Classics fantasy – 7

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(a sketch — a utopia)

Karl Fit opened eyes and smiled. Several days he woke up with a smile on lips — perhaps because he fell asleep with a thought of how life is good and interesting. And as yesterday as the day before yesterday, he attentively looked around himself. He threw the head back and saw a balcony door through which glasses slanting beams of the morning sun joined the room; threw a cursory glance on a small desk from a white oak and to a convenient working chair; turned the head, examined a wardrobe in a wall, as if wishing to make sure whether all on the place, and was finished by survey with a wash basin about a door. In total on the place. In total as yesterday, in this small, clean, white room. And pictures on walls and a bouquet on a table? No, and they on the place: two fine etudes oil paints — episodes of heroic fight of the proletariat for the power. The big round clock hanging over a door looked the dial, and shooters were extended almost vertically. Was one minute to six. At this time always Fit woke up. Here shooters were extended outright absolutely, and soft, but quite strong baritone which goodness knows where from spoke immediately was heard:

— Six hours, are time to rise!

This baritone belonged to Fit. Yesterday it gave such order, going to bed, to the mechanical servant — the record player roller connected by the special device with hours. But Fit gave daily such order to himself more for an entertainment. He did not need to be awoken — he woke up always accurately at the same time.

— I thank you — Fit answered, smiling to hours, and quickly rose from a bed. He quickly put a bed and moved it into a wall, pulled on legs of a shoe and left in a corridor. All doors left people in the same dressing gowns, men and women, and went: men to the right, women to the left.

— Gutnut a morgen! — called Phyto cheerful young voices.

— Kind morning! — he answered in Russian and waved a hand.

Fit opened a door in a wall of a long corridor, and discordant noise reached his ears: heavy rain, cheerful voices, snorting, a clap hands on a naked body, splashes in water. All these sounds merged in a peculiar “water” symphony. Yes, in this huge hall there was the real kingdom of water. Light getting through a glass ceiling lit the pool in which young people swam, with laughter overtaking each other. To the right and on the left offices of flourishes settled down, and in a wall against an entrance door the set of doors which conducted in separate bathrooms was seen. Fit bypassed the pool, making the way to the bathroom.

— Who is it? — the young man in the pool asked, showing to eyes on Fit.

— The German, the tourist — answered floating a row.

Fit entered a bathroom, quickly undressed and fell to already ready bathtub. Having left a bathtub and having dry pounded a body a shaggy towel, it passed to the neighboring hall.

If the first hall was a water kingdom, then there was a kingdom of air and gymnastic cars. Young people in pants did “morning exercises”, strenuously training. Elderly did not lag behind. Fit joined them and began to make various gestures diligently: to throw out hands up, down, in the parties, squatted, rose… Фит suffered. All this left at it not so accurately, as at the others, probably well trained people.

— Nothing, you will get used — neighbors said to him.

The German it is guilty smiled, stubborn squatted and shot hands at the parties. “You will get used!” It is a little offensive. Whether long ago Germans were in everything teachers of Russians?.

Quarter of the seventh. Enough! Fit goes to a bathroom, puts on a morning dressing gown and comes back to the room. Absolutely small! And it would seem even less if not to know something — as it is arranged and what orders in this wonderful house commune. Whether the big room is necessary if excellent ventilation delivers clean air much and if the room is not necessary on anything any more as soon as to have a sleep in complete silence yes — if desire comes — to remain hour or so — another alone. Fit did not get used to spend time for a privacy. He was eager to examine as much as possible and as soon as possible. Yes, it spent time for stay in this room not much — and still it extremely was pleasant to it. Appearance of the room, all its simplicity and even adjusted the small size on a special harmony. Deprived of at first sight many necessary things, she said that the person has to be free first of all from captivity of these things, from the power of bulky furniture, unnecessary knickknacks, dusty curtains. Really, unless it is not pleasant to understand that where you wanted to go, everywhere you will find here such simple room for a dream and rest where there is nothing superfluous and there is all necessary. It was pleasant to enter the room and it is not a pity to leave it. It cultivated consciousness that the person not “the room resident”, and the resident and the owner of all this of the huge, boiling life house.

— Well! — told Fit, changing clothes. In a few minutes it was already ready to an exit — on it there was a simple, convenient, graceful suit fitting a waist, but free in a breast and shoulders.

* * *

Half of the seventh. Fit leaves the room, without locking it — here thefts are unknown — and, having taken place a corridor, enters the dining room.

In all length of the big light hall several rows wide tables last. In the middle of tables in all their length boxes with a set of windows tower. Near windows — buttons numbers and the menu. Against each name — coffee, tea, milk — figure. In all hall of any person of servants. On “boxes” — bouquets of fresh flowers. Fit it is seated at the table against “window”, reads the menu and presses the buttons at numbers 3 and 12. In a minute from where from below there are in a window of a long box a glass of coffee with cream also chunks of white loaf smeared with butter and from above jam.

Fit a beret from a tray food and has breakfast with appetite. Then he puts a plate and an empty glass on a tray in a window, presses the button — and the tray fails.

Without ten seven. Perhaps, it is possible to shave and clean boots still. It near the dining room. The surprising shaving machine finishes the business one minute. In the same time — the mechanical cleaner rubs Fit’s boots to mirror gloss. On association of Fit remembers one oversight allowed by it: he forgot to put in order, by means of the mechanical servant, the room. Forgot because even the German eye, accustomed to purity, could not notice in the room the slightest traces of dust or dirt. But dust and dirt can appear if the room not to watch every day! Observation of purity is included into a duty all living in the house commune. Everyone is responsible for purity of the room. It is rather to correct an oversight! Fit hurries to itself, to the room of 1235. He wanted the 1234th, then it would be even more convenient to remember.

It is very simple! The mechanical brush sweeps out and rubs a floor, the vacuum cleaner devours dust. At first a half of the room at a door is put in order, then the desk is easily rolled away, the chair is put on a table and the second half of the room — at the balcony door replacing at the same time a window cleans up. Dust on special musoroprovodny pipes arrives down. A floor sparkles. The room shines! But it is necessary to wipe windows still. Again mechanical brushes of other device. It is ready. All mechanisms develop and hide in the lower box of a convenient wall case.

Someone knocks at the door.

— Enter! — The door opens. The threshold has a pretty white-haired girl and the swarthy boy. In hands the girl — a bouquet, at the boy has a basket with flowers.

— Good morning, dear companion Fit! — the girl speaks good German. — I brought to you fresh flowers.

— Good morning! — welcomes Phyto and the kid with a flowers basket.

Fit greets children, thanks for flowers. The girl quickly changes a bouquet of flowers on a table. In a vase tea roses flaunt now. The become obsolete carnations rush to a garbage pipe. This pipe carries away together with water all garbage of the house far to the country where they are processed.

Fit still wants to talk to children, to question them about that about this, but children hurry. They accepted patronage of flowers of the house and strictly treat the duties, and put at chiefs this summer morning a lot. Children friendly bow to Fit and hurry further. Fit long smiles to them following, then looks at the dial over a door. Seven hours twelve minutes. Fit opens a door and comes to a balcony. A massive handrail is buried in flowers. Climbers close a balcony from sides. Fit looks down, from height of the third floor.

From here, from height, the city struck not with grandness, but an originality: he least of all resembled the city though its population approached sixty thousand.

The sea of greens it was spread below — infinite parks and gardens. They flooded all city as spring tides, and among this green sea rose, like rocky islands, beautiful houses, it is not higher than four floors, painted in light tone, well being in harmony with a green background of parks and gardens. Only far to the right houses stood more densely — there was Revolution Square where government agencies were located. And on the left the river bend covered in this early hour with rowboats and sailing yachts shone: “vykhodnik” hurried to use day of rest on an open air.

From where the sound of the wheels which are softly sliding on rails reached and through the green sea the air electric train — Rapid-transit which brought to the plant of workers proceeded at height of tops of trees. Such trains went with five-minute breaks throughout half an hour, taking away a third of adult population of the city for work. The quantity and structure of trains were calculated so that each worker could take seat in the train on the place, without crush and turns. In this city any minute was not lost in vain. In five hours “Slow motion” will return workers and will take away new change. The plant works in three changes on five hours — from seven in the morning till ten in the night. Fit by all means will visit the plant and will look how work is organized.

Fit comes back to the room, approaches a desk and takes out the typewriter from a box. Such machines are available in each table of each living room of this house. In a minute Fit writes on silently working machine.

“Dear Fritz!

You asked to write about my impressions. It is hard to make it. Feature of the socialist city in which I live is in what it strikes not with the American scales, but the internal expediency. I would call this city factory for alteration of people. We in Germany just should build such factories. Beginning from architecture of buildings and finishing tenor of life, everything is arranged so that you imperceptibly for yourself become absolutely other person. To begin at least with this small Spartan room in which I am. You know that our workers — and in particular our wives — yet did not manage to be released from bourgeois “cosiness”. And I am sure that you — and the more so your lovely Marta — would be horrified by this room. It would seem to you too poor, too idle time. Neither carpet, nor curtains, nor shelves. But… it is necessary to live day to understand all expediency of this simplicity and uselessness of blocking up of rooms all that stuff — vases, zanavesochka, shelves, statuetochka which do so-called “cosiness” of our German apartments.

Present in my room — the only chair! Unless it is not horror? I cannot even receive the guest! But it is enough to leave in a corridor and to pass several steps, and you already in a drawing room — with carpets, upholstered convenient leather furniture, flowers on a table, fine pictures on walls, you meet whom to you there is a wish, you choose the place and you conduct friendly chat with friends. Chairs, little tables and sofas are placed so that groups of talking do not interfere with each other. I, for example, chose a corner at a window where there is couple of chairs surrounded with the huge blossoming oleanders. You are as though in a garden. In an open window the clean air saturated with ozone flows. Nobody disturbs you, and you disturb nobody, and in this wonderful corner I spent not one evening, talking to my new friends. I learned from them a lot of interesting that it is difficult for the foreign tourist who besides is poorly knowing Russian to learn and notice.

But forgive me. Overloaded with new impressions, I distract aside and I write irregularly. I will try to drive myself in a framework, adhering at least to a chronological order.

From Moscow I took off on the airplane, flew on the southeast, with greedy curiosity looking down, at open spaces of the new world which does not know slavery and forced labor. If not deployed card before me where the flight route was noted, I could think that I fly not over the country of peaceful work, and over the field of battle. On wide fields “tanks”, in single file and the developed system, alone and the whole herds moved. They gathered in small groups, as though frolicing, ran away from each other.

Well, and if our far ancestor or even the savage never seeing modern cars “sat in my place, of course, would think that he flew to the unknown world where there live strange monsters which are grazed on fields and devour high herbs with extraordinary speed. You, of course, already guessed that I speak about tractors, about tractor columns which, it is similar to hardworking continued animals, busy scurry about back and forth, doing easily and soon on what the incredible number of human work was required before.

By the way, I can tell you a curious trifle. Local doctors assured me that tractors and cars were enemies of a number of diseases which sharply began to decline after the country was a traktorizovana and is sated with cars. The tractor and the car almost absolutely destroyed a typhoid, dysentery and other infectious diseases. “How?” — you will ask. Very simply. Distributors of these diseases were flies, and flies breed, putting testicles mainly in horse manure. Horses were replaced now by cars and tractors. And flies were almost brought.

Here I heard such tale. The swallow complains to a sparrow that now there is no place even to sit down — telegraph supposedly wireless. And the sparrow answers: “… also there is nothing to have dinner: all cars yes tractors, any horse!” To it it is possible to add also the complaint of a fly that now there is no place to put eggs for reproduction.

But, forgive, I distracted again.

So — the airplane, boundless steppes, fields and on them herds of lovely, hardworking, obedient machines — tractors. On all this immense space the industrial and agricultural cities, however, a little by what differing from each other are scattered. The old cities, from tserkva, with diversity of wooden and stone constructions meet their wrong confused streets seldom… Already here, at height, sitting in the big passenger airplane and looking from height of bird’s flight down, you see and feel that you are in the country of planned housekeeping. The agricultural cities are located more or less evenly, industrial — in the locations of raw materials. And there are no villages — old Russian villages — at all. The words “man”, “peasant” disappeared from a living language. They became the same historical reminiscence as “landowner” and “nobleman”. In this country there are only workers, only workers of agricultural or industrial work. By the way, you will not see a difference between the engineer and the worker here. All of them live in identical conditions.

But I was fond again. Many associations cling to each thought.

We flew day and night. At night — on radio beacons. Night beacons in millions of candles now are not done, radio successfully replaces light signals. Only in big airfields everything is filled in with light when you fly up to them at night.

In Shakhtyorsk we decreased, and I changed the train which went to Yuzhkhim. These names speak to you little. The new cities — children of a five-years period — considerably changed the USSR card. And the Soviet school students should remember the much bigger number of the cities, than to children of an old regime. Every year the number of the cities everything increases. If here the geography was learned as learn in Europe — the Soviet school students had a rough time. But they acquire it very quickly thanks to absolutely new methods of school training in which “the book of life” has paramount value. But about school I still will write to you.

So, I changed the car and drove. The tractors similar from height to tanks, and the combines reminding huge insects with long legs and short moustaches like ants pottered near railroad tracks. And somehow absolutely imperceptibly we rolled directly in the big station hotel. The train stopped in the tunnel. I went out of the car, I was met by very young man, almost the boy, and, having kindly concerned the hat, told:

— Hello, companion Fit! The commission on reception of foreign tourists charged to me to meet you.

I was not surprised to the fact that he recognized me, number of the car and the place were known to him: besides before departure to the USSR I sent the picture to Intourist. This card was multiplied, and copies were broadcast to each new place together with the telegram about my arrival. Perhaps, you will be shocked by such way of the notice — but not about one criminals, really, to care, sending on radio of their image why this way not to apply to convenience of all citizens? And it, this way, is really convenient.

— My name is Nick (in abbreviated form from Nikolay) — the young man in German continued. Many young men here perfectly know foreign languages. — Be so kind as to follow me, I will lead you to number of your hotel.

Directly against the car the wide door where mine went to the chicherena was seen. The elevator lifted us on the third floor, several steps along the corridor — and we were included into clean small number.

— In this hotel for visitors all numbers identical — Nick explained and began to acquaint me with number equipment. — In a desk — the typewriter. Rises here so. Wash basin. A locker — near a wash basin, in a wall. You press this ball, the door opens. Here you will find… yes here, look! — The nickname opened a locker, and I found a snow-white towel, a small piece of soap, paste for teeth, a new toothbrush, cologne, crests, head brushes there — all for a toilet. — Phone — Nick explained further. — Radio telephone. Book of telephone subscribers. Information bureau. Bureau of instructions and orders. Car. On this number you will be answered on any your question. If you want to pass to the neighboring cities, do not take with yourself anything superfluous rather take anything. In trains there are buffets. In each hotel you can receive the Macintosh, a suitcase, the camera, the field-glass — in general everything that to you will want to be had at present. Why, for example, to drag with itself the camera if you can hire, make it pictures, give to show or use laboratory of the house commune to show most. You can call me by phone 5-89-67. The call becomes automatically. And this … — the Nickname opened a case door in a wall — illuminated signs. Here, turning a rychazhok, you can learn what occurs today interesting in the city where to go. Here be curious! — Nick pressed a rychazhok. In a twilight of a case the shining screen flashed, moving lines flared fires. — Наркомздрав very much limited application of the advertizing which are especially shining — Nick continued. — These advertizing — one of the reasons of nervousness of people of the big European cities. In our cities advertizing does not climb importunately to you in eyes, does not torment your ears, does not shout paints, sounds, light, diversity, brightness, unexpected flashes. In Europe, and in particular in America, you know, from advertizing there is no rescue. It pursues you everywhere: above, below, from sides, in front, behind. Advertizing on sidewalks, on walls, on clouds, on skyscrapers, on roofs, on rocks, at windows, on pages of newspapers, on things… Besides that it irritates, advertizing disfigures, vulgarizes all it touches. Therefore our departments of improvement of the City Councils also against the shouting unnecessary advertizing, as well as zdravotdet. We have an advertizing and even announcements are hidden, but it is easy to find them when it is required to learn about a performance or a meeting. And at you in number — advertizing is hidden, put under the lock here, it cannot disturb you. But when data will be necessary for you, you will open шкап and will press one of these buttons with inscriptions under them: “Meetings”, “Museums”, “Theatres”, “Cinema”, “Lectures”…

I expressed desire to look what becomes today. Advertizing immediately entered me into interests of today of Yuzhkhim. I was surprised to a variety and abundance of public and cultural life.

Here the little from what I remembered:

In the Big hall of Palace of culture accomodating twenty thousand people there was a report of the member of the government who arrived from the center. In a number of trade-union clubs reports and debates, mainly concerning the organization of production and general political were appointed. At the plants and factories big production meetings had to take place. In the Bolshoi opera Theatre there was a new opera “Winner” with participation of actors of the State academic working opera. In the Conservatory hall — a concert of an elektrofonist the Curtain which had to execute on the new tool the orchestral symphony of the young talented composer Dulin, working chemical plant. In the second studio — a concert of a choral circle of chemists. In drama theater — the new comedy “Mechanic”. In theater of youth — the historical play “Marik”, from life of children of workers before revolution; in children’s theater “Mimus” — the play executed by the trained animals. In audience of the Art museum — the report on ancient art accompanied by cinema which shows works of art and ancient monuments in paints (picture) and in a three-dimensional three-dimensional type (sculpture). The lecturer is professor Gulinov… In club of engineers — the lecture “About Transmission of Energy at Distance” and “About Destruction of Factory Pipes”. In the same place — “About beams Sonora”…

No, you will not reconsider everything! I addressed Nick and told that in all this it is possible to be lost. How to choose from a lot at least of theatrical entertainments what most corresponds to my tastes?

— Very simply — Nick answered. — You are interested in the opera “Winner”. Now you can just learn its contents, the main motives, see the operating l of ides, scenery if you want, will listen to all libretto. — The nickname tinkered at buttons, and the invisible loud-hailer began to sound. The human voice told about the opera. Several melodies, a part of the overture sounded. At the same time on the screen, in a reduced form, the scene, the moving actors seemed.

— But then it is not necessary to go to the opera! — I exclaimed.

— If to you it nezdorovitsya, you can, certainly, and listen to the opera to houses and to look at it. But nevertheless in theater it is more interesting! — Nick answered. — Thus you will be able to receive data on all shows, on all lectures, reports. You on — to phone can order to yourself the place. If you have nothing against, I will spend you to sight-see the city — Nick offered.

I willingly agreed.

— Advise — I addressed Nick in a lobby of hotel — whom to me to address to register?

From the arrival I almost did not see servants. In bourgeois hotels it is a scourge of visitors, these are marauders who, using the established custom, gather you, extend from you money low bows, unnecessary complaisance, boorish servility… or execute holuysky contempt if you tip to them a little.

There is no it also a trace. Here same workers, employees, as well as everywhere. They do not watch at you as on a ram who should be cut and do not release to you courtesies or cold ice arrogance, depending on a condition of your suit and your finance. They do not probe you, trying to guess how many it is possible to extort from you money. No, they meet and talk to you as the companion with the companion.

I got acquainted with all this, having lived in hotel about a week.

The nickname calmed me: he already reported about my arrival, and no other registrations are required. “As for servants, they do not need to be an eyesore to you at all. If to you that — – is necessary, you can cause them, and they watch purity when you are not in number: will tidy up, will sweep out, will clean”.

There were we hotel not towards the railway tunnel cutting all building through any more, and on other side. Directly before us the wide platform surrounded with the park opened. In the middle, on graceful concrete columns, the canopy under which cars settled down rose. Near the parking of cars was big, in two square meters, the city map drawn on opaque glass. All streets and public buildings were renamed in the special list, and against each name the button was seen. If I needed to go, for example, to “Revolution Square”, then I pressed the button against this name, and on the plan from the station where I am, stretched the shining arrow, clearly specifying in what direction I had to go or go.

— If you want, it is possible to take the bicycle — Nick told me — and to reach to the center. However, it is not so far. It is possible to employ a taxi or to get on a bus. You look, on the plan number of the bus is specified.

— I thank you, morning fine, and I prefer to walk on foot — I answered. Nick willingly volunteered to accompany me.

We passed by the taxi stand and went deep into the park.

I would like to give you my first impression of the city perhaps more stoutly. In it there was some originality which at once I could not understand. It is remembered, similar I tested something when I with a working excursion arrived to Venice. Venice — the special city.

The train with a usual roar and noise is rolled in the covered station. You leave directly to the channel — and you are covered by silence, extraordinary for the city. In all Venice there is no car and any horse, except for those that stand on St. Mark’s Basilica, but they are bronze! And when you go on narrow Venetian ulichka and on Mark Square, you are pursued by strange feeling — as if it is not the city, and… the house without roof. Similar I tested something when I left hotel and went to wander about the city of Yuzhkhim. Here everything was differently, not as in our noisy, confused, mad cities of the West and America. Others were also people here. Neither slackness, nor sluggishness! All whom I met were vigorous, cheerful and mobile, but without the excess fussiness and nervousness characterizing the residents of the big capitalist city who are eternally hurrying, worrying, stepping each other on legs.

Parks and Yuzhkhima Street seemed to me, perhaps, even too poorly populated for the city accomodating sixty thousand people. “Why it?” — I thought and immediately answered myself: “It is the city of workers, and workers are at work now”. This explanation was correct, but not absolutely exact as subsequently I was convinced. Besides that the fifth part of all workers were “days off”, workers worked in three changes, and actually, so at the plant there was no more than a third. The relative malolyudstvo was explained by many reasons. In Yuzhkhim there was no division of the city into the boring uncomfortable suburbs and the elegant center which is pulling together almost all population to the show-windows and fires of cinema. By Dezurbanization it was shown not only that people refused construction of the unhealthy huge cities octopuses with the multimillion population here, but also that within the city all public places are decentralized, except, of course, city Soviet institutions of city value (the City Council with all its departments is located on Revolution Square). Theaters, cinema, the museums, clubs, libraries and other cultural institutions evenly of a raskinuta on all city, and cinema of the suburb differs in nothing from cinema in the downtown.

Walking are also scattered on all city evenly, all city — the continuous park; a part of the population was chosen to the country by boats, on foot and in cars. Besides, in Yuzhkhim there is no most mobile and fussy street passerby — the buyer and in particular customers. I will not tell that they are absent at all. But dump from the account only the housewives and women of fashion who are absent here and flooding our shops, and you will see as far as will become silence! I Feel that you represent a little what I write about. New words or long descriptions are necessary. Here, for example, I told “traffic”, you, of course, represent sidewalks, quite narrow, near gray bulks of buildings. And on these sidewalks the continuous moving mass of people, dense, as a school of the going herring. And in the middle of the street “ice drift” of cars. But it is far from what I see. There is no “street” in sense of this word usual, habitual to us even. There is no solid wall of the houses pressed to each other closely. You even not always see houses. You go on the beautiful park. Trains of the suspended railroad almost silently blow over tops of trees in hours of the beginning and completion of works at the plants. You go on a beautiful twisting path to shadows of chestnuts, lindens, elms, oaks, hornbeams, maples. Continually — benches with convenient backs, beds of flowers.

Flowers, flowers! Your Marta has to forgive for these flowers a lot of things that would not be pleasant to her in this original city. But I am sure that if Marta lived though month here, she would not want to return to the pathetic flowerpots on a balcony. It seems, so do not love flowers anywhere as here. And the chief flower growers-gardeners are children. They go from a bed to a bed and bring order. But strange thing: the walking children in parks are not enough, and there are no nurses with babies on hands at all. Only adults wander about parks and the flock of children only occasionally will flutter out and will disappear or there will pass mother with children.

At my first acquaintance with the socialist city this absence of children I charged to shortcomings. It is bad when children rustle, disturb and bother seniors, but it is boring also without children… Subsequently I was convinced that children take the much bigger place in city life, than I assumed and that they take in city life the most live part almost in all areas of life and especially in improvement maintenance. Obviously, just there was such hour when children were at school or in the country.

Near a path for pedestrians the bicycle path stood at attention. Easy hissing of tires is continuously heard — it athletes and sportswomen rush, having cheerfully something in common. Behind a bicycle path — again the site of the park, and further — the bus, well asphalted road. There are no trams here, they are replaced with buses long ago. Behind the road one more park layer, behind it a house wall, but you can not see it as houses are scattered at considerable distance from each other here. They stand as the locks surrounded with parks.

In parks beautiful booths — book, snack, confectionery, with mineral waters, fruit are seen here and there. But, Fritz, take heart, my friend, I will strike you the most terrible news: not only in the city, but also in all city there is no tobacco booth, any tobacco shop, any cigar, a cigarette, a tube! Isn’t that so, “it is awful”? !

— Would you like to pass here here, to the right — Nick offered.

We turned to the shady chestnut avenue. It brought us to quite wide round platform with the fountain in the middle. The platform was surrounded by skillfully made statues of leaders of the world proletariat and several groups. In realistic and at the same time simple and clear symbols they represented the main stages of fight of the proletariat and creation of socialism. About this platform of a sculpture it would be possible to write the whole book… yes it, apparently, and it is written. I was surprised and delighted.

— Who creator of these magnificent statues? — I asked the conductor.

— Workers of our plants — he answered simply — among them is many excellent musicians, sculptors, painters, poets.

— But the school is necessary here, and the school demands time, persistent work for overcoming the equipment.

— Well, and that? — Nick asked. And he explained that all this result of reasonable use of leisure of which the socialist worker has more, than at the worker of the bourgeois countries.

— We work only several hours, and we assume to work even less. At the correct organization of work, production and distribution what exist at us it is quite enough to provide us to all necessary, but do not think that we use the leisure only for an entertainment and rest. If it was so, we would go not forward, and back and socialism would create only stagnation of stupid content. No, our leisure is filled with very “energetic” contents. As the old zealous owner owner did not cease to care for the plot of land, for the small economy, and we, without reckoning with time, we care for our socialist economy. We do not cease to care also for those which still groan under a capital yoke. On all this a lot of time, perhaps, not less than two thirds of free time leaves. Then physical culture, then occupations favourite arts and, at last, entertainments.

By the way, whether you know that we already created a new narcomat — culture and life which deals with issues of the most reasonable use of working leisure and the organization of new life? Thanks to reasonable use of leisure at us almost each worker has several specialties. One went to science, others — to art. We have firemen-chemists and plumbers-journalists, the turner-astronomers, milling-machine operators-sculptors. Does not disturb one another at all. Exclusive talents — musicians, poets, writers — were granted the right to be engaged only in art. But even the most gifted of them periodically come back to factory: work change, according to them, not only does not affect adversely creativity, but even stimulates it.

Here I dropped a hint of doubt:

— I can understand that, say, the coppersmith can be an astronomer, even the painter. But whether the fireman can vykholit the gentle flexible fingers necessary for the violin virtuoso? Whether the coalminer-miner can be a pianist?

— Well, so they will be not musical virtuosos, but astronomers — smiling, Nick answered. — However every year the car more and more facilitates heavy physical work and thus protects a human body from an excessive posterization. I do not say any more that a number of productions demands thin, sensitive as from the pianist of fingers — for example, production of exact tools, pocket watch, tungsten threads for electric bulbs. Of course, there are difficulties which we cannot overcome still. You see before yourself not notorious “paradise on the earth” but only the improved human society. The facts, however, it is available: simple workers created these statues, workers play in our theaters, sing in the opera, paint pictures, produce in the manual way graceful bagatelles for decoration of our dwellings and public buildings in free time. From an accordion, from “bayan” the worker rose to a difficult electric symphonic grand piano with three keyboards, pedals and mass of registers, and he owns this tool not worse, than the machine… Well, and now I will show you the center of our city.

— Everything you have a center?

— Yes, but it has absolutely other value, than in the old cities. There lived aristocrats, here at us are located… However, you will see now!

But before we reached Revolution Square, I had to stop once again. We approached a wall of the turning green bushes which were cut through by the narrow asphalted path. Having taken several steps, I screamed from delight: before us there was the real dwarfish Japanese garden. As a matter of fact, it was the ravine, but that was made by culture with this ravine! On its slopes streamed and cheerfully small falls jumped, on a bottom the pure stream proceeded, falling into a reservoir with the fountain in the middle and red small fishes in water: through a stream easy graceful bridges were thrown here and there. The arbors twisted with an ivy attracted in a dense shadow, among greens and flowers small statues of children, swans, animals were seen. The second reservoir, in the corner, had a great sculptural group — the small child, chubby as cupid, gave on a watering place couple of young lions who bent on a watering place as the drinking cats. And flowers, flowers! Cascades of flowers!.

— I remember still that time — Nick told — when on this place there was a thrown wild ravine where the nettle yes a burdock grew. And here what we made. It was the invention of children.

We slowly passed “ravine”, rose by other party and at once got on the wide platforms which are filled in with the sun. There was a tennis, soccer, пушбол, the basketball, volleyball and is a lot more others, unknown to me, sports. All platforms were full players — women, men, young and old.

— Here it is never empty — Nick told me.

I could not but stop. Sports were very curious here. According to Nick, some of them were borrowed from the small nationalities inhabiting the USSR. Here, for example, a construction which I would compare to a huge drum in three meters in the diameter and meter height. On this reel there is a young girl in a sports suit and jumps up. The drum springs probably on it thick rubber is tense, and the girl flies up above and above. People around encourage it with approval exclamations. A game consists in that, having jumped up to fall by legs and not to fall, again to jump up and again to fall. Amazingly! This girl seems weightless. It jumps up above and above — on meter, two, three, four, five, six! — and dexterously becomes independent for a new jump. But here jumps become lower and lower, and the girl descends from a drum to the applause. After it does not care the man of average years gets and under approving and derisive exclamations begins to jump up. The second jump, the third jump — and it flies head over heels, falls on a back and begins to fly up up, sideways, the head in the most helpless situation. Laughter and shouts, the loser slips from a drum, having hopelessly waved a hand.

And further fly — more true, jump — through the area people with the attached small balloons which counterbalance the weight of their body. The person “weighs nothing” and at the slightest jump separates from the earth. It is remembered, such sport was invented in America. But what dexterity and accuracy at these flying people! And here something absolutely unprecedented. At athletes on soles springs because these athletes jump as just right to jump only to a flea are attached probably. This sport demands big dexterity and threatens with big risk, than jumps on a drum. But jumpers, obviously, are well trained and dexterously jump through booths and even through small trees.

But, alas, I should constrain myself again, otherwise I will never end the external description of the city. It was necessary to come off an interesting show and to follow further. Again the shady avenue, and here we by two white buildings come to the big square.

What to tell you about it? Whether to compare it to a huge crater of a volcano or to the Roman amphitheater? Looking at this square, I was once again convinced what huge advantage is in building the city not in tens and in hundreds of years, and to build at once, according to a certain plan. Only under such condition it was possible to make this the area, most original in the world, at once. It has absolutely round form. From all directions it is surrounded by buildings which are built so that ledges go down to the area the floor behind the floor. On each ledge there are ranks of benches towering one above another. On the square, running up up to the height of the first floor, the real amphitheater making a whole with the amphitheater which settled down on ledges floors of surrounding houses is located. Thanks to such device one grandiose amphitheater which can contain almost all population of the city turns out. It is real Greek “agora” (area) on which there were meetings. It is curious to note that, despite the huge size of the area, it can become covered by special awnings during a rain or strong heat.

In the middle of the area there is a high tribune supplied with megaphones which do possible to hear the speech of the speaker equally distinctly in all corners of a grandiose amphitheater. In houses which are located around the area government agencies are located. It is, so to speak, the municipal center. In a northern corner of the square the grandiose figure of Lenin with the raised hand towers. I represent what majestic show is made by this area when it is full of the people, and in particular in the evening when from edge to edge it is penetrated by fires of searchlights! Nick says that on holidays it is illuminated and then even more beautiful and solemn show turns out. Here citizens the most solemn and important minutes of public life gather.

While I visited the square, it was almost deserted, except for several young glider pilots who excitedly started models of gliders from numerous top platforms.

— Air sport — Nick told — has absolutely exclusive success in us. Try to go beyond the city and to look what there becomes. Our glider pilots reached in this sport of big perfection, they keep on motorless devices the whole day. Besides, very curious motorless air yachts, air sailing vessels which by means of the planes and wings make are designed, using only a wind force, quite considerable travel. However, it was given not at once. Several our air athletes on such air yachts, without having taken care to gain sufficient height, on favor of the wind which ceased to blow mudflows among fields, having decently crumpled wheat, and we had about it even “diplomatic complications” to the neighboring agricultural city. It was necessary to reward them for losses, and to transfer skilled flights to strictly certain places.

— Well, now where you will lead me? — I asked, having admired Revolution Square.

— Nearby from there is a museum of manual skills. You want, we will examine it — Nick offered.

Museum of manual skills! What could it be? Possibly, something historical. To admit, I not really love such museums. But here, in this city, everything was special and therefore I did not protest. Probably, and in the field of studying of history there will be something original.

We went to the museum of manual skills.

Guess where I got? On an exhibition of the most wonderful, most beautiful works of art! However, not only arts. Partly it reminds huge department store with a set of offices. Pictures, sculptures, frames, books in amazingly beautiful covers, vases, statues, carved furniture, hats, gloves, footwear, fabrics. Fabrics especially interested me in fine manual manufacture and an art coloring. All this is performing manual skills, actors of the business, “fans”. How many here is a delicate taste how many love patience! Here for what spend the leisure rest here. Almost each communitarian goes in at a leisure for some craft, applied or pure art. For this purpose in the house commune various workshops, laboratories, studios, studio are arranged. It is really free, creative, not forced labor. One does graceful covers, another — a framework, the third or third is engaged in art embroideries or manual weaving, the fourth paints pictures, and besides absolutely not in an amateurish way — is juicy, surely.

Almost all these objects have practical value and at the same time are original works of art. They are done because process of creativity it gives pleasure. They are done as the bird sings the songs. Then their authors give these fine products to relatives, friends or expose in the museum of manual skills. Everyone can get to himself several such things. The commune strictly watches that living rooms did not turn into a warehouse of furniture and did not remind the antiquary’s bench. Anything superfluous, anything unnecessary! But the commune does not prohibit to have at itself in the room several good things which would decorate the room: several pictures on a wall, a figurine on a desk, a flower vase. Communitarians quite often change these works of art, and very pleasant — transport with themselves, changing the room or the city.

In the museum of manual skills there were very many visitors. Women reached more for fabrics, hats, suits — a remnant of old psychology! However, has to counterbalance this impression with the instruction on the fact that the considerable number of women crowded also near such departments as binding, frame and even optical and physical devices. Be not surprised: there are excellent shlifovalshchik of lenses photographic, astronomical and microscopic. Grinding — not so much the equipment, how many art.

We stayed in the museum of manual skills long enough, and I wanted to have breakfast. There is nothing more simply: the buffet was right there, at your service. You can choose any food, not only cold appetizer, but also the roast hissing on the electric stove.

— Nevertheless you can be tired. Whether not to take us the bicycle?

— Yes, perhaps, it not superfluous! — The nickname went to depot of hire and received couple of bicycles from there.

— Let’s make the general review of the city — he offered. — By bicycle it will take away a little time.

I agreed, and, having saddled our steel horses, we started at way. On the way I paid attention that houses in the majority are built as “block”. The main big house is connected by a warm corridor to the house less, and the one-storey house with a set of glass verandahs stands apart — Nick explained to me that the main house commune is connected by a corridor to a day nursery where there are children. Through a corridor parents can go out on dates to children… I feel that I approach questions which will cause a hot objection of your Marta, but we still will talk about it! Now I write only about the first impressions. So, in one house there live adults, in another a day nursery, and in the third, standing independently is located, there is a kindergarten. Children! So much attention how many it is not given anywhere and never is paid to them here. Day nursery and kindergarten do not limit child care facilities. We passed by the real children’s town. I only for a moment could look at it. I saw the big two-storeyed building with huge windows painted in the gentle cream color which was well shading surrounding greens. I saw the cheerful kids filling with the voices flower beds, kitchen gardens, gardens, platforms for games. I saw outdoor constructions which purpose was explained to me by Nick.

— This big building — school. School students here not only study, but also live in this building. And outdoor constructions are skilled hleva, pigsties, rooms for rabbits, for poultry. Our school students first of all practicians!

I decided to visit by all means school — this factory at which develop new socialist people. But having decided to sight-see at first the city “in general”, I was forced to go further.

— At us it is several such schools. They are evenly scattered across all territory of the city. There, you see two white stocky buildings in a garden? It is the insulator for children, suspicious on a disease. Nearby — hospital.

Having passed the dense park with two big ponds, we came out to the river bank. The sunlight after a penumbra of the park blinded me and when I opened eyes, saw the wide river dazzling with boats of all sizes and types. Here were also long narrow — on ten oarsmen, and small — on one person, with a cross over two-bladed oar, both motor, and sailing, and double pies, and water skis, and water bicycles, balsas, floating spheres, the spinning circles… All this moved, had cheerfully something in common, splashed water… There was an abundance of air, the sun and water. Here it was cheerful and noisy. Half-naked people rowed competing in speed, jumped out of boats water, dived, drove a big rubber sphere on water, competed in speed of swimming. And below — on the sandy beach sunbathed in the sun… From this city it is not necessary to come out to the dacha: it is the real “country city”, the resort town! There is no more separation of the city dweller by nature, from the sun, from fresh air. Having become the owner of life, the worker of the USSR first of all took care of destroying the capitalist cities — these nests of diseases and an infection, exhaustion and degeneration.

Also I do not know whether Nick guessed my thought or it was accident, but he told meditatively:

— Here people gain health and strength. And still diseases are not won up to the end. But they will be won! Undefeated there will be death. But it is necessary in circulation of life. Our medicine was reconstructed, having transferred the center of gravity to prevention. To warn diseases best of all and more economically, than to treat them — here our slogan. We have a weekly obligatory survey of all population. And survey not superficial. Besides, hygienic knowledge and even serious medical knowledge became property if not everything, then many. Clinics are available at each house commune. Out-patient clinics on each street, and hospitals… Let’s look at them!

We took seat on bicycles again and rushed off on a path which turned to the left. It was the city border, behind our path there was still an avenue for pedestrians, and further, leaving to the horizon, fields on which waves of speyushchy wheat in human height waved turned green.

Perhaps, suburbs of this city were most amazing. I remembered fetid, dirty, stuffy, close suburbs of our cities with shabby hovels and the collapsing houses where the working poor huddled. What can be more sad than the suburb of a big industrial capitalist yurod! And what contrast with the center where there live owners. And here on the suburb of the socialist city I see the same parks, grieve the greens, the same lamps placed at identical distance, at least, than in the center. The same houses scattered in greens of gardens and parks.

We went round nearly a half of a circle of the city when we uvidat several white buildings which were standing apart a little and separated from the city by the big park. From three sides of these white two-storeyed buildings there were also parks, and one party, with open verandahs on the South, came to the square set with a low English garden to give perhaps bigger access to sunshine.

— Hospitals! — Nick told, pressing pedals.

Some time we went well shossirovanny road among ears across the field. Ahead the green island the massif of densely dense pyramidal poplars rose. Between them the beautiful white building was seen.

“The island of death” — in the head reminiscence of Beklin’s picture for some reason flashed. I was not mistaken.

— A crematorium — Nick told.

I wanted to indulge in sad reflections about caducity of all terrestrial (alas! the German sensitivity still lives in me), but Nick did not allow me to make it. A nickname still the young man, but this young man notices for the years much. That it: result of communistic education, life by collective? The right, it represents for me a riddle.

So, Nick looked at me, grinned and cheerfully exclaimed:

— I do not want at all that you finished survey of the city by this place where the fulfilled human car returns the material borrowed from the nature. Let’s go to life sources, there, where circulation of substances is started anew!

— Where it? — I asked, having not absolutely understood.

— Well, in maternity hospital, of course! I will show you the little, krasnenky, just born Communards. You will see them through the glass wall separating newborns from visitors. You will see “The island of life” and will stop thinking about “The island of death”. Live has to think only about live, in particular if life is so fine and interesting!

And we turned the bicycles and drove in the opposite end of the city. There, where life is born…

My friend, I wrote you the whole message, but did not exhaust also the 100-th share of what saw and learned in only several hours of stay in the socialist city. Next time I will write to you how I moved from hotel to the house commune it is possible to learn more stoutly as there live new people of the new world. I will tell that I saw and learned new there.

Good-bye. Hi your lovely Marte.




One river in Kazakhstan ran away. It is necessary to tell you that these Asian rivers crazy. Directly, one may say, mentally ill people. Where yesterday there was a bank, on that place a whirlpool today. The river flowed to the right, look — turned to the left. In one day of meters twenty otgryzt coast together with kishlaks. Shalit, in a word. There are also such rivers: goodness knows where from begins and not particularly where vanishes. Not dries, not in sand buries, from the sun hides — and flows to itself under sand, known to nobody. And people on sands go and are parched with thirst. No cards will keep up with these rivers. On the card — one, and in practice absolutely another. Though every day redraw the card.

There are also absolutely funny stories. The river flows to itself, irrigates edge, gives to drink to people and animals and herbs steppe, and then suddenly as will break loose: towards it threw. The river dug the new course and to other river connected, and that flows into the lake. And the river was gone. Ran away. And the edge perishes from a drought. Here we should have caught such run-away river — to return it to the old course. Interesting it is piece, but only now the conversation will be not about the run-away river. About how we caught it, I somehow another time will tell.

And I began about the river because it brought together me with the old acquaintance Mishka Sinitsyn. It is necessary to tell you that Sinitsyn was an inventor. But person unstable. Threw it here and there as the Central Asian river. Terminated a semiletka in Moscow, arrived on knitting factory the carrier of wool. Then got to All-Union electrotechnical institute and there invented something like that. Simplified an attachment of neon lamps to a socle, so, it seems. Then threw it on speedboats. I received the letter from it from Nizhny Novgorod — participated in a glisserny run. Assured, as brought some improvement in a speedboat. And then and absolutely I for a while lost it. And here was brought to meet in Kazakhstan, near Balkhash, on copper mines of Kounrad. It is necessary to tell that near Kounrad and there was this incident to the river. And waters of this river just supplied the mine. Up to One Balkhash farther. On camels of water you will not be brought in. The whole company the river — all young people of hydraulic engineering, and I went to catch us including. We drive up on cars to Kounrad in the evening. For us the sun sits down. Before us already the mine is seen. Also we see, on a hillock something shines is dazzling as a beacon. What could it be? Began to guess. One speaks: aero beacon. But why to it to shine when still the sun did not set? Yes at the sun beacon light will also not be such bright. Another speaks: this sun from something is reflected. As if from a mirror. Perhaps, the solar station was established? Them a little in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan was under construction. Perhaps, and so.

We approach closer, we see that “mirror” has the rhombus form. On a brilliant background some black point. As if moves. “Solar spot!” — someone from our company jokes. “A mirage in the desert!” — picks up another. Truly, a mirage in the desert!

— Yes the person on a roof climbs! — my neighbor Trofimov told. — And the roof burns as Isaakiya’s dome on sunset.

— Oh, you look. Departed! Fell! From a roof fell…

And really, “the solar spot” slid off down and crashed down on the earth. And house two-storeyed. Below people began to move, noise, laughter, voices, shouts are heard. We approach.

— What at you happened here? — I ask. — Whether long ago gold roofs on houses began to do?

— The correspondence engineer from a roof fell!

— Roof not gold, but copper! — I hear in reply.

What else such correspondence engineer? I look at the person who sits on the earth and the knee rubs. Near it the bucket and a brush roll. Young man, snub-nosed such. Screws up the face and smiles. Yes it is Mishka!

— Bear! — I shout. — Hey, Sinitsyn! Hi!

And he answers:

— I should become attached a rope. Hi, Kolya!

Rose, greeted. Turned back to young companions that stood near it, and speaks:

— Well, children, for today representation is ended. It is necessary to welcome the guest.

And again to me:

— We go, Kolya. At me you will stop.

Limping, he started wandering forward, and I with the small suitcase behind it. He lived in the same house “with a gold roof”, only the entrance was on the other hand.

We entered its small room. All it was filled up with stuff: on tables wire hanks, fittings of an electrical wiring, tisochka, screw-drivers, keys, hammers — the tool different. Ware is chemical, papers with drawings, on a wall — regiments with books. At once it is visible that the inventor. Over a small desk — a radio loud-hailer. On a table — a commonplace book and a pencil. Until we were washed and Mishka lit a kerosene stove that after the journey to treat me with tea, already the sun set. Darkened. From under a table the lamp without lamp shade appeared.

— Here, admire — Mishka told, lighting a lamp. — It is necessary to use kerosene lighting. It is a shame in our century of electrification!

— Unless at the mine there is no power plant?

— Are going to build — Mishka answered — yes hard this business. From where here to take energy? There is no local fuel, and the river? There was nearby one and that ran away. And if did not run away, I pound from it a little. What bias of falling of water in it, you know?

— One ten-thousand — I answered.

— There now you see. On kilometer ten centimeters. You will not construct hydroelectric power station. To put power plant on coal — it is expensive energy will manage. Try to deliver here. Unless oil will be found.

— Where here oil? — with doubt I told.

— Well, do not tell. At the desert, the brother you mine, are a lot of riddles which to solve for our century will last. Recently I had to hear. Cattle-farmers sent a caravan to Khiva on the main caravan road Ashgabat — Khiva. On this road hundreds of years moved caravans. Each piece is studied. And wells — and could not be spoken. Here behind a water drop tens of kilometers not a hook. And here found the well thrown and semi-brought by sand in bush thickets. Began to dig — water black. All dressing gowns in dark oil splashes. Whether oil? Lit a bunch of a dry grass, threw into a well — as will fall a cropper. Hardly sand threw. Oil! Why well? Why oil? Filtered, perhaps. Myurrek Telkiyev is a brother of the chairman of an aulsovet — itself in a caravan was, “the fiery well” saw and can show a way to it. You never know such finds and nearby it can appear? But only time presses…

— Wait, children, give only term. Will be to you and the doll, will be also a whistle — Mishka recited, pumping up a kerosene stove. — Here at least and a kerosene stove to take. Again game. Primitive, one may say, tool. Rustles, hoots and cuts the cheese. What a difference electric kettle… You speak, solar installations. I read that abroad thought up absolutely new principle. Imagine at the foot of the mountain something like a big hotbed. The sun heats air in a hotbed. And from a hotbed on the mountain the pipe is laid. Hot air goes up where more cold. Put above the turbine which would rotate from this stream of hot air. Here to you and ready solar wind-driven electric generator. For such piece I know the suitable town: northern and northwest borders of Mirzacho’l. Steppe this plateau. It rolls down from the North a wall, sixty-meter, crimson from an exit of granite breeds. Here where to arrange such car. I already was there, nasmotret the town and I think to be engaged in this business as soon as I finish the copper roof here.

— What the roof is?

The bear rubbed the hurt knee.

— Great расшибся — he told — only showed no sign. Swelled up. It will be necessary to make a compress. And you have tea. I still will be in time.

And, having been engaged in the leg, it continued:

— At me too if you want, solar installation. Only other. Direct transformation of solar energy into electric. Photo cell. Heard?

— Own invention? — I asked.

The bear shrugged shoulders and modestly answered:

— Not my idea. I on radio heard the speech of companion Ioffe. Academician. About the new plan of electrification. Sixty million kilowatts. This is not a bug of a mosquito caught! That such to the settlement to collect, it is necessary from everywhere where it is only possible, energy to scoop. He spoke and about photo cells. And still said that the youth, Komsomol members first of all, has to put pressure that such task to execute. Here I also solved: what do I am not youth? Than not the Komsomol member? Why not to undertake this business without postponing? Photo so photo. Element so element. Began to get acquainted with literature, to do experiences. You know, I the inventor a bit.

— As, I know. Forgive, Mishka and why you when you fell, called the correspondence engineer?

— So, joke. In the questionnaire I somehow wrote that I have the highest self-education. Made a fun of me. I say that there is nothing ridiculous here, as most it is possible to overcome the highest sciences and the equipment to study. I supposedly on radio took the whole course of electrophysics. Correspondence course. Well, someone also let: “Correspondence engineer!” Only they so laugh, without sting. Children love me and helped me. You only listen that here with a copper roof was.

I was engaged, so in experiences over photo cells… Yes you, maybe, do not know what is photo cells? You see conductivity of some metals in connection with other chemicals increases from effect of light. Take an iron leaf and cover it with selenium. Take out it on a sunlight — here to you and a ready element. There will be current. Scientists knew it long ago, only current turned out very weak — in some thousand shares of percent from Energy of the sun, light. Well, and now this business quickly uphill went. And now photo cells rotate small motors. I thought to arrange such element. Only with selenium things look bad. It is got in a small amount on Hawaiian, the Lipari Islands. There you will not jump. Not Soviet they still meanwhile. After I learned that selenium can be extracted from a deposit in lead chambers when receiving sulfuric acid. But on radio about it I was not told in time. Also I stopped on another — on a copper photo cell. The leaf has to be from copper and is covered with a copper oxide. All this near at hand.

— And what force of such element?

— Wait, there will be a speech and about it. I began to do small photo cells. Long nothing at me left. But, as they say, constant dropping will wear away a stone. Several children became interested in my invention. Came to me, together worked. And what you think? Eventually the small bulb of a pocket lamp lit up from my element. You also cannot present yourself what joy at us was. As if we the first invented electric lighting. Burned down this bulb, did not fuse yet. And another was not. Also it is impossible to get soon. So. Well, after all it’s done. On ointment, it is possible to tell.

There are I to our plant manager — just arrived, the person new — and I speak to him: “Companion director, I wish to electrify our new house. To carry out electric lighting”. I look, at the director of an eyebrow on a forehead got. Wanted to hide a smile, it was not possible: there are no moustaches, shaven. There is nothing to do, smiled in all face and speaks:

“Very well, companion Sinitsyn. But only it seems to me that for electric lighting electric current is necessary. The power plant is necessary”.

“I know well it, companion director. The station will be, and current will be. I will suit all this”. I see, the director on me and just as looks at the madman.

“How it you will arrange?” — asks.

“Photo cell, companion director. We instead of power plant will have a roof”.

“Fotoeleme-e-ent! — the director stretched and looks at me already only as on half-mad. — What power will be developed by your photo cell?”

And I have a ready calculation. I say how according to the book I read:

“On one square meter the photoenergy kilowatt falls. My photo cell can use only one percent of photoenergy. It is a little, but quite for us it is enough. We, so will have one kilowatt from hundred square meters. It is the area of our roof. And one kilowatt of energy can give light for two thousand candles. For lighting of the room in twenty square meters one bulb in hundred candles suffices. For five rooms — five hundred candles. And we have two thousand. On twenty rooms. One thousand candles on the floor. All two-storeyed house will be lit”.

The director thought. Does not know what now a label to paste to me. Again up threw up eyebrows and speaks:

“Well, well, business good. Light!”

“Companion director. You know that for a photo cell material is necessary. Copper. Copper oxide. Here I also came to ask you, not — whether you allow me to release copper for production of brass plates on a covering them roofs. Then only I also disturbed you”.

“Ah, here it that? — The director drummed fingers on a table. — Companion Sinitsyn. We have to encourage working invention…”

“Yes it not my invention, here a matter of course” — I kill it, seeing where he drives.

“Well, not invention, so mastering equipment. We have to encourage in every possible way. And I would not have anything against to release copper on your experiences if the question went well… about some kilogram. But to do copper roofs when we have two percent of underfulfilment of the plan when each gram of copper on the account when our factories and the plants… so need it” — both went, and went. And resolution, by itself: “to refuse”. “I also — say — the person accountable. What will think of me?.”

I tried to argue with it, I see — to anything. The person rested, is afraid.

“Now — says — the obezlichka is destroyed. Personal responsibility on me. I one answer. I cannot. I am glad and I cannot!.”

There were I from the director, and at a porch already companions wait for me.


Waved a hand: “Refusal!”

“How so refusal? On such business!.”

Shout, noise. Among my companions there are several Turkmens, Uzbeks was. Hot children. Wanted directly to the director all company to bring down.

“We it is better to a predzavkom we will go, to companion Okizov, the guy, we will agree to it rather!” — someone offered.

“And to predzavky we will go, and to the secretary of a cell. We will lift up all, and we will not give up on the”.

Went to Okizov. That in photo cells understands nothing, but listened to us attentively. Also does not smile, though is where to hide a smile: moustaches are dense, only a beard shaves. “Cross-country” as Turkmens speak — “a bald beard”, beardless.

“Something sophisticated was started by you, companions — says — whether there will be a sense?”

“Will leave! Will leave! — we shout. — We already did. At us already small bulb burned”.

“And you will not light it before me?” — asks.

“Would light and fused”.

“And why fused? Perhaps, and all bulbs will fuse?”

Explained to him. Twists the head.

“If I saw”.

“Yes understand, there is no bulb another!”

“And you get, write out. With own eyes I will see — I will help your business”.

Here we go again! It is good still if in Ashgabat or Tashkent you get. And if from Moscow to write out, you will once receive? It could not wait for us. And there is nothing to do. Distributed letters to acquaintances, the order to Moscow. And we should wait long if not a case.

There arrived the prospecting party of Geolkom. I got acquainted with one Leningrad resident and in the day off went with it to sands. Spent the night in a tent. And he, the friend my new, scorpions, of tarantulas is afraid. Grumbles, turns on a koshma and suddenly as will shout. Someone bit it. Jumped, rummaged around in the dark, and suddenly, I see, light flashed. The small lamp is pocket! I snatched on a small lamp as the basmatch on sheep, the poor creature and a lamp dropped, more scorpion was frightened of me. I somehow explained to him, calmed him. I ask to present or sell a bulb — not at any price! Is afraid to remain in the dark with scorpions. “Last bulb!” — says. Well you will do? Not to suffocate the person because of a bulb, not to steal it. I began it to try to persuade this way and that. And than convinced eventually? The fact that to switch on light even more dangerously that all desert evil spirits climb on light even more. On experience, on the fact proved to it: lit a small lamp, and really spread, zakishet, ran — all to light. Presented!

I do not remember whether I was in time to it and to tell thanks. Directly so at night also rushed off back in Kounrad, woke the children, and those to Okizov. It from a bed was lifted. And I could do nothing with them.

“Children — I say — yes to anything at night! For my photo cell light is necessary, the element is not loaded yet”.

Okizov annoys on the fact that he was woken in the middle of the night. He heard my conversation with children and speaks to me:

“So, so now you cannot light a bulb? It is necessary to wait for the sun? And on what to me your bulb at the sun, when already light-? Your bad invention, correspondence engineer! I will not give copper!” And again on a bed it was filled up.

Well here and I flew into a rage. I shake it for shoulders: “Wait, Okizov to fall asleep! Give though I will explain to you!”

And he whether really, whether purposely — snored on all room, and will do nothing with him.

In the morning I meet him and I speak:

“Slept, Okizov?”


“And a dream gained strength?”

“And gained strength”.

“So understand you, as my photo cell here also works. Only it in the afternoon, at the sun, gains strength, and works at night. The sun will load my bulbs with force in the afternoon, and at night they will burn”.

Well as differently you will explain to him? Understood the main thing, however.

Among my companions — young people the Turkmen — already many to the electrician knew also physics, and to it it was not necessary to study at the Soviet school still. Well nothing, I think, we will ground him about electrification too soon.

I that day loaded with light the photo cells, and in the evening Okizov clapped from pleasure, looking at the small burning bulb, and in spite of the fact that already rather late was, itself ran to the director. And we remained to wait.

Okizov absolutely in other mood returned. It was visible that the director a good tub of water poured over it.

“And you did not deceive me, the correspondence engineer?” — Okizov asks.

“How it deceived? In what?”

“And that, maybe, you are this most… элементик from a pocket lamp hid somewhere, from it and current took. Such cases, speak, were. Some inventor assured that from the earth it is possible to extract electricity too. Also got, and then it turned out that at it in the earth elements were dug”.

Here it that! I did not restrain. “Children — I say — the director suspects us of deception! Let’s go to it!”

“Bass!” — one Turkmen Komsomol member shouts. “Bass” means “press”. From this word and “basmatches” are called. Well, we also pressured the director. Forced it to go with us and most to look.

He attentively examined everything, sees — there is no falseness.

Sat down at me at a table, here, where you sit now — in this room all and occurred — lit a cigarette and speaks:

“You forgive me, companions, let’s talk peacefully. Everyone protects himself. Do not think; that I am some wrecker and against your invention. The invention is good. Excellent invention. If it is possible, you will make big business. But become you on my place. And if it is not possible? How you think, will pat me on the back for copper? And not in one copper business. You will be need thin brass plates. At us not to make them. It is necessary to order at the plant. How to issue such order? On whose means?”

“You to us only release copper, and all of us will suit the rest!” — I answer.

“And with copper so the situation is. I, at the own risk, will not give, and do not ask. But let’s try to get permission of trust. I in return promise to support your petition and to confirm that in vitro you achieved success though… um… of course, a lot of things that worked well in laboratory, were not performed in practice… But we will not speak about it now. So on hands?”

All of us are silent.

“You, companion Okizov, will not undertake personal responsibility?”

I see: and Okizov presses close. To it it is pardonable. From where to it know what from our invention will turn out?

“So on it we will also finish — the director says. — Tomorrow we write to trust!”

It left, Okizov left, and we sit who on a table who on a stool and who and directly on a floor, on cards. Time after midnight, and to nobody a dream goes to the head. We think: how to be? And here one speaks:

“The director not against us. The director does not want to be only against himself. He is afraid to release copper because there will not be enough copper for factories and the plants. And we still, our mine, did not execute a promfinplan. Ran into debt to the country. What it is necessary to make that the director gave copper? We will go to it tomorrow and we will tell: all of us register in drummers. We undertake to liquidate break. We will be ahead of schedule. And we will extract copper which is necessary to us for a roof in overtime, free of charge. If from our photo cell nothing turns out, we return to the mine all copper”.

And as it did not come to our mind earlier!

Next morning we stated our plan to the director. The person blossomed. Still! Now not it to us, but we presented such gift to it.

Promfinplan we exceeded. Copper was received. The rest everything was arranged. And, as you see, the house is already covered with brass plates. Today I began to paint them a copper oxide. In several days I hope to end.

The next day I had to leave for work — to catch the river.

It happened so that on the way back I did not manage to come to Sinitsyn though our cars passed late at night absolutely near the copper mine. Windows of the two-storeyed house standing on a hillock were brightly lit with electricity. The correspondence engineer and his companions achieved the objective. The sun of Turkestan began to shine not only in the afternoon, but also at night.



— I congratulate!

— With all the heart I congratulate! You were lucky, Levka. From a school bench and, one may say, directly in captains of the air ship.

— Well, my ship on a leash! — with laughter Leopold Miller answered.

— He was twice lucky. Listen! Do not interrupt! — dark-haired living Dunsky tried to outvoice all. — First, such appointment…

— On merits, the brother!.

— Wait, do not interrupt, Zavachkin! First, such appointment, and secondly, such assistant. You will be the idiot, Levka if you do not make to Zoya a proposal of marriage. And I on your place would never go down on the earth. You will be inhabitants of heaven. You will be able to use cloudless happiness — your “Condor” soars above clouds. And you, Zoyka, you will become the ancestor of the new mankind born in the sky!

— Capture with yourself only the good nurse that your future air baby did not fall from height of one thousand kilometers!

— Yes will be to you! — Zoya laughed, stirring up the light-haired short-haired head. — I am not going to get married, and Levka is not pleasant to me at all.

— Well, we will put it!

— The love and a smell of musk cannot be hidden how east proverb speaks!

— You fly on the airplane? — asked Eagles.

— No, we go by an electric train — Miller answered.

— Such backwardness! To the air person did not stick to creep on the ground.

— Given rise to fly to creep is not able or as there…

— I on the way should take some material.

— Watch that Romanians did not hit you. On border most almost you will be groundless!

Miller rose.

— Well, children, it is time for me. Thanks for wishes and hot farewell. Before the road it is necessary to keep within, write some letters. Zoya, you directly to the station?

— It is short to me to gather — the girl answered.

— Eh, Zoyka, we will be deserted without you!

— Come to visit.

— Let’s arrive! Thanks! Farewell! Happy journey!

— Farewell! Farewell!

The modest junket terminated. Miller returned to himself to a small room on the fifth floor.

— To you letter, Leopold Ivanovich! — the elderly woman, Miller’s neighbor in the apartment told.

The letter was from mother.

“Dear Leva! — Elvira Karlovna wrote with bold, sprawling handwriting. — I do not know that I have more, to rejoice or grieve. I am glad to your termination of institute and appointment. You are an engineer. Found the way. But unless there are no good places on the earth? Why offered you such service? At you the head can begin to spin, and you will fall from your air mill. I would prefer that you were as your father, the simple repairman, but the terrestrial, but not air engineer. It is dangerous. And I will not understand why it is necessary. Explain you to me, please, the silly old woman why it was impossible to install your car on the earth? Wind blows everywhere. You write about Zoya. She is a good girl. And to the girl did not stick on air snakes at all to live. And it there! Would marry it and lived on the earth as all people. And that the grandson will be born, and will not have a look at him. Not to climb to me, the old woman, under clouds!”

“And it about the same! — smiling, Miller thought. — About the children born in the sky…”

“And one more disturbs me — continued to write mother. — At us speak about war. And if there is a war yes the Romanian or Polish airplanes will arrive? And you on your attached kite and have no place to disappear. At your sphere will shoot, as at the hanging bottle in a dash. And you have no place to disappear. On the earth after all it is safer also during war”…

Levka leaned back on a chair back, thought and wrote to mother:

“Mutti! You ask me why people needed suit the cars “in the sky”. I will try to explain so that it was clear to you.

You remember, we with you read Wells’s novel “When sleeping wakens”? This Wells in the first years of our revolution was in Russia, having returned to himself to England, wrote the book “Russia in a Haze”. In the book of this Wells was surprised to “the Kremlin dreamers” — as it they start to electrify the country flat, with a slow current of the rivers. Where they will take energy? — to Wells — the thought did not come to the fantast, the dreamer, the seer of the future to mind that for getting of electricity not only energy of water, but also wind can be used. This slow-wittedness especially is strange that Wells in the novel which we read with you describes the vetrosilovy turbines supplying with energy London. But wind can give energy for electrification not only one city, and and the whole globe. Wells probably believed that we will not manage “to take also wind in Bolshevist hand”. But Wells was mistaken in it, as well as in many other.

Wind power is immense. By the most approximate calculations, energy which the mankind could receive from wind within a year surpasses all world reserves. By only one European part of the Union it would be possible to receive the energy equal to two billion hundred fifty million tons of coal a year. This figure will become more clear to you if I specify that for the first five-years period all our extraction of fuel in conversion to coal made only hundred forty million tons.

We need a huge number of energy — not less than sixty million kilowatts. We let and partly already started up our major water power sources: Dnieper, Angara, Yenisei, Volga… One Yenisei gives us eight million kilowatts. But energy of the rivers nevertheless has a limit. And here wind has to come to the rescue of the rivers.

All trouble, however, that wind — the most whimsical, most changeable elements. It is an unreliable power source. Wind blows, ceases to blow. And there is no wind — there are also power plants. You will tell: means, Wells was right. No, he was the bad prophet and an ugadchik. We shamed both wind, and Wells.

The matter is that wind is capricious only over the Earth’s surface. At the height about five hundred meters the constant, never ceasing wind blows. Air Niagara. Inexhaustible power source. Even if wind ceases at the height of five hundred meters, it blows slightly above. And the higher, the stronger, the more constantly. Means, all question only in how to use these high air rivers. “If the mountain does not go to Magomet, then Magomet goes to the mountain”. It is necessary to lift, so on height vetrosilovy installations. This idea was for the first time introduced and technically developed by the engineer Kazhi certain.

Imagine a kite which is started under clouds. But dragon of the huge sizes. On a snake there is something like a windmill, only instead of wings such cylinder — a vingrotor rotates (a ving in English — a wing, a rotor — the rotating part of the mechanism). That all car was lighter and rose by air, emptiness in huge wings and other parts of a construction are filled with hydrogen. Besides, and wind supports the device. All vetrosilovy high-rise electrical unit is attached to the earth by a steel wire. On this wire there is on the earth from the station also current. And current turns out because that the wings rotating from wind put the motor which also is on a snake in action. It is clear? Here I will also work at such high-rise station.

So we won wind. From now on he is subordinated to us, works for us, obedient to our will. Now we have an unlimited stock of energy.

This victory over wind, of course, could not but frighten our enemies. Nearly an every month new high-rise vetrosilovy installation rises in air. “From the sky” millions of kilowatts of energy flow on the earth. We become too strong. And in fear of our growing power enemies, perhaps, will also try to attack us. Well that? We will win against them wind! Storms will work for us.

And for me you do not worry. If enemy airplanes arrive, the kite can always be lowered on the earth, having winded a wire the same as boys take up a string of snakes. Small stations soar in clouds without people. In case of accident, for lubricant of parts, adjustments of the motor, replenishment of reserves of gas and other lower them on the earth. But often to lower such powerful installation as “Condor” on the earth, it is unprofitable. It leads to energy loss. That is why we will constantly live with Zoya in ours “the air country”. Zoya already on a last year also goes with me as the trainee. It — the good fellow. “The air repairman”. Has no dizziness. Brave girl. Do not worry and do not worry, expensive! Mother has to be courageous. (Mutter — mother and Mut — courage are not without reason conformable.) I will write you every week. Hi to the father. How his rheumatism?

Yours Leva.

P.S. My all companions on institute envy me. From ended this year only I one was given such “high” and responsible assignment. I brought some improvements in a design of a tail of “kite” (our car has also a tail). The invention was recognized important, this and helped me to receive “a captain’s post” as my companions speak. “Condor” will serve the electric power huge collective farm (the majority of tractors and cars works at electric accumulators now), sawmill, the cellulose plant and other. Work is interesting. I kiss. Zoya sends hi. L.”.

The electric train quickly rushed Miller and Zoya Tveryanova on the South. In way there were only two stops.

“At a groundless table курыць zaboronyaetsets” — was read by Zoya in buffet of one station. — Belarus!

“At a zagalny table ask you do not scorch”. — Over them there was already a sky of Ukraine.

Some more hours’ journey, and they on the place. Pyramidal a poplar, at night similar to cypresses, the sharp tops to the star sky directed. The warm, caressing wind brought the “Ukrainian” smells of herbs and fields.

On the high hill the shapeless construction was seen. It their “Condor” slept on the earth the last night. From the next shed through the opened door light on a glade fell, snatching out two trucks from a gloom. Voices, blows of a hammer were heard. There were last preparations. The message about arrival of the engineer quickly extended on workshops and barracks. From everywhere there were workers, collective farmers.

— You would have a rest after the journey, Zoya — Miller offered.

— I will sleep on clouds — smiling, the girl answered.

Light of temporary power plant flashed. The bright arc lamp was lit by “Condor”. It stood on a mooring scaffold. Huge “coil” — a vingrotor — fastening as an axis, all device was the center of all construction. On the ends of an axis the huge planes in the form of semi-holes were strengthened. They have to give side stability to “dragon”. Under the coil the deck also was located on it a small cabin with two rooms — Miller and Zoya’s future dwelling. Behind “Condor” through all glade almost on kilometer the huge tail was stretched. On some distance from the mooring platform there was a collar with the reeled-up thin cable. Nearby the building of the small gas plant which produced hydrogen for filling of internal cavities of “Condor” was seen.

Miller rushed in work as if in fight. Its young energy was transferred to all. The human ant hill began to move.

Zoya did not notice how morning crept. Lamps went out. The pink beam of the sun lit horns of the side planes.

— We climb, Zoya! — Miller shouted.

Mooring planked footway already had him and quickly clambered on a steep ladder. Zoya followed it, easily and surely climbing up above and above. Not without reason she was the awarded fizkulturnitsa.

In two minutes they were on the deck.

— Wind in three points. You hear how tops of trees rustle? — Miller told. It surely turned the lever. Blades of a rotor were started turning. — Three points — quite sufficient wind to help us to fly up. You remember “Magnus’s effect”, Zoya?

Miller disappeared behind a cabin and told from there:

— Turn the switch near a cabin door.

Za turned. Noise of the motor was heard. In a cabin the electric bulb was lit.

— Here you see, our power plant also earned. Years of tens would not be without celebration back. Now it would seem to triumph in view of that as strange, as concerning conducting of a house electric call. Down I do not give current yet. You should look after the motor. It is established behind a cabin indoors.

Miller approached the region of the deck and, having bent down over an iron fencing, shouted as the real captain:

— Kick off!

The collar was started turning, unwinding a wire, “Condor” began to rise up. The first beams of a rising sun lit Zoya’s face, and still shadows of night below lay. Miller looked at Zoya and tenderly smiled:

— We fly, Zoyka! You are not afraid?

— I am not afraid, Levka!

Whether she could admit that to it it was a little bit terrible?

“Condor” slowly rose. Wind grew stronger. The rotor rotated more and stronger. Miller carefully looked at Zoya.

— In vain you did not take the suitcase. Would put on a sweater. It will be above absolutely fresh. Do not forget that we will live at height where “climate” of mountain tops. But it is our trial flight. Let’s go down and will take all necessary.

— To me it is not cold! — Zoya answered.

She looked down. The horizon extended and as though rose. Every minute all new distances opened: the becoming blue wood, a dazzling-red bend of the river, far factory pipes… On fields as if bugs, potter about tractors. “Condor” will feed them with electricity!

The motor suddenly began to miss.

— Look, Zoya that with a dynamo! — Levka told.

Zoya adjusted the motor, and when returned, “Condor” was motionless already at big height. Behind it it was stretched, gradually falling, the long tail waving from wind.

* * *

— Energy of the atmosphere is inexhaustible. There will pass a little more years, and thousands, tens of thousands here will begin such “Condors” is proud to fly over our country. The wind turned into a current will rotate our cars, to give light and heat. We electrify our life, our life to the smallest details. Wind will undertake the most hard work. Human work will be facilitated. People will have much more free time to give it to science, arts. Life will become fine.

— Yes, Levka, life will become beautiful — Zoya responded.

And suddenly, having made the scared eyes, Zoya exclaimed:

— Levka! And how we will have dinner? What will we eat?

— Nectar and an ambrosia, as well as follows inhabitants of heaven, or a god-send. You got hungry, Zoya?

— To admit and. I am hungry. We had dinner at a groundless or zagalny table!

— Suffer a little. We will go down soon. And when we will fly up for a long time, we will lower a wire and to lift everything that it is necessary for us. There is an electric stove, and we will be able to warm up foods, to make coffee. From time to time we should go down to stock up with gas. As covers of “wings” are dense, nevertheless diffusion exists. I think that leak of gas will be small, and we hardly should go down more often than once a month if only you do not miss on the ground.

— To us will once miss, Levka!

— But at us will be also free time enough. We will stock up with books. On “Condor” there are a fine radio station and the TV. You will be able to see even movies.

— And at night we will go in for astronomy. Isn’t that so, from here it is wonderful to observe stars?

On the atmosphere

Without wheel and without sails

Quietly float in fog

Choruses harmonious shone,

— again Levka recited.

— And if in our atmosphere there is a storm what we will do, Levk?

— We will be attracted to the earth and fixed “Condor” on anchors. On an accident case, for example break of a cable, we have parachutes.

Miller showed to Zoya the put parachutes tied to a handrail and explained how to treat them.

— You take yourself at a breast this belt and — My God bless — you rush down. You fly and count up to ten — remember it — and only when you will count to ten, you will pull here this rope, and the parachute will be developed.

Zoya involuntarily shuddered and told, having lowered a voice:

— You know, I very brave, Levka. But I, apparently, would never decide to rush down on a parachute. Whatever it happened…

— Well, we will not speak about such things. I hope, you should not make such somersault.

— Hallo! — exorcized a radio loud-hailer. — How are you doing?

— Everything is all right! — Levka on a radio telephone answered. — Now I will give current on the earth. Is? Perfectly! You can begin descent!

“Condor” shuddered and began to decrease slowly. Below people reeled up a thin cable on a collar.

— It will be necessary to mechanize work of this collar — Levka told. — So, tomorrow we begin life at our heavenly dacha. Tomorrow we will give current to collective-farm tractors, the plants, military cars, we will give light to houses and heat in electric furnaces. It is enough to idle to wind! From now on idlers will not be already not called vetrenik. Wind will drag, carry, mow, cook elektroshch in collective-farm electrofactory kitchen and even to sing lullabies to children in a collective-farm day nursery. But today we will eat with you yet not electrified Ukrainian borsch!

* * *

The next day there was Zoya Tveryanova and Miller’s settlement “on heaven”. All device was well designed, and, as a matter of fact, on “Condor” it was possible to have one repairman. On small vetrosilovy installations did and absolutely without people. But “Condor” was too powerful vetrosilovy power plant that to put him out of action without extreme need. Just in case on the earth very simple accumulator was arranged: at top of the hill the whole lake was dug out. Electricity lifted water of the small river flowing at the foot of the hill, water filled the lake. When “Condor” for some reason or other stayed idle, water from this tank was started up down a pipe and set the turbine in motion. Thus, all construction was as if combined ветро — hydro — electroinstallation.

Miller permanently was on “Condor” mainly because here it continued the scientific and inventive work. “Condor” was his laboratory: Levka studied wind force at various height, checked work of rotors tested on model wind, kept diaries. Business was new. Miller found any improvements, invented automatic regulators, otmetchik. Zoya actively helped it.

They stocked up with all necessary: warm clothes, books. Food and drink were served every day them “on the elevator”. Miller thought up also “urgent mail” — a small fastened cylinder which quickly rose to “Condor”.

It unusual life in air of five hundred, thousands and above meters was on the ball. Sometimes “Condor” rose over clouds. The worrying cloudy sea curled under legs of hermits. Several times under them the thunder-storm burst. Crushing blows shook heavenly open spaces. Clouds played a repeated echo. Blue lightnings angrily broke in the curling clouds. Below there were chaos, a thunder and a storm. And over “Condor” the clear blue sky stretched and brightly the sun shone.

Sometimes the evening cloudlet reddened by the sun floated near “Condor”. Zoya gave to it a hand and spoke:

— Go to us, the heavenly guest!

And, as if повинуясь to this call, the cloud shrouded “Condor” in the crude fog leaving drops on hair and a woolen sweater of Zoya.

— Not all poetic from a distance is pleasant close! — laughing, Levka said.

Air was cool, and the sun burned down. The cheek turned to the sun burned, and another — in a shadow — froze. Miller and Zoyka strongly sunbathed.

— Here where to acquire a tan. It is better, than on the beach! — Zoya spoke.

— Yes, and I am sure that over time big high-rise installations will be used as mountain sanatoria! — Levka answered.

In the evenings young people sat on the deck and admired stars. Below, on the earth as stars, burned in houses fires of electric lamps, and sometimes it seemed to Zoya that it is in interplanetary space: stars both from above and from below surrounded it. Little things in life remained there, below, on the earth. Here involuntarily came to mind of a thought of the far worlds, about inhabitants of other planets, about greatness of the Universe…

Interfered with quiet contemplation only wind. If it weakened, then Levka immediately gave the order on the earth to lift “Condor” above. And wind whistled in ears again, rotors quickly rotated, current flew down on a wire on the earth, spread on factories, the plants, houses, by vivifying force joined tractors, machines, twirled, moved, shone, heated, washed clothes, cooked electroporridge…

Conducting the imagined conversations with Martians, Zoya sometimes forgot about the earth. But the earth itself reminded of itself.

* * *

The fall, bad, rainy came. Already at the height of two hundred meters the speed of wind reached eight-nine meters per second. Below, on the earth, bent a poplar, dropping the last leaves. Zoya shivered, looked at quickly rushing clouds and thought of winter.

Levka! What will we do when winter blizzards come? “When there will come cold zimn”? The same, as now. Let’s put on more warmly, exclusively. And if “Condor” fills up with snow? Will not fill up. The rotor covers from above. It rotates, on it will not settle snow. Well, and if a little also plans for the deck, we will clear. It will only be necessary to make rather the device which automatically would regulate flight altitude depending on wind force. Then we should not come so often to an icy cold to look at indications of the anemometer.

This evening they early got into a cabin. Here was light-, warmly, comfortably. Zoya read, Levka processed records of automatic devices, drew schedules. Behind a wall the motor gradually grumbled. “Condor” shivered an easy shiver, but air inhabitants got used to it as railroad workers to jolting of the car.

— Hallo! Hallo! Hallo! — unexpectedly the disturbing voice was distributed. — The earth speaks. Miller, you accept?

— Kirsanov? I listen to you!

— Listen carefully! — continued a voice. And the black disk of a loud-hailer began to report a dead news: — From general staff the radiotelegram is received. Romania and Poland without declaration of war began military operations. The squadron of enemy airplanes flew over border. Airplanes are supplied with the cutting devices for a wire to which high-rise vetrosilovy installations are tied. To Litka and “Star” are cut and broken. Establish observation. If you see the enemy, immediately give signals to lower “Condor” on the earth. For its protection to us there will come the battery of antiaircraft guns.

With mute horror, as hypnotized, Zoya looked at a brilliant circle in the center of a black disk. Also Levka was excited.

— We pass to the martial law, Zoyk? — he told with nervous cheerfulness.

— Put on more warmly. We should keep watch all night long.

Putting on a leather helmet and a coat on fur, it continued:

— And the machine gun, perhaps, would also be useful now to us. To admit, I refused it: excess weight. Well and to go down on the earth and to take aboard a machine gun not for long. We go! Billeting! It is necessary to switch a loudspeaker to the deck. So. We go!

Wind struck in a face. Tyazhi whistled and shivered. All “Condor” as if napruzhitsya. Suddenly from two sides of the deck the darkness of night was cut through by bright sheaves of light. Miller lit searchlights.

With field glasses in hands Levka and Zoya stood on both sides of the deck. Clouds quickly rushed on the sky, curled, faced, piled up. Zoya’s hand grew dumb with the heavy field-glass and cold wind.

From time to time Zoya darted a glance at the anemometer.

“Thirteen meters per second… fourteen… fifteen… Six points! Really enemy airplanes will decide to fly to such wind? Ah, though the storm would burst!. The barometer falls…”

Sometimes among the curling clouds the brilliant asterisk seemed to Zoya. Whether not enemy it is the airplane lit with a searchlight of “Condor”? . But the asterisk disappeared and did not appear. Deception of the tired sight!. “Seventeen meters… eighteen…”

— Hallo! Hallo! — muffling wind whistle, the loudspeaker attached to an external wall of a cabin cried. — Hallo! Our military cars arrived to the station for accumulator charging. Give all power of “Condor”!

“Nineteen… twenty meters per second. Eight points! It is already a storm!” — Zoya with relief thought. The wind, the less veroyatiya on an enemy raid is stronger. The air storm will protect them from a storm of military bad weather. And “Condor”? “Condor” will sustain. He got used to meet by a breast of the rotors a wind impact. And Zoya almost with tenderness looked at the vingrotor cylinder. It rustled and hooted as Niagara. “Condor” did not shiver any more, and shivered as if in the strongest paroxysm of fever. Tyazh ringed and whistled. The tail stood horizontally, extended by wind in a string. Wind plowed up floors of a leather coat of Zoya, froze legs. From light of a searchlight eyes hurt. The head was turned. The heavy field-glass delayed a hand down.

“Twenty three… twenty six… twenty eight… if so goes further…”

Suddenly Zoya felt a push, and “Condor” began to decrease. Really the cable tore? It is all about a cable! Zoya in vain admired “Condor”. The thin leash will tear, and all this large object will become a defenseless toy of wind. “Condor” will break and will depart head over heels, “walking” as the children’s broken dragon… Zoya’s life hung if not on a hair, then on a thin wire…

“Condor” decreases evenly. Probably Levka looks for a strip where wind is more silent…

— Hallo! Hallo! — again the loudspeaker began to roar. — The order is received: “Condor” has to keep at height to the utmost until all accumulators are charged. Give a signal of descent only in two cases: if you see the enemy airplane or if wind force obviously threatens failure of “Condor”.

“Condor” fell a little, but below wind was even stronger this time. Then Miller decided to rise in the top layers. Searches of “the smooth air water” began. “Condor” rose above clouds, and over Zoya then indifferent stars shone, plunged into chaos of the curling clouds. In searchlight beams they seemed the frenzied monsters snatching on “Condor”. Despite a long tail and the side planes, “Condor” began to throw here and there. Zoya put the field-glass in a case and strong grabbed a rod of an iron fencing. It shivered, as well as all on “Condor”, and was cold as ice.

“Thirty… thirty two… thirty three… thirty four meters per second. Ten… eleven points! The whole gale passing into a hurricane… Life on a steel hair… Life…”

— Zoya… Zoyka!

Tveryanova turned the head as if wakening from drowsiness. Strong holding on to the banister, it was faced by Levka. His face turned pale. Lips nervously twitched. He tried to smile, but the smile was not successful. Having bent to the Zoiny ear, he cried:

— How you feel, Zoya?

— Perfectly! — she answered.

Levka kept silent as if fluctuating to make some decision. Then cried again:

— “Condor” will not sustain such storm. The cable will burst. The tension is too big. It is impossible to ruin “Condor”. It is necessary to go down. I will give the order.

— And accumulators of military cars?. — Zoya asked.

Levki’s lips trembled again.

— If “Condor” breaks, all the same not to charge all accumulators! — he cried out in reply.

Zoya it is inquisitive glanced to it in eyes. She wanted to read it to a thought. And intuition guessed them.

“You are afraid not for “Condor” — she thought and cried out:

— Try to rise once again to “ceiling” — by all length of a cable!

Levka shrugged shoulders.

— Rose. Everywhere same. Storm…

— But wind can change. I ask you!.

Levka vaguely shrugged shoulders and departed. Here he something shouted in phone tube…

“Condor” began to rise. Over-headed Zoe stars seemed again. There somewhere was Mars with the mysterious Martians. But this minute she did not think of them.

“So… good fellow… The higher from the earth, the better…” Zoya, without releasing a handrail, reached a parachute, threw off fur gloves, hardly tied itself above a breast with a wide belt, untied a parachute, squeezed the end of a rope which develops a parachute, and, having narrowed eyes, rushed to the ocean of clouds bubbling under it.

“Time… two… three… four…”

Levka uvidat as the dark subject was thrown down and disappeared in clouds. The acute pain pierced heart. He rushed to Zoya. It was not on the deck. Also one parachute was not enough. Levka understood everything: it “gave it a free hand”.

Being unsteady, Miller approached a radio telephone. He wanted to give the order on that “Condor” immediately lowered.

The storm knocked him down. Oh, this storm! It took away from it the most expensive. Unless it is possible to count on safe descent at such wind? Zoya, of course, died. Now everything is over…

And Miller was limited only to the fact that shouted in a radiotelephone tube:

— Tveryanova rushed on a parachute. Send people to searches!

Zoya Tveryanova was found for twenty kilometers at tree top. A fracture of the leg, grazes on all body. But she was living. Exclusive good luck for such mad jump. Her first words when she recovered, were:

— Whether everything accumulators are charged?.



We flew quite low over the cross-country terrain, and decently shook the fine passenger airplane. My neighbor, the journalist from Vienna, Ervin Lik who is strong “sewn” to a chair by a wide belt screwed up the face, smoothing the map which every minute slipped from his knees.

— New Merv. New Merv… But where it is? — asked me the Face, attentively examining the card.

I darted a glance at this card and burst out laughing. It had quite large scale, but was published in 1913.

— You will not find it on this card. Here we will arrive, you will see! — I answered.

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