A flock of sheep was spending the night on the broad steppe road that is called the great highway. Two shepherds were guarding it. One, a toothless old man of eighty, with a tremulous face, was lying on his stomach at the very edge of the road, leaning his elbows on the dusty leaves of a plantain; the other, a young fellow with thick black eyebrows and no moustache, dressed in the coarse canvas of which cheap sacks are made, was lying on his back, with his arms under his head, looking upwards at the sky, where the stars were slumbering and the Milky Way lay stretched exactly above his face.
The shepherds were not alone. A couple of yards from them in the dusk that shrouded the road a horse made a patch of darkness, and, beside it, leaning against the saddle, stood a man in high boots and a short full-skirted jacket who looked like an overseer on some big estate. Judging from his upright and motionless figure, from his manners, and his behaviour to the shepherds and to his horse, he was a serious, reasonable man who knew his own value; even in the darkness signs could be detected in him of military carriage and of the majestically condescending expression gained by frequent intercourse with the gentry and their stewards.
The sheep were asleep. Against the grey background of the dawn, already beginning to cover the eastern part of the sky, the silhouettes of sheep that were not asleep could be seen here and there; they stood with drooping heads, thinking. Their thoughts, tedious and oppressive, called forth by images of nothing but the broad steppe and the sky, the days and the nights, probably weighed upon them themselves, crushing them into apathy; and, standing there as though rooted to the earth, they noticed neither the presence of a stranger nor the uneasiness of the dogs.
The drowsy, stagnant air was full of the monotonous noise inseparable from a summer night on the steppes; the grasshoppers chirruped incessantly; the quails called, and the young nightingales trilled languidly half a mile away in a ravine where a stream flowed and willows grew.
The overseer had halted to ask the shepherds for a light for his pipe. He lighted it in silence and smoked the whole pipe; then, still without uttering a word, stood with his elbow on the saddle, plunged in thought. The young shepherd took no notice of him, he still lay gazing at the sky while the old man slowly looked the overseer up and down and then asked:
“Why, aren’t you Panteley from Makarov’s estate?”
“That’s myself,” answered the overseer.
“To be sure, I see it is. I didn’t know you—that is a sign you will be rich. Where has God brought you from?”
“From the Kovylyevsky fields.”
“That’s a good way. Are you letting the land on the part-crop system?”
“Part of it. Some like that, and some we are letting on lease, and some for raising melons and cucumbers. I have just come from the mill.”
A big shaggy old sheep-dog of a dirty white colour with woolly tufts about its nose and eyes walked three times quietly round the horse, trying to seem unconcerned in the presence of strangers, then all at once dashed suddenly from behind at the overseer with an angry aged growl; the other dogs could not refrain from leaping up too.
“Lie down, you damned brute,” cried the old man, raising himself on his elbow; “blast you, you devil’s creature.”
When the dogs were quiet again, the old man resumed his former attitude and said quietly:
- Anonymous2 decades agoFavorite Answer
一群綿羊在度過夜晚準時地寬的大草原道路稱為偉大的高速公路人的. 2個牧羊人在保衛它. 一,一無齒老男人的八十, 和一抖動面孔, 是橫臥在他的胃在這非常邊緣的這道路, 性癖他的肘部在這滿是灰塵葉的一車前草; 這其他的, 一年輕傢伙和粗厚黑眉毛和不鬚, 穿著在這粗糙帆布的哪個便宜大袋是製造, 是橫臥在他的後面, 和他的武裝在下面他的頭, 有相貌的以上在這天空, 哪裡這星是睡眠和這乳狀方法躺伸展確切地上方他的面孔.
牧羊人不是獨自. 一對的碼從他們在薄暮遮蔽道路馬的製造一小片黑暗, 和,在旁邊它,清潔靠著鞍,站男人在高的擦靴人和短的全部-帶裙的夾克誰看起來像工頭上某些重要的地產. 審理從他的直立和不動數字, 從他的禮貌, 和他的行為到這牧羊人和到他的馬, 他是一嚴重, 合理的男人誰知道他的自己的價值; 甚至在這黑暗標記能是察覺在他的軍事的馬車和的這majestically屈尊表達得到以時常交際和這紳士階級和他們的幹事.
綿羊是睡著. 反抗這灰色背景的這黎明, 已經開始到覆蓋這東方的部份的這天空, 這輪廓的綿羊那個是不睡著能是看這裡和在那裡; 他們站和低垂正面朝上的, 思考. 他們的想法, 單調和壓迫的, 呼叫往前以圖像的什麼也沒有但是這寬闊大草原和這天空, 這天和這夜晚, 大概稱在上他們他們自己, 支離破碎他們到冷漠無情; 和,站立在那裡好像確立到地球,他們注意到兩者都不出席的陌生人也不不安的狗.
昏昏欲睡的,停滯空氣在充滿單調的噪音人分不開的從夏季夜晚準時地大草原; 蝗蟲不間斷地叫; 鵪鶉呼叫,和這個年輕的夜鶯疲倦地用捲舌發音一半一哩遠在峽谷在哪裡流量和柳樹成長.
工頭停止了要求牧羊人為了光為了他的導管. 他點著它沈默著和冒煙所有的導管人; 然後,仍然沒有發出字,站和他的肘部準時地鞍,投入左思右想. 年輕的牧羊人獲得沒有通知的他,他仍然放置凝視天空直到老闆緩慢地注視工頭來來回回而且要求人人:
“那個是我自己, ” 回答工頭.
“部分的它. 一些那樣地,和某些我們在讓在出租中,和某些為了升起甜瓜和黃瓜. 我剛才來自工廠.”
一大長毛老綿羊-狗的一髒的白色顏色和羊毛衣一簇關於它的鼻和眼睛走三時代安靜地圓的這馬, 試驗到似乎漠不關心在這出席的陌生人, 然後全部在一次虛線突然地從在後面在這監督者和一發怒歲咆哮; 其他的狗人不也會忍住跳起來.
“躺臥,你非常殘忍的, ” 哭老闆人,升起他自己上他的肘部; “疾風你,你這個魔鬼的生物.”