THE police superintendent Otchumyelov is walking across the market square wearing a new overcoat and carrying a parcel under his arm. A redhaired policeman strides after him with a sieve full of confiscated gooseberries in his hands. There is silence all around. Not a soul in the square…. The open doors of the shops and taverns look out upon God’s world disconsolately, like hungry mouths; there is not even a beggar near them.