”You have recently finished the sixth chapter of the novel ”Eugene Onegin”. There you describe a duel in which your hero killed his friend Lensky. Handsome verses, but you can easily make that scene even better, and this walk could help you in that respect. Here, see the woods along the river, the snow-covered field, it is all like in that novel of yours where you describe the duel. Let us pretend that I am Onegin, and you Lensky. Lie down in the snow and imagine that I have already shot you, and now we come to the improvement of the scene in the novel. For that in book is but a tragedy, but this here in reality is comedy and it hurts, as you like to put it…”

With those words Marina pushed Alexander Sergeevich  and he fell into the snow, at which they both laughed. He noticed then that Marina had a hole in her tongue.

”You see, then, that I can laugh. And as for you, you have in make-believe received a deadly injury to your stomach, but you have just enough strength to rise up onto one elbow and fire at me. Do so now. Aim and fire. Without mercy! May the pain come where it must! Fire!”

Alexander Sergeevich, propped up on one elbow in the snow as though he were truly injured, aimed at Marina’s chest thinking: ”Le vin est tirt’ il faut le boire! I’ll make you answer my questions.” He aimed at the precise spot where the wound from the African needle was, beneath his coat that Marina was wearing. The bullet struck her, but rebounded off the polished button of the coat and flew to the side without harming her.

”That was quite a ricochet!” she exclaimed. ”The bullet rebounds off a smooth surface and changes path. Thus you miss your target… That is all that a demoness can do for you concerning your poetic labours, where you are more skillful than she, after all. And now give me the doll, and the needle inside it! I have earned them.”

”Why do you think I would want to give you the doll?”

”Because you have received all that can be given in return.”

At those words Alexander Sergeevich tossed the doll to Marina. She caught it in midair, tore it apart, threw the money at Hannibal’s needle back to Alexander Sergeevich and carried the doll off with her. 

Milorad Pavic- Unique Item



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