A Change of Season

A Change of Season

A Change of Season

A Change of Season

Excerpt

THE LIBRARIAN FELT NERVOUS.

Her spectacles had slipped down her nose and her pepper and salt curls danced about. She announced:

"I call on Comrade Brainin to speak next. Comrade Koroteyev will speak after him."

Dmitry Koroteyev slightly raised his thin dark eyebrows in an expression of surprise. Yet he knew that he would have to speak at the readers' meeting. The librarian had asked him well in advance and he had accepted.

Everybody at the factory treated Koroteyev with respect. The director, Ivan Zhuravlyov, had recently admitted to the secretary of the Party Town Committee that without him the release of the new precision-cutting tools would have had to be put off to the following quarter. Nor was Dmitry valued only as a brilliant engineer--people were impressed by his many-sided learning, his intelligence, and his modesty. Even Chief Designer Sokolovsky, who was known for his sharp tongue, never said a word against him. As for the librarian, who had had a discussion with him about literature, she told everyone: "His feeling for Chekhov is unique." It was evident that the readers' meeting, for which she had worked more than a month like a schoolgirl for a stiff examination, could not possibly be held without him.

Engineer Brainin spread a pile of papers on the table. He spoke too fast, as though frightened of not having enough time . . .

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