7:18 pm - Saturday May 26, 2018

A Mystery-by Anton Chekhov-Novel and Ebooks

Novel Name:A Mystery

Written by: Anton chekhov

Category:Fiction, Classics, Fairytales, Children

Page 1:

ON the evening of Easter Sunday the actual Civil Councillor, Navagin, on his return from paying calls, picked up the sheet of paper on which visitors had inscribed their names in the hall, and went with it into his study. After taking off his outer garments and drinking some seltzer water, he settled himself comfortably on a couch and began reading the signatures in the list. When his eyes reached the middle of the long list of signatures, he started, gave an ejaculation of astonishment and snapped his fingers, while his face expressed the utmost perplexity.

“Again!” he said, slapping his knee. “It’s extraordinary! Again! Again there is the signature of that fellow, goodness knows who he is! Fedyukov! Again!”

Among the numerous signatures on the paper was the signature of a certain Fedyukov. Who the devil this Fedyukov was, Navagin had not a notion. He went over in his memory all his acquaintances, relations and subordinates in the service, recalled his remote past but could recollect no name like Fedyukov. What was so strange was that this incognito, Fedyukov, had signed his name regularly every Christmas and Easter for the last thirteen years. Neither Navagin, his wife, nor his house porter knew who he was, where he came from or what he was like.

“It’s extraordinary!” Navagin thought in perplexity, as he paced about the study. “It’s strange and incomprehensible! It’s like sorcery!”

“Call the porter here!” he shouted.

“It’s devilish queer! But I will find out who he is!”

“I say, Grigory,” he said, addressing the porter as he entered, “that Fedyukov has signed his name again! Did you see him?”

“No, your Excellency.”

“Upon my word, but he has signed his name! So he must have been in the hall. Has he been?”

“No, he hasn’t, your Excellency.”

“How could he have signed his name without being there?”

“I can’t tell.”

“Who is to tell, then? You sit gaping there in the hall. Try and remember, perhaps someone you didn’t know came in? Think a minute!”

“No, your Excellency, there has been no one I didn’t know. Our clerks have been, the baroness came to see her Excellency, the priests have been with the Cross, and there has been no one else. . . .”

“Why, he was invisible when he signed his name, then, was he?”

“I can’t say: but there has been no Fedyukov here. That I will swear before the holy image. . . .”

“It’s queer! It’s incomprehensible! It’s ex-traordinary!” mused Navagin. “It’s positively ludicrous. A man has been signing his name here for thirteen years and you can’t find out who he is. Perhaps it’s a joke? Perhaps some clerk writes that name as well as his own for fun.”

And Navagin began examining Fedyukov’s signature.

The bold, florid signature in the old-fashioned style with twirls and flourishes was utterly unlike the handwriting of the other signatures. It was next below the signature of Shtutchkin, the provincial secretary, a scared, timorous little man who would certainly have died of fright if he had ventured upon such an impudent joke.

“The mysterious Fedyukov has signed his name again!” said Navagin, going in to see his wife. “Again I fail to find out who he is.”

Madame Navagin was a spiritualist, and so for all phenomena in nature, comprehensible or incomprehensible, she had a very simple explanation.

“There’s nothing extraordinary about it,” she said. “You don’t believe it, of course, but I have said it already and I say it again: there is a great deal in the world that is supernatural, which our feeble intellect can never grasp. I am convinced that this Fedyukov is a spirit who has a sympathy for you . . . If I were you, I would call him up and ask him what he wants.”

“Nonsense, nonsense!”

Filed in: Anthony Doerr, Classics, Mystery

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply