Armenian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 179 pages of information about Armenian Literature.

OSSEP.  But if he has received on account of this debt the note of a third person?

ALEXANDER.  That is another thing.  Have you a receipt for it?

OSSEP.  No; but I can take my oath on it.

ALEXANDER.  According to law you must first pay the money and then produce proofs that you gave him the other document.

OSSEP [excited].  Is that true?

ALEXANDER.  Yes, it is so.

OSSEP [wringing his hands and springing up].  Then I am ruined. [A silence.  Nato’s voice is heard outside.] Alexander, they are calling you.

ALEXANDER [approaching Ossep].  What is it?  For God’s sake tell me the truth.

OSSEP.  There, there.  Go out first.  They are calling you.

ALEXANDER [aside, taking his hat].  So far as I see, I am ruined also.
                    [Exit.

OSSEP [alone].  What do I not suffer!  If they really come here I shall perish through shame.  Where can I find so much money in such a hurry?  One must have time for it, and that fellow may come to-day even—­perhaps this minute.  Then I am lost—­who will trust me then?  My creditors will tie a rope around my neck and prevent me from saying a word in my own behalf.  “Pay us,” they will cry; “pay us!” O Salome, Salome!

Enter Gewo.

OSSEP.  There he is.

GEWO.  Good-evening, Ossep.

OSSEP.  You have come, too.  You want your money, too?  Yes, choke me; double my debt; say that I owe you, not 2,000 rubles, but 4,000.  Speak!  You are my creditor; speak!  Have no pity on me.  You want your money—­why do you wait, then?  Slay me; tear my heart out of my body; hack me in pieces and sell it piece by piece, so that your money shall not be lost. [Gewo wipes his eyes.] Weep, weep, for your money is lost.  I am bankrupt—­bankrupt!

GEWO [embracing Ossep].  Dear Ossep, dear Ossep!

OSSEP.  You say “dear” to me?  Yet you are my creditor.

GEWO.  Take courage; be a man!

OSSEP.  What kind of a man?  I am a good-for-nothing; I have lost my good name [weeping].  My good name is gone. [Wipes his eyes.]

GEWO.  God is merciful, dear Ossep.

OSSEP.  God and heaven have taken their mercy from me.  You see now where the marriage of my daughter has led me?  If I could at least pay you everything I owe you—­that I must do at any price.

GEWO.  What are you saying, Ossep?  If I had the means I would go on your bond.  Why should I be your friend otherwise?

OSSEP.  If you had money, dear Gewo, you would not be my friend, nor have such a good heart.  Stay poor as you are, so that I shall not lose your friendship.  Only your sympathy is left me in this world.  I would not like to lose your friendship.  In this one day I have suffered everything.  No one has shown interest in me; no one has given proof of his sympathy—­neither my uncle, nor my brother, nor my nephew.  When they saw I was near my last breath, they all forsook me and shut the door in my face.

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Armenian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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