akorn - Mighty Old Tales Retold

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November 9, 2020  

Fat and Thin - Anton Chekov

Fat and Thin

Anton Chekov

Two friends — one a fat man and the other a thin man — met at the Nikolaevsky station. The fat man had just dined in the station and his greasy lips shone like ripe cherries. He smelt of sherry and fleur d’orange. The thin man had just slipped out of the train and was laden with portmanteaus, bundles, and bandboxes. He smelt of ham and coffee grounds. A thin woman with a long chin, his wife, and a tall schoolboy with one eye screwed up came into view behind his back.

November 9, 2020  

An Inquiry - Anton Chekov

An Inquiry

Anton Chekov

IT was midday. Voldyrev, a tall, thick-set country gentleman with a cropped head and prominent eyes, took off his overcoat, mopped his brow with his silk handkerchief, and somewhat diffidently went into the government office. There they were scratching away….

November 8, 2020  

The Trousseau - Anton Chekov

The Trousseau

Anton Chekov

I HAVE seen a great many houses in my time, little and big, new and old, built of stone and of wood, but of one house I have kept a very vivid memory. It was, properly speaking, rather a cottage than a house — a tiny cottage of one story, with three windows, looking extraordinarily like a little old hunchback woman with a cap on. Its white stucco walls, its tiled roof, and dilapidated chimney, were all drowned in a perfect sea of green. The cottage was lost to sight among the mulberry-trees, acacias, and poplars planted by the grandfathers and great-grandfathers of its present occupants. And yet it is a town house. Its wide courtyard stands in a row with other similar green courtyards, and forms part of a street. Nothing ever drives down that street, and very few persons are ever seen walking through it.

November 6, 2020  

A Daughter of Albion - Anton Chekov

A Daughter of Albion

Anton Chekov

A FINE carriage with rubber tyres, a fat coachman, and velvet on the seats, rolled up to the house of a landowner called Gryabov. Fyodor Andreitch Otsov, the district Marshal of Nobility, jumped out of the carriage. A drowsy footman met him in the hall.
“Are the family at home?” asked the Marshal.
“No, sir. The mistress and the children are gone out paying visits, while the master and mademoiselle are catching fish. Fishing all the morning, sir.”

November 5, 2020  

The Death of a Government Clerk - Anton Chekov

The Death of a Government Clerk

Anton Chekov

ONE fine evening, a no less fine government clerk called Ivan Dmitritch Tchervyakov was sitting in the second row of the stalls, gazing through an opera glass at the Cloches de Corneville. He gazed and felt at the acme of bliss. But suddenly…. In stories one so often meets with this “But suddenly.” The authors are right: life is so full of surprises! But suddenly his face puckered up, his eyes disappeared, his breathing was arrested… he took the opera glass from his eyes, bent over and… “Aptchee!!” he sneezed as you perceive. It is not reprehensible for anyone to sneeze anywhere. Peasants sneeze and so do police superintendents, and sometimes even privy councillors. All men sneeze.

November 4, 2020  

A Classical Student - Anton Chekov

A Classical Student

Anton Chekov

BEFORE setting off for his examination in Greek, Vanya kissed all the holy images. His stomach felt as though it were upside down; there was a chill at his heart, while the heart itself throbbed and stood still with terror before the unknown. What would he get that day? A three or a two? Six times he went to his mother for her blessing, and, as he went out, asked his aunt to pray for him. On the way to school he gave a beggar two kopecks, in the hope that those two kopecks would atone for his ignorance, and that, please God, he would not get the numerals with those awful forties and eighties.

November 2, 2020  

On Trial - Anton Chekov

On Trial

Anton Chekov

In the district capital N. stands a brown Government building, used in turn by the Zemstvo Executive, the Session of Justices, the Peasant, Licensing, Recruiting, and many other local authorities; and here, on a dull autumn day, were held the district assizes.
This was the brown building of which a local official joked: “It's the seat of justice, of the police, of the militia — in fact, quite an institute for young gentlewomen.

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