Текст книги

A. Belyaev
Classics fantasy – 5


To fall asleep and sleep, without wakening,

That to forget about itself

And, the last sinking into a sleep,

Not to know, not to feel, not to live.

Freeze! Gotov.

Let hot I get down

My corpse cold will recover!

– You give money now or after awakening?

– Later!

– He does not agree! The devil only knows, whether you revive me. Money for a barrel. To Kutn last time, and there do that want!

Gilbert was interested in this funny shaggy poet.

– I can give you in the advance payment five pounds sterling. It will suit you?

At the poet of an eye sparkled hungry gloss. Five pounds! Пяггь good English pounds! To the person who ate sonnets and triolets!

– Of course! Sold soul to the devil and it is ready to sign with blood the contract!

When the poet left, Carlson snatched on Gilbert:

– You reproach me that I ruin you, and throw money down the drain. Why you gave advance payment? You do not see what the bird is? I bet for five pounds that it will not return!

– I accept! Let’s look! However today happy day! Look, still someone!

The office included gracefully dressed young man.

– May I introduce myself: Lesley!

– One more Lesley! Really all Lesley take liking to anabiosis? – Carlson exclaimed. Lesley smiled.

– I was not mistaken. Means, the uncle already was. I am Arthur Lesley. Mine the uncle, Eduard Lesley, professor of astronomy, told me a regrettable message about what wants to subject itself to experience of anabiosis…

– And I believed that you wish to be influenced by this useful experience! Think, you will become one of the most fashionable people in London! – Carlson fished around.

But this time fish did not peck.

– I do not need so extravagant ways of popularity – with modest pride the young man spoke.

– In that case you are afraid for the uncle? Absolutely in vain! His life is not exposed the slightest danger!

– Really? – with great interest Arthur Lesley inquired.

– You can be quiet!

– Any danger! – quietly Lesley spoke, and to Carlson was heard that even more quietly Lesley added: It «is a pity». – And whether it is impossible to dissuade the uncle from this experience? He tubercular, and at weakness of his health hardly he is fit for experience. You risk and can only compromise your business.

– We are so sure of success that we do not see any risk.

– Listen! I will pay you. I will well pay if you refuse the uncle as object of your experience!

– We do not go for bribery – Gilbert put in a ward. – But if you tell the reason, then, maybe, we also will meet requirements of you.

– To Prichin? E-e… it so ticklish property…

– We are able to be silent!

– As it is unpleasant, but I have to be frank… You see my uncle is rich, scary rich. And I… his only heir. The uncle is hopelessly sick. Doctors say that his days are numbered. Perhaps, only a few months separate me from wealth. It as is impossible more by the way; I have the bride. And at this moment your announcement comes across to it, and it decides to subject itself (himself) to anabiosis and to fall asleep nearly for hundred years, wakening from time to time only to look at some falling stars! Understand my position. Cannot approve court me in the rights of inheritance until the uncle is in anabiosis!

– Of course, no!

– Here you see! But then farewell inheritance! It will be received by my prapraprapravnuk!

– We can «freeze» also you together with your uncle. And you will lie a mummy before receiving inheritance.

– I thank you! So you will risk to lie to a world skonchaniye. So, you refuse to deal with the uncle?

– It would be strange to refuse from our party after ourselves published the announcement of the hunter’s call.

– Your last word?

– Last word!

– That it is worse for you! – And, having slammed the door, Arthur Lesley left.

III. INCONSOLABLE NEPHEW

The first experiment of anabiosis of the person is decided to be conducted in London, in specially employed room, publicly. Broad advertizing attracted to the huge white hall of the numerous audience. In spite of the fact that the hall was crowded, artificially maintained temperature in it below zero. Not to make an unpleasant impression on public, operation of injection in blood of the person of special structure by it decided to make for giving of property of blood of cold blooded animals in the special room where only the family and friends of the persons which were exposed to experience could have access.

Eduard Lesley was as usual with an astronomical accuracy, on the dot, exactly at twelve o’clock in the afternoon. Carlson was frightened, увидав of him – before the astronomer grew thin. The feverish flush covered his cheeks. At each breath the Adam’s apple convulsively moved on a thin neck, and on a scarf which professor brought to a mouth during fits of coughing, Carlson noticed blood drops.

«The bad beginning» – Carlson thought, conducting the astronomer under a hand to the certain room.

After Eduard Lesley there was a nephew with a face of the heart-broken relative who is seeing off the beloved uncle at the cemetery.

The crowd greedy examined the astronomer. Cameras of reporters of newspapers clicked.

The office door was closed behind Lesley. And the public in impatient expectation began to examine «scaffolds» as called someone standing highly in the middle of the hall of device for anabiosis.

These «scaffolds» reminded enormous aquariums with double glass walls. It were two glass boxes enclosed one in another. The box, smaller by the sizes, served for the room of the person, and between walls of both boxes there was a device for fall of temperature.