Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


On a frosty evening in January General Listopad, director of the factory at Kruzhilikha, drove his wife to the maternity home.

It was a good maternity home, the best in the town. Mirzoyev, the chauffeur, had orders to be particultarly careful.

"Make it seem like floating on air!" Listopad told him.

Most attentive during Klavdiya's pregnancy, Mirzoyev now outdid himself. The car did not run, it floated.

"It's almost as if we had carried you here in our arms, dear," Listopad said, helping her out of the car.

They had stopped at the wrought-iron gates. Beyond was a yard with tall white trees, and deep in the yard stood the maternity home. A lamp burned dimly over the entrance. The snowdrifts had piled shoulder-high and through them a deep path had been cleared from the gates to the porch. Listopad led Klavdiya along that path. She walked quickly, nervously; Listopad heard her breathing.

"Don't be frightened, everything will be all right," he said, giving her elbow a squeeze.

"I'm not the least bit frightened. Why d'you. think I am?" Kladiya said.

They entered the hall together, but Listopad was not allowed to go farther. An elderly woman in a white . . .

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