by Aleksandr Tarasov-Rodionov
The inventor of the
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The Pioneers of
1. A former ballerina named Yelena Valentinovna Valts finds herself in a lock-up at the local Cheka headquarters. Yelena and eight other suspected White Guard sympathizers were arrested as they gathered at the apartment of Khitanov, a theatrical director. Five of the arrestees have already been taken out of the cell and have not returned--probably shot.
Yelena sleeps and dreams she is in a carriage with the dashing young Edward Hackey, from the British embassy. the one who was always giving her Cailler's Chocolate.
Yelena is awakened and taken to Investigator Gorst for interrogation. He shows her a letter that was found hidden in Khitanov's apartment. The letter discusses the murder of some responsible comrades. Yelena says she never saw the letter before. She claims she was only in the apartment because she knew Khitanov from the old days and now, when she is practically starving....
During a break in the interrogation, Yelena remembers that she hasn't had a manicure in a long time. "How hideous I must be," she thinks.
Yelena is then brought before Aleksei Ivanovich Zudin the local Cheka chief. For some reason, despite all the terrible stories she heard about him, Yelena was not frightened in Zudin's presence. He seemed like an old acquaintance. Zudin asks Yelena if she's been intimate with any of her fellow arrestees and if any of them ever gave her money. He says he's not trying to embarrass her or besmirch her reputation as a woman; rather, he is just trying to determine her exact role in this affair.
Yelena names her former lovers and confesses that some did give her money. She was invited to the apartment that day by Khitanov, who planned to introduce her to Finikov and promised that there would be lots of money. What else could she do, Yelena whines. After all, she was practically starving. She wishes she had an honest way of earning bread and begs Zudin to help her.
If only you knew the life of a ballet dancer! How, from the age of fifteen, she is forced to sell her body to filthy, sweaty men! Just a prostitute! That's what I am!
Yelena bursts into tears, and Zudin tries to reassure her. He says, "Our struggle is a struggle for the happiness of all dispossessed by capitalist exploitation, and, therefore, also for the happiness of such as you." He tells her to come see him in a few days and he will try to help her. Yelena is then released.
2. A few days later, Zudin is exhausted, but still working hard. In one case, they are searching for an Englishman named Hackey. Zudin is also informed that Finikov was just executed. Yelena comes to call on Zudin, although he doesn't remember asking her to do so. She asks for a job and he hires her to do some filing.
3. Zudin goes home to get a few hours sleep. Then he wakes up to have dinner with his wife, Lisa, and their children, Mitya and Masha. Lisa complains about the lack of food and amenities. She says that even when Zudin was in exile before the Revolution they ate better. She wants Zudin to use his position to get some extra rations. Zudin is against the idea. After all, there's already grumbling in the factories that the commissars live like lords. Zudin sees that there are holes in the children's shoes and that they have no stockings. He says that things will improve once they break down the capitalist blockade.
4. One evening, Yelena returns to her room and finds waiting for her a package and a note from Edward. The package contains twenty pounds of chocolate. In the note, Edward says he knows that she is now working for the enemy, the Soviets. If this is serious, he wishes her well. If, however, it is just a passing fancy, she should signal at the window and he will come up to her. Yelena hesitates, then gives the signal.
5. Zudin attends a victory day celebration and afterwards walks back to the office with the well-dressed, perfumed Yelena. Yelena asks simple questions, and Zudin is somewhat annoyed to have to instruct her in such elementary points of propaganda. He tells Yelena that the real enemies are not the White Guards, landlords, etc. No, he says, the real enemies are within ourselves, within our inner yearnings for the habits of the past. Zudin says that the world would be a better place if people would only look at it in a new way. Yelena says it sounds like the Gospels. Zudin angrily dismisses religion, saying, "We are gods ourselves!".
We expect no help from heaven! We are gods ourselves!
Yelena says she doesn't think it will be possible for people to give up their feelings of self-love and the tendencies toward comfortable habits. She says that even Zudin has some personal needs and interests, such as his children and wife.
Zudin felt displeased that Yelena mentioned his wife. He is also troubled by the fact that, ever since Yelena once delivered papers to his home, she and Lisa have become friends.
As they approach the Cheka building, Zudin feels awkward at being seen in the presence of this well-dressed, scented lady. He knows that when they enter together, the workers will greet him with diffidence which would turn to insinuating derision once his back is turned. So, instead of entering the building, Zudin excuses himself and head home.
6. At home, Zudin is surprised to see his children eating chocolate. Lisa blushes and says that Yelena visited yesterday, bringing chocolate and stockings for the children, and even two pairs of silk stockings for Lisa herself. Saying that it looks like a bribe Zudin says Lisa should have refused the gifts. Lisa is offended, and they argue. Anyone else, Lisa says, would be happy that his wife and children received nice things. Since when, she bitterly wonders, is it improper to receive gifts from a comrade. Since when has Yelena become a comrade, Zudin asks. "Since she began working for you in the Cheka," Lisa retorts, and adds tauntingly, "Or do you take climbers there?"
7. On the way back to the office, Zudin thinks he was perhaps too harsh with Lisa. After all, all women like such trifles, and she has always been a brave, unselfish support to him, even during the difficult times of their Siberian exile. However, her remark about taking climbers in the Cheka still stung. And Zudin wonders, why has Yelena started all this?
8. At work, Zudin finds it hard to concentrate. He finds himself thinking about Yelena. When she comes to deliver some telegrams, he deliberately detains her as long as possible, and she herself seems to be in no hurry to leave. Zudin tells Yelena that he wants to pay her for the gifts she gave his family. Yelena is offended.
Later, when Yelena comes to stoke the fire in the stove, Zudin asks her to stay. She sits next to Zudin and, his heart pounding, he touches her hand. Yelena confesses her love for Zudin, calling him, "my god, my idol, my only one, my lord and master". She says she does not want to take him away from his Revolution and his family. She only wants his trusting glance, his tender caress. She says the gifts were meant only to bring a moment of pleasure to his children and his wife, and through it all, to him.
The sense of tempation grows within Zudin; he feels drawn to Yelena. Then suddenly he remembers back to when he was a young worker, standing, as if strucken dumb, in front of a powerful, pounding, roaring machine. An older worker pulled him back, saying, "Take care that the machine doesn't swallow you."
Zudin moves away from Yelena. He admits his desire, but says that he must not yield to the indulgence of carefree passion. He says that he has a class feeling inside of him which will not let him succumb.
I have something within me, Yelena Valentinovna, something within me that you will not understand--how shall I explain it to you? Class feeling! It is an amazing, ever-living, and powerful spring. From it I derive all of my strength, from it alone I drink my dearest and most precious happiness....Sometimes I am overcome with the desire to lie down on the sofa and forget. But like thunder and lightening, the call of the working class cuts through the fog and gives us new courage. It weaves for us the laurel wreaths of marvellous exaltation. Before it are the dreams of our hearts, a rapture against which the thoughts of women are trifles. it resounds in our hearts with a mighty ecstasy. In its joyous power are reason and emotion. Should I stifle this feeling, change it for something else, forget it? For the sake of the enervating experience of a woman's love? In many places there is a great deal of sweets--like chocolate--but that is not for us. We are not accustomed to it. Its softness disables us for our cruel struggle, and that being so, we don't want it.
1. Like fat snakes in a black hole, gossip crept drowsily through the city. Rumors fly, such as: The Mexican King Belinder has declared war on the Bolsheviks. He is coming by sea with airplanes and guns that float underwater and shoot stinking gas. . . . Trotsky has cut Lenin to pieces with a meat chopper. . . . The Cheka arrested 1,000 and shot 800; the others bought their freedom with flour, gold, and Persians rugs. . . . King Maxillian of Belinder is coming under water and will shoot stinking gas out of guns. . . .
2. Cheka worker Avram Moiseich Katzmann reports to Zudin that Hackey was spotted by some of their agents around the hotel, but he managed to give them the slip. Katzmann also reports suspicions about two Cheka agents--Pavlov, who's been taking bribes, and the well-dressed Lipshaevich-- and suggests that they be transferred to some different department. Zudin agrees. Somewhat awkwardly, Katzmann says that perhaps Zudin places too much trust in Yelena and that she, too, should be transferred. Zudin disagrees and says that he will vouch for Yelena. He says any rumors about him and Yelena are groundless. Besides, her work is good and she's so thankful for employment that she'll go through fire and water for them.
Another Cheka agent, Fomin, bursts in with news that Moscow has discovered threads of a Social-Revolutionary terrorist organization leading to a villa at Osennikovo, ten versts along the Northern Railroad. They were apparently involved in the robbery of the People's Bank. Katzmann eagerly volunteers to lead the operation to round up the S-R's. Zudin hesitates, but then agrees, as long as Katzmann takes along the more experienced Dagnis.
3. While going through some files, Yelena finds the name of a former acquaintance, Petya Chotkin, the son of a wealthy jewelry merchant. Petya was always in attendance at those pre-Revolutionary upper crust orgies. Once he filled Yelena's corsage to overflowing with gold ten-ruble pieces. Petya has been in prison for three months now. He was arrested because a former friend of his, an officer who later became an agent of Denikin, had once spent the night at Petya's. When the officer was caught, he revealed this fact and Petya, too, was arrested. There was no other evidence against Petya, and even the investigating agent recommended that Petya be released; but apparently this was never done. A simple oversight. Yelena decides that she will go to Zudin and see to it that Petya is freed. Suddenly, however, Yelena becomes thoughtful and buries Petya's file under a pile of other papers. Claiming to be ill, she then leaves the office.
Commander of the White Army
"All Out For The Fight
4. Yelena goes to the old Chotkin house, which has now be divided up into aparments. Petya's parents, Ivan and Anna Chotkin, and their two servants, live in apartment seventeen. Yelena meets with old Chotkin and tells him that Petya was involved in a serious conspiracy and is sentenced to be shot tomorrow. However, if they pay Zudin twenty pounds of gold by noon tomorrow, Petya will be released. Chotkin frets over how to get so much gold right away. He begs Yelena to wait a few moments while he goes to consult with a lawyer friend named Vunsh.
5. Chotkin returns with Vunsh, who first of all asks to see Yelena's documents, proving that she does in fact work for the Cheka. He then asks what guarantee they have that Petya will not simply be rearrested after his release. Yelena says that Zudin can't go around releasing and rearresting people; it would cause suspicions among his superiors, which would either mean Petya would never be released, or the price would be five times higher. They agree that Yelena will return tomorrow at noon with a copy of the release order. Chotkin will hand over the gold at that time, and Petya will be released by midnight.
6. Yelena brings Petya's file to Zudin and tells him about the case. He says he'll review the file later, but Yelena sweetly insists he do it now. Looking over the file, Zudin sees nothing suspicious and writes a note authorizing Petya's release. However, he has second thoughts; he's so tired he decides to delay action on the matter until he's fresher and can reread the file.
Gorst rushes in and announces that Katzmann has been killed and Dagnis wounded in the raid on the Social-Revolutionaries. Zudin is overcome with a sudden furor and promises to kill a hundred as a memorial for the dead. He picks up a pile of cases and dumps them on his desk, telling Gorst to execute every one of them. Zudin leaves, and Gorst picks up the cases, including Petya's file. Firmly telling Gorst that Zudin gave her different orders concerning Petya's file, she pulls it away from him.
Yelena goes to Konstantin Konstantinovich Shalenko and tells him to make two copies of the order to release Petya. Shalenko protests, saying no one ever makes two copies. Yelena lies and says Zudin okayed the idea; so Shalenko complies.
7. Yelena hurries over to Chotkin's apartment. They have managed to gather slightly less than 19 pounds of gold. Yelena tells them they will have to make up the deficiency within a few days; and if any of the gold is found to be of bad quality, they will have to replace that, too.
8. On the streets, the rumors continue: An important Cheka man was shot. . . . King Belinder of Moravia is coming. . . .under water. . . . The Bolsheviks will be wiped out in a week.
To my face these hypocritical "comrades" behave with brotherly solicitude; behind my back they indulge in endless nastiness and trickery!
1. Zudin boils with rage. It is clear that Fomin is intriguing against him. Zudin is upset that envy, fawning, hypocrisy, and philistinism have infected the Party. Lipshaevich enters and timidly says he wants to warn Zudin that Fomin and others are cooking something up against him. Last night, Pavlov and Yelena were arrested. While admitting that Pavlov was probably guilty of something, Zudin is shocked. Why were they arrested? And without Zudin's knowledge?!
Zudin telephones Ignatyev, the head of the local Executive Committee, and says he's coming right over. Zudin then writes a telegram to Cheka headquarters in Moscow, requesting that he be replaced immediately. "I cannot work efficiently in the midst of intrigues," he writes. He slips the telegram in his coat pocket and leaves his office.
2. Zudin enters Ignatyev's office. Waiting for him there is Shustry an investigator sent by Moscow to look into Zudin's "case". How thorough his enemies have been, Zudin thinks, since they have already constructed a whole "case" against him. It turns out that Pavlov and Yelena were arrested on Shustry's orders.
Shustry confiscates Zudin's revolver, then asks how much, when, and from whom Zudin has accepted bribes. Zudin regards the question as a shameful attempt to insult him. Trying a different approach, Shustry asks if Zudin ever accepted gifts from employees. Zudin says no until Shustry reminds him of Yelena. Yes, Zudin admits, his wife, without his knowledge, did accept certain trifles from Yelena. "And do you consider twenty pounds of gold a trifle?" Shustry asks. The question, of course, makes no sense to Zudin.
Shustry reminds Zudin that his fate depends on the degree of his sincerity. Zudin replies that he has been a faithful Party member since 1903, that he believes in the strength, justice, and wisdom of the Party, and, most importantly, that he is not concerned with "his" fate, but "our" fate. (Shustry, by the way, had once been a Menshevik.)
Perhaps, Shustry suggests, Lisa accepted money from Yelena or Pavolv. All Zudin can say is that he has no knowledge of such a thing.
And why did Zudin not dismiss Pavlov and Yelena as Katzmann suggested? Zudin agrees that he should have dealt with Pavlov, but he got distracted by the business with the Social-Revolutionaries. But as for Yelena, he regarded the accusations as baseless.
Shustry asks if Zudin had sexual relations with Yelena. Zudin, of course, angrily denies it as utter, filthy vileness! Shustry then wants to know what happened to the confiscated wine that was in Zudin's office; they found wine in Pavlov's apartment, and Pavlov says it came from Zudin's office. Zudin says that once when he was very tired he had a glass of the wine; but other than that he has no idea of how the wine came to be in Pavlov's possession.
Shustry says that an Extraordinary Court Commission will arrive in a few days to determine Zudin's guilt. In the meantime, Zudin is under arrest, confined to the examining room.
3. Zudin begins to have doubts about Lisa. Could she possibly have accepted gold from Pavlov or Yelena? No, he cannot bring himself to believe that. But what if she had? Is it not he himself who is really to blame? She was just a woman trying to look nice for her husband, trying to please her children. Zudin sees that over the years he has deceived Lisa shamelessly. When they married, he promised that they would fight, suffer, and love together. But he, buried in his work, had grown distant from Lisa and the children; and she had fallen into the patient slavery of women, who were bound to the chain of their simplest feelings and instincts, a slavery that was inherited under the age-old economic oppression of men. He had taken advantage of her tenderness and her love. If she were to be taken out and shot, it would be he who would be the murderer.
The wonderful symphony of love, of which he had dreamed, had turned out to be a pathetic barrel-organ tune.
Zudin writes a reassuring note to Lisa saying he will be detained for a few days while the investigation continues. He tells her that it is all coarse, rank nonsense and that he will see her soon.
4. Zudin languishes in his cell for five days. Outside, he can hear cannon fire as the Civil War rages. The woman who brings him meals tells him that the Mensheviks and Social-Revolutionaries are making a disturbance at the local Soviet, demanding the dissolution of the Cheka. There are strikes in the city because of food rations. The workers are refusing to go to the front.
Finally Zudin is brought before an examining committee made up of Party workers he knows: Tkacheyev, who has the grave and noble figure of an Old Believer; the metal-worker Vasya Shcheglov; and the severe comrade Stepan. Shustry, pretending to be impartial, accuses Zudin of rapacious bribe-taking, corruption, and drunkeness.
Firstly, Shustry says, Zudin hired Yelena, an active counter-revolutionary. Because of his close association with Yelena, Zudin surely must have know of her relations with the British spy Edward Hackey, who unfortunately remains at large. Because Zudin let Hackey remain free, Zubin himself is guilty of the murder of Katzmann.
Shutry lists the stockings and chocolate as the initial bribes. Then there was the twenty pounds of gold. Zudin's involvement in this extortion plot is proved by the fact that Yelena says he was not involved. That Zudin received the gold is proved by the fact that the gold has not been found and that Yelena says it was stolen from under her bed.
Shustry goes on to say that under Zudin, the Cheka became filled with riffraff, bribe-takers, and crooks, like Pavlov, whom Zudin refused to dismiss.
Zudin's bestial and cruel nature is further shown, Shustry says, in this: despite the fact that he was the principal accomplice in the assassination Katzmann, Zudin ordered the execution of a hundred innocent bourgeois as retaliation.
Shustry says he won't mention--then goes on to mention--the orgies with confiscated wine and Zudin's sexual dalliances with Yelena.
Zudin gets up and tells the truth of the situation. He never had an affair with Yelena. He never knew of her relations with Hackey or about the gold. That Petya was not released earlier was an oversight, yes. That Pavlov should have been dismissed earlier is true, too. That he should have kept a closer eye on the stolen wine is also true. But the fairy tales about orgies and other ludicrous conclusions the supposedly objective Shustry draws are sheer nonsense.
But Zudin is most stung by the accusation that he engaged in provocative terrorism by killing a hundred innocent people. Firstly, the decision was taken by the entire Collegium of the Cheka, not by him personally. And secondly, this is a class war; the agents of capitalism killed Katzmann, and a blow had to be struck back against the entire capitalist class.
Stepan, on the examining committe, accepts that class terror is unavoidable and indispensible. But he asks Zudin what impression this entire affair will have on the Cheka, the Party, and the general public. "The very worst impression," is Zudin's frank response.
What is this cursed chocolate, chocolate, chocolate which persecutes me so irrevocably? Where did it come from?
1. Zudin has a dream in which he meets a poor peasant. He tries to convince the peasant that together they can smash the master and create a land of plenty for all. First, Zudin admits, it will be hard work and they will have to share what little they have with the rest of the world; but in the end it will be worth it. The peasant shares his last piece of bread with Zudin and they set out on the road. Zudin races ahead, and the peasant has difficulty keeping up with him. Zudin tries to put his piece of bread in his pocket, but it has turned into chocolate. The peasant sees this and says, "You have deceived me! You took my last piece of bread and you have candy!" Zudin sputters that it is an accident, but the peasant won't believe. The peasant comes after Zudin. Zudin tries to run, but slips and gets mired in some sticky brown mass...is it mud or is it chocolate?
Zudin wakes up from his dream and thinks, "No, I cannot escape."
2. Zudin recalls when he was just a ragged, barefoot, undernourished boy working in a machine shop for a cruel boss, who would beat him whenever he slowed down. One day, while his boss was sleeping, Zudin saw some of the other shop bosses give their workers a bit of chocolate--something Zudin had never seen before. The bosses do this because chocolate gives the workers energy and is cheaper than bread.
A dispute breaks about between some bosses over the chocolate. The bosses shove their workers forward and force them to fight as well. Even Zudin, who doesn't understand what the melee is all about, is shoved into the midst of the brawl. The workers fight with knives, nails, pieces of metal. Zudin's teeth are knocked out, his head smashed, his foot crushed. He manages to crawl out of the brawl, but his boss forces him to grab a hammer and drags him back to the fight. Zudin resists, so his boss swings at him with a coupling bolt and starts strangling him. Zudin raises his hammer to defend himself and hits the boss in the left temple, killing him.
At first, the other bosses denounce Zudin as a murderer. Then they offer competing bribes of chocolate to Zudin if he will kill the other boss. Zudin ignores them, and instead shouts out to the workers that they should stop fighting among themselves and use the weapons in their hands to smash the bosses over the head. And he concludes, "I am free! I have killed my slave-driver!"
Why shouldn't they unite now and take advantage of the fight, throw themselves on their masters with heavy hammers, chisels, and nail-pullers, and crack open the flat skulls of those beasts who kick them to the lathes and under the bellies of machines with their fasionable patent-leather boots? Then won't they have all the chocolate for themselves, to eat, or not, as they please?
One of the foremen says Zudin doesn't understand anything about socialism. According to the foreman, Marx says that the Revolution is possible only when machines have completely replaced human labor and the bosses have stopped giving the workers any chocolate at all. The workers are unsure, but the bosses all bully them back to their work benches.
Zudin then imagines he runs to the Africans who are harvesting the beans used to make chocolate. The cruel white master whips them and watches over them. Zudin convinces the Africans that--even though he is white--he does not eat chocolate and that he is against the white master. Zudin rouses the Africans to rebellion; but then they find a bar of chocolate in Zudin's pocket and say that he has deceived them. The Africans bend their backs submissively and get back to work.
1. As the investigating committee deliberates, Shustry continues his bombastic tirade against Zudin, saying that Zudin turned the Cheka into a cesspool, that Zudin is responsible for the worker uprisings in the city, and that Zudin is responsible for the deaths of the Red Army soldiers who are engaged in battle with the Whites only 25 versts away. Possibly, Shustry says, the Reds will not be able to hold out through the night and the city will be captured. And--horror of horrors--Zudin has missed some meetings of his Party cell! (Of course Shustry neglects to mention that Zudin was busy with Cheka work at the time and the fact that Zudin has never missed a meeting of the Provincial Committee.) Therefore, Shustry concludes, Zudin must be immediately and mercilessly shot!
Shcheglov counters that he's known Zudin since he was a child and he is convince that Zudin is no bribe-taker. True, Zudin made a few minor mistakes and for that he should be punished, perhaps assigned to some different duty, but not shot. Shcheglov says that it is Shustry who should be dragged before a party court for his untruthful twisting of facts.
Tkacheyev says that Zudin took pity on Yelena, a bourgeois, and by that very fact, he betrayed and cut himself off from the working class. Tkacheyev and Stepan have been touring the factories recently and, basically, the workers have been angrily chasing them out, shouting that the workers haven't been getting their bread rations while Zudin eats chocolate. The workers say they won't believe in the sincerity of the Bolsheviks until they exterminate this filthy wretch Zudin. Tkacheyev says that even if Zudin is innocent, it would be impossible to convince the workers, the Red Army soldiers, and even the rank-and-file Party members of that. And unless they can immediately rally everyone for the defense of the city, it will be lost to the White Army. And for this reason, Tkacheyev is in favor of shooting Zudin.
The blood of the working class is more precious to us than the blood of one man.
Shcheglov suggests that they just pretend to execute Zudin then send him off to do underground work in America. Stepan, however, says it would be wrong to deceive the Party.
The sounds of battle grow closer. They receive word that the Whites have captured two villages and are using English tanks. Eleven Red officers who were planning to defect to the White have just been arrested. The need to mobilize the workers and dispatch them to the front is immediate. Stepan decides, "It is precisely for that reason, and not because he is guilty of anything, that Zudin will be shot." Shcheglov reluctantly agrees. They sign the decree and order that it be posted in the streets and factories immediately.
2. Tkacheyev visits Zudin in his cell and gives him a long-winded explanation of the verdict. The workers must be mobilized immediately to save the Revolution. And they would never understand any long-winded explanations. So Zudin must be killed to save the cause. The Revolution is like a sharp steel wedge moving forward. Sometimes tiny bits of steel break off, crumbling under the tremendous pressure. But the next man immediately jumps into the empty place, and the wedge moves on. So it must be with Zudin.
3. Zudin's wife and children come to visit him in his cell. He plays horsie with the children and puts on a brave face for Lisa, telling her that the charges were found out to be nonsense. Lisa is greatly relieved. She says that she had been under house-arrest for two days, the apartment had been searched, and Shustry tortured her with questions. She wants to know when Zudin will be released. He says that the Central Committee has decided to send him for some secret work to Australia. He will be gone for at least one year, maybe ten years; in fact, he may never come back. Lisa begs him not to go, saying that she is lost without him. He says that she should be proud that her husband is forsaking his family to advance the world-wide Revolution.
He tells her to return to work at the factory and to look up Shcheglov if she ever needs help. He also suggests that it would be a good idea for her to remarry. And, by the way, his mission is top secret and she must tell no one about it. In fact, proclamations will be made that Zudin has been shot for trusting a bourgeois (which in fact he did do), but she should not believe them.
Confused and frightened, Lisa and the children leave. Zudin throws himself on his cot and weeps soundlessly.
4. Zudin thinks sadly of the shame his children will have to endure. But then he thinks that perhaps to stigmatize his name is the only possible way. After all, only one thing is important: the cause. The cause that is bringing happiness as quickly as possible to everyone must not perish! Zudin can be held up as an example to dissuade wavering comrades from betraying the cause, stealing bread from the workers, chasing after chocolates and ballerinas. Zudin thinks:
Let that insignificant, wretched name Zudin creep into your brains, and let it become from now on the symbol of baseness, villainy, and treachery to the most honest, the purest cause of permanent, eternal revolution, for the happiness of all the dispossessed in this stubborn movement forward! Only for the future, and only for the happiness of the unfortunate does Communism exist. And for the sake of this, it is worth while to live, and worth while to die!
These thoughts made Zudin proud and happily. And in the distance, endless columns of workers marched to the front to defend the city, their lusty voices raised in the "Internationale".
Tarasov-Rodionov, Aleksandr Ignatievich. Born in 1885, Tarasov-Rodionov joined the Communist Party in 1905. He was active in the Revolution of 1917, after which he commanded Red Army divisions during the Civil War. Then, from 1921 to 1924, he served as an examining magistrate of the Supreme Tribunal of the USSR. As a writer, he belonged to the Kuznitsa ("Smithy") group. . . . (...Continued...)