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Ouspensky Strange Life of Ivan Osoukin

Ouspensky Strange Life of Ivan Osoukin

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Published by rupesh0006

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Published by: rupesh0006 on Mar 23, 2011
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04/16/2014

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P.D. OUSPENSKY 
STRANGE LIFE OF IVAN 
OSOKIN 
 
CHAPTER I 
THE PARTING
ON THE SCREEN
a scene at Kursk station in Moscow. A bright Aprilday of 1902. A group of friends, who came to see Zinaida Krutitskyand her mother off to the Crimea, stand on the platform by thesleeping-car. Among them Ivan Osokin, a young man about twentysix.Osokin is visibly agitated although he tries not to show it. Zinaidais talking to her brother, Michail, Osokin's friend, a young officer inthe uniform of one of the Moscow Grenadier regiments, and twogirls. Then she turns to Osokin and walks aside with him."I am going to miss you very much," she says. "It's a pity youcannot come with us. Though it seems to me that you don'tparticularly want to, otherwise you would come. You don't want todo anything for me. Your staying behind now makes all our talksridiculous and futile. But I am tired of arguing with you. You mustdo as you like."Ivan Osokin becomes more and more troubled, but he tries tocontrol himself and says with an effort:"I can't come at present, but I shall come later, I promise you. Youcannot imagine how hard it is for me to stay here.""No, I cannot imagine it and I don't believe it," says Zinaidaquickly. "When a man wants anything as strongly as you say you do,he acts. I am sure you are in love with one of your pupils here— some nice, poetical girl who studies fencing. Confess!" She laughs.Zinaida's words and tone hurt Osokin very deeply. He begins tospeak but stops himself, then says: "You know that is not true; youknow I am all yours."
 
"How am I to know?" says Zinaida with a surprised air. "You arealways busy. You always refuse to come and see us. You never haveany time for me, and now I should so much like you to come with us.We should be together for two whole days. Just think how pleasantthe journey would be!"She throws a quick glance at Osokin."And afterwards, there in the Crimea, we would ride together andwe would sail far out to sea. You would read me your poems—andnow I shall be bored." She frowns and turns away.Osokin tries to reply, but finding nothing to say he stands bitinghis lips."I shall come later," he repeats."Come when you like," says Zinaida indifferently, "but this chanceis lost already. I shall be bored travelling alone. Mother is a verypleasant travelling-companion, but that is not what I want. Thank God I have seen one man I know, evidently going by this train. Hemay amuse me on the way."Osokin again begins to speak but Zinaida continues:"I'm only interested in the present. What do I care for what mayhappen in the future? You don't realize this. You can live in thefuture, I cannot.""I understand it all," says Osokin, "and it's very hard for me. Yet Icannot help it. But will you remember what I asked you?""Yes, I shall remember and I'll write to you. But I don't likewriting letters. Don't expect many; come soon instead. I shall wait amonth for you, two months—after that I will not wait any more.Well, let us go. Mother is looking for me."They rejoin the group by the sleeping-car.Osokin and Zinaida's brother walk towards the station exit."What is the matter, Vanya?" says Michail Krutitsky. "You don'tlook very cheerful."Osokin is not in a mood for talking.

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