Текст книги

A. Belyaev
Classics fantasy – 5


The surgeon knocked with the doctor’s hammer on the frozen lips of the poet, and blows were accurately carried on the empty hall as though the hammer struck a piece of a tree. Eyelashes became covered with hoarfrost from heat which left a body.

At survey of a body of the astronomer the trained eye of the surgeon noticed on a naked hand a small hillock under skin. At top of a hillock hardly noticeable speck as though from a prick, and below – the frozen drop of some liquid was seen.

The surgeon disapprovingly shook the head. Having scratched out a lancet the frozen drop, the surgeon carefully carried this piece of ice in an office and there subjected it to the chemical analysis. Carlson and Gilbert watched closely work of the surgeon.

– Well?

– The same! Again hydrocianic acid! Despite all our precautions, Arthur Lesley, apparently, managed to inject in some way under skin of the adored uncle several drops of lethal poison!

Gilbert and Carlson were depressed.

– Everything died! – in despair Gilbert spoke. – Eduard Lesley will not wake up more. Our business is hopelessly compromised.

Carlson raged.

– Under its court, the villain! Now and I see that this criminal should be transferred to justice hands, at least scandal also damaged to us!

The surgeon, having propped up the head a hand, thought of something.

– Wait, maybe, still it is lost nothing! – at last he started talking. – Do not forget that poison was injected under skin of absolutely frozen body in which all vital processes are suspended. Absorption could not be. In the absence of blood circulation poison could not be carried and by birth. If poisonous liquid was heated, then it could get in a small amount under skin which under the influence of heat became more elastic. But further liquid could not get. You can judge by the drop which acted in the place of a prick that the criminal did not manage to enter a significant amount.

– But and one drop it is enough to poison the person?

– Quite right. However we can remove this drop very quietly, having cut out it with a meat piece.

– Really you think that the person can remain live after poison was in his body, perhaps, two-three weeks?

– And why is also not present? It is only necessary to cut out more deeply that there is no drop left in a body! To warm a body, at least partially, risky. It is necessary to make original «cold» operation.

And, having taken the hammer and the tool reminding a chisel the surgeon went to a corpse and began to cut down a hillock, working as the sculptor over a marble statue. Skin and muscles small frozen splinters of drop on a box bottom. Soon in a hand small deepening was formed.

– Well, apparently, it is enough!

Splinters carefully swept away. Deepening was greased with iodine which immediately froze.

Behind a window traffic began. The house had already a turn of expecting.

Doors opened, and the hall was filled with public.

Exactly at twelve in the afternoon removed glass covers of boxes, and the surgeon began to increase slowly temperature, looking at the thermometer.

– Eighteen… ten… five it is below zero. Zero!. One… two… five… is above zero!. – Pause. Hoarfrost on eyelashes of Mere melted and as teardrops, filled corners of eyes.

The first moved Mere. Tension in the hall reached the highest degree. And among the come silence of Mere suddenly loudly sneezed. It discharged crowd tension, and it hooted as a beehive. Мерэ rose, took seat in the glass box, yawned and looked at crowd with osolovely eyes.

– Good morning! – someone playfully welcomed it from crowd.

– I thank you! But I fatally want to sleep! – And he pecked the head.

In public laughter was heard.

– In a month did not sleep!

– Yes it is drunk! – voices were heard.

– At the time of immersion in anabiosis – the surgeon loudly explained – Mr. Mere was in state of intoxication. In such state overtook its anabiosis which stopped all processes of an organism. Now, at return to life, naturally, Mere appeared under the influence of hop. And as he, obviously, did not sleep at night before anabiosis, he feels requirement of a dream. Anabiosis not a dream, and something between a dream and life.

– Blood! Blood! – someone’s scared female voice was heard. The surgeon looked around. Eyes of crowd were turned on Lesley’s body. On a sleeve of his dressing gown the bloody spot acted.

– Calm down! – the surgeon exclaimed. – There is nothing terrible. During anabiosis professor Lesley had to perform the small operation which does not have relations to his freezing. As soon as blood got warm and blood circulation was resumed, from a wound blood acted. That’s all. We will make bandaging now. – And, having broken off a sleeve of a dressing gown of Lesley, the surgeon quickly bandaged his hand. During Lesley’s bandaging recovered.

– How do you feel?

– I thank you, well. It seems, it is easier for me to breathe.

Really, Lesley breathed exactly, without convulsive movements of a breast.

– You saw – the surgeon addressed crowd – that experience of anabiosis was successful. Now undergone anabiosis will be examined by specialists doctors.

Crowd it is noisy dispersed, and Mere and Lesley passed in an office.

V. FAVOURABLE ENTERPRISE

At careful medical examination of Eduard Lesley unexpected consequences of anabiosis became clear. It turned out that under the influence of low temperature all tubercular sticks which are in sore lungs of Lesley were killed and Eduard Lesley, thus, absolutely recovered from tuberculosis.

However, even at Bakhmetyev’s experiences such opportunity was theoretically assumed. But now it was the incontestable fact which brilliantly resolved a question of fight against tuberculosis, this terrible enemy of mankind.

Carlson was not mistaken. Eduard Lesley and Mere became the most fashionable people in London and around the world. They were interviewed, removed, invited for public statements. The astronomer, though felt absolutely healthy now, was weighed upon this unusual noise. He insisted on that it was subjected to anabiosis till 1933 again.

– I should preserve myself for science – he said.

And his desire was granted. It was transported to Greenland. And he the first went down to the deep Konservatoriuma mines as this underground storage for mass freezing of people was called.

But Mere directly bathed in popularity waves. It was not satisfied with public statements. He wrote the poetic poem «On That Coast of Styx». He wrote about how his soul, having exempted from fetters of the stiffened body, rushed a whirlwind in blue air of World space. She swam on the shining rings of Saturn. Visited planets of the remote stars, «where the lilac flower people singing an eternal song of happiness grow». It soared in spaces of the fourth measurement where objects are measured in width, length, depth.

«On the earth there is no proper expression» – wrote Mere and confusedly explained living conditions in the world of the fourth measurement, «where there is no time» where there are no concepts «out of» and «inside» – where all objects pronitsat each other, without mixing the forms. He wrote about extraordinary meetings on the Milky Way which is taking away out of limits of the star sky known to us.

Its poem, certainly, did not maintain the slightest scientific criticism: in a condition of anabiosis he could not even have dreams the frozen brain. But the public greedy to sensations, inclined to mysticism, was fond of these fantastic pictures. There were fans of strong feelings who wished to be influenced by feeling of «flight in boundless spaces», plunging into anabiosis. They, of course, felt nothing how they the frozen hulk, but, «wakening», supported a lie of Mere.

Over any expectation anabiosis brought to Gilbert enormous profits. Besides thrill-seekers, to Gilbert TB patients were flown down from all over the world. Greenland «sanatorium» worked perfectly. Patients received full treatment. And soon still new clients increased. The English government recognized more «humane» and, the main thing, cheap to subject «incorrigible» criminals to anabiosis instead of life imprisonment and the death penalty.

At last, anabiosis was applied to transportation of the cattle. Instead of the tasteless, frozen in the usual way meat received from Australia to England began to deliver animals in a condition of anabiosis. They did not need to be fed on the way, and after a supply to the place of them warmed, recovered; and British received the freshest and cheap meat to a table.

Carlson rubbed hands. On its share a considerable part of the huge income which was brought in by anabiosis fell.

– Well? – he fatly spoke to Gilbert. – Now you understand that the schemer means? Your money and my projects brought you millions. Without me you would be ruined with your coal mines long ago!

– Coal mines give me a loss also now – Gilbert answered. – There is no sale, workers are pig-headed, the government refuses subsidies. Yes, Carlson, life – difficult piece! You the good schemer, but life carries out the projects contrary to our desire. We assumed to freeze the unemployed together with their families, and instead turned our refrigerators into sanatoria and prisons!