Mitya Kuldarov--excited, disheveled--flew into his parents' apartment and ran through every room. His parents had already lay down to sleep. His sister lay between the sheets reading the final pages of a novel. His schoolboy brothers slept.
From his astonished parents: "From whence comest thou? What's with you?"
"Oh, don't ask! I never expected such. No, I never expected such! It's...it's simply unbelievable!"
Mitya burst out laughing and sat in an armchair, too overjoyed to hold himself up on two legs.
"It's unbelievable! You cannot imagine it! Look!"
His sister jumped out of bed and, throwing on a blanket, approached her brother. The schoolboys woke.
"What's with you? It's like your face isn't on you!"
"It's me overjoyed, Mama, for now all of Russia knows me! Everyone! Earlier only you alone knew that in this world existed civil servant Dmitri Kuldarov, but now all Russia knows about it! Mama! Oh, Lordy!"
Mitya galloped off, ran through all the rooms, and again sat.
"Well, what happened? Just do tell!"
"You all live like wild beasts: not reading the papers, not paying the slightest attention to publications--but in the papers there is so much of note! Now all is known as it happens--nothing is hidden! How happy I am! Oh, Lordy! For the papers only publish about famous people, and here they've taken something about me to print!"
"What? You? Where?"
His father turned pale. His mother glanced at an icon and crossed herself. The schoolboys galloped in together as if wearing the same short nightgown and approached their older brother.
"Yes-siree! They've published about me! Now all Russian will know about me! You, Mama, will save this edition for remembrance! We'll read it from time to time. Look!"
Mitya pulled from his pocket an edition of the newspaper, handed it over to his father, and stuck his finger to the place, highlighted in blue pencil.
The father put on his glasses.
Mama looked over at the icon and crossed herself. Papa coughed and began to read: "On the 29th of December, at 11 o'clock at night, civil servant Dmitri Kuldarov..."
"See? See? Continue!"
"...civil servant Dmitri Kuldarov, exiting the Kozihina tavern on Little Bronnoi Street and finding himself in an unsober state..."
"I was with with Simon Petrovich... Everything is described to the smallest detail! Continue! Onward! Listen!"
"...and finding himself in an unsober state, slipped and fell beneath the nearby horse of cabman Ivan Drotov, a peasant from the village of Durikin in Yukhonovska District. The startled horse--stepping over Kuldarov and dragging over him the harnessed sleigh along with its occupant, Moscow merchant of the 2nd Guild Stepan Lukov--raced along the street before being detained by a group of maintenance workers. Kuldarov, initially found in a semi-conscious state, was led to a police station and was examined by a physician. The blow that he received to the back of the head..."
"It was the axle, Papa. Onward! Read on!"
"...that he received to the back of the head, was classified as minor. The occurrence was entered in the public record. The victim was given medical assistance..."
"They wrapped my head in cold, wet bandages. You believe me now? Ay? So there it is! It has gone out to all of Russia! Give it here!"
Mitya snatched the paper, folded it, and put it in his pocket.
"I'll run to the Makarovs and show them...I also must show the Ivanovs, Natalia Ivanova, Anisim Vasilivich...I'm off! Farewell!"
Mitya put on his cockaded hat and triumphantly, blissfully ran out to the street.
(trans. Michael Wasiura)