Savva and the Life of Man eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 146 pages of information about Savva and the Life of Man.

Good-bye.  I hope I’ll see you soon again, Mr. Savva, and have another talk.

SAVVA

No, don’t try, please.  Abandon the hope.  Good-bye.

LIPA

How rude you are, Savva.  Come, Mr. Speransky.  They have business of their own to attend to.

SPERANSKY

Still I haven’t given up hope.  Good-bye. (Goes out)

SAVVA

Just grabbed me and stuck—­the devil take him!

KONDRATY (laughing)

Yes, he is a sticker from the word go.  If he likes you, you can’t shake him off.  He’ll follow you everywhere.  We call him the “shadow”—­partly, I suppose, because he is so thin.  He has taken a fancy to you, so you’ll have a time of it.  He’ll stick to you like a leech.

SAVVA

I am not in the habit of wasting a lot of words.  I’ll give him the slip without much ceremony.

KONDRATY

They have, even tried beating him, but it doesn’t do any good.  He is known here for miles around.  He is a character.

[A pause.  Lightning.  Every now and then is heard the roll of distant thunder.

SAVVA

Why did you tell me to meet you here in this public place where everyone may come?  They fell on me like a swarm of fleas—­monks and all sorts of imbeciles.  I’d rather have spoken to you in the woods, where we could be let alone.

KONDRATY

I did it to escape suspicion.  If I went with you to the woods they’d say:  “What has a God-fearing man like Kondraty got to do with such a fellow?” I hope you pardon!  “Why is he so thick with him?” I purposely timed my coming so that they’d see us together with others.

SAVVA (looking fixedly at him)

Well?

KONDRATY (turning away his eyes and shrugging his shoulders) I can’t.

SAVVA

You are afraid?

KONDRATY

To tell the truth, I am.

SAVVA

You’re no good, old chap.

KONDRATY

Perhaps not.  You have a right to draw your own conclusions. (Pause)

SAVVA

But what are you afraid of, you booby?  The machine is not dangerous.  It won’t hurt you.  All you have to do is to put it in the right place, set it off, and then you can go to the village to your mistresses.

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Savva and the Life of Man from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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