Yama: the pit eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 474 pages of information about Yama.
riches were created, but then many former firms burst, and yesterday’s men of wealth turned into beggars.  The commonest of labourers bathed and warmed themselves in this golden flood.  Stevedores, draymen, street porters, roustabouts, hod carriers and ditch diggers still remember to this day what money they earned by the day during this mad summer.  Any tramp received no less than four of five roubles a day at the unloading of barges laden with watermelons.  And all this noisy, foreign band, locoed by the easy money, intoxicated with the sensual beauty of the ancient, seductive city, enchanted by the delightful warmth of the southern nights, made drunk by the insidious fragrance of the white acacias—­these hundreds of thousands of insatiable, dissolute beasts in the image of men, with all their massed will clamoured:  “Give us woman!”

In a single month new amusement enterprises—­chic Tivolis, chateaux des FLEURES, Olympias, Alcazars, etc., with a chorus and an operetta; many restaurants and beerhouses, with little summer gardens, and common little taverns—­sprang up by the score in the city, in the vicinity of the building port.  On every crossing new “violet-wine” houses were opened every day—­little booths of boards, in each of which, under the pretext of selling bread-cider, old wenches trafficked in themselves by twos and threes, right alongside behind a partition of deal, and to many mothers and fathers is this summer painful and memorable through the degrading diseases of their sons—­schoolboys and military cadets.  For the casual arrivals servants were demanded, and thousands of peasant girls started out from the surrounding villages toward the city.  It was inevitable that the demand on prostitution should become unusually high.  And so, from Warsaw, from Lodz, from Odessa, from Moscow, and even from St. Petersburg, even from abroad, flocked together an innumerable multitude of foreign women; cocottes of Russian fabrication, the most ordinary prostitutes of the rank and file, and chic Frenchwomen and Viennese.  Imperiously told the corrupting influence of the hundreds of millions of easy money.  It was as though this cascade of gold had lashed down upon, had set to whirling and deluged within it, the whole city.  The number of thefts and murders increased with astounding rapidity.  The police, collected in augmented proportions, lost its head and was swept off its feet.  But it must also be said that, having gorged itself with plentiful bribes, it resembled a sated python, willy-nilly drowsy and listless.  People were killed for anything and nothing, just so.  It happened that men would walk up to a person in broad daylight somewhere on an unfrequented street and ask:  “What’s your name?” “Fedorov.”  “Aha, Federov?  Then take this!” and they would slit his belly with a knife.  They nicknamed these blades just that in the city—­“rippers”; and there were among them names of which the city news seemed actually proud:  the two brothers Polishchuk (Mitka and Dundas), Volodka the Greek, Fedor Miller, Captain Dmitriev, Sivocho, Dobrovolski, Shpachek, and many others.

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Yama: the pit from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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