The story that I have written for you, you may not believe, but it really happened, and if you want to learn an unusual story you should read it by all means. A lot of interesting things have taken place in my life, but I’ll relate it at another time, I won’t take your time now.
I live in the city that is more than 1500 years old. I have an apartment on the old street of it. The house where we live, has basements, one of them belongs to our family.
I like to rummage in things, especially in old ones. There was a big old chest in this basement. I had always wanted to open it and see what was in it, as my Granny used to prohibit me to come closer to it, that`s why this chest was closed for me.
I was fourteen years old in 1985 when my Granny was gone. I loved her and suffered very much.
At the same time, I couldn’t forget that chest which I wanted to look into. One day I took the basement key without permission, went down and opened the chest. There were a lot of stuff inside it, but I didn’t rummage much because for some reason, my attention was straightly drawn by one thing. It was something like a diary though it didn’t look like a diary. The cover was so worn out that it came apart in my hands as I touched.
I am relating to you the exact story described on these papers: this story happens in an old town.
A boy is sitting in an apartment of one of the houses of this town. His name is Thomas.
Thomas has become seventeen years old today. He has had only one guest for today, it was the doorman of this house where Thomas lived. He was mute, because he had no tongue.
Thomas’s whole family died a week ago that’s why he was so lonely.
He is very depressed; he takes a book and starts to read. He closes the book in a few minutes and goes out for a walk.
After three hours stroll he, tired, comes back home, lies down and sinks in thoughts, soon he falls asleep.
In the morning he wakes up with the thought that he has to change something in his life, because he can’t go on existence so depressed. He gets up quickly, puts himself in order and goes to university.
Friends meet him at university.
One of his friends, David: Where have you been? You haven’t come to lectures for a week.
Thomas: It’s hard to get used to what has happened, I spent all the time in thinking.
David: When a professor learnt about your absence he got very angry and asked me to see you, if you haven’t come today I was going to visit you tomorrow.
Thomas: I’ll go up to him and talk.
Then Thomas said goodbye to his friend ran up the stairs and knocked at the door at the end of the corridor.
Professor: Come in, Thomas you?! Come in, come in. Do you know how I worried about you? And besides it I promised your deceased father to take care of you. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you but he came to me two days earlier his death and I promised him to take care of your future.
Thomas: Professor, I decided to continue my studies. I spent this time thinking of it.
Professor: This decision will give you belief, first of all to go on living.
Thomas: I know that’s a right decision and thank you for your encouragement.
Professor: If you let me know what you are going to do I’ll be grateful.
Thomas: Professor, I highly appreciate your point of view. Tell me what I should do in life and I’ll take it into consideration.
Professor: Do as you decided and I’ll help in every way. Now you should go to the lecture. We’ll have the chance to talk later.
Thomas said goodbye to the professor and went into the corridor. A stranger was waiting for him there.
The stranger: I have some business with you. I used to work with your farther. If you allow me, I’ll wait for you and talk to you after lectures.
Thomas nodded him as a sign of his agreement and went to the lecture.
The stranger went out of the building and sat down on the bench in the small square on the opposite side, took out the cigarette and began to smoke.
After the lectures Thomas went down to the university yard and got the square, he noticed the stranger sitting on the bench, came nearer and sat down next to him.
The stranger: My name’s Shvarc, I am here on your father’s instruction. He asked me to make friends with you, as if he knew about this tragedy and foresaw these moments. As we have to solve a difficult task, he sent me to you if you don’t mind.
Thomas: Are a detective, too?
Shvarc: Yes, we used to work together. I’d like to give you your father’s golden pen. He always had it with him and gave it to me that day when he asked me to come to you.
Thomas: Thank you, my dad used to have a real collection of pens. All right, now let’s proceed to the point and tell me if you found out what happened in that evening. Why did my family leave that damned party so suddenly?
Shvarc: I acquainted myself with the materials of investigation and from the guests’ testimony it seems that Carl was too anxious. From one of the witness’s testimony it’s clear that your father got anxious at time when a guest came in and he suddenly left the party. What happened later you know and I won’t repeat it.
Thomas: No, Mr. Shvarc. I only know that dad’s car went out of the road and fell into the ravine, I don’t know details.
Shvarc: The car examination showed us all parts were in order, that’s why it’s possible to admit that something ran across before the car and Carl braked badly.
Thomas: I don’t know how it happened, dad used to drive well. Tell me, how can you explain that parents had completely white hair after the accident?
Shvarc: I think about this issue and I cannot understand what the point is. It’s impossible such changes occurred while the car was falling. Carl was a good driver really.
Thomas: Can you find out who was the reason of my dad’s leaving that party? Why did they leave my uncle’s palace so senselessly?
Shvarc: Of course, it’s a very suspicious fact that Carl left the party so suddenly. I have to find out tomorrow why a detective didn’t investigate who was that person or what relation it had with Carl. OK, I’ll try to get necessary information for us and inform you then. My new friend I have to leave you for a while, because I’m very busy.
Shvarc and Thomas said good buy to each other and went away.
Thomas decided to visit his uncle and went along the narrow street which stretched to the end of the town, where was his uncle’s palace. As he entered the palace he went along the wide corridor, at the end of which there was his uncle’s study. Thomas knocked at the door but there was no answer. It was strange that entering the palace he didn’t meet anyone. Neither a doorman who never left his post, the door was notably open. Thomas opened the study door, because he heard some noise inside. He looked into, but there was nobody. He closed the door and entered the kitchen through the corridor. He learnt from the maid his uncle, Mr. Hallen was walking in the garden. He went out from the kitchen backdoor and saw his uncle, who was talking to a tall man. This man, as he had noticed Thomas, said goodbye to Mr. Hallen slowly and left that place in a hurry.
Mr. Hallen noticed all this and went towards Thomas.
Mr. Hallen: How are you, Thomas? Where have you been? Why didn’t you come to me? You shouldn’t leave this old man alone.
Thomas turned his head in a strange way and looked towards the direction where the stranger vanished away.
Thomas: Who was that man? I had a bad feeling as I saw him. Why did he leave so soon?
Mr. Hallen: No, what are you talking about? He was just in a hurry furthermore, we`d had a long talk.
Thomas: Can you tell me who he is?
Mr. Hallen: He’s my colleague.
Thomas: Does your colleague have a name?
Mr. Hallen: His name’s Eshman Loz. We are working on an issue, he’s a doctor. Now you reply. Why haven’t you come?
Thomas: I had to do a lot at university and I was busy. Uncle Hallen, tell me, who was that person who made my dad leave the party.
Mr. Hallen: He’s my and your father’s childhood friend. They had a problem, that’s why Carl didn’t like his coming.
Thomas: Uncle, I think you don’t tell me everything. What are you hiding?! Say or I’ll never step into your home and you’ll never learn about me.
Mr. Hallen got white as a white brick and his lips got blue.
Mr. Hallen: What are you talking about? Aren’t you ashamed? Why should I deceive you? I don’t know anything.
Thomas; You know everything very well and you hide something. I insist on telling me the truth.
Mr. Hallen; I told you he’s your father’s old friend. They had some trouble that was not forgotten by any of them.
Thomas: Then tell me what you’re hiding from me and also tell me that man’s identity to who you’ve been talking, because my heart feels he is sure to have some connection with everything.
Mr. Hallen: I am not hiding anything you know I want only the good for you.
Thomas: Despite my respect and love towards you, I don’t believe you.
Mr. Hallen: Thomas, what’s the matter with you? I cannot recognize you, how are you talking to me?! There is no necessity to know more than you do, it can harm you.
Thomas: OK, if you don’t tell me, I’ll learn it myself and never come to you.
Mr. Hallen bent his head as if someone clipped him on the nape and he shyly looked at Thomas.
Mr. Halen: His name’s Loz, That’s the man who made Carl irritated and he left my palace on that damned day.
Thomas: That’s tall man who you talked with in the garden, isn’t he? I knew it, that’s I felt.
Mr. Hallen: Thomas, son, let’s delay our talk, because I’m too tired, moreover it’s time to take a medicine, I‘ve headaches and I’m receiving treatment. I ask you to stay here today, I feel sick and I told you what you asked?! Let’s enter.
Mr. Hallen tapped Thomas on the shoulder and went in. Thomas stayed for a few minutes and then went into the palace too.
Suddenly there was made a stir in the palace. Mr. Halen got worse. Servants called for a doctor, but before his arrival Mr. Halen had gone.
Thomas was watching everything without uttering a word. Then he went out of the palace in a hurry and went home. He was going up the stairs in the entrance, when he heard the sound of phone ringing from his apartment and he hastened. He opened the door in a hurry and rushed to the phone. He was listening in astonishment to a voice in the receiver. He hung down the receiver and talked to himself: ‘Uncle has gone! I’ve already known it.’
He stayed stiff for a few minutes, then went to the kitchen, filled the kettle with water and put it on the cooker. He was standing thoughtful at the window when the kettle started to hiss, as if calling Thomas to pay attention to it. He got the tea ready and when it got a bit cool, he drank it in two or three gulps. Then he decided to go back to uncle Hallen’s palace. He changed clothes and went. When he came there, there were a lot of police, doctors and a lot of people.
The police officers told him, that on the basis of the primary examination there were signs of a heart attack. In the meantime police and doctors finished their work and left the palace.
Thomas doubted, that Doctor Loz have had some connection with it, that’s why he decided to examine his uncle’s study in hope that he would find an address or a document that could help him to find Loz. When he came near to the study he heard some noise again that’s why he opened the door in a hurry, but there was nobody again. Thomas found a notebook on the desk, where there was his uncle’s workmates’ phone numbers written. He thoroughly looked through the notes, but could not find Loz’s name.
He decided to call some workmates, maybe he could find out something about doctor Loz. He had made phone calls to tens of workmates but nobody knew Doctor Eshman Loz.
Thomas could not understand what made his uncle tell a lie, that he was his colleague. There was a knock at the door and a maid went into the study, she brought him a white note. It was a letter from Mr. Shvarc, he asked Thomas in the letter to meet him in a small restaurant that was on the same street.
Thomas left the study slowly and went to the appointed restaurant, where Mr. Shvarc was waiting for him.
Shvarc: Take a seat, I’ve found out something.
Thomas: Very well, but listen to me first, I’ll tell you what’s happened in my uncle’s palace today.
Thomas related everything what happened.
Shvarc: I am sorry.
Thomas: Tell me, what have you found out?
Shvarc: I have a medical report, where there’s written, that your parents died from a heart attack and not from the accidental injuries. I am sorry to tell you so openly.
Thomas: What do you mean...
Shvarc: I mean that your parents had died from a heart attack, before the car fell down into the ravine. As to the hair color, it isn’t clear what made their hair whiten. Hypothetical conclusion is that something happened with them before the accident. There is not another explanation of this occurrence. One more thing, I’ve brought the guests’ list there are who were invited to that damned party. Here it is you can look it through.
Thomas: There isn’t that man’s name in this list. Who made this list?
Shvarc: It was in the investigation materials. Invitations and your uncle’s testimony indicate the same. The doorman says in his testimony, that only two men entered the palace without invitations on that day.
One of them was a beautiful woman and the other the mayor of the town, who came without invitation, he wasn’t expected.
Thomas: If nobody else came in, how did that man turn up at the party? Did he get over the window? Maybe he stole into quietly.
Shvarc: You missed a case, it’s possible he had been in the palace before the party started and then he went out to the guests.
Thomas: I don’t think so. He, Doctor Loz could change into a beautiful woman and got into the party.
Thomas smiled coldly, then he drew attention to his own words and his face got distorted.
Shvarc: Tell me his name, I might find him.
Thomas: Eshman Loz. He is tall red haired man.
Shvarc: I’m sure to find him. Now I have to go to get some information for today. I’ll see you tomorrow by all means.
They said good bye to each other, Thomas left the restaurant and went home. He had such a feeling as if someone was watching for him. He speeded steps up. He heard a quiet giggle from somewhere far. From time to time this giggle got closer little by little, but he could not see anyone. The voice became stronger.
Thomas went into the first open store and called for a taxi from there. It took only five minutes for a car to arrive. He got into the car and told the driver his address. He stopped the car at the entrance of the house. He paid and went up to his apartment. Then he entered the kitchen, put the thinly sliced sausage on bread and went into the room. He sat down on the nearest sofa, as he ate a sandwich he bent there as a kitten, covered himself with a plaid and fell asleep.
Thomas was woken up by the noise coming from the street. He got up from the sofa, went to the bedroom and went on his sleep there. It was half past eleven in the morning, when he was woken up by the knock at the door. He got up from the bed and opened the door.
The doorman was standing at the door. He gestured to him that he had a business. Thomas asked the doorman to put off their talk for the next time and let him go.
He looked at the clock there was no point in going to university, so he decided to stay at home. He would wait for Mr. Shvarc. He walked up and down till five o’clock, until Ellen, a cleaner came. She brought some food, cleaned the apartment and cooked. Then she left the apartment without speaking to him because Thomas didn’t utter even a word to her during this time.
Time went by, but Mr. Shvarc was not in sight. One more hour went by and the knock at the door was heard.
Thomas opened the door hoping that there would be Mr. Shvarc, but a police officer was standing in the doorway.
Thomas: Who do you want?
A police officer: I’ve come to inform you that Mr. Shvarc was found killed on Marx street and because one more thing, he had a note in his notebook about your appointment. By the way I was your father’s colleague and respected him very much.
Thomas: He had to visit me today.
A police officer: You know you have a witness status. Nevertheless I would be charged to question you and so I decided to carry out this procedure with you in advance, if you don’t mind.
Thomas: I don’t mind really, but I don’t know anything about this case. He used to come just to encourage me. With your permission, if you don’t have any more questions I’ll go because I’d like to see that place where this tragedy or a criminal case happened.
A police officer: No, I have no more questions. Are you too going to become a detective or is it just a call of blood?
Thomas: By no means. I’m just interested in what happened.
Thomas said goodbye to the guest and entered his father’s study. He copied Mr. Shvarc’s address from his father`s phonebook and went out to the street to catch a taxi. He caught a taxi soon and went to the indicated address.
When he got there he asked a driver to wait for him. He went up to the indicated apartment. There was a police officer at Mr. Shvarc’s home.
Thomas: I’m a son of Mr. Shvac`s friend I learnt what happened and got interested, because we had to meet each other today.
A police officer: Are you Carl’s son?
A police officer: There are very few professional detectives like your father. As concerns Mr. Shvarc had fallen victim to robbery.
Thomas: How did this accident happen?
A police officer: His corpse was found robbed on Marx Street. It is noteworthy that his body was without a head. They have been looking for the head for two hours, but they couldn’t find yet.
Thomas: Without a head?! How is it?
A police officer: At my childhood I had a cousin in the countryside who used to catch a hen and tear its head apart by hand and his body looks like it exactly. It’s interesting that a robber took his clothes too. There was his identity card in a few steps distance from the place of murder, as if it was left on purpose to identify him.
Thomas: Tell me, where did this horrible case take place?
A police officer: Between Numbers seventeen and twenty seven on Marx Street, there are old houses which are marked with numbers.
Thomas: Yes, I know. This street is in the outskirts of the town. Thank you for information, officer.
Thomas said goodbye to the police officer, got into the taxi and asked the driver to take him to Marx Street. He told the driver not to go and wait for him there. He went to that place which was fenced around with a yellow ribbon by the police. He examined that place, but couldn’t notice anything suspicious.
Thomas decide to act as a newspaper’s correspondent and thus to get his necessary information. He went to the first, nearest house. Thomas rang a bell. A young man opened the door. Thomas showed him a university card from the distance and lied as if he was a newspaper’s correspondent. He couldn’t get anything interesting from him and went towards another house. He noticed that there was not light on in the whole house, but someone was standing at the window of the ground floor. When he came closer a silhouette standing at the window disappeared. He decided to enter the house however and rang a bell. An old woman opened the door.
An old woman: What do you want? I dislike when I’m disturbed.
Thomas: Excuse me, madam, I’m a newspaper’s correspondent and I’m charged to write an article about the accident that’s happened today.
An old woman: I haven’t been at home I haven’t seen murder I don’t know anything I’ve just come.
Thomas: I haven’t mentioned murder. How do you know about the murder if you aren’t lying?
The old woman rudely repeated to him that she didn’t know anything and banged the door before his nose. Thomas didn’t dare to disturb the old woman again and left the place.
He thought to be in a fairy tale, where he was absolutely alone and everybody deceived him. He was sure that old woman was hiding something from him. He decided to come the next day.
Thomas got into a taxi and asked to drive home. On his way home he thought only about not telling anything to anybody because he was sure it would do harm to him. He was in thoughts of it when the car stopped at his house.
Thomas saw the doorman at the entrance of the house, as if he was waiting for him. He followed Thomas at home. There he took out a piece of paper and a pen from the pocket and then he wrote something.
Thomas read this writing in a loud voice: Relate to me, Mr. Thomas. I think I can help you.
Thomas stayed still for a few minutes and then related everything.
The doorman stood up and went into the study, sat down at the desk. There was a pile of papers. He took out one of them and began to write.
Thomas was looking at him in astonishment, but didn’t prevent him. He wrote probably for an hour. Thomas was sitting motionless in an armchair and waiting.
At last he finished to write, he brought Thomas the writing and put it on his knees, he went out of the room.
Thomas didn’t say a word and began to read loudly: ‘Sixty years passed after that horror what happened to me and I have been waiting for this day, when I would relate this story to someone. I am not scared any more, somehow or other, what is to happen it will happen and I know that I won’t do harm to you because you have already been in danger and I suppose my letter will answer a lot of your questions. I reached an agreement, that I have been sorry for my whole life. We, earth men don’t have enough strength to break an agreement with them.
I was fifteen when it was found out that I had a strange disease. I felt terribly, doctors told us that there were some months left to live. I had no strength for anything I could neither eat nor drink. Gradually I couldn’t walk, even family members avoided me. I saw disgust for me in their eyes. My mum separated out a place in the attic and made a comfortable room for me to take me away from people’s sight.
I looked awfully, I couldn’t look into the mirror, I was scared to see myself I couldn’t understand I was alive or dead.
During these sixty years I only once have glanced into the mirror and I seemed that sick boy again.
I sat in the attic and prayed the God to help, but there was no help. One night an angel appeared in my dream who told me that after death he would take my spirit to paradise. I fool preferred hell to paradise. I thought the God left me, I didn’t know that it was a reward and the angel was my Savior. Which carnal torture can be compared to spiritual agony? I have been making sure of in the truth of these words everyday for sixty years. I think the same is in store for you and so care about saving your spirit.
Two days ago, when you were at university, a creature entered the entrance, I recognized him as he appeared. His name’s Barbu. He went up to your floor and stayed there for two hours. Then I followed him, he entered a big white house on Marx Street.
It’s that creature who visited me in the attic at that cruel night sixty years ago. It was a usual day for me sixty years ago when there was a party in my family. All relatives and friends were invited. My humaneness was over that day, I was angry sitting in the attic and I was choking with bile. This anger made a fool of me so much that I had been asking the forces of evil to help me during several days. One day I was just asleep, when I was woken by a noise. When I opened my eyes I saw a small, fat man sitting in the armchair opposite side of me and he was looking at me in such a way as if I owed to him. Of course I got frightened and I pressed myself to the wall little by little. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t as if I swallowed my tongue.
He told me – ‘Don’t be afraid, I am here to help you. On condition that you follow me you’ll be saved.’ I, idiot, told him without a thought - ‘If only I avoid torture, I‘ll follow you to hell.’ He looked at me and said – ‘What’s said, needs to be fulfilled, let’s do it.’
I didn’t realize what I was speaking. Then worth slipped off my tongue. He asked me treacherously – ‘Maybe you can’t stand parting from your family and you’ll break an agreement.’ Pains left me little by little and I gave emotions the way – ‘Damn this house and family too.’ As I had finished these words we found ourselves opposite side of our house on the street. I looked towards the direction of the house and I saw my house enveloped in flames from every quarter. The house was reduced to ashes in no time, I couldn’t realize what happened.
It was obvious that my illness had passed by that time. So I lost the whole family. Then he said to go and I only could realize as we found ourselves on an unknown street.
There was a big white house which had windows in the shapes of eggs. He told me to come in and we found ourselves in a dark room. That room had five resembling doors. There was a big, to be more precise, as if artificially inflated bird perching on a special shelf at one of the doors. This strange bird was looking at me as a master at his servant. My whole body was trembling from its look.
Then we went to another room. My legs didn’t obey me they moved themselves towards where my companion went to. He opened the door and let me go in, while he stayed outside.
There was one more door in this room. A tall creature, with red hair went out from the room and spoke to me – ‘You probably came with Barbu, come on, come on. Suddenly I heard a furious voice from the room saying: – ‘Let Barbu gets in no time.’...and at the same time the door was open and closed so powerfully as if an invisible man rushed into the room. The red-headed man told me –‘A century passes so that master hasn’t got angry with his servants, it seems that your savior’s presently made a mistake.’ He waited for a few minutes and opened the door he signed me to come in. It smelt of rust and it was dark. I had such a feeling, as if the room was too huge. Suddenly then the place was lighted up where a desk and an armchair were situated. Someone was sitting at the table. He was talking to Barbu in a low voice. Then Barbu stood up and went out. The red-headed man signed me to sit down into a white armchair and he sat down into a black armchair nearby. The man sitting at the table asked me in a low awesome voice if I knew where I was.
I nearly swallowed my tongue from fear. I couldn’t reply.
He went on – ‘You are responsible for two things, the first – when we charge you with something, you must fulfill it, otherwise you’ll get worse than you had to do. The second - don’t you dare say anything to anyone or you’ll get the same as I’ve mentioned in the first case. You’ll have to sit on the burning hot stove in any case. Now follow my servant and do what he’ll tell you. I didn’t dare to say a word and I nodded as a sign of my agreement.
Then the red-headed man and I went into the depth of the room and perhaps walked for ten minutes in such darkness that I couldn’t see anything.
The red-headed man told me that we had come and that place got hardly lighted at once. There was a golden bowl on the three-legged chair there. He handed me something like scissors and told me I had to cut out my tongue myself. He told me it as if I had to tear off an apple from a tree.
I took a cutter, got my tongue out without a thought and cut it. Then I put both of them into the bowl. It was strange, that I only feel little pain. Then we turned around and came back. We had a shorter walk on our way back. By that time pain was passed away and bleeding was stopped. When we approached the door there was not a table any more, but that voice addressed the red haired man – Eshman! You may let him go, but tell Barbu to keep an eye on him.
Thomas stopped reading and put papers on the table. He seemed to feel something and went to see the author of this writing. The door was opened on the ground floor.
Thomas went in and saw that the doorman was very sick. He decide to call for a doctor and went back home. He called the family doctor and asked him to come. Then he came to the table, where he left the papers, looked at them and he saw that the papers were blank, as if nobody had written anything on them. Everything was clear to him. He was astonished, but he didn’t lose his nerve and went down to the doorman in order to meet the doctor. He tried to talk to the doorman, but he was so unconscious, that he couldn’t understand anything. Meanwhile the doctor came.
Thomas: Doctor Fogel, I ask you to help him.
The doctor looked at the sick man and said with a gloomy face: ‘Only the Father can help him.’
Thomas: He has something to tell me and we must save him alive.
Fogel: I doubt there is something to save him, it’s too late. What have you thought so far or why haven’t you taken him to hospital?! Poor man, he may have been in this condition for two months.
Thomas: What are you talking about? He was absolutely healthy yesterday.
Doctor: Are you kidding? How could such a sick man do anything yesterday? He couldn’t even walk, could he?
Thomas: Mr. Fogel, he was really fit yesterday. I am not kidding.
Fogel: Ok, let’s talk about it later, now go and get a car, we have to take the sick man to hospital.
Thomas went out into the street, stop a taxi then they put the doorman into the car and took him to hospital.
Thomas was sitting in the reception of the hospital and couldn’t decide whether he would say or not the truth to Doctor Fogel. He decided to act as the situation required, he had to explain Fogel everything, as the doctor wouldn`t think him insane. He was in the thought of it, when Doctor Fogel went out into the reception.
Fogel: I have bad news your friend has several days to live. By the way he has been ill for a long time. But you insisted the opposite. It’s impossible that he was fit yesterday, he has sarcoma. Do you know what illness sarcoma is?
Thomas: There happen such things, that have no explanation, but they still happen, don’t they?
Fogel: They happen, but not in medicine.
Thomas: I’ll tell you the incredible truth and I hope you’ll get convinced of my correctness.
Thomas related the doctor everything and he understood then that he put him in danger. Though, he couldn’t return the time by regret.
Fogel: OK, show me the letter and let’s put a dot on this matter.
Thomas: The letter that was written on a piece of paper disappeared after reading.
Fogel: OK, let’s suppose I’ll believe everything, though I haven’t believed in fairy tales for a long time.
Thomas: Mr. Fogel you’d better not to believe me. I’m sorry to disturb you and thank you for everything. It seems I behave in a strange way today. Now I have to go, I’d like to see our sick man, can I?
Fogel: Yes, sure, just take these two pills. Take them and they’ll make you calm down.
Thomas said goodbye to the doctor and went in to see the sick man, he dropped those two pills into the garbage can on his way. He came to the bed and tried to talk to the doorman, but there was no point, because there were no signs of life left. Thomas stayed on for ten minutes and went home to have a good sleep.
He was in bed, but he couldn’t sleep. He was anxious by everything that happened to him. After an hour of torture he fell asleep at last.
It was eleven o’clock in the morning when he woke up. He didn’t want to get up, but he forced himself. He was in such a condition that he wanted to burst into tears, but they didn`t come out of his eyes. He knew one thing for sure that fear could make his soul rotten and bring him near to death. That’s why he decided not to wait for events to be developed. He got ready, put on dark colored clothes and went to uncle Hallen’s funeral. He could possibly meet Eshman Loz there. There were a lot of people at the funeral ceremony in the palace. He noticed a tall man with red hair among the guests and he quickly went to him in order to see whether he was that one or not, but this man was neither red haired nor tall, he was old, short and bald at the same time. Thomas understood he already started having imaginations. He felt insane at the ceremony, because it was all the same for him.
Thomas had such a face as if he was invited to an exhibition of paintings in the gallery and these people were artists.
He agreed with himself to accept unusual things as usual ones because it would help him to stay in his right mind. Thomas decided to leave the ceremony and went to say goodbye to his aunt. In the meanwhile Loz, whom Thomas was looking for desperately, seemed to come out from nowhere and came to them. He kissed the spouse of Mr. Hallen on hand without bending and tapped Thomas on the shoulder.
Loz: You should be proud of your uncle, he was a brave man. His heart couldn’t bear this tragedy and he died from heart-break. He used to talk with me a lot about your family, surely only good things, and he cared about you as well. Poor Hallen... Now I have to leave you because I’m in a hurry to my colleges, you know what this mean to miss somebody. Thomas listened to him like a mute and couldn’t tell him anything only after Loz left he uttered a voice.
Thomas: Aunt, do you know this man?
Aunt: Yes, he’s Hallen’s colleague, he met him at one of the conferences, I think his name’s Loz.
Thomas: Everything is clear.
He made an excuse to his aunt and tried to follow the trace of Loz, but he was out of sight.
Thomas decided to walk home. To his way home he thought about what to do, how to act. There was no use to postpone time. He realized who and what he dealt with although his heart felt neither good nor bad. He just realized that he had to go to the end.
Thomas was not afraid of the cruelty that would expect him. He himself had to struggle for his soul to save. Suddenly he remembered that old woman who answered his questions suspiciously. That’s why he changed his mind to go home and headed to the street where Mr. Shvarc was found murdered.
When he got the indicated street, first of all he went to that old woman’s house. It was afternoon and the weather was too hot. Despite this heat all the windows were closed. Then Thomas noticed a note on the fence announcing the house was for sale.
Thomas smiled ironically, as he came the point. He just felt sorry for the old woman who could be already dead. He saw a girl going out from the neighboring house and in order to make inquiries he pretended to be going to buy a house. He learnt from her that the owner of the house had died and her children wanted to sell the house; and he learnt more how the poor woman died. She had a cat that jumped from the window on the branch of the tree and couldn’t come down. The old woman leaned over to help the cat and fell down from the first floor.
He stopped in astonishment at the end of the street, because he saw a white house that was described in the doorman’s letter and understood it was that street about which the poor doorman informed in his letter. It was difficult to imagine that it was the same street where Mr. Shvarc was murdered just in hundred steps distance that very house was located which Thomas had been looking for. Everything was clear. He had to enter the house, but not now, because he had to see the doorman and he preferred to go to the hospital first.
As he arrived he met Doctor Fogel, who told him he might not have time to see him alive because the doorman was on the verge of death. He quickly went up to the ward, but unfortunately Doctor Fogel was right the patient was dead. Thomas found Doctor Fogel, he was in his room.
Thomas: What happened? Why did he die so suddenly?
Fogel: Why suddenly? He, poor had to die so far. He has been ill for very long time. That`s wonder that he has lived till now. By the way a pretty, tall woman visited him recently, who disappeared so that I couldn’t notice how she came out from the room.
Thomas: Were you waiting for her outside? Why?
Fogel: I don’t know why, but I was standing and waiting when she would come out. Then, when she didn’t come out then I entered and there was nobody except the patient inside.
Thomas: Did you relate to anyone about it? You’ll get into danger if you blurt it out to someone.
Fogel: I haven’t told anyone about this case, I have been waiting for you to relate it to you. And what danger are you talking about? Have I done something wrong?
Thomas: You saw one of them. It’s enough to put your-self in danger. I advise you to take some days off and go somewhere. Let’s hope that everything will be all right. Maybe they won’t harm you, because you told only me. I have already known about them.
Fogel: What will you do, aren`t you in danger?
Thomas: Expectation of grief is worse than grief itself. That’s why I am not going to stay in this state for a long time and I’ll get into contact with them tomorrow. Excuse me Doctor Fogel but I won’t tell you anything more or else I’ll really get you into trouble by my words. I’d like to ask you something, can you take care of this poor man’s funeral, I have to get ready for tomorrow.
The doctor nodded in agreement. Thomas said goodbye and headed home. Thomas knew that the doctor was in danger, but he couldn’t help him, because he couldn’t afford as he didn`t have enough strength. As soon as he came home he took the family album and began to look it through. He couldn’t understand why this accident happened to his family.
He looked through photographs thoroughly. Then he took the album in to the study to put it into the drawer of a writing-table, but all the drawers were locked. He looked for a key of drawers, but he couldn’t find, he brought a sharp sword and forced a lock to break open. There were enumerated photographs, where deceased people were shown.
Thomas broke open the next drawer and he found the pictures of the same type.
In the next drawer that he forced there were enumerated documents. He took one of the first documents and started reading. ‘On the corpse, found by us, there are two...’ and Thomas realized it was materials of investigation. According to numbers he found a picture, where killed mother and her child were shown. He found in the materials that a head of the family killed his wife and child and the court brought in a verdict of mentally sick.
Then there was a text of such contents: as if a ten-year-old child cut his family into pieces with a sickle and then he hanged himself. Thomas got interested in another picture, where there were naked dead bodies of a man and woman without their heads. By corresponding numbers in a document, it was found out that the heads of these bodies were found under the priest’s bed in the bedroom of one of the churches. He didn’t plead guilty in murder, but still he was accused and sentenced to death.
Thomas was sure that these murders had one director. He already knew that his father had investigated these cases and that’s why this grief happened to his family. Thomas had to find out only that why he was left alive.
He sat in the armchair and thought how to act next. He looked at the clock on the wall. It was too late. He was felt so depressed that he couldn’t do anything. He decided to go to bed. It was ten o’clock in the morning when he woke up. He had such a feeling as if the earth was removed from its axis and was falling through eternity. He was in such mood till afternoon then he got up suddenly and went to Marx Street, where that big white house was located.
Thomas didn’t dare to come closer to the house, but some power pulled him towards the house. He knew one thing exactly if he had managed to save his soul he would save himself and that was the most important thing for him.
He approached the door and knocked several times, but there was no answer. He knocked again. Thomas felt that there was someone behind the door. As if he was given time to change his mind to enter inside. When he was about to knock again and raised his hand, the door was opened suddenly. A pretty woman opened the door and invited him to enter.
She offered Thomas to take a seat on the nearest armchair. In less than two minutes after sitting there he heard a deep voice saying, to take him in and just in the tenth of second he was in the room. Right this room was described in the doorman’s letter. Thomas noticed the strange bird mentioned in the letter which was perching on the shelf bending its head. The inflated bird look up at him and bent its head again, it looked as if it had some troubles.
Thomas saw five identical doors there. Someone came out from one of the doors. He was tall, absolutely bald and had long arms in comparison with his body. He pointed to the middle door with his hand to enter, as if the bird was guarding that door. That room had one more door, exactly as it was described in the letter. It was dark and there was an awful smell. There was a strange creature there that left the room as he had seen them and he took the awful smell with him.
Then a furious voice was heard: ‘Mugersa! Lead the guest in.’
This room was similar to the room described in the letter except one thing. There were three armchairs instead of two, two black ones and one white. Mugersa signed Thomas with his hand to sit down in the white armchair, he himself sat down on a black one.
In several seconds a small lamp was switched on at the writing-table. Thomas saw a middle-aged stranger sitting in the armchair at the table on the opposite side of him, who had a strangely handsome face. His face reminded Thomas a lot of acquaintances, he couldn’t take his eyes off him and he was staring at him.
Then the man sitting in the armchair looked at him.
The stranger: I don’t conceal the fact and say directly that you aroused my interest. Do you know where and with who you are? And if you know, why didn’t you avoid our meeting? Moreover, it seems you were eager for it.
Thomas: I felt inwardly what I was doing. I knew I would come to be here and what is inevitable there is no point to change it. It seems I’d like it.
The stranger: There is nothing inevitable on the earth. You knew that you could die but, despite that you still have come. I haven’t seen such a person for several centuries.
Thomas: I am thirsty and I think I can slake my sense of thirst here. I am just an ordinary mortal.
The stranger: Immortality depends on you. By the way, my name’s Luci and my subordinate people call me patron. People use my name more frequently than the creator’s and this isn’t pleasant to me, because I am sick and tired of their relations to me. A human being has one main, bad habit he blames everything on others and nothing on himself. Maybe we are guilty of everything. They think I invented hell, but I don’t like the existing situation that is there too. Now you’ll attend a case, just watch and listen, you’ll make sure that I know people and it makes me different from others. Ok, let’s begin. By the way there is no need to be in a hurry, because we have plenty of time, but remember it is sometimes too hot here.
Luci signed Mugersa with a hand to start a show.
Mugersa: This story happened at a very poor family. Father stole his children’s food and ate secretly. Then one of children died of hunger.
Luci: It’s interesting what he’ll say.
Suddenly a terrible smell stirred in air and an extraterrestrial creature of unknown origin jumped up on the table. He had a head like an owl and a body like a wild boar.
Luci: You rogue. What did I tell you when I have a guest, don’t enter a room, didn’t I ?! Now I’ll order to have you put into the barrel full of water and can its hood. It’s said about you, if a pig is feathered it won`t become a pigeon.
An owl headed: That’s true a pig will never become a pigeon. But patron, I don’t want to be a pigeon. I’m sorry, I won’t do it again I just wanted to see a guest.
Luci: Ok, get away, Balvai go and tell Barbu to take that patient in.
The owl headed jumped down from the table so quickly that Thomas couldn’t catch sight where he rushed away.
Luci: I need this damned one, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to stand him for a moment and this smell of a drowned body...I don’t like, but what can I do? I have such profession. A long time ago I even can’t remember when it was exactly, he was travelling with his family by ship.
His family was considered as an educated and civilized family in their part of the world. The ship struck a reef and began to drown. Instead of looking for and care about his family members, he managed to jump into one of the first life-boats and thought that he saved himself and was safe. Then that boat couldn’t reach land, yet and it sank. I found him dead and brought with me. Since then his whole body gets rumpled when water is mentioned. Tell me please, what did the Creator and I do with this case?
Luci`s voice ran throughout Thomas’s body. Then Barbu and Mugersa opened the door, they brought someone in, whose body was trembling from fear.
Barbu made him sit down on the white armchair and went out. Mugarsa sat down by the side of Thomas.
This stranger was trembling and looking around as a mad man.
Mugersa: Your behavior attracted our attention.
The stranger: I don’t know what happened to me, that I stole food from children who had not eaten for a day and half.
Mugersa: You couldn’t behave in another way, because when a man is hungry a wild animal wakes up in him.
Luci: When children fell asleep then you rushed to food. You knew that children were hungry, didn`t you?!
The stranger: I am guilty, but I didn’t think at that moment, it was important to satiate myself.
Luci: It’s clear, but another one isn’t clear that you mentioned me several times and blamed me for whispering evil in your ear.
Luci didn’t give him a chance to answer and signed Mugersa to take him out of the room.
Luci: Can you see, Thomas, what’s the matter? We don’t touch those who haven’t had the same intention they lead themselves to do such evil deeds. I have no right to go and tell them to do in this way or another. If I go, who will believe me? I am considered as evil on people’s mind, as if I have been created to frighten people by the Creator. As mother frightens her child that grotesque will come and eat you up, it is like that exactly.
They’ve turned the earth into purgatory. Suddenly Mugersa appeared from nowhere.
Luci : They call me cruel . When a man is going to do evil, he says that he was harassed and tempted by unworthy to be mentioned, it isn’t really true. There is brutality and evil in a man’s mind. If he intends to do something evil we appear after it and we don’t urge him by any means. Mugersa, I’ve told you a lot of times, don’t appear so suddenly! Behave as it is common among people, because everybody doesn’t have an ability to take it as a usual thing and someone can get a heard attack.
There was quiet for several minutes. Thomas knew that the speaker had already decided to possess his soul and it was the purpose of the performance.
Luci: I need strong souls. It isn’t a secret that time has its effect. My subordinates have got weaker little by little for several centuries and new souls join us from time to time. You have a chance to become one of them, moreover you have a stronger soul than some of my servants and if you wish you could get what you desire.
Thomas: I don’t conceal and I’ll tell you I am very annoyed with everybody and everything since what’s happened to me recently. As I entered here my pain relieved, but I feel lack of something and I have to get know what by all means. In my opinion, the creator can satisfy my thirst. And I don’t know what expects me here. God created the amazing world, but you say that a man made it brutal.
Luci: Yes, he made it brutal and he didn’t ask anybody. Remember, I own the same power as the Creator does. A coin has two sides but it still remains as a coin. I’ll give you time to assure yourself. During your stay with us you’ll see a lot of interesting things, not illusion but real ones.
Then he called someone named Rushe and ordered him to host Thomas. Rushe was old and a bit squint-eyed. Thomas and Rushe came out of the room. Now they were in the room where (there was the strange bird perching on the shelf, it was perching so motionless as if it turned into a stuffed bird. Thomas didn’t even get surprised that the middle room seemed to be vanished somewhere.
Rushe: You can ask me what you are interested in, because I am a host at your service and I’ll do what you ask, of course as far as possible.
Thomas noticed that there appeared numbers above the doors.
Rushe: You may have noticed the rooms. You can satisfy all your desires here.
Thomas: What’s going on here? I’d like to enter this room.
Rushe: I’d advise you to enter another room.
Thomas understood that he would have to travel alone in the rooms. He asked to enter the third room, Rushe opened the door and Thomas went in.
It seemed there were neither walls nor a ceiling, as if there was empty space.
He made some steps till then he met chests of drawers and chests standing on the floor. He approached the nearest chest and opened it up.
There were various things. Then he came to a chest of drawers and put out a drawer. There were some similar things there too.
He couldn’t understand what these things were for. That’s why he touched the first object in order to assure himself of its reality. Suddenly his hand got hot and everything darkness fell in front of his eyes . He got frightened, because he didn’t know what the matter was going on and he took his hand back quickly.
Then he thought for several minutes, what all this meant and suddenly, as if someone prompted him how to act. Thomas began to open chests and chest of drawers standing there, as if he was looking for an object.
He stopped at one of the chests he bent over it and took something out of the chest. On this instant it appeared him in reality, as if he could see, by the eyes of the owner of the object, how he was entering a room. He was holding a knife stained with blood in his hand. He flinched suddenly, he released his hand from the object and imagination disappeared. He went out confused from the room. Rushe was waiting for him in the main room. He was standing on the same place where Thomas left him before entering the room.
Rushe: What happened? Is somebody pursuing you?
Thomas: No, I’ll visit this room at another time. Tell me, what’s going on in the fourth room?
Rushe: It’s a room of stupid, punished souls there.
Thomas: What will I see in the second room?
Rushe: It’s the patron’s entertaining room he sometimes has fun with his prey here.
Thomas: Who do you mean by prey?
Rushe: Stubborn souls, for instance Doctor Fogel. You advised him to take a holiday but he settled down here.
Thomas: Can I have a talk with him? And in general, how can I manage to talk to anyone?
Rushe: It takes you only to address yourself to his name, if he is there, he’ll respond to call by all means.
Thomas entered the mentioned room and called Mr. Fogel. A body of dim image appeared before him.
Thomas: Doctor Fogel, are you here?
Doctor Fogel: Yes, my friend, it’s me. I hoped not to meet you here.
Thomas: I came here of my own accord, but how did you find yourself here?
Doctor Fogel: When I saw you at the hospital last, I lied at that time when I told you as if I didn’t see how the woman had left, who visited your friend. In fact, when I entered the room there was not the woman, but I saw how a strange bird flew up from the windowsill. It looked at me with eyes like human at the time of flying up. After that I talked to you though I didn’t tell you about it. You really gave me good advice, but I had no time to follow it. On my way home two elderly women in whites asked me to stop a car. They told me there would be a big sack in the middle of the road and they warned me not to look into it. I just had to go past, but I didn`t believed in their words. I stopped the car at the sack and looked into it. And what did I see? There was a human body cut into pieces in the sack, I got very frightened and got into the car quickly.
I noticed that my hair turned quite white on my way.
I was driving so fast that I got frightened myself, but I couldn’t control myself. I thought only about what I had seen then I didn’t remember how I found myself on the way down to the ravine.
I tried to change the direction but I couldn`t control the wheel. But I remember how I found myself at hospital, still alive. Then I saw how I separated from my body and I saw what was happening to me from above. Thus I found myself here. I have been here for several hours and it’s already unbearable for me.
Thomas: Your words cleared up the story. It’s clear now what happened to my family during the accident. Thank you, Mr. Fogel. OK, I have to leave you now and I’ll see you later by all means.
Thomas said goodbye to the doctor, he pronounced Shvarc’s name and a dim body appeared again.
Thomas: Mr. Shvarc, is that you?
Shvarc: Yes, that’s me my young friend.
Thomas: It’d be better to know from the beginning what danger we got ourselves into, but what could we change by it? I don’t know.
Shvarc: I don`t regret, because I used to help my friend and I am not going to stay here for a long time.
Thomas: What do you hope for?
Shvarc: I think if I don’t act in concert with them help will come from heaven very soon.
Thomas: Can you advise me something?
Shvarc: Remain the same person as you were before you came in here. There is such a saying that I agree with, - the most important for a man is to save his soul and not the flesh. My flesh had already lost its worth. Believe me, a human’s flesh is a rotting product and has no worth on the earth. They think I’ll sell them my soul.
One of them had talk with me and told me, they would give me back my head and my life would come back to me. I don’t need life received as a gift from them. A tempted soul burns in the hellish fire. I know it very well I don’t want to become one of their subordinate.
Thomas: Thank you for your advice, I have to leave you now. If I have a chance I’ll go to see you again. I hope you won’t be here any more and there will be really some help to you.
Thomas went out into the main room where Rushe was waiting for him.
Rushe: You should come with me, I’m going to somewhere and you should accompany me.
Thomas followed Rush speechlessly. They went into the first room. There was empty space like a desert instead of a room behind the door, where the sky and ground both had the same rusty color. There was a dim light very far away. Rushe closed the door and addressed Thomas.
Rushe: Why did you leave the third room so quickly? You can see very interesting things there you can travel through the history. If you noticed, there are a lot of objects. If you hold them into your hand you’ll see what their owners used to see. As bigger the chest is from which you`ll take out an object as far you`ll be thrown back in time.
Thomas: I really left the room quickly. I’d like to look through everything quickly, because I had no spare time.
Rushe: I know one thing exactly, there is no time here. When you are here you can’t feel existence of day or night. I’ve been here for three centuries and I haven’t felt tiredness. While you are with us, don’t think about it. Now we have to go, so get ready.
As Rushe finished these words they went through strange, dark-yellow space for a second and found themselves on a street, where a lot of people were walking hither and thither like ants. Thomas realized that he was in another country and environment was quite strange to him.
Thomas: Where are we?
Rushe: Don’t be surprised, we are in a foreign country for you. And don’t be surprised that you’ll be able to speak all languages of the countries you’ll visit.
Thomas: What was that we went through yellow space for a second?
Rushe: We went through the flame of hell and you’ll gain great strength every time during such travel. As more times you have to go through the flame of hell as more you feel the substance of our existence. After that you’ll decide what to do.
Thomas: Shall I become like you?
Rushe: Only passing through the flame isn’t enough to become like us. Perhaps you won’t need hard work. Ok, let’s stop talking about it now and get down to business. Can you see the two-storied house on the opposite side of the street?
Our servants worked badly there and we have to correct their mistake.
Thomas and Rushe went into the entrance of the house. Rushe took out a key from his pocket and opened one of the doors on the same floor. They went in, but Thomas got back suddenly, because he stepped into a pool of blood and flinched.
Thomas; Excuse me, Rushe but I can’t come in here.
Rushe nodded and closed the door before him.
Thomas went out from the house and went to the opposite side of the street. He understood in which country he was. He was too far from his homeland and he was standing stiff in astonishment. After a while Rushe appeared.
Rushe: I can say for certainty that Patron won’t like your behavior. How will you explain this decision?
Thomas: Every time I feel sick when I see blood. I’ve had it from childhood and that’s all, nothing more.
Rushe had such an expression on his face as if he believed, he gave no sign and he gestured to Thomas that they were going back and suddenly they found themselves in the first room.
Rushe: I’ll leave you for a while you can do what you like.
Thomas: May I enter the rooms?
Rushe: Yes, it`ll help you to gain more confidence and strength.
Thomas nodded in agreement, opened the third room and entered. He started to open rather bigger chests.
He opened eleven chests, but he bent over the tenth chest only and took out a long sword. It seemed to him that he was on horseback in an unknown street and he cut people’s heads with this sword. He put back this object into the chest quickly and took out a thick rope that looked like a belt.
It appeared before his eyes, how he was standing on a hill and holding a burning torch. In front of him was a small town spread that was in flames. He heard a roar of racked people by pain. He saw how silhouettes in flames how were running hither and thither. Thomas put back the belt and stayed shocked for several seconds. But it all was interesting for him and he felt how this game drew him.
Then, from the nearest chest Thomas took out a beautifully jeweled red mask and put it on his face. Imagination was tuned on again. He saw how he was pouring secretly white powder into the glass full of wine.
In front of him appeared a hall of the palace where as it seemed the carnival was hold. He saw how he gave this glass to a nobleman.
Then he took the next object into his hand. It was a cloak and he imagined how he went to a square where he put on an executioner’s cloak. He cut down a head of a man tied up to a stump with a big ax. People were taken up again and again and he was cutting down their heads.
Thomas put the cloak back and closed the chest.
There was no doubt– in this room everything used to happen deliberately that depravity could get in his soul. The main thing for him was to drag time. He thought about it when he noticed a bigger chest not far away from him. He came to it, opened and bent over it, he saw a small casket inside. He took the casket into his hand but started no imagination. Then he opened it, there were silver coins of different size. Thomas took one of the coins and imagination started again.
He saw how an owner of silver coins, in whose body Thomas was turned into, was taking a tight-filled purse from a man. Then he went along a narrow path, went out on a street where there were low houses as if were built by mud. He was counting silver coins greedily on his way. He went up a small hill at the end of the street and entered a long hut built by mud. Inside, there was a table laid on the ground and there people were sitting around it. He went and took one of the free seats. He couldn’t look into a man’s eyes sitting at the head of the table and he was looking around shyly. There the people were carefully listening to the man sitting at the head. Thomas wanted to look at the speaker but he couldn’t, because the owner of the silver coins was bending his head. The speaker told the owner of the silver coins: “It’s time for you to finish the business that you started.” The owner of the silver coins glanced at the speaker, at that time, Thomas with coins in his hand, standing somewhere in the room, felt such warmth in his whole body that he dropped out the coin of his hand from happiness. Thomas bent over quickly and picked up the coin, but he couldn’t see the speaker. He saw how he was going back on the same way where he took the tight-filled purse. There he met people armed with cudgels and swords. Thomas told them to follow him to show the way. They went to the long house built by mud, from where a man in whites came out. The owner of the coins came to him and kissed him. As if warm flame went through Thomas` body he could hardly contain himself not to fall down onto the floor. Then he saw how people armed with cudgels and swords rushed and seized the man in whites.
Thomas saw how someone with a sword in his hand fell down on his knees and who had his whole face in blood and he was roaring from pain.
It turned out that one of the men sitting at table cut him an ear. Then the man in whites freed himself from guards and came to him, he touched the wound and the ear got whole.
After it there was a commotion was broken out, but Thomas saw the owner of the coins going back quickly on the same way.
He was taken into a big chamber where an elderly man met him. He dropped the coins to his feet and told him desperately – ‘I return the price of blood I made a mistake to betray the righteous blood.’
The elderly man said- ‘It’s your blood and none of my business.’
After that he madly rushed out and ran somewhere, repeating one and the same phrase “I betrayed him,” “I betrayed him,” and he didn’t stop until someone called him from behind. This was the very man who was cut his ear down recently.
He approached him and said: - ‘I came with a sword in my hand to seize him and he made my ear whole again and you were one of them but you still betrayed him, why did you do it?’
Thomas saw how the man put a small sword to the throat of the owner of the coins – ‘I, a slave of the unrighteous could send you to the sinners’ town, but all who take a sword will perish from a sword.’ The owner of silver coins didn’t let him speak and ran away. The man shouted at the runner’s back ‘Life begins after his death.’
Thomas saw how the owner of silver coins was running on the way till he ran across somebody. Thomas recognized that somebody. It was red-haired, familiar to him Eshman Loz.
Loz was holding a rope in his hand that he gave the owner of coins so as if he was a cashier at the box office of a theater and he sold a ticket to one of the audience who was late.
The owner of silver coins threw that rope over the tree standing on the other side of the road and made a loop, then he climbed up the tree a bit, he tightened a noose around his neck with one hand and jumped down. Suddenly the coin was dropped from Thomas’ hand and it rolled somewhere in the depth the room.
He closed the chest and went out into the main room. Rushe was waiting for him there.
Rushe: As I see you liked that room so much. You’ve been inside for several hours. We have good news for you. Patron decided not to make use of you in any business, of course, unless you won`t like to do it yourself. Loz, you and I are going to a far-away country. You have to accompany us, because that’s the order.
Thomas nodded in agreement, looked at Loz, but he didn’t pay attention to his unexpected appearance and speechlessly followed them to the front room.
Thomas didn’t think consciously about what had recently happened to him in the room of chests, because it was possible for them to read his thoughts. Thomas was able to hide his feelings and thoughts.
As they entered the room Loz snapped his fingers like a magician and in a second they found themselves at the seashore. It was a perfectly beautiful place – the greenish sea and big palm trees. The sun was shining and hot sand was crunching under feet. There was a two-storey house not far from that place and they went towards it.
Loz: I hate to be here, it’s hot as in the hell cave.
Rushe: Don’t forget that where we are, it’s hot everywhere. Rushe chuckled loudly.
Loz: Yes, that’s true.
Loz laughed loudly too, then he opened the door invited Rushe and Thomas in. There were a lot of strangers going hither and thither. They went through a hall and went up to the first floor. A beautiful woman met them in the corridor. She led them into one of the rooms and asked them to sit down in three armchairs near there. It was the same woman who invited Thomas into the house on Revilo Street.
Thomas noticed that he was wearing a strange cloak.
Rushe noticed his special attention towards woman and whispered in Thomas’s ear: ‘Don’t deal with her otherwise you come to a bad end.’
Then the woman bent towards Los who was sitting in the armchair a bit far away from them and she whispered something in his ear, then she left the room.
Thomas: Rushe, why do I have to keep away from this madam? I was just fascinated by her beauty. I couldn’t notice her shine at our first meeting.
Rushe: She is a countess of the nether world. We respect her greatly.
Loz: What are you talking about?
Rushe: About countess. Our companion is fascinated by her.
Loz: Did you tell him who our countess is?
Rushe: I only told him her name and title.
Loz: Among ladies she is that one with whom patron has relations everyday.
Thomas: How can one find Mr. Luci’s favor?
Loz: There are several factors, obedience and selfless service to our job. That is all in your case. As for the countess besides these two factors she has other services too. She has deformed more than six hundred people. Someone can argue and tell me that there have been at least hundred people known in history with the same accusation.
Thomas: Yes there have been and saying their names will take us too far.
Loz: Don’t bother yourself with it. I know who you can name. A lot of people left their trace in history, but those people gave orders in most cases and only took part under certain conditions. And the most important thing for us is to rule the human’s soul first and then let him do what he wishes.
Stupid people tended to other ambition that made them act. They tried to occupy the earth. It doesn’t attract us at all, on the contrary, instead of souls they destroyed flesh and in that way they set free souls of the dead.
The countess perverted their souls first and then she had a bath of their blood. She shed their skin and sewed cloaks for her herself.
Thomas: You are right, for human’s soul death is freedom that is given by a murderer.
Rushe: It depends where a soul wishes to get and what it deserves. Some like heat others enjoy cool breeze.
Loz: What do you like?
Thomas: I prefer that place where I feel myself well. Everything is good little by little.
Rushe: A man isn’t satisfied with little, he wants more and more.
Loz: It’s very difficult to subordinate a man.
Rushe: They don’t know what submission is, some people do such things that are incredible even for me.
Loz: You joined us a bit late, my Rushe that’s why you are surprised. The majority of people tend to us. I’ve met such strong souls which deserved to have my great admiration for them as they behaved in a handy way without my help and they used to urge me to act more. There are such types of people who believe neither black nor white power kind power. They think that they can govern everything and they are the only ones in the world.
Rushe: Such people are assured to be tanned in hell.
Loz: Switch/ turn your imagination and a little fantasy on. Can you imagine what I’ve been a witness of? Though I don’t think you can imagine, because I’m myself sometimes astonished.
Rushe: One of the serial murderers told me – ‘When I kill I imagine myself as almighty.’ - Can you imagine what nonsense they blurt?!
Thomas listened to them in astonishment. He thought himself to attend a lecture in hell. There was a sudden knock at the door.
Loz: Come in Eak we have been waiting for you for a long time.
As a stranger came in he looked Thomas up and down.
Loz: You can speak about this business.
Eak: Pakaro killed our servant accidentally. There was some misunderstanding.
Loz: What kind of misunderstanding are you talking about? Tell me I have to know everything.
Eak: Our servant Pakaro behaved like a carnal one. I don’t know how it happened... He killed our subordinate, who was an organ-grinder in one of cathedrals. He doesn’t talk about causes and that’s why I ask you to find out matter of fact. He won’t dare to conceal the cause of murder from you.
Loz: OK go and bring him here.
Eak nodded in agreement and went out of the room.
There was silence for few minutes. After a while there was a knock at the door again and Eak came in with a stranger following him. It was possibly Pakaro.
Loz: Eak you are free and can go.
Eak turned round slowly looking at Thomas. Loz noticed his special attention towards Thomas and looked at Thomas who in his turn was looking at Eak.
Pakaro wanted to sit down but he read disgust in Loz’s look and changed his mind.
Loz: Tell us what`s the matter and don’t you dare lie!
Pakaro: I considered it necessary to destroy him because he couldn’t carry out my order.
Loz: What order didn’t he carry out? Relate.
Pakaro: It is no matter. It is very personal.
Loz: You have no right to treat our servants as ordinary people. You, cork-headed don`t you know it?
Pikaro’s face screwed up with fear, he didn’t utter a word and was standing like a dried-up tree.
Loz: Time of making an inventory is coming up and nobody has the right to behave so! But you probably lost the ability to feel it.
Rushe: If you remember he has made a mistake for the second time and I don’t think that he couldn`t realize what he does, he uses his power improperly. He thinks he will be forgiven and that’s why he behaves impertinently.
While Rushe was talking the countess came in without warning. She knew the point of this story.
The countess: He didn’t realize what he was doing, that’s why he deserves our anger.
Loz: Pakaro you know what punishment you deserve, therefore leave this place immediately.
Pakaro puffed himself up a turkey and left the room so quietly as if a shadow went through the door.
The countess: This stupid one couldn’t calculate how to use his power and left doubts to the local residents there. He threw the poor musician onto the fence of cathedral with such strength as if it was a cannonball shot from cannon. At first they couldn’t identify the deceased, because his face was pressed against the wall like a frog.
Rushe: He might prevent him in some important affair and that’s why he acted so furiously.
The countess: Yes, it was so. He charged him with the job of seducing a girl who often went to church.
Rushe: Did he achieve any success?
The countess: The organ-grinder could fulfill this assignment but he didn’t.
Rushe: Why didn’t he do it?
The countess: Because this little girl was his friend’s daughter.
Rushe: It seams that Pakaro made a right decision and what do we punish him for?
Loz: As to the organ-grinder he got what he deserved. But Pakaro knew that he would be punished and despite that he behaved so, as he considered it necessary and therefore he will get what he deserves.
Thomas: You have an interesting approach to the matter.
Loz: I knew this story. In spite of it I didn’t change further development of events, because he would do something like it. The musician got from Pakaro what he had to get, and Pakaro did from me. I think everything has been distributed well.
Rushe: If we made another decision it would be our mistake.
Despite Rushe didn’t like this decision he didn’t show dissatisfaction he was only looking around pointlessly.
After that the countess signed Rushe with a hand to leave the room.
Loz: Despite that Rushe didn’t like what happened here we have no right to change the decision. Thomas, what will you say? What decision would you make?
Thomas: I agree with you if something doesn’t work it’d be better to throw it away in the garbage and buy a new one.
Loz: It seems you are venturesome. Do you like to be with us?
Thomas: To tell the truth, it’s impressive and interesting what’s happening, but I can’t say with confidence whether I like it or not and I am not afraid to tell you it, because I tell the truth. And the truth teller is protected by the truth.
Loz: You are gifted and have strong spirit so it will be pity if you leave us. People sometimes exchange the truth for self-seeking therefore such truth doesn’t have the future. I appreciate your frankness and that`s why I try to be frank, too.
Thomas: If there isn’t the truth the earth will remove from the place and fall into infinity.
Loz: Don’t worry it won’t fall deeply. You don’t know a lot about people. In most cases they can’t make a right decision, because they don’t have a talent.
Thomas: When I was a child an interesting thing happened to me. If you have time I’ll relate you.
Los: We have so much time that you can speak till you get tired.
Thomas: Ten years ago my parents sent me to the country to my relatives for a while. I had nothing to do there and went for a walk all the time. One day I got tired and lay down on the grass. The sky was covered with clouds suddenly as if a curtain was drew at one place the clouds were dispersed and steps were formed of it. In a few seconds a silhouette of a middle-aged man appeared who sat down on the step. He was in whites and had a nice mustache and beard. He looked at me and I felt warmth in my whole body after what I fell asleep unconsciously.
Loz: You were a little boy and did you get too frightened?
Thomas: No, I was not frightened. I haven’t related this story to anybody except you till now. After that strange stories started, when I was alone in dark some things seemed to me and I had such a feeling as if someone watched me all the time. Once I was on my way home from my uncle’s palace. It was night and there were a few people on the street. It seemed to me that some people were pursuing me and giggling in a child’s voice. I heard some voices like a whisper on an unknown language for me in my ear. I haven’t known till now what it was. As if they tried to frighten me.
Loz: I hope you weren’t frightened.
Thomas: It’s strange but I wasn’t frightened, it was just unpleasant. That’s why I tried not to stay alone. Recently, just a few days ago the same thing happened to me, it was night and I was on my way home again. Could you tell me what all that mean?
Loz: You saw that one who you want to see. I won’t deceive you and I’ll tell you that you might see him himself.
Thomas: Who do you mean?
Loz: I mean the Lord of Heaven. But are you sure that this vision was in connection with you?
Thomas: I am a man and as all mortals I look at the sky and expect something. As if his look granted me magical force, what I took in my hands I could do everything easily.
Loz: Perhaps you are right and all this means something. It is a disputable issue. I advice you don’t let feelings too much freedom. As to those shadows disturbing you they might be ghosts and wanted just to frighten you but nothing more.
Thomas: They made me very frightened then. Why do all others beware of you?
Loz: I am one of the first who joined patron, when he was alone. I preferred staying in fire to being a citizen of heaven till our time comes. Our goal is to become members of that great city that everybody dreams about. But the head-ruler of this city must be Luci. Established rules and everything will stay the same to get there as nobody is going to change them.
Thomas: Why did your master forsake him?
Loz: The patron was the best one among his servants. He saw how my patron was becoming much stronger therefore he threw him into the darkest abyss of hell.
Thomas: But he is the supreme, perfect kindness.
Los: It’s a war for survival, we were found on the other side, that’s all. It’s true that he has created everything that exists. Kindness and evil is confrontation of/between equally strong forces. Do you think these two words differ from each other? They are two events. For some people kindness is evil for others it’s opposite. Does anybody count the number of them?
Thomas: Difference is in their action.
Loz: What do you call kindness when something is done for self-seeking? Self-seeking is evil. I’ll relate you a real story. When I visit different countries I’d like to be where people gather. One of such places is a city garden. One day I was sitting on the bench and in some distance, on the opposite side of me an old man was sitting and humming a song. Suddenly someone approached him from behind, passed him by and stabbed in the back so skillfully that even I could hardly noticed it. The dying old man said the last words hardly –,, All my life I haven’t done good or bad for anybody and why did I get a knife in the back? I discovered the identity of him. He was really a harmless man neither hurt anybody nor did kind for them, in short he was an old selfish man. Such people are more dangerous than others. That killer killed another old man by mistake. He was ordered to kill another. There are a lot of such cases on the earth. There are more things happening by accident than deliberately. But you have to know that we didn`t had a hand in these this affair.
Thomas: How can the old man’s phrase “I haven’t done any good for anybody” be explained?
Loz: In percentage respect kindness happened more often on the earth that’s why he said it.
Thomas: It seems to be vice-versa.
Loz: If you look attentively everything has its easy explanation. When a man was created kindness and evil were instantly created. These features can’t exist without each other. They are as twin brothers have different names but they have a general father.
Thomas wanted to say something opposite but he refrained.
Loz: My words made you sad. Don’t you have anything to say?
Thomas: I think an action has to get the end, therefore as fair a direction is as better its result can be.
Loz: Your confidence and persistence should be appreciated. Despite that I don’t award a status of the truth to you.
Loz stood up, went to the window and gazed at something. In few seconds the door opened and Rushe came in, who was in a black raincoat.
Rushe: Mr. Loz we need your help.
Loz: There is no need of your departure. Moreover, this matter no longer needs our interference. Bonza and Balvay will settle this problem. Believe me they will do such harm for them that they’ll dream about hell. A more interesting journey is expecting us. It’s a long time an interesting person has been asking us to meet him and I think it’s time to talk with him.
Rushe, we should say goodbye to you, because Mr. Thomas and I will consider this case without you. It’s time for us to go. Are you ready?
Thomas nodded him in agreement and suddenly they found themselves in someone’s bedroom. There was a bed in the middle of the room and someone was sleeping in it.
Loz: His name’s Kadmus and he is the governor’s son of this country. He has been asking of help from us for several months. Let’s wait for him for a while. When he wakes up we’ll ask him what he wants from us. As soon as we finish our business here we have to visit a place by all means where our servants live.
Thomas: Where is this place?
Loz: It isn’t too far.
Thomas: It’s clear. How long do we have to wait for this man?
Loz: Wait’s enough. It’s time to wake up our host.
As Loz finished these words a lying man raised himself slowly from the bed, took a seat and wide opened his eyes in astonishment. He was staring at Thomas and Loz, because he couldn’t understand what was going on.
Loz: Kadmus, do you meet your invited gusts in such a way?
Kadmus: Who are you? How did you dare to enter here?
Loz: Don’t shout, we are here by you request.
Kadmus: Who are you? What are you blurting out? I don’t know you.
Loz: Think over what you are talking, every word is of great importance and that’s why being careful before you say them. I repeat we are here by your request! You have a chance to talk to us and we are all ears. What do you want?
Kadmus realized after all that he was in danger and changed his voice timber.
Kadmus: I am sorry gentlemen, but I couldn’t recognize you... Is that really you? I could never imagine that my request would come true.
Loz: We are listening to you. We are just here to help you.
Kadmus: Yes, I need your help. My father treated me unfairly. He left my younger brother the most of property in his will. When I think about it I feel smothered with bitterness.
Loz: I advise you how to act and if you follow everything that I charge you will success by all means. Don’t hurry up and be gradual, always say words carefully, otherwise you won’t get proper results. Tell your brother that your father has a secret and don’t disclose what secret it is to him for two weeks. After that, when this time passes tell him that your father has an illegitimate son for whom he has hidden enormous fortune and in comparison with him he left you a red cent.
Kadmus: If he doesn’t believe me, what shall I do then?
Loz: Behave as I tell you and I’ll take care of the rest. Don’t ask me unnecessary questions. Go and start to carry out my words. If you don’t mind we’ll stay for a while and then we’ll go to our own way. Don’t worry about the rest.
Kadmus nodded Loz in agreement and left the room.
Loz: Can you see what people worry about? This man deceived us concerning the division of property. He just wants the whole fortune to be left for him and nothing for his brother. I helped him to fulfill his desire, because he wants so and then I’ll add his soul to our union. Are you ready to leave for where we are expected today?
Thomas wasn`t able to answer the question because of instantly they found themselves in a thick forest where a lot of creatures were going hither and thither. Some were sitting on the trees and arguing about something.
When they saw Loz they stopped at once. Then Loz signed one of them with a hand to come to him.
Loz: Tell me Skila what are these stupid ones making a noise about?
Skila: They are making a noise all the time, I my soul is bothered with them. They filled my ears with this a meaningless chat. They stop only then when they see you.
Loz: Do you have something to tell me?
Skila: We’ve been in a bit difficulty recently, because resistance is getting stronger.
Loz: To overcome stronger resistance is possible by he strongest one. That’s why don’t you dare lament, I won’t forgive you for it. I demand selfless/ devoting service from you. Now, if you don’t mind, call Mino, it seems he has something to relate me and I’ve come here to listen to everybody.
Skila signed someone with a hand to come near and he stepped aside.
Loz: I’m listening to you Mino, what do you have to say?
Mino: I looked through a list and chose one of the souls, he is a man of faith and that’s why I locked him in a basement. I have given him neither food nor drink for a week.
Loz: Do you think something will come out of hunger?
Mino: I’m sure when I come and see him his soul would be already broken like a crystal vase.
Loz: He has been able to stand hunger for a week and you couldn’t persuade him, now you can’t get anything, now his flesh has no worth and his soul knows it. You made a main mistake just here. You have to break a soul first if you manage to do it you would get a result by all means.
Loz signed Mino with eyes to get away and at the same time signed someone with a hand to come to him.
Loz: Eteo, now it’s your time, I’m listening to you.
Eteo: I presented myself dressed in a monk’s clothes and habit to a godly and poor man. I predicted him wealth and glory and even I partly fulfilled what I promised him. After that he completely forgot his past.
Loz: At first sight your work is OK, but one day he can lose this wealth wholly or have no wish to collaborate more and in this case what will you do? You have to make him commit such a thing that will dim over his soul. Know that I’ll surely ask you about the end of this story. Now you come who is staring at me. What do you have to say?
Asmo: I have nothing to boast, because I haven’t completed work yet.
Loz: I think it’s interesting to listen for a started work as well, relate me.
Asmo: I dropped envy between two fool sisters because of a man. They sometimes drive each other to such things, that even I am surprised at such cruelty from people. The most interesting will be when their mother learns about it because that man is her husband.
Loz: If events develop in such a cruel way it will be very funny and I’ll like it. Now, let’s listen to Skila, because I feel he has something interesting to tell us. And so, move up over here and relate us.
Skila: I work on one of the public officials, but you’ll get surprised that I couldn’t find anything to snatch at yet.
Loz: Remember one thing that it is not worth to waste time on ordinary or undistinguished souls except of special cases. There is plenty of work to do, so you have to act fast.
Skila: It’s quite right. I`ve told you a lot of times, it isn’t worth to waste time on doubtful business. But Isme got results as he created people’s collection. It’d better to listen to him.
Skila signed someone with a hand to begin talking.
Isme: I made acquaintance of a person who is very talented. He is one of the strongest financiers and at the same time he is very rich. We set up an organization, that finances a great number of other projects and due to it I’m planning to do necessary affairs for me.
Loz: This business seems to be interesting and I think it’ll have a good continuation as I have the similar servant too. He finances some people all the time as if he suffers from philanthropy. Sometimes, even I believe in his charity deeds. Before I say goodbye to you I’d like to listen to Labda. Maybe he has something interesting to tell me.
Labda: I’ll tell you right now. I’ve chosen an unusually nice town as I like to work in nice cities. There lives a fortune-teller in this town whom I support in treatment of people. A lot of people are standing in line for her and I’m going to enroll these people in our long list.
Loz: Good luck to everybody. Now we have to say goodbye, because we are busy too. Remember that patron is well informed about everything. Sooner or later, he’ll learn everything and that’s why behave yourselves.
Loz and Thomas said goodbye to everyone being there and started in slow steps to the forest exit.
Loz: Have you noticed they are like small children? These stupid souls can’t stand without instructions. I knew about Isme’s story before and I am award of it as well. What do you think about it?
Thomas: Yes, but their money is used for goodness as well, isn’t it?
Loz: The main thing is a result and what money is used for it’s a question of minor importance. Are you ready for next travel?
Thomas: Yes, why not?
Loz: Before we pay a visit we have to come around to one place.
Loz looked at Thomas, then stretched out his hand to ground and turned around his arm. As a result Thomas’s eyes burnt violently and he felt such a pain as if a bitter pepper was put into his eyes. When the pain relieved Thomas saw a huge iron gate where skeletons, chains and people being in flames were expressed there. There was such heat from the depth of the gate that Thomas felt burning throughout body.
Loz opened the gate with his hand and they came in. As they entered scorching shackles were put on Thomas’ hands and feet. He felt a pain caused from burning but there was no sing on his body.
Loz: You have to bear that for a while. As you get out from here everything will relieve. We have to get into the depth of hell and it’s impossible in a different way.
There was complete darkness and it was so hot that Thomas could hardly breathe. There were frightening voices and whimper heard from somewhere. Someone appeared in the depth and approached them. He signed with a hand to follow him. They headed to the tunnel deep in the ground, where there was very dark.
Loz: Thomas I know that you can’t see but try to follow me. I know the way very well and we’ll get the place.
This tunnel had a lot of caves, from where faint cry and clench of teeth were heard.
After ten minutes walk they entered one of the caves. There was a cave like a room in the depth of ground. There a lamp on hanging chain was lightened. Some faceless creatures were standing over a sitting man. As they saw Loz they stepped aside immediately.
Thomas could see a man tied in chains, who was a bag of bones. As if ravens had scratched his body. Here and there the skin was scraped out and the flesh was seen.
Loz: Tipo, tell me, couldn`t you break him down?
Tipo: He got so exhausted that he can’t speak. It seems the soul’s already left him. At last what he managed was he wrote that he had no flesh, the soul had left him and nothing would come out for us
Loz: Everything is clear you have to admit you’ve lost this battle. Lock the entrance and left him alone with his flesh.
After that Loz and Thomas went towards the gate back on the same way. They were about in a few steps near the entrance when Thomas felt a sense of relief on his arms and legs. As soon as he was out the chains as appeared so disappeared.
Thomas: It seems very hard for people to be here.
Loz: You saw how the man was feeling in the cave. Of course, it’s hard for him.
Thomas: He has a strong spirit.
Loz: That he can bear pain it doesn’t mean he has a strong spirit. They made a mistake in this case. One of the demons went too far as he wanted to reach success quickly. He destroyed the flesh and gave freedom to soul. It’s impossible to get results from such souls by high speed.
Thomas: Where will his soul go after death?
Loz: I don’t know, I can’t say it exactly.
Loz was busy with the conversation. They were out of the forest for a long time and there was an endless, dark space spread before them now
Loz: I’ll relate you a story that happened to me personally and you’ll see the difference between other businesses. Some centuries ago I was visiting my favorite city when a good scenario came to my mind. I chose twelve people for it and offered a competition to them and a winner would get a lot of money. I had a talk singly with each of them and I promised every of them to support only him in gaining the victory.
I called this game “Price of Life”, a winner would become the richest man by the state of that time. Rules were very simple and their simplicity lies being no rules. They had no restriction and had complete freedom in action and imagination.
Then I locked them in the basement of my servant’s palace of their own free will and gave them only water. I had all conditions of the game agreed with them. They began rivaling against each other from the first day. On the third day six men arranged with each other and the others were single-handed. These six negotiated to keep watch because those others not to commit something against them. They knew from the very beginning that they got hungry and one of them could become food, that’s why all of them were careful.
On the fifth day these six decided to kill two men and use them as food. They waited until others went asleep, then they smothered two men and started to worked them up.
The other four were woken up by this noise and they couldn’t utter a word for fear. This food was enough for these six conspirators for two days. During these two days other four men spiritually were getting strong. They saw their cruelty and seized by fear when food was over their turn would come as well. On the seventh day they even didn’t wait till those six conspirators came to their senses and attacked them in order to save themselves.
Imagine four hungry and six well-fed men. How do you think who won this fight?
Thomas: I don’t know, it seems to be a high probability of winning the four ones. I think hungry ones had more chance. Those six were fleshly fed up and spiritually weak accordingly.
Loz: Well done Thomas, you think in a right way. Thus the hungry overcame the fed up ones. They won and got six slices of flesh after this hunting. Food was enough only for three days. Then it got stunk and was no more edible. It was the fourteenth day when two of four, relatively strong ones, decided to get a rid of the other two and they finished the others off in the same way. Thus, there were the two strongest ones left face to face.
Thomas: I think both were worth giving the first place of honor.
Loz: Yes, I thought the same, but they flatly refused. At dawn of the nineteenth day they fell upon each other and after a long fight and struggle none of them could win. They tired made an agreement not to fight any more and who would fall asleep first he would die respectively. They sat face to face and stared at each other for two days and nights. On the twenty-first day they both fell asleep at the same time.
Thomas: Did you get them both win still?
Loz: No, their struggle was settled simply. That one, who woke the first he finished the other off. Thus I bred the first man-wolf. I gave the winner everything that I promised and let him go but of course for a while.
Thomas: It’s clear there is an animal in every man. This matter showed me once more that man’s blood has a taste of steel.
Loz: You are an attentive soul you felt the point of everything exactly. You know, you are an interesting man and I want you to accompany me to a place where I`m going. I visited this family sometime ago and still I’m expected gladly there. They live in the provinces and have a very nice house. I sometimes go on vacation there in order to relax and give my soul peace. For information I’ll tell you that I introduced myself to them as a vet and I gave them even a consultation about some horned cattle. Are you ready to go and continue our performance?
As Loz finished his words they flashed through the yellow space again and found themselves in the yard of a very nice house. Loz approached the door and knocked. An old woman opened the door and greeted Loz with great respect.
The old woman was called Greta and it seemed she worked as a maid in this house. She led the guests to the library and went to warn her master.
Loz: They have no idea who they deal with therefore so I’ll introduce you to them as my colleague.
After a while the door of library opened and a tall man with a nice beard and a mustache came in.
Loz: Ers, my dear friend, how are you? I haven’t seen you for centuries.
Ers: I’m OK, thank you. How are you? What’s the news of you?
Loz: I’m OK too, thank you. Meet my colleague. He’s a very talented person, we pin high hopes on him.
Ers: Talent is like a jug, if you don’t pour water into it its worth is zero. I’d like to say that without work talent is useless. Don’t be offended young man I don’t know you and of course I don’t mean you. I don’t know what plans you have but you can stay with me as long as you wish.
Loz: Thank you, we’ll avail ourselves of your proposal.
Ers: Excuse me I’ll leave you for a while. Meanwhile I’ll order to prepare rooms for you and join you soon. We are having a party today and I have to give instructions as well.
The host left the library with a smile on his face. It was obvious that he was very glad to see them.
Loz: This man attracts me very much and I enjoy communicating with him. We need wise souls but of course fighting on our side. As my patron sometimes mentions if you don’t keep up a good fire you won`t warm yourself by only hot coals.
There was a knock at the door and an old servant came in, who asked them to follow him to show rooms for them. They quietly followed the servant, saw the rooms and came back to the library. Mr. Ers followed them in step.
Ers: Today I am expecting guests for the evening and let’s have a good time. I’m very glad that you visited me.
Loz: Yes, we like to be here as well, what will you say Thomas?
Thomas: Yes, we do really have a pleasant host.
Ers: Mr. Loz your young colleague speaks very little he is either shy or timid.
Thomas: No, I am neither shy nor timid. It’s more useful for me to listen to you. A man`s head is like a chest what he has put in it he takes it out back in case of need.
Ers: That’s the right reasoning, but sometimes it’s necessary to prove yourself in the conversation. Even that you have said it points to your education.
Loz: He isn`t accustomed making a pun he is more attracted by a thirst for knowledge.
Ers: When I was a bloke I too used to think like him. I learnt some fields of knowledge throughout years. I have a good command of five languages as my native. I used to avoid entertaining and I tried to dedicate myself to books. Youth passed by so quickly that when I looked back I was too far away. Damned years little by little entrusted me with idle talk.
Loz: With passing of years the time of death approaches and this is the cruelest thing in this life.
Ers: I don’t agree with you Mr. Loz. Time itself is life it’s a big book that you turn over little by little till it’s over.
Loz: But with one difference, the book is in the hands of you so you can turn over at the last page and learn what the end of the story is. Time, life and death, these three events are a man’s essential parts and therefore existence is interesting.
Ers: Death is evil, thinking of it strikes fear into a man`s heart, but he lives with hope that it isn’t his time yet.
Thomas: Fear and hope are pernicious for a man and salvation is only in sagacity.
Loz: The most of people are cowards they just try to play heroes. A man is a wonderful creature he is the only being on the earth that kills without any reason. As a man was born all these events were created which we are talking about, we can say that everything is His creation.
Ers: A man, who leads a depraved life, has a sense of fear towards everything. That’s why God threw a man deep in thoughts for his sins. It isn’t allowed for a man to be ungrateful towards everything.
Loz: A man is ungrateful by nature and at the same time he has an insatiable appetite.
Ers: We forget that we are also human beings and we have a lot of faults as well. To live in luxury must not be a goal. It’s the essential rule, that a man always forgets and vital agitation sucks him in. Such action harms his soul.
Thomas: A bog of sins that sucks you in.
Ers: Yes, it sucks as a bog and it’s almost impossible to get rid of it, of course, unless someone stretched you out a branch of a tree.
Loz: There is no point. Such people always get into the bog. No matter how many times you save them they still don’t come to their senses.
Ers: I have made a lot of people come back from the depraved way and put them on the righteous way. It’s worth only for them who can save themselves. I hope there will be a high percentage of those who’ll be saved.
Loz: I don’t think those, who you’ve helped, will give you the same help. Have not you heard a famous saying – who I blessed that cursed me.
Ers: My sir, a lot of things happened to me and that’s why I act so. Actually, a man has his own distinctive point of view concerning one or another question. A man shouldn’t do good in order to be seen or loaded with thanks by someone. Somebody just has to do the good. It is me in this case and there are others in other cases and so on. Goodness brings us closer to paradise.
Loz: Hell is closer than paradise. So, many people go straight there by mistake.
Ers: I don’t know, I suppose if a man deserves to get to paradise he’ll get there by all means, if he intends to go to hell, nobody will prevent him. Do you know what I think? When a man goes to hell his soul stays with his flesh as the underworld is on the earth and it can’t be otherwise.
Loz: You speak so as if you’ve been there.
Ers: Paradise is in the light, hell is in the dark. There is complete darkness fallen, where a soul doesn’t have spiritual food and can’t escape from there. A soul has everything in paradise, because a soul is free there.
Loz: Light is invented to illuminate darkness, but it costs too much. I tell you in literal sense of word that darkness is free of charge. You may have forgotten that it was darkness at the beginning and only after that light was made.
Ers: It’s true, but all these are created by God and leave the right with him to decide what the main is. Aren’t you tired gentlemen?
Loz: Not at all, it’s a great pleasure to speak with you, do you agree Thomas?
Thomas: It’s a great honor to be here and I listen to your conversation with great pleasure.
Ers: Before they set the table I’ll relate you a story and relieve the tension a little.
I have a friend who lives too far from here and he visited me a few days ago. He is a detective and deals with criminals. And he read me a letter of one of the bastards who repented that part of his life about which he was writing in this letter.
Loz: No wonder because every thief or robber starts repentance after he is seized.
Ers: Yes, it’s so in most cases. Here is what the repentant wrote – he repented of that time when he committed a lot of bad things. He wrote that he reformed and he didn’t even look towards those acts.
Thomas: If he reformed, how did it happen that he was seized?
Ers: I didn’t say that he was seized. At first I had the same question and asked my friend. He told me that this person hadn’t been seized by anyone and even his identity was not known to anyone. This letter was on another detective’s desk and then it was given to my friend to investigate. He confessed to doing such crimes that it was obligatory to investigate these acts.
Thomas: It’s interesting what made him changed his mind. Did he mention it in his letter?
Ers: No, he didn’t mention the reason why he changed his mind. There are just some phrases. For example, he said he was blind, now he recovered his sight and he saw the light.
Loz: Perhaps the Bible had influence on his decision. He inspired me with his personality, so I’ll be delighted to make his acquaintance.
Ers: Yes it would be nice, but perhaps he wrote this confession before his death, because people don’t usually write such letters.
Loz: Such people may make a claim on honesty.
Ers: Honesty isn’t the main thing for a man. We, all are like climbers, we move upward slowly till we get the top.
Thomas: And in the case of falling we’ll find ourselves straight in hell.
Ers: It’s the worst thing that can happen to a man, but everybody has to remember that the key of paradise is in his hand.
Loz: But he lets slip the key when he is falling from the top into the underworld. It would be better for him to hold it not in a hand but with teeth. A man thinks that he will be forgiven everything and he is free in his actions, but he is responsible for his actions before both sides.
Ers: You are right, but there is a limit to everything. A man shouldn’t forget the truth for some minutes of pleasure, he must be careful in his actions.
Thomas: If you include deliberation and caution in pleasure, it won’t be pleasure.
Loz: It’s difficult to resist the temptation when its price is too high.
Ers: A soul is another essence in a man and therefore a soul should overcome temptation in spite of its price is so high.
Loz: That one who can’t resist the temptation will become a hell dish and despite it they don’t care about it.
Ers: Evil spirits are very much aware of their behavior. If a kind man sees a blind one going to the precipice he’ll help him, and a wicked man, on the contrary will facilitate him to fall into the precipice.
Thomas: Temptation is a demand coming from a man’s mind.
Loz: A demon sits down on his shoulder at times and gives him some advice to tempt him.
Ers: If a man has a pure soul nobody can hurt him. A demon is nothing special. But his patron is very powerful. He manages to destroy and spoil, to establish his domination over the earth by fear. He achieved so much that he is called an invader of life.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door and a young maid went into the room, who told them that the invited guests had already come. .
After some minutes of silence Mr. Ers took out a watch from the pocket of his jacket and looked at it.
Ers: Can you see gentlemen how much time has passed? It’s always so, when you have an interesting interlocutor, time flies. Now the guests are waiting for us and we’d better go to meet them.
Mr. Ers asked the guests to follow him and led them into the hall where there was a large wooden table and the table was set, the new guests were waiting for them there.
The host asked the guests to sit down at the table and ordered servants to pour wine into glasses.
Loz took the advantage of starting a conversation: - Allow me Mr. Ers to make the first speech.
Gentlemen, I have been in many families but I haven’t met such a hospitable host. I’d like to wish this family every success.
One of the guests, by the name of Mos, stood up and said with a happy face: -I’d like to add that in our part of the world the nicest and most delicious table is laid here in this family.
The guests picked up this manner and by standing up proposed toasts to Ers’s family.
Ers: Gentlemen, nobility of the family isn`t defined by beauty of the table, although I thank you for this toast.
Thomas: Beauty can be very tempting as gold.
One of the guests, whose name was Libi, bent towards Thomas and shook hands friendly.
Libi: Yes, you are right. Gold glitters and muddies a man`s mind.
Mos: Friends, it is said that gold glitters in hell too. This saying is more suitable for money.
Libi: This saying concerns gold coins. I still think that it doesn’t illuminate hell but money itself is hell.
Ers: Money is a cruel and merciless killer. Mr. Bosiue, why are you silent, you have a large collection of coins and your opinion will be interesting.
Bosiue: You are speaking so interestingly that I didn’t cut in. As to the collection, yes, I have it indeed, but I am not good at it, just when I hold a golden coin in my hand I feel myself more bravely, as if it adds strength to me.
Ers: You are an interesting interlocutor and that’s why a conversation becomes interesting.
Loz: Nothing special, we just held a play of thoughts.
Mos: By the way, what about playing cards after dinner?
Bosiue: I’ll also join you with great pleasure and I’ll choose Sola as my partner, of course, if he doesn’t refuse to partner me at cards.
Sola: Mr. Bosiue, how can I refuse to partner you? But I am afraid it won’t work today because I have to leave you early. But before that I’d like to relate you an interesting story that happened when we had some repair work in my estate. There worked an old peasant, who has six unmarried daughters. A few days ago my neighbor visited me, who is an owner of an estate as well and asked me for all six girls` hands in marriage. Of course I, got surprised and let him go with refusal, but didn’t think at that moment why this one man needed propose marriage to six girls altogether simultaneously. I didn’t understand what all that meant, I couldn’t rest easy and the next day I visited him. I wish I didn’t come, because there was bad news to me. My neighbor had a heart attack and died.
Loz: What a pity, do you think that your refusal caused this fact?
Solo: No he had heart problems before and my refusal doesn’t matter. I just can’t understand why he came to me with such a stupid request. I even thought that he was a maniac and I don’t regret indeed that I refused him.
Ers: I can’t tell you what drove him, but he had a goal by all means. In contrast to you I have a more impressive story to relate, that happened a long time ago, I have a friend, who was a builder. One day he asked me to come to him I didn’t delay and visited him that day. He warned me not to laugh at him, because he had to relate a strange story. Then he gave me sheets of paper on which something was written and he asked me to read. Certainly I read it and got dull with astonishment. He had written a very interesting novel. As it seemed he decided to become a writer some years ago and he used to engage in this occupation secretly, but he confided it to me, because I was his only friend. Although it is not the main thing, thirty-three years have passed since then and I remember the story written in the novel till now.
Loz: Could you relate us what your friend wrote?
Ers: I’ll relate you what I remember as far as possible, because a lot of time passed and I have lost the thread of memory a long time ago.
Basically he wrote about a struggle between kind and evil, I remember some of the expressions – the powerful weapon of evil is envy and disgust. There were two heroes, kind and evil who found themselves together on the desert island. What I remember well is that there was related about a struggle of ideas between kindness and wickedness. Besides, I especially liked some phrases, which I remember, for instance – “A man meets his conscience in the dark and loses to it.” “Who can forgive evil can’t overcome him.” “The evil has a heart like dark night.” “Those play heroes who are born coward.” Yes, gentlemen it’s incredible, but I remember these phrases after so much time.
Mos: He probably copied famous philosophers` phrases. It’s hard to believe that such a talent for writing was arisen in an ordinary builder so unexpectedly.
Loz: Do you know Mr. Mos that genius is in simplicity?
Ers: I apologize to you Mr. Moss, but you don’t know what you say. I can tell you with confidence, that I haven’t met these phrases anywhere else and I have no idea how he thought up so many good ideas. I stake my estate on it if any of you show me any book where these phrases will be imprinted.
Anger was read straight on Mr. Ers’s face, because he was sure in truthfulness of his words.
Ers: Here are some more and if you’d like you can write them down – “Beauty oscillates between goodness and evil.” “A pig learnt to whistle and fancied it-self a nightingale.” “Thirst for knowledge leads us to a sin.” “The greatest talent is love.” “Who enjoys looking at evil he sinks in his own shit.” “Kindness is a child of faith. Flesh has no mind.” “Man, you are a human if you justify the existence of a body.” “Kindness is like a drop of water falling unless it breaks a lie.” These phrases belong to my friend indeed and I have read them with my own eyes, and you Mr. Mos, with your distrust, you bring into question the uprightness of my words.
Mos: I am sorry, I didn’t want to annoy you I just expressed my opinion which turned out foolish now, when I thought it over.
Ers: I apologize to all of you for getting so furious. In short, I’ll tell the main thing. I used to go to him almost every day for three years and watched him how he worked on his novel. Then it happened so that I had to leave the country for three months. As I arrived I went to my friend, as if I had a premonition of something bad, but I couldn’t imagine what happened.
I directly went in his house because the door was open. I saw him standing at the fireplace and throwing some papers into the fire. He looked at me and said – “It’s the last.” Then he came to me with tears in his eyes and embraced me. He destroyed the whole work. I asked him why he did it and he gave me such an answer to my question, that- it will be incomprehensible for people and what`s the point to say it?!
Of course, I quarreled with him over his senseless behavior but he was so irritated that there was no point to talk to him.
Libo: It is a very interesting and at the same time incredible story. What happened next?
Ers: Then he told me, as he finished writing the novel he sat down and read it from the beginning to the end. He said that he waited for me for two or three days and he wasn`t going to burn but as I didn’t appear that’s why he did it. He seemed to burn it for three days little by little.
Thomas: Where is your friend now?
Ers: You asked me so that you know what happened to him. He led a usual life for two years, he just worried about his behavior during that time and he tried to rewrite the novel to restore it several times, but he couldn’t.
Then a regrettable thing happened. He got into mental hospital. In one word, this genius man went mad.
Loz: Genius is a friend of madness.
Bosiue: He seemed to die.
Ers: No sir, he is alive and he is still there. Poor Shandor... He has almost been in mental hospital for thirty years.
I often go to see him because he doesn’t have anybody except me. Mr. Loz, it’s strange but you said the exact phrase that he has used in one of the episodes of his work.
Loz: It suddenly came to my mind and I said, it is just a coincidence and nothing more. Perhaps I have heard it from you sometime and I remembered it now.
Ers: I might even say it. My poor friend has an interesting surname but I don’t know where he is from and I couldn’t find out.
Bosiue: What’s his surname?
Mos: When you visit him, do you talk about anything? Does he remember anything from his work?
Ers: He remembers the only thing that he has written something, but he doesn’t remember what he has written or what it was about. He thinks that someone took away his work and locked him up in mental hospital. He is obsessed by this fixed idea.
Bosiue: Maybe there is a grain of truth in his words.
Ers: What do you mean, sir? Say it more legibly. Do you know anything concerning this case?
Loz: Mr. Bosiue means that he was incited by invisible powers to destroy the work. As a result of all that he went mad though that version can be acceptable, but there is another one.
Bosiue: It’s hard to believe what happened. Maybe some mysterious power made him to do it.
Ers: Thank goodness, otherwise I thought Mr. Bosiue blamed me.
Bosiue: How could I think it about you, Mr. Ers?
Loz: I’ll go with you to him once because it will be very interesting to meet him.
Ers: As you like Mr. Loz. Do you know what an interesting thing he said to me?! – ,, Why are we considered mad? Maybe because we are few, and I don’t consider so that it can be the contrary and you will turn out the mad.”
Bosiue: Your friend has an interesting point of view.
Mos: It would be interesting to know how the confrontation between evil and kind characters ended in that work.
Ers: I don’t know how this story ended but what I have read I concluded from it that a winner is impossible to be revealed because this confrontation is between evil and kind powers. These two powers dominate the world and none of the mortals can measure the strength of these them. Hurricane and flood are created by nature as well but which of them has more strength nobody knows.
Mos: What was else interesting written there?
Ers: There was written about truth, for people truth is that they consider themselves to be true and actually they aren’t interested in reality.
Bosiue: Unfortunately this is the reality of nowadays. God didn’t create the earth for it that the majority of people surrender themselves to arrogance and selfishness. Some behave so that even a beast will envy them
Ers: There lives a dormant beast in all of us, that’s why god will come down from the clouds and all the eyes will see him, even those who break their given word to him every day... “And all the tribes of the earth will cry before him.”- I suddenly recollected these words from the Bible.
Sola: In my opinion, everything is fault of that there was made a mistake at the beginning. A man mustn’t be forgiven, because when he knows that he’ll be forgiven for everything that he commits then he lets it become a habit.
Bosiue: The Creator loves his creatures and that’s why He is gracious to them. Don’t forget that a man is the only creature who can fight against evil.
Ers: And it’s often forgotten that he mustn’t enjoy God’s confidence and shouldn`t make himself bold.
Mos: It’s true if you give somebody a finger to bite he’ll eat up your arm.
One of the guests named Teso, who worked at the local newspaper as a journalist, moved forward a bit and addressed Mr. Ers.
Teso: I know many of them who are bold in their actions. I met one of them some time ago he is a murderer and doesn’t care about a man’s life.
Mos: Do you know him personally or there was an article about him in the newspaper?
Teso: Yes, I know him personally and I published the article about him in the newspaper. One day he visited me in my house without permission and made his confession. He confessed the fact of sixteen mens murder to me.
Mos: Why did he need it, you aren’t a priest?
Teso: I can’t tell you what his intention was.
Ers: Did he relate his activities in details?
Teso: Yes, I’ll tell you. His name is Andrew, you’ll get surprised but he has related in details how and where he committed his crimes.
Mos: He is impudent and bustard, that your Andrew is.
Teso: While he was relating he had such an expression on his face as if he was a witness of these murders and not an executor. I watched and noticed how he enjoyed playing as he had got the feel of his role.
Bosiue: Poor one, he couldn’t realize what he did.
Loz: Didn’t you inform the police about it?
Teso: He warned me not to tell anyone anything for a month otherwise I would be the seventeenth victim and what should I do? He had committed so much cruelty that I didn’t doubt that I also could survive. After a month, of course, I informed the police.
Loz: It seems that your confessor often visits Satan for a consultation.
Ers: Alas, who don’t understand what they do! Such people come to a bad end of their existence.
Libo: If he realizes what he does and yet, it aggravates more his guilt.
Bosiue: He can’t imagine what will expect him.
Mos: Nobody knows what will expect him.
Bosiue: He stands in the flame of hell and he’s a friend of death, I hope he’ll soon meet it.
Teso: I told him the same but he replied that to kill a man doesn’t mean to meet death, because he had seen real death. Although he didn’t relate what he had seen.
Ers: Mr. Loz, once you related an interesting story to me on which really can be said to be the art of death.
Loz: Yes, I related it to you and Mr. Gige it.
Gige: It’s an incredible story, relate it again please.
Loz: Such fact happened indeed. Once I was away on business in one of the cities, where a big cathedral was erected and there, about thousand of people poisoned themselves in order to die.
A person who was called Rev persuaded them to take poison. I watched them falling down one after another as dominoes. It was an indescribable thing.
Mos: Were you there exactly at that time? What a striking coincidence!
Loz: As I told you, I was away on business in that city and I was having a walk near the cathedral. I heard some noise and went in. The most noticeable what struck my eyes was that all of them were richly dressed and were holding small glasses in their hands which they drank in a synchronized way.
Ers: What a pity that a swindler stirred up so many peoples mind.
Gige: It seemed they thought to find salvation in this rite and this enabled them to commit suicide.
Ers: I am sure there were selected the majority of such people who had never thought about anything except dressing well and eating during their lifetime.
Solo: I know people of such class. They give advice on everything to everybody and then laugh at them from an outsider’s viewpoint.
Bosiue: Such ones don’t give but distribute advice and there is nothing left for them-selves.
Mos: Never mind Mr. Solo, you know this saying: he who laughs last, laughs best.
Ers: No sir, he laughs best who laughs loudly and not who laughs last. I think such interpretation is more verisimilar for this time, because that saying was disfigured a long time ago and it is assumed so nowadays.
Bosiue: I am sorry that people are so cruel.
Solo: It isn’t worth worrying, because they don’t deserve it. Unfortunately for us, we often make a mistake in recognizing such people.
Bosiue: An eye makes a mistake feeling doesn’t. That’s why we should believe feelings more than an eye.
Ers: Most of people don’t expect wrath from heaven and that’s why they are impudent.
Bosiue: What can we expect from an ordinary mortal when a trade fair is opened in the cathedral?
Mos: If we judge so to enter a cathedral with money must be prohibited, because money is evil and one of Satan’s weapons.
Teso: According to you, it means that Satan feeds cathedrals with our own hands. Don’t be offended, my friends, but it’s nothing more than complete nonsense.
Sola: Don’t consider this issue so strictly, because most of people are under the control of a stomach.
Bosiue: Do you think that human`s source of sins passes through a stomach, an organ that isn’t interested in anything except one thing to fill up an empty space?
Solo: Yes, I do exactly.
Ers: I think if a man is upright, he won’t let a stomach to control him.
Loz: It doesn’t concern a stomach but it’s a sense too – imagine you are sitting in the theater and watching an interesting performance, at that moment a late spectator comes into the hall and sits down behind you. He smells so badly that people sitting around are sighing anxiously. It’s interesting what will your organ of sense feel in this case?
Mos: Of course, I won’t be really pleased and get angry, and if there is another seat I’ll change a place.
Loz: No sir, imagine that there is no other place and that seat was the last one that was occupied by that late spectator.
Bosiue: You don’t leave us another choice Mr. Loz, in this case there are two options either you have to stand it or you should do something. But everybody has to decide what and how individually.
Ers: In these cases it’s necessary to move your attention to another thing, for instance to a performance that you attend or any other thing.
Teso: I would probably push some of spectators and altogether we would make him to get out of the hall.
Thomas: I would just go out from the hall and take a breath of fresh air, because I think that in frequent cases an organ influences a man indeed.
Ers: I liked Mr. Thomas’s consideration as his decision indicates a man’s honesty.
Gige: I get convinced once again that wisdom doesn’t come only with addition of years but a man may have gained it rather much earlier. And I see so much wisdom in Mr. Thomas that perhaps I’ll even borrow some from him and nothing will decrease with him.
Bosiue: And one more thing, if there isn’t something in a man that opens the door for wisdom, in that case his life will pass without this magnificent event.
Ers: I`ll borrow it from one of the thinkers and tell you that a man’s wisdom isn’t defined with a great number of grey hairs on his head. As for Mr. Thomas he is a gifted young man and a progressive thinker. But nevertheless, definite years are necessary to say about a man that he has become wise. Don’t get offended any of you this is just my consideration. Fruit needs time to ripen in order to be picked from the tree, although it’s too important to gather fruit in time not to get dried on the tree and not to be left without being tasted.
Thomas: I think that I didn`t say anything genius, but still I am grateful for warm words.
Loz: Mr. Thomas’s modesty as well indicates that he is worthy of our attention indeed and he really deserves to be praised.
Ers: I’ll expand on it and tell you that I haven’t done anything deliberately to gain wisdom. I just followed a voice of the symphony created from a gentle breeze which life offered me and I have never followed a storm.
Loz looked at guest without being noticed who were listening to Mr. Ers with pleased faces.
Loz: Do you hear Mr. Thomas, what words?! I have been telling you what a wonderful person Mr. Ers is.
Ers: Don’t make me blush Mr. Loz. You’d better relate something interesting to us, otherwise you praised me to the skies and you know I dislike when I am praised. As you know, I sometimes happen to travel in different countries as well and once I had to go to one of Latin America countries. The best place is a coast there and I often used to go for a walk there and during one of my walking I saw a little girl who was trying to drag something into the sea. I certainly came to help her and what I saw that was a small white shark which looked more dead than alive. I told the girl to leave it alone because to be so close to it was too dangerous. She didn’t obey me and asked me to help her to drag it into the sea. The shark soon disappeared in the water. It happened so quickly that I couldn’t realize what was going on.
The girl was so satisfied and glad that she headed along the coast dancing and I called her behind her back “how did you know that it would survive?” She answered “I didn’t know and how could I know I am so little after all”
Teso: What a sentimental story! May I publish this story in my newspaper?
Ers: Yes, it would be good, but don’t mention me in it please, because I have no wish to appear in society too much.
Bosiue: Some people spend so much time to appear in society and you...
Ers: How can I waste time on it, I know its price very well and that’s why I try to use time for another more important thing.
Teso: When my spouse died I felt it keenly, but after some time has passed the pain got relieved.
Loz: Time will take sorrow with itself it is the only cure for a pain that is distributed free of charge.
Teso: It depends on a man, as some of them don’t need the help of time, because they don’t care about anybody except themselves and interest nothing at all.
Ers: Such people, when they stay alone with themselves, are very poor. When you aren’t thirsty and you drink spring water, it isn’t tasty, but who is thirsty for him it is life.
Solo: OK, it is clear, but in which category will you list these people who experience time and can’t change anything?
Ers: I can’t divide anybody into categories and accordingly I won’t list them in, because for that they are destined it will be fulfilled by all means, although if they wish and do their best to direct their life in the different direction they may change something.
Solo: Allow me to agree with you, a lot of things can be changed indeed, if a man wishes.
Loz: Do you think that every man’s way is determined from the very beginning? Believe me it isn’t so.
Ers: I agree with Mr. Loz, The Creator gave a man the right of choice and it means nothing is determined.
Sola: So, has the saying – “there is everything written on a man’s forehead” lost its topicality in your opinion?
Loz: No it hasn’t, because it didn’t even have it.
Teso: I happened to be a witness of an interesting event and this story will explain a lot. It happened in the same house where I live. A bad accident happened to my neighbor`s son. The child’s parrot flew out from a cage and perched on a branch of the tree nearby the window. The child climbed on the windowsill, leaned forward and fell down from the second floor. Fortunately, he survived, but he sustained a strong injury in the head. Doctors` diagnosis to him was a fracture of skull base. The child turned into a living object. A head of the family sold everything what he had and paid a lot of money to the hospital to have the child on the artificial breathing apparatus. He himself went to one of the monasteries as a novice, where he stayed for a long time and even got the rank. I don’t know what rank, but it isn’t the main thing, because a miracle happened. One nice day a messenger brought him a letter, where it was written that his child had opened eyes and asked him to come to the hospital.
This story proves the idea once more that a man’s fate is in his hands. He did receive the grace of God for his frankness.
Ers: What happened next? The head of the family most likely continued his service in the monastery, didn’t he?
Sola: No, he didn’t stay in the monastery he came back to his family.
Libo: What a sly man. Although, God answered his petition and saved his child.
Ers: You aren’t right Mr. Libo. What you say it is sacrilege.
Libo: Perhaps I don’t have to judge, but I consider it to be sacrilegious what that man committed.
Loz: I don’t think this story finished so and therefore let’s listen to the end what happened next.
Teso: Mr. Loz is right. I haven’t finished relation yet. I stopped talking for a while to wet my whistle with wine. And you jumped the gun. At first I was seized with the same feeling as Mr. Libo.
I talked to my neighbor and he told me that he was going to stay in the monastery, if the child didn’t recover and this vow had been made by him.
Libo: I couldn’t understand anything. What did this man think?
Mos: He was double sly, nothing more.
Ers: Maybe he is sly, but I am interested in quite another thing. Does this event prove it for you that doom hasn’t occurred and the man changed the fate of the child with his action? In this case I am a supporter of the idea, that it happened what was written on his forehead.
Gige: Only the powers of darkness or lightness can change something.
Thomas: Do you suppose that one of the powers has interfered?
Gige: I can’t tell you who interfered but the fact is, that some power pushed him to it.
Bosiue: That’s always so, as something good or bad happens after it everybody use to blame the powers of darkness or lightness for interference in that.
Solo: The child has survived and that’s the main thing.
Gige: If he made a deal with the evil power then he has to pay them a debt.
Teso: If he has to pay a debt back to Satan, he’d better smother the child with his own hands because they won’t survive still.
Bosiue: What are you talking about you think he went to the monastery in order to make a deal with the powers of darkness then?
Teso: No, I don’t think so, because it would be a foolish idea, but everybody knows very well that the powers of darkness act more there where more faith is. I think he didn’t want to choose a wrong way, but he was offered to help and as it is typical of every man he showed a weak will, he couldn’t stand temptation and he ran his head into the noose.
Thomas looked at Mr. Loz who was angry with Mr. Teso’s words.
Loz: Gentlemen, did you think that the Lord of hell doesn`t have time for paying visits?!
Bosiue: It’s easy to tempt a man who is in trouble and confused.
Unfortunately, after that he gets himself into more trouble than his child’s death.
Gige: You seem to joke bitterly Mr. Bosiue. What can be worse than the loss of a child?
Bosiue: If he made a deal with the powers of darkness he will get a tan in hell for sure and what can be worse than it.
Libo: When you die and decompose in the ground there is no point in anything.
Ers: Believe me everything has a point. Time will come when decomposition passes and we will be responsible for everything.
There was a silence at the table for a while. A pause use to fall after a hard conversation. The silence lasted until a maidservant broke it. She dropped a plate from her hand accidentally and broke it.
Ers: I apologize for the servant’s carelessness that broke such a wonderful silence. Silence is the best composition among those of music which have been created in the world.
Loz: Mr. Ers you said a very interesting assumption.
Thomas: I wonder which symphony is silence.
Ers: The first and the last, my Thomas.
Loz: Generally speaking I like Mr. Ers’s everything, his words and estate as well.
Gige: Mr. Ers I always think, when I am at your place, to tell you but I don’t dare. Perhaps you teach me how to look after my estate, because I have never time for it.
Ers: A lot of people like it. You aren’t the first who has told me it. As to a garden, care of it and everything in general, a hired hand helps me in it, who has been working for seventeen years for me.
Gige: I ask you, if possible to lend me or rent me your hand for several days, because I couldn’t arrange things in my estate and maybe my servants will learn anything from him. If you don’t deny I’ll pay him double and I’ll be grateful to you.
Ers: Consider this issue settled. You needn’t pay him because he works for me and he has good earnings.
Loz: Mr. Gige do you have a large estate?
Gige: Yes, large but it isn’t maintained.
Ers: It will be difficult to teach your servants something in a couple of days, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Gige: Thank you Mr. Ers, I always have hopes for you.
Ers: You seem to be in no mood today, Mr. Gige. Is something the matter with you?
Gige No, I was just invited for dinner at my friends` and there was an unpleasant talk held.
Loz: Were you the reason of this talk?
Gige: I don’t know who my friend meant when he addressed all of us and said – “Do you know what I’ll tell you, I am not offended that you sometimes deceive me, but I am offended that you think I am duped.
Ers: It doesn’t matter probably he meant those who deceive him, and you are not guilty.
Gige I don’t know it with confidence whether he meant me or not and that’s why I worry about how to come to my best friend.
Loz: It isn’t worth worry, go to your friend and ask him straightforwardly who he meant. Isn’t it simple?
Teso: Mr. Gige, I’ll tell you something but don’t get annoyed, you may have concealed something from him and you don’t remember, that’s why you worry.
Gige: Mr. Teso, you might be right.
Teso: Which friend is talked about? Is that one, who blames everybody for everything in our town?
Gige: Yes, I mean him. Though, Mr. Teso is joking, because he doesn’t blame anybody for something, he is just a chief public prosecutor of the town and he fulfils his duties well.
Loz: Your friend has a bad profession. An idea came to my mind. I am going to visit this town again approximately in a month and if you invite me I’ll visit you without fail and meet your friend, the public prosecutor, because I like to communicate with people of various professions.
Gige: I’ll host you and Mr. Thomas as well with great pleasure. It’s a great honor for me to host you.
After that the guests talked a little and left.
Thomas didn`t get a wink of sleep that night and he spent all night walking along the coast. At dawn He came to Ers’s house where Loz was already waiting for him at the gate.
Loz: We have to go because Patron is calling me. I didn’t say good bye to Mr. Ers. I told him we have some business and promised him to be back in the evening.
They left that place and found themselves in a familiar room to Thomas. Loz went into Mr. Luci’s room. Thomas took out a golden pen from his pocket and rolling it between his fingers. Thomas decided to play a trick by means of the pen and he was rolling it until Loz’s arrival. Loz returned before long.
Loz: What will we do, let’s go and visit Mr. Ers’s mad friend, who is locked up in mental hospital?
Thomas: As you like, let’s go. I have a request may I ask Mr. Luci something?
As Thomas finished his word there was a voice from Mr. Luci’s room that informed that he could come in there. Thomas looked at Loz from the side and entered the room.
Luci: Sit down. Tell me what you want.
Thomas: Could you tell me why you need me?
Luci: Your bravery is estimable even now you dared and entered to say it.
Thomas: It isn’t hard to guess still I can use this boldness.
Luci: It will be a pity if this boldness turns into impudence. Be such as you are. You see Mr. Loz how strong and almighty he is. You too can become of similar abilities, of course, if you don’t refuse our collaboration.
Thomas: You have Mr. Loz, I suppose I won’t be able to live up to your expectations.
Luci: Let me decide on the earth at least what ability which of you has.
Meanwhile Thomas availed himself of the time. He took out the golden pen from his pocket and put it on the table in order to turn this pen into a witness of the conversation. It would help him to fulfill his planned trick later on.
Luci: I see you are a little bit intrigued. And I’ll tell you that you have a stronger soul than Mr. Loz. Consequently I need more strong souls and you are really that one who can take the lead of our strong souls’ army. New blood is always necessary and I know that Loz won’t be offended with this news, because we do the same work. You still have time to think it over and I am busy therefore give up questions and leave me alone.
Thomas took the pen and went into the main room where, in his opinion, Mr. Loz had to be but he wasn’t there.
He availed himself of the time and entered the room of chests. Then he took out the pen quickly from his pocket, put it into the smallest chest and left the room slowly. There was nobody again in the main room. Thomas stayed for some minutes and then he was going outside, but someone touched him and it gave him a start, this someone was Loz.
Loz: Thomas, I think you are excited and do you conceal something from me?
Thomas: Mr. Loz, do such things happen here? I am just so because of Mr. Luci`s meeting.
Loz: No, of course, I joked. Nothing is hidden here. What such happened in the room?
Thomas: He had a different face.
Loz: What kind of?
Thomas: When we met first time he looked forty-fort five years old and now he looked seventy.
Loz: Patron’s met the Almighty and that’s why he has changes on his face, but it’s temporary and it will be over in some time.
Thomas: It wasn’t pleasant for me to see his face.
Loz: It happens to patron during the meeting with him. He use to feel keenly and it is always marked on his face. Let’s give up talking about it. It’s time to go to Mr. Ers’s mad friend, do you remember?!
Thomas: Yes, I remember. It wouldn’t be bad to go because I am not like myself today as if I don’t feel it to be in myself.
Loz: Let’s go and visit poor Shandor.
As Loz finished his word they found themselves on a country road at once. There was a big, white house in a hundred steps away. They headed towards it slowly. It was just that clinic where Ers’s friend Shandor was. Loz showed some documents to a doorman and asked to show that room where Shandor dwelt.
The doorman had such a funny face that Thomas hardly could suppress a laugh. His ears and nose were as large as a fairy character’s ones. The doorman led them to a ward and he himself went along the corridor.
Shandor was in bed and as he heard a noise jumped out of his skin just in underwear.
Loz: Mr. Shandor, we are your fiend Ers’s friends. My name is Loz and this is Thomas.
Shandor: Ers isn’t here. He is at home, why are you looking for him here?
Loz: We know that he isn’t here. We’ve come to see you.
Shandor: And why do you need me, I am like a thrown out object, that nobody wants it any more.
Loz: We heard your story from Mr. Ers and got interested.
Shandor: Which story, that some people stole manuscripts from me?
Thomas: We don’t know it was stolen or not and that’s why we are interested what happened in reality.
Shandor: Reality. What’s reality? Maybe that one what we, people tell each other and then we disfigure it. You know, young man, I am personally in mental hospital, but I am not so mad that I can’t understand where your truth was lost.
Loz: Tell us what happened to you seventeen years ago?
Shandor: I wrote something seventeen years ago, some people were not at all happy that vast masses of people would read it.
Loz: Which some people, can you be more specific?
Shandor: If I am more specific you will suffer from the same fate, therefore I prefer keeping silence.
Thomas: We aren’t scared.
Shandor: Who are you and why are you interested in my story or why do you think that I have something to tell you?
Thomas: Mr. Loz and I heard this story from Mr. Ers and we are just interested.
Loz: Yes, we are here just out of interest.
Shandor: I wouldn’t like to make roughly speaking but I don’t trust you especially you Mr. Loz. Only don’t ask me why I think so, because after it even a single sound won’t come out to you from my mouth.
Loz signed Thomas with a hand to leave the room and they went into the clinic yard.
Thomas: Did he feel anything?
Loz: He felt me and got scared. It’s a pity that we didn`t have a good walk.
Thomas: Won`t we come around to Mr. Ers? You promised that we would return.
Loz: No, there are enough visits for today. We have to return because I have some business.
Loz’s one movement and they found themselves on Marx Street.
Thomas: Aren’t you going to come in?
Loz: No, you enter. I’ll be back soon.
Thomas: Before you go may I ask you something?
Loz: Tell me and if I can I’ll help you.
Thomas: I can’t find the pen, it was a gift from my father I think I left it in the room of chests and could you find it for me.
Thomas did it deliberately, because he knew in case of finding the pen Loz would see the moment of the conversation by all means, when Luci gave a preference to Thomas.
Loz: OK, wait for me.
He looked at Thomas suspiciously, as if he guessed something. Despite it he still went to find the pen. Some minutes weren’t passed as he went out from the house with the pen in his hand he had astonishment on his face and he came to Thomas who was standing on the opposite side of the street.
Loz: Did you do it deliberately?
Thomas: What do you mean?
Loz: You acted consciously and calculated that I would find out about your and patron’s talk by the pen.
Thomas: I couldn’t calculate what Mr. Luc would tell me. So I didn’t plan anything, I just took advantage of the occasion and made you see the truth.
Loz: You seem cleverer than I supposed, but what will you gain from it?
Thomas: Time, Mr. Loz, time. You were constantly repeating that time didn’t matter at all and it couldn’t change anything. After the talk with your patron I had such impression that time devours and weakens souls.
Loz: This talk doesn’t mean anything. Patron just had a try at convincing you.
Thomas: Nothing needs to be explained. I don’t prove anything. I just have my point of view concerning this or that issue. And one more thing, I understood that death follows on time’s heels and freedom of the soul from flesh follows death. You know I don’t tend to talk much but still I’d like to leave a word to you and please listen to me.
I’ve not lived long on the earth and I don’t know how long my existence will last, but I’ll still dare and tell you, to live for that it’s the same as to live and not to be thirsty but drink a lot of water and that’s why die. But I don’t actually want to die because I thirst for life not water. Two ideas have disturbed me for my whole life and I can’t understand which of them is right. The first one is that there is no point in behaving correctly or incorrectly. And there is no point as well in creating something and even if it is appreciated by all high values. And there is no point as well in what you will do for someone, because your appetite overcomes people’s ingratitude and it inhibits your action. And even the words which are pleasant or unpleasant to us have no point. And there is no point in turning familiar words because we all already know their meanings.
There is no point in proving that God’s created all of it because this idea is divided in two as well.
And it’s said that every man is born free, equal in his dignity and rights. A man is given mind, conscience and so on. Tell me is there the point in talking about it?! It’s considered that a man is the best among God’s creatures. Though, the word “shame’’ is echoing continuously from his birth that we always hear by our ears. But there is also no point in proving my idea and thus I say so. You maybe interested in the second idea that I’ve thought about, but if you observe my words you’ll understand that the second idea is here too. By the way, I understood all these when I was with you and thank you for this, I appreciate it.
Loz was standing speechlessly and thinking, Thomas nodded, made an about-face and headed along the street to the right.