Текст книги

A. Belyaev
Classics fantasy – 5

– Patience! Also workers will come! Now you have spare capitals. Promise good contents to families of workers in case the head of their family wants to subject himself to anabiosis. Believe, they will go to this rod! And when they will get gradually used to anabiosis, it will be possible to reduce the price. Eventually they will ask that they were frozen together with families, if only not to starve! They will come! The need will tire out! Believe me, they will come!

And they came…


Cold autumn wind knocked down. The young miner-coalminer working in the Cardiff mines, having bent the head, slowly approached the small cottage which was seen through naked branches of a garden.

Bendzhemin Johnson stood at a door, deeply sighed before opening it, and, at last, timidly entered the house.

His wife, Frederica Johnson, washed the dishes at a big fireplace. The two-year-old son Samuel already slept.

Frederica interrogatively looked at the husband.

Johnson, without undressing, fell by a chair and quietly spoke:

– Did not get…

The plate slipped out Frederica’s hands and with a ring fell in a wash-tub. She with fear looked back to the child, but he did not wake up.

– The strike committee has no more means… In a bench do not trust for…

Frederica ceased to wash the dishes, wiped a hand about an apron and silently sat down to a table, looking in a corner to hide the nervousness from the husband.

Johnson slowly took out from a lung pocket not on a coat season the crumpled issue of the newspaper and put on a table before the wife.

– On here, read.

And Frederica, brushing away a tear which dimmed it eyes, read the large announcement:

«Five pounds a week receive families of the workers who agreed to oversleep till spring…» There was an explanation Further what is anabiosis. Frederica already heard about it. Gilbert’s agents conducted promotion of anabiosis among workers for a long time.

– You will not make it! – firmly she told – We are not the cattle that we were frozen!

– City gentlemen do not disdain anabiosis!

– With fat your gentlemen rage! They to us not the decree!

– Listen, Frederica, but, eventually, in it there is nothing neither terrible, nor shameful. Dangers to me any. I not shtreykbrekherstvy, do not infringe on anybody’s interests.

– And mine, and your own interests? Same almost death, though for a while! We have to fight for the right for life, but not rest in bed the frozen hulks until then, dock misters owners will not deign to revive us!

She got excited and spoke too loudly.

Little Samuel woke up, began to cry and began to ask to eat. Frederica took it on hands, began to rock to sleep. Johnson with melancholy looked at a fair-haired head of the son. He so turned pale lately! Poblednela and Frederik…

The child fell asleep, and Frederica fell at a table, having hidden the face in hands. It could not constrain tears more.

Bendzhemin stroke-oared rough her fluffy hair, same light as at the son, and it is tender as child, persuaded:

– I grieve about you! Understand! Tomorrow Samuel will have big circles of the smoking milk and white loaf, and you on a table will have a good piece of beef, potatoes, oil, coffee… It is difficult to be separated, but it only till spring! Apple-trees in our garden will blossom, and I will be with you again. I will meet you, cheerful, healthy, blossoming as our apple-trees!.

Frederica once again sobbed and stopped.

– It is time to sleep, Ben…

It is more they about anything did not speak.

But Bendzhemin knew that it agrees. And the next day, having said goodbye to the wife and the child, it already flew on the passenger airplane to Greenland.

The gray-green veil of the Atlantic Ocean was replaced by polar pictures of the North. The ice desert with the mountain tops scattered on it here and there… From time to time the airplane flew by low above the ground, and then owners of these desert places – polar bears were visible. At the sight of the airplane they in horror rose by racks, stretching paws up, as if asking mercy, then started running away with an unexpected speed.

Johnson involuntarily smiled to them, envied severe, but their free life.

In the distance constructions and airfield seemed.

– Arrived!

Further events went extraordinary quickly.

Johnson was invited in Konservatoriuma office where wrote down his surname, the address and supplied with number which was attached to a hand in the form of a bracelet.

Then he went down to underground rooms.

The underground car flew with terrific speed down, crossing a number of horizontal mines. Temperature gradually increased. In the top mines it was much below zero whereas about ten degrees below rose.

The car unexpectedly stopped.

Johnson entered brightly lit room in the middle of which there was a platform with four metal ropes going to a wide opening in a ceiling. On the platform there was a low bed made by a white sheet. Changed clothes of Johnson for a light dressing gown and suggested to lay down in a bed. Put on a mask the person, forcing it to breathe some couples.

– It is possible? – he heard a voice of the doctor. And the same minute the platform with its bed began to rise up. He felt everything the amplifying cold soon. At last cold became intolerable. He tried to shout, descend from the platform, but all members of his body as if hardened… His consciousness began to be stirred up. And suddenly he felt how pleasant warmth spreads on his body. But it was delusion which is experienced by all freezing: in the last effort the organism lifts body temperature before giving all to warmly cold space. In this short time of a thought of Johnson earned with extraordinary speed and clarity. Or rather, it were not thoughts, but bright images. He saw the garden in gold beams of the sun, the apple-trees covered in fluffy white colors, a yellow path on which his little Samuel runs to it towards and after it there is a smiling, young, red-cheeked, blond Frederica…

Then everything began to grow dim, and he finally fainted. In some moment it returned to it, and it opened eyes. Before it, having bent, the young man sat.

– How do you feel, Johnson? – he asked, smiling.

– I thank you, small weakness in a body, and it is generally quite good – Johnson answered, looking around. It lay in the white, brightly lit room.

– Be supported with a glass of wine and broth, and then to the road!

– Allow, the doctor, and how with anabiosis? He was not successful or in mines workers urgently were required?

The young man smiled.

– I am not a doctor. We will be familiar. My surname Kruks. – And he gave to Johnson a hand. – Anabiosis was successful, but we still will manage to talk about it. We are waited by the airplane!

Johnson, being surprised that anabiosis so it is finished soon, quickly put on and rose with Kruks to the surface.

«And Frederica cried probably all night long» – he thought, smiling to a fast meeting.