The duel (Classics of Russian literature)

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9780883554920: The duel (Classics of Russian literature)

The 6th Company safternoon drill was nearly over, and the junior officers looked with increasing frequency at their watches, and with growing impatience. The rank and file of the new regiment were being instructed in garrison duty. A long the whole of the extensive parade-ground the soldiers stood in scattered groups: by the poplars that bordered the causeway, by the gymnastic apparatus, by the door of the companys school, and in the neighbourhood of the butts. All these places were to represent during the drill the most important buildings in the garrison the commanders residence, the headquarters, the powder magazine, the administration department, etc. Sentries were posted and relieved ;patrols marched here and there, shouting at and saluting each other in military fashion ;harsh non-commissioned officers visited and examined the sentries on duty, trying, sometimes by a trick, sometimes by pretended threats, to fool the soldiers into infringing the rules, e.g. to quit their posts, give up their rifles, to take charge of contraband articles, etc. The older men, who had had previous experience of such practical jokes, were very seldom taken in, but answered rudely, The Tsar alone gives orders here, etc., etc. The young recruits, on the other hand, often enough fell into the snare set for them.
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Alexander Kuprin (1870–1938) was a Russian writer, pilot, explorer, and adventurer who was dubbed the “true successor to Chekhov” by Tolstoy, and the “Russian Kipling” by Vladimir Nabokov.

Joshua Billings
’ translation of Pushkin’s Tales of Belkin is available in the Art of the Novella series.


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