The Case of Comrade Tulayev: A Novel

The Case of Comrade Tulayev: A Novel

The Case of Comrade Tulayev: A Novel

The Case of Comrade Tulayev: A Novel

Excerpt

For several weeks Kostia had been thinking about buying a pair of shoes. But then a sudden impulse, which surprised even himself, upset all his calculations. By going without cigarettes, movies, and lunch every other day, he would need six weeks to save up the one hundred and forty rubles which was the price of a fairly good pair of shoes that the salesgirl in a secondhand store had kindly promised to set aside for him "on the q.t." Meanwhile, he walked cheerfully on cardboard soles, which he replaced every evening. Fortunately the weather remained fair. When Kostia had accumulated seventy rubles he gave himself the pleasure of going to see the shoes that would one day be his. He found them half hidden on a dark shelf, behind several old copper samovars, a pile of opera-glass cases, a Chinese teapot, and a shell box with a sky-blue Bay of Naples. A magnificent pair of boots, of the softest leather, had the place of honor on the shelf -- four hundred rubles, imagine! Men in threadbare overcoats licked their lips over them. "Don't worry," the little salesgirl said to him. "Your boots are still here, don't worry . . ." She smiled at him, and again he noticed her brown hair . . .

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