Аннотация: Перевод исторического романа Владимира Ворокова "Прощающие да простят" о кавказской войне 18-19 веков. Основная мысль романа - в войне нет победителей.
To my father
I dedicate this book
LET THE MERCIFUL FORGIVE
Nalchik. "EL -FA" Publishing House. 2004
VOROKOV Vladimir Khalidovich - film director and producer of more than one hundred
and twenty TV -films, journalist, writer, author of seven books("Antennae of Memory",
"The Color Dreams", "Melody of the Old Violin"), member of the Russian Union
of Cinematography, awarded an honorable Merited status in Russian federation, splendid
essayist - has published his first novel, depicting the events of the Russian -Caucasian war
of 19th century - "Let the Merciful Forgive".
Lord our God!
You envelope everything that's existing by Your mercy and knowledge.
Have mercy on those who repented and are on Your way.
Glorious Koran (The Merciful, ayat 7).
There is something inconceivable in the dusk tiredness of the Terek Cossack village. The day and the evening can not settle their precedence: the vast globe of the sun hid in the steppe just recently. It did, though there is no place for it to hide! And the sunset inflames the skies, illuminating with the sad light the distant forest and the steppe, and the road, leading to the village.
The buffaloes and the cows hurry home past the reed -covered huts, past the wooden porches and the wattle - to home porch, to home wattle. Soon the air in the village will become pregnant with the smells of the warm fresh milk, brought from the honey fields. Soon. But before that the Cossack women hurry to leave the fruit gardens, the vineyards and the melon fields in the vicinity of the village, where they toiled all day long. Why they hurry today, oh, why?
Here they come, talking gay and flippant. As if there was not a long day of hard labor behind. With their wide shirts tucked comfortably around their waists, showing slender legs, they cry with laughter. But in the far orchard, shrouded with silence, the danger hides. Evil has fast wings. The koop* of Arykshoo's horsemen fell on them like hawks on the foxes. Throwing their live trophy across the saddles, the highlanders race away. Shrill yells, moans and cries... Arykshoo managed to grab the most graceful of the girls, bound her with his lariat and now rode in the head of his band. His heart was burning and beating fit to jump out of his breast. It was booming like a drum and singing a wordless song.
The raid was a dare. The villagers weren't swift to understand what happened. Till they raised alarm on the Cossack cordon and set the pursuit on the road, the Arykshoo's band forded the Terek River. Only on the other bank he permitted his men and horses to get a respite. Here he looked closely on his trophy. The girl was in the Circassian closes, as all Cossack women wear: wide shirt of blue linen,
*koop - a group of Circassian (Adyghe, Kabardin) men, a band
without the habitual beshmet* and green soft leather shoes. The white head kerchief bound around the face in the Russian way, showing only blue eyes.
- Beautiful - said Arykshoo to the girl, dismounting her in the shadow of a tree, but the girl turned away.
The prince has issued commands, checked the armament, and corrected the red rounded stirrups on his saddled thoroughbred. When he was brought a small cake of roasted millet and a piece of a smoked cheese, he untied the captive girl and proposed the food to her, but again she turned away.
- Your choice, beauty, - said abrek** and started to eat. He was hungry, but ate slowly, with habitual dignity. This man was accustomed to endure the hunger and thirst. Like the god of war he mastered his armament and horsemanship and he fought his enemies with the bravery of a snow leopard. He had no other virtues and did not want any.
The sunset was dying over the distant mountains, when the rear guard sentry caught with them.
- We are being chased!
The band stiffened, tight as the shikapshina*** strings.
- How far away they are? - asked the prince.
- They will be here before the dusk settles, - was the answer.
Everyone was looking on the prince, waiting for his orders.
- Let us abandon our trophy. We will not escape with the load, said Arykshoo. Nobody wanted to part with the loot, but no one wanted to die of the Cossack sabers, either.
- What shall we do with the captives? - asked Gorgonyzh, the oldest man in the party, the one who always led the koop if the prince was not there.
- Slaughter them - proposed Ahuazh, who concealed cowardice with malice.
* beshmet - a soft felt hood with long scarves, covering the shoulders
** abreck - the Caucasian warrior, literally a robber, but during Russian -Caucasian war a fighter for freedom.
***shikapshina - the Circassian violin with the horse tail hairs for strings
The prince angrily waved at him with his whip. It had galoon bound grip and silver caps at the top and bottom:
- I'll cut your tongue out.
And went to his captive girl to announce to her: "You are free, my beauty!"
But some evil force led him. His hand tore the kerchief from the Cossack girl's head. A real beauty stood before him. Like a flash of damask steel, her beauty in the last rays of the sun stroke the prince's stare. The best he had seen among the flat bosomed, chastity corset-wearing Kabardin girls faded before her stately majesty, derived from the women of the North. He pulled the linen shirt so that it tore. The Cossack girl recoiled, abutting herself against a tree, and shook her head:
- Keep away!
But the reason and sense have left Arykshoo. He was a knot of wild passion. Passion is like a torrent, strong enough to turn the mill's wheel. If the torrent is too strong, it will break the wheel.
- Keep away!
The heavy coils of golden straw hair fell on the girl's shoulders, enveloped the chest, covering the captive. Arykshoo drew the dagger and before the girl could utter a sound, he cut her shirt with the swift motion from bosom to the lap, leaving not a smallest scratch on her body.
No! There was no more, couldn't possibly be any other such a bosom, such a waist, such legs in the whole world. Trembling scarlet lips. Blue eyes, frozen in astonishment and horror.
- Holy Mother of God, have mercy on me, defend and save me!
But Holy Mary did not hear the plea of the Cossack girl. And when the abrek pounced upon the virgin body, that did not know the stranger's stare, least of all the man's hands, the girl did not struggle as the trout, thrown on the shore, but lay still, moaning of pain and woe, biting her lips till the blood came. Was this the award for being virtuous all her life?
When the storm of passion and grief abated and they raised from the ground, the prince, who conquered the body but was himself conquered by his captive, said:
- Come with me. If we manage to break through, you'll become my wife.
Saying this, he did not even perceive how this would be possible between the prince and the Cossack girl.
The girl, not hiding her nakedness, approached and spat the abrek in the face.
- Beast! - shouted she in Circassian. Those days the Cossacks knew the language of the highlanders. Their girls liked to chat in Circassian. - Beast!
Blood rushed into the face of Arykshoo. The world turned in his agitated mind. The nearby mountains crushed into the stone avalanches. In fury, he drew his dagger and sank it in the trunk of the tree behind the Cossack girl. The koop already mounted the horses.
- Leave the girl, hurry! Or we will perish!
He jumped on his horse, and the stallion played, astir. But his master, usually so kind with his four - legged friend, bridled him angrily, unbuttoned his beshmet, took a heavy golden chain with the cross, decorated with gems, from his neck and laid it at the legs of the captive girl.
Oh, poor prince, that is not the cross you laid - that is peace of your mind and your dear young life! Every time you close your eyes the captive girl will come to your dreams, not heeding her nakedness, and will kiss you with her scarlet lips. And when you'll open your eyes, she will spit you in the face. In that face, which only the wind could touch before.
The cross, which Arykshoo laid to the legs of the young girl, was a marvel, created by the great masters. Made of gold and adorned with diamonds, a great saphire and a great flat diamond, probably one of the biggest in the world, it inspired not only astonishment and delight, but awe. Surrounded by the medium -size diamonds, in the center nestled that great diamond, and under its transparent beauty was the tourmaline crucifix. The cross was sidelong. Where the hands ended, right in between, the majestic saphire lay in the halo of diamonds, shining with deep clear blue. How this miracle got into the mountain village hidden high in the Central Caucasus? How it got into the possession of Arykshoo?
That day the shepherds brought the flocks of sheep home to the aul.* The sheep bleated alarmed, and the shepherds shouted, bent under a heavy mysterious load. There was something devilish in the moaning of animals and in the human cries. The sun, which usually hid at this hour behind the Red Rock, clang to its peak and wouldn't get down. Huge, scarlet, frighteningly beautiful, it made the hearts tremble and troubled the souls.
- Why did you bring the sheep to the village? -Amysh, the father of Pago and Arykshoo was strict. - Their place is in the pasture!
But the shepherds, all the six of them, fall on their knees before the prince, and couldn't utter a single word. Their hoorjins,** in which they carried choorecks*** and cheese - their simple daily food - resembled now the sheep going to bear lambs and were ready to burst under the weight inside. The owners of the carpetbags were looking on the hoorjins with horror.
- What is inside? - asked Amysh.
The aul dwellers opened the bags: massive golden bracelets, diamond rings, embellishments of chrysolite, numerous golden buckles in the form of lambs, lions,
fallow deer, heavy golden and platinum chains, earrings and rings with precious stones, great rose tourmaline in gold and enamel, a silver diadem adorned with diamonds...
The people froze in astonishment. "Where from?"
It so happened, that one of the shepherds saw a narrow passage in the gorge. He squeezed into it and came to the oak door. The door gave easily and let him in. Here the shepherd saw in the lights of the candles an old man and a girl of marvelous beauty, sitting at the table with multitude of books lying before them. The icons were standing at the corners of the cave, and icon lamps were burning. A great golden basin, full to the brim with gems was on the table with the books.
The shepherd got scared and wanted to leave, but the maiden stopped him:
*aul - a mountain village in the Caucasus
**hoorjin - a saddle bag
** *choorek - baked bread, made of corn flour
Do not be afraid! Here, take this! - she said, and pulling a ring from her
finger, offered it to the shepherd.
Nobody in the aul has seen such a beautiful ring before. The diamond for which a jeweler has knitted the precious mount, resembled a dove's egg in the shape and size.
Take it, - said the maiden.
The shepherd extended his hand to receive the gift, and the heaviness of it burned his palm. The old man also endowed the shepherd with a gift. He took from the basin the diamond -covered cross on the heavy chain and put it on the shepherd's neck.
- Go with God! - said the white -haired oldster. - And let the secret of our meeting die in this cave.
But the shepherd, returning to his fellow shepherds has told them everything. They would not believe, but the ring and the cross were more real, than any truth. Soon the six shepherds were in the cave and took hold of most of the riches, which were there. The old man and the maiden did not utter a word, when the interlopers threw choorecks and cheese from their hoorjins and filled them with gold and gems. When they were leaving, the girl said:
- Poor, oh, poor you! Poor are your wives, and children, and aul you were born in! This is the death you carry with you!
The old prince listened to the narration of the shepherds. He was silent. Then said:
- The gold has the shine and the force. That is why so many think, that it rules the world. The shining of the gems people compare with the sun. But can they warm our mountains, and our aul, and our bodies? Will their shine bring the morning around? It only seems to us, that the gold and the gem will overpower everything. But they cannot make the warrior brave, the teacher wise, the singer talented.
Remember, that only human honor has a real value. It is dearer then life. Return all this back where you took it.
But when the shepherds returned to the gorge and, passing the oak door entered the sacred cave, they found neither maiden, nor the old man. The candles were burning out on the table, and the icon lamps were still alive. The golden pieces, which did not go into their hoorjins were still in the golden basin, like orphans in the orphanage, as if offended by the shepherd's negligence lately.
The aul dwellers threw their hoorjins with the loot, which burned their fingers, and were ready to retire, when the voice penetrated the stone walls:
- Bring the cross and the ring to the prince. Tell him, that he saved his aul from ruin. But nothing can save you.
Three nights passed. The fear was slowly dissolving in the shepherd's chests, as the spring snow melts on the southern slopes of the mountains. But all of them were dead on the fourth night. Them. Their wives. Even their cattle and dogs died in their yards. The cross and the ring remained in the prince's family, becoming the symbols of honor and truth.
Arykshoo escaped from the pursuit.
Gorgonyzh said: - Let us divide the koop into two groups. The main will go by the ravine, and will not be noticed. The rest of us will attract the Cossacks, leading them away.
The feeling of camaraderie and the approaching danger brought Arykshoo from the stupor.
- You take the party away, -said he to Gorgonyzh. At the head of the smaller group of five horsemen he turned back to meet the pursuit.
When they rode out of the forest on the steep bank of Terek, the Cossacks were near. Arykshoo with his comrades were on the river brink, stirring their horses, but not moving.
- They ride beautifully - the prince was enjoying the horsemanship of pursuers.
The Cossacks had much in common with the highlanders: same dress, same posture in the saddle. They were loaded with weapons just like Circassians, and they rode the Kabardin horses.
As if hearing him, the pursuers gave a rifle salvo. But they were out of reach. The highlanders shouted in response, waving their high fur hats.
The steppe villagers were approaching like a storm. Snatching the charges from the hazirs* on their Circassian frocks they loaded their rifles and without a moment's stop continued their ride, shooting in the direction of the abreks. Their horses breathed hoarsely, straining in the effort, as if united with their masters in the desire to catch and punish the offenders. But their pursuit was a hopeless affair, because every abrek held a spare horse on a bridle. And however fast the Cossack horses were, they can never in their life overrun twined Kabardin horses.
In the aul all the koop bowed in worship to Aus Gerg** and proceeded to feast in honor of their deliverance, without any regret of the lost loot. Only the prince did not drink the honey marmazhey.*** Makhsyma**** booze was not on his mind. The Cossack girl charmed him, probably. Arykshoo was seeking relief from those charms in the hands of aul beauties. Ah, those Kabardin girls! Thin in the waist and flexible as the willow at the creek, with magnificent eyes, with raven plaits, black as the southern night. He sought the defense from his love, but couldn't find.
His anguish bore dark closes. Even his loyal horse turned away, discontentedly. His master was reclining on his boorka***** in the alpine meadow listening to the silence. And that silence forced his head to the ground, where he felt the Cossack girl's body shiver from fright.
He came to the Aus Gerg temple. The old shogen* was surprised with his visit, but kept silent. He was standing and looking at the prince. Then Arykshoo touched the bloody stigmata on the Crucifix.
* hazir - a spare rifle charge carried in a special pocket on a Circassian frock
** Aus Gerg - Saint George
*** marmazhey - a sweet alcoholic drink, made of honey, corn **** Makhsyma, booza - alcoholic drinks
*****boorka - a thick rough felt coat of tetragonal design, Circassian main cover in rain or cold.
- What is it for?
The shogen shrugged his shoulders.
- For suffering, - was the response.
The time passed. Arykshoo led his parties into the daredevil raids. Together with the Georgian warriors they swept through Turkey and Persia. The rulers promised high price for his head. Arykshoo came to one of them.
- Here is my head!
And the Shah, astonished by such courage, ordered to give Kabardin a hat full of silver reals . Arykshoo declined: - Give the money to the beggars. But present me with a horse.
- Which one? - asked the Shah.
- The one which will be equal to his rider, - said Arykshoo, lowering his gaze.
- I have no such one in my stables, but I will choose one fit for the best of my warriors.
The daughter of the Nogay murza** begged him to stay and share her love. The prince flew away.
On the southeast of the starry sky the constellation of Andromeda appeared. Usually on the other morning all aul went to the meadows to mown. But now nobody stirred. Everybody was out to greet the outlandish guests. On the eve a messenger arrived from the plains.
- In the morning a caravan will pass your aul.
- Why pass? - Pago was surprised. - Had we or our ancestors ever offend the merchants?
The Great Silk Way between the East and the West, which was busy for fifteen hundred years, already disappeared. Now the merchants led their caravans by the trails, which were hard to recognize. Some time this way united countries and ____________
* shogen - a Christian priest
** murza - a ruler of Nogays
nations. But prospering and lively cities situated on this way perished, perished the nations, and the weeds were growing on the ruins. Now the merchants were finding their way in the dark of the ages. Sometimes they found it, sometimes they paved their own way. Caravan approached the aul. The pack animals were heavy with the load. Camel after camel, mule after mule carried the precious luggage, swaying in the dust. The strangers were not permitted inside the village, but were camping on the outskirts. Till Mongols and Uigurs, which led the caravan, were erecting the tents, the musicians stroke the strange instruments, emitting the sounds, so different from those of local shikapshina, pkhatsich* or the doulva.** The criers were shouting unintelligible words, trying to imitate the language of Adyghes. The camels were roaring, the mules braying, and horses were thrashing about their hitching posts. The aul dwellers were all here, astonished and startled. The indefatigable children were the first to come. Then hurried the maidens and matrons, followed by the old women. The men, wishing to keep their dignity and honor, tried not to fasten their step. But in vain. Their step quickened, their pace was longer than they were anxious to demonstrate. Uzdens*** close to old Amysh by their position, stopped at the distance of one shot from the camp, pretending that they are not interested in all this turmoil. The old prince and Pago stayed at home, ordering to tell the merchant that he is invited to be their guest. Only Arykshoo with the group of his close mates approached casually to one of the nephs of the caravansary, which appeared on the outskirts of the aul as by a magic. This was the master's quarters.
- Merchant, how did you find our aul in the vast world? - asked Arykshoo
The translator bent to his master to translate, but the merchant stopped him. Stepping one step to the young prince, he spoke in a good Adyghe language with
slight Shapsugh accent.
* pkhatsich - a wooden rattle, to provide rhythm in dancing
** doulva -national musical instrument
*** uzdens - gentry, close to the prince, usually the backbone of his army, but inferior to workhs (nobles).
- Your village is on the ancient caravan way. The God has shown me the way.
The bazaar was exulted. Pack after pack was opened. The silk pieces were torn with gusto, followed by linen, brocade, muslin. Pepper, opium, nutmeg and other spices impregnated the mountain air with their intoxicating aromas. Salt and ivory, rouge and fragrance were in great demand. The aul dwellers paid for the caravan goods with wax and foal hides, ermine furs, leather, homemade felt, and barrels of honey. Later the merchant met with Amysh and Pago.
- My name is Lu Tin. I have come here from the upper bifurcation of Huanghe. And I am on my way to the Northern Alps.
- Let the great Tkha* help you, said the old prince. - How long is your way?
- Two years each end.
- This is time enough for a young apple or peach tree or a dogwood bush to bring first fruit. Your way is rather dangerous, I suppose?
- Even the lion is afraid of the humane perfidy.
- Forget about these dangers for the time you are here. The laws of mountains and my word will defend you and your people. I have ordered to slaughter as many bulls and sheep as would suffice for all.
The merchant nodded silently. Then he gave a sign, and his Hindu slaves brought in and laid out the silk fabrics, horsecloth, wool garments with woven fringes, bronze mirrors and beautiful glass articles.
The prince glanced on the gifts. - Let your goods be multiplied!
The unauts** have brought into the chamber the three -legged tables with the food. The guests were treated to the mountain venison brains, honeycomb, nuts, wheat and corn cakes. After the guest and the hosts washed their hands with water
poured by unauts from copper pitchers over the copper basin, Amysh invited the merchant:
Honor me, taste some of our food.
* Tkha - the supreme God in the Adyghe tradition
** unaut - the house servant
The dishes followed one another: patties fried in oil, cheese boiled in sour cream, buffalo cream boiled, sheep cheese. Both the guest and the host were eating little, and it did not interfere with their conversation. It was winding, like a gorge stream, when it reaches the plains, purling and becalming.
- In your mountains the air is so clean, that I feel fit to fly, - confessed the guest.
- Take care not to scorch your wings when you fly, - smiled the prince quietly.
- Oh, I cannot rise so high.
At that moment they were served boiled goat lamb with the golden millet mash.
- Do not extinguish the hope, merchant. What a torch will light the land without hope? - murmured Amysh softly. At his sign the servants brought in the presents for the guest: black sables, golden -red foxes, silver ermines, brown martens.
- Have a rest now, merchant. The road tired you. Tomorrow my younger son Arykshoo will devote his day to you. But before you lead your caravan away, let me have the happiness to see you again.
The dawn only slightly moved the curtain of the morning and extinguished the light of the last star. The first rays of the sun put their still weak hands on the summits, touched the fresh snow on the mountain, and turned shivering to the neighboring forest, waterfall, and the river. It seemed, that the dawn was afraid of something. Wrong! High in the mountains, close to the sky, the life was already beginning. At that moment, the messenger from Arykshoo appeared at the Lu Tin's tent.
- Merchant! My master wishes you a very good morning!
The guest expected the messenger. Appearing from the tent in the attire of a Mandarin he answered in the best traditions of Adyghe etiquette: - Let the Gods send your Master many happy days.
The messenger dismounted to help the guest to mount his horse, supporting his left stirrup. The he jumped into his saddle. They moved. Hindu slave on a white mule was leading a loaded mule, brown as a Caucasian bear, by a bridle. This strange equestrian group circumvented aul by the side and entered the gorge, where Arykshoo was waiting.
The prince greeted his guest: - Good morning to you!
- Many good dawns to you, young master.
The prince took Lu Ting along a narrow, sometimes disappearing path, which led them to a marvelous plateau. On one side was the Elbrus in full splendor. You seemed to be able to touch its snowy slopes. Something inconceivably great and mysterious was here. The transparent silence, which was reigning around was disturbed only by space music. No, it was not heard. But it was felt and entered the souls.
Arykshoo has brought his guest into the Castles Valley, where the rock pyramids, formed by the wind erosion of the moraine sediments, piled whimsically. The picture so astonished Lu Tin, that he fell on his knees, whispering a prayer, either delighted or afraid of the grandiose landscape. Around him the alpine meadow, the herds, the flocks were jubilant in the morning sun. At the sheepfolds the shepherds treated them to fragrant yogurt, milk and tea, flavored with the wild herbs, goat cheese, boiled buffalo cream and millet buns. And then they took another paths and trails.
- Do the long road tire you? - asked Arykshoo.
- If it goes along the way of joy, the tiredness falls off, - answered the merchant.
The Chinese stood for a long time near the Sultan waterfall, listening to its roaring song, exposing his face and clothes to fine sparkling drops.
The position of the sun said that it was the time for lunch, when Arykshoo and Lu Tin descended to their horses and mules, left behind. The prince's unaut was sitting on a boorka, thrown on the grass.
The rifle and a pair of Turkish pistols lay nearby. The Hindu slave was napping, his back against a big boulder. The merchant wanted to wake him up, but the prince put his hand on the guest's shoulder: - Do not wake the slave. He dreams about freedom.
Looking at the weapons, neatly laid on the boorka (Arykshoo also did not part with his pistols or daggers for a second during their walk), Lu Tin said: -How it is possible to enjoy the marvelous sights of these mountains and to carry long knives, rifles and pistols? Sell them and buy more oxen.
- But you must be able to defend your oxen, merchant, - answered the prince in the low voice. - Or you may happen to loose the swords, the oxen, and probably the head, too.
The unaut prepared their lunch, putting on bashlyk boiled veal, salted in the cheese brine, partridge roasted on the campfire coals, corn bread, pot cheese and freshly made butter.
Arykshoo remembered his Cossack girl. - Merchant, buy my anguish!
- Your anguish is more upsetting then the cry of lone goose, which lag behind his flock.
Turning in for the night, Arykshoo put his boorka near the fire, with his saddle serving as a pillow, and ordered to prepare the same bed for his guest, but Lu Tin implored:
- Allow, prince, my slave to erect a tent for us!
- Are you afraid that the shining of the stars will interfere with our sleep? Both laughed. At a hot campfire Arykshoo told to his guest a story of Cossack girl, and his love bit his lips, insulted. The merchant listened to the prince's story and understood his feelings.
- Once in Magrib the wind tore a cover from the Arab girl. I have seen her face and lost my tranquility. But how can you find the only one among the thousands, covered by paranja? So, without tasting the wine of a single date, I am drunk forever.
The fire warmed the night. Thou so little united the warrior and the merchant, the conversation was flowing, as the fresh honey from the cup, easily and quietly. Everything was disposing to frankness: the flames, the comfort of the warmth, and the constellation of the Great Bear in the sky, and the Moon, round and clear. They were speaking of different matters, and, it came out, about life. When they touched the topic of wealth, Arykshoo asked: - Is your caravan of a great wealth?
- It depends on the height you are looking from. From that star in the sky - it is not seen at all. From the neighboring mountain it looks large. And if you descend to the ground and stand beside or mix with its camels, mules and packs, it is great.
- What is poverty? - asked the warrior.
- When a man does not have something he was dreaming about all his life. It may be bread or a gown, mule or a camel, bed, or a cup of boiled rice, at last. What are you dreaming about?
- But I have everything, - the prince was surprised. - I have a loyal horse, shashka*, the rifle, pistols, this dagger, made by skilful Osman.** Everything I need!
-A happy man.
- Why did you decide so?
- Happy is the man, who does not need much. I have passed many countries, I have seen enough for a thousand lifetimes. And I came to conclusion that nobody is really feeling sorry for those who beg.
Arykshoo enlivened the dyeing flames with the long stick.
I do not know what measure you have in mind, when you say "really". I
agree, that nobody have pity for those begging for bread. But we have no starving people. In our gorge, in our land nobody will swallow a gulp, seeing hungry eyes. Slave's or woman's or elder's. This is the law bequeathed by our ancestors. We will transfer it to our children. And they - to theirs. That is forever. If someone in the gorge will be short of a loaf of bread or of a piece of cheese, he will be provided. That's our way of life. That is our count and measure. Real or not, it's ours.
- I have never met anything similar on the Earth. - Lu Tin was bewildered.
Then they talked about the eternal and the routine.
*shashka - slightly bent Circassian sword
** Osman - famous Caucasian weaponry smith
- The life is but a moment - said Arykshoo, - it is a flash of a saber, a thunderbolt.
Eternal are the skies, the mountains, and the sun. Then why cherish that moment ? The hero falls in battle, but minstrel composes a song about him. Otherwise, the man will live his momentary life and be forgotten. The song will survive for centuries, like the sky and the mountains. - And then continued without the trace of boasting, as if speaking of a stranger: - They composed a song about me, too.
Here is the manuscript, understood the merchant, on which the life did not make a scratch of a correction. It is covered only by hieroglyphs of truth.
- All is flowing in the life, but nothing goes away - said he.
- Like our river? - Arykshoo was surprised.
- Yes, like your river. You have noticed, that the moon may be sharp as the sickle, or round, as the human head. But it is the moon, always. Nobody can make the moon round when it must be like a sickle, and nobody can make it sharp, when the moon resembles a melon.