The Shah twin diamond. Detective
Two friends have become co-owners of a huge legacy of precious relics, around which unpredictable and dangerous events unfold, leading to dizzying adventures and changes in their personal lives…
The Shah twin diamond
The narrative does not pretend to be accurate in narrating the historical facts encountered, the characters are represented in the text, their surnames and names are made up, coincidence coincidentally, coincidence.
Note by the author.
This story began at the very moment when, after graduation, as a young specialist, I cam to an aircraft factory and entered the position of a process engineer. I was told from the parent that I will transfer to my bread and now that I will earn, I will have for my existence in the future. In the factory floor, as a process engineer, the salary is several times lower than the working machinist. And often, when I went to the workers with my papers to the workshop, I was embarrassed to communicate with the working class, because there was a difference in their status as a worker and my current situation. In a word, both the salary is scanty and the contempt of workers who consider me a parasite on their neck.
Some experienced machinists on occasion told me that we don’t need your technology and sketches, and we can even make a detail according to the drawing. And even I heard conversations in the smoking-room that it would be better to disperse this workshop of those bureaus, and for the workers to add the salary and work would be done on time, and the plans would be over fulfilled, and the bonus would be needed every month. In short, the gloom and disappointment of my current situation hung with the Damocles sword above my head, like a sentence, like a heavenly punishment, perhaps for my sins in a past life or for something else. But I was young and I was interested in the opposite sex. The time has come to start a family, live a full-blooded life, have children and be happy. And every time I woke up in my room to go to the factory, I felt like an insignificant low-income creature. My suit was worn out, the shirt was washed and did not sparkle with whiteness for a long time, as brilliantly as when I defended my diploma at the final exam at the institute, what can I say with my tie and worn shoes. General full paragraph. Because of this state of things, I did not want to go to work, sit out my young life there and make hemorrhoids, as a gratitude for a seated kind of activity. And then one day after waiting for a lunch break, I fluttered a dove out of the factory entrance, hoping that I would return by the end of the working day, as our shop manager often did, disappearing during work hours to her mistress. Friendship Cinema was located after several metro stops. I decide to get out of the metro there and already at the windows of the cinema I saw colorful advertisements for the festival of Indian cinema masterpieces. Today, just at that time, the demonstration of the two-part film The Tramp starring Raj Kapoor began. I figured that having looked at the session, I would just be back at the factory by sixteen hours, and then there would be an hour and a half and the end of the shift. I liked the film in the workshop of acting by Raj Kapoor in the role of a Tramp, which in his position reminded me of my poor and insignificant life. But I absorbed the charge of cheerful cheerfulness like a sponge, and suddenly I realized that nothing is so simple, nothing is brought to us on a silver platter. And, most importantly, we must fight for everything, overcoming difficulties and hardships. Returning to the factory, I was full of life and hopes for the best, as if at that very time Raj Kapoor was walking next to me, henceforth becoming my Guiding Star…
So, I went to the factory entrance exactly at 16—00. The flow of workers leaving the aisles at the booths at that time was growing, and it was not difficult for me to mingle in this crowd of working people and to quietly slip through the turnstile to the territory of the enterprise. It was a warm autumn day, though there were no fallen leaves on the alleys lined with chestnuts. Since the cleanliness of the territory has always been ideal and cleaned thoroughly, as required at the so-famous aviation enterprise producing civilian liners. The trees along the alleys were already without foliage, their lonely yellow spots still clinging to the branches of the tops, trying to extend their fate of falling onto an asphalt path. Here on this path I went to my workshop with a sinking heart, but what will be for me to leave without permission? And I was not mistaken. Victor Ivanovich was already waiting for me at the bureau. He had just returned from the workshop technology archive and, holding a thick album of filed technology, rushed in my direction.
— I was looking for you all over the workshop, I even called the tooling workshop of the rigging, you weren’t anywhere.
Where have you been? he asked impatiently, in a tone unbecoming. I, guilty, dropping my eyes to the floor, examined his sneakers, which he always changed into shoes when he came to work. Thoughts about my shoes and that metal shavings stuck in the soles of my shoes from the soles of my shoes spoiled the parquet in our apartment, leaving deep scratches. I did not know what to answer my supervisor when he repeated his question. Raising his eyes, like a driven animal to a ruthless hunter said the first thing that came to mind, he told the truth.
— I watched a movie.
The technologists who were at the bureau at that time giggled, angering Viktor Ivanovich, but to my surprise he relented, answered.
— When you go to the design department, or to factory technologists, or to programmers, but you never know where in the factory, always tell me so that I can know where you are. There are different cases in our work, that’s how it is now. The emergency situation on our product release twenty years ago. It is necessary to produce several parts for its repair. I sat in the archive for more than two hours and now keep the process technology.
He handed me a file. I took a thick album with copies of technology.
«And what should I do about it?» he asked busily.
— It should be attributed to the programmers to write a processing program on a milling machine with software milling. You will be in touch with them, if you have questions, you will adjust the program. Is the task clear?! — He emphasized the last word in tone to me. I flipped through the album, then busily asked: — I do not see the brand and equipment parameters here?
— Everything is there at the end. Do it! — Victor Ivanovich again emphasized the last word.
— Got it! I answered, and I heard staff laughing. But I no longer caught the words mocking me, slamming the door of the bureau, went out into the fresh air with a thick album under my arm…
Four months passed of my work in the technological bureau of the mechanical workshop of the plant.
During this time, I gradually became involved in the production rhythm and no longer aroused the smiles of employees when I went to various departments of technological processes for our mechanical economy on technological matters. And no longer ran for the checkpoint at lunchtime, remembering the golden rule that once you didn’t get caught, the second time you’re sure to get involved in the most do not indulge in trouble.
Once the shop manager came to our bureau with a young man and said:
— Viktor Ivanovich, accept a new employee for tooling and machine tool universal devices. His name is Igor Yuryevich, this year he graduated from the Polytechnic Institute, specializing in the operation and repair of locks of safes and lock equipment for them, with the qualification of a process engineer. He is being transferred to us. He is being transferred to us from the design department of the chief technologist to work on rationalization and invention. In short, it will deal with the main work of the technologist, as if in a load, also with this.
«Of course, I will accept him, but Vladimir Nikolayevich, where will I put the new employee?» asked Viktor Ivanovich perplexedly.
— I already ordered it, go to the controller’s department there, take a desk, it takes only a place from them. Head of department keep up to date now.
Having said this, Vladimir Nikolayevich went to his office.
«Valentine,» Viktor Ivanovich turned to me, «they went to the table for Igor.» Igor, and you sit down in the place of Valentine, until we bring you a table.
The control department was opposite the office of the head of the workshop along the corridor. We entered a spacious room. I immediately recognized the table that was intended for a new employee. With a hefty layer of dust and spots on the surface of a derma tine brownish countertop. It seemed that on this table they ate and had a snack, drank tea and coffee, unwrapped and wrapped herring and other food. Without blinking an eye, the chief inspector of the workshop, Kovtun Alexander Mikhailovich, pointed a finger at the table in the corner of the room, he said.
«Deliver me from this junk.» Both the place and the space in general spoil the look of my interior design.
— Thank you, Alexander, we are saving you here with Valentine.
We took the table and carried it out into the corridor. Then Viktor Ivanovich ran to the side of his bureau and told Igor to stand at the door, holding it while we bring in the table. We safely installed a table near the back wall of the room of our technology office.
«Go to the workshop,» Viktor Ivanovich began to say to Igor, «there, from the milling machines you will take a rag and a bucket of water.» Set up your place.
Igor, shaking his curly head, went out and after a while appeared with a bucket of water and rags. He began to tidy up his desk. After a week of his work in the department on Wednesday, he came up to me and said.
— Valentine, let’s go, have a smoke, or what?
— Yes, I do not reproach and never smoked.
— I also never smoked common and never smoke.
— Well, then come out, «smoke»? — Smiling, I asked him.
We went out onto the landing to the smoking area. The tin can is full of cigarette butts. Some of the cigarette butts were still smoking. I leaned my back and elbows on the railing and looked inquiringly at Igor.
— Almost every day the shopkeeper hammers me with rationalization proposals. Why there are no applications, why we should lag behind the competition of teams. What should I do?
— Igor, yes no problem. Well, if you want, I’ll sketch a few for you now.
«But you know that a reward has been put for implementation and also thanks on behalf of the workshop.»
— Well, thanks, I think, we won’t wait, but the reward will be, I already know, in the accounting department where I carried the papers, women talked about it. So let’s make out. I have already prepared a sketch.
— Is it in our workshop?
— Sure. You better tell me why you were thrown here in this workshop?
— You see, there I met a cool girl, Alla. Does she work as a designer and seems to have fallen in love with me?
— Sorry for the indiscreet question, but where did you get that girl took and fell in love like that?
— In short, I’m at the toilet, well, there on the fifth floor, where the combined female and male.
— So what? I asked impatiently.
— In short, we began to kiss. And here the chief technologist of the plant leaves the male part of the toilet and detects us. Here I am now, Alla is not talking to me, she hangs up and in the department where I went several times, quits work and runs away, wherever she looks, either to the library for reference books, or to bookkeeping, or somewhere else. They kicked me here. I made inquiries about Alla, it turned out that she was the daughter of the director of our factory, apparently dad spoke firmly with his daughter. — Igor sighed.
— Well, nothing drift. — The guy was clearly out of his mind, and in order to distract him, I changed the subject, saying: — And what kind of specialty is this interesting for you?
— What is this specialty? — asked Igor in surprise.
«Well, what about safe locks?» Is it true that you can open any castle?
— Well, not every castle lends itself, but in general I can. I had a case, you want, believe it, you want to, no, but a couple of times I opened the locks with one touch. — Here Igor was clearly cunning, since the castle in this way can be opened only with the help of master keys devices operating on an unconventional form of energy known to ancient and departed civilizations that lived on earth in the time immemorial of the previous flood. Of course, I knew that sooner or later we would have such a conversation about castles. And I got ready, bought a lock on the layout in the passage to the metro, and for a week already carried it in my pocket, waiting for the opportunity to talk with Igor on this topic. I took a lock from my pocket.
— Here try, open without a key.
Igor took the lock in his hand, put it on the open palm of his right hand. And froze, he began to carefully look at the shiny surface of the case. The lock, suddenly clicking, threw the closing bracket out of the case. My eyes did not believe in this event.
— How did you do this? — I asked in surprise.
— Each castle is a personality and character. I mentally asked him to help me open.
He fulfilled my request.
«No, it can’t be?»
Igor suddenly laughed, then said:
— Here touch my palm. He held out his right hand to me with the palm on which the castle had just been lying. I touched his palm and felt the hot heat emanating from an open brush. And Igor held out his left hand to me, offering to touch her too. I involuntarily took his left hand; it was as cold as ice. He continued to say:
— In the first, the castle is not completely closed. Secondly, from heating in the palm of his hand, his temple heats up faster and expands by hundredths of a millimeter, pushing himself out of the grip of the mechanism in the case. At the institute, we often showed this focus to girls and they thought that only magicians were studying here. This is a simple lock and focus works. Frankly speaking, only a safe and mastery of the technique of opening locks can open any safe.
— And you, what can you?
— You know; I’ve been a fan of castles since childhood. I have a whole collection of old castles and the newest all the walls are hung in my apartment. My grandfather and my great-grandfather were locksmiths. And my grandfather taught me something that I would follow our family tradition.
«And you really can open any safe?»
— The easiest way to open electronic locks is safe. These are the most primitive castles in the world. Password protection does not give anything and is cracked, like seeds without problems.
«Yes, you are a hereditary safe cracker, and still competent people have not become interested in you?»
— Nobody just knows me, all those who are interested in hacking truly by handwriting recognize only bear cubs. If I opened with a dozen safes, my handwriting would be fixed by those who follow the competition in their skill.
— And how are bear cubs different from each other?
— Some people open the safes by drilling the necessary holes on the lock cover and open the lock there with master keys. Others select passwords by electronic devices, and calmly typing the password, open the safe. But all this takes time. I open the safe, spending a minimum of time with sets of magnets and tools inherited from descendants from time immemorial. For example, — But Igor could not finish, Viktor Ivanovich suddenly entered the site.
— Ah, here you are? It’s good that we haven’t gone far. Go to the bureau immediately. There is an emergency situation with a milling machine, programmers got tired somewhere, we need to figure it out. And we went to the workshop to the milling machine to undo the clamp. The reason was not serious. The programmer mixed up the tolerances and, finding out what was the matter, we quickly fixed the program. The machine worked correctly, and the parts went one on one precisely according to technology…
At the end of the week Igor invited me to visit him on Saturday. It was Friday the end of the day. And I got tired and got into the subway car and left in my direction, Igor went to the opposite subway platform. I got home after 45 minutes and dinner, warming up in the microwave, cooked by my mother, who was already sleeping in her room, started eating with appetite. Having washed down with tea with milk he wandered into the bathroom. Of the last forces, I wanted to sleep so much, I took a shower, which encouraged me. The dream retreated somewhere, and I decided to «leaf through» the mail in my laptop. I was interested in earning there, and my requests to Google received a lot of offers that grew snowball every day and everything, like a carbon copy, were dummies, twisting and refining only to sell a profitable methodology. Having convinced myself of the frivolity of the proposals, I deleted all the letters from my mail, and decided that tomorrow I would meet Igor and that I had to get enough sleep, I went to bed…
Even the snow had not fallen, but the frosty day tickled the cheeks with the wind. Igor’s house used to be on the outskirts of the city in an old mansion of a three-story building, but now it’s almost the city center. Igor told me how to find him, said that the whole mansion once belonged to his ancestors, but after the revolution they were moved to the second floor, and the third and first were transferred to the city authorities…
On the street named after the famous pilot Chkalov stood this house where Igor lived. Nearby was the university named after T.G. Shevchenko. The architecture of the house was striking in its distinctive appearance from the new buildings surrounding the mansion of houses. This three-story house was built of red and durable brick in the style of the castle in miniature. A steep brick staircase led to the second floor, and the first was located in the basement. Residents of the third floor passed through the second floor by a flight of stairs inside the building. I went up to the door and rang the bell. Igor revealed to me.
— Come in, here are the slippers and go straight to the kitchen. — He greeted me warmly.
— Thanks Igor.
I took off my shoes and walked into his kitchen in slippers. On the table was a bottle of Cabernet red wine from the Koblevo plant and two plates of fried eggs.
— Do you live alone? I asked.
— Yes, my grandfather and grandmother died long ago, leaving me this apartment. Mother lives separately with her unsuccessful marriages, I grew up with my grandfather and grandmother without a father who does not want to know me at all. So in childhood I always fiddled with locks, to the joy of my grandfather, and my grandmother told me such wonderful tales that I have never found in any library anywhere.
— Yes, you have an interesting life.
— Yes, I wanted to tell you and show you amazing master key devices that work on an unconventional property of energy. These devices are designed so that energy it concentrates on the ends of the pick teeth and the resulting attractive force pulls the lock mechanics to the open position.
— This is not likely! I exclaimed. «And it just can’t be like that, I can’t believe it.»
— Maybe. This energy accumulates the anti-gravity component, and the lock mechanism freezes as if in zero gravity. Then another skeleton key creates a magnetic component and the lock opens as if by itself, regardless of whether it is password protected or not, since when the antigravity function is working, the electronics are blocked and stop working.
With these words, he removed from the cabinet a set of metal skeleton keys with shiny polished balls at the ends of the holders.
— Manipulators are hidden in these balls, they are able to extract energy from the ether and turn it into what I told you.
— Incredible Igor?
— This went to my grandfather from his antediluvian great-grandfather. These master keys work wonders. There is no such ultra-modern castle that they could not open.
«Have you tried to patent these master keys?»
— That I was declared crazy and locked up in a psychiatric hospital?
— Yes, well, then. I handed out, not quite yet realizing what else would follow.
— Come on, Valentine, drink for an acquaintance and seal our friendship with this beautiful wine. — With these words, Igor uncorked the bottle, poured it into the glasses, sparkling like a ruby of wine, and we drank it, having a bite of fried eggs.
«I still have wonderful Arabica coffee beans.» Now I dare and brew a strong drink, and then I will show you my real apartments, which I inherited.
— Yes, these are some kind of fabulous visions and tales that I want to believe in.
— Believe me, this knowledge, and the embodiment of this knowledge carefully conceals the powers that be. For the fact that you can draw electricity from the ether just undermines for free their dominion over the world.
— Yes, who are you, Igor Yuryevich?
— My grandfather told me a lot of things about the super civilization that was destroyed by a global catastrophe, and how my ancestors managed to escape and then survive among the darkness that followed the flood. I will show you all this and you will see it with my own eyes.
Igor poured coffee into cups, the smell of a strong drink spread throughout the kitchen, and the drink was invigorated by its refined and sophisticated beauty, which creates a consciousness aggravated by vigor.
— Let’s go to my real apartment, I will tell you about what is inaccessible to others.
He led me to the wall, on which hung a portrait of his grandfather, then from a bunch of master keys, he selected one of them and touched the wall with a ball. A dark spot began to grow in the wall at the place where the ball was attached, forming in an ever-increasing hole. When the oval hole flickered with the colors of a runaway, as from the surface of a spilled engine oil in the sun, and became quite large in growth of Igor, he said.
«Now come after me.» — And the first to step into this shimmering web. I followed and found myself in a lighted flight of stairs leading somewhere down. Before moving behind Igor, I turned around, there was no entrance behind my back. There was a red brick wall, exactly the same as the house was laid out and the flight of stairs leading down.…
We walked steps lower and lower until we hit a dead end. A slab of black granite blocked the way further. Igor stopped and began to speak.
— In those days on the earth there remained two civilizations. The Hyperborean to which we belong, and we and Atlanta, who were of tremendous growth from three to three with half meters. These two civilizations lived without interfering in each other’s affairs. Traded, led a peaceful lifestyle. Maybe you know that behind the Sun there is a populated planet by the descendants of the mixed race of Atlantes and Hyperboreans. This planet is one and a half times larger than the Earth and the Moon maintains a stable balance between this planet and the earth, and therefore the rotation of the planets around the Sun is not disturbed, and there can be no collision.
«Why are you telling me all this?» I asked impatiently, anticipating that some secret was hidden behind this granite slab.
— So that you understand the whole tragedy that happened with our ancestors. Where we are going now, so that you orient yourself correctly and reasonably.
— Okay, Igor, I may be impatient, I won’t lose my presence, is it coming?
— It’s coming. But listen, please. So, these two over civilization lived together. They flew to a neighboring planet, conducted trade. On Mars, too, was the key to life. There was another planet Phaeton and Venus, where the descendants of the Hyperboreans and Atlantes settled. But suddenly the invaders appeared on the interstellar ship. Their ship was commensurate with our Earth. They needed the resources that they received from young planets, traveling in the universe from galaxy to galaxy. As these invaders were more experienced in their way of life, and the extraction of livelihoods from young planets, the expansion of the solar system began. As a result, the Phaeton was destroyed, which led to a chain reaction of a stably working Solar system. In addition, the three moons of the Earth from the disturbance of the disappeared gravitational forces of Phaeton, became unstable. And the moon of Fata was gradually approaching the Earth, threatening a global catastrophe. My ancestor found out what threatens the fall of Fata to Earth in the near future and saw that the elite circles of the Hyperboreans conduct intensive training, creating shelters for themselves. So deep underground entire cities were created for a limited number of people. For the delivery of building materials and everything necessary, a train tunnel was laid along which equipment and equipment were brought there. My ancestor was invited to lock the locks in the event of a flood. He equipped the shelter with sealant, blocking the entrance to the created underground city. He supervised the earthworks and the installation of ventilation chambers, which at any time could be reliably closed. He brought one such camera under his house and built a storage for his family. After the work was done with my ancestor, the contract was terminated and he returned here to this mansion he had created. And in one of the terrible days of the Apocalypse he brought his family here, which saved our family from the destruction of the galactic invaders in this war when Fata crashed into the Earth.
«So I didn’t quite understand that your ancestor built this house?» I asked with interest.
— Both the house and the refuge for the family are secretive from the elites of Hyperborea, who attracted him to the breakdown and construction of gateways and ventilation of the underground city. Which, incidentally, was destroyed by the invaders during the ensuing nuclear war. These two civilizations were completely destroyed by nuclear carpet bombing. Then, after the war, the invaders set about large-scale mining at flying processing plants. The dumps of processed ores are visible in the form of desert sands, they did not even spare the bottom of the world’s oceans, from there the ores were also scooped, turning into sand emissions, which lined with lush vegetation around the world and fertile soils with ruins of city walls melted by nuclear explosions, which archaeologists are now digging in different places. However, we have to go further…
Igor chose the next master key from the bundle that hung on his belt, then removed it and touched the central part of the granite slab with a polished ball of the holder. A spot began to form at the touch point and grow in front of the eyes, creating a strange and unpleasant sound. The sound, similar to the chirping of grasshoppers, increased with the spread of a spot on the stove, which turned from dark in the eyes to gray, spider-like bright…
I did not immediately understand that the chirping of grasshoppers was the sound of my alarm clock set at seven in the morning, which I forgot to turn off last night when I went to bed. The gray and bright spot, seen in a dream on a granite slab, is the early morning light that falls on my eyes from the window, creating a web-like vision from behind my eyelashes.
When I finally woke up, I began to return to reality, wondering at my dream, as it does, dreams come true, and with what imagination and mystery, it’s a pity that the alarm clock did not let me watch, and what’s behind the polished granite slab that closes the entrance to an unknown place? The dream plunged me into thought about the upcoming meeting with Igor, who now acquired a mysterious shade, inspired by my dreams in a dream…
The University metro station is located on Tara’s Shevchenko Avenue, which starts perpendicularly on the main street of Kiev, Khreshchatyk. From the exit of the subway, I went to Shevchenko Avenue, crossing the street. Chkalov, who was going down to the lane leading to Igor’s house. Along the cobblestone pavement, I reached the Deli. It was necessary to buy something; it wasn’t decided to just go empty-handed to visit a not-so-familiar guy. On the counter in the alcohol department of the Deli there were different drinks, there were whiskeys of different overseas varieties, cognacs and wines. I looked at the drinks for a long time, and decided to stay on the Shabo cognac for five years, about which the workers and employees of our bureau spoke well. Having bought half a liter of this cognac and a stick of dry sausage, he headed to the house where Igor lived.
The house and the courtyard appeared before me as an exact copy of the vision that I saw in a dream. I was even a little puzzled by this. It’s like I’m not going to this three-story mansion for the first time, but as a familiar road and I am already climbing the brick steps to Igor’s apartment. Shaking off the first and wet snow falling at night from the shoe, he pressed the bell. Igor opened the door and let me into the hallway. A small corridor. The space seemed narrow with a high ceiling. The walls were full of a variety of safes. I was surprised to look at old copies of these iron boxes.
— This is from my grandfather still left. He repaired, one might say, dead safes, put them in order, and there was no end to customers, antique lovers. Each wealthy businessman had the honor to brag of his rare safe and give weight to his office, so to speak, the charm of efficiency. Look at these rare specimens, some of them are inlaid not only with enamel, but this one on crooked legs, completely covered with ceramics, the safe of Catherine the Great herself, as a gift to my great-grandfather, for opening the queen’s safe, locked with a broken key. A very expensive thing, but my grandfather did not want to sell it for the fabulous money that was offered to him, he always said that it was their family talisman of their family profession.
— Well, and you, Igor, how will you sell the relic?
— I have not yet figured out our family profession. — the guy answered evasively.
Putting slippers on my feet, I said: «I brought something here to cement our acquaintance.» Take it on the nightstand, please.
Igor came up and picked up cognac.
— Oh, five stars, class. Sausage is excellent. Well, let’s go straight to the kitchen, we’ll get to know each other.
There was already a laid table in the kitchen, on which stood a flat bottle of Armenian Noah brandy of twenty years old, and the loaded brandy Shabo wretchedly looked on the tablecloths next to the elite drink of the people, which is famous for its cognacs. Igor, saw my awkwardness, hastened to say: — This is all from the storehouse of my grandfather, left me a legacy. Mother at funeral tried with her new boyfriend get into the wine cellar. But my grandfather before leaving strictly warned me not to show anyone the treasures of winemaking that our family had been collecting for centuries.
«Do you have a hundred-year-old wine?» And not only. — Igor answered, look at this cognac, Noah was bought by grandfather fifty years ago, on this faded label you can make out that even then, in Yerevan, it was sold from a twenty-year-old batch.
«Wait, now he has an endurance of seventy years?!» I exclaimed.
«Not at all.» If he had been kept in an oak barrel all this time, then that would have been so, and in the glass he remains in the hypostasis in which he was bought, that is, in a twenty-year exposure. — Igor took the bottle and said, «Look, the quality of storage is still checked by the fact that the drink has no precipitation, well, if only a little, and if not at all, and even fifty years of storage, then we have the highest quality. At auction, this brandy can be sold very expensive.
— Well, and for how much?
«Well, a thousand pounds, I guess.»
«You’re a millionaire guy with such wealth, huh?»
— This is not entirely true, we are not England and not Europe.
— Not America and not China. — I picked up.
— Yes, what is there to argue.
With these words, Igor took a table knife and, shaking the sealing wax on a napkin, opened the bottle. Filling cognac glasses, he said:
— This drink needs to be breathed before drinking. This is because the taste is very combined with the filled aromas of the space of the room. Now we can smell this amazing smell of mountains, and the open spaces where this cognac grape variety is grown.
Listening to him, I began to catch the distant smells of eucalyptus leaves. Freshness of mountain air. And with a subtle breath of a distant bonfire. What is so appetizingly heard from the Armenian mountain expanses. Igor took a glass, stirred a drink with a glass.
— Well, now, you can feel the full sweetness of this drink. — And brought the glass clinking glasses with me, — Come on for friendship.
— For friendship! I repeated.
«You know; I won’t open your cognac.» We will now go down to the wine cellar, and I will put this bottle among Armenian cognacs in place of this cognac. Let stored for a long memory.
We also had a drink and had a bite of stuffed fish, which Igor ordered yesterday from a friend of his grandfather’s cook in an Armenian restaurant. The fish was delivered by a waiter in a passenger car, who refused to charge, citing the fact that the cook strictly ordered no charge. Igor said that the cook he knew was a friend of his grandfather, and that they had once fought together.
— Igor, have you tried to engage in your family business directly?
«How do you imagine that?» he asked in surprise.
«Well, by repairing the safes, opening the locks of the apartments, the owners of which accidentally slam the door and cannot get there.»
— You know that such a business is under special control of law enforcement agencies. Every month, I’ll tire of reporting to the tax office, taking permission to open a safe or apartment, and filling out declarations. And in general, more trouble than earning.
— Well, okay, you can still try, participate in any auction. If only the old safe of Catherine the Great.
«For two and a half million dollars?» — Igor said calmly. My hair moved on my head from such an amount.
«Well, this is an antique relic and belonged to your grandfather.»
«It’s not exactly what you think, Valentine.» Grandfather took this safe from Berlin, from a bombed house where our soldiers entered. Grandfather served in the quartermaster service for the export of stolen works of art from Germany. And this safe was delivered to my grandfather for repair, with subsequent transfer to the authorities after its restoration.
«And why did he get stuck here with you?»
— After the restoration, the grandfather turned to different authorities, even went to the historical museum with a request to hand over the relic. But everyone dismissed and did not even want to listen to him. So he took root with us. Imagine we stick with him at an auction. An heir will appear there and for a fee, a meager compared to its real value, he will take it for himself and he will already sell the safe at a decent price. Tell me do you need it?
— Yes of course. I heard that there are many clandestine antique buyers.
— Listen, Valentine, even so, everything is controlled by criminals. And if I declare the true value of the relics, as soon as they are found, the competent sculpted the papers, and will be taken away without delay, I don’t dare to dare to say about the price of this safe.
— And who knows about the values stored here?
— Sanzhik Sarkisovich, this is a grandfather’s friend, a cook. The rest are no longer alive.
«Have you told anyone about this?»
«No, of course, my grandmother, when she was still alive, reminded me of this almost every day.»
«And what prompted you to tell me about these antique relics?»
«I don’t have a friend like my grandfather had, and for some reason you turned out to be such that I can trust you.»
— I can keep my mouth shut so that you were not mistaken.
Igor filled his glasses again.
— Let’s drink for it.
We had a drink. Suddenly the doorbell rang. Igor ran to the door, looked through the peephole.
Then he returned to the kitchen.
«This is my mother’s boyfriend.» Apparently she chatted to him about the cellar.
Outside the door there was a knock on the door and a drunken grunt.
— Open, puppy. Your mother sent me, said that I brought a bottle from the cellar. This is her legacy.
Igor ran to the door and said, without opening the lock: — I’ll call the police and they will put you for hooliganism. Do you want?!
«No, you dare not.»
— Even as I dare! Get away from here! I give three minutes!
There were shuffling steps behind the door, calming in the distance.
— Gone? I asked for order.
— Still, the former prisoner had recently served for hooliganism. Here again for the old.
— Well, Igor, hold on. If they get it, then you can live with me, my mother will be glad. We have a three room apartment. We can provide you one, until all this has died down. Tell me, in the apartment, are there any values?
— No, all the valuables are demolished in the wine cellar. There a couple of Faberge eggs, grandfather brought from Germany, this safe in the corridor. But no one can take it out, because they dismantled the wall to bring it in, then they laid it, a heavy thing, you can’t take it without a crane.
— And in the wine cellar, how?
— There is a special door with double metal armor and a special hard alloy fireproof. So no cutting will take either gas or mechanical. Well, I’m not talking about castles. Come, I will show you my treasures. I got up, took a sip and drained my glass.
He led me to his room and to the wall that I saw in a dream with a portrait of a gray-haired man in a tailcoat. In the corner was a wardrobe. Igor went to the closet.
«Valentine help me push it aside.»
We rested, moved the closet to the side. A massive oak door opened. Igor with the key that he found on the bunch, opened the lock, and we were on the steps leading down. Having descended below the first floor, we stumbled upon a metal door, like a bomb shelter. Igor inserted a long key into the upper well and turned, there was a click, I heard the same click when he turned the key in the lower well of the lock. Then with two hands he began to rotate the wheel sticking out in the center of the door. The oval block of metal slowly opened, forming a fairly wide gap through which we penetrated into the dark basement room. Igor flicked a switch. A light flashed, and a gaze opened up to the space, completely laden with shelves with dust-covered bottles. In the center of the room was a safe on an antique table. Igor opened the lock of the safe with two keys, then the door. Two Faberge eggs stood on a shelf, illuminated by a safe bulb.
— These are two scripts of the famous jeweler Faberge. Nobody knows about these scripts where they are, and who keeps them in their secret collection. And in the closed compartment, in the upper part there is a famous diamond, lost in the Middle Ages. He is called differently by the Star of the East, and Aladdin, and there are still names. — With these words, Igor opened the upper part and took out a red velvet box from there. In it, with all the colors of the rainbow, a transparent rectangular diamond sparkled with a length of about thirty to forty millimeters, a side height of about eleven millimeters. The body of the diamond was engraved in Arabic script.
— This treasure that you hold in your hands is priceless! I exclaimed with admiration. «You, brother, are the richest man in the world!»
— Wow! But I didn’t think that it was so. — Igor smiled.
«Does Grandpa’s friend know about this?» I asked warningly.
— Sanzhik Sarkisovich, no, only I know about it, and now you will know.
«I am worried about these criminal elements your mother is with.» This is where the danger lies.
— Well, in the first mother never saw anything here. Grandpa wouldn’t let her in here. She was only rumored to know that grandfather had a wine cellar and that was it. By the way, she thinks that this cellar is in the country and that I bring wine from there. She grew up in this house in this apartment and does not know that behind this antique wardrobe there is an entrance to the vault.
«Well, then that changes the matter.»
Putting everything in its place, Igor closed the safe, then the wine cellar. Rising into the room, he put a bunch of keys near the oak door in the parquet floorboard, then covered the parquet gap with the floorboard. And, when we put the closet in place, again went to the kitchen. Having safely drunk cognac from my glass, I said goodbye to the owner of the treasures and went to the subway. There, sitting in the carriage, I thought how and where to help Igor sell at least part of the treasures or find money to start an antique business. And now to do this and nothing more, not thinking about how I will calmly continue to work at the plant, knowing about this fascinating business, promising an interesting life for an antique dealer and good wealth…
In the morning, the day after our meeting with Igor, he called me about 10 hours.
— Come, please, to me, we need to talk. — The voice was firm and confident, intuitively I realized that he wants to consult with me about something very important.
— Yes, of course, I’ll get together now and I’ll be with you for half an hour, since the metro works like a clock.
— Come on. Yes, don’t buy anything, I need you today, not gifts. Come on, I’m waiting.
«Are you going somewhere again?» — Mother asked uneasily.
— To Igor, we work in the technical bureau together, and, it seems, have become friends.
«Well, look, Valik, so that this friendship does not lead you to the bottleneck.»
— He is a serious guy, just like me, he doesn’t drink or even smoke. — I answered with a smile, gobbling up croutons, and drinking coffee, — Well, mom, I ran.
— Wait, where are you? Eat another serving.
— Thanks, mom.
Ten minutes later I was already in the subway, and after another 30 I clicked on the bell button of Igor’s apartment…
It was 1945. In Berlin, at the headquarters of the Soviet Army, Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov summoned the first secretary of his office.
— Allow me to enter, Comrade Marshal.
— Come in Shitikov.
A taut, high officer with a red folder under his arm entered the office. He straightened up, standing at attention.
— Colonel Shitikov, at your order arrived. — Colonel struck in a firm voice, standing as if in a parade on a stand, quietly at the door.
— Come in, sit here. — Zhukov indicated the nearest place to his desk.
The colonel, with a chased step, came closer to Zhukov, sat down on a chair and laid out a folder on the long meeting table with chairs installed around the perimeter of the marshal’s desk. From his breast pocket he took out a fountain pen with a golden pen tucked with purple ink and began to listen to what the Marshal of Victory would say.
— That’s What Colonel, find me the commander of the Army of the First Ukrainian Front, Major Peremet Oleg Mikhailovich. Deliver here immediately. And tell me, let the adjutant write out a pass in the name of Comrade Major, so that he does not have delays. I will sign. That’s an order.
«Yes, comrade Marshal!» Let me do it?! — said the colonel in a military manner, rising from his seat.
«Yes, do it as soon as possible so that he is here.» «By emphasizing the last word, Zhukov added.
An hour later, Major Peremet was already standing in front of the Marshal. Zhukov got up from the table and walked closer to the major. He reached out and shook him, with the words:
— Oleg, I remember our conversation in Kiev, where before the war I was the head of the Kiev military district. You then literally broke into my office. — Zhukov opened his safe, took out a bottle of American whiskey JAMESON poured into glasses.
— Let’s drink Oleg for our victory. «And he served the whiskey to the major.»
— For the Victory, for Stalin, and for the Motherland! the major said loudly and drained the drink in one gulp.
Zhukov watched him with a grin, sipping whiskey in small sips.
— Well, how? — he asked.
— Wow, but our vodka is better. — with a grin said the major.
You remember, before the war, the soldiers of the building battalion built defense structures in great secrecy, and in my basement, according to my order, a bomb shelter was built with the latest lock system and the entrance from your room.
«Of course, everything was done according to your instructions.» I even sent my daughter to a boarding school where repressed children studied. Now they are evacuating with my wife in Kazakhstan.
«Well, I suppose your daughter is already quite an adult?»
— Yes, she even managed to study for one year at Shevchenko University. That’s just one bad jumped out early in marriage, and she was widowed right away, her chosen one died for the first time during the war.
— Say, let them return to Kiev, it is time to rebuild the city, and indeed the entire economy of the country.
I invited you on a very important matter. You are a professional antique dealer, besides a hereditary collector of antiquity. — Zhukov led the major to an antique small table with crooked legs, each inlaid with gilded faces. There was a small safe on this table. The marshal took the keys from his pocket and opened the safe. From it I got two objects of oblong shape. Put next to the safe.
— I want to know what it is? Is there any value in general that can be bailed out at an antique auction?
— Oh, Georgy Konstantinovich, these things have no price. This is from the royal collection of very valuable items. They were once donated by the king of France to the imperial throne of Russia. And during the fire in the Winter Palace, these two objects disappeared without a trace. It can be said only now that they have been found and will be returned to Russia.
«Well, suppose I know that without you.» But on the other hand, now in Russia the devastation associated with the war and the consequences of the war on the face. Banditry and mismanagement are everywhere. It is necessary to restore order, legality, and raise the national economy. So tell me, how valuable is this find?
— According to my estimates, and so on an estimate, each Faberge egg will pull one and a half million dollars, if you are guided by the prices that went before the war. But in fact, given the fact that the lost collection is found, the price can reach ten million for each. Of course with documented authentication.
«And how can this be done?» asked the marshal with extreme interest.
— I know that an authoritative and famous jeweler expert worked here in Berlin, many value’s throughout Europe used his assessment of the authenticity of jewelry.
«Did you know him?»
— And not only knew, but had some correspondence, because of which I almost suffered. Thank you Georgy Konstantinovich, you saved me then.
— Let’s remember the address and for the cause. I need documented evidence of the authenticity of the products. I will give you a special pass, you will look for him with security. For everything about all three days.
— Allow to proceed immediately. — Major readily spoke out.
— No not today. But tomorrow you will arrive here and with two machine gunners you will leave in search.
Zhukov gave the order to print the order on the business trip of Major Peremet O. M. in submission to the marshal, until further notice. With this order, the major appeared in the unit, and the next day with two submachine gunners from the scout squad began searching for an expert.
An examination established the authenticity of Faberge and diamond products, which were examined by an expert and issued certificates of authenticity for each product. Then the marshal sent a major with captured furniture to Moscow with a detailed description and an order to deliver to the Kremlin. To the treasures; Faberge eggs and Zhukov diamond wrote a handwritten order to deliver these masterpieces of jewelry to the Kremlin’s treasury. The major folded the sheet in four and hid it with diamond in the breast pocket of the tunic. The diamond, neatly wrapped in a scarf, remained there in a pocket to be stored right up to Moscow, then Kiev, suggesting that after restoration, he, along with the safe of Catherine the Great, and an antique table, would bring the diamond to the Kremlin’s treasury. The seine was taken along with furniture and the safe of Catherine the Great for restoration. In Moscow, a sealed wagon from Germany was met by a special person authorized by Lavrenty Beria. He thoroughly checked the list of objects, examining each. All delivered pieces of furniture, carpets, fashionable clothes and kitchen utensils had numbers and marked names in a long list.
When the turn came to the safe of Catherine the Great, the captain accepting the wagon asked: —
— And this item, why is it not marked here?
— This item is intended for restoration. I was instructed how to deliver it to an antique dealer in Kiev for restoration. Look, the locks do not work, the tiled lining is covered with cracks, and rust appears in some places. After restoration, it will be delivered to the Kremlin, to the Armory.
— Discover! — ordered the captain. The seine opened a creaky heavy door. On the shelves were two cardboard boxes.
«What kind of things are these?!» — sternly, looking at the major, the captain asked.
— These are already my two toys for children from my grandfather, gifts from the war. — The major was misleading, hoping for the captain’s lack of awareness of rare specimens of Faberge priceless jewelry.
— Unpack, you need to look, what’s there?
The seine took out two boxes, opened two huge and colorful Easter eggs wrapped in rags. Faberge masterpieces appeared in the world.
— They know how to make toys for children. Okay, you major must bring something for loved ones, after all, we went through such a war before our Victory. Close this junk, restore.
When the turn came to an antique table with four-legged faces, the captain asked: — What is this shabby table for restoration? He is not on the list.
— So, comrade captain, I’m an antique dealer, after restoration, both the safe and this table will be delivered to the Kremlin, by oral order of Comrade Marshal Victory Zhukov.
The captain completed the inspection on the second day. And already in the office, Lavrenty Beria took out the order of Georgy Zhukov from the red folder with the attached list of trophies from Germany to replenish the Kremlin’s historic chambers and rooms. After reading the order, Beria tore the sheet into two parts in front of the captain who was standing at attention. Then he went to his desk, took a piece of government letterhead with typewritten text and a red seal on it, and handed it to the captain.
— Here is a new order from the higher authorities. Follow the instructions in it. You will return the order form to me personally.
— There is! — the captain put a new order in the folder, turned in a military circle and left.
«So,» the captain began to say, sitting down on a bench lying in the compartment of the car accompanying the cargo from Germany, «this is the order of Comrade Lavrenty Beria, furniture, clothes, carpets and utensils to take Comrade Zhukov to the Moscow apartment. And things for restoration, there is this dilapidated safe and a table in Kiev. Transport and soldiers will be allocated for loading. Here is the Act of cargo acceptance, bill of lading to Kiev and passes for transport police and commandant’s office. Depart tomorrow, on a truck with cargo…
Furniture, carpets and some utensils by order of Lavrenty Beria was delivered to Zhukov’s Moscow apartment. And at the request of the Marshal, Oleg Mikhailovich an antique table with a safe, in which priceless treasures of Faberge eggs and a twin diamond Shah were stored, were delivered to Kiev to Peremet’s apartment, to a secret bomb shelter to other valuable specimens, where a collection of old wines was stored…
«A year later, the famous «Trophy Case» took place in Moscow, during which the legendary Marshal of Victory was accused of misappropriation of various luxury goods. Georgy Zhukov admitted that he had indeed brought a lot of furniture, carpets and other fashionable utensils from Germany, and repented that he had not informed the higher authorities about this. As a result, he was transferred to the post of commander of the Ural Military District.
After Stalin’s death, the commander is returned to Moscow and, by order of Nikita Khrushchev, is appointed first deputy minister of defense, and later minister. By the way, Georgy Zhukov played far from the last role in the removal of Lavrenty Beria from power, who was his exposer in the Trophy Affair. According to most researchers, Marshal Zhukov became one of the key figures in the suppression of the 1956 Hungarian anti-communist uprising and carried out the rather bloody Whirlwind operation. After it, Khrushchev was frightened by the great influence of the Minister of Defense on the public and military leaders, so he achieved the complete removal of Georgy Zhukov from work and dismissed.»
And the priceless treasures delivered to Kiev became the property of the Oleg Peremet family
The door was opened by Igor.
— Come on in, there are a few ideas, you need to consult.
I took off my shoes and, jumping into slippers, followed him into the kitchen. Near the stove, with a Turk in which strong coffee was already boiling, Igor began to mess around.
— Have a seat. — He said, bringing the Turk and pouring coffee into cups. Croissants and cookies were lying on the table; it was evident that he had already managed to visit the deli. Then he sat down at the table and began to speak.
— I thought that since you are in courses about these treasures, then it’s time to tell you the story of their origin.
— My grandfather Peremet Oleg Mikhailovich, as you know, served as the quartermaster in the army of the first Ukrainian front during the war…
Igor’s grandfather didn’t report on the treasures he kept, fearing for the consequences for his family. And it was undertaken by Comrade Peremet, a major front-line soldier, an action that distracted the attention of the authorities from the main treasures — this is that he tried to give away the antique safe of Catherine the Great, as you know, the authorities dismissed the annoying assaults of the front-line soldier with such a request.
So, now the antique safe, Faberge eggs, and engraved diamond belong to Igor.
— I searched the Internet for historical reports about this diamond, and that the most interesting exact copy of it is in the Kremlin Armory. I checked the size of the diamond with the size of the treasure being stored, the copy is identical.
— Or maybe it’s just a glass? I asked warily.
— Look, here I wrote out the comparative sizes from the Internet, and those that were removed from our diamond are identical.
— I see that even in weight match.
«Well, of course, I checked it on a kitchen electronic scale, that’s for sure.» — Igor said.
— So this is the script. — I thoughtfully thought, — I am confused only by the fact that how it was possible to make two twins. After all, each stone must be different and absolutely identical diamonds do not exist in nature?
— I think that it was a solid crystal, which was split into two halves and then the master polished these parts, finishing to the same perfection, and then engraved.
— Wow! I exclaimed.
— This diamond was found in ancient times in India, and its identity with the Shah suggests that it has no price. — Igor remarked delightedly, — The certificates of the German expert are also present here, however, the expert did not even understand that this is the Twin Shah. And Shah in 1922 was transported from St. Petersburg to Moscow and placed in the Kremlin Armory.
— No, I do not think so. It seems to me that this copy of Shah, was made in Germany in the thirties from another diamond, suitable in shape and the engraving was carried out by more advanced methods.
— And how to understand this? — asked Igor.
— Do you have a diamond here? Let’s take a closer look. If all three inscriptions are identical in groove depth and evenness, then my assumption is correct.
«I don’t understand why to make a copy?» — Igor said, passing me the stone.
— Apparently, one of the customers really wanted to have the Shah diamond for something of their vanity, to raise a scandal in the world among collectors of ancient jewelry, and thus inflate the price at times. After all, this is not a glass, but a real diamond, clean and sparkling, as befits a diamond. — I held this treasure in my hands, admiring the work of the master, examining through a magnifying glass an even cut of grooves of the same depth study.
— Yes, Igor, this is a more modern work. The ancient masters did not have tools for inscribing on such a solid surface of equal depth and evenness. But its price from this will not be less, if not more than the cost of the Shah of the first 88.7 carats.
— On the Internet, the historical price of the Shah is four million royal rubles at the date of 1827. — Igor reported.
— Well, at an auction such a well-known stone can cost from twenty-one million to fifty million dollars, and this is not the limit. This is if a true connoisseur of precious stones wants to have in his collection this copy of the relic of the whole history of the events that accompany this stone.
I held this amazing piece of jewelry in my hands and fell in love with its sparkling facets every minute, feeling the magic power of diamond and some kind of hypnotic effect coming from the brilliance of its perfect transparent purity. With difficulty taking my eyes off the sparkling faces, I handed over the diamond to Igor. And silently, almost mechanically, he sipped his already-cooled coffee. Igor wrapped the stone in a soft suede napkin made of thin leather and hid the treasure in a box.
— Igor, this does not happen. There are no ideally identical diamonds. There can only be a skillfully executed fake. Here the suggestion suggests itself, what if a glass is kept in the Armory, a fake, and here we have a real Shah.
— Let’s also make some coffee and drink cognac.
Having a drink of coffee with cognac croissant with apple jam, I began to reason.
— Think, and simply according to the available photographs and drawings, the jeweler made an exact copy of Shah, and when transporting from the treasury of the Winter Palace in 1922 to Moscow, the shah was replaced. Well, how can we prove that this stone from the Armory already belongs to you. This would be so if the grandfather left a list of treasures in your name in the will. He is not there? — I carefully looked at Igor.
— The fact of the matter is that no. And no one began to engage in the search for Shah, neither the German authorities, nor the Soviet authorities because everyone knew that the stone was stored in the Kremlin.
— The German expert, of course, informed his German post-war authorities about his expertise in stone. And they checked that Shah was in the Kremlin treasury, and Zhukov, apparently for some reason the higher Kremlin authorities, carried out an examination of the diamond on their instructions. Therefore, this copy fell out of sight of the competent authorities. — I spoke authoritatively, — and now it belongs entirely to you.
«And now what?» What should I do with this, and what should I do? — Igor began to speak vaguely.
«It all depends on you.» — I said, trying to help him, I will determine the problem of treasures.
— Like this?
«Well, how, for example, you want to keep a stone for yourself and pass it on to your heirs.» Either give or sell.
— Well, give it, it is unlikely. But to sell this is something.
— Our state is not stable, like France, Germany, or England. There is Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and finally, the tiny state of Andorra, where they will not ask you who the real customer of this product is, but will always assume that it is yours. But there is one problem, this diamond has unique value and information about it has probably been preserved. As soon as you announce it. Therefore, you must become an anonymous seller and agree on the auction of precious stones anonymously, putting it up for sale for twenty-one million dollars. Such a thing, I am one hundred percent sure that it will be successful. Since the royal courts, whether it be Spain, Great Britain, Japan, the Rajas of India, the Royal House of Saudi Arabia and so on with great pleasure will buy this diamond no matter how much it stands. You just need to correctly name it, for example, Shah the second, the Shah Twin, or simply the Twin, to show that this is not the original, but a real diamond and is an exact copy of the Shah.
— Well, Valentine, but where to find such an auction?
— I heard that such auctions are held in Hong Kong. It is necessary to investigate the issue of auctions in Hong Kong and the conditions that must be provided for bidding.
— Well, what about Valentine, I’ll take up the search for ways to participate in this auction. And, something worries me that such an event requires funds, and not small ones. And we do not have these funds.
— It turns out some kind of vicious circle. — I said, and added, — We can’t even lay a Faberge egg, as soon as we get the attention of various criminal rabble and law enforcement agencies with them.
— Therefore, we will hurry in a hurry.
— What is it like? Slowly but surely? I asked with a smile, adding, «I think that is enough for today.» We still need to rest, because tomorrow early to get to work.
On this I said goodbye to Igor until tomorrow…
On Monday, we met with Igor in the technological bureau of the machine shop. After five minutes, which was always carried out by the leader, and we received tasks on the working day, we went out for a smoke break. Since Igor and I are not smokers, we stepped aside and began to eagerly discuss our search for suitable auctions of ancient antique stones. As I expected, Igor was inclined to believe that Hong Kong is the most ideal trading environment.
— Have you found out who can become a seller? — I asked Igor when we moved away from excess ears.
— Absolutely anyone can put jewelry for sale. If the jewelry is suitable for auction and is a high-quality product, the administration will be happy to put the stone up for auction. I even found out that preference is given to stones with a rich history. So I’m sure that the Shah Twin will go under the hammer of the auction. In addition, experts inspect and recommend the starting price at which bidding will begin. — Igor enthusiastically began to speak, — I’m only worried about one single question, where can I get money for a trip to Christie’s auction in Chinese Hong Kong?
— We have one single way out. — I said mysteriously. Igor’s eyes lit up.
— Which one? — he asked.
— Win at the casino, at roulette.
— No, I thought about it, even tried to create a system. All to no avail. This is a failure. — He objected categorically.
«Then it costs you nothing, you have to hand over one Faberge egg to the Kremlin Armory.» This is the worthiest outlet for you. — I declared authoritatively.
«And to get twenty-five percent of the fifteen thousand dollars, this antique thing will be appreciated there as cheaply as possible.» And buy a one-way tour package? — Igor answered offended.
— What are you so worried about friend. Take the diamond and sell it there. Believe me, this is the only way. — I began to persuade him.
— And draw attention to me. Tracking will begin for me, I am sure that they will penetrate me, install listening devices in the apartment, and even cameras. I will only draw unhealthy attention to myself. No, this option is not suitable. I think that the only way out is to get a loan from the Bank on the security of an apartment. And when I become a millionaire, come home and work, as if nothing had happened, paying a loan from my salary. Until I pay. Then in a year it will be possible to come up with something, where to invest the money and live from those funds that will drip on interest.
— Yes, there’s nothing to think about, having opened abroad, a bank account immediately there in Hong Kong there are branches of various banks. If only Raiffeisen Bank. In this bank you open an account here. There you take a loan, which is transferred to you on a credit card. In Hong Kong, you reissue your card at the Chinese branch of the Swiss bank so that no one knows how much money you have in your account. Those who want to know will track only your credit funds on the card that you issued in Ukraine, that’s all. And interest from the proceeds of money for a diamond will drop in another branch of the bank.
«Yes, friend, you’re right, as always.» But you still need to finalize at least to leave. And then do this operation…
Four months have passed since our conversation. May days were already warm. The first tender leaves on the birch branches at the window of our workshop technology bureau were green, growing every day, and the sticky buds of chestnuts blossomed with the greens of chestnut leaves. The air around was fragrant with awakening nature, saturated with spicy aromas of spring. And the girls smiled at us and the birds sang especially joyfully, welcoming the warm rays of the spring sun. On such days, I wanted to quickly get out of the stuffy production room into the countryside. Forgetting work, tedious calculations and all these tolerances and landings, part drawings and digital machining programs, machines and accessories of a universal assembly and not a universal one. And just carefree to merge with nature, without thinking about anything, just enjoy the fact that you are part of this riot of life. On such a spring day, Igor suddenly came up to me and said.
— I want to invite Alla to a picnic. But then I came across one problem, she does not want to go alone.
— Does she have children? I asked, laughing.
— Yes, you went. Worse, friend, like a bath sheet stuck to her and does not lag behind. The three of us even went to the movies. So you know, the double of Freddy Mercury sang all his songs, and in general an interesting film, but I did not like this artist. Not at all like that.
— Come on, I understood everything. What is her name?
— Whom? Well, Alla’s girlfriend?
«Oh yes,» Igor went down to earth, «Lera.»
— So this is the one sitting next to a computer drawing machine.
— That, that.
— You say that if one does not want to go on a picnic with you, then you will invite me.
— Yes, Alla will be delighted, she herself told me when you introduce us to your friend, that is, her and Leroux with you.
«Yes, I already understood that.»
We stood on the smoking area for some time, until the master of the milling section came to us, we had to go to the bureau…
The girls came both in jeans trousers with a travel bag on Allan’s shoulder. The girl had straw-colored, slightly curly hair, usually she wore it loose over her shoulders, today they were braided in a braid, which she laid on the right side of the chest. Lera had hair, black ones grabbed at the back of her head, and a ponytail dangled behind her back.
— Hi boys. — In her own way, coming up, Alla greeted. Her big gray eyes sparkled with a snow-white smile.
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