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A STORY FROM THE TIME

Nenko returned to them late. He was frowning, flushed tonight. A young man still – he used to lean on an old man: a camp bent, his forehead wrinkled with care, his eyes slain and embarrassed, and his gait heavy and drawn, like a sick man; His face bore a stern imprint, such as that of long-term fevers or irritability. He scoffed at the kids screaming in the yard and walked into one of the two small rooms at the bottom. There was already a gas light on. In the corner lay a woman with a young but drained face. Next to her, a little girl in a tattered dress was giving her something to drink in a ring pan.
When Lennon saw Nenka coming in, she straightened her head and asked in a weak voice,
“What is it, Nenko?”
Nenko tossed his hat, sat heavily on the ark, and propped his head darkly with his hands, without answering.
She understood what she was asking.
“Nothing again?” – the search is painful.
– What are you? He asked sharply, getting up.
“Not yet,” his wife replied.
“Didn’t he feel something from that remedy?”
– No. We didn’t buy, Nenko.
Nenko turned to the boy angrily.
” Actually , I gave you a lion . Where did I get it?”
His daughter snuck something in tears.
“Listen, Nenko, don’t be angry,” said the sick pal, “we bought half a lion’s bread, because, you know?… You can’t make up the kids … And with the other, we bought gas and soap …”
Nenko turned away from his wife; fierce grief was expressed on his face. He walked across the room, eyes fixed on the ground.
“And tomorrow, money is needed … Eight throats – and I have no broken steam,” he grumbled.
– Mother! – groans the patient – what should I do these … Tomorrow, like jealousy to eat again … Until there was health, it was working, and whatever … Now I am too broken – what will be done, I do not know. Look, Nenko, look … As I look at you so worried that I won’t get up too … Look, look, Nenko.
“What can I see, Ano?” It’s been a long time since I knock on a thousand gates – nothing… It bothers to have Philip put me on the saw – others settle in…
”“ What will you do, Philip? Esnaf man. You hold the great ones, Nenko … Go again to Mr. Haikova. Nenko frowned.
– At Haikov? I will not go anymore: it will be “I will and I will see” – how much I go to ask him … She is very much. I needed him when we had to get a deputy to elect him… then what’s wrong with me is to just tear down Stoyan Kunchov! And now?… The poor man and the Lord forget him.
“Go again tomorrow,” his wife insisted … “He had told me he was going to work for you … He would be a
big man. Nenko put his hat on and headed for the door.”
“Where now?”
“Bye Philip again.” He’s on the shop now … I’m going to loan him money. Tomorrow is needed for a cure and for one thing.
– God, live this man up to look at us for mercy. He has you as a son, Nenko.
“I’m embarrassed, Ano, and bye Philip to go … I’m still lying to him that I will pay him to find a job today … And he gives again … I tell you, I’m ashamed already.” But you have to smile. I’ll blink and now … well then damn it!
And Nenko popped out.
II

And this person’s situation was really difficult. Nenko was a poor man. If it were a single woman, this word would not be in our place: one soul, how to eat, eat; but Nenko had a large number of children: six children, at least five months old, and the mother ill – for as long as possible due to the delivery. These six children wanted to eat in the morning and evening – every day – without having to eat every day; the patient could not catch anything and did not recover. They say our weight is lighter when others share it; it is true that there is no sadness for a father in Nenka’s situation. A series of misfortunes in life had brought Nenka to that sad extreme. A small but honest merchant before the Russo-Turkish War, he was utterly scattered through it, like thousands and thousands of Bulgarians in Thrace. After the end of the war, he settled down in his half-ruined hometown, which he would not leave anymore. There he caught various trades. the insignificant capitalist threw him. Laney closed the grocery store, which left him a debt to Philip’s bye. He has since been vacant and is looking for a maid to pass away, he and his children.
– I was spinning, I was sucking – I wouldn’t; again the service will wash me. Big dealers did like me – cut off trade and get caught in the moonlight, Nenko told himself.
And he was looking for a job. At first he sought to get a man into his office (he was illiterate and did not go higher), then tried to get a clerk in a customs office or somewhere at a station, and finally became grateful and put him on the barrier. to look after the bout; but there was nowhere for him to open. True, he had twice smelled a vacancy for a reseller service, but when he presented himself to ask for it, they had told him that they could not accept him because he was not a “champion” … “I am burned out!” He replied, but in vain … So he walked empty for more than a year and a half already in the barren treading of the doorsteps and tapping the service gates. Every day his situation became more difficult; at first the scanties, then the miseries penetrated all the doors and windows of his house. His wife went day and night like a machine, and only the small profits from the yarn fed the house, but for five months she lay sick, and to this day – and hunger came to visit … Nenko was missing all day and only returned late one evening with a forehead full of angry wrinkles and black clouds. The children remained silent when their father surrendered. They saw him as little tormentors and tyrants – sent by God for his punishment – to whom their throats always wanted to eat, and he saw them as a scarecrow with their frown, and to all the house was black and dungeon-like. she was squeezing and choking on her bare walls, but they couldn’t get rid of her… The children remained silent when their father surrendered. They saw him as little tormentors and tyrants – sent by God for his punishment – to whom their throats always wanted to eat, and he saw them as a scarecrow with their frown, and to all the house was black and dungeon-like. she was squeezing and choking on her bare walls, but they couldn’t get rid of her… The children remained silent when their father surrendered. They saw him as little tormentors and tyrants – sent by God for his punishment – to whom their throats always wanted to eat, and he saw them as a scarecrow with their frown, and to all the house was black and dungeon-like. she was squeezing and choking on her bare walls, but they couldn’t get rid of her…
III

As soon as they noticed that their father was out, the children noisily rushed inside to their mother with a coma in their hands. Bare, ragged, with pale faces, they tore hungry loaves; they surrounded her mother and stared innocently, astonished and sad at her long, sickly face. She was panting and drifting off to sleep. The heavy-handed conversation with her husband, in which reality revealed itself again before her eyes in all its lightness and helplessness, upset her and tired her. She was looking to rest now, with the rest of the restless children making noise in the room. Della kicked something in and out, but not dinner for her father – he hadn’t eaten at home since his sick wife lay. Even small, the need taught her labor and patience early on, and she had taken care of all the home care, looked at the sick,
At one point, the children fell silent and rushed home like a frightened one. They heard that the door slammed and their father had to go. Indeed, Nenko came back with a bundle in his hand. Wondering, his face was completely different now: a good smile lit him up, it wasn’t so welcoming and good for a long time.
– Anke, are you asleep? He asked the patient. She opened her eyes and immediately noticed the look on his face. She rested her elbows on the pillow.
“It’s a good job,” he told her.
“What?” Bye Philip? ”She asked excitedly.
– Bye Philip I saw, but before I went to see Philip, Mr. Haykov met me and told me that he had deliberately touched me today to call me, that he had found me a job, probably, to report to the police tomorrow.
The patient’s face lit up.
“What service, Nenko?”
– Watchman! Nenko replied.
He uttered that word without enthusiasm. Obviously, he did not like this service: he was neither a drill nor thought of a guard.
And in his wife’s face, with joy, a look of amazement appeared.
“Mr. Haykov could have done the job for me,” Nenko added; – by a gendarme merchant; I will accept what I will do, I will not go to shop… Thank God and that she is found…
”“ Holy Mother of God, please again, ”Anna blurted out, crossing herself with a crucifixion.
– Where are the little ones? Let’s come have dinner together, I bought a friend, ”Nenko said, unfolding the towel.
“Huh, Delkie, call them the little dudes now …”
For many months, Nenko had not smiled at home and had not spoken a kind word to his children. Now, smiling and fateful, his good feelings and paternal tenderness spoke in his naturally kind heart again. The children, with astonished eyes, moistened by the infinite joy of a child, surrounded their father, who, for the first time, instead of rough looks or slaps, gave them gentle smiles … Good makes a good man. By a mysterious mental impact, the mother suddenly remembers better. She attended the dinner and drank a nice cup of the nice Nenko Nela sent Della to buy. Nank’s house glowed with a common and heartfelt joy that night: hope was finally a guest here.
IV

The new service, however heartless and in character Nenka was, found in him a well-known and active performer. He was aware that this service was his salvation and the salvation of his family; so he embraced her with warmth and almost love.
The command soon noticed his agility and wit, and he assigned the more important orders to him. Otherwise, Nenko revived, cheered and changed: his face brightened and rejuvenated, his eyes looked lively and confident. The dark yellow guard shape lay against him and stood beautifully on the now-standing fence. His children enthusiastically descended on him to touch his red excels and to lift his heavy sword when he came to them. Their joy was unspoken when they looked at their father in such colorful “captain” clothes. Anna and she soon set about healing, she could already walk around the house and catch one another. With the first month’s salary, Nenko got a lot of money: his house got some of the things he needed, and a modest dinner awaited him every night when he wasn’t on duty, and with some of the salary in the coming months, he was about to pay off his debt to Philip. Nenka’s house rose quickly, thanks to the reasonable distribution of the small moon. And Nenko was clinging to his post more and more, a bright era in his dark and very difficult existence. This affront had warmed to him since the bailiff had been well-treated – his real boss, a strict man, but understanding.
By the second month he was even better. His previous prejudice against the police service has completely disappeared. Nenko realized that this would be his career in the future, and he decided to hold on to it. But in the middle of the second month, a cloud passed through Nenka’s horizon: they appointed another bailiff. This clerk was rude, fierce and quite bumpy. He had neither the ability of his predecessor nor his justice to appreciate the qualities of his subordinates and to give them affection for themselves: he only managed to inspire them to fear… But they noticed that he was stronger than the first bailiff. because he did all kinds of arbitrariness without fear of responsibility; apparently he was leaning on a strong back. Nenko tripled his energy and zeal so as not to give us the slightest cause of dissatisfaction. He patiently conveyed all the contrition and injustice of his new boss. He was outraged, but he was glowing with it. The ghost of the previous poor was frightening him and was making him suffer a bit from the current woes. They were so insignificant compared to the first! But they also disappeared from his mind, as soon as he found himself at home, in the circle of his family, of which he was now providential. The house was buying a dark and cold stretch. And Nenko’s existence continued so quietly, almost safely. The house was buying a dark and cold stretch. And Nenko’s existence continued so quietly, almost safely. The house was buying a dark and cold stretch. And Nenko’s existence continued so quietly, almost safely.
V

The third month of his service, which was in August 1886, brought about the well-known political turmoil that had a profound effect on Nenk’s fate. Police activity is boiling and passionate. Like all prisons and precincts, Nenkovy became full of prisoners. Nenko was most zealous for this work. He was a thrower. A simple man with too limited civic development, he was vaguely aware of the significance of events in which he too played a role. He saw in them a mostly opportune occasion to develop even greater activity and energy, and to gain through this the position of his superior. No other moral urge or political passion moved him. “Politics is for the great, and we, the small ferrets, only have to listen to what they tell us and keep the morsel that gives us the kingdom,” Nenko thought. For a whole Sunday, he fell like a lightning bolt to all who had come to him from the arresting quarters. He had awakened the penny’s urge, and he was already enjoying this human hunt. One case only made him sad: he was forced to jail and beat Philip, who facilitated him in difficult times. When he called his wife in the evening, she was terribly angry, but soon she became convinced that Nenko could not have done otherwise by command. In general, during those anxious days, Nenko stayed with them for a little while, and he ate and ran on the stretch where he was called by a lot of work and nights. he was forced to jail and beat up Philip, who facilitated him during difficult times. When he called his wife in the evening, she was terribly angry, but soon she became convinced that Nenko could not have done otherwise by command. In general, during those anxious days, Nenko stayed with them for a little while, and he ate and ran on the stretch where he was called by a lot of work and nights. he was forced to jail and beat up Philip, who facilitated him during difficult times. When he called his wife in the evening, she was terribly angry, but soon she became convinced that Nenko could not have done otherwise by command. In general, during those anxious days, Nenko stayed with them for a little while, and he ate and ran on the stretch where he was called by a lot of work and nights.
One evening, one hour after they had sent Nenka out of dinner and were just about to go to bed, the neck tumbled. As she hit, Anna knew her husband was coming back. “What for?” She thought.
– Case, go open to your father.
Soon Nenko set out in the yard. Anna greeted him, but he didn’t say anything and entered the room. In the light of the lamp, his wife saw that his face was very sad. She asked him anxiously what had happened.
He put on his casket, guarded the sweat that flowed heavily on his forehead, and groaned deeply and gloomily.
“You ran a lot of somewhere again and you sweated … What is it, Nenko?” She repeated.
“Bad, bad, Ano, don’t ask …” he blurted out deafly.
Anna moved her heart at those terrible words. Tears flashed against her eyes.
– What is it, they took out a cigar? She asked in a stiff voice.
Nenko was startled to see how terribly pale Anna was and trembling; he hastened to reassure her:
“No, not this, Ano … listen …
” “No?” What is it? Why did he come?
And she was staring at the painful, glowing look in his.
“No, I’m telling you, Ano – listen …” he babbled.
“Nenko, what is the job?”
Nenko sighed deeply and for a long time.
“That’s the job,” he said, getting straight and staring at his wife’s pale face… “The bailiff is calling me to his office tonight …” He tells me: – Nenko, down in the cellar of the precinct, how many people did you put in? “Eleven people, Mr. Bailiff, there are …” “Is Stoyan Kunchov there?” “And he’s there, I say…” “Take it, say, get them out of there, put them elsewhere, and only Kunchov to stay in the cellar. “All right, Mr. Bailiff, and they asked me to move them today that they would choke …” “Listen, Mr. Bailiff, I say. “Listen again, he tells me again: do you see that wand?” And I’m looking in the corner: no stick, well, whole cross… I wanted to know where the word was going… ”“ Take, say, that stick, you have healthy hands, and paw, paw, paw until no bones remain healthy … Listen? I got the hair on my head. “Mr. Bailiff, I say, forgive, but I can’t do such a thing … I was a merchant man …” “What the hell were you, I don’t know; now you serve your fatherland and not your fatherland, but sacrifice your life! You hear, to sacrifice your life for the salvation of the Fatherland! And if you’re thinking, take off the shape and the saber, now!… His eyes glowed like a beast. I was amazed. What, to go beat a man with a tree like a dog! Did Kunchov do anything to me? How do I raise my hand at a person innocent and take sin?… I said to say these works on the dock, but he, as crazy as he is… I thought about you and the children, we will be left without bread again, as they expel me… Only as I remind myself, Ano, this, my world is turning. I thought, I thought, I said to myself,
Nenko crossed and didn’t do it.
“And you went to the cellar to beat the man?” Cried Anna, frightened.
He looked at her cool.
“What should I do?” He asked timidly.
– Resign! Cried Anna, shooting him a glance.
“Woman, I did so, and I wouldn’t want anyone … And I’ll be hungry again,” Nenko said lowly.
– Right? Okay; I’m getting better, I’m going to work … The Lord will not leave us! … “cried Anna childishly.
But two minutes later, when Nenko came out to fetch her belongings from the stretch, something squeezed her throat, and she slammed to the ground and flared like crazy: hunger, grief, and misery were coming again tomorrow.
VI

There was a cheerful conversation between the guards on the mornings.
– But a goose, eh! One wondered. -Spit on bread for the Hut of the Kunch’s Dirk … Did you help with that? Kunchov eats paint again…
“And what a fight, it will keep him moist, even if he is alive,” added another wittily.
“Really, scary grandma, this Nenko mascara came out.
– Will Kunchov now tie him a month?
– Well, we did it to our will. My arm threw up, ”a dry and black guard said, extending his right hand through the air.
– How much did you hit Kunchova, did you count?
– I counted them in one place, snips, I cut.
“I counted them,” a young man with barely a mustache of guards responded.
– How many? Ninety-six?
The young boy looked proud, pa saying:
“You’re a long way off, Christo: how many times did you burst the Byri in the Constantinople, have you been there?”
“One hundred and one times?”
– Yes!
And the guard again cast his victorious gaze on his comrades.
– And all on goal?
– Yes.
“And what a dare you did?” He laughed cheerfully and loudly at one.
But he roared like a Turkish storm.
“And why would he want him?”
“Who the hell knows him?” Haykov and the bailiff whispered something last night, then… But my dad was getting up, spraying that red fountain on his flesh…
And everyone laughed.
Then, from those greedy details, they passed on to Nenka and showered the taunts and reproaches of his stupidity that he showed that night. And there was a reason: for these people, it was incomprehensible and incomprehensible to Nenkov to refuse service for such nothing and no work.
Oh, cruel times! Oh, cruel tribe!
The heroism of mercy is a stranger to your soul! Cruelty is an element inherent in our Bulgarian nature, it penetrated our flesh and blood along with the first breaths of life, along with the poisoned milk of our slave mothers. Don’t tell me about the great times; do not justify, through the political storms that angered our country, this terrible manifestation in our national character. The history of no European revolution in the nineteenth century has been marked by such ruthless atrocities and cruel atrocities. None of these revolutions have Konarethas, the Staropathians, with brutal torture! Bloody rivers flowed, thousands of heads fell, thrones and kingdoms collapsed, but these events were nothing but terrible – they did not disgust their cruelty. To kill an armed and dangerous enemy is forgiving, it is the natural, cruel, natural law of self-defense, though Count Tolstoy also considers it a crime and a case incompatible with the high ideal of Christianity. But to torture or to torture a tied and defenseless victim, to no avail, without need, often without knowing it, is a barbaric cannibal, explained only through the lowest cultural level; but since we are Europeans and a progressive nation, how else can we interpret the same ugly phenomenon in us, if not through our innate sense of cruelty and unmercifulness towards our neighbor, born of our children? We saw not long ago in the capital the hanging of a few villains. Do you know who did this terrible and disgusting act? A few guards who voluntarily accepted the role of gelatin … Some of these people are married, have a family, and in the evening they will hug their innocent little children with the same hands, with which they hooked the rope pendant with his shameful veil. In France, where there is a death pot, the authorities would be sweaty enough to find what it would cost for hunters to replace the state gelatin in case it disappears. This cruelty is not only a part of people from low backgrounds, of the classmates – it is natural for both the enlightened and the university students!… I dare not give examples that shame floods my forehead!… the window, “says a world proverb. In our country, too: books, science, ideology only manage to bring the fierce urges in our soul, but not to drive them out of it. Such rebirths do not become so easy, they must be worked for generations; it takes gigantic efforts to soften the morals of this people and make the one who brings the sword, and he who holds the book will know that before they are Bulgarians and Tigers, they are human. I would like to see a new science introduced in our schools, with other sciences: about philanthropy. Let this great principle of humanity penetrate into the hut, the palace and the church. Instead of saying, “Union makes power,” the motto of the high political, let the gentle words of Jesus Christ, “Love one another!”, Be the high motto above the doors of the National Assembly. In our country, various new progressive teachings have penetrated overseas: we have liberals, we have partisans of socialism, we have them of democracy, we even have a republican and radical party. Is there no one to set up a charity party?… to introduce a new science: about humanity. Let this great principle of humanity penetrate into the hut, the palace and the church. Instead of saying, “Union makes power,” the motto of the high political, let the gentle words of Jesus Christ, “Love one another!”, Be the high motto above the doors of the National Assembly. In our country, various new progressive teachings have penetrated overseas: we have liberals, we have partisans of socialism, we have them of democracy, we even have a republican and radical party. Is there no one to set up a charity party?… to introduce a new science: about humanity. Let this great principle of humanity penetrate into the hut, the palace and the church. Instead of saying, “Union makes power,” the motto of the high political, let the gentle words of Jesus Christ, “Love one another!”, Be the high motto above the doors of the National Assembly. In our country, various new progressive teachings have penetrated overseas: we have liberals, we have partisans of socialism, we have them of democracy, we even have a republican and radical party. Is there no one to set up a charity party?… “Love one another!” – the motto of the highly human! In our country, various new progressive teachings have penetrated overseas: we have liberals, we have partisans of socialism, we have them of democracy, we even have a republican and radical party. Is there no one to set up a charity party?… “Love one another!” – the motto of the highly human! In our country, various new progressive teachings have penetrated overseas: we have liberals, we have partisans of socialism, we have them of democracy, we even have a republican and radical party. Is there no one to set up a charity party?…

1893

(Source: Ivan Vazov. Collected Works in 22 volumes. Volume 9, Bulgarian Writer, p. 1976. Recruited and brought to the web by Martin Mitov)

Ivan Vazov (1850-1921)