The Schoolmaster and Other Stories
IT was twelve o'clock at night.
Mitya Kuldarov, with excited face and ruffled hair, flew into his parents' flat, and
hurriedly ran through all the rooms. His parents had already gone to bed. His sister was in
bed, finishing the last page of a novel. His schoolboy brothers were asleep.
"Where have you come from?" cried his parents in amazement. "What is the matter with
"Oh, don't ask! I never expected it; no, I never expected it! It's . . . it's positively
Mitya laughed and sank into an armchair, so overcome by happiness that he could not
stand on his legs.
"It's incredible! You can't imagine! Look!"
His sister jumped out of bed and, throwing a quilt round her, went in to her brother. The
schoolboys woke up.
"What's the matter? You don't look like yourself!"
"It's because I am so delighted, Mamma! Do you know, now all Russia knows of me! All
Russia! Till now only you knew that there was a registration clerk called Dmitry
Kuldarov, and now all Russia knows it! Mamma! Oh, Lord!"
Mitya jumped up, ran up and down all the rooms, and then sat down again.
"Why, what has happened? Tell us sensibly!"
"You live like wild beasts, you don't read the newspapers and take no notice of what's
published, and there's so much that is interesting in the papers. If anything happens it's all
known at once, nothing is hidden! How happy I am! Oh, Lord! You know it's only
celebrated people whose names are published in the papers, and now they have gone and
"What do you mean? Where?"
The papa turned pale. The mamma glanced at the holy image and crossed herself. The
schoolboys jumped out of bed and, just as they were, in short nightshirts, went up to their