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Classics fantasy – 10

Бесплатный фрагмент - Classics fantasy – 10

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Part one

Chapter 1

The big transatlantic steamship “Veniamin Franklin” stood in the Genoa harbor, ready to departure. Ashore there was a usual vanity, shouts of multilingual, motley crowd were heard, and by steamship already there came the moment of that intense, nervous silence which involuntarily covers people before a long trip. Only on the deck of the third class passengers fussy “divided narrowness”, accommodating and stacking belongings. The public of the first class from height of the deck silently observed this human ant hill.

Shaking air, the steamship cried last time. Sailors hastily began to lift a ladder.

At this moment to a ladder quickly there ascended two persons. That which followed behind made to sailors some sign a hand, and they lowered a ladder.

The late passengers entered on the deck. Well dressed, slender and broad-shouldered young man, having stuffed up hands in pockets of a wide coat, quickly walked towards cabins. His smoothly shaved face was absolutely quiet. However the observant person on the shifted eyebrows of the stranger and a faint ironical smile could notice that this tranquility forced. After it, without lagging behind on a step, there was a tolstenky person of average years. Its kettle was shifted on a nape. The sweaty, rumpled person expressed it at the same time fatigue, pleasure and breathless attention, as at a cat who drags a mouse in teeth. He for a second kept the eyes glued from the satellite.

On the deck of the steamship, near a ladder, there was a young girl in a white dress. For a moment of her eye met eyes of the late passenger who went ahead.

When there passed this strange couple, the girl in a white dress, Ms. Kingman, heard as the sailor removing a ladder told the companion, having nodded towards the left passengers:

— Saw? The old acquaintance Jim Simpkins, the New York detective, caught some swell.

— Симпкинс? — other sailor answered. — This on a small game does not hunt.

— Yes, look as it is dressed. Some specialist in a part of bank safes, if it is not worse than that.

Ms. Kingman it became terrible. By one steamship with it all way to New York the criminal, perhaps, the murderer will go. Still she saw portraits of these mysterious and terrible people only in newspapers.

Ms. Kingman hasty ascended to the main deck. Here, among people of the circle, in this place inaccessible ordinary mortal, she felt in relative safety. Having leaned back on a convenient wicker chair, Ms. Kingman plunged into inactive contemplation — the best gift of voyages for the nerves tired with city bustle. The awning covered her head from hot beams of the sun. Over it leaves of the palm trees standing in wide tubs between chairs quietly rocked. From where sideways the aromatic smell of expensive tobacco reached.

— Criminal. Who could think? — Ms. Kingman whispered, still remembering a meeting at a ladder. And finally to get off unpleasant impression, she took out a small graceful cigarette case from ivory, the Japanese work, with the flowers which are cut out on a cover, and lit the Egyptian sigarette. The blue stream of smoke stretched to palm leaves up.

The steamship departed, carefully getting out of the harbor. It seemed as if the steamship stands still, and surrounding scenery by means of the rotating scene move. Here all Genoa turned to a steamship board, as if wishing to seem driving off last time. White houses ran from mountains and were restricted at a coastal strip as herd of sheep at a watering place. And over them yellowy-brown tops with green spots of gardens and stone pines rose. But here someone turned scenery. The gulf corner — a blue smooth surface with crystal transparency of water opened. White yachts, appear, were shipped in the piece of the blue sky falling to the ground all lines of the vessel through transparent water were so clearly visible. Infinite packs of fishes darted about between yellowish stones and short seaweed at a white sandy bottom. Gradually water became all blue, did not hide a bottom yet…

— How it was pleasant to you, Ms., your cabin?

Ms. Kingman looked back. It was faced by the captain who included in a circle of the duties to pay kind attention to the “dearest” passengers.

— I thank you, Mr…

— Brown.

— Mr. Brown, perfectly. We will come into Marseille?

— New York — the first stop. However, maybe, we will be late at several o’clock in Gibraltar. You wanted to visit Marseille?

— About is not present — hasty and even with a fright Ms. Kingman spoke. — I was fatally bothered by Europe. — And, having kept silent, she asked: — Tell, the captain, by steamship… is available for us the criminal?

— What criminal?

— Some arrested…

— It is possible that them even a little. Usual thing. This public is in the habit to get away from the European justice to America, and from American — to Europe. But detectives track down them and deliver home these stray sheep. At their presence by steamship there is nothing dangerous — you can be absolutely quiet. They are given without shackles only not to draw the attention of public. But in a cabin to them immediately put on manual shackles and arrest to beds.

— But it is awful! — Ms. Kingman spoke.

The captain shrugged shoulders.

Neither the captain, nor even Ms. Kingman understood that vague feeling which caused this exclamation. It is awful that people as wild animals, arrest on a chain. So the captain thought, though found it a reasonable precautionary measure.

It is awful that this young man so poorly similar to the criminal and not different from people of its circle, all road will sit held down in a stuffy cabin. There is that vague subconscious thought which excited Ms. Kingman.

And, having strongly dragged on a cigarette, it plunged into silence.

The captain imperceptibly departed from Ms. Kingman. Fresh sea wind played the end of a white silk scarf and her chestnut ringlets.

Even here, for several miles from the harbor, aroma of the blossoming magnolias as the last hi the Genoa coast reached. The huge steamship tirelessly cut a blue surface, reserving a far wavy trace. And waves stitches hurried to darn the hem formed on a silk sea smooth surface.

Chapter 2


— Check to the king. Checkmate.

— Oh, that you the shark swallowed! You skillfully play, Mr. Gatling — the famous New York detective Jim Simpkins told and annoyancely scratched behind the right ear. — Yes, you play perfectly — it continued. — And I nevertheless play better you. You beat me in chess, but what magnificent checkmate I arranged you, Gatling, there, in Genoa when you as the chess king, sat out in the most distant cage of the destroyed house! You wanted to take cover from me? In vain! Jim Simpkins will find at the bottom of the sea. Here to you a checkmate — and, fatly having leaned back, he began to smoke a cigar.

Redzhinald Gatling shrugged shoulders:

— You had too many pawns. You lifted up all Genoa police and conducted the correct siege. Any chess player will not win party, holding one figure of the king against all figures of the opponent. And, besides, Mr. Jim Simpkins, our party still… is not graduated.

— You believe? This chain did not convince you yet? — and the detective touched an easy, but strong chain by which Gatling was chained by the left hand to a metal core of a bed.

— You are naive as many ingenious people. Unless chains — the logical proof? However, we will not press in philosophy.

— Also we will resume a game. I demand a revenge — finished Simpkins.

— Hardly we will manage it. Rolling amplifies and can mix figures before we terminate a game.

— As you will order to understand it, too figuratively? — asked Simpkins, placing figures.

— As you wish.

— Yes, swings thoroughly — and he made the course.

In a cabin it was stuffy and hot. It was located below a waterline, near the engine room which as powerful heart, shook walls of near cabins and filled them with rhythmic noise. Players plunged into silence, trying to keep balance of a chessboard.

Rolling amplified. The storm was played outright. The steamship laid down on the left side, slowly rose. Again… Still… As drunk

Chess departed. Симпкинс fell to a floor. The Gatling held a chain, but it painfully jerked his hand at a brush where there was “bracelet”.

Симпкинс swore and took seat on a floor.

— Here is steadier. You know, Gatling, me is bad… that… seasickness. Never I transferred such devil rolling yet. I will lay down. But… you will not run away if to me it becomes thin?

— By all means — Gatling answered, keeping within on a bed. — I will tear a chain and I will run away… I will rush to waves. I prefer society of sharks…

— You joke, Gatling. — Симпкинс on all fours reached a bed and, sighing, settled.

He did not manage to be extended as again it was dumped from a bed by the terrible push which shook all steamship. Somewhere cracked, ringed, rustled, hooted. From above shouts and footfall of legs reached, and, muffling all this discordant noise, is suddenly disturbing the siren hooted, giving a signal: “All upward!”

Overcoming fatigue and weakness, clinging to walls,

Симпкинс went to a door. He was fatally frightened, but tried to hide it from the satellite.

— Gatling! There something happened. I go to look. Forgive, but I have to lock you! — cried out Simpkins.

The Gatling contemptuously looked at the detective and answered nothing.

Rolling continued, but even at this rolling it was possible to notice that the steamship slowly plunges a nasal part.

In a few minutes in the doorway Simpkins appeared. From his rain raincoat water flows flew down. The face of the detective was distorted by horror which he did not try to hide any more.

— Accident… We sink… The steamship received a hole… Though plainly nobody knows anything… Prepare boats… the order is given to put on saving belts… But yet let to get nobody into boats. They say, the ship has some there partitions, maybe, also will not drown if there something is made, the devil them knows that… And passengers fight with sailors who drive away them from boats… But me, me what you will order to do? — he cried, snatching to Gatlinga with such look as if that was responsible for all his misadventures. — To me what you will order to do? To escape most or to watch you? We can appear in different boats, and you, perhaps, will run away.

— And it unless does not calm you? — with a sneer asked Gatling, showing a chain by which it was chained.

— I cannot remain with you, oh, damn.

— In a word, you want to save yourself, me and those ten thousand dollars which promised you for my capture? Very I sympathize with your difficult situation, but I can help nothing.

— You can, you can… Listen, smart guy — and Simpkins’s voice became fawning, Simpkins all shrank as the beggar begging for a handout — pledge the word… pledge only the word that you will not run away from me ashore, and I will unlock now and I will remove a chain from your hand… pledge only the word. I trust you.

— I thank for trust. But I will not pledge any word. However, is not present: I will run away as soon as possible. I can pledge this word to you.

— About!. You saw such?. And if I leave you here, the pighead? — And, without expecting the answer, Simpkins rushed to a door. Clinging, clambering and falling, he got out on an abrupt ladder to the deck which, despite night, was brightly lit with arc lamps. At once lashed it a rain veil which was frayed by rough wind. The stern of the ship was above water, the nose was filled in by waves. Симпкинс examined the deck and saw that the discipline which still existed several minutes ago is plunged as an easy barrier, a mad pressure of that primitive, animal feeling which is called a self-preservation instinct. Elegantly dressed men, still yesterday with gallant courtesy the small services rendering to ladies, trampled down bodies of these ladies now, opening fists the way to boats. Won against the strongest. The sound of a siren merged with an inhuman roar of mad herd of biped animals. The crushed bodies, the torn to pieces corpses, clothes shreds flashed.

Симпкинс lost the head, the hot wave of blood filled in a brain. There was a moment when he was ready to rush in a dump. But the thought of ten thousand dollars which flashed even during this moment held it. Head over heels it rolled down a ladder, flew in a cabin, fell, swept to a door, on all fours reached beds and being silent, the shivering hands began to disconnect a chain.

— Upward! — The detective passed Gatlinga forward and followed it.

When they got out to the deck, Simpkins cried in powerless rage: the deck was empty. On the enormous waves lit with fires of windows the last boats overflowed with people flashed. There was nothing and think to reach them by swimming.

Boards of boats were stuck around by hands of drowning. Blows of knives, fists and oars, revolving bullets poured from boats on the heads unfortunate, and waves absorbed them.

— In total because of you! — Simpkins cried, shaking a fist before a nose of Gatlinga.

But Gatling, without paying any attention to the detective, approached a board and attentively looked down. At the steamship of a wave swung the woman’s body. With the last efforts she gave hands and when waves beat it to the steamship, vainly tried to catch an iron covering.

The Gatling threw off a raincoat and jumped overboard.

— You want to run? You will be responsible for it. — And, having taken out the revolver, the detective sent it to the head of Gatlinga. — I will shoot in your first attempt to sail from the steamship.

— Do not tell nonsenses and heave rather the line of a rope, the idiot you such! — shouted in reply to Gatling, grabbing the drowning woman who already fainted hand.

— He also disposes! — the detective shouted, ineptly stirring the end of a rope. — Official’s insult on duty!

Ms. Vivian Kingman recovered in a cabin. She deeply sighed and opened eyes.

Симпкинс gallantly took leave:

— May I introduce myself: agent Jim Simpkins. And it is Mr. Redzhinald Gatling who is under my guardianship, so to speak…

Kingman did not know how to behave in the company of the agent and criminal. Kingman, the daughter Milliardera, had to share society with these people. In addition she is obliged to one of them by the rescue, she has to thank him. But to give a hand to the criminal? No, no! Fortunately, it is still too weak, cannot set a hand… well, of course, cannot. She moved with a hand, without lifting it, and told by a weak voice:

— I thank you, you saved to me life.

— It is a debt of each of us — without any posing Gatling answered. — And now you need to have a rest. You can be quiet: the steamship well floats and will not sink. — Having pulled Simpkins’s sleeve, he told: — We go.

— On what basis you began to dispose of me? — the detective grumbled, following, however, Gatling. — Do not forget that you — the arrested and I can impose any minute legally manual shackles and imprison you.

The Gatling approached closely Simpkins and is quiet, but impressively told:

— Listen, Simpkins if you do not cease to talk the nonsense, I will take you by the scruff of the neck, here so, and I will throw out overboard as blind kitten, together with your automatic gun which also namozolit to me eyes as well as you are. You understand? Remove in a pocket your weapon now and follow me. We should make a breakfast for Ms. and to find for a bottle of good wine.

— It is the devil’s work! You want to make of me the maid and the cook? To clean it shoes and to give pins?

— I want that you stirred less, and did more. Well, turn!

Chapter 3


— Tell, Mr. Gatling why the ship did not sink? — Ms. Kingman asked, sitting with Gatling on the deck, all lit with the morning sun. Around, as far as covered an eye, the water smooth surface of the ocean as the emerald desert was spread.

— Modern ocean steamships — Gatling answered — are supplied with internal partitions, or walls. At holes water fills only a part of the steamship, without getting further. And if destructions are not too big, the steamship can float even with big holes.

— But why then passengers left the steamship?

— Nobody could tell whether he will sustain the steamship to be capable to float. Look: Kiel went to water. The stern rose so that blades of screws are visible. The deck is inclined at an angle almost in thirty degrees to the surface of the ocean. It is not really convenient to go on this slope, but all this is better, than to flounder in water. We still got off lightly. By steamship there are enormous stocks of provisions and water. And if not too carried us from ocean ways, we can meet soon some vessel which will pick up us.

However there were days behind days, and the blue desert remained still is dead. Симпкинс missed eyes, peering at a sea distance.

Monotonous days began to flow.

Ms. Kingman got into the role of the hostess soon. She strove in kitchen, washed clothes, kept order in the dining room and “salon” — a small cozy cabin where they liked to spend evenings before going to bed.

The difficult question how to hold and put itself in society, new, alien for it, was resolved somehow by itself. It concerned Simpkins good-natured ironically, with Gatling the simple, friendly relations were established. It is more than that, Gatling interested her mysteriousness of the destiny and nature. Out of a step she not only never asked Gatlinga about its past, but did not assume that also Simpkins spoke about it though Simpkins tried to tell for lack of Gatlinga about its terrible “crime” more than once.

They willingly talked with each other in the evenings, at a sunset, having finished the small economy. Симпкинс stuck out on the watchtower, looking for a steamship smoke as the messenger of rescue, professional triumph and the promised award.

From this talk Ms. Kingman could be convinced that her interlocutor is educated, tactful and brought up. Conversations with witty Ms. Kingman, apparently, gave also to Gatlingu great pleasure. She remembered the travel across Europe and made laugh it with unexpected characteristics of seen.

— Switzerland? This mountain pasture of tourists. I visited the whole world, but I hate these ruminant biped with Bedeker instead of a tail. They chewed up eyes all beauty of the nature.

Vesuvius? Some коротыш which puffs a worthless cigar and puts on importance. You did not see a mountain chain of Colorado? Hes-Pik, Lon Peak, Arankho-Pik — this mountains. I do not tell Everest having 8800 meters of height about such giants as Mont any more. Vesuvius in comparison with them a puppy.

Venice? There can live one frogs. The gondolier carried me on the main channels, wishing to show it to good effect, all these palaces, statues and other beauty which became green from dampness, and big-eyed Englishwomen. But I ordered that it brought me to one of small channels — I do not know whether truly I told, but the gondolier understood me and after a repeated order reluctantly sent a gondola to the narrow canal. I wanted to see how there live Venetians. It is horror. Channels are so narrow that the neighbor can offer a hand opposite. Water in channels smells of a mold, on a surface orange-peels and any litter which is thrown out from windows float. The sun never looks to these stone gorges. And children, unfortunate children! They have no place to gambol. Pale, rachitic, they sit on window sills, risking to fall to the dirty canal, and with serious melancholy look at the passing gondola. I am not sure even whether they are able to go.

— But what it was pleasant to you in Italy?.

Here their conversation was interrupted in the most unexpected way:

— Hands up!

They looked back and uvidat before themselves Simpkins with the revolver sent to a breast of Gatlinga.

The detective listened to their conversation for a long time, expecting whether Gatling will blab out the crime. Having convinced of innocence of a conversation, Simpkins decided to act in a new role — “the prepredictor and a presekatel of crimes”.

— Ms. Kingman — it began pompously — my office debt and a debt of the honest person to warn you about danger. I cannot allow more this talk alone. I have to warn you, Ms. Kingman that Gatling — the dangerous criminal. And dangerous first of all for you, women. It killed the young lady, having entangled her at first network of the eloquence. Killed and ran, but it was caught by me, Jim Simpkins — he finished and with pride looked at the had effect.

It is impossible to tell that the effect was gained that which it expected.

Ms. Kingman was really confused, excited and offended, but rather its unexpected and rough invasion, than the speech.

And Redzhinald Gatling did not resemble the criminal killed with exposure at all. With usual tranquility it approached Simpkins. Without paying attention to the induced barrel, pulled out after short fight and rejected the revolver aside, having said in low tones:

— You, obviously, still have not enough ten thousand dollars promised you to see me for pleasure of some persons put on an electric chair. Only presence of Ms. holds me to be quit with you on merits!

The quarrel was stopped by Ms. Kingman.

— Pledge me the word — she told, approaching them and addressing more Simpkins — that similar scenes did not repeat. Do not worry about me, Mr. Simpkins, I do not need guardianship. Leave yours scores till that time until we descend on the earth. Here us three are only three among the boundless ocean. Who knows that he waits for us still ahead? Perhaps, each of us will be necessary for another a minute of danger.

Becomes damp, the sun set. It is time to disperse. Good night!

And they dispersed on the cabins.

Chapter 4


Jim Simpkins slept badly this night. He turned on a bed in the cabin and to something listened. All it seemed that Gatling somewhere nearby, creeps to deal shortly with him, to revenge it, perhaps, to kill. There are someone’s steps, the door somewhere creaked… The detective in horror sat down on a bed.

— No, everything is silent, seemed… Oh the hell what stuffy night! And then — mosquitoes and mosquitoes haunt. From where all these winged evil spirits among the ocean could undertake? Either I rave, or we is close from the earth? Whether not to go to be refreshed?

Симпкинс not the first night went to be refreshed to a steamship hold where there were stocks of canned food and wine.

He safely reached the place, blundering about in the dark on familiar transitions, and already took a sip of a good drink of rum as he suddenly heard some strange rustle. In this labyrinth it was difficult to define from where these sounds were heard. At Simpkins grew cold in a breast.

— Looks for. There is nothing to tell, good hide-and-seek. If only it did not find till the morning. And there it is necessary to ask protection of Ms. Kingman. — And it began to make the way, with bated breath, in a far corner of a hold, almost at the covering. Exactly there, behind a covering, rustle as though some unknown sea monster which came up from a sea bottom rubbed rough skin about a steamship board suddenly was heard. Mysterious sounds became more heard. And suddenly Simpkins felt how from a soft push all steamship kolykhnutsya. Neither waves, nor reefs could make such strange fluctuation. After this a push some more together with some deaf hoot followed.

Simpkins was captured by ice horror of far animal ancestors of the person: horror before the unknown. A grief to the one who will not manage to overcome this horror at once: blind instincts extinguish then a thought, will paralyze will, self-control.

Симпкинс felt how cold pakhnut in a nape and head hair rose. It seemed to it that he feels tension of each hair. With a wild roar it rushed, stumbling and falling, up, on the deck.

He was met requirements by Gatling. Симпкинс, having forgotten about everything, except fear of the unknown, nearly fell arms from what just escaped as a mouse in a hole.

— What is it? — he asked some hissing whistle (nervous spasms squeezed his throat) and grabbed with Gatlinga by a hand.

— I know no more than yours… The steamship softly shook on one side, a nasal part fell then and again rose. I hastily put on and left to look.

The moon brightly lit a part of the deck. The kilevy part of the steamship which was injured after accident was shipped in water, and the deck lay almost on water level here.

Симпкинс remained higher, watching Gatling who examined all kilevy part of the deck.

— Strange, strange… Go down here, Simpkins, are not a coward.

— I thank you, but and from here it is well visible to me.

— Симпкинс, it you? What there happened?

— Ms. Kingman, I ask you to descend here — told Gatling, увидав Viviana who was going down the deck.

It approached Gatlingu, and after it also Simpkins dared to go down. Presence of the girl calmed him.

— Admire, Ms.!

In bright beams of the moon the deck brightly grew white. And on this white background dark stains and traces were seen. As if some enormous animal всползло on the deck, made a semicircle and fell down from the right board, having broken as a straw, iron rods of a handrail.

— Pay attention: it is similar to a trace from a heavy belly which was dragged on the deck. And on each side — traces of paws or it is rather fins. We were visited by some unknown monster.

Simpkinsu it became terrible again, and he imperceptibly began to move back on the sloping deck back.

— And it that for litter? Some plants which are obviously left by the unknown visitor? — And Ms. Kingman lifted an alga from a floor.

The Gatling attentively examined an alga and disapprovingly shook the head.

— Sargassum, groups of brown seaweed… Yes, there is no doubt! These are alga sargassova. Here where brought us. Devil take it! Business gets a bad turn. We should discuss situation.

And all three rose by the main deck. Danger pulled together them. Симпкинс waved a hand on “rights”, he understood that only knowledge, experience and energy of Gatlinga could save them.

Most of all detective disturbed an unknown monster. It did not attach to any sargassovy alga significance.

— What do you think, Gatling, about our uninvited guest? — asked Simpkins when all took seat on wattled chairs.

The Gatling shrugged shoulders, continuing to twist an alga in a hand.

— This is not an octopus, not a shark and not some other of the famous inhabitants of the sea… It is possible what is here, in this mysterious corner of the Atlantic Ocean, there live unknown to us monsters, some plesiosauri who remained from primitive times.

— And suddenly they will get out of water and will begin to pursue us?

— We have to be ready to everything. But, I admit, I am disturbed not so much by unknown monsters, how many this leaf — and it showed an alga leaf. — The steamship after all is too big and strong even for these unknown giants of the underwater world. To them not to get also into our close cabins. At last, we have a weapon. But what weapon can win against this? — and it showed on an alga again.

— What terrible is in this insignificant leaf? — asked Simpkins.

— The fact that we got to the area of the Sargasso Sea, the mysterious sea which is located to the west of Korvo — one of the Azores. This sea six times more Germany occupies the space. It everything is entirely covered with a dense carpet of seaweed. “Alga” in Spanish — “sargassa”, from here and the name of the sea.

— As it so: the sea among the ocean? — Ms. Kingman asked.

— This issue was not resolved also by scientists.

— As you have to know, the warm Gulf Stream Current goes from the passages of Florida to the North to Spitsbergen. But this current is divided into ways, and one sleeve comes back to the South, reaches the Azores, goes to west banks of Africa and, at last, having described a semicircle, comes back to the Antilles. The warm ring in which there is cold, quiet water — the Sargasso Sea turns out. Look at the ocean!

All looked back and were struck: the surface of the ocean lay before them motionless as a standing pond. Slightest wave, movement, splash. The first beams of a rising sun lit this strange, stiffened sea which resembled a continuous carpet of greenish and pale seaweed.

— I do not want to frighten you, Simpkins, but a grief to the ship which got to this to “bank with seaweed” as Columbus called the Sargasso Sea. The screw if we also have it in serviceability, could not work: it would reel up seaweed and stopped. Seaweed detain the course of the sailing vessel, do not give the chance and to row. In a word, they it is tenacious hold the victim.

— What will be with us? — asked Simpkins.

— Perhaps, the same, as with others. The Sargasso Sea is called the cemetery of the ships. Seldom who manages to get out from here. If people do not die of hunger, thirst or yellow fever, they live, their ship from weight of the accrued polyps or a leak will not drown yet. And the sea slowly accepts the new victim.

Ms. Kingman listened carefully.

— Awfully! — she whispered, peering into the stiffened green surface.

— We, in any case, are in the best conditions, than many of our predecessors. The steamship keeps well. Perhaps, we will manage to repair a leak and to extort water. There will be enough stocks of products for us three for several years.

— Years! — Simpkins exclaimed, having jumped up on a chair.

— Yes, the road Simpkins, it is possible that several years you should expect the promised award. Take heart, Simpkins.

— I wanted to spit on an award, if only to me to get out of this damned kissel!

…Monotonous, painful, hot days stretched. Clouds of some unknown insects were above this standing swamp. At night mosquitoes did not allow to sleep. Sometimes fog laid down over the sea a funeral veil.

Fortunately, by steamship there was a good library. Ms. Kingman read much. In the evenings all gathered in big magnificent salon. Viviana sang and played grand piano. And even more often Simpkins began to be on these evening meetings with a wine bottle: from a grief he washed down.

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