Classics fantasy – 5
One «scaffold» intended for Lesley, another – for Mere which with poetic inaccuracy was late.
While doctors prepared in an office for operation and listened to pulse and heart at Lesley, Carlson several times in impatience ran in the hall to cope whether Mere came.
– Here you see! – Carlson shouted, for the third time running in an office and addressing Gilbert. – I was right. Мерэ was not.
Gilbert shrugged shoulders.
But at this moment the office door with noise revealed, and on a threshold the poet appeared. His face and clothes bore obvious traces of violently spent night. The wandering eyes, a silly smile and staggering gait said that night waste still far did not evaporate from his head.
Carlson with anger snatched to Mere:
– Listen, to this disgrace! You are drunk!
Мерэ grinned, rocking extensively.
– At us in France – he answered – there is a custom: to execute the last will doomed to death and to treat him before an execution dishes and wines what only he will wish. And many, going to death, to death also get drunk. You want «to freeze» me. It neither life, nor death. Therefore I also drank from the middle on a half: neither it is drunk, nor is sober.
This conversation was interrupted with unexpected shout of the surgeon:
– Wait! Give fresh solution! Pour in it in the new sterilized mug!
Carlson looked back. Half-naked Eduard Lesley sat on a white chair, panting a hollow breast. The surgeon clamped tweezers already opened vein.
– You see – the surgeon was nervous, addressing the sister of mercy helping him who highly held a glass mug with chemical solution – liquid dimmed! Give other solution. Liquid has to be absolutely pure.
Quickly brought to the sister a large bottle with solution and a new mug. Injection was made.
– How do you feel?
– I thank you – the astronomer answered – it is tolerant.
After Lesley Mere underwent operation of injection.
In the light clothes made of matter which is freely passing heat them entered into the hall.
The uneasy crowd became silent. On the put ladder of Lesley and Mere ascended to «scaffolds» and laid down in the glass coffins. And here, already lying on a white sheet, Mere suddenly recited a hoarse voice an epitaph to Scipio of the Roman poet Enniya:
That is buried here to whom
Neither citizens, nor strangers
Were unable to render
Abuse, worthy him.
And after this unexpectedly he snored a tired dream of the become tipsy person.
Eduard Lesley lay as the dead person. Its features were pointed. He often breathed short sighs.
The surgeon, watching the thermometer, began to cool air between glass walls.
In process of fall of temperature snore of Mere began to cease. Lesley’s breath was hardly noticeable. Мерэ time or two moved with a hand and calmed down. Eyes remained half-open with Lesley. At last breath stopped at both, and at Lesley eyes grew dim. At the same moment glass covers were pulled over «coffins». Access of air was stopped.
– Twenty one degrees Celsius. Anabiosis occurred – the surgeon’s voice among complete silence was heard.
The public slowly left the hall.
Gilbert, Carlson and the surgeon passed in an office. The surgeon sat down for some chemical analysis now. Gilbert frowned.
– Eventually, all this makes the depressing impression. I was right, insisting on giving to public only an awakening show. This funeral will discourage at anything to subject themselves to anabiosis. It is good still that this idler Mere brought a comic note in this funeral chorus.
– You are right and are not right, Gilbert – Carlson answered. – The picture turned out gloomy, it is right. But the crowd has to see everything from beginning to end, otherwise she will not believe! At our «pokoynichok» control watch is established. They are open for a review day and night at any time. And if we lost at a funeral, then twice we will win on revival. I am occupied by another: operation of injection is quite unpleasant and difficult. For mass freezing of people it is unusable. But wrote me that professor Wagner found more simplified way of the necessary change of blood by inhalation of special vapors.
– Devil take it! I suspected it! – suddenly the surgeon exclaimed, lifting a test tube with some liquid.
– In what business, the doctor?
– And the matter is that all our experience and life of professor Lesley hung by a thread. As you remember, at injection of chemical solution I paid attention that liquid became muddy. It should not have been at all. I personally made liquid in the conditions of absolute sterility. Now I wanted to establish the liquid turbidity reasons.
– And what you found? – Gilbert asked.
– Presence of hydrocianic acid.
– One of the strongest. Kills instantly, and from it there is no rescue.
– But how it got there?
– In it all question!
– This is Arthur Lesley. Inconsolable nephew of the astronomer. You remember, Gilbert, his request and then threat? What villain! And watch what sincere regret played!
– When he was able to do it? It seems, it did not approach close devices…
– Yes – the surgeon thoughtfully spoke – it is possible that here others are involved. Perhaps, sister of mercy?.
– It is necessary to let know polices! This crime! – the indignant Gilbert exclaimed.
– By no means! – Carlson objected. – It will only damage to us, especially among workers on whom we finally count. And eventually, what the police can make? Whom can we accuse? Arthur Lesley, interested person? But we have no proofs that he is involved in a crime.
– Perhaps, you are right – Gilbert thoughtfully spoke. – But, in any case, we should be very careful.
IV. RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
There passed month. Day of «resurrection of the dead» came. The public worried. There were disputes whether it will be possible to return to life shipped in anabiosis.
At night on the eve of revival the surgeon in the presence of Gilbert and Carlson examined Lesley and Mere. They lay as the corpses, cold, lifeless.