Procecutor. Chapter 11

PROSECUTOR

          Thus Cardan spent the winter working hard. Spring, and after it summer, added even more trouble. This time, Cardan's wife decided to buy coal. With firewood there is a lot of "fuss", and it is as expensive as coal. "If we are going to burn coal next winter, we need to remake the stove. The bricks will not stand such strong heat. If it falls apart, when severe frosts come, there will be a lot of problems. I'm going to my sister for two weeks, so during that time you'll remake the brick stove and go to the regional center to buy coal," she instructed her husband giving him the necessary amount of money.

The sunlight, breaking through the window curtains, awakened Cardan from a sweet slumber; there was an unusual silence in the house. No one moved or hurried; no one forced and did not urge - a master of the situation. "I need to switch on my inner motivation. It's necessary to spin around," thought Cardan.
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He got up, washed his face, did the necessary house chores, had a bite, and began to take the stove apart. Attaching the chisel to the clay seams between the bricks and tapping it with a hammer, he carefully strated separating them one from another.”At the household everything will come in handy. Why should I throw useful things away?” There has not been such a case that something has turned out useless for Cardan. He took the bricks outside, found a place for them in the yard, and neatly put them into a rectangular pile. He placed a slate sheet on top of it protecting them from a harmful effect of rain. Some visible shifts were quite apparent. The stove is dismantled – half of the work is done.
 
          It was time for lunch. Cardan fried his bachelor eggs and bacon, cut off a piece of bread and began eating but stopped immediately. "Something is missing?” a troublesome thought was circling in his head. "Of course, how is it possible for a husband to remain at home without control of his wife and not to have a drink? Someone would probably be bored and tormented by solitude? But it is not for me! I'm not the one of those soldiers who rush to tanks with grenades!" Taking the necessary amount of money allocated by his wife for buying coal, he ran to the shop, bought a bottle of vodka, and got home. "Now it feels like life is getting better," his inner organs sprung to life. The stomach became pleasantly warm; and the fried eggs turned into an unearthly delicacy. Life really got better, and loneliness already did not frighten, but, on the contrary, it turned into a wonderful pastime. The trips to the shop acquired a regular frequency, and from the food even boiled potatoes became something heavenly. A week passed by - half of the money was spent. "Stop!” Cardan said to himself. “I have to buy at least half of the coal."

He exerted titanic efforts and came out of an alcoholic stupor. After giving himself a day's respite, he went to the district center the following day.
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Opposite the coach station there was a brand new bar called "777". Cardan passed by the magic number and instantly caught it b
in his memory. The further he moved away from the bar, the quicker its repetition grew in his mind. "Seven, seven, seven. Seven, seven, seven," drummed in his head. He stopped, as if he had hit an invisible wall, made a U-turn and with quick steps and short dashes he headed for the fabulous place. The room inside was lit by dim romantic light; there was playing fascinating music. "I'll drink a glass of beer and that'll enough,” he consoled himself. "You have to try everything in life at least once, so that later you would not regret painfully for the aimlessly spent years," in his memory the famous words from Ostrovsky's book How the Steel Was Tempered came out of the darkness. Cardan did not even notice how he switched from beer to wine. He knew that you can raise the degrees of alcohol but not to lower them, so the wine was followed by cognac, and then - a gap in the memory.

           He woke up at the coach station in a cold sweat. "Money, where's the money? Have I really squandered everything?" He searched his pockets and at last found some banknotes. The trembling hands sorted out the banknotes carefully, neatly stacking them in a pile. He counted them again and again and did not believe his eyes. There was not enough money for the coal. Not only for the half of it, but for the half of the half as well. Cardan knew from experience that there were no desperate situations. There was enough money to pay for a delivery, and the rest is a matter of cunning. "When the Cardan is spinning - the car is going. It's necessary to turn around!" inspiring thoughts lit a spark of hope in his soul.
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He got up from his chair, stretched himself, straightened up, and walked to the coal base "to mine coal."

If a person makes a plan for swindling someone else's possessions, he is a deceiver; but if the deception happens spontaneously, accidentally, then this is just a way of life. Cardan did not think up his adventures in advance, he was not a villain, everything in his life happened automatically, unintentionally, and his conscience was clean from the burdens of sin.

"Could you tell me how do I find your boss, please?" He asked the security guard standing at the gate. Having received the necessary information, Cardan rushed straight to the office of the chief. The secretary announced that the director was busy, and he had to wait a couple of minutes in the corridor.

          At last the room was free, and our adventurer entered the office of the strict manager. He began his conversation directly without blushing, "We need a trailer of coal. Unfortunately we are short of money. Let's arrange barter. I work as a mechanic at the tractor facilities in the nearby village. I can offer you any spare part.”

Cardan hit the mark. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the equipment was not updated, spare parts were very hard to get, and on the coal base, just like everywhere else, there were the same problems - worn-out vehicles. The director plunged into a deep thinking. It was not so simple to make a choice when so many things were needed. In order not to lose the opportunity, he named the most necessary, in his opinion, spare part, “A fuel pump to Belarus tractor.”

No sooner had the last syllables of the tractor's name left the mouth of the speaking director, as Cardan started his usual, tried-and-tested tactics, “Of course, I'll do everything you are asking me for. I will find a fuel pump for you as soon as I get to the tractor workshop.”
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He wrote down the address and added,"Ask Prosecutor, every "dog" knows me there.”
“Then, is it agreed?” the director extended his hand to Cardana. "Go, look for transport, and in a couple of days I'll come to your place for the fuel pump."
“Of course, come. I'll do everything that we have agreed upon. The pump will be ready in practically no time,” he was already closing the door behind him but still was giving him sweet promises that turned the head of the satisfied chief.

          Cardan went to the village to look for a driver nicknamed Dog, who was called so because of his passion for fantasy and constant lies. Speaking of him every one ended his story with the words, "He's lying like a dog!" At that time, Dog was delivering food to the field for the workers engaged in harvesting. It was time for lunch, and the collective farmers gathered in shade near the forest waiting for a car with food.
         Tired of coolness and dampness, a grass snake crawled out on the edge of the forest to warm in the sun. He lay quietly on the grass enjoying the sun's rays, and did not know that the place he liked would also be chosen by the collective farmers. One of the drivers, unaware that the place was already occupied by the creeping dweller of the forest, nearly stepped on it. He quickly moved aside in fright and told his colleague about an unpleasant encounter. As it turned out, his comrade was not afraid of reptiles at all. He caught the grass snake and wrapped it around his arm.
“What are you doing? Are you crazy?” asked his colleague a restless question. “What do you need it for? Drop it!”
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"Look, Chicka's coming to us. Now we will teach him how to constantly ask for cigarettes. Let's smoke to whet his desire. And we'll do it like this ..."
He took off his jacket, hung it on the branch of a tree and carefully put the grass snake in its pocket.

"Oh, guys, could you give me a cigarette?" Chicka mumbled a request, which was a habit developed by him over many years.
"Take it over there, in the pocket of my jacket," the prankster pointed his finger at the ominous bait.
Chicka flashed like lightning to the indicated place and quickly put his hand into the pocket. In the blink of an eye he seemed to be pierced by an electric shock; he instantly withdrew his arm from the pocket and gasped with fear, “There ...”
The comedians burst out laughing, but Chika stood all white with bulging eyes and outstretched hands. He tried to add something else but could only utter, sobbing with a lack of air, “There ...”
Finally, the laughter of his comrades brought him back to life. Realising that it was a prank, he waved his hand and scornfully exclaimed, “Damn you, fools!"
Enraged at his offenders, he stepped aside boiling with anger and resentment.

Out of the forest came three hunters with rifles and approached Chicka.
"Have you seen a dog around here?" they turned to him.
"Wait a little bit, in a few minutes we are having lunch and he is delivering food for us," Chicka said.
At that moment Cardan arrived on a bicycle.
"Have you seen Dog?" he asked Chicka a similar question.
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"Oh, and you're looking for him. People are waiting for him too. Hold on a little, he will be coming with food in a few minutes."
The hunters stood in bewilderment looking at one another.
"Wait, guys," one of the hunters finally said, "a four-legged dog with a tail and it can bark. Did you happen to see it? We were hunting wild ducks at a swamp not far from here and lost it."
"Oh, why did you not say it from the start," Chicka grumbled in displeasure, "that it is a four-legged beast with a tail and can bark? It happens that we call by that name our driver, who delivers lunch for us. How did I know what kind of "dog" you meant?

          The hunters turned around and went on to look for their four-legged friend.
Finally, Dog arrived by truck. In the truck's body there were four tanks. In one of them was soup, in the second – mash potato, in the third - cutlets, and in the fourth – apple beverage. The cook, who arrived with Dog, began to pour the soup into plates, which tired and hungry workers took to the already selected shady and grassy places for the convenient eating of the meal. Those who ate the first dish stood in line with empty plates for the second one. Cardan approached Dog and agreed on the delivery of the coal. "Only you find a plastic cover not to dirty the truck. You understand that I deliver food for the workers," the driver warned him.

           The coal was delivered. There was a lull for two days. The director of the coal base solved urgent matters. On the third day he went to Prosecutor to pick up the promised fuel pump.
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He arrived at the tractor facilities and went to look for a mechanic.
"Have you seen Prosecutor?"
"No, I have not," the repairman answered him in bewilderment. "And who is he?"
"Your mechanic."
"We do not have a mechanic by the name of Prosecutor."
The director of the coal base did not believe his ears. Was he deceived? He could not trust the first worker so easily: he could be mistaken. In despair, he began running around the territory of the tractor facilities and kept asking the same question, "Have you seen Prosecutor?" No one had the faintest idea who Prosecutor was. He went into the director's office and received the same response as from the repairman, "We do not have any mechanics by such a name. Someone must have deceived you."
 
          The head of the coal base could not believe in his oversight, "How could that happen that I was deceived so easily?" It was banging in his temples, his chest was hot. He rushed to look for Cardan in the village stopping all the people on his way and asking one and the same question, "Have you seen Prosecutor?"
“Who is Prosecutor? We have not seen and do not know him," they answered in bewilderment. “Inquire the head of the village, he knows all the people here.”
The drowning director of the coal base clutched at the straw and rushed to the village council.
“Do you know who Prosecutor is?” he asked the head of the village and told him about the barter.
"Prosecutor, Prosecutor and who is this Prosecutor?" the head mumbled it again and again. “Prosecutor, Prosecutor and who is this Prosecutor? Cardan or what?” finally the conclusion came to his mind by itself.
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“If you have arranged the delivery of coal to him, then you will not be able to give the case a legal move. He did not steal it,” explained the chairman. "Go to him and try to settle it."

         He told him how to find Cardan's house and led the frustrated director to the door. "How such a naive man can be a director of the coal base," thought the head of the village seeing off the departing simpleton.

          Cardan was not at home then; and it was not possible to find him the next day and on the following ones. In the end, the director of the coal base gave up; scolded himself for his gullibility and said through the clenched teeth, "Oh, that scoundrel!"

          The storm calmed down and Cardan returned home. The wife must come back any minute. I have to make the stove. He prepared clay for mortar and began to lay bricks. Suddenly, the door opened and a tired wife came in.
"Wow, you are making the stove," she exhaled.
“Yes, darling, there are some shifts here,” the whipping husband justified himself.
The wife looked at the work that he had just begun and then exclaimed furiously, “Here you are! I will give you such a blow now that there will be some shifts in your head instead! What did you do for two weeks?! Come on, finish it quickly!”
Cardan, realising his guilt, continued to work silently.
"It's good that you have bought coal, otherwise there would be a denouement of the tragic plot," the half satisfied wife gave a frightening threat but this time a little calmer.
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