Текст книги

A. Belyaev
Classics fantasy – 5


But in public life and in life there were many changes since its time.

Workers died on the steps of a public ladder as lowest group, groups, excellent from above standing and on a suit, and by training, and on habits.

Cars mail exempted workers from the hardest and dirty physical work.

Healthy, simply, but well dressed, cheerful, independent workers were the only class holding all threads of public life in hand. All of them got an education. And Johnson studying as copper money nearly hundred years ago felt awkwardly in their environment, despite all their affability.

They spent all free time more on air, flying on the easy aviettes, than on the earth. They had absolutely other interests, inquiries, entertainments.

Even their short, compressed language, with many new words expressing new concepts was in many respects unclear to Johnson.

They spoke about societies, institutions, new types of property and sport, new to Johnson…

Continually, at each phrase he had to ask:

– And what is it?

It needed to overtake for what proceeded without it throughout seventy three years, and he felt that not in forces to make it. Difficulty was not only in extensiveness of new knowledge, but also that his mind was not so cultivated to apprehend and acquire everything saved up by mankind for three quarters of the century. He could be only the detached, alien onlooker and a subject of observation for others. It also constrained it. He felt the views of the hidden curiosity which are constantly directed to it. It was something like the recovered mummy, an archeological find of an entertaining subject of old times. Between it and society the insuperable side of time lay.

«Agasfer!. – he thought, having remembered the legend read to them in youth. – Agasfer, the eternal wanderer punished by immortality alien to all and all… Fortunately, I am not punished by immortality! I can die… and I want to die! Around the world there is no person of my time, except for, maybe, several old men forgotten by death… But also they will not understand me because all of them time lived, and in my life a failure! There is nobody!.»

Suddenly at it in mind the unexpected thought moved:

«And those two who recovered together with me there, in Greenland?»

It in nervousness rose. Uncontrollably pulled it to these unknown people who suddenly became so dear to it. They lived in at one time with Frederica and small Itself – ale. Some threads are stretched between them… But how to find them? Крукс!. He has to know!

Крукс did not leave Johnson, using him as «a live historical source» for the work on revolution history.

Johnson hurried to Kruks and stated him the request, expecting the answer with such nervousness as though the appointment to the wife and the little son was necessary to it.

Крукс something thought.

– Now end of September… And November, one thousand nine hundred ninety eighth… Well, of course, Eduard Lesley has to be already in Pulkovo Observatory, sit at the telescope in search of disappearing Leonid. In Pulkovo Observatory the best refractor in the world. Lesley, of course, there. In the same place you will find also the poet Mere… He wrote me recently that he goes to professor Lesley. – And, having smiled, Kruks added: – Obviously, all of you, «old men», feel inclination to each other.

Johnson hastily said goodbye and went to a way with the first passenger airship which was flying away to Leningrad.

He did not imagine what forthcoming appointment will be, but felt that all this that else can interest it in life.

IX. UNDER THE STAR SKY

The shivering hand Johnson opened hall doors of Pulkovo Observatory.

The huge round hall sank in a gloom.

When eyes got used to darkness a little, Johnson saw the huge telescope standing among the hall reminding the long-range gun which sent the muzzle to one of openings in a dome. The pipe was strengthened on a massive support along which there was a ladder to fifty steps. Ladders conducted also to the platform for observation at the height of three meters. From this platform, from above, someone’s voice was heard:

– … The deviation from a form of the stretched ellipse and approach to a form of a parabola occurs depending on special action of mass of certain planets to which comets and asteroids are exposed at the movement towards the Sun. The greatest impact in this regard is just exerted by Jupiter which force of an attraction makes almost thousand share of an attraction of the Sun…

When Johnson heard this voice which was accurately distributed in emptiness of the hall when he heard these unclear words it was attacked by shyness.

Why it came here?

What will tell professor Lesley? Unless these parabolas and ellipses are not also unclear to it, as well as new words of new people? But to recede was late, and he coughed.

– Who there?

– It is possible to see professor Lesley?

Someone’s steps quickly taped on iron steps of a ladder.

– I am professor Lesley. What can I serve as?

– And I am Bendzhemin Johnson who… which lay with you in Greenland, shipped in anabiosis. I wanted to talk to you…

And Johnson confusedly began to explain the purpose of the arrival. He said about the loneliness, about the lostness in this the world, new, unclear for it, even that he wanted to die…

Likely, these, new, would not understand it. But professor Lesley understood that easier that many experiences of Johnson were experienced by him.

– Do not mourn, Johnson, not you one suffer from this rupture of time. Something similar was tested also by me, as well as my friend Mere, allow to present him to you.

Johnson shook hands with gone-down Mere, on the old habit long ago left «new» people who restored beautiful and hygienic custom of ancient Romans to raise a hand as a sign of a greeting.

– You too from workers? – Johnson Mere asked though that resembled the worker very little.

– No. I am a poet.

– Why you froze yourself?

– Out of curiosity… And perhaps, and from need…

– And you lay as much time, as well as I?

– No, it is slightly less. I lay at first only two months, was «revived», and then decided to plunge into anabiosis again. I wanted… to keep youth as long as possible! – And Mere laughed.

Despite a difference in development and in former situation, these three people were pulled together by the general strange destiny and an era in which they lived. To Johnson’s surprise, the conversation accepted brisk character. Everyone could tell a lot of things to others.

– Yes, my friend – addressed Lesley Johnson – not one you test isolation from this new world. I was mistaken in many calculations.

I decided to subject myself to anabiosis to have an opportunity to observe the heavenly phenomena which occur in several decades. I wanted to resolve the scientific task most difficult for those times. And what? Now all these tasks are resolved long ago. The science made enormous discoveries, revealed during this time such secrets of the sky about which we did not dare and to dream!

I lagged behind… I infinitely lagged behind – with grief he added after a pause and sighed. – But nevertheless I, seem to me, is happier than you! There – and he pointed to a dome – time is estimated in millions of years. That our centuries mean to stars… You never, Johnson, observed the star sky in the telescope?

– Not before was – Johnson waved a hand.

– See the Moon on our eternal satellite! – And Lesley spent Johnson to the telescope.

Johnson looked in the telescope and involuntarily screamed from surprise. Lesley laughed and told with pleasure of the expert: