And three apples fell down from heaven—one for the story-teller, one for the hearer, and the other for the whole world.
* * * * *
THE RUINED FAMILY
[Translated by F.B. Collins, B.S.]
Ossep Gulabianz, a merchant.
Salome, his wife.
Nato, his daughter.
Chacho, Ossep’s aunt.
Gewo, a merchant, Ossep’s friend.
Alexander Marmarow, a young official.
Barssegh Leproink, a merchant.
Khali, his wife.
Mosi, Leproink’s relative.
Micho, shop-boy at Leproink’s.
Dartscho, clerk at Leproink’s.
Martha, Salome’s friend.
Guests, an executor, his secretary, creditors, witnesses, and several servants.
The scene is Tiflis. The first and third acts take place in Ossep’s house, the second in Barssegh’s.
THE RUINED FAMILY
Well-furnished room with open door in centre and ante-room behind. To the left in foreground a window looking out upon a garden. To the right a sofa, in front of which is a table. To the left a tachta with a ketscha and several mutakas. A side door.
 Broad, low sofa.
 Long, round pillows.
SALOME [from back of stage]. You’re
welcome. Come, come, I beg of you.
Dear aunt, how can I thank you for taking the trouble to come here!
CHACHO [covered by a tschadra enters from the
right of the ante-chamber]. Good-morning!
[Taking off the tschadra.] Why did you send
for me in such haste?
[Gives one end of the tschadra to Salome.
 A long veil, covering the head and upper part of the body.
SALOME [taking hold of one end of the tschadra].
Dear aunt, I am in such a desperate mood that if someone
were to pierce my heart not a drop of blood would
[While she is speaking they fold the tschadra.
CHACHO. So it seems that it cannot be managed?
SALOME. How could it be managed, dear aunt? They insist upon having 8,000 rubles. Ossep will not give so much. You know what a miser he is!
CHACHO. Yes, he is really odd.
SALOME. But, dear aunt, God would surely not allow an affair like this to come to nothing for the sake of 2,000 rubles. What, am I to let a man of such social position and such brilliancy escape me?