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Project Gutenberg's The Darling and Other Stories, by Anton Chekhov This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: The Darling and Other Stories Author: Anton Chekhov Release Date: September 9, 2004 [EBook #13416] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE DARLING AND OTHER STORIES *** Produced by James Rusk THE TALES OF CHEKHOV VOLUME 1 THE DARLING AND OTHER STORIES BY ANTON TCHEKHOV Translated by CONSTANCE GARNETT CONTENTS THE DARLING ARIADNE POLINKA ANYUTA THE TWO VOLODYAS THE TROUSSEAU THE HELPMATE TALENT AN ARTIST'S STORY THREE YEARS THE DARLING OLENKA, the daughter of the retired collegiate assessor, Plemyanniakov, was sitting in her back porch, lost in thought. It was hot, the flies were persistent and teasing, and it was pleasant to reflect that it would soon be evening. Dark rainclouds were gathering from the east, and bringing from time to time a breath of moisture in the air. Kukin, who was the manager of an open-air theatre called the Tivoli, and who lived in the lodge, was standing in the middle of the garden looking at the sky. "Again!" he observed despairingly. "It's going to rain again! Rain every day, as though to spite me. I might as well hang myself! It's ruin! Fearful losses every day." He flung up his hands, and went on, addressing Olenka: "There! that's the life we lead, Olga Semyonovna. It's enough to make one cry. One works and does one's utmost, one wears oneself out, getting no sleep at night, and racks one's brain what to do for the best. And then what happens? To begin with, one's public is ignorant, boorish. I give them the very best operetta, a dainty masque, first rate music-hall artists. But do you suppose that's what they want! They don't understand anything of that sort. They want a clown; what they ask for is vulgarity. And then look at the weather! Almost every evening it rains. It started on the tenth of May, and it's kept it up all May and June. It's simply awful! The public doesn't come, but I've to pay the rent just the same, and pay the artists." The next evening the clouds would gather again, and Kukin would say with an hysterical
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