9:48 am - Friday January 19, 2018

Drunk-by Anton Chekhov-Novel and Ebooks

Novel Name:Drunk

Written by:Anton Chekhov

Category: Classics, Fiction,Fantasy

Page 1:

A MANUFACTURER called Frolov, a handsome dark man with a round beard, and a soft, velvety expression in his eyes, and Almer, his lawyer, an elderly man with a big rough head, were drinking in one of the public rooms of a restaurant on the outskirts of the town. They had both come to the restaurant straight from a ball and so were wearing dress coats and white ties. Except them and the waiters at the door there was not a soul in the room; by Frolov’s orders no one else was admitted.

They began by drinking a big wine-glass of vodka and eating oysters.

“Good!” said Almer. “It was I brought oysters into fashion for the first course, my boy. The vodka burns and stings your throat and you have a voluptuous sensation in your throat when you swallow an oyster. Don’t you?”

A dignified waiter with a shaven upper lip and grey whiskers put a sauceboat on the table.

“What’s that you are serving?” asked Frolov.

“Sauce Provençale for the herring, sir. . . .”

“What! is that the way to serve it?” shouted Frolov, not looking into the sauceboat. “Do you call that sauce? You don’t know how to wait, you blockhead!”

Frolov’s velvety eyes flashed. He twisted a corner of the table-cloth round his finger, made a slight movement, and the dishes, the candlesticks, and the bottles, all jingling and clattering, fell with a crash on the floor.

The waiters, long accustomed to pot-house catastrophes, ran up to the table and began picking up the fragments with grave and unconcerned faces, like surgeons at an operation.

“How well you know how to manage them!” said Almer, and he laughed. ” But . . . move a little away from the table or you will step in the caviare.”

“Call the engineer here!” cried Frolov.

This was the name given to a decrepit, doleful old man who really had once been an engineer and very well off; he had squandered all his property and towards the end of his life had got into a restaurant where he looked after the waiters and singers and carried out various commissions relating to the fair sex. Appearing at the summons, he put his head on one side respectfully.

“Listen, my good man,” Frolov said, addressing him. “What’s the meaning of this disorder? How queerly you fellows wait! Don’t you know that I don’t like it? Devil take you, I shall give up coming to you!”

“I beg you graciously to excuse it, Alexey Semyonitch!” said the engineer, laying his hand on his heart. “I will take steps immediately, and your slightest wishes shall be carried out in the best and speediest way.”

“Well, that’ll do, you can go. . . .”

The engineer bowed, staggered back, still doubled up, and disappeared through the doorway with a final flash of the false diamonds on his shirt-front and fingers.

The table was laid again. Almer drank red wine and ate with relish some sort of bird served with truffles, and ordered a matelote of eelpouts and a sterlet with its tail in its mouth. Frolov only drank vodka and ate nothing but bread. He rubbed his face with his open hands, scowled, and was evidently out of humour. Both were silent. There was a stillness. Two electric lights in opaque shades flickered and hissed as though they were angry. The gypsy girls passed the door, softly humming.

“One drinks and is none the merrier,” said Frolov. “The more I pour into myself, the more sober I become. Other people grow festive with vodka, but I suffer from anger, disgusting thoughts, sleeplessness. Why is it, old man, that people don’t invent some other pleasure besides drunkenness and debauchery? It’s really horrible!”

“You had better send for the gypsy girls.”

“Confound them!”

The head of an old gypsy woman appeared in the door from the passage.

“Alexey Semyonitch, the gypsies are asking for tea and brandy,” said the old woman. “May we order it?”

“Yes,” answered Frolov. “You know they get a percentage from the restaurant keeper for asking the visitors to treat them. Nowadays you can’t even believe a man when he asks for vodka. The people are all mean, vile, spoilt. Take these waiters, for instance. They have countenances like professors, and grey heads; they get two hundred roubles a month, they live in houses of their own and send their girls to the high school, but you may swear at them and give yourself airs as much as you please. For a rouble the engineer will gulp down a whole pot of mustard and crow like a cock. On my honour, if one of them would take offence I would make him a present of a thousand roubles.”

“What’s the matter with you?” said Almer, looking at him with surprise. “Whence this melancholy? You are red in the face, you look like a wild animal. . . . What’s the matter with you?”

“It’s horrid. There’s one thing I can’t get out of my head. It seems as though it is nailed there and it won’t come out.”

A round little old man, buried in fat and completely bald, wearing a short reefer jacket and lilac waistcoat and carrying a guitar, walked into the room. He made an idiotic face, drew himself up, and saluted like a soldier.

“Ah, the parasite!” said Frolov, “let me introduce him, he has made his fortune by grunting like a pig. Come here!” He poured vodka, wine, and brandy into a glass, sprinkled pepper and salt into it, mixed it all up and gave it to the parasite. The latter tossed it off and smacked his lips with gusto.

“He’s accustomed to drink a mess so that pure wine makes him sick,” said Frolov. “Come, parasite, sit down and sing.”

The old man sat down, touched the strings with his fat fingers, and began singing:

“Neetka, neetka, Margareetka. . . .”
After drinking champagne Frolov was drunk. He thumped with his fist on the table and said:

Filed in: Classics, Fantasy, Fiction

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