have meant the end of everything. As it was, the "Directorate" had very little territory left in its hands, and the small town of Vinnitsa was now Petlyura's capital.
The "Chief Ataman" himself had decided to inspect the troops and now everything was in readiness for his arrival.
Back in a far corner of the square where they were least likely to be seen stood a regiment of new recruits— barefoot youths in shabby civilian clothes of all descriptions. These were farm lads picked up from their beds by midnight raiding parties or seized on the streets, and none of them had the least intention of doing any fighting.
"Let them look for fools somewhere else," they said.
The most the Petlyura officers could do was to bring the recruits to town under escort, divide them into companies and battalions and issue them arms. The very next day, however, a third of the recruits thus herded together would disappear and with each passing day their numbers dwindled.
It would have been more than foolhardy to issue them boots, particularly since the boot stocks were far from plentiful. And so everyone was ordered to report for conscription shod. The result was an astonishing collection of dilapidated footwear tied on with bits of string and wire.
They were marched out for parade barefoot.
Behind the infantry stood Golub's cavalry regiment.
Mounted men held back the dense crowds of curious townsfolk who had come to see the parade.
After all, the "Chief Ataman" himself was to be present! Events like this were rare enough in town and no one wanted to miss the free entertainment it promised.
On the church steps were gathered the colonels and captains, the priest's two daughters, a handful of Ukrainian schoolteachers, a group of "free Cossacks", and the slightly hunchbacked mayor—in a word, the elite representing the "public", and among them the Inspector-General of Infantry wearing a Caucasian cherkesska. It was he who was in command of the parade.
Inside the church Vasili, the priest, was garbing himself in his Easter service vestments.
Petlyura was to be received in grand style. For one thing, the newly-mobilised recruits were to take the oath of allegiance, and for this purpose a yellow-and-blue flag had been brought out.
The Division Commander set out for the station in a rickety old Ford car to meet Petlyura.
When he had gone, the Inspector of Infantry called over Colonel Chernyak, a tall, well-built officer with a foppishly twirled moustache.
"Take someone along with you and see that the Commandant's office and the rear services are in proper shape. If you find any prisoners there look them over and get rid of the riffraff."
Chernyak clicked his heels, took along the first Cossack captain his eye lighted on and galloped off.
The Inspector turned politely to the priest's elder daughter.
"What about the banquet, everything in order?"
"Oh, yes. The Commandant's doing his best," she replied, gazing avidly at the handsome Inspector.
Suddenly a stir passed through the crowd: a rider was coming down the road at a mad gallop,bending low over the neck of his horse. He waved his hand and shouted:
"They're coming!"
"Fall in!" barked the Inspector.
The officers ran to their places.
As the Ford chugged up to the church the band struck up The Ukraine Lives On.
Following the Division Commander, the "Chief Ataman" heaved himself laboriously out of the car. Petlyura was a man of medium height, with a square head firmly planted on a red bull neck;he wore a blue tunic of fine wool cloth girded tight with a yellow belt to which a small Browning in a chamois holster was attached. On his head was a peaked khaki uniform cap with a cockade bearing the enamel trident.
There was nothing especially warlike about the figure of Simon Petlyura. As a matter of fact, he did not look like a military man at all.
He heard out the Inspector's report with an expression of displeasure on his face. Then the mayor addressed him in greeting.
Petlyura listened absently, staring at the assembled regiments over the mayor's head.
"Let us begin," he nodded to the Inspector.
Mounting the small platform next to the flag, Petlyura delivered a ten-minute speech to the troops.
The speech was unconvincing. Evidently tired from the journey, the Ataman spoke without enthusiasm. He finished to the accompaniment of the regulation shouts of "Slava!

Slava!" from the soldiers and climbed down from the platform dabbing his perspiring forehead with a handkerchief. Then, together with the Inspector and the Division Commander, he inspected the units.
As he passed the ranks of the newly-mobilised recruits his eyes narrowed in a disdainful scowl and he bit his lips in annoyance.
Toward the end of the inspection, when the platoons of new recruits marched in uneven ranks to the flag, where the priest Vasili was standing, Bible in hand, and kissed first the Bible and then the hem of the flag, an unforeseen incident occurred.
A delegation which had contrived by some unknown means to reach the square approached Petlyura. At the head of the group came the wealthy timber merchant Bluvstein with an offering of bread and salt, followed by Fuchs the draper, and three other well-to-do businessmen.
With a servile bow Bluvstein extended the tray to Petlyura. It was taken by an officer standing alongside.
"The Jewish population wishes to express its sincere gratitude and respect for you, the head of the state. Please accept this address of greeting."
"Good," muttered Petlyura, quickly scanning the sheet of paper.
Fuchs stepped forward.
"We most humbly beg you to allow us to open our enterprises and we ask for protection against pogroms." Fuchs stumbled over the last word.
An angry scowl darkened Petlyura's features.
"My army does not engage in pogroms. You had better remember that."
Fuchs spread out his arms in a gesture of resignation.
Petlyura's shoulder twitched nervously. The untimely appearance of the delegation irritated him.
He turned to Golub, who was standing behind chewing his black moustache.
"Here's a complaint against your Cossacks, Pan Colonel. Investigate the matter and take measures accordingly," said Petlyura. Then, addressing the Inspector, he said dryly:
"You may begin the parade."
The ill-starred delegation had not expected to run up against Golub and they hastened to withdraw.
The attention of the spectators was now wholly absorbed by the preparations for the ceremonial march-past. Sharp commands were rapped out.
Golub, his features outwardly calm, walked over to Bluvstein and said in a loud whisper:
"Get out of here, you rotten heathens, or I'll make mincemeat out of you!"
The band struck up and the first units marched through the square. As they drew alongside Petlyura, the troops bellowed a mechanical "Slava!" and then swung down the highway to disappear into the sidestreets. At the head of the companies, uniformed in brand-new khaki outfits,the officers marched at an easy gait as if they were simply taking a stroll, swinging their swagger sticks. The swagger stick mode, like cleaning rods for the soldiers, had just been introduced in the division.
The new recruits brought up the rear of the parade. They came in a disorderly mass, out of step and jostling one another.
There was a low rustle of bare feet as the mobilised men shuffled by, prodded on by the officers who worked hard but in vain to bring about some semblance of order.

When the second company was passing a peasant lad in a linen shirt on the side nearest the reviewing stand gaped in such wide-eyed amazement at the "Chief" that he stepped into a hole in the road and fell flat on the ground. His rifle slid over the cobblestones with a loud clatter. He tried to get up but was knocked down again by the men behind him.
Some of the spectators burst out laughing. The company broke ranks and passed through the square in complete disorder. The luckless lad picked up his rifle and ran after the others.
Petlyura turned away from this sorry spectacle and walked over to the car without waiting for the end of the review. The Inspector, who followed him, asked diffidently:
"Pan the Ataman will not stay for dinner?"
"No," Petlyura flung back curtly.
Sergei Bruzzhak, Valya and Klimka were watching the parade in the crowd of spectators pressed against the high fence surrounding the church. Sergei, gripping the bars of the grill, looked at the faces of the people below him with hatred in his eyes.
"Let's go, Valya, they've shut up shop," he said in a deliberately loud defiant voice, and turned away from the fence. People stared at him in astonishment.
Ignoring everyone, he walked to the gate, followed by his sister and Klimka.

Colonel Chernyak and the Captain galloped up to the Commandant's office and dismounted.
Leaving the horses in the charge of a dispatch rider they strode rapidly into the guardhouse.
"Where's the Commandant?" Chernyak asked the dispatch rider sharply.
"Dunno," the man stammered. "Gone off somewhere.''
Chernyak looked around the filthy, untidy room, the unmade beds and the Cossacks of the Commandant's guard who sprawled on them and made no attempt to rise when the officers entered.
"What sort of a pigsty is this?" Chernyak roared. "And who gave you permission to wallow about like hogs?" he lashed at the men lying flat on their backs.
One of the Cossacks sat up, belched and growled:
"What're you squawking for? We've got our own squawker here."
"What!" Chernyak sprang toward the man. "Who do you think you're talking to, you bastard? I'm Colonel Chernyak. D'you hear, you swine! Up, all of you, or I'll have you flogged!" The enraged Colonel dashed about the guardhouse. "I'll give you one minute to sweep out the filth, straighten out the bedding and make your filthy mugs presentable. You look like a band of brigands, not Cossacks!"
Beside himself with rage, the Colonel violently kicked at a slop pail obstructing his path.
The Captain was no less violent, and, adding emphasis to his curses by wielding his three-thonged whip, drove the men out of their bunks.
"The Chief Ataman's reviewing the parade. He's liable to drop in here any minute. Get a move on there!"
Seeing that things were taking a serious turn and that they really might be in for a flogging—they knew Chernyak's reputation well enough—the Cossacks sprang into feverish activity.
In no time work was in full swing.
"We ought to have a look at the prisoners," the Captain suggested. "There's no telling whom they've got locked up here. Might be trouble if the Chief looks in."
"Who has the key?" Chernyak asked the sentry. "Open the door at once."
A Sergeant jumped up and opened the lock.
"Where's the Commandant? How long do you think I'm going to wait for him? Find him at once and send him in here," Chernyak ordered. "Muster the guard in the yard! Why are the rifles without bayonets?"
"We only took over yesterday," the Sergeant tried to explain, and hurried off in search of the Commandant.
The Captain kicked the storeroom door open. Several of the people inside got up from the floor,the others remained motionless.
"Open the door wider," Chernyak commanded. "Not enough light here."
He scrutinised the prisoners' faces.
"What are you in for?" he snapped at the old man sitting on the edge of the bunk.
The old man half rose, hitched up his trousers and, frightened by the sharp order, mumbled:
"Dunno myself. They just locked me up and here I am. There was a horse disappeared from the yard, but I've got nothing to do with it."
"Whose horse?" the Captain interrupted him.
"An army horse, of course. My billets sold him and drank the proceeds and now they're blaming me."
Chernyak ran his eye swiftly over the old man and with an impatient jerk of his shoulder shouted:
"Pick up your things and get out of here!" Then he turned to the samogon woman.
The old man could not believe his ears. Blinking his shortsighted eyes, he turned to the Captain:
"Does that mean I can go?"
The Cossack nodded as much as to say: the faster you get out the better.
Hurriedly the old man seized his bundle which hung over the edge of the bunk and dashed through the door.
"And what are you in for?" Chernyak was questioning the samogon woman.
Swallowing the mouthful of pie she had been chewing, the woman rattled off a ready answer:
"It's an injustice it is that I should be in here, Pan Chief. Just think of it, to drink a poor widow's samogon and then lock her up."
"You're not in the samogon business, are you?" Chernyak asked.
"Business? Nothing of the kind," said the woman with an injured air. "The Commandant came and took four bottles and didn't pay a kopek. That's how it is: they drink your booze and never pay.
You wouldn't call that business, would you?"
"Enough. Now go to the devil!"
The woman did not wait for the order to be repeated. She picked up her basket and backed to the door, bowing in gratitude.
"May God bless you with good health, your honours."
Dolinnik watched the comedy with frank amazement.
None of the prisoners could make out what it was all about. The only thing that was clear was that the arrivals were chiefs of some kind who had the power to dispose of them as they saw fit.
"And you there?" Chernyak spoke to Dolinnik.
"Stand up when Pan the Colonel speaks to you!" barked the Captain.
Slowly Dolinnik raised himself to his feet from the floor.
"What are you in for?" Chernyak repeated.
Dolinnik looked at the Colonel's neatly twirled moustache, at his clean-shaven face, looked at the peak of his new cap with the enamel cockade, and a wild thought flashed through his mind:
Maybe it'll work!
"I was arrested for being out on the streets after eight o'clock," he said, blurting out the first thing that came into his head.
He awaited the answer in an agony of suspense.
"What were you doing out at night?"
"It wasn't night, only about eleven o'clock."
He no longer believed that this shot in the dark would succeed.
His knees trembled when he heard the brief command:
"Get out."
Dolinnik walked hurriedly out of the door, forgetting his jacket; the Captain was already questioning the next prisoner.
Korchagin was the last to be interrogated. He sat on the floor' completely dumbfounded by the proceedings. At first he could not believe that Dolinnik had been released. Why were they letting everyone off like this? But Dolinnik . . . Dolinnik had said that he had been arrested for breaking the curfew. . . . Then it dawned upon him.
The Colonel began questioning the scraggy Zeltser with the usual "What are you in for?"
The barber, pale with nervousness, blurted out:
"They tell me I was agitating, but I don't know what they're talking about."
Chernyak pricked up his ears.
"What's that? Agitation? What were you agitating about?"
Zeltser spread out his arms in bewilderment.
"I don't know myself, I only said that they were collecting signatures to a petition to the Chief Ataman for the Jewish population."
"What sort of petition?" both Chernyak and the Captain moved menacingly toward Zeltser.
"A petition asking that pogroms be prohibited. You know, we had a terrible pogrom. The whole population's afraid.
"That's enough," Chernyak interrupted him. "We'll give you a petition you won't forget, you dirty Jew." Turning to the Captain, he snapped: "Put this one away properly.

Have him taken to headquarters—I'll talk to him there personally. We'll see who's behind this petition business."
Zeltser tried to protest but the Captain struck him sharply across the back with his riding crop.
"Shut up, you bastard!"
His face twisted with pain, Zeltser staggered back into a corner. His lips trembled and he barely restrained his sobs.
While this was going on, Pavel rose to his feet. He was now the only prisoner besides Zeltser in the storeroom.
Chernyak stood in front of the boy and inspected him with his piercing black eyes.
"Well, what are you doing here?"
Pavel had his answer ready.
"I cut off a saddle skirt for soles," he said quickly.
("What saddle?" the Colonel asked.
"We've got two Cossacks billeted at our place and I cut off a bit of an old saddle to sole my boots with. So the Cossacks hauled me in here." Seized by a wild hope to regain his freedom, he added:
"I didn't know it wasn't allowed. . . ."
The Colonel eyed Pavel with disgust.
"Of all the things this Commandant thought of, blast him! Look at the prisoners he picked up!" As he turned to the door, he shouted: "You can go home, and tell your father to give you the thrashing you deserve. Out with you!"
Still unable to believe his ears, Pavel snatched up Dolinnik's jacket from the floor and rushed for the door, his heart pounding as if it would burst. He ran through the guardroom and slipped outside behind the Colonel who was walking out into the yard. In a moment Pavel was through the wicket gate and in the street.
The unlucky Zeltser remained alone in the storeroom. He looked round with harassed eyes,instinctively took a few steps towards the exit, but just then a sentry entered the guardhouse,closed the door, inserted the padlock, and sat down on a stool next to the door.
Out on the porch Chernyak, much pleased with himself, said to the Captain:
"It's a good thing we looked in. Think of the rubbish we found there—we'll have to lock up that Commandant for a couple of weeks. Well, it's time we were going."
The Sergeant had mustered his detail in the yard. When he saw the Colonel, he ran over and reported:
"Everything's in order, Pan Colonel."
Chernyak inserted a boot into a stirrup and sprang lightly into the saddle. The Captain was having some trouble with his restive horse. Reining in his mount, the Colonel said to the Sergeant:
"Tell the Commandant I cleared out all the rubbish he'd collected in there. And tell him I'll give him two weeks in the guardhouse for the way he ran things here. As for the fellow in there now,transfer him to headquarters at once. Let the guard be in readiness."
"Very good, Pan Colonel," said the Sergeant and saluted.
Spurring on their horses, the Colonel and the Captain galloped back to the square where the parade was already coming to an end.

Pavel swung himself over another fence and stopped exhausted. He could go no farther. Those days cooped up in the stifling storeroom without food had sapped his strength.
Where should he go? Home was out of the question, and to go to the Bruzzhaks might bring disaster upon the whole family if anyone discovered him there.
He did not know what to do, and ran on again blindly, leaving behind the vegetable patches and back gardens at the edge of the town. Colliding heavily with a fence, he came to himself with a start and looked about him in amazement: there behind the tall fence was the forest warden's garden. So this was where his weary legs had brought him! He could have sworn that he had had no thought of coming this way. How then did he happen to be here? For that he could find no answer.
Yet rest awhile he must; he had to consider the situation and decide on the next step. He remembered that there was a summerhouse at the end of the garden. No one would see him there.
Hoisting himself to the top of the fence, he clambered over and dropped into the garden below.
With a brief glance at the house, barely visible among the trees, he made for the summerhouse. To his dismay he found that it was open on nearly all sides. The wild vine that had walled it in during the summer had withered and now all was bare.
He turned to go back, but it was too late. There was a furious barking behind him. He wheeled round and saw a huge dog coming straight at him down the leaf-strewn path leading from the house. Its fierce growls rent the stillness of the garden.
Pavel made ready to defend himself. The first attack he repulsed with a heavy kick. But the animal crouched to spring a second time. There is no saying how the encounter would have ended had a familiar voice not called out: "Come here, Tresor! Come here!"

Tonya came running down the path. She dragged Tresor back by the collar and turned to address the young man standing by the fence.
"What are you doing here? You might have been badly mauled by the dog. It's lucky I. . . ."
She stopped short and her eyes widened in surprise. How extraordinarily like Korchagin was this stranger who had wandered into her garden.
The figure by the fence stirred.
"Tonya!" said the young man softly. "Don't you recognise me?"
Tonya cried out and rushed impulsively over to him.
"Pavel, you?"
Tresor, taking the cry as a signal for attack, sprang forward.
"Down, Tresor, down!" A few cuffs from Tonya and he slunk back with an injured air toward the house, his tail between his legs.
"So you're free?" said Tonya, clinging to Pavel's hands.
"You knew then?"
"I know everything," replied Tonya breathlessly. "Liza told me. But however did you get here?
Did they let you go?"
"Yes, but only by mistake," Pavel replied wearily. "I ran away. I suppose they're looking for me now. I really don't know how I got here. I thought I'd rest a bit in your summerhouse. I'm awfully tired," he added apologetically.
She gazed at him for a moment or two and a wave of pity and tenderness swept over her.
"Pavel, my darling Pavel," she murmured holding his hands fast in hers. "I love you. . . . Do you hear me? My stubborn boy, why did you go away that time? Now you're coming to us, to me. I shan't let you go for anything. It's nice and quiet in our house and you can stay as long as you like."
Pavel shook his head.
"What if they find me here? No, I can't stay in your place."
Her hands squeezed his fingers and her eyes flashed.
"If you refuse, I shall never speak to you again. Artem isn't here, he was marched off under escort to the locomotive. All the railwaymen are being mobilised. Where will you go?"
Pavel shared her anxiety, and only his fear of bringing trouble to this girl now grown so dear to him held him back. But at last, worn out by his harrowing experiences, hungry and exhausted, he gave in.
While he sat on the sofa in Tonya's room, the following conversation ensued between mother and daughter in the kitchen.
"Mama, Korchagin is in my room. He was my pupil, you remember? I don't want to hide anything from you. He was arrested for helping a Bolshevik sailor to escape. Now he has run away from prison, but he has nowhere to go." Her voice trembled. "Mother dear, please let him stay here for a while."
The mother looked into her daughter's pleading eyes.
"Very well, I have no objection. But where do you intend to put him?"
Tonya flushed.
"He can sleep in my room on the sofa," she said. "We needn't tell Papa anything for the time being."
Her mother looked straight into her eyes.
"Is this what you have been fretting about so much lately?" she asked.
"But he is scarcely more than a boy."
"I know," replied Tonya, nervously fingering the sleeve of her blouse. "But if he hadn't escaped they would have shot him just the same."
Yekaterina Mikhailovna was alarmed by Korchagin's presence in her home. His arrest and her daughter's obvious infatuation with a lad she scarcely knew disturbed her.
But Tonya, considering the matter settled, was already thinking of attending to her guest's comfort.
"He must have a bath, first thing, Mama. I'll see to it at once. He is as dirty as a chimney sweep. It must be ages since he had a wash."
And she bustled off to heat the water for the bath and find some clean linen for Pavel. When all was ready she rushed into the room, seized Pavel by the arm and hurried him off to the bathroom without more ado.
"You must have a complete change of clothes. Here is a suit for you to put on. Your things will have to be washed. You can wear that in the meantime," she said pointing to the chair where a blue sailor blouse with striped white collar and a pair of bell-bottomed trousers were neatly laid out.
Pavel looked surprised. Tonya smiled.
"I wore it at a masquerade ball once," she explained. "It will be just right for you. Now, hurry.
While you're washing, I'll get you something to eat."
She went out and shut the door, leaving Pavel with no alternative but to undress and climb into the tub.
An hour later all three, mother, daughter and Pavel, were dining in the kitchen.
Pavel, who was ravenously hungry, consumed three helpings before he was aware of it. He was rather shy of Yekaterina Mikhailovna at first but soon thawed out when he saw how friendly she was.
After dinner they retired to Tonya's room and at Yekaterina Mikhailovna's request Pavel related his experiences.
"What do you intend doing now?" Yekaterina Mikhailovna asked when he had finished.
Pavel pondered the question a moment. "I should like to see Artem first, and then I shall have to get away from here."
"But where will you go?"
"I think I could make my way to Uman or perhaps to Kiev. I don't know myself yet, but I must get away from here as soon as possible."
Pavel could hardly believe that everything had changed so quickly. Only that morning he had been in the filthy cell and now here he was sitting beside Tonya, wearing clean clothes, and, what was most important, he was free.
What queer turns life can take, he thought: one moment the sky seems black as night, and then the sun comes shining through again. Had it not been for the danger of being arrested again he would have been the happiest lad alive at this moment.
But he knew that even in this large, silent house he was far from safe. He must go away from here,it did not matter where. And yet he did not at all welcome the idea of going away. How thrilling it had been to read about the heroic Garibaldi! How he had envied him! But now he realised that Garibaldi's must have been a hard life, hounded as he was from place to place. He, Pavel, had only lived through seven days of misery and torment, yet it had seemed like a whole year.
No, clearly he was not cut out to be a hero.
"What are you thinking about?" Tonya asked, bending over toward him. The deep blue of her eyes seemed fathomless.
"Tonya, shall I tell you about Khristina?"
"Yes, do," Tonya urged him.
He told her the sad story of his fellow-captive.
The clock ticked loudly in the silence as he ended his story: ".. .And that was the last we saw of her," his words came with difficulty. Tonya's head dropped and she had to bite her lips to force back the tears.
Pavel looked at her. "1 must go away tonight," he said with finality.
"No, no, 1 shan't let you go anywhere tonight."
She stroked his bristly hair tenderly with her slim warm fingers. . . .
"Tonya, you must help me. Someone must go to the station and find out what has happened to Artem and take a note to Seryozha. I have a revolver hidden in a crow's nest.

I daren't go for it, but Seryozha can get it for me. Will you be able to do this for me?"
Tonya got up.
"I'll go to Liza Sukharko right away. She and I will go to the station together. Write your note and I'll take it to Seryozha. Where does he live? Shall I tell him where you are if he should want to see you?"
Pavel considered for a moment before replying. "Tell him to bring the gun to your garden this evening."
It was very late when Tonya returned. Pavel was fast asleep. The touch of her hand awoke him and he opened his eyes to find her standing over him, smiling happily.
"Artem is coming here soon. He has just come back. Liza's father has agreed to vouch for him and they're letting him go for an hour. The engine is standing at the station. I couldn't tell him you are here. I just told him I had something very important to tell him. There he is now!"
Tonya ran to open the door. Artem stood in the doorway dumb with amazement, unable to believe his eyes. Tonya closed the door behind him so that her father, who was lying ill with typhus in the study, might not overhear them.
Another moment and Artem was giving Pavel a bear's hug that made his bones crack, and crying:
"Pavel! My little brother!"

And so it was decided: Pavel was to leave the next day. Artem would arrange for Bruzzhak to take him on a train bound for Kazatin.
Artem, usually grave and reserved, was now almost beside himself with joy at having found his brother after so many days of anxiety and uncertainty.
"Then it's settled. Tomorrow morning at five you'll be at the warehouse. While they're loading on fuel you can slip in. I wish I could stay and have a chat with you but I must be getting back. I'll see you off tomorrow. They're making up a battalion of railwaymen. We go about under an armed escort just like when the Germans were here."
Artem said good-bye to his brother and left.
Dusk gathered fast, Sergei would be arriving soon with the revolver. While he waited, Pavel paced nervously up and down the dark room. Tonya and her mother were with the forest warden.
He met Sergei in the darkness by the fence and the two friends shook hands warmly. Sergei had brought Valya with him. They conversed in low tones.
"I haven't brought the gun," Sergei said. "That backyard of yours is thick with Petlyura men. There are carts standing all over the place and they had a bonfire going.

So I couldn't climb the tree to get the gun. It's a damn shame." Sergei was much put out.
"Never mind," Pavel consoled him. "Perhaps it's just as well. It would be worse if I happened to be caught on the way with the gun. But make sure you get hold of it."
Valya moved closer to Pavel.

"When are you leaving?"
"Tomorrow, at daybreak."
"How did you manage to get away? Tell us."
In a rapid whisper Pavel told them his story. Then he took leave of his comrades. The jolly Sergei was unusually silent.
"Good luck, Pavel, don't forget us," Valya said in a choking voice.
And with that they left him, the darkness swallowing them up in an instant.
Inside the house all was quiet. The measured ticking of the clock was the only sound in the stillness.
For two of the house's inmates there was no thought of sleep that night. How could they sleep when in six hours they were to part, perhaps never to meet again. Was it possible in that brief space of time to give utterance to the myriad of unspoken thoughts that seethed within them?
Youth, sublime youth, when passion, as yet unknown, is only dimly felt in a quickening of the pulse; when your hand coming in chance contact with your sweetheart's breast trembles as if affrighted and falters, and when the sacred friendship of youth guards you from the final step!
What can be sweeter than to feel her arm about your neck and her burning kiss on your lips.
It was the second kiss they had exchanged throughout their friendship. Pavel, who had experienced many a beating but never a caress except from his mother, was stirred to the depths of his being. Hitherto life had shown him its most brutal side, and he had not known it could be such a glorious thing; now this girl had taught him what happiness could mean.
He breathed the perfume of her hair and seemed to see her eyes in the darkness.
"I love you so, Ton

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