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Yesenberlin Ilyas «Scythianmirages. Golden Horses Wake Up»

11 маусым 2014 1126

Yesenberlin Ilyas «Scythianmirages. Golden Horses Wake Up»

Негізгі тіл: Golden Horses Wake Up»

Бастапқы авторы: Yesenberlin Ilyas «Scythian mirages.

Аударма авторы: not specified

Дата: 11 маусым 2014

Yesenberlin Ilyas 

«Scythian mirages. Golden Horses Wake Up»


The spring came again. All at once there grew clover, couch grass and sorrel on the thawed ground… Lilies of the valley didn’t bloom yet but yellow and red heads of tulips that had blossomed out for one night already gladdened the eye… It seemed that somebody with a magic hand covered birches and maples with a tender emerald blanket. And though the rocks of the white-headed Alatau were covered with snow they were muffled in light clouds. There lazily curled fog on the sunny side of the chain. There noisily slipped ice-cold rivers through the dark brown valleys. The spring came and migrating birds returned to their native spaces. It was possible to become deaf because of vigorous clap of their wings…
Birds felt absolute masters here too, in a big garden adjoining to the lonely house under the iron roof.
This house and the garden belonged to archeologist Kuntuar Kudaibergenov. The wide window was opened. The scientist personally was sitting at the table. He did it always – spring hardly pervaded the air and Kuntuar opened the sashes wide. New and life-giving powers flew into him with a stream of bracing air. New preparations for an expedition and new searches were waiting for him in spring. 
Now Kuntuar moved up an ancient chair blackened because of time, took a loupe and hunched over it… Yes, there were no doubts – this was a vessel made by ancient saki. The vessel had been found at Lake Tengiz. The expedition had brought other finds too. But the most interesting was exactly this kept quiet well jug. 
If to take into account the place of the digging it might belong to the tribe of Argippaei who had lived on the Kazakh lands already long time ago before Herodotus… According to the information of this ancient scientist Savromats were Argippaei’s neighbours in the north of the Khazar Sea. Massagetae had lived nearby them and occupied the south-eastern coast of the sea Atrau and valley Jeihun-Daria. Numerous tribes had occupied the wide territory from the coasts of Seihun-Daria in the south up to the spurs of Pamir and Tien Shan in the east and Lake Kokshetengiz in the north. Massagetae and Argippaei were sax tribes. The studying of the cultural heritage of ancient Saxons became the meaning of the life for scientist-archeologist Kuntuar Kudaibergenov. 
Today he also tried to find the answer for a vitally important for him question – about the culture of the ancient nation. 
No, Kuntuar didn’t flatter himself with hope that he would discover something new for science at once. His look was fixedly sliding over the walls of the vessel but the archeologist’s thoughts were somewhere far away. He finally came to life and got up from the table. He walked back and forth as if he measured his large study with the steps. In spite of the fact that Kuntuar wasn’t young but his gait was spry. Only his big brown eyes said that he was very tired. He was of medium height and thickset. His thick, hardly grey hair fell to his shoulders. Today Kuntuar was clearly excited by something. Both disarray and sadness were on his face.
Why was the old archeologist who was usually calm and even-tempered excited so much? 
             It turned out the cause was the word, the offensive word said by his friend. Perhaps at Kuntuar’s place the other one would give everything up as hopeless: people say the life is wiser than a word – and wouldn’t take offence. But it was difficult to take easy an offence made by a close person whom he trusted as himself and whom he nourished warm feeling of.           
To say the truth they were friends with Yergazy since their childhood: they grew up and learnt together. They became especially close during the years of their collaboration. When the war started Kuntuar went to the front at once. Yergazy was called in after him too. And however such an awful thing could happen: Kuntuar was wounded in the leg almost in the first fight. From the hospital he was discarded to the home front. Soon Yergazy wounded in the arm returned home too. What’s the point of hiding: the friends were crying when they met. Kuntuar pitied his friend to the heart.  
To make easier somehow his fate Kuntuar proposed:
- Perhaps you won’t be sent to the front again… You aren’t able to work at the plant or in the laboratory. Go to our institution and when you recover – you’ll decide what to do then. 
Yergazy was sincerely glad to this proposition. He himself wanted to ask the friend about this. 
- I want to have nothing better but will you be able to persuade your command? I have a permit not to go to the front just for half a year. Is it really possible to get a reservation in your institute too? 
These words hurt Kuntuar but he pulled himself together: “Who cannot be afraid of the front? Perhaps Yergazy has smelled enough hell…” Exactly with this he blanked off a bad feeling to his friend that was about to appear in his heart. 
Two days later he brought Yergazy to the office of his chief who was an energetic person and well-known organizer. In general, Yermagambetov had nothing against to employ a communist – a front-line soldier. But at first he wanted to have a talk to him. They were speaking about an hour long. Then Yermagambetov called Kuntuar staying face to face with him and asked: 
- Do you know long this fellow?
Kuntuar readily answered:
- Of course, since the very childhood. He is older than me for about two years. He lived in the aul, entered the university… learnt well. He is a self-restrained, loyal in friendship, sympathetic and brave dzhigit. 
- Do you say a brave one?
Yermagambetov was usually self-restrained. Only his face could express his dissatisfaction. And now too:
- You say, a brave and honest one?! – And he tipped back in his armchair. – Do you know what confuses me? He is wounded in the left arm. It looks like the bullet got in his palm. His index finger ossifies and he cannot bend it… But how could the bullet get exactly in the palm? 
Kuntuar was about to choke with anger. If Yermagambetov said just one more word against his friend Kuntuar wouldn’t stand it: “Has this man suffered not enough in the front? It’s easy to sit in a soft armchair and blacken with dirt the other one!” Either Yermagambetov understood the Kuntuar’s condition or from other considerations but he stopped talking. In some time and already with his usual calmness he pronounced: 
- In short, the fellow doesn’t fit us. In addition, it turned out that he didn’t have a diploma. I think it will be more useful for him to spend those six months for which doctors released him from the front for his diploma defence. And then we’ll see… 
How could it be? Kuntuar was sure that his friend had a diploma. When he had gone to the front Yergazy had been a student in his final year considers. Of course, it was such an argument that nothing could be said against that… Keeping silent he came out from the office of his chief. He told his friend word for word his conversation with Yermagambetov. He just passed over about his wound in silence. He couldn’t suspect his friend in addition. Is it possible at all to throw such facts in the face of a human who is absolutely worn out without this in addition!
Having listened to everything Yergazy agreed:
- I think Yermagambetov is right. Of course, I need a diploma. But the thing is that now I have neither strength nor health for its defence. You know that in the proper time it would difficult for me neither defend nor learn. What is a diploma? Just a simple formality. You remember I have completely finished the theoretical course of the university. 
- I remember everything. But you need a diploma. Yermagambetov is right in this case.
Yergazy started begging:
- Don’t you see in what condition I am? I have other fish to fry now! Help if you really trust me like a human, if you are a real friend… 
- Calm down, calm down, Yereke. How can I help you?
- Now invalids are gone halfway to meet their demands. Take up my case. I wish they would check in the university my last course works and give me a diploma. Not to shock you I promise: I’ll recover a bit and write my diploma thesis for six months. 
Wishing sincerely to help the friend Kuntuar agreed without thinking. For sure, for sure… Yergazy had learnt well. Of course, he had knowledge. This damned war had prevented and here this wound in addition…
And he had a talk about Yergazy with the pro-rector of the university Artashev. The old professor kind by his nature remembered very well his bright student. He was sure Yergazy would justify his hopes and in the future he would be able to become not only a good specialist but also a great scientist too. Artashev gave his word to put the question about giving out of the diploma at the nearest scientific meeting. 
Everything happened according to the shaped plan. 
As soon as Yergazy got the diploma next day Kuntuar went and now not to Yermagambetov but directly to the director of the institute comrade Gudkin. He had the same request – to employ the former front-line soldier. As for Kuntuar he was deservingly respected in the institute not only as an invalid of the Patriotic war but also as an exclusively hard-working, honest and shy worker. Nobody knows what impressed comrade Gudkin most of all: Kuntuar’s sincere request or personally the young specialist who had recently returned from the front. But soon he signed the order about Yergazy’s employment. Later nobody was sorry about it: Yergazy was accurate and a man of quick hands. Working at his master’s thesis he designed a part of the materials of his diploma thesis and gave it to the university. Having kept his word he let down neither his friend nor the old professor.    
The bloody war was over with the victory. By this time Yergazy already worked in his profession. He was married to widow Akgul. The wife led to the house her three-year-old son Arman too. Akgul was a pretty and a clever woman by the nature. People around liked her because of her trustful and straight look of the black eyes and her open disposition. She always had an even temper. Akgul won Yergazy’s heart whose life started quickly running after his marriage exactly with her brain and temper. 
Yergazy threw himself into the work. In a year after the finish of the war he had successfully defended his dissertation. Being businesslike in worldly matters for this time he tried to provide himself with some influential protectors. With their help he moved then to one of the southern industrial towns where he became a head of a science and research institute. Soon he appeared in Almaty with the ready doctor’s dissertation. He also defended it successfully as his Candidate’s dissertation. And now he was a Doctor of Philosophy and a professor. It seemed as if Kuntuar had helped him at his time not in vain. 
However, Yergazy wasn’t able to avoid misfortunes. In spite of his title of a doctor and a professor soon he was removed from the post of the director for some oversights and appointed at the post of a deputy. And Yergazy wasn’t lucky in the other thing too: he proposed his candidature for the post of a corresponding member during the voting in the Academy but he didn’t collect the required quantity of voices.
At once he had some frictions and strikes with the new director. To Kuntuar’s surprise the friend didn’t accuse anybody of all his grieves but academician Verginskiy personally – a scientific chief of the institute and a great scientist. Some time Yergazy had learnt with him in the same school, then they had had to communicate on official business and since Yergazy was engaged in his scientific work in archeology he reported directly to Verginskiy. And now knowing about the academician’s favour to Kuntuar Yergazy came again to ask his friend to put in a word for him in the presence of the influential scientist. He insistently repeated by this: “I’m sure, somebody has slandered me in Verginskiy’s eyes. Go, my dear, explain him - my conscience was unclouded before him”.
Kuntuar wasn’t able to refuse his friend. Besides, he always believed in the justice and the humaneness of the academician. Aleksey Maksimovich Verginskiy was really one of the openhearted and responsive for requests person. He had also helped Kuntuar on his difficult days, supported him in his investigations as much as he could. So that not in vain Kuntuar thought in his heart that Verginskiy was his guardian angel. He respected the academician not only for his friendly disposition. He respected him as a great scientist in the branch of archeology. He didn’t believe in addition that Verginskiy was able to bar the Yergazy’s way and promoted reduction in his position. With this together the archeologist remembered the recent meetings with the academician too. It had happened exactly at that time when Yergazy had been removed from the post of the director and they had looked for a new chief on his place. After saying usual words of greeting by a meeting and questioning about his life and health and successes in the work Verginskiy informed Kuntuar some unexpectedly: 
- Your fellow is removed from the post of the director. Today it’s not enough just to be a doctor or a professor. He hasn’t worked even a day at a factory! 
Kuntuar didn’t even understand at once:
- What a fellow? 
- Yergazy, of course. I remember you are old friends. You’ve worked together in addition. 
- Yes, we are friends but in the life we have different ways. 
I remember once the academician started a conversation about Yergazy again:
- Your friend, - he said then dryly – prevents the new director to work. What does he want in fact? 
Kuntuar answered without pretending:
- I don’t think that Yergazy furthers his own interests. He should just know better many things – he has led the institute for so many years long! Some things he knows better than the new person. But perhaps, it can be his self-respect – it’s not easy to report to a person who has a lower title and grade! As people say here it can’t be helped – a human’s weakness is a vice of many people. He is such a human, Yergazy. 
- A person shouldn’t report but work in the science. 
- What to do? Such is the world: one people come to their dreams with cry, other ones – with a song. Poor Yergazy has been dreaming all his life long just to be at the post of a chief. 
- Exactly, that’s just the trouble, - the academician started laughing. – Everybody is in his or her line to get an armchair of a chief!.. I cannot stop surprising, - he broody went on. – How could a person who hasn’t worked even a day at a factory be a chief of a big research institute that services industry for so many years long?
Kuntuar found nothing to answer for protecting his friend. He didn’t exactly know in addition how there in the south Yergazy had coped with the direction of the research institute. 
And now because of Yergazy’s request he had to talk to Verginskiy about the same thing again.
- My friend, Yergazy, worries very much, - he started when he met Aleksey Maksimovich. – You’ve promised that you will call him and speak about his business. He has been waiting since that time still. He has absolutely eaten his heart out. 
Verginskiy didn’t drop even a word in reply.     
Kuntuar tried to start the conversation for some more times but the academician let him know with all his appearance that he didn’t want to speak about Yergazy. 
The old archeologist felt the whole confusion of the situation he had got in: on one hand, he sincerely wanted to protect his friend, on the other hand – perhaps Yergazy had enough time to offend somehow the academician. That one was also a living person.
In his turn Yergazy understood that in that case Kuntuar hadn’t been that race horse whom he could stake on and sharply changed his relation to him. Now the archeologist heard from people not for one time: “People say you tell each Yergazy’s word to Verginskiy, don’t you?” At first Kuntuar didn’t pay any special attention to these questions. Besides, he never heard from Yergazy anything alike. He himself disdained all kinds of gossip and slanders by his nature. But yesterday he suddenly met the friend, as people say face to face. In spite of the fact that somewhere in the heart he had taken offence but all the same he still thought that Yergazy was his friend. That’s why he asked with characteristic sincerity:
- What’s up with you, Yereke? Why have you stopped greeting me?
- E-eh, you should know better! – Yergazy sharply said. 
- What do you mean?
- Don’t pretend. I’ve met Verginskiy and spoken to him. He has directly answered: “I’ve sized up my opinion about you according to the Kuntuar’s words. I have any reason not to trust him!” And I, a fool, thought all my life long that you were my best friend. But in fact – I have cherished a snake in my bosom. It turned out that exactly you had reported Verginskiy each my word said to you in the minutes of my revelation… 
At first Kuntuar was just taken aback. He couldn’t understand the sense of the said words. When he finally understood what Yergazy accused him of he became very indignant. 
- What’s up with you? What have you said? – He cried out.
- What you’ve heard! – Yergazy screwed his lips in a fastidious smile. – The academician personally has informed me: “Accuse not me but your friend Kuntuar!” Just try not to believe here! 
Exactly, how he couldn’t believe here… Perhaps Verginskiy had said exactly this. But all the same, it was impossible, just a nonsense! 
- Well, what have I informed Verginskiy about you? It’s mean: to accuse a human behind his or her back and slander! How could he think out the words that slandered you if I have never pronounced them?
- I don’t know. Ask your high protector!
- I’ll ask him. Believe me, I’ll ask! 
- You’ll do right. Then you’ll know who of you both is a rascal! – Yergazy went away with triumphant air.
And Kuntuar stayed standing like a nailed one. He was struck by injustice and lie. He was puzzled and tried to realize at a loss what had really happened and what the cause of the happened was. If Verginskiy hadn’t really said these words where would Yergazy have taken them from?
At that night Kuntuar couldn’t close his eyes. In the morning when it was hardly ten o’clock he called up the Verginskiy’s secretary and asked to make an appointment to see him. It turned out Aleksey Maksimovich was absent he had flown on business to Eastern Kazakhstan. Kuntuar had nothing else to do than wait. 
And now he felt very nervous because of this absurd story. 
Verginskiy was absent the whole week long. People say he will return only in two-three days… Kuntuar didn’t understand what he could do to clarify everything, forget and find psychical equilibrium. It meant those ones whom he believed all his life long as himself and aligned with were small-minded and mendacious.
No matter which way you look at it but people say the truth: cattle are bright with their skins and a human –with his or her nature. He couldn’t get rid of notions of compulsion: “Why couldn’t I realize up to now what a person Verginskiy is? Or has he realized my words in his own way? Or could he perhaps mix them up with somebody else’s ones because he just remembers me better than others? Is it possible to slander an unguilty one for no reason at all? No, it doesn’t do credit such a great scientist. Let’s think I’ve slandered Yergazy but where is your own opinion? You yourself are blind, aren’t you? And to size up a negative opinion because it was said by somebody? It’s just dishonorably. However, something is wrong here. I must clarify everything by myself as quickly as possible”. 
The grudge against Verginskiy calmed a bit down but anger and indignation against Yergazy flashed with new force. The old archeologist was turning in his bed with a heavy groan: “Let’s think, let’s think, my dear, that Verginskiy has said exactly these words but why have you believed him so quickly? – He addressed to invisible Yergazy. – And what a reason for you to throw mud on your friend? Does it mean that you want very much to show that I’m a rascal? We’ve been working together so many years long and I see all this time you’ve believed that I’m able to do a meanness… Or have you set the academician’s authority higher than your own and my honour and were able to repeat the slander? What’s up with me? Why is my heart suffering so much having lost the slander’s friendship: not now but at any other moment he will slander and betray me! However, what to do? Should I suspend him forever, forget and throw him out from my head and heart?”
Well, it seemed that Kuntuar was geared up so not only to Yergazy but to Akgul too who was always sincere and friendly to him. “Has she really known about everything and believed too? Nonsense! I believe Yergazy is able to be green with envy but Akgul…  She cannot envy me”.
One more circumstance oppressed Kuntuar very much too. His own son Daniel didn’t take after his father his gift for archeology. He tried to prove himself as a writer but Yergazy’s stepson Arman had graduated the university and also become an archeologist and now he started working under Kuntuar’s direction. The scientist tried to help the young specialist in every way and hoped to see a successor in his pupil.
How could it be now? He wished his enmity to Yergazy wouldn’t come to the fellow. Kuntuar tried to pull himself together and not to lose his sober brain. No, a son shouldn’t answer for his father. But however, people say: if an apple-tree is wormy its apples will be wormy too.
Kuntuar sat at his table and moved up the vessel again. He tried to concentrate. His thoughts were in disunity as before. Now he was thinking about Arman and Daniel. They were agemates and knew each other well and for a long time. But it didn’t look like they were friends. And the cause was absolutely not the enmity of their parents. The cause was Zhannat. She had blossomed out before the eyes, became pretty and only yesterday it seemed that she was ready to give her life for Daniel. What was up with her now? Was the girl’s heart either so air-headed or inconstant like an early spring?
Of course, Arman was more imposing and perhaps more attractive than Daniel. But what is beauty? If to look at each one and go after each one what will happen with a girl’s proud?
And what will happen with Daniel, his only son? His mother had died early. The father was a bad helper in hearty affairs. How could he support him? What to do to become a support and a friend for him? Now the son was face to face with his feelings. He was young and inexperienced. He had a very gentle disposition in addition. 
To get rid of his bitter thoughts at least for some time Kuntuar straightened, moved aside the vessel again and hunched over the thick manuscript. It was a special diary. In it there were interesting stories about some archeological expeditions and finds and some results of some deep thinkings about the life and the science. There were a lot of words addressed to the youth in the book too. Kuntuar had been writing it for many years long. In the minutes of tiredness and sadness he always addressed to his brainchild as to his true friend. As soon as he deepened in the text his heart became lighter. Silence, belief in the tomorrow’s day and inspiration descended to him. 
However, this time he wasn’t satisfied even with his work at the manuscript. He read just two-three pages and didn’t feel any response in his heart. Neither his former thoughts nor his spirit left him alone. 
Kuntuar stood up and came up to the window. It got dark. It seemed that the sky was covered with some transparent black silk over which golden coins of the stars were gaping like embroidered satin-stitch. The night air was cold and wet. 
“It’s late but the son isn’t at home yet… He is late but it’s already time to be at home…” 
As soon as Kuntuar thought about this he heard a cry from the direction of the garden: “Help me, help!” He seemed that it was Zhannat’s voice. Overcoming the ache in his heart he ran out. While he was running to the shed there already came some fellows from the opposite house. It turned out that Zhannat had really cried. She was pale and some people led her supporting to Kuntuar’s house. The girl explained that she had come here to Daniel. And when she had been already at the very house two people had jumped out from behind the trees, attacked her and taken her bag away… Zhannat had beaten off and had some time to cry. The hooligans had disappeared as soon as they had seen some people running to them. 
Listening to Zhannat step by step Kuntuar came to the sense. He started calming the girl down who was still gripped by fear and excitement: “Daniel will come now…” - and he stopped short! Zhannat perplexedly looked at him asking with the eyes: “What’s up?”
- Oh, my god! Right now it has been lying here, on the table, - the archeologist perplexedly pronounced. – Or I’ve laid it in the drawer. Damn you, my senility. I forget what and where I put. – He was fussing, looked in the drawer of the table and fumbling in the bookshelves…
- Father, what are you looking for? – Zhannat asked sympathetically.
- My manuscript, my dear, manuscript… I’ve just been working at it right now. I’ve heard your cry and rushed out but it remained lying on the table, right here. Could anybody really climb in the window? Who needs them, somebody else’s thoughts? This is really too bad! Or have I brought it to the dining-room? 
Kuntuar went to the next room. Zhannat stayed in the study. After standing undecided for a minute the girl took a pencil and an empty sheet of paper, quickly wrote a note, put it on the corner of the table and went away. 
Pale Kuntuar returned to the study and heavily dropped on the sofa. He was sitting long in a stupor and with the dropped head. The old archeologist didn’t even notice when his son came in. He was slim and tall, with fine features and brown eyes big like his deceased mother had. Daniel was puzzled with his father’s condition – usually he joyfully met him. 
- Koke, koke! – The son embraced the father. With difficulty Kuntuar raised his exorbitant heavy head:
- I don’t know why but my heart started aching, my dear… Somebody has stolen my manuscript now.
- Your manuscript? Where could it disappear? – Daniel didn’t understand. 
- When Zhannat started crying the manuscript was here. I ran out for help. When I returned there was nothing on the table… 
- Have you said – Zhannat? Has she really been at our place?
- Yes, she has been standing here right now but my manuscript… 
In perplexity Daniel examined the room and looked at the edge of the table where his father was pointing. The note whitened there. The young man quickly took it. 
- What a delusion?! – He cried out.
- What’s up?
- Here, Zhannat has written… - and he started reading: “Daniel, forgive me everything. I wished to explain and talk – I didn’t have a chance, you aren’t at home. You should know, everything is over between us. I will go away with Arman. I pity you but what to do. The love is stronger than us both. I bring just misfortunes for your home. I see I’ve heaped up trouble even for uncle Kuntuar. Good bye. Zhannat”. 
Own Kuntuar’s grieves were pushed aside at once. Seeing the shuddering shoulders of Daniel who had hidden himself in the table the father understood: he was crying. 
Kuntuar loved his son with all his heart. If he begged the fate about something it was to die earlier than Daniel the loss of whom he wouldn’t stand. With age he realized even clearer that he had only two important cares in the life: the first one is Daniel and his future, and the second one – achievement of the set scientific aim.  
Suddenly Kuntuar wished to take the son in his arms and caress him like a baby.
- My dear, - Kuntuar tried to speak as cheerfully and kind as possible. – Listen to your old father: tears are a bad helper in the grief. Don’t drop your head. I wish the grief would harden your strengths and heart. During the years of the war people lost relatives and beloved. What would have happened then if your agemates suffering from their own grieves had lost their intestinal fortitude? Pull yourself together, return to the work at the book.
Having kept silent for some time Daniel pronounced: 
- You are right, father. Excuse me. 
There settled silence in the room. 

The full-flowing Syrdaria was lazily rolling its waves. The black chains of Karatau were seen from afar. These chains round the huge valley. The soil was split because of lack of water and covered with grey dust. Everything burnt here out long before the coming of the autumn and sometimes since the very middle of the summer. There stuck out just withered wormwood and hard camel thorn somewhere. There spread rare bushes of hawthorn over the ground.
These empty bare salines bordering on the sands and opened for heat and wind didn’t attract birds. Bustards with blue-yellow tint of feathers, brown little bustards, long-legged pheasants chose only the banks of the Syrdaria that were thickly covered with canes and Russian olives. 
In return the salines are rich for animals. There run flocks of antelopes here. Closer to Karatau there live rocky-mountain goats – tau-teke, rocky-mountain wild rams with sharply curled horns and roes with black tails. There are a lot of dark-grey wolves and fiery-red foxes. 
The mineral wealth of the desert hides innumerable treasures. Only a part of them is opened by a human: lead, zinc, phosphorites…  
There grew a town between the Syrdaria and Karatau. The asphalt arterial highways stretched from it to Tashkent, Chimkent, and Turkestan. On their both sides there branched out rut-roads and narrow paths which led to the searching expeditions of prospectors of water, minerals and ancient monuments.  
Several days ago two young people had come to this town: a student of the last course of the teacher’s college Orik for practice and a future scientist-historian Peilzhan – to collect some materials for his dissertation. 
… Today the day was especially hot. The dry biting wind was blowing in the face. Before the midday over the horizon there overhung a shuddering silver haze. Playing mysteriously in the sun it attracted a look with the splashes of the sea and even the high sky faded before its freshening blue. It seemed that everything died out both on the ground and in the air: neither an animal nor a bird… 
It seemed the only human – Peilzhan - was living in all this silence. 
Having arrived to Kairakty on his own business he met here Orik. Peilzhan knew that six months ago after graduating from the institute his brother Nurali had been appointed there as a chief of one of the hydro-geological expedition. It turned out Nurali was going to marry to this kind joyful girl. Now he was away, somewhere in the sands with drill men. Under the pretext that he was looking for his brother Peilzhan started looking for a meeting with Orik. He found the girl in the dormitory. 
After the first meeting there followed another ones. Soon Nurali receded into the background not only for Peilzhan but for Orik too. Some unrealized power made her stand up and act against her mind. 
Today Peilzhan got up with the dawn. It was Sunday. The day wasn’t filled with any affairs and lasted endlessly long. The young man now lay on the sofa in his hotel room then stood up or took the book and laid it aside again: he didn’t want to read. 
Did he remember about the agemate of his childhood now? Nurali’s parents had died early and he had grown up in the house of his native uncle, Peilzhan’s father. Now the boys were grown up. Was he, Peilzhan, really able to make his brother suffer so much? 
He already had justification in his own eyes – love. Yes, it seemed it was love. How else it was possible to call this feeling that made him run to Orik, catch her look and word. He didn’t want to think about the aftermaths. He just needed to see her eyes, lips… 
It was impossible to refuse Peilzhan in the power of the feeling, but what? He was ready to sell his soul to the devil. He just wished Orik would be here, nearby. 
To say the truth externally he was even a charming person, a master to speak and a life of the party. However, on the first place he hid his own whims behind his friendly words and a sweat smile. If he planned something he was ready to hinder anybody for the sake of his own wish fulfillment.  
And even now he wasn’t absolutely racked by remorse. He had a wonderful feature – forgetfulness. At a moment he was able to push unwished thoughts aside, stop thinking about something unpleasant and forget everything that made him suffer and appeal to his conscience…
Finally the day's heat gave way to pleasant coolness. Peilzhan quickly dressed and came out. He went to the gardens in the uptown. Step by step the southern soft night was covering the ground. The rare stars cheerfully gave winks in time of Peilzhan’s quick steps: “Hurry up, hurry up, young man!” He saw Orik already from afar. The girl was standing at the utmost trees of the garden. His heart started trembling. He could hardly restrain himself not to run to her. His legs started stepping more frequently. Orik also hurried towards him. The thing that is invisible for eye is visible for heart. Peilzhan felt that Orik had been looking forward to him. He went even quirkier, he was almost running:
- I thought you would not come… 
- Why? – He seemed that the girl’s voice rang silvery and kind like a bell. Peilzhan heard in it a hidden appeal and tenderness. 
- I don’t know. I think my happiness isn’t deserved. 
Orik kept silent for some time and then started laughing:
- The stars seem especially big and close today. They are shining brighter than always. 
- You are right. The brightest one is nearby now.
- The stars are in the sky but not on the ground… 
- Then with what shall I compare that one who is standing nearby? – She playfully threatened him.
- The most beautiful girl in the world is nearby me now. I can compare her only with a dawn, with a star, no, with the moon! – Peilzhan got carried away and suddenly he said in a very low and almost whispering voice: 
- I wish to kiss you…
- No, it’s shameful…
- Why?
- You take a sin upon your soul.
- What will be then if I commit sin?
- You will burn in the hell. 
- I am in fire without the hell. Have mercy on me!
He embraced her. Having pressed closely to each other the both were walking around the garden. When they hid under a branchy elm around which fragrant wormwood and soft feather grass grew Peilzhan stopped as if somebody invisible put his legs into irons. He pulled the girl to again. 
The moon that reigned in the sky was slowly flowing along the horizon. The night was bright as day. There were a young man and a girl at the branchy tree. The fanciful shades from the branches of the elm looked like huge monsters. The stars fell down from the sky and disappeared – as if somebody’s happiness burnt in a moment. 
Silence. Only the girl’s cry disharmonized the quietness of the sky, the night and the silence. But for some reason it didn’t worry the heart.
It was crying Orik. Peilzhan was lying nearby. He clasped his hands behind the head and was looking into the night sky. Only when the next star fell down and went out there appeared an unkind grin in his colourless eyes. He didn’t pay any attention to the Orik’s tears. And not having taken away her hanging down hair she was sitting nursing her knees with the thin arms. Where had her jolly excitement disappeared that only yesterday had overfilled all her creature? Today her heart was burning because of the bitter compunction. And… offence. Suddenly the girl realized at a moment the whole meanness of the happened. 
Peilzhan didn’t console her. And at that moment only Nurali stood before the Orik’s eyes. Whom to blame now? Herself? Yes! But Peilzhan neglected even the fact that Nurali was his brother! 
She remembered the long evenings that she had spent with Nurali.
… Then the moon had been shining too. In the same manner it had been flowing being full and golden and covering the spaces with its bright light. In the same manner the stars had fallen down from the sky and burnt out. And they had wished upon a star something dearest and believed that it would surely become true. They had put their hands out towards the falling stars and seemed that they were their light dreams flying towards them…  
The whole year long they hadn’t seen each other before that meeting and having met at the river they had been sitting in the same manner among yellow and red tulips. 
It had been the first time then when Nurali had told her about his feelings. Orik had begged the fate only to see again her beloved as soon as possible. Three months without him had seemed her to be three years. And exactly at that time Peilzhan had turned up under her hand. Instead to cast away her grief and calm her down he had committed outrage upon their love. 
The feeling of bitterness and compunction overfilled the Orik’s heart. “How will I look in his eyes now? How?!” – She repeated. 
Peilzhan lazily moved:
- Whom?! Who do you need to look in the eyes?
The girl started crying even more than before:
- Whom? Your brother, Nurali! 
- He won’t appear soon…
Orik looked at the young man. “And is this all he is able to do?”
- Why are you crying? If you tell nobody by yourself it isn’t a sin yet. Don’t suffer in vain. 
Orik fell all funny. But together with these Peilzhan's words were for her like that straw which a drawing person catches. They brought some kind of relief into her heart.  Meanwhile Peilzhan went on:
—I am... You've agreed by yourself, of your own will...
  - How can it be? How of my own will? How will I live now?  Nurali... 
- Am I worse than Nurali?  - Peilzhan interrupted her and stretched his hand towards trying to pull her to himself. 
  - Don't touch me!
  - And when I love you?! - Peilzhan's voice became stronger. 
"Does he love? Is it the truth? Does he love? Perhaps, it is the cause why he has taken the chance... It is the cause why he has done this... Is he really guilty that he loves me?.. Perhaps, I have to forgive him this..." 
But hardly her imagination recalled Nurali's figure her heart shrank with pain again. Tears welled in her eyes. 
But Peilzhan's voice sounded surely:
- Yes, of course, I love you more than your Nurali!  What's he to me at all?  - Peilzhan pulled Orik to him again. 
In two days they met again, then again and again. They often began to meet. And when Nurali returned from his expedition Peilzhan and Orik already lived like a family and were waiting for their first-born child.   
And for Nurali there started a run of bad luck. Under his authority the expedition drilled several wells in the sands nearby Karatau.  But they didn't find any water.  While they were transferring their equipment to a new place the autumn cold spell came. However in spite of the frosts and cold wind Nurali decided not to stop the works up to the late winter.  He came to Kairak to send a telegram to Almaty with the request for a permit to hold drill works in winter too.  Besides he had to make a report at the technical meeting about what he had already done in the previous wells which hadn't given any water. And of course the young engineer was hurrying up not only on business to Kairakty. He was hurrying to see Orik. A bad rumor always finds thousands of ways and thousands of voices. It will reach the places which you cannot even guess about.  Already two years ago Peilzhan had learned abut the relations between Orik and Peilzhan.  One young technician who had just returned from Kairakty then had informed for all to hear: "There is just one news in Kairakty: there appeared a young pair - a beauty Orik and a young scientist Peilzhan. They will marry soon.  Nurali couldn't believe his ears.  
The closer he came up to the town the more he flustered. The sneaking feeling hidden in his heart and the thoughts that this all wasn't the truth caught him with renewed vigour. 
And now, having already settled in the hotel he was about to go to Orik's hostel.  Suddenly somebody knocked at the door of his room. 
- Come in, - Nurali invited knotting his tie in motion.  
The main engineer of the business organization Zharkyn came in. He had been graduated from the same institute but just for three years earlier. He had to Nurali a warm feeling of friendship and some kind of patronage. His wind-blown, swarthy face was shining with a smile.  They embraced.  
 - I've seen your chief - he put a car in the garage. I've learned that you returned and hurried here, - Zharkyn was speaking still merrily smiling.  
- Yes, I've arrived just an hour ago.  I've decided to go for a walk and call you up on the way. 
Zharkyn attentively looked at his friend:
  - I see, you are hurrying?!
Nurali indefinitely smiled and said then:
  - You are right, I've missed Orik. I wished to visit her in the hostel.
- A-ah...
Zharkyn knew what had happened. After keeping silent for some time he advised:
  - Why do you hurry? She will come by herself when she will learn that you have come...
Nurali caught some hidden reason in Zharkyn's voice. He bent his brows: 
  - A strange piece of advice...  
  - No, no, I've said for no reason in particular. - Zharkyn had a wish to tell his friend about everything he knew but he pulled himself together. - Well, go then. You shall solve this by yourselves.  
- What?
  - What does it mean, what?  Young people always have something for talking about after saying goodbye and taking a long leave.  I just please you: come to my place at once you are free.  Don't even think to go away without seeing me.  
  - Why? Why are you hurrying so much to send me back? - Nurali became angry. - I have much business to you. I've planned to visit you tomorrow after my report.  We have to discuss many things. - And he looked directly at Zharkyn's face.  - I see you want to tell me something. Lay it out then! 
Zharkyn looked aside. 
  - You are tired after the journey. I don't want to upset you. And I cannot in addition. I wish some strange people would say you but not me. - He directed to the door. - But all the same, let's meet today in the evening, aren't you against?  - And he went away without saying goodbye. 
Suddenly Nurali clearly realized: the worst thing has happened.  His hands started shivering. He released the tie around his neck and dropped in the armchair. 
The pictures of his childhood that he had spent with Peilzhan together started floating before his eyes.  
When Nurali had been a boy and moved to their house Peilzhan's father Surykbai hadn't been rich then but he had lived well and looked into matters.  In ancient times Kazakh families traditionally indulged their sons.  Surykbai had kept this tradition too.  But orphan Nurali had liked more to listen to songs, fairy tales and poems than idle laziness and naughtiness. But lean Peilzhan with the always broken nose had been growing as a rebel and a madcap in the home.  He had easily made the air blue in the presence of some guests who had come to the father's house. Not for one time he had made younger and quieter by the nature Nurali cry. Up to now Nurali remembered well one of their fights.  Having been driven with Peilzhan's mockery and wakeners he couldn't stand any more, had attacked him and taken away his club-kulzha.   Having cried spattering slobber Peilzhan had run to the stove, grasped the poker and hit Nurali with it.   
Another boy would be afraid at once and pity him.   But Peilzhan had started gleefully clapping his hands and crying with triumph:  "It serves you right!"  
Now when they became grown up the elder brother crossed his road again.  What a human is he, his brother, heartless and cold-hearted by his nature? 
At this time there heard a persistent knocking at the door again. 
  - Come in, - Nurali pronounced pulling together all his strength.  The door opened.  In the room... Peilzhan came.  
Nurali started shivering with the whole his body.  "Yapyrmai!   He has made a personal application. He is not ashamed to speak to me. He does everything just to hinder me to meet Orik! No, I see he really has a stone instead of the heart in his breast..."
- Have you arrived well? Are you healthy? - Peilzhan asked him questions usual by a meeting as if nothing had happened. He made him comfortable in the armchair opposite. 
Nurali could hardly say in reply:
- You see, I've returned.  
  - According to the gossip your expedition works unprofitable.  Don't loose courage. If you have decided to drill in winter too it means you will find water if it exists there. 
Nurali came to his sense: 
- Have you come here to say me about this?
Peilzhan shrank a little under the look of his younger brother. 
  - No, - he tried to speak as assured as possible but his voice sounded falsely and deafly. - Nurali...
Having struck a sorrowful pose Peilzhan expressively paused after each word: 
- When nestlings grow up they leave their nests.  Brothers who have grown up in the same home will die in different ones. They also live together only in their childhoods but when they are grown up each one will go his own way.  Each one lives in the manner his mind and heart directs him. We also grew up together but we have chosen different ways in life.  Don't take offence. I also have both a heart and a feeling of compassion to you but love is the capricious tulpar. You would not be able to defeat it.   I haven't had enough strength to restrain it. We've agreed with Orik... - He looked in the Nurali's eyes. That one was keeping silent. - I know. It isn't easy to listen to this all but I have nothing to say you for calming you down. 
  - Why so? Go on speaking, say something else! 
  - No, - Peilzhan answered with a sorrowful voice standing up from the armchair. - I ask you just about one thing: don't worry Orik in vain. Don't look for a meeting with her. It is impossible anything to change. 
He came out.  
Pale Nurali was standing in the middle of the room shaking from the toes on his heels with the bunched fists. Then stepping heavily he came up to the armchair, dropped down in it again and was sitting so having hidden his face in the hands. He was boiling with anger because with such indifference and perfidy his lightest feeling - love to the girl - had been dragged in the mud.  The offence, the injured pride and shame - everything mixed and rebelled against the blow delivered him by his own brother.  Finally, having pulled all his strength together he sat back in the armchair in which Peilzhan had proudly been sitting a moment ago and started reasoning...   
Now the happened events deprived him not only of Orik but of Peilzhan too.
They had had everything in the childhood: quarrels, disputes... But however, it was difficult to lose the only brother.  “But can it be... can it be that this beauty has tempted him by herself? Could it have happened to my own harm that Orik was guilty but not him, not Peilzhan?  Then... Then, perhaps, it's not good to condemn him so cruelly, who knows...“
In an hour Nurali moving hardly his legs was slowly coming up to the hostel of the business organization.  Orik saw him already from afar and hurried towards him. 
There wasn't even a mark of confusion (even far from suffering) on her face.  She looked perfectly. It just seemed that she had lost some weight and it was all.  But... she avoided to meet his look.    
- Hello, Nurali! - Her voice stopped short and started trembling. There appeared some kind of blush on her swarthy skin. - Let's go to speak. 
They were going and keeping silent. They walked round the hostel and sat down on a bench of somebody's front garden. And... not a word to each other.  She first started speaking:
- I see Peilzhan has already said you... 
- He has but I would like to listen to you. 
Orik kept silent for some time and then started speaking again but already more surely: 
- I've found my happiness. 
- Then... does it mean that you have lied me? 
  - Have lied or not, what reason does it have now? We have gamboled like children but now everything is over.
- Have gamboled! - Nurali couldn't restrain himself any more. He was almost crying. - If you were gamboling what for did you make me suffer?  Didn't you believe me?  Do you really think that love is given for one day? Do you realize at all what you are speaking about?  You... you... 
- Do you want to say that I've betrayed you? Am I right? - Orik started worrying in her turn too. - Perhaps, you are right. - But what to do now?  Yes, I've lost my conscience!  Yes, I love you, but I'll marry your brother.  Yes, I am guilty, just me! Have you wanted to hear this?  Go away...
He stood up from the bench.  Overcoming the weakness and shaking he dragged somewhere not realizing by himself.  There stood rare lanterns along the street.  He seemed that somebody was tapping just one word in his head - "Orik".
Nurali looked around.  He saw a car driving along the asphalt road and asked the driver to pick him up to the hotel.   
He opened the door of the room and stood a little in the darkness. Then he switched on the light and looked at the clock. The hands of the clock showed midnight. Nurali was like in dream. However, he realized that everything had happened with him was real but not in a dream.  Not switching off the light and undressed he lay on the sofa having nestled his hot head against the back. He couldn't fall asleep as if he wasn't tired after the journey or he wasn't crocked up because of the emotional shock.  
In the morning he didn't go to the business organization. He didn't want to see the sorrowful looks of his fellow workers. In such a condition that was not the best in fact Zharkyn found him.  
  - Of course, it ails you but how does your reclusion come into the picture?  - Zharkyn tried to start the conversation. 
A hopeless grief was in Nurali's eyes.  Suddenly he flushed up:
-  Sorry but neither advisers nor helpers can be in somebody's private grief! 
- What grief are you speaking about? 
  - Perhaps, you don't realize but when a human loses his or her love - it is not a pleasure. 
  - How you've said! Yes, love - it is when people endlessly respect each other! A real love is exalted. Perhaps a human really can give his or her life for it.  But if... it is not love?!
  - Where from can you know what...
  - Well, well, - Zharkyn stopped him, - I see in your condition advices won't help. You realize all by yourself.
He kept silent for some time and then added: 
-  I've come to you on business. We urgently have to go to an expedition...
  - What's up?
- A misfortune... 
  - What a misfortune?  - Nurali interrupted and didn't let Zharkyn finish the phrase. 
  - A young man died... Kaziken. 
- What? What have you said? - Nurali sprang up from his place. 
- Yes, they have informed right now in the telegram.  Electric shock 
killed him...
- Ka-zi-ken... 
Nurali remembered the recent wedding evening, just three months ago. Kaziken and Kunimzhan.  All had admired the young couple, as wonderful like Kyz-Zhibek and Tulegen.  In that festive evening Nurali thought that they were the happiest people in the world but now he imagined Kunimzhan black-clad and shuddered.   His own sufferings seemed to him miserable and unworthy of a human in the comparison with the bitter grief of Kunimzhan.  He hurried up to hit the road. 
- I'll go! I'll go right now!
Holding back the door of the car Zharkyn said at parting: 
- Heavy days have fallen on your shoulders. But I believe, you'll withstand, you can do this... 
- Thank you, - Nurali answered. - I'll try, otherwise... I don't think that it can happen otherwise!
Zharkyn was glad to hear these friend's words. 
- Good luck!

A human's life can differently develop.  For one person it is a real triumph of the nature, its top, its excellence.  It usually happens when a person has found his own way in life.  He surely walks along it.  Not quickly and not always easy a person can get such happiness. It is required a lot of courage on the way to the most secret and the most wished aim. Evil be to that one who is not able to find strength and courage, who mills roundabout the paths and wasn't able to find the main direction and didn't reach the aim of his dream.   
Can dreams really brighten each one? This sweet-voiced bird of youth that is able to take a human away to the heavens on its wings. It often happens so that for long-long years it just lures and calls into something unknown as if the fire of a wished lodging at night but meanwhile life presents a human its surprises, turns into that unbroken wild kulan that - on which side you would even come up to it - tries to kick you.   
It seemed that Daniel was one of lucky people but he also had to learn early to his own cost some tricks of fortune. His heart didn't want to obey the brain and deprived the dzhigit of the feeling of life joy that turned now into dreary existence full of bitter compunction. He looked for a way out and as a rescue each time the words of his father appeared in his brain:  "You should work, work..", "Labour and dream are always nearby, they must always accompany each other everywhere.  In them you'll find recovery..." 
Daniel had listened to the wise father's admonitions and he fought with his grief about Zhannat. Today he started the unwillingly interrupted work at the manuscript of his novel. Reading aloud already written pages to his father he was reasoning: 
- I think the Saki's social order will be more understandable and historically truer if to describe more detailed their economical relations, how they used their lands, water and instruments of labour. To Herodotus' information the ancient Saki tribes divided lands and water among each other according to the quantity of cattle they had. They united to defend their common wealth against the enemies.  Besides, in the case of danger their neighbour ally tribes of Massagetae, Argippaei and other migrating nations joined them. Do you know that as distinct from Saki who settled at the foot hills of the Altai and the Tarbagan the Saki tribes who migrated from these places up to the very Khazar Sea considered pastures and watering collective? Cattle and means of transportation were reckoned among private property.   
- You are right, - Kuntuar answered. - During the wars Saki defended not only their lands and bodies of water but their private property too. I remembered the words of the Persian king Cyrus, quoted if I'm not mistaking by Xenophon. Do you remember, when in alliance with Saki Cyrus had occupied Babylon the horse race was organized as a sign of victory in the celebration? Then the Persian sovereign made a condition: "Who has come the first that one can take everything but I wish he will give me the race horse". Could powerful Cyrus really stoop to such a request to simple warriors when the race horse wasn't the private property of the participant in the race?  Of course, no.
- My father, I think that exactly thanks to the unity the Saki tribes represented such formidable forces that were able to capture trade caravan ways in the north of Persia. How else is it possible to explain the attempt of invincible Cyrus in 530 before our era to conquer the neighbour Massagetae tribes and then some later - in 517 - Saki too?  For the same purpose five years later the other, not less well-known Persian king Darius led his army against the Black Sea Scythians. 
And what is surprising:  in all three fights powerful Persians were defeated and they had to retreat. I am surprised with the kick diplomacy of those times. In spite of all these wars at the times of collective danger Saki and Persians united their armies. According to the information of the very Herodotus Saki with Persians together served in the ships of Persian king Xerxes.  The mounted armies of Saki showed examples of bravery when they fought on the side of Persians together with their foot troops in the fight at Platenda. And the Saki leader Amorg rendered twice the inestimable assistance to the very powerful Cyrus: in his fight against king Lidiy Krev and when Cyrus was wounded during the defeat in the fight against Derbitsies, when Amorg arrived in time for the place of the fight with ten thousand foot soldiers and one thousand cavalry and saved Cyrus from shame and certain death.  
- Could Cyrus really kill by himself such a reliable ally? 
- Yes, such were the laws of those ones who fell greedily upon the king's throne.
Kuntuar was still distressed for his son whose health had noticeable worsened after the breach of relations with Zhannat. The father tried to hide his sufferings but Daniel saw everything and was upset that he made suffer the dearest human in the world. The son also worried about the health and the life of his old father. Sometimes he thought that his father driven to extremity with all happened during the last days would not bear. It frightened him but all the same it helped him sit down just with effort of the will at the table and... write. During the first days he couldn't work, not a thought, even the most miserable one couldn't come to his mind. His words seemed to him somebody else's ones and he crossed out everything he wrote.  
However, step by step Daniel returned to the former life. Often and often he hunched over the table at the manuscript. The true interest shone in his eyes to what was created with his deliberate quill. And the old archaeologist understood and felt the first with some inner instinct the change in his son.    
Today listening to Daniel who was reading the manuscript Kuntuar felt especially a pleasant excitement. The shade of the table lamp lit with soft greenish light the middle of the table and fell on the son's face. Feeling slight sorrow the father was admiring and proud of him listening to Daniel's creamy soft baritone.  
- "Leaden waves of the Zhaksarta1 were surging and falling down at once like an unseen shower. For a moment they fanned out and as if having gathered with some new strength they madly attacked each other. The waves were raging, furiously surging to the sky again without any rest. Here they are. Having born somewhere in the unseen faraway and with growing louder raging they are attacking the right bank of the river hollowed out from below and the heugh loamy ravine fall down.  Huge landslides fall into the raging water with some oleaster trees together which decorated the banks just a moment ago. As if the rush stream has been waiting exactly for this, it caught its gain and carried it forward creating deep swirls. The tops of the trees stuck out from them whirling in the devil's dance. On one of them there was a nest of grass and feathers that had had a miraculous escape. Some nestlings of a white hawk were heartrendingly cheeping in it. 
       At the very moment when the wave was ready to swallow the poor ones all of sudden a little bird as big as a tiny fist dropped down like a stone in the nest. It caught by the skin of the neck one of its nestlings and quickly rushed to the bank. The mother didn't have any time to save the second one. The cold hush struck it with the shabby nest together.  On the place where the nestling had fearfully been chipping a moment ago muddy grey water was waving just feathers and stems of grass of which the hawk's nest was made.

1The name of Syrdaria before Christ. 

The endless flat steppes crept up the banks of the Zhaksyrta. Now in the height of the spring they are covered with an emerald green carpet. Bright tulips are hurrying to lose blossoms. Cupolas of Obelia proudly raise their heads. As thoughtful girl's eyes silver waters of numerous lakes are looking into the bottomless blue sky. They formed after high water of the river and are languishing looking forward to the hot pestilent summer...  From time to time the air is overfilled with the cries of alarmed wild fowl.  It is scared by a hawk or a falcon who has attacked like a lightning its prey from the high sky.  
Bluish Boztailak is towering above the endless flatland. The slopes of this high hill are covered like a rich yourt with the carpet of felt - tekemet. It is intricately woven from white wool and skillfully decorated with some ornaments made of animals' skins. The picture now coils fancifully in the form of sheep's horns then interlaces like cells of a frame of a yourt. The carpet with the portrait of the Saxon queen is spread at the very top of the hill.  She has wonderful paradisaic flowers in her hands - red, white, yellow... The throne of some beaten gold is shining over her portrait. 
The throne isn't occupied. Terrible news came to the steppe: the Saki leader, king Amorg is killed in the settlement of Persian king Cyrus. Yesterday Saki proclaimed their new leader who should take the throne that day. That's why the whole vast space at the foot of Boztailak was practically filled up with foot and mounted soldiers. Each allied tribe put forward its troops: Zhaksart's and Jetysu's Saki, Argippaei, from the banks of the Kokshetengiz, Massagetae migrating around Aral, Issedones - from the east of Turkestan and from the Tien-Shan.    
Argippaei mounted their light chestnut and black horses along the northern slope of Boztailak. Saki soldiers of the Tien-Shan, with the same high cheek-bones and wide faces, drew up nearby. They are kindred to Turks. Saki who looked like Afghans and Hindus settled their tents a little easterner. Their numerous tribes peopled the country between two rivers the Amudaria and the Zhaksart and spread up farther over the whole flatland to the Pamirs. The Massagetae famous with their fights closed the circle of the troops. They didn't dismount as others and were standing in a thick, united line on their chestnuts, light-brown with black manes and tales and white dappled warhorses. The tails and the manes of the horses were cut as if the soldiers were ready for a horse race. One could hardly hear the speech of the gathered people. As it was already said, each tribe had its language, its colour and appearance but they had the same life styles, culture and traditions. 
The soldiers were weaponed alike too. Each had a shield made of planed sticks and tied with hide ropes on the right shoulder. In the whole East such equipment is known as "Saki's".   The soldiers' horses had wide breasts and lean legs as saigas have, curved much like wheels of a cart. They were with necks, downy manes and tails. They were enduring and hardened to fatigue when they rode around the steppe. Harness: breast collars, tabs and saddle-girths, everything was woven of leaser. Many of them were notable with their harnesses shining in the sun and trimmed with silver and gold. 
Saki clothes were peculiar too. In contrast to the nations of the South - Parphia and Persia - and also of the North - Mongolians, Nogais - Saki's dresses were perfect for horse riding. Camisoles made of leather or thin felt with short sleeves, thin wide trousers made of leather or felt, high boots made of aluta - ichigs - with long splendid stockings made of wool. Tops of stockings embroidered with ornaments from thin colour leather stuck over bootlegs of ichigs.  Light chapans without sleeves made of home-made cloth were thrown on the camisoles.    Helmets made of raw hide lined with felt were strapped to the saddles. During the fights soldiers changed for them their usual peaked caps made of animals' skins. Saki women wore on their wrists golden and silver bracelets and rings in the fingers. They decorated themselves with expensive ear rings, necklaces and pinned brooches with precious stones on their dresses. They had high white capes bound in a special manner around their heads.  
In contrast to any other nation Saki women were as good as their men in their military valour. They fought equally to the men against the enemies of their motherland. The most part of their cavalry in such tribes as Massagetae and Issedones consisted of women-soldiers. Saki women-soldiers used in the fights not sabres, bows and pikes but only lassos. With a strong artful throw they threw horsehair, rope loop on an enemy's neck, pulled them off from horses and dragged.     
Such were foot and mounted troops arrived to Boztailak on all sides like a thick wave.  And not only for the sake of the queen's accession to the throne they gathered here today.  There was another cause too.  
At those times Saki represented the most dangerous power on the Northern border of young huge Persian Empire that was just gathering its power. Persian king Cyrus was watching his neighbours with relentless alarm. He used all means trying to conquer Saki with the help of his power and cunning but he achieved nothing. Only some tribes entered into alliance with Cyrus and provided their armies for fighting against the enemies of Persia. This alliance was more firmly under the ruler of Saki's deceased king Amorg. Amorg provided Cyrus with his cavalry. Together with Persians Saki entered defeated Babylon after winning the collective victory in the great fight against Assyrians.  
Daniel stopped and addressed to his father then:
- Then in my novel I tell about how Amorg saved Cyrus's life.  "In Cyrus's fight against Derbians Persians suffered the defeat unknown up to then. Cyrus personally was wounded.  And if his true ally didn't come for help to him - Saki's sovereign king Amorg with his army - Cyrus wouldn't have been able to go through his shameful capture.  
His rescuer who had saved his honour and brought him the victory in the fight against the enemies Cyrus invited to visit his settlement. The cunning and crafty emperor beheaded Amorg after making sure that that one didn't wish to become a citizen of Persia. This terrible news reached the endless Saki's steppe.  
Numerous and martial Zhaksart's Saki decided immediately to sit on the golden king's throne his wife Spaty called Sparetra by Greeks instead of Amorg. Exactly then the steppe started worrying and raging from the Altai Mountains up to the Khazar Sea. Numerous tribes raised and rode to Boztailak having responded simultaneously to the call of the woman-king that was addressed to her tribesman. Massagetae joined Saki. They urgently had to discuss the plan of revenge for the cunning sovereign of Media1. 
Cyrus understood that he had underestimated Saki when he had known about their readiness unitedly to act. The emperor had to gather in a hurry his troops on the Northern border.  He didn't disdain a bribery believing in the old truth:   "A fortress that cannot be conquered by army, can be conquered by a donkey loaded with gold".  Through his spies and ambassadors he directed saddlebags filled up with gold for the heads of those Saki tribes in whose obedience he didn't doubt.   And he let them know that if they didn't start the war against him, Cyrus, but went against queen Sparetra then they would get power and new lands - fortune that is not cheaper than gold.  Cyrus thought that conflicts and discords sown by him among Saki leaders would weaken the power of his enemy in the same manner as an open fight. 
Kazakhs say not in vain:  "Jingle of gold can sweeten even an angel's ear". In the cold and indifferent world of well-to-do that is like an edge of a knife, - whose ear couldn't be sweeten with flattering promises? In whose breast doesn't the fire of wishes burn to become famous and rule the nation? Like a creeping snake briberies and cunning penetrated in the Saki's rows and started corroding their unity like rust the iron.

Kederey, a ruler of the Saki's tribe who lived at Tien-Shan, was the first one who rose to the Cyrus's bail.   Some natives of the Massagetae tribe helped him step on the treacherous way. They were Arkhar and his friend and the mentor rather in devil's than in human's affairs - Katergep.  These both were friends.  The both industriously wove plots and sew slander against the noble magnates. They had a mercenary aim - to slander those ones in the eyes of the ruler, deprive them of their fortune and honours and dominate by themselves. They acted together as if they had stuck out four hands from one sleeve of the chapan, as if they were a pair of horses harnessed in one cart.  
Arkhar had one more cause not to part with his friend.  Day and night he was troubled by the secret dream about Katergep's wife Anruk.  He constantly saw her clear strict side-view full of amazing mysterious light before the eyes... Arkhar had married early and soon he became indifferent to his red-haired chosen one. Often and often he feasted his eyes on Katergep's wife.  Anruk showed her interest to him too. Their feeling to each other had flamed up so quickly and strong that it was already difficult to hide it. 
Seeing their accidentally thrown looks and hearing their unexpectedly thrown words Katergep guessed about the not quiet usual relations between Arkhar and Anruk. However, being blind because of his wish to get the power and fortune he paid any serious attention to this not at once. When he finally realized how far his two seemingly dearest people had gone the whole his creature shuddered with anger that obscured his mind and heart. But he didn't dare to give expression to it too. The anger settled in his soul like a black stone that pressed his heart much and much with time. 
And here this last-born child, Atybasar... He was the close copy of his father. And Katergep's heart turned into ice. Sometimes as if he wished to pet the child he took him in the arms, sang quietly a lullaby and with fiat of will he inhibited the desire to kill the child at ones. 
The child grew up who was a close copy of his friend. More and more Katergep's hate also grew up to Arkhar and Anruk. Not for one time he was ready to be on the watch for them.  But the careerism and his wish to get the power got the best. Katergep realized that he would need Arkhar in the future.   
The revenge hid in his soul. His own instinct of a double-dealer helped him endure sufferings that were more terrible than the hell. The evil made to him was in the style of his own affairs. That's why having thrown away all kinds of conditionallies Katergep honoured Anruk like his wife as before. The wealth and the power come finally to him in the Kaderey's horde consoled his self-respect that had hurt his pride with envy. In his turn Arkhar perfectly felt Katergep's true relation to him and used the weak features of his character: using all possible means he flamed up the greediness to fame and fortune of that one who was blind by them, not to notice anything around.  
In public Arkhar and Katergep worshiped each other. And if to look from aside - there were not any closer friends in the world but if to check - they were the most vicious enemies.  In spite of the fact that Arkhar bore the name of an animal plain by sight he was really slim and there was always a smile in his eloquent eyes... But it was difficult to understand was it kind or evil.  And the whole Katergep's appearance remembered a march toad... 
Kuntuar interrupted the son.
  - A human's appearance is a mirror of his or her soul and habits, - he noticed. - But with this together appearance can be deceptive. You can mistake if to look just to it because it's possible that you can take a good person for a bad one and conversely.   
- You are right, - Daniel began to think. - Cunning and meanness often hide behind a quite decent appearance. There are so many such examples in the history... Let's take, for example, the emperor of Ancient Rome Nero! According to the information of our contemporaries in outward appearance he was both friendly and rather handsome. But if in fact?  He wished to kill even his own mother! 
Daniel was bucked up seeing the father's interest in his work and added: 
- But if to speak about lean and long-legged like a pole Don Quijote and his servant Sancho Cervantes describes them like a personification of humanity.  
Kuntuar cheered up listening to his son:
- It means that the figures of your characters don't shed light upon their features yet.  You shall open the mentality of your heroes through their actions, am I right?
- Yes, you are. Their third ally appears in by book. He is Turymtai. He also wants Kederey to listen to his words. Turymtai is of a low height, red, quick and has a nickname - Bat. 
- Does it mean that Kederey lives and thinks like these three ones?  
- No, he is not stupid by the nature and he has some wise people among his close ones. "Kederey personally is kind by his nature, truthful but already for a long time he has been governing Saki and became accustomed to the power. In these latter days he didn't endure somebody's objections. His character that some time had been soft like a downy mitten became step by step hard and uncompromising. Instead of kindness and mercy - just vanity and stubbornness. His habit to order gave birth to another one - to take everything for himself. 
There appeared an unwritten law in the horde to become close for the leader and praise just those ones who didn't object him either with a word or with actions. Having found out the weakness of his protector, as people say, Arkhar put his hands in velvet gloves but figuratively speaking he became both his pillow in the head and his felt under the side. This overfilled the feeling of expecting for his personal hour of triumph. Having been in hiding for the time being he accurately guessed the slightest Kederey's caprice and caught each his wish in flight. The ruler liked such obedience.  
But then from bad to worse: as soon as somebody of the close people took the floor at the soviet when he was "pressed" at once and not without participation of the very Arkhar he was announced an enemy of the throne. Recently a similar story had happened with one of the leaders of a big tribe too. All saw that one didn't represent any danger for Kederey. However, during the meeting where they were discussing their military affairs Arkhar started attacking the leader with all kinds of accusations. Kederey wondered at the foresight of his favourite adviser and the leader of the tribe was disqualified from the power.  
Another time Arkhar didn't grudge the words to describe the advantages of one of Kederey's relatives and that one was appointed at a high position without any difficulties. The ruler wished exactly this. Arkhar possessed his heart with the help of his servility. The cunning courtier began to whisper from time to time: "There is not a kingdom in the world that is more powerful than Medea. Playing with his power Cyrus wipes off like a storm the whole kingdoms from the face of the Earth. One shouldn't fight against such a neighbour but look for understanding and strive to a unity. Get charity and with his support you will become the leader of all Sakis". The words were like disgusting hissing of a snake.  However, they hotted passions in Kederey's brain and heart.   
Kederey just nodded in reply for Arkhar's advices..." 
Kuntuar thought that the son as if lived nearby his heroes, tried brightly to replicate people's traditions, characters and habits of those ancient times. No, such a reincarnation is possible when a person doesn't have a talent. Only inspiration and creative work are able to deaf the own suffering and ache of the heart. If Daniel continues to work the same hard he will not suffer any more because of break of relations with Zhannat. Perhaps he won't absolutely forget her but he will be able to get rid of his former pain.  
The old archaeologist decided even more to arise Daniel's interest in the material of the work that he was working at.   
- Great events are born during irreconcilable contradictions, - he noticed. - What have you written then? 
- Then... - As if wishing to see something with his own eyes Daniel examined his papers and began to read:
  - "The midday came when the leaders of the last Saki's and amicable with them tribes finally arrived to the top of Boztailak. The golden throne encrusted with sheep's horns was shining. It stood on the very top of the hill. There was another carpet with the image of a tiger stuck into a thick neck of a mountain goat under the throne. Queen Sparetra personally prancing on the white ampler appeared soon from the white marquee settled in the valley. Being surrounded with noble soldiers-body guards she directed to the top of Boztailak. Their golden weapon was shining in the beams of the sun. The riders respectfully stopped at the foot of the hill and only two followed the dismounted queen. 
Her golden crown had a diamond as big as a hawk's egg in the middle. Sparetra had a slim figure and wore a dress made of thin yellow cloth. The hem and the sleeves were decorated with a bright fine picture: pheasants among scarlet flowers. The sides of her dress were decorated with otter's fur, there was a pelerine of white polar foxes in the front and a golden embroidery along the edge of her hem. The queen had ichigs made of red and blue leather skillfully embroidered with golden and silver threads on her feet. A camisole without sleeves was thrown on her shoulders.  It was also made of otter's skins and trimmed with golden thread and with edging of expensive fur of small animals. The proud bearing, the right and sharply delineated side view and the straight look - everything said about the royalty, the will and the nobility. The whole her creature was as if heavenly, as if she had condescended to these people from the sky.   
As soon as Sparetra had climbed the hill and sat down on the throne, as soon as her body guards had frozen in strict positions on each side at the same time a red-haired woman with a light face from the right and a reddish massive man long in the tooth from the left started moving up from the foot of the mountain.   
The woman was called Tameris as Greeks named her, - the wife of the Massagetae's king, Bozruk, and the daughter of famous Tanir. Her husband Bozruk was ill very much and the queen had arrived at this great meeting of the Saki's leaders in the head of twenty thousand cavalry of women. Her seven-years-old son Spargalis was nearby her too. Tameris was twenty-five then. Her bearing and nobility were highly competitive with the queen of Saki. She had just a light tippet made of silk instead of a crown on her head. The tippet was embroidered with golden parrots, deer, marals and white saigas.  The airy Tameris's clothes were as if woven from silver and golden beams of the sun. This woman was famous with her beauty among Saki.  She came from the western coast of the Zheikhun Sea. She had an oblong face with fine features and blue eyes.     
The man who was approaching to the throne with Tamaris at the same time was nobody else as Kederey, the leader of Tien-Shan Saki. His clothes were not almost distinct from the dresses of the noble soldiers: the same sort sheepskin coat decorated with a stitched ornament of leather, wide fur trousers, ichigs with long bootlegs and felt stockings. He had the only difference: he wore a white long linen shirt with embroidery of red wool along the collar and the hem. He had a light woolen chapan thrown on his shoulders. It was covered with some white velvet with silver embroidery. Kederey had a pointed cap on his head sewn round with an otter's skin. Some precious stones were sparkling on it.   
After these two ones had approached to the queen and sat down on both sides of the throne, the leaders of Sakis, Issedones, Argippaei, Tissagetaes, Dayujeas and other related to them tribes started climbing up the hill. They sat down on the huge felt, each one on his or her personal designated for him or her place.   
These were the representatives of the tribes who differently ran their households. Ones cultivated wheat, the other ones - fruit and vegetables, the third ones hunted. Cattle-breeding was collective for all. In general, the tribes migrated. They have common customs and traditions, the same origin holidays, the same unwritten moral and behaviour regulations. They just spoke different dialects of the same language. These people considered themselves relatives of each other and the lands which they migrated about - their common motherland. That's why at the time of danger they raised towards the enemy as the unassailable massive power.  In the same manner as today they gathered for such meetings where their military plans of repulse fir any enemy were born. With time this tradition turned into the law. The today's great meeting was the faith of this tradition. 
Having waited till everybody would take their places the queen slowly stood up from the golden throne. The same slowly and with satisfaction she looked around the troops filled all the steppe up to the very horizon and started speaking:  
- Famous commanders, leaders of our relative tribes! - Her voice sounded powerfully like rattle of a hammered sword. - The Persian king Cyrus has archly killed our husband and the leader of all Saki, king Amorg. Both mean betray and the century dream of Persians are hidden in Cyrus's actions - to conquer the Saki's nation. Contemptible Cyrus has miscalculated in the main thing. He hasn't taken into account that we, Saki, aren't such a nation that can be afraid of somebody. Our grief is endless but the very power raises anger in our hearts but not fear in the presence of the miserable king of Medea. If he challenges us and thrusts the war on us - we are ready to repulse him!  If we have to give our lives for our native lands in the field of battle - we are ready to this too! For listening to my words I have gathered you here today, my great soldiers! I hope we'll sensibly discuss everything and go shoulder by shoulder against the cunning enemy. What will you say, the wisest and the most famous leaders? 
The queen imperiously looked on the left, in the direction of Kederey, as if she said:  "Your word!" 
- Our great queen! - Kederey's voice was sonorous and brave like a scream of a steppe golden eagle. - Before to express my thoughts I would like to find out two circumstances. 
- Ask, my brave commander!  
 The first thing that isn't clear for me: did contemptible Cyrus kill our loved and great king Amorg with the thought to conquer the nation which that one had ruled or did he have another cause? Who can know the truth now?  
Sparetra was laconic when she answered: 
- What truth are you speaking about when one king kills another one?  Everybody knows: he wants to seize the power of the killed one in his hands! Cyrus personally never hides the fact that he has been dreaming about the only thing all his life long - to conquer the freedom-loving Sakis. Brave Amorg let him know - Saki will never obey his power! He was killed just because of this. 
- Let think that it is the truth, - Kederey sighed in thoughts. - I would learn one more thing: Did Cyrus who had killed Amorg loved by all of us personally decide not to give a ransom for him and march against Sakis? Or were those we, Sakis, who had declared the war as our revenge for the death of Amorg and for the violation at the honour of our nation?  
Sparetra's answer was laconic too:
  - Of course, Sakis wouldn't be able to withstand obediently the violation at their honour and especially the murder of their great and loved king. But Cyrus took the lead and began first the war. Three days ago we got the news that the Persian king was leading to our border three hundred thousand of soldiers.
- Could we all who have gathered here learn who informed the great queen about this all? 
Sparetra looked at Kederey with clear enmity:
- One person whom we can believe. 
She didn't think necessary to inform that all the news had been brought by one of the favourite Cyrus's servants, the superior of his harem who had some time been taken away from the Saki's lands. This time she wittingly departed from the rule (a king mustn't hide anything from a commander) and didn't call the name of the turncoat from Persia. Kederey took this with clear dissatisfaction having felt an open distrust. 
- Thank you, our great queen, - the leader agreeably bowed. - I'll express my opinion. Just give me some time for thinking.   
- I satisfy your request, - Sparetra answered and turned her head to the right. 
Having dropped on one knee Tamaris flashed in the surrounding of the soldiers like a diamond in a setting. Her tribe was famous because it was numerous and brave. Massagetae had one peculiarity. They chose women oftener than men to be their leaders. And at all, Massagetae regarded women's opinions more than other tribes. And now too, king Bozruk personally was absent at the meeting but people were ready to take the said by his wife Tamaris like the own decision of the king. That's why they turned back in one accord having heard the voice of the beautiful woman.
- If hateful Cyrus fears... - Tamaris started her speech and the fire of hate began to shine in her blue eyes. With a resolute movement she threw back a wave of her copper-red hair behind her shoulders and went on: - We are ready the first to strike a blow against our enemy! The duty and the grief call us to revenge the killer for the death of the king, Amorg.  Massagetae are with you together! We give thirty thousand of foot soldiers and fifty thousand of our women cavalry. 
Sparetra approvingly nodded Tamaris and inquiringly looked around the commanders of the other tribes.  
Those ones dropped by turns on knees before the queen and pronounced:  
- We are ready to revenge! We'll give as much our military power as you need! 
Only the leaders of Issedones, Argippaei and other tribes who were situated nearby the Tien-Shan Saki were silently standing having fixed their looks at Kederey proving him their devotion. Sparetra turned her head in his direction again... 
As at the first time Kederey dropped on one knee before her as the leader of the rest of the tribes.  
  - King Cyrus, Kambis's son, created Persia with his own hands! Is a mere mortal really able to accomplish a similar thing and conquer as many countries as he wants? The god personally has loved Cyrus and given him the superhuman power! - Kederey looked at everybody trying to convince in the fairness of his words and turned back to Sparetra. - King Cyrus is a god's protégé on the Earth! Can we really withstand before his superhuman power, we, mere mortals with our curve sabres? What has happened with the parthians, Assyrians and Derbitiens who dared to go against Indians? Just ashes fanned out by the wind!  Do you want to begin the war against Cyrus and throw our steppes in the fatal fire? Let's think well before to do this. The Persian king is unconquerable!
Sparetra flashed up. Kederey's words were more painful than a hit of a hoof of an unbroken horse. 
  - Hey, Kederey!  - The queen said having turned pale. - Since what times have you started to "add water in young dry cheese"1 (kurt)? It turns out you don't say everything with an ulterior motive: you are preparing a betrayal - just as if to spread some thistle needles for the tabuns under snow! That is the cause why you are trying so sincerely to convince us that the black thing is white and the white thing is black! Since what times are foot Persians stronger than mounted Saki? For two hundred years long Sakis have been confronting Parthia, other states and Persia personally! Isn't the half of the whole Asia under the influence of Saki today?  Or has your memory played you false and you have forgotten about the great fight of queen Zarina? Have you forgotten how not only the Persian rulers but the Egyptian’s king Psammetakh bent before our swords? No, Kederey, if to your mind Cyrus is the god's favourite king then to our minds, Sakis are the favourite nation of the god!

1Figuratively - "to spread discord". 

Kederey's face turned ash-grey. 
- You say the truth, my powerful empress!  Perhaps, I have not accurately expressed my thoughts if you have misunderstood me. - He restrained as much as possible his anger that was ready to explode. - I swallow the fact whole that Saki's weapon is sharper than a sword. Our soldiers stopped on their way huge powers and always cleared their way forward. But we should take the truth into account:  sound mind is always stronger than a sabre. Both the fights against Psammetakh and the fights against Zarina that you have told about finally finished with an armistice too. If I warn you not to fight against Cyrus it doesn't mean that I am against the other means of fight with him. But all the same I am insisting on my decision - not to fight against Persia. A bad peace is better than a good quarrel". 
- My son - Kuntuar addressed to Daniel, - you psychologically describe your characters right. Now I have remembered some interesting facts that the history brought to our days.   Sakis conquered Medea more than 600 BC when Kiyaksar was still a king. After the armistice a part of Saki-nomads didn't leave these lands and taught Kiyaksar's soldiers to shoot bows and speak their language according to his request. A large number of Sakis directed farther and reached the very Egypt. When they crushing everything crossing their path reached Syria and Palestine the Egyptian king, Psammetakh, personally went out towards them with some gifts and asked the soldiers to stop and not to go farther. The Sakis agreed. They were powerful, had much influence and were keeping the whole Asia under their singular control for thee decades long since that day. At that time Baktiyarians and Indians started a many years long war. The famous queen of those times, Zarina, married the prince of Parthia after the death of her husband - the brother of Kederey I. According to the tradition parthians and all nations conquered by them had to obey Sakis then. The king of Medea, Astibar, who obeyed Parthia up to then, didn't want this. And he had started the war against Saki that finished with a peace agreement after some long years. You should also see another sense, a hidden one, in the Kederey's words which you give in your novel:  if Sparetra and Cyrus had married as Zarina and the prince of Parthia they both could have saved the nations of their countries from bloodshed.  
- You are right, my father.  In spite of the fact that Kederey doesn't openly say about this but he clearly lets know. However, Sparetra sees here not a usual unity. She is worried by the main thing - she doesn't want Cyrus to conquer Sakis.  That it is what I am writhing then: "Anger flashed in the queen's eyes and she pronounced threateningly:
- What a good man, Kederey! I have finally understood you! I have understood your song to somebody else’s tune! And if I didn't realize that your numerous nation is behind your back then perhaps I would do the thing I wish very much: I would drive you away from my eyes like the last betrayer! Do you want that Sakis who have been keeping in awe already  for seven generations long all who would like to conquer them will lose their freedom and independence just through one marriage of only one woman at once?  Only over my dead body! These yellow burnt out steppes are in one hundred times dearer for me than the golden palace of betrayer Cyrus!  
Tameris eyes started shining with anger. 
- Our nation's freedom is the freedom for all of us! - The Massagetae queen cried sonorously out. 
Sparetra stood up from her throne and announced standing before the soldiers:
Saki will war against Persia! - Her voice sounded firmly and powerfully. - Now it is your word, my commanders! How much army and who can give?
Tamaris first took the word and confirmed again:  
Tribe Massagetae - thirty thousand foot and fifty thousand mounted soldiers! 
The leaders of the tribes started crying out by turns: 
Issedones - twenty-five thousand foot soldiers!
Argippaei - twenty thousand cavalry! 
And what about you, our great commander Kederey? How much army can you give against Persians?  - Sparetra asked with a aloof voice that didn't promise any mercy. 
Kederey quickly stood up, stretched as if he was in an array and pronounced then with a deep bow: 
Fifty thousand foot soldiers, my queen and sovereign! - However, his external obedience was just a shelter for that storm of indignation that was raging in his breast.   Kederey was boiling with anger, and not with somebody else but with Arkhar.   It burnt his heart and incited him to revenge.  "Well, the viper that I have nourished in my bosom! Just you wait!   - He thought.
Now Sparetra was already speaking for a good reason.  Her voice grew stronger and she ordered:
I order all the commanders to lead their armies on the western coast of the sea, to tract Kumtoba.  Our army will count three hundred thousand foot and two hundred thousand mounted horses.  I wish king Cyrus would measure swords against us in the field of battle.  We will discuss later where we have this great fight.  Now all are free.
People started spreading out like springs. Each army directed to the marquees of its tribe.  The wish to revenge his instigator Arkhar for today's shame tore Kederey's heart into pieces. He quickly mounted the horse..."
Here you underscore right the bravery of the commanders and courage of the Saki nation, - Kuntuar said. - The history knows that Cyrus suffered a bitter defeat in this fight.  If to remember the Saki army started attacking and met the enemy in the steppe. Now station Syrdaria is on that place... 
- Yes, but only on that skirts which are to the direction of Tajikistan.
A-ah, so that's it?! There my expedition works now!  - Kuntuar cheerfully cried out, but... became sad at once:   - It seems to me, there... - He anxiously looked into the son's face:  - Yes, y-es. To describe the fight between Saki and Cyrus' army more truthfully I should visit these places by myself. 
Of course.
Well... well... there works, - he couldn't say "Zhannat" because he didn't wish to hurt the son's heart. 
Daniel understood his father, sighed deeply and answered after keeping silent for some time: 
What to do? It's difficult to describe a fight without seeing at least a flatland where it happened. - And he resolutely raised his head: - I'll go! I'll obviously go!

Loamy soil of the hot road curled up like a roasted scales. Resilient tires of wheels greedily pressed it down.  The car was hogging the road.  Nurali was sitting on the rear seat being deep in his thoughts and having fixed his look at the hills appeared in the distance.  His hot thoughts were rushing about the same thing like a race horse around a tethering post after finishing its mad riding: "The stars are so unattainable in the sky. For such a high price a person gets happiness on the Earth. It doesn't ripe to be seized.  It is like a sable in its precious fur but just try to catch it!  Is a human really born not for happiness?  Why do other people let themselves intrude into the life of another person without thinking? Why are many people born as destroyers of sweets of life but not as its creators?  The life cannot return to give an opportunity to live it again, even cleaner and honester!"
Thoughts, thoughts...  But they didn't go far away from Orik too.  "People say a human experienced both spring and summer, and autumn with winter during his or her life.  Don't we really have a light spring now and a hot summer then?  And when you raise over all things that have happened in your thoughts you unwillingly shudder:  "What else have you wished, Orik?  How to realize you? 
He was caught with hopeless depression. He was afraid even to move not to feel the ache in his heart again...
At a distance there appeared a camp at the foot of granite rock Kzyl-Tas.  While they were driving up the sun already set down almost to the very horizon. 
Among the flat desert the brownish red mass of the rock stared from afar in the face.   It seemed to Nurali that this heartless stone was stained with blood of a young athlete and not the red colour of the stone was playing in the sliding beams of the setting down sun but some blood was streaming from the top to the foot. 
The car braked in the center of the small settlement of the hydro-geological expedition - several small houses and a cane fiber barrack with a slate roof.  The dining-room was situated in the one part of the barrack, the red corner - in the other part.  The room was accurately daubed and whitewashed from inside and outside.  Some metal tanks with solid oil, petrol and diesel fuel were dug in the ground not far from the camp.   Some farther one could see a motor which provided the camp with energy. Some lefter there were situated some warehouses. The frameworks of the GRP-150 (gold recovery plant) drill rigs were towering on the right.  
The expedition conducted investigations for the future - after the building of a powerful barrage in the Syrdaria - Sea here.   It must represent the accurate calculations of all coming works.  To say the truth the archaeological expedition Kairakty which was situated about in five-ten kilometers from there also had the same aim.   Although it had its own task - to find and take away precious monuments of the ancient times from the territory of the future see.   The works were performed very quickly and perhaps even some in a hurry.  As soon as Nurali got out from the car he was surrounded by the crowd of people at once.  The old master who worked with Kaziken together started the first:
This is it. It was just a case but the young man died.  Nobody is guilty. Perhaps it's just his fate.  He was such a skillful and experienced electrician, and you see what we have now:  he caught a bared charged wire with unprotected hand.  Perhaps it was preordained. It is impossible to say otherwise about this. 
Have you created a commission to find out the cause of his death?  - Nurali asked as if he was still speaking about a foreign case and not realizing the irreparableness of the happened event yet.  
No, we have been waiting for your arrival, - the deputy who was standing nearby explained him. 
Have you informed the ministry and the inspection?  We will not be able until people arrive from there... - After hearing these words Nurali cheered up a bit as if he became closer to the reality. 
They have informed just now on the radio.  A plane flows out from Almaty. It will be here by the night. 
Where have you placed the coffin, at home? 
No, in the red corner, - the old master answered. - Kaziken's wife is there. 
Nurali quickly stepped forward. The members of the commission and several older workers quickly followed him.  He opened the door and was struck...  The windows with black curtains, the black crape of the coffin...  Kaziken's wife, Kunimzhan, was in its head. Her black hair weren't tied in a tight knot as she usually did but it came down and covered her shoulders and back.  Her face which had been recently brightened up with a sunny smile grew pinched and turned grey.  The woman was looking at the deceased without a movement and was frozen in one pose. No, for her he wasn't disfigured and charry.  He, her Kaziken, was the most wonderful and the dearest person in the world. 
Nurali couldn't collect all his strength for coming closer to Kunimzhan and saying her some necessary words.  At this moment he absolutely forgot about his grief.  It came somewhere aside. 
My sister, - he finally started speaking when he sat down on the right, - I loved Kazeke like my brother.  What to do now? Take a hold of yourself and pity yourself.
The young woman raised her eyes full of tears at him.  Having recognized Nurali she quietly said:
I've remained alone, aga1, and without him I won't be able on the earth... - And she couldn't stand any more and started crying. - Why, why hasn't the death pitied him?    He didn't have any time just for life yet...
It was already late after midnight when Nurali got to his bed but he couldn't fall asleep.  And in such a way he had spent these last days: as soon as he stayed alone heavy thoughts began to press him, and even if he was able to fall into a worried light slumber all kinds of nightmares connected now with Orik then with Peilzhan who was even leaner and paler came up to him.  Now, from nowhere, Kaziken called him: "Aga!" - and he looked into his eyes with his youthful spontaneity.  Then the sad figure of Kunimzhan hid everything; she was in deep mourning and was looking with reproval as if she accused him, Nurali, in the death of her beloved. 

1Addressing to an older person, literally - "uncle" 

Nurali woke up in cold sweat: Can I really be guilty in the dzhigit's death?    If he hadn't gone to Kairakty perhaps he would have avoid this misfortune...  That's enough, - he stopped himself. - It is just an inevitable casualty as the old master said".
He couldn't fall asleep any more. 
Kunimzhan couldn't get a wink of sleep.  People hadn't been able to lead her away from her husband.  Having perched herself on the chair she stayed the whole night nearby him understanding that these hours with him were the last in her life. 
In the morning the representatives of the ministry and the inspection who had arrived yesterday in the evening started thoroughly questioning the witnesses about the details of the death.   Only after the dinner they made the conclusion that the victim had died only due to himself. And by the evening some workers dug the grave in the stone of rock Kzyl-Tas with the help of explosive and some crow-bars.  It was made according to the decision of the expedition direction. 
When here will be a sea it will not be able to wash off Kaziken's grave, - Nurali said. 
Was Kunimzhan satisfied with such a decision?  Or have her mind and heart turned into stone because of the grief?  She hasn't spoken to anybody and hasn't cried too.  And even then when people carried out the coffin and lifted it onto the rock.  And even when people laid the memorial table... And even when the friends of the deceased pronounced by turns warm words about him...  Like a candle become extinct in the wind Kunimzhan was sitting having fixed her look at one point. 
Nurali addressed to her:
Our dear sister we sincerely share your grief. Don't hide your sorrow inside. Open us your heart. Share and say something at least!
Kunimzhan sighed deeply and sorrowfully looked round at everybody as if she had just awoken after a deep dream or slumber.   Tears started running from her eyes.  Not having any strength to restrain her cry the woman began to wail at the top of her voice:
You died, my husband and it seems to me that I've become blind.
Why isn't my heart just a handful of ashes? 
You are buried by the people who won't inter even an angel...
Is it possible to understand this hour?
My face was both rosy and white, 
but my fate hasn’t pitied my youth. 
I wish to get me but not you to the place where living material becomes dumb...
But the death is not able to choose.
Nurali knew before too that Kunimzhan wrote and sang her own songs. Some time he had even listened to them at a leisure enjoying her tender voice.  Then her voice had called a dream about a beloved one and given the dzhigit strength of the youth.  
Now he heard grief and tears in it.  It seemed that her voice had become old in a moment. One could hear so much grief and suffering in it.  Kunimzhan's cry was like a song of a wounded swan who could just wave helplessly with its wings over the waves not having any strength to fly up.   It seemed that the voice was begging:  "Everybody who can save me and protect from my grief!"
Nurali seemed that he had become numb listening to this singing.  Some excessive load pressed his breast. Not having any strength to stay there he jumped up and went to the door.
... Night.  The sky was fully covered with clouds. It was possible to see some stars only through their breaches.  They were like a beam of hope in the ocean of the raging sea.  There was nobody around. 
Silence. Even quails were keeping silent who usually gladdened a lone traveler on his way late in the evening.  
Walking in the darkness Nurali realized only now that he had a stick in the hands which he had mechanically taken at the door of the red corner.  He was waving with it as if he was fighting against and threatening somebody who was attacking him in the darkness.  Whom was he warding off, whom was he threatening with the stick?  Perhaps, he didn't know by himself.  No, no, of course, he knew! Joy calls joyful reminiscences, grief - sad ones. Kunimzhan's suffering had brought to life his own inside.  Everybody saw how much Kunimzhan loved her Kaziken and he? Had he loved Orik less?  He had been ready to give his life for her. And what is now? Love is such feeling that it is impossible to forget both joy which it presents in its blossom and offences which it brought when it fades.   Perhaps, Kunimzhan will be true to Kaziken up to her death.  Will he really be able to love his Orik the same much too?  Is it really possible to suffer so much because your feelings were trampled so heartlessly? 
Nurali cried out louder and louder: "Impossible!", "Impossible!" - and even more furiously he started waving off somebody invisible one... 
Kunimzhan's grief is sacred.  There is no remedy against it.  Only time can smooth the sharpness and the ache of spiritual unrests.  Even years are not able to make old the feeling of such a love. When you just remember it flares and flashes up with new power.  And what did he have? His love was like a splinter in the heart.  How could he protect this feeling and love Orik who had offended him so hurtfully and mortally?
Nurali was about to stop but his legs didn't obey him and carried him forward again.  As if being bewitched his thoughts were whirling around the same name - Orik.  "What's up with me? Have I really found a golden treasure. Why are my thoughts whirling around her? Why? Ah, yes... it seemed to me too that she sincerely loved me! Why has her love gone out so quickly? 
Yes, he must forget Orik, forget her to recover from undeserved spiritual wounds as soon as possible.
"Everything is right, right, - he repeated. - Just how... how to do this, forget her?"
Kunimzhan's figure flashed across his mind as if in reality, as if the night stepped aside and there heard the same sad singing.  Here it was, nearby. He heard this cry-singing.  He stopped being afraid to frighten off this light delusion.  He saw still her, Kunimzhan, before his eyes.  He spoke to her again in his mind: "You are unhappy, the death has taken away your love but it stayed in your heart.  And it will be eternal..." 
Nurali was oriented to the lamp blinking afar of the drill rig, believing that he had turned to the direction of the camp.   Suddenly he heard some growing noise.  Suddenly something flashed up and fell at his feet.  It was a white helpless calf of a saiga.  "What have you been frightened of, a poor one?" - Nurali bent to the lamb. 
Only now he realized how much he was tired.  His body became heavy. It was difficult even to move. Having covered the head with its forelegs the tiny saiga calf was lying nearby.  Perhaps, some beast of prey had pursued the poor one...  What's up with it? Was it wounded or died before the term because of fear?  Nurali put his hand on the back of the animal.  That one didn't move.  Still some more time long the saiga calf had been lying without any movement but then it tried to stand up. 
It seemed that the shining eyes of the calf were begging to protect it.  "Don't be afraid", - Nurali pronounced and stroked the lamb's fur that was tender like down.  The saiga turned its head to the human.  The young man's heart sank.  He remembered for a moment how Kunimzhan had been looking at him with her huge eyes full of tears and grief.   
- Oibai!  - Nurali surprised, - the look of this animal is so much alike a human's one.  Aren't you Kunimzhan who has assumed the aspect of the lamb?  - The saiga calf nosed to Nurali's palm with its funny muzzle with thanks and tender.  Meanwhile very close to them - Nurali didn't even notice - there had driven up a car "GAP-69". Some fellows from the expedition were in it. 
The whole night we have been looking for, - Nurali's deputy started speaking jumping off on the ground. - Recently at down we have heard a wolf's howl on this side. We were afraid because something could happen with you. We have driven at once...  That's well that you are living and healthy... 
Strangely enough but the saiga calf hadn't afraid the people.  It was still lying in the same pose.  Now, when it was already light they noticed that the back legs of the lamb were hurt. 
It turns out that it couldn't walk. - Nurali took the saiga calf in the arms.  When they arrived the sun was already shining high in the sky. The worried inhabitants were glad when they saw that Nurali returned living and healthy.  Kunimzhan was standing a bit aside from the people.  Bringing carefully like a baby the saiga calf in the arms Nurali came up to her:
My sister, I have brought for you this little one as a present.  It, a poor one, is wounded. Take it and restore to health.  And take a hold of yourself, my dear, don't yield your grief. Don't invite bitter suffering... 
Kunimzhan bent and stroked the lamb. 
Thank you, - she quietly pronounced. - I'll restore it to health and bring it up. 
In Kzyl-Tas the affairs were such that Nurali had any time not only for suffering and thinking about Orik but also for sleeping and eating.   The hydrologists had found water at Wolf's hill that was situated about in fifteen kilometers from the settlement.  The analysis showed that water had rare medical properties and contained a range of chemical elements that any other water didn't have.   And as ill-luck would have it, exactly Wolf's hill shall become the bottom of the sea in two-three years. 
It was impossible to delay with investigations.  They must find out the depth and the volume of the radon water deposit and its extension through the territory.  If the results are reassuring then they will have to project again the foundation pit of the future sea.  At least it was clear already now that the shore must go through for about twenty meters below the mark in the project.   But was it possible perhaps to accept such a variant - to leave the line of the shore at the former level and make an island from the place with reserve of underground mineral waters?   Or - what was more profitable - to lead out the springs through pipe lines on the surface of the sea? In short, not anybody else but exactly they, hydrologists, had to answer all these questions within the shortest terms. 
That's why all the technique was urgently thrown to Wolf's hill from Kzyl-Tas.  It was easy just to say - thrown.  In reality, it was a difficult and enough labour-intensive affair to phase out the towers of such drilling giants as GRP-150 and GRP-250 and bring them then to a new place and install again.   They needed both tractors and cars, and people.  Many people. Nurali spent on site almost twenty-four hours a day.  He personally directed the works.  When by the end of the month all four rigs were installed and they started drilling works one of GRP-150 came across such soil that one could hardly drill with the help of a tungsten-carbide drill.   The second one didn't justify hopes too: after drilling about twenty meters it came up to a radon spring which thickness was just forty centimeters and then - rock again.   The other two rigs couldn't withstand at all granite thicknesses buried under the sands.    That's why it was early to speak about some results.  But Nurali didn't give up.  Even his small work experience said him that if they had found the way out of mineral waters, it meant they lay somewhere nearby.  And he decided not to stop drilling works although he felt both he was worn out and people were tired very much too.  But if the workers went after their working shift to the settlement and rested then Nurali didn't know any rest.  Here on Wolf's hill he set a tent for himself and spent nights in it.  He visited the settlement about one tiem a week.  And each time with special excitement and wish - here he could meet Kunimzhan. 
The young woman worked in the laboratory which investigated water content.  In spite of the fact is a human in joy or in grief but he or she must perform his or her business and discharge his or her duty.  However difficult it was for Kunimzhan but she made work herself.  In spite of the fact that the marks of her constant grief were visible on her face she came to the sense and her heart thawed too.  Small joys were brought by the minutes when she came back home.  There the saiga calf waited for her. 
As soon as the hostess appeared at the threshold of her room it ran up to her and followed each her movement.   It seemed that the animal understood the spirit of the woman and tried to disperse her grief and loneliness. 
Once, when there heard a wolf's howl from the steppe the saiga calf - forced by its eternal instinct of an animal - opened the door of the room with its muzzle and lay on the carpet at the bed.   Since that time it became a habit: as soon as there heard a wolf's howl what often happened in these lands the saiga calf came to his protectress looking for calmness and protection. 
The lamb grew up and turned into a slim white she-saiga.  It learnt to come out from the house by itself, saw Kunimzhan off up to the laboratory and returned back.   It was afraid to walk beyond the settlement as if it had forgotten about the spaces of its native steppe. 
Once Nurali saw the she-saiga that was returning to the settlement.  Perhaps it recognized its saver. It came up to the dzhigit and nuzzled its cold nose in his hand.   This special greeting started repeating each time as soon as Nurali came back from the work.  But now he obviously pulled out a cookie from his pocket and treated the she-saiga with it.  It ate with crack the sweets and next time it was looking forward to Nurali at the road. 
But once the she-saiga didn't take the cookie from Nurali's hands and quietly walked looking from time to time at him as if it invited to follow it.  Nurali followed the saiga.  When he came into Kunimzhan's house he saw that the hostess was ill and lying in the bed.  
He explained in a harry:
- I have never seen such a clever animal yet.  It was waiting for me beyond the settlement and led to your place. 
- Really, it has thought out well, - the young woman replied but she bethought at once because she was afraid that Nurali could understand her words in his own way and grew red. To correct her, as she thought, mistake she continued for explanation:  - It is like a child, has become attached to me...
Nurali couldn't clearly understand why Kunimzhan attracted him.  Almost each time, when he directed to her he remembered former heavy for her days and was afraid very much to hurt her heart with an imprudent word or gesture.  However, he was excited by some anxious, involuntary feeling and as soon as his work week was over this feeling drew him, no, almost drove him to the settlement.  The need unwillingly settled in his heart to speak at least for several minutes or exchange minimum an only word with her.  He saw and knew exactly: the thoughts and the heart of the woman didn't belong to him but to another dzhigit in spite of the fact that he wasn't already living in this world.  But all the same he wished and waited for these minutes. 
Once Kunimzhan personally hurried towards him. After greeting she informed with the feeling of some relief: 
Tomorrow I'll go to Almaty. Already in spring I sent my documents... I would like to enter the medical institute and now I've got the invitation for passing exams.  I was going to your office but here I've met you... - And she stroked the white neck of her she-saiga that was standing nearby. - How to leave it here without me?  I was going to let go it to the steppe but it doesn't go away and walks after me again.   If you don't have anything against, could you take back your present? Could you?  It has become attached to you not less than to me. 
Nurali heard almost nothing what Kunimzhan was speaking about except the words "I'll go tomorrow".  He was absolutely upset. He was looking for but couldn't find how to avoid this new for him emotional loss. 
Of course, - he finally pronounced as if in a dream. - You can leave it at my place. 
If I don't pass my exams and come back, - Kunimzhan went on with a soft smile, - you'll return me your present back. - And she tenderly stroked the she-saiga again. 
Well, very well, - Nurali repeated being very excited and not having found any proper words.  To say the truth now he didn't have more sincerely wish except one: he wished Kunimzhan wouldn't enter the institute...  He didn't just think at that moment that his wish was one thing but life was the other thing.  He couldn't know then that Kunimzhan wouldn't return to Kzyl-Tas.  She will enter the institute and stay to live in Almaty. 
There is not a holiest feeling for a human than the love to his or her motherland.  This feeling ties with invisible threads and firmer than a hair lasso each one with that place where he or she was born.  And both how it is impossible to tear out a hair lasso and in the same manner it is impossible to kill his or her love to the motherland in the human's heart.  But if it happens that somebody must leave by chance his or her own lands the heart won't let forget a grief about it even for a minute. 
Kuntuar deeply loved his motherland and since he remembered himself he carefully kept this feeling in the soul.  On the days of the military hardship he hadn't been afraid to give his life for his native motherland.  And only the case had led him to the fact that the enemy's bullet had broken him through not the heart but the leg in the front line. 
Another human who wasn't able to make his or her secret dream true on the days of his or her youth yet lives then being unsatisfied with everything in the world.  His life is not a life for him and joy is not a joy. Even if wealth or luck comes to such a person - everything is not right for him or her. 
Kuntuar wasn't such a person. He could be glad even to the slightest his luck.  If he lived a day without troubles and working he considered it as happiness because he took the life like a great gift, like a joy!
It had been so before, it was so now too. 
During the last years he successfully found out and investigated the monuments of Saki's epoch not only on the territory of Kazakhstan but also on the territory of the whole Middle Asia.  He had discovered several fortresses of Saki or of relative to them tribes who had lived five hundred or one thousand years before Christ.  These fortresses are situated on the banks and shores of the Ishim, the Nura, the Irtish, the Syr-Daria, the Aral Sea and in Semirechye.   
In the burial places of the ancient Saki, in the rests of their fortresses walls the scientist had found out some wonderful cultural monuments with the pictures of some wild animals.  The finds put a lot of questions before the scientist.  One of them - where from had the nation weaponed with a club and that had ranched cattle had such rich possibilities?  To create alike things first of all they should be able to extract gold, silver, copper and smelt them.   And what if to throw away the version that is archaic already long ago as if Saki didn't have any culture.  The reality lies in their monuments and we shall judge according to them. 
Let's think that the found monuments came to Saki from the Black Sea Scythians.  It can be the truth but Scythians personally had such a developed civilization - from where?  Without any words, the history knows the period of Scythians' cultural relative blossom. However, a lot of monuments found on the territory of nowadays' Kazakhstan are relative to even earlier time. 
And in such a manner, the fact after the fact, the conclusion after the conclusion... Kuntuar unwillingly thought that an unknown ancient nation had lived in those places long before the Saki.  Without doubt, people had had a settled life, towns and a developed culture.  Only then, much time later, the tribes of militant Saki visited the Kazakh steppes and Central Asia. 
No, Kuntuar didn't think that this conjecture was unanswerable. On the contrary, he was often a prey to doubts and even thought sometimes that his conclusion was wrong at all.  However, in the science each doubt is a beginning for a new level of investigation and it led Kuntuar to new searching. But now almost everything what he had discovered in the archeology had relation to the monuments of the epoch when Saki had governed. 
Up to now he hadn't shared his thoughts with anybody.  His idea lived in him, moved his consciousness and actions.   The scientist trusted his dream only to his diary.  But now the diary had disappeared.  The scientist remembered word for word everything he had written in it: "We have found some archaeological monuments decorated with some pictures in the "animals' style" of Saki's epoch.  At the same time some investigators think that Kairakty is the place where people extracted ore long before Saki in the same manner like in Mugojars, Mangyshlack and in Jezkazgan.  I am glad to join their opinion.  Exactly because of this my expedition has been excavating in Kairakty already more than five years long.  Unfortunately we don't have any reasonable confirmations for the hypothesis expressed by the scientists yet.   However, the results of the Kairaktinskiy expedition show that some time the bottom of the Caspian Sea was exactly here. In this connection I have a new hypothesis..." It was a dead secret what a hypothesis was it and what the famous archaeologist thought to undertake in this connection.  
It was hot midday when Kuntuar and Daniel were approaching to the Kairaktinskiy expedition.  Their "GAZ-69" was rushing along the nerrow road that led to Wolf's hill.  One could see just the desert covered with takyrs and alkali soils around.  It was possible to see just a rare faded bush of chingil and some wild thorny grass from out the windshield glass.  The Syrdaria - the only pleasure of these places - was situated about in a kilometer on the left.  The grey chains were standing on end and approaching against each other on the right.  It was a little strange to see them on this endless flat land.  It seemed that those were leaden waters of the Syrdaria that had some time overflowed their banks, hardened and turned into gray granite. 
The road disappeared among the hills and barrows that stood close to one another.  Among them one could see some just dug decussating grooves and bore pits nearby which there had been piled some bricks and heaps of clay.  Six tents were set beyond the excavations on the slopes of the hills.   The members of the expedition lived exactly in them. 
Not having decelerated the car stopped at one of the pits.  One fellow - sunburnt, in black safety glasses and with a white cap made of cloth cocked on the head - hurried towards the arrived ones.  He had an archaeological shovel for cleaning finds from clay roughly stopped up on the hip.
- Welcome!  - He said to Daniel and Kuntuar and turned to the driver who was getting out from the cab: - Hello, hard worker!
This was the brigadier foreman of the navvies, Mihailov.  
After shaking him the hand Kuntuar asked:
- Where is the rest of people?
They are saving in water, - the fellow started laughing. - It's very hot.  An hour ago they have gone to bathe and are still splashing. 
Is there any progress in the work?
That's all right, we move the science.
I see, you do. But how quickly?
How quickly... You know, it doesn't depend just on the wish.  We don't have enough brain to go forward but if to turn back it will mean that we will not be able to fulfill the plan.  We have chosen a golden mean, - the fellow recklessly informed and began to laugh again having sparkled with his teeth in the sun which whiteness was stressed with the thick sunburn of his face. - We dig on the sides of the pits! 
It's great! - Kuntuar upheld the joke of the brigadier foreman and began to laugh too. - I wish you just not to stand on one place like these barrows. 
- As for them, they have nothing else to do than stand: they don't draw a salary! - The fellow answered again in Kuntuar's tune.  Now everybody were laughing. 
- When did you arrive from Kairakty? - Mihailov asked.
About two hours ago. 
Haven't you seen the professor on your way?
What a professor?
Well, he is some kind of the father-in-law for our Armashka. 
Who is Armashka?
They call Armashka our Arman, - the driver explained. 
- Ah... I see, you speak about professor Yergazy Ayupov! What does he do in these places?
It seems he himself doesn't know this. For two days long he hung there about, dug in different places and wrote something down...  Then he went away. At parting he took his son along. Perhaps, he wants to provide him with some work in Kairakty. 
Do you mean Arman? But he is an archaeologist!  What for to take him from here away? - Kuntuar was surprised. 
- To say the truth, I cannot call him an archaeologist but a precocious alcoholic, - the fellow began complacently to laugh again. - About half of a month ago he brought one beauty to the expedition but he himself started drinking. 
Daniel felt sick.  Being pale and with muddy consciousness he stepped aside trying to abstract himself from the heavy for him conversation. 
However it was bitter but Kuntuar realized that all this time long he had had a wrong opinion about Arman.  Earlier he couldn't even suppose that Arman had doubly entered the historical faculty, just because he had had the support of his father-in-law.  He had completed his studies anyhow and as for the archeology he just never liked it.  And last year he had been in Kuntuar's expedition about a month and a half only to pass his predegree practice.   As for Kuntuar with a soft heart he had suspected nothing and had been sincerely glad when Arman had wished to work under his direction.  He had taken this as if his own son had followed his example. 
I see, you really like archeology!  - the scientist either asked or was just glad.
Oh, don't say that! "Like" - it is not the word.  I am mad, day and night I am mad on ancient monuments! 
Kuntuar remembered that then he had been some confused with the fellow's words - he had felt some affectedness in his tone.  But the old archaeologist had been calmed down by the wish to see everything he personally had wanted. 
If the thing is really you say, - Kuntuar advised the young man, - come to our place to work when you get your diploma.  Here, my brother, we solve such problems that it takes our breaths away. 
"Why haven't I seen at once what a fellow this Arman is?" - Kuntuar was distressed now. - What results do we finally have from my own idea? The very Arman has carried off the beloved of my son... Now he has developed passion for vodka!  And vodka is like an adder.  When you have already stepped on its tail it will certainly bite you mortally.  Ah, Arman, Arman! There is no keeping you in check! How can it be... he has left the expedition in the full swing of the works!"
In spring Kuntuar was given a full-time job as much as possible and he had entrusted the making up of the staff to his helpers.  It seemed to him that it was just time to see what people were taken to the expedition this year.  After sending the brigadier foreman to do his business he and his son went to see already opened objects. 
The burial mounds, remains of people in them - everything spoke about the fact that some time ago here had been a dense population in those places.  But could it be that this was a place of a bitter fight?  Not far from here there had been dug out some brought down walls and some quite well kept foundations of houses.   In the center of the settlement there was some kind of a square where people had found even a throne hewn of granite.  There were some iron pegs around, most likely a tethering post. But... they had found nowhere any marks of stoves or any kinds of fireplaces for heat of metal, trivets or kettles.  Neither pits nor holes or wells where, one could think, they had extracted ore.   It was left just to suppose that the monuments of the art in the "animals' style" had been either brought there or it was just the heritage of an ancienter nation.   Then, then... could it be possible that the excavations of the lower layers could make everything clear?
With Daniel together he carefully examined some more deep pits and dug holes on the bottoms of which they could clearly see some floors of Saki's houses and then foundations again.  There was nothing new. The walls of the pits were not brought down and in spite of the fact that they consisted of small pebble and grayish wet clay they had hardened like a stone. 
Do you know what about such solidity of the walls made of crushed stone and clay speaks? - The father asked his son. - Do you feel? It is impossible to break it not only with a shovel but also with a crow-bar. 
Yes, it is solid as if it was cemented, - Daniel confirmed touching the edges of the pit. - However, only the lower layer is hardened, the upper one is crumbly.
You have noticed right. Have you realized, why?
The upper layers are later, superficial. The lower soil shows that some time age the bottom of Zhaksart was here. 
Then we shouldn't dig deeper. I don't think that people could live on the bottom of the river!
Of course, they couldn't.  But we should dig, certainly should. 
What for?
- If my suppositions prove true you will learn everything later, - Kuntuar was noncommercial.  
Wet coolness began to blow softly from the side of the sea.  The midday heat slackened a bit.  It seemed that the mirage had faded and started melting on that bank of the river.  Daniel had a rest in the shade of the rock.  He seemed to hear some kind of laugh - man's and woman's one.  And at once the high woman's voice familiar up to the ache in the heart flew up into the sky. 
...I have grown up already long ago. 
But you call me a baby!
Daniel cheered up and listened to like one entranced.  Without any doubts, Zhannat was singing. Only her voice could ring so high and clear and only she, with a peculiar coquetry and tenderness, pronounced this "And you ca-all me a baby!"  "Why am I sitting here, on the path? Now everybody will return along it from bathing!" And it flashed in the thoughts at once: "Eh, why to lie to yourself? I am sitting here just to see Zhannat with half an eye at least!"
Before Daniel made any decision some girls and boys appeared from behind the turn.  All wore jeans and knitted sleeveless jackets. They had identical white Panama hats on the heads.  Daniel recognized Zhannat at once.  Yes, he would recognize her even among the thousand of such ones! She was like a burning piece of coal. She was shining with joy and merriment.  This name passed her very much too - Zhannat! She was like a real asphodel that had magnificently blossomed out in an early July morning when emerald drops of dew were playing in the beams of sun on its each petal and each stamen...  Daniel and Zhannat had learnt at the same school.  But only when she had been in the first form Daniel had been already in the third one.  They had been neighbours.  Their parents had often visited each other.  The mother of the girl had often asked Daniel: Аinalaiyn1, it early started getting dark. The girl is afraid to return from school alone.  See her off, please, be a good soul".
Daniel had been notable among his agemates with his good breeding. It had been impossible for him not to fulfill a request of an older person and of a neighbour in addition.  From time to time the woman had even joked at him: "What a good boy, ainalaiyn. You have brought the girl home living and healthy. Take care of her. I don't wish somebody would offend her.  When she is grown up she will be your bride!" Daniel had reddened after hearing these words and had felt shy even to come up to Zhannat for two-three days long.  
But then the girl had experienced an  irremediable grief - her mother had died.  Zhannat had learnt then already in the fifth form.  After that Daniel had considered it his duty to protect the girl and every day he had seen her off from school up to the house.  Zhannat personally had often visited Daniel: now she had asked to help solve a difficult task then she had thought out another cause.  She had always found a cause.  If it had happened that they hadn't seen each other for a long time they both had missed.


As if in reality Daniel saw funny old pictures before his eyes: both how they had played snowballs and run after each other trying to take away a book or a pencil... In such a way their friendship had become stronger when they had played and joked.  And when they together had visited some holidays or when they had celebrated somebody's birthday Zhannat had preferred to sit only nearby Daniel and dance only with him.  She had been sincerely angry when her friend had paid some attention to another girl. 
A great feeling to Zhannat had woken up and become stronger in Daniel's soul.  How could he forget how he had invited her to the final ball.  Then up to the dawn they had been walking around the squares and the broad streets of Almaty.  He remembered how being already tired they had sat down on a bench at somebody's house and at the first time Daniel had dared to kiss Zhannat...  
The time had been already close to the midday when they had returned home.  Everybody who had seen them at that moment had been a witness of the really happy minutes - each look, gesture and each word had been lit up with love. 
In autumn Daniel had passed successfully exams in the university.  In two years Zhannat had entered it too.  They had seen each other every day again and they had wished to believe that this happiness was for a long time, for ever. 
But then Daniel had received his diploma and he had stayed to work in Almaty.  They had already dreamed about their wedding.  And suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, an unbelievable thing had happened.  Zhannat... had left him! And with whom? With Arman!
Of course, going away with the father from here to Kairakty the young man hoped to see Zhannat and listen to how she personally would answer the question that was tearing all his creature into pieces.   "Why? Why has she done this?..."
Meanwhile the boys and girls who were returning from bathing approached to the place where Daniel was standing. 
They already greeted him and walked further without delaying on the narrow path.  Only Zhannat stopped. She was standing, looking in the ground and keeping silent.  Then in the same manner, not raising the head, she said:
Hello, Daniel!
Are you... angry with me? Have you taken offence at me?
Why do you think so? - Daniel hastily asked with a ringing, strange voice as if it were not he at all. 
You haven't taken offence! - Zhannat cheered up. - And I suffer, my conscience has goaded me. 
Daniel has enough time to restrain the invading excitement:
Of course, I suffer because of all you have done...
I know. But can I really master myself now? A real love can do with a person everything it wants...
Here is how! To say the truth, I haven't even suspected about your ability to say so wonderfully!  
- These are just some usual words - not from out my heart.  It's pity that I have understood this very late.  Forgive me, Daniel, if you can... 
Why do you ask for forgiveness? It is just a pity that I have seen and felt nothing before.
I always thought that I love you. And suddenly I realized that I was mistaken.  Try to forget the past...
What are you speaking about? How can you give me advices?
You are right, it's late to give any advices.  But you should know, I always wished so much that you... you clearly saw, knew that Arman pursued me and... you didn't even try to protect me and it can be that our life too.   Then... then it was already late to think about this too.  I had to go here after him, to Kairakty. 
Daniel was standing and keeping silent having lowly dropped his head.  It was impossible to understand was he confused with such openness of Zhannat or was he reproaching himself with his indecision and false delicacy which had turned into a grief. 
Yes, - he finally pronounced. - All the same, the world is unfair.  Besides that a human's life is so short but he or she must also experience such bitter suffering in it in addition.
At this moment the girl sincerely pitied the boy. 
What for to suffer so much? Let's think that I didn't value and didn't understand you but all the same, you are young and full of strength! You are so talented. You will have a brilliant future. 
Where from do you have so much wisdom?  - Daniel raised his head. - You speak beautifully again: "young", "full of strength"!..
You... should forget me, Daniel!
What else shall I wish?
If you love me or rather loved me so much then, perhaps, you will not be able to be happy for me - I have found my happiness. 
Do you say, happiness?  Are you really happy? - Daniel asked the girl not being aware of himself why he did this. At the same time he clearly felt that there heard a sorrowful and carefully hidden faint note in her voice. However, Zhannat was looking directly at him and loudly speaking: 
Of course, I am happy! Would I speak you about this otherwise? 
- Well, it's something at least, - Daniel absently answered and found himself that he put on her false tone. 
There heard a noise of an approaching car.  Daniel and Zhannat turned round at once. "Volga" was rushing in clouds of dust from the side of the town. 
I think, it's Peilzhan, - Daniel noticed. - It's his car.  Have a good time, Zhannat!
Good bye!  Does it mean that we will remain friends?  Do you agree?.. Will you try?..
I'll try, - Daniel promised realizing that the false game thrust by Zhannat was still going on.
Sometimes even a discovery of genius seems to be very simple.  Another person can be at a loss: "Why haven't I said the whole world about this? Everything was really so close and was very simple too". From outside not well-informed people know little that to make the truth clear like the sun and easy to understand like its beams one should find his or her own key in the sea of the facts.  The secret itself is hidden exactly in this key sealed with seven seals.
The supposition of the scientist-archaeologist Kuntuar Kudaibergenov that Kairakty is the center of an ancient civilization had some solid grounds. Exactly these excavations served as arguments and showed that some time Saki's tribes had settled on the former bottom of the river.  
If to remember the history Alexander the Great had come to the Syrdaria with his numerous troops and it meant that he had also visited the lands of Kairakty1 too.  Many finds of archaeologists say about this.  Camp kettles, pikes, shields and other arming of Greek origin were found here.  But here is a puzzle! Why had the great commander come to these far away lands?  Most likely, some time there had been not just Saki's settlement but also their horde and capital here too.   
Kuntuar supposed that during the ancient times about three thousand years ago the Zhaksart had flown through the northern edge of Kairakty where his expedition was performing works now.  Everybody knows, the Syrdaria like its sister Amudaria are capricious rivers. They often change their courses.  The basalt ridge of the chains that were formed already in Mesozoic era stretches in the north.  Of course, a river won't find its way in mountains if nearby there are soft like down soils:  clay, saline lands and sands. 

1In 329 before Christ Alexander the Great smote the Persian army hip and thigh and reached the left bank of the Syrdaria.  There he put the foundation of fortress Exender, Eshatu, nowadays' Leninabad.  According to the information of the historian, Kvint, who lived in Ancient Rome the great conqueror got across the left bank of the river and wared against Saki's tribe.  Saki retreated and went then away into the depth of the country.  

So, the excavations proved that the settlement had been built on the former bottom of the river.  But was it really the populated center with high culture wished for the scientist which had stood on the bank of the river and which had some time attracted attention of Alexander the Great?    Or, if to follow the same version, could the Syrdaria really break though its course even southerner at its time and cover with its waters, silts and sands the very mystic town in which existence the old archaeologist believed so much? 
Perhaps, step by step the Syrdaria had been making even sharper bending to the south.  Exactly in this bend Saki had built their horde over the former town hidden under the silts of the river.  Not by chance the ancient nation had chosen the location of their central settlement.  Its geography was very favourable:  the trade caravan ways of West and East had crossed exactly here.
The scientist realized that they should urgently look for the proofs of the second part of his hypothesis - an ancienter settlement with a higher level of culture was buried under the silts of the river.   Would the further excavations open this secret? 
In the evening Kuntuar gathered all members of the expedition.  After summing up the results of the performed works he said: 
- Later on, comrades, we will dig at the same depth but two meters to the north. 
The very brigadier foreman of the name of Mihailov stood up from his place: 
- You say, we should dig even more. But you see we have dug up to the bottom of the river. What a sense to dig more? Do we look for fish's bones?  - He began mildly to laugh making a helpless gesture. 
Kuntuar was about to explain his thought but restrained himself at once:  "I don't think that people will understand everything I'll say. This is just my supposition that is predicted only by my intuition". And he said the following:
My friends, our plans demand some further investigations of the soil to the north of the performed excavations works. 
People didn't openly contradict him but they noisily went away and hotly argued about something with each other.  
Kuntuar sat down at the table at the tent assigned for him and Daniel.  The table was roughly nailed together of fresh planed planks.  The scientist laid out his papers on it and deepened in the records which he had been making during the day.  Suddenly he heard a girl's voice behind his back.
- Koke, - the voice called and grew silent as if it broke. 
Kuntuar turned round.  Zhannat. He had already seen her and even greeted in passing. The girl was confused very much and shyly dropped her head. 
Koke, - she repeated calling him still tenderly as before. - Are you going to leave us or stay?
We'll stay for some time.
Kuntuar bent over his records again. Zhannat didn't go away. She was still standing being confused and in the same pose.  The scientist raised the look at her trying to understand: what was she waiting for?
Do you want something to say? - He asked.
Say then, I am listening to. 
- Have they returned you the manuscript? 
- Eh, I see what you are speaking about. Who shall return it to me?
One person must do this. His name is either Meilzhan or Seilzhan. 
Where do you know about this all from?  Can you explain? 
The girl was taken aback: she realized that in a flurry of invading excitement she had told about the fact she must keep silent about.  Then she resolutely shook her head and started speaking quickly floundering and getting excited as if she were afraid that people wouldn't believe her. 
A fellow rang us up before our departure to Kairakty. Arman wasn't at home and I took the receiver.  The strange man was speaking angrily and sharply:  "Tell your husband that already for the whole week I have been tailing along with the archaeologist's diary who doesn't want either to buy it back or look for it at least.  How much time must I have trouble with it? If to throw it out somebody will find it and cause a disturbance. The case will get in the police.  I am sure, your Arman will have problems.  For sure.  I have decided to give the manuscript to one person". Then he named the name either Seilzhan or Meilzhan. And he added: "This is a young scientist and also an archaeologist. He must know Kudaibergenov.  I'll attach a note. I wish he would give the manuscript to the old man.  And say your husband in addition. It will be in vain to look for me". I didn't have even any time to ask who he was. He hung up on the phone.  When Arman came home I told him everything but he understood nothing because he hadn't heard about any lost manuscript. 
Interesting, very interesting, - Kuntuar repeated being dumbfounded. - Nobody has brought anything and nobody has phoned. Fine goings on!
They must bring it, - Zhannat assured.
- If to bring then it's just time already: more than two months have passed since that day. That's why I'm not sure. This is not a simple manuscript but my diary.  It contains some valuable records: my scientific suppositions, thoughts and conclusions.  If the diary gets in the hands of some interested people I don't think that they will willingly take it back. - Suddenly the archaeologist stood quickly up and mischievously smiled: - Never mind, they have stolen just the manuscript but not me! I will reconstruct the records from my memory.
In reality it was like this.
Once Arman visited one of their fellows before the very departure to the expedition.  That one didn't wish very much anywhere to work and he preferred wine and cards to any business.  Once the boy lost all his money, as people say, he was taken the very shirt off his back but the heat of the game prevailed and he ran into debt.  There came a moment when he was ready for everything. He just wished to get some money and pay his debt to the partners who were pressing him.  Arman sat nearby him and said with laugh:  
Do you really think that money is a problem for such a man like you?  I can give you a piece of advice if you are not able to think by yourself.  Do you see this house opposite? A famous archaeologist lives there.  The windows are always open. He keeps papers representing a great value on the table.  There is nobody at home. He doesn't have even a dog.  You can come in and take everything you want. If to take an important manuscript, I can bet, tomorrow in "Vecherka" (newspaper) you will read a notice that the scientist is ready to give some recompense to that person who will bring this literary trash. So, you can think that I am not your friend if in a week or two you don't put a thousand or so in your pocket. 
How very simple it is for you. You have described it as if it could happen without any obstruction or complication. - The fellow gloomily smiled in reply.  But as for him he realized at once that the affair could work out all right. 
You know what happened then. Only one thing didn't happen: the man whom the manuscript had been stealthily put didn't hurry to take it back to the author.  And step by step Kuntuar got used to the idea that he had lost the diary for ever. 
But to say the truth after the theft at once he, if it is possible to say so, had lost any rest and even called up to the police to inform about the loss.  But it hadn't even come to his mind that the manuscript could be returned for some recompense.   He was sure: if it wasn't returned it meant that it had got in the hands of a person who, at all events, didn't wish any good for Kuntuar.  And in winter when they didn't have any field works he was going to sit and reconstruct the diary from his memory.  After making this decision he calmed down a bit and he experienced the loss of the dearest work for him already not so sharply.
Kuntuar sat at his records for some more time crossing something and adding something to them. Then he came up to the son who was standing with a strange dzhigit who had just arrived by "Volga" from the town. 
Daniel addressed to his father:
Make the acquaintance, my father. A candidate of the historical sciences - Surykbaev. We studied together at the university. 
The young man stretched his hand to the old scientist: 
- Kuntuar... - The archaeologist glanced fixedly and examining over the young man:  a pale, sick face, very lean and round-shouldered.   "No, I have never seen this man but I have already heard his name somewhere..."
- When did you defend? 
- About three years ago.
- Where do you work?
- At the History institute in the academy of sciences. 
- A-ah... Well. Is it your car?
- Yes.
- Do you drive it by yourself?
- I think it's early to provide myself with a driver. - Peilzhan tried to hold the conversation with a playful natural tone. 
Kuntuar was lost in thoughts as if he said to himself:
- At your age in the best case we had just a personal dark plain suit.  But now... It's very great: you are both a candidate - it means you seriously pursue science and a driver - it means you understand in this affair.   Such a scope!
Daniel noticed to himself that the father didn't openly like this very Peilzhan.  Meanwhile the archaeologist went on asking: 
What business do you have in our parts? As if protecting Peilzhan from sharp questions of the father Daniel quickly answered: 
Koke, he is going to work at his thesis for a doctor's degree in archeology. 
What is the theme?
- He doesn't have a defined theme yet. - Daniel decided to act as a mediator again. - He has come exactly to ask you for consulting him about the theme and be then his first opponent during the defence. 
Kuntuar was already angry not only with Peilzhan but with his son too.
Have you worked in the archeology before?
No. I am going to be engaged in this after my theme approval:  it is impossible to read a closed book. I should hit the mark:
In short, your first aim is to become a doctor, isn't it?
- To say the truth, you are right. All are already doctors who defended with me some time.  It is even shameful for me to go as a candidate among them. 
If you are going to write a thesis for a doctor's degree on an archaeological subject you should first work in archeology for some years long and realize what is what. Only then we will be able seriously to speak about some unsolvable problems in our business.  It is never late to defend a thesis for a doctor's degree: you are young and you have much time ahead. 
Do you really think that a good historian cannot be a good archaeologist?  Cannot I really have it both ways?
I see, you keep the precept of an amateur: "You cannot be a scientist but you must be a doctor", - Kuntuar was angry in earnest. - No, young man, I cannot bless you for this. Don't be hard on me! I helped and help many young scientists. But they all are the boys who are ready to dig a well with a needle if it keeps a secret in its bottom. I see you are not one of them. Do you really like this: give him just a doctor's degree and that's all! I'll say you in advance: Perhaps, you will become a doctor but you will never become a scientist! I'm sorry but I am neither a consultant nor an opponent for such persons like you... I don't need such students... We have quite different views on the science! 
Kuntuar choked with passion.  He didn't wait for technicians and foremen who had to come in the morning and went away at the same night. 
On the contrary, Peilzhan stayed and religiously learnt the affairs of the expedition about for a week.  About in a month in the central newspaper there appeared an article under his signature - "Fallacies and mistakes of a talent owner". It contained enough deep and serious reasonings and conclusions about the affairs of the Kairaktinskiy expedition.  Analyzing the facts the author brought the reader to the thought that the expedition didn't have any perspectives and that the huge sums of money were wasting in vain.  "Did archaeologist Kudaibergenov use an approach profitable for the state when he organized the works in such a huge scope? Or he thought just about his own fame! That's why he needed all this ballyhoo about the research works of an ancient civilization that doesn't have any scientific grounds for proving". The article was finished with such an attack upon Kuntuar.  When the old archaeologist was reading it he tried to throw away all private and estimate the written as objective as possible.  In general, he was satisfied with the theoretical laying out of the author.  Many things had something in common with his own thoughts which he personally shared with nobody because he thought that they were secret.  There stirred even a doubt in his heart: had he done right when he had refused Peilzhan to help? At this time he remembered Zhannat's words: "It seems to me that the name of this dzhigit is like that one which was called by the girl. But why hasn't he returned me my manuscript if it is really him? No, no, it's not good to suspect without a reason!  Without doubts, the author of such an article doesn't need somebody else's thoughts.  It's clear that he is not that young man who Zhannat was speaking about".
In a month Kuntuar heard that Yergazy had been appointed as a supervisor of the Peilzhan's thesis for a doctor's degree.  "I wish my diary wouldn't get in the hands of these two ones, - the archaeologist was distressed". 

The winter was especially severe in that year when Kunimzhan went to Almaty.  She-saiga that had been left for Nurali's care usually spent nights in the barn nearby the house.   But in the middle of March it suddenly disappeared.  Perhaps, the instinct of the nature was stronger than attachment to a human.  "It has run away to the steppe for looking for a flock", - people decided. They spoke a bit and began to forget about it.
However, with coming of new frosts the saiga returned to the settlement. Once in the morning the workers saw an amazing picture: the she-saiga was standing at the gates of Nurali's house with two small white like snow saiga calves. 
Yanyr-ma-ai! - The workers were surprised. - People say not in vain that a bird rushes to the place where it flew up at the first time and an animal - where it grew up.  The she-saiga didn't forget how well it had felt here. 
Do you see? It has found the camp by itself! 
It has brought its calves along in addition!
Most likely, exactly the calves had made the she-saiga go to people again: it remembered the last winter and was afraid that the calves could die.
That is maternity!
The kids rejoiced most of all. Vying with each other they brought the animals warm water, bread and cookies.  Nurali was also glad at the return of the she-saiga.  "Can it be a presage of the fact that the owner personally will soon appear?". - He remembered Kunimzhan.  All this time he lived with a wish to meet her again. 
Once his dream became true absolutely unexpectedly. It was summer.  Once at bright hot noon not far from the camp there landed a plane by which Kunimzhan flew to Kzyl-Tas. 
All last year long the group of the hydrogeologists had shifted double. Getting their blades into the ground the drilling screws had been working day and night.  And finally - as a compensation for the people for their labour and persistence - they had had a luck.   They had found the whole sea of radon waters at the depth of one hundred meters nearby Wolf's hill.  They had summed up the volume of the deposit and it turned out that there was enough healing water for several resorts.  Could they really permit the fact that a hand-made sea would bury such a wealth under its fresh waters for ever?! Not only the members of the research group but also those ones who had planned the works were worried by this problem. 
The academician, Verginskiy, the head and the author of the project had lived the whole autumn long in Kzyl-Tas too.  Having considered all "for" and "against" he had changed in the drawings the limits of the future encroaching of the desert.  According to the former project the sea had to come up to Kzyl-Tas and submerge Wolf's hill.  Now Wolf's hill was planned to remain like an island where some beaches and sanatoriums would be built in the future.  After passing around the island the sea would flood farther beyond Kzyl-Tas up to Kairakty.  The granite rock would be covered with water.  But the best way out was to blast it out it not to hinder the shipping.  The group of the hydrogeologists worked day and night and fought for the fulfillment of these plans up to the coming of frosts. 
The student of the second course of the Almaty Medical institute Kunimzhan also read about the new project of the Kairaktinskiy Sea in the central newspapers.  She lost any rest: how could she agree to blast out not only the grave of her husband but permit to fan with the wind his remains?  At any cost the young woman decided to replace the coffin with the remains of his husband to Almaty and bury him here.  She wanted to build a monument on his grave. Exactly with this request she addressed to the ministry in the system of which they had worked with Kaziken before.  There people understood the widow's grief and helped her.  When the problem was solved they directed a sanitary plane for replacing the coffin.  Exactly by it Kunimzhan flew to Kzyl-Tas today. 
The expedition had been already informed about her arrival. Nurali and two workers went in advance to the landing field that had been cleaned not far from the camp.  When the plane landed and threw out the trap Nurali's hart started trembling.  And he had a cause: Kunimzhan was carefully coming down along the trap pressing a baby to her breast.  "Oh, my god! What is it? She has hardly buried her husband... That is it, the womanish nature. Perhaps, all of them are alike! And I, a fool, damned Orik and thought that only she was the black sheep among the rest of them, holy ones.  The largest thing what these sweet creatures are able for is just to take a fancy but not love! But the love demands constancy for the whole life!" So Nurali was thinking making himself by force approach to the woman with a baby... And suddenly he felt relieved: "Oibai, it might be Kaziken's baby!.."
One of the fellows who accompanied Nurali caught the suitcase and the other one carried the baby almost at arms distance. 
Some people were already hurrying to the plane: everybody had known already yesterday that Kaziken's widow would arrive.  Yesterday the assistant of the minister had phoned to Kzyl-Tas and asked to help Kunimzhan.  Listening to him on the phone Nurali had been playfully smiling: "Ah, my dear! I wish you would know! I wish you would really know! Then you would not pronounce these official words:  "Pay a due attention!" If she only let me, allowed I wouldn't let her make even a step on the ground, I would carry her in my own arms... I wish we would have just an opportunity to see each other face to face. Then I would say her, open her my dearest secret!" 
When they drove up to the camp the she-saiga went out towards them leading behind its calves grown up during the winter.  The saiga calves were running, jumping and frisking after the sedately stepping mother. 
Did it really recognized Kunimzhan?  - People surprised.
People say that deer, roe deer and dziggetai koulans recognize friends and enemies by the smell. 
Kunimzhan tenderly stroke the neck of the she-saiga and petted the saiga calves. 
The guest was settled in the room of the hostel prepared especially for her. 
You are tired... Take a rest after the journey, - Nurali said her. 
I think you are right.  The plane shook very much and tomorrow I have to fly back at daybreak. 
Don't worry about anything. Have a rest then you can go to visit the grave. We with our guys will care about the rest. 
Thank you, - Kunimzhan thanked him. She didn't want to trouble people with her grief once again and be present during the opening of the grave.  She was afraid that her heart couldn't withstand if she saw everything again.
Without any words Nurali understood how much grief the fate had loaded onto the shoulders of this woman.  And as if he wished to calm her down and showing her that he was ready to share her bitter load he repeated: 
Have a rest after the journey! - And he went away having invited to follow him everybody who was crowding at Kunimzhan and her baby. 
In the evening Nurali with several workers and two pilots from the plane went to rock Kzyl-Tas. They carefully opened the grave, set the coffin into another zinc one and cautiously replaced the remains of the deceased into the plane. 
The electrical lights were already lit in the camp when Nurali, after arranging all the affairs, looked in on Kunimzhan.   She was standing at the house with the baby in the arms.  Nurali took the child and, like a precious load, held him carefully in his strong arms feeling the warmth and the slight breathing of the baby.  
They slowly went to the edge of the settlement.  Having pushed the clouds aside the moon seemed to show them the way.  They felt a slight cool wind.  From the nearest back-water one could hear honks of swans blaring and melodious like sounds of a flute - the birds settled for night in the thick tangle of the offshore canes.   Jerboas jumped out from under the bushes crossed the road now and again: it seemed that they flew having lain prone on the ground, only fluffy tips of their long tails flashed from time to time. 
My white she-saiga was glad so much to see me, - Kunimzhan sadly began to laugh. - It's amazingly, how could she remember me up to now?  And her small calves, they are so funny. We both have returned to our native Kzyl-Tas with our babies together. 
To the truth, at first I thought bad about you until I saw the baby's face. 
What do you mean - "bad"?
Well, what... You are young and everybody knows that the youth aims for the joys of life. 
Sadness and blame sounded in Kunimzhan's answer. 
Only that one who doesn't absolutely know me can think so about me.   He doesn't care how much his suspicion can make me suffer.   Why have you thought so about me?  You, who know everything! How can you forget the yesterday's day if it was jollier and happier than today's one?  I see, you haven't really loved yet. That's why you easily judge me.  It can be feelings of a young couple grow old earlier than them themselves because their wished haven't become true.   And dreams are like a tree without water, they die away. 
But how will you live then? - Nurali started hotly speaking being won by the grief and the poetry of Kunimzhan. - You are young, too young.  And as for a young tree? Even if it dies away because of severe frosts it stools from its roots  in spring again.   I don't believe, I'll never believe. You can say everything you want. Life has such power and strength over us that if it calls then no mortal will not be able to withstand.
A willful beast must have his own way. As for me so I don't care do you believe me or not. I have lost very much. I didn't want even to live.  Only he, the apple of my eye, has saved me.  I have found calmness only in maternity.  Now I bring up our with Kaziken son. I see everything in him - both my present and my future.  Only for his sake I live and breathe on the earth. 
They sat down at the path to rest a bit and then return to the camp.  The reminiscences called in Kunimzhan's heart already far away days of love and she started speaking again: 
- My past has left with me for ever because I am not able to return either joy or grief of those days.  Even if I meet a honorable man in my life... But isn't that one whom I loved a lonely plane tree on rock Kzyl-Tas which I cannot touch how much I would stretch my hands to it?  Kaziken died. Then I swore that I would love nobody any more and would never marry too.  That is not because I was in grief then. I just understood: such a strong feeling is broken which I will not be able to feel any more. 
Nurali said nothing for this. He just promised to find her when he went to Almaty with a report in winter. 
In the morning the plane flew away.  Everybody saw Kunimzhan off. Nurali felt loneliness in the heart: it seemed to him that he took his leave of Kunimzhan for ever. 
After burying the husband for the second time the poor widow was about to fall ill again.  However, people say the truth: time is a great healer. Step by step the ache in the heart became not so sharp and the life started prevailing.  Kunimzhan gave her child to a twenty-four- hour day nursery. There was left more than one month till the beginning of studies in the institute and she got a job for this time.  Now the young woman just came out from the stonemason's workshop where they produced monuments for graves.  Every day she already needed to come to this workshop even for a minute and look at the progress of the affair.  She came out, looked absently around and... stopped as if dug in and was about to cry as if somebody had scalded her from top to toe.  A fellow was going towards her - an exact picture of Kaziken.   Thick curly hear, swarthy thin skin of the face, foppish moustache over the accurate shape of his lips.  The same height, the same figure and finally the same step.  Suddenly Kunimzhan forgot about everything.  She saw, she wished to see... her Kaziken! Here she stepped forward!...
The strange fellow passed her. She was about to cry out and stopped him: "Kaziken! Where are you going? Stop!"
But she didn't have enough strength. Having become dump as if after a magical delusion she was standing on the place looking after the strange and very well-know man who was going away like a mirage  The consciousness returned her to the reality and remembered having pricked her heart like a needle:  Kaziken isn't living in the world any more.
Kunimzhan felt shy to run after the young man. But she hurried up to turn round the quarter on the other side with a hope to pass the dzhigit ahead and meet him for one more time.
She decided that he had entered one of the houses when she nowhere saw him after jumping from out the corner.  However, in some minutes she saw him again and... slowly went towards moving her suddenly logged legs by improbable force...
Perhaps, the young man paid attention to the stranger too and after coming up he fixedly looked into her eyes.
"Who is she? She has such attractive power in her look!" The mark of the sincere deep suffering on the whole figure of the young woman made her especially high and spiritual.  It seemed that the wish of her might-have-been wonderful dream had frozen in her eyes. 
It turned out that the dzhigit was a crooner who had already received acknowledgment of public.  And now the anxious and lingering song was sounding in his soul.  He has performed such a melody never before and hasn't heard it from anybody else too.  But this sounding scalding melody started fading away when the girl passed him by. 
Not understanding clearly why and what he did the dzhigit went after the girl. 
Kunimzhan didn't turn around but with the help of some inner instinct she realized that the fellow who was a so surprisingly close picture of Kaziken was following her. She was afraid even to turn round and hear his steps.  Finally she started almost running and choking and without any strength to restrain the booming beating of the heart she stopped at some high poplars nearby the very hostel.  In a moment the dzhigit stood nearby her. He started speaking without hiding his excitement:
- I'm sorry... I have understood that something was wrong with you.  I see, you have a big grief! Could I perhaps help you anyhow? 
One could hear a sincere sympathy in his words.  Kunimzhan sadly smiled in reply: it seemed to her that even the dzhigit's voice remembered her Kaziken...
There is nobody in the world who can help my grief.
People are powerless only before the death.
Kunimzhan understood the sincere wish of the young man to 
make easier her suffering. And she tried to answer the same sincerely and truthfully: 
Exactly the death has made me suffer.  My husband died and for me everything around died with him too. 
But isn't there really any power to revive the joy of life for you? 
I don't know, I don't know... - Kunimzhan thoughtfully answered. - It is impossible neither to bring to life a black stone nor, perhaps, to revive the joy of life in my heart.  The death of my beloved has turned him into a black stone. 
But I know the power which is able to revive even a stone!
What power is it?
It's the life itself.
And again Kunimzhan sadly smiled in reply to the words of the strange dzhigit. She was about to ask: "But if the life itself has died away for me, what to do then?" But she restrained herself and thought again: he is such a close picture of Kaziken. In the same manner he had called for help the life when he hadn't agreed with somebody or come across an injustice or a grief. "Yes, everything can happen in the life!" Or: "The life will show who is right", "The life is wiser than a human".
Wasn't it a delusion?
Being afraid to hurt the heart of this sensitive man just with one phrase or only one word Kunimzhan pronounced as softly as possible:
Thank you for the kind words!
So they unexpectedly met each other. On the next day they met again. Even now Kunimzhan kept devotion in her soul when she remembered Kaziken in her dreams.  But a great real feeling flared up in the heart of the young man since their first meeting. 
Once they returned from the walk. The dzhigit held Kunimzhan by the elbow at one of the houses and said:  
- I live here. Alone... Could I ask you to come in...
Kunimzhan answered the hearty wish of the young man:
What a joy it is for you to invite me, killed with the grief, to your house? 
I hope to disperse your grief!
And suddenly he started singing a well-known song "Makpal:
A velvet-black flock of horses.
Their manes are like wind.
Their eyes are like light of evening glow.
Not sparing the horse,
I have ridden 
from the far away steppes.
Hey, Makpal, don't look sideways,
Look at me.
The words and the melody softened Kunimzhan's heart wounded by the grief. Her ringing high voice joined naturally and harmoniously the melodious baritone of the dzhigit. The song started flowing. It awoke and called Kunimzhan to life and love.
I have stayed absolutely alone.
What am I without you now?
I have stayed alone without you, Makpal,
That is why I am bitterly crying.
Because of you, my dear,
I am shedding tears, Makpal!
It turned out that my coeval was happier than me.
My heart is burning like in fire,
I am not able to console my grief...
Very late I responded your calls!
The song warmed and as if united the hearts of the young people and made them closer. The boy said trustfully and lowly like a spell:
- We together are able to withstand any grief!
Kunimzhan was silently listening to but then she said good bye in a hurry and went away.
She returned many times to her experience today in the thoughts but she couldn't find anything offensive in it.  It turned out that she had been just afraid of the irresistible wish to this dzhigit which had woken up in the heart and of her good relation to him. With hidden fear and reproach she caught herself on the fact that she even missed sometimes the young man when they didn't have an opportunity to see each other.  She visited his concerts. "What is going on with me?" - Sometimes Kunimzhan asked herself. Her thoughts were all jumbled together. Step by step she made sure in the fact that the attractive dzhigit had just remembered her endlessly dear Kaziken and that she missed only because of parting with the husband...
On the day when the monument was ready and fixed on the grave Kunimzhan didn't keep her word given to her new friend and didn't come to the fixed place.  She decided to put the end to these meetings for ever because she couldn't deceive either herself or him. Her weekdays were fully filled up with work, thoughts and care about the son as before...
After seeing Kunimzhan off Nurali was busy almost day and night. By winter they had to finish all investigations and replace the expedition to a new place.
And again it was not very easy to load four huge "GRP" on the carts. They were replaced on another site far enough from Kzyl-Tas. They finished the final calculations and filled up to the last detail the drawings of the future sea.  Nurali wished to leave these places as soon as possible. Without any words, the results of the works exceeded expectations. But what a hell Nurali personally had smelt during this time! He had lost for ever his first love - Orik, a wonderful person, Kaziken, had died, Kunimzhan had gone far away... Will he have an opportunity to meet her again? And won't it be late? Perhaps, he will be sorry that he wasn't able to say Kunimzhan the dearest words in time! And will he decide ever to pronounce them at all and what answer will he get? He was sure that Kunimzhan would not break her oath. Will her heart really never begin to throb again? Everything passes with time and grief too. "Exactly then, - he thought, - she will listen to my cherished words".
But one could see that the white she-saiga didn't even hope to meet its foster mother any more: it had led its calves to the steppe and didn't return any more.
Finally nothing else kept Nurali in Kzyl-Tas. He was ready to go to the new place of their research works. But suddenly he got a telegram that informed that academician Verginskiy and one of the Academy heads Amirbek Kambarov should arrive to Kzyl-Tas. There was nothing to be done. He had to wait for. The top direction took along to Kairakty two more persons on their way - the chief engineer of the trust Zharkyn and Peilzhan. The guests drove in the camp by two cars. Perhaps, Kambarov wished to have a rest and hunt a bit because Peilzhan obsequiously gave him the covered gun when he was getting out from the car.
Verginskiy was a man at the age of about sixty with thick grey hair, blue eyes and lean. Amirbek was reddish. He was about forty. He was a thick and tall man.
Verginskiy had grown up in the family of a simple worker. His own hard labour and extraordinary capabilities - these were the features which had helped him become a great scientist. People took Amirbek as a just person who was able to keep his word.
Now these people had a key for all solutions in the hands which were connected with the construction of the dam and the hand-made sea here in the hot and dry desert. For the last time they were going to visit the collective and state farms and lands which would be flooded.  On the way they would check how people prepared for the evacuation of the farms and population and find out who needed and which help they had to give.
When Nurali saw Peilzhan who had got out from the car he related to him as to a stranger. He didn't feel either abhorrence or offence, or anger. All this time long after break with Orik he remembered only her having forgotten about the brother. During the last days of the work he hadn't had any time to think even about Orik. But how much he had been suffering just more recently! Yes, he didn't have a brother now with who some time they had played together like yearlings when they had been the boys. The person who was going towards him now wasn't his brother at all. People know that the feeling of offended self-respect can be so huge that it is able absolutely to kill the offender in the eyes of the victim. Nurali didn't come to Peilzhan even to greet him and ask about his health according to the tradition. Zharkyn who had been a witness of the events happened between Peilzhan and Nurali noticed this. He thought: "So goes it, the fate parts even the brothers who have grown up together as a bat breaks into pieces the thick row of asikis". 
The day passed in troubles. Verginskiy and Kambarov learnt the reports of the expedition and drove round the borders of the future sea.
In the morning Amirbek and Peilzhan were going to the lake having a hope to hunt ducks.  Nurali who hadn't dropped from yesterday even a word in the presence of Peilzhan said addressing to Amirbek:
In name alone that it is a lake. It is a former river-bad. It is overgrown with canes already long ago. There is no game at all. Just a pair of swans spends nights there. Don't shoot them by chance.
Do you really think that we don't know that swans are special birds and it is forbidden to shoot them? - Peilzhan edged himself into the conversation.
Nurali said nothing. "I know very well what you should and what you shouldn't do", - he thought to himself.  Amirbek didn't know about the events that had happened between the brothers but he understood that the relatives were at odds.
Of course, we are not going to shoot in the swans. Nurali answered:
Not everybody realizes this. For the sake of a minute pleasure some ones are ready to go to any length.
Peilzhan understood about whom these words had been said. His near enough pale face grew ash-grey with anger.
The lovers of hunt went away. Verginskiy went to his tent appointed as an office. Zharkyn and Nurali remained face to face.
- I am glad to see you, my old fellow, living and healthy, - Zharkyn said to his friend with approbation.
Nurali smiled in reply without hiding his sorrow:
- I made sure that no one of them, neither Orik nor Peilzhan are not worth to suffer long about them. To some extent it helped to find a balance. Only one thing is unclear...
What is it?
How can this relations, this love bought for the cost of meanness, bring any joy?
You personally said that Orik called her passion a misfortune! 
Yes, she called. But all the same, they are satisfied with each other.
Eh, it means nothing. Mark my words: for the sake of her own well-being such a girl like Orik will cuckold this very Peilzhan more than once in the future.
You know everything in advance, my dear friend, - Nurali started cheerfully laughing.
Believe me, if somebody steps on the way of meanness that one won't turn off it at once. It's difficult to betray only at the first time but then - one thing leads to another. Here a person should have at least something holy in the heart to stop.
Does Orik really have nothing holy in the heart?  Has she really lost the believe in clearness and devotion?
Calm down! Keep your shirt on, I beg you! 
I wish so much to believe her still! You know, that one who has lost the feeling of honour and shame is unhappy for the whole life.
Zharkyn was surprised again that Nurali had forgotten about the insult.
The both directed to Verginskiy. When they came into the office the academician was pulling some one drawing of the pile which he needed right then. He was very interested in the last project according to which it was necessary to deepen the basin for one meter more in comparison with the former one. The academician addressed to the come in engineers:
How much soil do we need to take in addition? How much costs and time shall we spend for this?
I think it is not necessary to deepen the basin, - Nurali answered examining the drawings. - And according to the former project Wolf's hill will not be flooded.
I am troubled not only with Wolf's hill, - Verginskiy thoughtfully went on. He took another drawing in the hands. - Exactly here, on the eastern coast of the sea the archaeologist, Kuntuar Kudaibergenov, carries on his research works. 
I know, it's nearby Kairayugie, - Nurali said.
And so... Kudaibergenov sets great hopes on the Kairaktinskiy excavations. He hopes - neither more nor less - discover an unknown up to now epoch for the world that precedes the Saki's one. According to his plans, they have still work for two-three years here. And if to agree with your opinion then we will be able to construct the dam by May of the next year. In such a way already in summer water will flood the outskirts of Kairakty. If to deepen the basin for one meter or one meter and a half then we will give the archaeologists an opportunity to finish their excavation works. Kudaibergenov will have a possibility to check his suppositions.
I don't think that the ministry will permit it, - Zharkyn struck into the conversation. - People are anxious for water here. Won't we waste our golden time? Because of the additional drilling works we have already killed it enough on Wolf's hill.
I understand you. But you know that both flooding of the desert and reservation of radon springs - all this is for the public good, - Verginskiy replied some tutorially. - Everything will be recompensed with interest then. Only a not well-informed person can easily judge about the problems of archeology. Everything is not so easy, my dear friends. And search in the science is always connected with some risk. That's why let's calculate how much the very risk will cost for the state.
And they sat down to calculate again. And when they finished it became clear how much time and costs they would spend for the additional works for the deepening of the sea and for how much time they could extend the archaeological excavations.  
If we deepen the basin for one meter then archaeologists will be able to work for one year and seven months in addition, - Summing up Nurali made the conclusion.
It's very great! - Verginskiy cheered up. - Now we can make a break. The rest we will decide then.
They had enough time for having dinner and a rest and even to walk a bit when the hunters returned at sundown. Their appearances clearly showed that they had had a lucky hunting. Peilzhan began excitedly to describe how neatly he had shot. But at the same time he forgot to add that Amirbek had shot better than him.
- There is a lot of game on the lake. Amirbek has used not a cartridge in vain. Moreover, he has killed with one shot those two wonderful ones, - Peilzhan nodded in the direction of two grey geese which the driver was dragging from the car. - Then - when alarm calmed down a bit on the lake - on the fly he has shot a pair of these two ducks in addition. I could hardly pull them out from the water, they are so fat and heavy. We could shoot the game to our hearts' desire but Amirbek Mynbayevich - he is such a good person! And what a good person I say you! He didn't want to shoot any more. "That's enough, - he says. - Otherwise we will frighten away all the birds and the game will leave the lake". We had such a good rest there! We both hunted and bathed, and became sunburnt.  We were already about to drive away but suddenly we saw a flock of goats was approaching to the watering. We were so lucky, that's all! The wind was blowing in our direction, canes covered us with their shades. Will we really have another such a case in the life? We sat down in the car and drove behind the back of the flock!
- Didn't the animals really fear the noise of the motor?
- I have already said that we drove the car on the downwind side. We were already nearby when the flock scented us. The goats started jumping out from the water and rushing to the open steppe. In a moment they disappeared somewhere afar. Only one didn't hurry after the flock because it was either too fat or it broke some time its legs. That's why it couldn't avoid the bullet! We shot it exactly from the car in full speed! Just look: it's huge like a calf. After the first shot it toppled over the head and froze! - Peilzhan pointed onto the carcass of... the white saiga.
Nurali first ran up to the animal and grievously cried out:
It's our white she-saiga!..
Yes, it even has a mark on the ear, I've made it by myself, - an old worker confirmed having come up to the saiga. He contemptuously looked at Peilzhan.
We cared about it so much... - Somebody sighed. People were looking at the unbidden guests with enmity.
A poor one, because of your trustfulness to people you have suffered exactly from them too, - the worker went on pitying the public favourite. 
How it could know what a person it meets on its way...
Calm down, comrades! - Verginskiy thought that it was necessary to struck into the conversation. - The guys shot the saiga not knowing that it was domestic. This can happen with everybody.
All kept silent. Only the same old worker said after stepping forward:
  - Next time I wish they would be more careful when they hunt in our lands. Otherwise we will find justice for them!

People should still study and study the Saki's epoch. - Kuntuar said to his son. - Let's take, for example, the language which the tribes spoke. Some legends remained about Saki. Their heroes have the following names: Targytai, Lipeksai, Argympas, Fagimasad. You already know, that the Syrdaria on which coast the Saki's tribes lived was called Zhaksart at ancient times. We know many words of those times: akynak, sauran and others. What meaning did these words have at those far away times? It's a very interesting question. If we knew this we would be able to explain many gaps in the history. You see that the history of our nation is wonderful, like a poem full of dramatic and passion.  It is a favourable material for you as for a writer. It's a pity that we rarely find some monuments of the ancient written language. A find of only one such a monument is worth, to my mind, of all monuments of the Saki's epoch which I have found for all my life. And I cannot assert yet that all my finds have Saki's origin. And how much I hoped for the excavations in Kairakty! However, up to now it was not very essential... 
Suddenly Kuntuar remembered and noticed:
Excuse me, I think I am carried away a bit... I see in your book you have described enough brightly the picture of Sparetra's soldiers' fight against the army of the Persian king. Fight, victory, rejoicing, sorrow... No, I am satisfied that I take you along to Kairakty for two years in succession.  But I have met in no legend the information about the fact that you have told about the life of the dzhigit and the girl and about their love too. I just know that they had the following tradition: a girl didn't have a right to marry until she killed at least one enemy in the field of fight.  This ancient law appeared because of severe conditions of tribes' fight for their existence. You have written very interesting. Couldn't you read this place for one more time?
Being satisfied with his father's attention Daniel started reading:
"The law of the ancestors doesn't allow me marrying until I kill an enemy of my nation, - Daria said. - It is the only cause, Sartar, why I refuse you to unite our lives.
Love is above all the laws! - The young man answered. - We have one way out if you agree.
What one?
We shall run away.
No, Sartar, the law of my ancestors forbids me to do this. You can take my heart but not me.
How can I take your heart? I am not able to kill you because for me you are the dearest person in the world.
If you love me, comply with my only request!
Well, - Sartar agreed.
Come to me in five years. Be sure, for this time I will kill my enemy. And I check your fidelity in addition. I will keep my love to you for ever. Believe me!
I believe you, - the young man said. And he went off on a far away journey around Parthia, Medea and Lakidonia. But already on the next day after his departure some enemies attacked the girl's aul. Daria carried out her obligations to the tribe - she killed one of them. The first year past, then the second and the third one... As people say, the girl entered the period of full moon and didn't wish to wait for the dzhigit any more. She married his friend.
Sartar returned to his native lands exactly in five years.
I haven't kept my word given to you and I married, - Daria informed him. - And you? Have you kept your promise?
- Yes, my word is inviolable. I was encouraged by the love to you and by the believe in your reciprocity.
- What will you do now? You said that you would be able to live without me.
Yes, I will not be able to live without you.  But now not for five but for the whole ten years long I will be waiting for you with a hope that you will love me again.
In ten years Daria and Sartar met again.
Some long years passed. They laid their mark on us - we started becoming old. Aren't you sorry for the time you have lived in vain?
I am not sorry, - Sartar quietly answered. - I have lived the happiest fifteen years because each their moment was lit up with the bright love to you.
If you say the truth you are really the happiest person among the mere mortals. I have ruined my youth and now day and night I am sorry for this. I am not happy because I don't know what love is".
Not each person can be born as a one-woman man, - Kuntuar said. - A person should have a high and generous heart for love...
Like yours, my father, - the son added and he was right in this very much.
...Kuntuar married early. He sincerely loved his wife and was happy. The misfortune came unexpectedly. Fatima died because of the heart attack when Daniel was just twelve. Many worthy women Kuntuar met in his life - both in his youth and in his middle years. People extolled them for him and were sorry for his own unsettled state. But he personally was deeply sure that there was no sense to marry for the second time. He answered all his friends' and fellows' lamentations about his loneliness:  "I am not alone. I have our with Fatima son. And no one woman, even the best one, will be able to change him his native mother. And can I ever really forget Fatima? What for to plague out the lives of three persons at once: me, my son and a guiltless woman?  Kuntuar's view was not a secret for the son. That's why he spoke so openly with his father about this.
- The death parted us, - Kuntuar went on. - But Zhannat has broken your heart for the sake of her own pleasure. I think you shouldn't seriously suffer because of the break with the girl who wasn't able to estimate your features.
Daniel understood not only what his father told him but also even he kept back. And he answered directly:
My feeling to Zhannat brought me happiness. Even now, my father, I love her, only her.
But it is not good when each misfortune in the life wounds so deeply and upsets the routine. A writer must be able to rise over his or her private things.
Kuntuar stopped talking and began to think. Didn't he hurt the self-respect of the son very much? But he decided at once that nobody else would be able to speak to Daniel more directly and honester than him.
Of course, - it seemed that Kuntuar tried to justify himself. - It's easier to advise than experience this by him- or herself. A person...
The more he or she is talented the deeper one can hurt him or her. Even an elephant can fall down after hearing a mice's squeak in a barn. That is why you should develop your own life philosophy. You must go forward in spite of any misfortunes. - And as if he hurried to say the son the main thing he added:
- I have seen different people in my lifetime. I have met honest, sincere and noble people too. They saw their happiness in serving to their nation. They fought for this and lived for the sake of this. Other ones have blood as if frozen in their veins. They are angry and envious. But it was not so difficult to fight against these malignant persons because there is an antidote for each poison.  But if you meet a person who you cannot understand or realize at once - it is more dangerous because such ones can watch with indifference do people evil or good before their eyes.
For me the main thing is now - my book, above all - my feeling of responsibility for it.
- I believe in you. But you should know that only a brave person can achieve his or her dream. It's not so easy as to mount a horse. It is not enough just to be talented and able to work for literary labour. You should open for yourself some lifelong theme, learn it in details and make yours. Exactly in the same manner like in the archeology. One should dig much of ground and make many surveys to find the answer for the only secret of the history! You should dig out a great number of barrows and burial grounds before you come across one you need. An archaeologist cleans from dirt and sand a lot of scoops, different pots and pans, applies layers of paint on faded with time pictures... And far not all finds have at least a minimum value for the science. I have met very talented archaeologists. But they haven't opened anything worthwhile for all their lives! For a writer it is in the same manner. He or she can write or even publish books. But a writer will not be able to develop his or her talent if he or she hasn't found by feeling or dug out his or her own theme. You have a big and interesting theme. I think it's close to the science than to the literature...
We have much work ahead. Of course, I wish that the book will be interesting and useful. I want to confess you, when I wrote this story about Daria and Sartar I seemed that it was me who experienced this all. Sartar has lived Daria all his life long. And I felt his grief, loved with his love and suffered like him too.
The phone rang. Kuntuar was upset that the conversation with his son was interrupted. "Anybody cannot have a rest even on Sunday", - he peevishly pronounced and hooked up the receiver:
Yes, I am listening to. Yes, it's me, Kuntuar Kudaibergenov...
Somebody was speaking nervously and quickly on that end of the wire.
Then - a pause. The face of the archaeologist turned pale and he strained himself. The son understood: some unpleasant news was informed to his father. Kuntuar asked in the receiver again:
Do you say at the scientific meeting?.. You say, there is only one question on the agenda: "About the closing of the Kairaktinskiy expedition"! Well, all right. And who will make a report? Ah, I know, I know him. Who will hold the meeting? Yergazy personally? What a honour! I see, he has condescended to us, sinners, and shown his care. Convey to him my sincere thanks for this. Yes, convey to him exactly this. I thank him for his attention to the solution of such a difficult problem. Well. Yesterday at three o'clock I will be at the meeting.
Kuntuar carefully hung up the receiver on the arm.
This branch of the institute was opened very recently here, in industrial town Kairakty. Yergazy who had constant conflicts with the director of the main institute estimated the situation with his trained eye at once: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush", - and he managed it, he started working as the director of the branch and decided to move to Kairakty from the already familiar spot. The archaeological expedition which Kuntuar directed was now under the control of the branch and it meant - under Yergazy's too.
In general, Kuntuar spent almost all his time in the expedition. He directed there with his son together too. And just for some time he stopped in the hotel of Kairakty. Tomorrow in the morning he should go further, to the place of the excavation works.
It turns out that my question will be considered at the meeting. The author of the recent article Peilzhan will make a report. To all appearances they want to scale down the work of the expedition...
- Can they really do it? - Daniel compassionately inquired about by his father and asked him at once: - Let me be present at the meeting. You know, I write about Kairakty! - But after catching the puzzled look of his father he corrected himself: - About the fact that happened at this place two thousand and five hundred years ago... I'll try to obtain permission...
Aha, - the father smiled and thoughtfully pronounced: - Not to permit anybody to solve scientific problems at which you work by yourself means the same when you thrust the estimation of your own work. That's why you should decide by yourself how to act.
The Kairaktinskiy branch of the archaeological institute of the Academy of Sciences was situated in a big light new building. The meeting was held in the conference hall. Yergazy personally (solus) was sitting on the dais in the form of staging at a long table covered with green cloth. There was few people in the hall. Perhaps, each of them was specially invited. Except the members of the council, two-three candidates of Science in addition and several well-known archaeologists from Moscow. Their investigations were close to Kuntuar's problem. Some students, post-graduates and applicants came too. To his surprise Kuntuar saw in the hall even several workers of the expedition. Mikhailov was also among them.
When they took their places Yergazy quickly announced the agenda and asked to speak the reporter after shortly introducing him to the gathered people:
- A young scientist. I think when you listen to his thoughts, reasonings and conclusions in the report you will agree with me that a mature formed investigator is standing before you.
Peilzhan justified the characteristic given about him in advance. The report sounded solidly enough. For the sake of the justice one could notice that Peilzhan had expressed enough serious thoughts except the arguments that he had given in his article before. His main thesis was: It has finally come the time when we should distribute the costs given by the state for investigations not according to the former services of a scientist but to his or her use in the science today.  Then he started hotly remembering the audience how the well-known archaeologist, Okladnikov, had discovered petrographers Sakachi-Alyana at Amur and not less famous Rudenko - some monuments of ancient Saki in Pazyrykskiy barrow in Altai, how the treasures of Parthia had been found in Kara Kum and old Horesm...   
And suddenly it dawned upon him: "I think he is really reading my diary to this noble audience!" And there and then: "Eh, perhaps the fellow isn't a fool. He perfectly knows the ancient culture of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. It's not enough just to say "knows", he realizes many things and makes right, valuable for science conclusions. Why have I decided to push away the person only because he wants to become a doctor? Me personally... Up to now I haven't done anything, haven't processed the materials to defend my dissertation. But the life is passing by. That's enough; I should sit down and work. It's easy to be clever whey you give advices to your son but you personally have already missed the boat".
- All named discoveries, - Peilzhan was speaking pompously meanwhile, - have, of course, the deepest theoretical base. But let me ask you, my dear colleagues, on what a theory does the competent today investigator, Kuntuar Kudaibergenov, base during the planning of the works for the Kairaktinskiy expedition? We haven't found such one when we learnt the question. I don't think that the oldest archaeologist knows it by himself! For four years long he has been wasting the huge costs and he wastes them only because they are not from the own pocket of Kuntuar Kudaibergenov but are given by the state! I think it's just time to stop this barbarous theft. We must close the expedition and we must do this immediately!
Without any hurry, almost solemnly and with wet from excitement eyes he looked around the present people.   The speaker had such an appearance as if he had finished a difficult affair right then. With the feeling of the discharged duty Peilzhan came down from the rostrum and sat down on his place in the third row.
The beginning scientist, a firm friend of Peilzhan, tousled and with huge horn spectacles on the face was asked to speak. The sense of his report came to the same thing: nothing was discovered during four years long of the works of the Kairaktinskiy expedition. Setting now and again straight the spectacles persistently sliding down from his nose the reporter finished:
- If the main aim of the expedition is to find the remains of the ancient Saki's culture then there is nothing surprising in the futility of the research works. The whole world knows that the monuments of the Saki's culture have already been discovered and, consequently, learnt.  I don't think that it is possible to find something new with a view to a sensation. Of course, we must scale down the excavation works of the expedition and as soon as possible.
Then archaeologist Tanysbaev was asked to speak:
- Not each person can enjoy the sweet fruits of his or her dream even if he or she struggles for this all his or her life long.  Unfortunately, such misfortunes in the science are not a rare thing. And they overtake investigators only of a special plan because, and all present people know very well about this, it's not enough just to have a wish for success. - Having paused with meaning the academician fixedly looked at Kuntuar over his spectacles. - Already many years ago I foresaw such a final and friendly warned you, Kuntuar. But as people say deaf persons don't heed a voice. If I were you the best thing which I would do - it's to take courage for admitting my mistake. It's just time for you, Kuntuar, to understand that archaeological monuments are not treasures of your trunk. And as people say, what cannot be cured must be endured. A mirage is just a mirage because there hasn't been born such a race horse yet which will be able to catch it up.
Tanysbaev was speaking long something else but Daniel didn't listen to him yet. From his childhood he used to believe that his father was an honest person. Without a shadow of a doubt he also believed that his father was really talented. Exactly because of this he clearly understood now both Tanysbaevs and Peilzhans, and their new sponger - the envious persons of each real talent. More recently the father had characterized him exactly them and similar them persons.  Now Daniel being almost satisfied with his discovery was gloating over to himself: "Dear me... But where are cockroaches? They will also get out on the sly from their splits and grow bolder now!"
In addition some people also took the floor in the same manner like that one shaggy with the spectacles, Peilzhan's friend, and like verbose Tanysbaev.  "Well done, Yergazy, well done Peilzhans, - the young man bitterly smiled to himself. - You have done everything with the greatest ease. Well and where is your light horse? Well, well, get out, attack. It's just time for you!" And when the bookkeeper of the expedition asked to speak Daniel noticed: "Here it is, it started moving..."
The bookkeeper read from the paper how much money, petrol and provisions the expedition had spent for four years long. In conclusion he addressed to the sitting people:
Citizens, I am not a scientist and perhaps because of this I cannot understand still: why and who needs this senseless waste of huge state monetary assets?
The stockkeeper with the purple from hard drinking nose spoke next.
For all four years of my work in the expedition we didn't have a case when we didn't get our salary in time. The state accurately financed us. But it turns out that during all this time we personally haven't brought any use to the state. And I feel shame for the money which I have taken from the state for no reason at all. It is shamefully so much that I am ready to hang my head at this very place!
Yes, it's possible to understand these ones. They know what's what: to show that they are honest. It seemed that they had just wanted to suggest the people: "I am good. And if you close the expedition then don't discharge me. Take me at an equal work".
Having felt the mood going from the direction one foreman of the building department was almost crying:
Instead of wasting such money in vain I wish you would give them for building! For two years in succession we have been exceeding the plan! 
You should give money to the perspective expeditions! And here we are digging and digging and without any reason. We spend the money of the state as if we pour water in sand!
It is a real sabotage - to waste in vain such huge sums of money!
They had only one proposition - to close the expedition. 
As often happens one can unwillingly meet in a season expedition such people discharged from another job and who are united only in one thing - "to make money". Daniel knew about this. He also saw that all this clamor had been made "up to the curtain" with the help of the same lovers of quick easy money. But however, he was caught with a real fright and despair. He understood that the expedition would be closed. "What will be with the father?"
At this I consider the board meeting closed. Or.. Are you really going to speak? - Yergazy asked Kuntuar who was resolutely directing to the rostrum.
Of course, - that one answered.
Daniel saw how the father slowly climbed the rostrum, took off his glasses, wiped them clean with the snow-white kerchief and put them on again:
The ancient population of the Black Sea coast - Hellenes - had a developed culture. They influenced more than other nations the art of their neighbours - Scythian nomads. Today we can surely predicate that the most part of the Scythian cultural monuments is just the imitation of the Hellenes art.  If we are interested in the original culture of the nomadic nations then we have to pay our attention farther to the east. - Kuntuar was telling slowly and calmly as usual. - Scythians are just a western branch of numerous tribes leading a nomad's life around our steppes at the ancient times.  Saki and Massagetae wandered to the east of Scythians, farther through the territory of modern Kazakhstan and Middle Asia. Some tribes relative to Saki and who had a similar with them culture lived in the southern part of the Siberia.
Eh, all this is already known long ago, - Yergazy mumbled having knit his brows.
It's interesting. Let us to listen to! - There suddenly heard a massive voice from the back row.
- A great number of glass beads, necklaces, rings, bracelets artfully cast of gold and silver and other adornments were found in the numerous burial places of Saki nobility. Besides, some pictures of animals - horses, Siberian deer and tigers - are amazingly reserved on knife handles, daggers and swords, on pots and different housewares. They are made artfully and realistically: eyes, ears, hoofs, manes and tails are clearly copied out. It seems that the animals are about to come to life under the beams of daylight and will rush to their native steppes. The monuments of Pazyrykskiy barrows and Bashadyr in Altai are related to the greatest discoveries of the twentieth century. There, as it is already known, the burials of the fifth-fourth centuries before Christ remained in their original form in the layers of the permafrost. Besides golden and silver treasures numerous things of domestic appliances were found in them too. They are made of the perfect preserved materials: leather, felt, wood. The originality, the high artistic skill and the methods of preparation are highly competitive with the finds from the burial places of the southern Scythians' leaders.  One can see the same fight of two tigers, hunting for wild animals or wild dziggetai koulans and the same domestication of wild animals on the pictures. Many things also remember the art of the Near East and Iran. But... Only one thing is unclear here. How could the nations who wandered through our lands at those far away ancient times give birth to the art that reflected the ideology of this very Iran and the Near East with whom they not only competed but were also at enmity? 
We have found neither golden nor silver treasures on the territory of Kairakty during our excavation works. I think the burial places were plundered at the same ancient times. However, we have found a lot of housewares - dishes, fireplaces, pieces of instruments made of iron and tin. The main task of archaeologists doesn't absolutely lie in the fact to dig out any golden and silver things but answer the questions that can appear during their investigations. And here you see, all cheap things found by us in Kairakty turned out more expensive than any treasures.
But to say the truth we haven't published the results of our finds investigations yet. During many years long we put the characteristics, the analysis, our thoughts and conclusions in separate copy-books. It's pity but... being filed all together they... were lost.
There is a gossip that somebody has stolen them!
I cannot affirm this with certainty, - Kuntuar replied. - Because the theft of somebody else's work - it is the theft of somebody else's life, of somebody else's intellect. But is it really possible to make somebody else's brain like yours? And if somebody has done this then without doubt, with evil intention to distress me. What else can I say? We have lost our records but saved the main - things. And if we don't find the manuscript - it doesn't matter, I'll write down everything again. Thanks God, I have enough strength for this still. 
- Well, - Yergazy interrupted Kuntuar as if somebody had persuaded him. - Let's be mercy, comrades. - He addressed to the present people. - We will write to the protocol that during the first years the works of the expedition repaid themselves. As far I have understood from your today's words and from your former reports, - Yergazy turned his head in Kuntuar's direction again, - you have finished the investigations of the Saki epoch on the territory of Kairakty. But then, if you let me answer, how can you explain your order to deepen pits and wells and prolong the works? I hope you realize that to prolong the works means to hold up the flooding of these places too!
I'll answer your question, - Kuntuar pronounced. - If you remember the existence of such developed cultures like Karasukskiy - on the bank of the Yenisei, on the slopes of the Saiano-Altaiskiy chain, Kusylkabinskiy - on the territory of the Crimea - are authenticated before the Saki epoch. And is it right to affirm that the development of the culture began here, in the lands of Kazakhs, only since the times of Saki and not earlier? According to my suppositions the center of this pre Saki culture was on the bank of the Zhaksart. Exactly there our Kairaktinskiy expedition works now. As you see there is nothing strange in the fact why I have decided to deepen and continue excavations exactly on the northern edge of Kairakty.
Having understood that the conversation wasn't aimed in behalf of him Yergazy changed countenance.  Without feeling any shame he interrupted Kuntuar again:
It is just your supposition that doesn't have any theoretical grounds and nobody has given you a right to carry on the research works without permission. As is known first of all you should represent your plans for the counsel of the institute and begin your research works only after their approval. As far I know I haven't done this. Well, now let's imagine contrary results of your plans. And the reality approves this too: it turned out that your suppositions were vain. Only for the sake of your own pleasure the huge state costs were wasted in vain. Who will be responsible for this? Moreover, last time according to your order people carry on the works that exceed the approved estimate. How much national money have you spent for this time? Or they aren't just from your own pocket!  That's why it is all the same for you!
Unfortunately, from mine.
The affair goes in the extremely serious things. That's why any jokes are out of place here!  - Yergazy tutorially noticed.
And I am not going to joke with you, - Kuntuar quietly said. - If the estimate must be approved it will be approved. And it wouldn't be reasonable to hold up the research works and dismiss the season workers only because of delay with the official registration of papers. Yes, I temporary pay expenses from my own pocket. In contravention, of course. But the contravention is in the name of the affair. Is it really such a big defect? And besides, I am speaking about just three-four thousands...
Yergazy turned white:
If you are so rich then, perhaps, you will keep the expedition at your own expense further?
No, at longest I can hold out just for one month in addition. I hope, one of these days I will get the permission for prolongation of the works. Several weeks ago I sent there all my plans and calculations.
- Let's think that they will permit. But what will you do if all the same you find nothing?
I am sure, I will find!
But this is just your unfounded statement! But all the same...
It will be very pity if the labour of the collective is spent in vain.
And as for your own money?
Never mind, I will endure this anyhow.
Well, well, the light is turned on. Now the cockroaches will start scattering! - Daniel cried out rejoicing and laughing. Nobody understood him. Only Kuntuar smiled.
Vasily Mikhailov had been born during the war. His father Ivan, a skilled workman - cabinet-maker, had perished on the days of Leningrad defence. The boy had been brought up by the mother who had been hardly eighteen by the time of her husband's death.
Hard-working Pelageya worked without giving rest to her hands. Even in the most difficult years the boy didn't know any need. Even if she had some free time she couldn't often sit having a moment's peace at home. She knitted now mittens then caps or scarfs of rests of wool. She sold the things and always had money.
The grief had also come because of the mother to their home.   She who hadn't seen either joy or fun in the youth developed passion for some light entertainments at the age of thirty. Soon she met some certain Anton. And when the boy went to learn to the third form the mother married Anton. This huge rude man, he left his wife ill for tuberculosis with two children and moved to their house.
Vasily didn't liked the step-father at once. The boy's soul revolted against everything he came across. Vasia didn't accept the step-father and he turned from his mother too. Now after school he didn't often go home but to somebody's place of his boys-friends. He felt strange, offended and betrayed at home and tried to find a shelter somewhere in a corner and read a book. Many times he wanted to cry out his mother and the step-father some resolute words. Everything boiled in his breast with anger and inconsolable grief.
Exactly at this time he read by chance the sheet that was lying on the table. It was a letter from the father's front friend that influenced his fate very much in the future. The letter told how a private soldier, Ivan Mikhailov, had heroically fought and given his life for the sake of his motherland. Pelageya and Anton were in the work when Vasia, being interested in very much, wrote the whole letter. Then he wrapped it up in the cover of the copy-book and hid it in his old school bag.  On that day he forgot all griefs and suffering and was the happiest human.
But already on the next day his joy disappeared as if taken off by the hand. After coming home from school the boy saw how the step-father had rudely torn off the wall the picture of his mother and father on the day of their wedding and began to nail instead of it, a small one, the huge portrait where he personally was standing in beauty with Pelageya nearby. Vasia didn't even have any time to put the school bag on its usual place on the floor in the corner.  Everything was protesting inside and flew into a rage with a heart-rending cry:
- How you dare to take the picture off!
The step-father didn't expect anything of the kind and was lost at first:
This is a picture of my father!
And me? Who am I for you?
You? A drunken pig...
The step-father hadn't beaten the boy before. But now he sharply jerked him to himself and gave a facer... .
Vasily tried unsuccessfully to free and then... he dug his teeth into the hairy Anton's arm.
Ah, son of a bitch, what are you doing? - The lanky fellow - driver started shouting.
Pelageya was sleeping in the bed in the next room.  Not realizing half asleep what had happened and having just heard the cries and noise she pronounced: "Calm both down! Calm down, I beg you!"
Vasia quickly took the books from the table, put them in the school beg and rushed headlong out of the house.
Up to midnight he was walking along the streets and dropped then in the kids' garden and found accommodation in a toy house for the night. He couldn't fall asleep because of anger and excitement. Frost didn't pity him too and pierced him through and through his light clothes. 
At daybreak he got out from his cover. He washed from an aryk and being hungry dragged to school. But there... In short, misfortunes never come alone.
During the first break a boy from the third form flew against him for no reason at all and knocked him down. Being sleepy and angry with the whole world Vasily raised from the floor, caught up the offender and socked him. Now in his turn the boy - trouble-maker fell on the floor with the damaged nose. Spreading blood and dirt all over his face the bundle of mischief ran upwards with cry to the second floor where his brother learned in the seventh form. 
During the next break the brothers threateningly started approaching to Vasily. Without thinking the seventh-form boy drove at him with his fists.  And toward the end he threatened:
- Just try to touch him even once again!
After this Vasily came neither home nor to school. Soon he joined some street company, learnt to steal and smoke. And once he was caught...
It seemed that the work-farm had set the boy on the right path. However, having got his liberty he wasn't able to leave his former fellows and relapsed into the former craft again and found himself in a prisoner’s box again.
This spring Vasily had sprung again. He was already nineteen. Often and often the troublesome thoughts didn't give him any rest:  "Will I really spend all my life so? Isn't a person really able to decide his or her own destiny?" He missed still books. The passion of his far away childhood was living in his heart. Sometimes he dreamed of books. Often and often he remembered the dear letter of the brother-soldier, his story about the father who had heroically perished. The believe in his strengths and the wish to be worth his father grew stronger and stronger. He had a good mind to work honestly. He didn't find any other work. He found just this one - Vasily applied for work under labour agreement as a worker of this archaeological expedition.
And exactly at this time the fate pushed him together with his former fellow. Vasily tried very much but he wasn't still able to leave his previous habits. And waiting for the departure to the field works day and night he drank and played cards.
Once exactly at such a meeting Arman proposed him half-joking and half-seriously to steal Kuntuar's manuscripts. According to Arman's words this scribble was priceless. And Vasily, as people said in his circle, pecked it. Not having a penny in the pocket he decided: "Why not to get some easy money? All his life long the old man has been digging out treasures with gold. Of course, he is rolling in money. Well, he will worry a bit that the manuscripts have disappeared but then he will pay me a big recompense in his joy when I bring him his scribble back..."
Since this day he started watching Kuntuar's flat. But he couldn't find a proper moment for theft at all. Once he was lying in his ambush behind the bushes. And suddenly he saw: two hooligans started attacking the girl who was directing to the archaeologist's house. Vasily used the overall alarm in the garden and stole Kuntuar's diaries. Then everything happened exactly so as Zhannat told to the old archaeologist.
Working in the expedition Vasily found some time for reading too. He was amazed by the books. They opened for him the full of wonders archaeologist's life. And now when the young man took a pick or a shovel and dug the ground it seemed to him that he was about to discover neither more nor less but a golden tomb of Tutankhamen personally!
Today Vasily Mikhailov heard that the director of their works Kuntuar Kudaibergenov had given his own stores of money for the sake of the fact to unriddle the truth of the ancient Saki's life! "He is a real scientist!" - He thought. And here the guys told in addition that the old man had defended Leningrad during the years of the Patriotic War. Vasily was absolutely imbued with sincere respect to Kuntuar like to his own father.
"Who knows? Perhaps they met each other on the front ways? They both really defended Leningrad, they both are from Kazakhstan..." - the young man was reasoning. But most of all he couldn't forgive to himself now that he had got involved in that dirty story with the diaries. "How I could offend this person so much!" - Vasily was angry with himself.
He decided to find the manuscript at any cost and return it to Kuntuar. For this purpose he went to Almaty.
Ату. For the sake of caution he put on dark glasses, went to Peilzhan's place and called him into the corridor. 
- My dear, once you took the manuscript exactly on this very porch and exactly at this very door. I ask you to give it back to me, - Vasily informed.
What a manuscript? - Peilzhan was genuinely surprised. - Whose manuscript?
Kuntuar Kudaibergenov's.
Always pale Peilzhan grew now whiter than a cloth:
Are you joking? What's this got to do with me? I don't understand.
Your eyes show that you are lying. You have this manuscript. I warn you: You'd better to give it back, otherwise...
Back off, fellow, with your idea. I have never set my eyes on it.
Well, - Vasily impressively pronounced. - If you don't want to give it back of your own free will then you should forget about evil! - And he went out from the house.
For three days the former criminal was watching Peilzhan having a hope to meet him in darkness face to face. But that one had estimated the threatening him danger and didn't go on foot - he drove up to the very porch of the house by "Volga" and each time somebody else was sitting with him in the car.
Today Vasily was lying in wait for Peilzhan in the narrow alley again that led to the house. The house was standing detached without any people around. It was silent. Only leaves of autumn trees were rustling over the head and one could hear some hissing of tires of cars that rushed along the neighboring street.  The sun had rolled off beyond the horizon and it was quickly getting dark. It became absolutely dark but Peilzhan didn't appear yet.  But Vasily wasn't a simpleton - he didn't leave his cover in the bushes. "Just wait, my dear, there is no other path to the house..."
Finally Peilzhan's figure appeared in a clear space of the alley. No, it wasn't rather even him. Only the huge case came in view round the bend and after it - Lanky personally how Vasily called him to himself. The pursuer who was lying in wait behind the oak listened to. As soon as Lanky passed by his ambush dangling and having pulled out forward his head on the long neck Vasily caught him up.
Oiboi! - Peilzhan scaredly cried out. Vasily took Lanky by the scruff of the neck of his white shirt under the tie.
Hey, rascal, give me back the manuscript!
Wait, wait! Don't touch me only!
If you don't do what I ask, you have only yourself to blame - Vasily hissed into the Lanky's face. - I will be waiting for five minutes. Now then, be quick!
Ok, - Peilzhan pronounced and ran home.
Not hiding already Vasily was standing on the set place. Already in five minutes Lanky brought the folder known by Vasily, laid it on the porch at the door and ran headlong back. Vasily slowly took the folder and went away in the same manner.
"You have cherished not your thing. That's why I know you won't phone to the police" - He laughed to himself.
In the morning of the next day Mikhailov went to Kuntuar who had arrived in Almaty to learn about the final determination of the expedition fate. The young man gave him the manuscript back and sincerely told how everything had happened. In the presence of this respectable man he wanted to look neither an odd fellow nor a hooligan. And to help Kuntuar understand everything had happened he shortly told his biography too. The old scientist was listening to with tears in the eyes.
Yes, the war has broken many lives, - he pronounced.
I have heard that you are a participant of Leningrad defence. My father also fought at Leningrad and perished there... He was called up to the front from Almaty too.
Stop! Stop! - Kuntuar was almost crying. - What, you say, is your father's name and surname? 
Ivan Yegorovich Mikhailov!
Oh, my god! We are brother-soldiers! Last time he served in my company! I buried him too like my fellow countryman. I wrote his wife about this. Are you really his son?
It means I am, - Vasily answered. All his body was burning like in fire. Tears that the young man wasn't ashamed rolled over his face. These were the tears of clarification, the first for all ten years since he had left his father's house.
Of course, as soon as Kuntuar had heard from Peilzhan's lips his own secret thoughts and conclusions matured during many years long he started to think often and often about the fact that that one was familiar with his diaries. And often and often he was worried by the question: "Is this young man really able to make a similar meanness?!"  The old archaeologist pitied rather Peilzhan than the lost work. Now when he had found the manuscript and everything had finished without abuse and quarrels he rejoiced like a baby.

So often happens in the life that two beloved ones who couldn't dote upon, see enough of each other suddenly cool down and it even seems without a visible reason. What is the cause here? Who of them is guilty? Or the both are guilty - they were not brought up in holiness to love and marriage. Or a divorce is a result of a marriage without love and a result of an accidental meeting...
Orik had early blossomed out and the love had been on the watch for her at once.  When she was sixteen she met the best, to her mind, dzhigit. He learned in the tenth and she - in the ninth form. There wasn't a case when having come out from the class after the ring she didn't see Srym at the door. In such a manner he waited for her each day, even several times a day... It was the time when the heart was full of love, when they wished everybody around was the same loved and happy, but... the war was at its height. And once on a cold February day Srym was called in to the army and sent to the front. His letters from the front were patriotic and full of believe in the victory. The bright imagination took Orik away to the field of fight when she was reading the words of her beloved, when she lived and waited for any news from him as if for a meeting. The longer their parting was the stronger Orik's feeling was.
There were already last days of the war and the girl firmly believed in a soon meeting with her intended husband. And suddenly she got the notification about his death. At that moment she felt that the white light had darkened and the eternal solar eclipse had come.
However, in youth one's heart quickly copes with a grief and heart wounds are healed quickly too. Three years passed after the war. Orik learnt at the second course of the institute when she met Nurali. It seemed to her that her heart had been waiting only for him. Now all her thoughts were about him, all her life - for him too... But soon Peilzhan appeared whom she met in Kairakty.
Three years passed since that day too. Three years of their cohabitation. For this time two children appeared in the family - son and daughter.  Peilzhan turned out to be a good family man. He was both economic and careful. And on his duty he was prompt too. As people say he could kill two birds with one stone. Even in spite of the fact that he wasn't notable for his talent or abilities. But however, people say: perseverance wins. And not having enough sleep and without any rest Peilzhan scribbled his dissertation. Only in it he saw the reason of his life and satisfaction of his ambitious wishes. His efforts justified his actions: Peilzhan became a scientist. His nimble character didn't also play the last role in the fact that big money started appearing in the family and they had had their own "Volga" and dacha. They had honour too. But they with Orik were not satisfied with this.
During the years of their well-being and peace Orik grew even prettier. She was a sight for sore eyes because of her soft and round shapes. One could hear languor and mysteriousness in her voice. She wished new circles of friends and new entertainments. Soon she simply cooled down to Peilzhan. Of course, Orik had her own cause for the inner revolt: her attention was attracted by the best friend of her husband - Amirbek. His words as if thrown by chance, his cunning black eyes burning like a piece of coal said more than his long verbose explanations.
No, one couldn't find them guilty in the fact that they specially looked for each other. As people say in spite of the fact that a jute can have seven helpers but a bear-spear is prepared for him too. All grieves were brought in the house by the host. He personally introduced Orik to Amirbek. Orik liked courteous Amirbek who was for five years older than Peilzhan at first sight. She, being energetic and who wished new entertainments was attractive for him too... But... soon Amirbek was sent for advanced training to Moscow.
Already then, when he had returned and received the promotion and being in a perfect spirit Amirbek phoned Peilzhan. Orik hooked up the receiver. She was very glad after learning that not somebody else was phoning but the best friend of her husband.
- How are you? When did you come back? - She pelted Amirbek with questions. - I congratulate you with your promotion!
They were speaking long and asking each other about everything happened in the world: about the health, about the children, about the life. And only this already said about the fact how much they had missed each other. Finally Amirbek asked to invite Peilzhan to the phone.
Peeke1 is on a business trip, - Orik cheerfully informed. - He will return in a week, not earlier. But in spite of this fact I would like to invite you with your wife to visit us. Come on Sunday.
I am sorry, - Amirbek answered almost cheerfully. - But my wife is at the resort now. Perhaps, you wouldn't have anything against if I visit you without her?! - He jokingly said.
And what? Are you afraid? - Instigating Orik started sonorously laughing. - If I don't mistake, neither I nor you have lost the trust of my husband and your wife yet! 
With pleasure Amirbek entered into the role and began to speak with a hint:
However, I am afraid that I can bring on Peeke's suspicion if I visit you when he is absent.
Orik answered playfully too in spite of the fact that her joke contained the sincere truth:
Peeke knows at whom he can take offence and at whom not. He will never take offence at you, I bet!
"That's a woman! - Amirbek was delighted. - Of course, Peilzhan will shut his eyes at any trick of his wife for the sake of my patronage". And he agreed to visit Orik.
Peilzhan really responded to the behaviour of the dearest for him people - his wife and his friend - quite so they had expected. When Orik informed that Amirbek had visited her Peilzhan indifferently asked:
With his wife together?
No, he was alone. His wife is at the resort.
Did he really come by his own decision, without your invitation?
No, I invited him.

Peeke1 - diminutive-hypocoristic form from Peilzhan 2 Zhenge - a wife of the elder brother 

And whom else?
Of course, nobody else. He has now such a rank that I thought he wouldn't wish to meet anybody else at our place...
Peilzhan turned to the wife. No one muscle shuddered on his bloodless face.
What a good girl! He is a very necessary for us person.
Since this day Amirbek became the most respectable guest in Peilzhan's house. When it happened that the host was on a business trip but at home they celebrated, for example, a birthday of one of the children in his absence he asked the wife: 
Didn't you forget to invite Amirbek? - And then he went on being glad: - You did well. What's then? Doesn't he have a right to visit anybody if his wife is ill?
Orik surprised to herself: "People say not in vain, the language of love is speechless. Doesn't he really see that Amirbek and I speak to each other with our eyes and souls and understand one another without any words? Of course, he sees and understands everything. But how to explain his relation to the happening before his eyes then?"  And once she directly asked him about this:
Do you need Amirbek? What for?
I need him, I need him very much!
And he told: we have ahead a long business trip to Moscow. We don't know yet who they will send but they propose many people. Tomorrow you should speak to Amirbek before he goes to work...
What about?
I wish he will propose me.
Everything shuddered inside Orik. She grew cold from shame and humiliation. But she didn't show this.
You are friends. Wouldn't it be better if you personally speak to him about this? - She was almost whispering having dropped her head.
But Peilzhan - like water off a duck's back, not a mark of confusion. With the same passionless voice and not having changed in the face he pronounced:
- I haven't thought about this. But... he will listen to you more. It is always difficult to please for yourself.
Orik clearly realized why Peilzhan needed her relations with Amirbek. However, she restrained herself as before and didn't show her indignation. Then in the same manner, not raising the head, she agreed:
- Well.
At once, after graduating from the institute Peilzhan had clearly defined the way which he should follow and had exactly marked the doors which he should open on this way. He was stubborn and made everything he could the doors would open before him as friendly as possible. With the diploma of a history teacher he could go to an aul or, in the best case, to a district center and work there as a school teacher in the branch of public education. Peilzhan thought that it was boring, difficult and long for the achievement of his dearest wish.
Science was another way possible for him.
He knew that people called a scientist that one who had opened a law of nature or being unknown up to this time or brought something new or useful for science. But he had also noticed around another thing:  sometimes people called a scientist such a person who hadn't sacrificed anything for science. Peilzhan had stepped with confidence on this second way close to the wind having the diploma about higher professional education and had opened easy enough the doors of one of the research institutes. 
It was already easier to rise on the second step. Peilzhan wished to be a candidate and he became him soon. Of course, it was impossible to say that he hadn't paid much for this in spite of the fact that he hadn't said his word in the science yet. The defence troubled him very much and demanded some incredible psychical and physical efforts from him.  Many times he rummaged through the archive recording, so much time he sat in the libraries, many times he asked well-known scientists for help and advice having give the conscience up as hopeless and "survival of the past". He struck up close acquaintance with everybody he could, he treated on a visit at his place everybody he could and he supported everybody he could speaking at different meetings! He learnt to make up to any necessary for him and influential person...
Now he was dreaming just about how to become a professor and an academician. He knew: it's better to have some subordinates than somebody to obey. However, by this time he had already demonstrated many people with his behaviour and actions that not less grey inside was hiding behind his grey appearance. They didn't hurry to promote Peilzhan and he rushed about, matured and thought over some cunning ways but everything was in vain. Exactly here he met Amirbek.
Peilzhan didn't understand till the end when and how Orik had said about his request to "the friend of the family". But in a week that one invited Peilzhan to make an appointment at him. Peilzhan came into the office. They warmly greeted each other and even embraced. Although Amirbek wasn't racked with remorse very much but he avoided directly to look at Peilzhan.
He silently sat in the soft armchair. He had a rule nobody to offence, externally at least. He wished people would see his humaneness and the wideness of his nature. Now he was sitting in front of Peilzhan as if being confused a bit and asked politely about business and the health as if he was preparing to ask to give his only horse to him.  When he made sure that the friend was in a friendly spirit he changed and started readily speaking:
- I have heard you wished to go to Moscow! I have specially invited you to speak about this.
- Yes, I have such a wish...
- But you know that not only I solve this question. I have my own direction too.
Who will dare to contradict you if you  recommend me persistently?
Perhaps, somebody can do this.
- Why to allow it if you know in advance who is against? I am sure if you ask you will not have any protesters.
- You say right, but...
- What do you mean "but"? — Peilzhan completely screwed up his courage.— If it is your own opinion that my candidature doesn't pass then, of course, that's more like it.
- No, no, don't say so. I'll do everything I can. Calm down, please.
It was not easy to fulfill Peilzhan's request. He even thought about: "Today the friend asks about this trip but what will he ask for tomorrow?"
Peilzhan's and Orik's life ran in a groove. There was already not a shade of love but the husband and the wife had kept the visibility of a happy family.  Usually Orik calmed herself down: "This has yet to be asked who lives in love in marriage. It is even good that we have peace in the family. She got accustomed to smart clothes, to the carelessness and to the fact that Peilzhan had redeemed her from all life's miseries. Already almost openly Orik met with Amirbek whom she had met not by chance at all. Now she realized this by herself. Sometimes she was sincerely surprised: how up to now she could endure the immediate situation in her family! But at once she shut these thoughts out. Her new love overturned all prohibitions. It had come like a flood. Her relation to the husband became even friendlier. When Peilzhan was in a bad spirit or he frowned Orik asked at once: "Aren't you ill?" Having noticed these lights of her sincere interest in the eyes of the wife Peilzhan was absolutely struck at first: "What a change!" She has blossomed out and grown prettier so much! Even wrinkles have smoothen on the face. What a step she has now! Has she really fell in love with Amirbek?" And he reproached himself at once: "Yapyrmai, should I be jealous? First of all I need this by myself, I need this for a business". But today everything wasn't as before. Orik was rushing about the flat and couldn't find a peace. "She has either discord with Amirbek or any other cause!" Trying to dissipate the tension he carefully asked:
If I don't mistake tomorrow we have Zhannachka's birthday!
Yes, she will be three tomorrow.
That's why I have thought, - Peilzhan went on attentively looking at the wife's face that had already become almost strange for him. - We should celebrate it... To say the truth, I have much work on these days.
Of course. Whom will we invite? - Orik readily responded.
Look by yourself. Just don't forget to invite Amirbek with his wife.
Orik cheered up:
Has he already returned from his business trip? People say that he went away for a long time.
"Ah, it turns out that she doesn't know that Amirbek returned some days ago. But it is strange. Why is he lingering? Why doesn't he phone her?" Not having found an answer to his question and as if having awoken from the thoughts he pronounced with an indifferent voice:
I haven't seen by myself but I have heard that he returned three days ago or so. 
In the reality Orik shouldn't be worried so much. Peilzhan was afraid in vain having thought that Amirbek was about to leave his dexterous nets. It turned out that one had caught cold when he had been on his business trip and was just ill now. As for his passion Orik that at first he had regarded as mischievousness, it turned into tender sincere feeling now. Every day Amirbek opened new and new advantages in this woman. 
...There gathered a lot of guests. It was not customary for this house to invite those ones who couldn't bring any use. As almost always Amirbek came alone. As soon as he came in Orik changed at a moment: she started ringing with jolly laugh and was all in a merry confuse. "No, everything is all right with them. They have relations like Romeo and Juliet! - Peilzhan thought. - But why is Orik so depressed then?" After learning that the formal dinner party had been made in honour of Zhannat's birthday Amirbek pronounced:
Say, how is that, my friends? You haven't even said what the matter is - and I have come without a present! So, ainalaiyn Zhannat, I congratulate you with all the heart, grow well up. And a present I'll give it further. - He took in the arms and kissed with pleasure the cheeks of the plump girl, the close picture of her mother like two drops of water.
- The best present for all our family and for Zhannat is your coming to our place! - Peilzhan pronounced obsequiously.
Amirbek felt confused after hearing these clearly flattering words. He even turned around - he didn't wish somebody to hear. And he calmed down when he saw that the other guests were carried away by the conversation but almost whispering he answered the host's words:
- Thank you very much for the honour but a present for Zhannat is on my conscience.
To be eager the guests about for something until the arrival of other ones Peilzhan pulled cards from the drawer of the table and started deftly shuffling the cards.
Let's have fun a bit till two-three people come. - He proposed the gathered people sitting down at the table in the corner of the room.
- With pleasure. - Amirbek responded first. Two more people joined them. Having surrounded the players the rest of them started watching with interest.
Peilzhan was an experienced gambler. However, since Amirbek had become an often guest in his house the host lost often and often the guest. In spite of the fact that Amirbek liked playing cards, but he wasn't noted for a special knack of playing. And since he started winning he usually boasted: "I am enough only for Peilzhan, that's all" This one laughed to himself: "I let you win, win now. But soon it will be the time of my winning that is bigger than this one! "
Today Peilzhan was overcome by annoyance for some reason and he didn't wish to lose. "It's time to go for him!" Having noticed a special insistency of the host Amirbek began to worry in earnest. But Peilzhan couldn't withstand - the wish to please got the best. "Well, I won't become poor - I let him win", - he decided and as if by chance he made a wrong move. 
At this time Orik invited everybody to sit at the table and the guest were not long in coming.
One toast was changed with another one: to Zhannat, to the parents, to the guests... They drank, danced and organized games.
Being glad they went away long past midnight.

The wished occupation for Kuntuar stayed the same thing - to work at his diaries. As with the closest friend he shared on its pages with his thoughts, suppositions and doubts. These light hours brought him a great inner satisfaction and there was not a happiest man in the world then. All affairs and troubles, excitements and worries were relegated to the background and forgotten.
Three years already passed since he had found the manuscript. For many reasons some valuable changes were made in the national economic plan and the works for the construction of the Syrdairinskiy Sea were continued. This allowed prolonging the archaeological excavations in Kairakty too in spite of the fact that unfortunately they hadn't brought the wished results up to then yet. But at the same time Kuntuar was successful in another thing: he almost finished the book about the culture and the household of Saki. After issue of this work the archaeologist planned to defend his dissertation on the base of its material. He had already something to tell people about Saki. But to say the truth, as for Kazakhstan it turned out that monuments of Saki's epoch were a great rarity here. And, to tell the truth, people were not interested in the direct study of such an early epoch in Kazakhstan too.
The Kairaktinskiy expedition was the first one in this search, the Cause of Causes. And he, scientist Kuntuar Kudaibergenov, the soul and the beginner of this great affair set the hottest hopes for the excavations. That's why he was looking forward to the results of the work. Without finishing the investigations he couldn't get down to the final variant of the forethought work.
But life is life. And time rushes like raging waters of Syrdaria... Will he be able to finish the begun thing? What only does a person have inside? It seems that everything is clear and you have just learnt about everything what and where the main is but the life is already nearing to the end. 
It is good when you have a real friend nearby who can help both with work and with his advice in a big and precious work.  Now Kuntuar didn't have such a very unfailing friend. The most part of his life he thought that Yergazy had been the dearest person for him but here it turned out - he wasn't such one!
In half a year after their quarrel he had a conversation with academician Verginskiy who completely cleared everything up and calmed down Kuntuar:
- Don't say so! Don't say so! Do you think I really needed your characteristic for Yergazy? Even without you I perfectly know what a person he is. And when he didn't stop in his blindness and if he dared to slander us both then it is no compliment to him at all.
In the same evening Kuntuar decided to phone to Yergazy's flat. "What will he say now?" But the host wasn't at home, Akgul hooked up the receiver. After asking about the life and the health Kuntuar decided not to worry her with his troubles and misfortunes. But he thought to himself again: If Yergazy takes care neither of his reputation nor of our friendship, well... And he made himself not think about his former friend again. Perhaps, everything could turn out well on this.
But here Yergazy crossed his way again. Not him personally, no. He opposed Kuntuar a young full of strength and eagerness man, his apprentice Peilzhan. Like it or not but Kuntuar had to put to himself the same question again: what a person was Yergazy ? Of course, it would be more properly to solve this question not now but thirty years ago or so. But what to do? If you are an honest person you would like to think that your friend is the same one.
That one who is able to understand another person with mind and heart, who can see and realize many things is really happy.  Generosity of a soul and a mind makes a person richer, higher and more beautiful. And of course that one is miserable who has created in the soul a tiny world, small, just as big as his or her own fist and lives in it and admires it. His own fame, self-interest and his career - these were the gods whom this poor one prayed.  He couldn't submit the fact that the nature- our mother rewards not each one with a talent and a calling and that it is impossible to buy these features for any treasures. To eat his own heart out and be green with envy to the talent of a person, organize some kinds of minute hunting and hurt his or her soul with gossip and slander - it's the density of such sinners.
It turned out that Yergazy was exactly such a person. The worm of green envy and jealousy began to eat him away early, already since his juvenile years. He had envied his friend in everything. It seemed to him that all lucks of the life had been just for him, for a public favourite - Kuntuar. For example, the beginning of their work. Already then, during the war when they both had returned from the front and occupied the equal posts Kuntuar's brave and bright thought always raised him in the eyes of his colleagues. The Yergazy's lot was often to stay in the shade being unnoticed by nobody. Even Akgul, his own wife, she also... At every trifle she said about Kuntuar. He had both brain and a kind heart... It seemed that Yergazy had noticed nothing reprehensible in his behaviour. And as is known the hate to somebody bears not because a human has done an ill act. More often this is a result of his or her own self-respect.
And as we already know Yergazy didn't wait for when he would be noticed. Now if he told about something he tried publicly to underscore the indisputability of what he had already said. When he bought the same suit as somebody else he informed that all the same he had bought a better suit. If his company car was grey Yergazy said that this colour was the most fashionable one. 
The sad thoughts overwhelmed Kuntuar today no matter how he tried to drive them away. The pictures of the past changed one another. It seemed to him that he experienced everything again. He remembered, he perfectly remembered everything. Both how he had troubled his direction because of Yergazy and when that one, being wounded, had returned from the front. How he had been surprised having thought that Yergazy's trick had been just childishness and how on the first day after coming to the work that one had demanded to let him have the table at the window at which he, Kuntuar, had been working before.  And how submitting the report the very Yergazy had reddened - of all people only Kuntuar had seen his helplessness in the affairs and his sickly self-respect. Of course, even then it was impossible not to notice meanness and careerism in Yergazy's character. But Kuntuar didn't seriously take this all. He let his friend have the table having joked at this: "Well, you should sit on the place of honour!" When Yergazy realized that "the reservation" because of which he was sitting in this office now, after the war, he didn't need any more and he changed the work without hesitation. And into what one! He became a head of a big research institute. Kuntuar said then: "You are a talented person! Why don't you want to stay to work in science or go directly into the manufacture? It is the straight way to the defence of your dissertation about what you can only dream! Yergazy answered not pretending: "Administrative work is that hobby-horse after getting on which you are able to defence not only a master's thesis but a thesis for a doctor's degree too!" It happened exactly so how he had said then. Yergazy became a Doctor of Philosophy and a professor. But he hadn't taken into account just one thing - it isn't enough just to have a title to be a real scientist. His own careerism turned for Yergazy into the sword of Damocles. When he was ousted from the post of the director in the research institute there in the south he appeared in Almaty. Here he got a proposition to direct one of the laboratories. But Yergazy wasn't satisfied with such a work. Why? When he had been a director everybody had come to him, asked to receive, transfer or arrange somebody's fortune. And suddenly he had to be level with those ones who had some time depended absolutely on him.
And the main thing - the new work demanded some real efforts of a stonemason. And Yergazy went to ask the direction again. He bustled about and tried to get the support of some influential persons. When they addressed to Verginskiy with the request to give Yergazy "a worthy of him post" he protested: "He hasn't worked even a day in manufacture!"
But such was Yergazy - despite of everything he achieved all he wished. Now as we know he was the director of the Kairaktinskiy branch of the main institute. Of course, it was enough far from the center and it was not the scale he wished... But all the same he was the first director. Yergazy was satisfied with himself: "Well, very well. A director - it is not a head of a laboratory! I am closer to influential people again and I have dependence of my subordinates again... It's something at least, I'll see in the future. A fish looks for a deepest place but a person - for a best one..."
But only much, very much in his condition depended on Verginskiy. And he, Yergazy, exactly knew now that his chief had a bad opinion about him not only as about a specialist but also as about a human... "Why?" - The just brought to light director thought and he was grimly determined to change the academician's opinion about him by all means.
He started trying to obtain Verginskiy's reception - both by himself and through some mediators. And again - mediators. Some time Kuntuar had been one of such askers. Having made sure that Verginskiy was true to himself Yergazy felt a doubt: could the mediators really be guilty in this? And this Kuntuar too... Hadn't he slandered him in the eyes of the academician? Having suspected the friend Yergazy convinced himself: that's as may be. He remembered again how many times they had had to run into the work and how Kuntuar had always been acknowledged and praised more than him but he, Yergazy, had been noticed by nobody.    They together had come to the scientific councils or to the meetings, spoken before the audience on the same subject but the gathered people had been listening only to Kuntuar but let Yergazy's words go in one ear and out the other. Kuntuar always got attention and respect, the final word rested with him. "No, it's just time to finish this all!"
That's why the acquaintance with Peilzhan was a real find for Yergazy. Being deeply injured with Kuntuar's refusal to consult him on his dissertation and be an opponent during the defence that one understood Yergazy as well as possible. But the director of the branch determined with his experienced eye that they should keep Peilzhan close.
And here Akgul in addition. Being soft by the nature the wise woman had been able to become for heartless and ambitious Yergazy both a friend and a support in life's miseries, she could influence his spirit and his beliefs. Having noticed that Peilzhan and Yergazy had become like-mended persons in their cruel intrigues against Kuntuar Akgul grew circumspect. For the period of their long cohabitation he got into the habit to do nothing without advising with her. Usually he silently listened to her opinion expressing neither for nor against. But he didn't decide to go against the wife's will.
To say the truth the husband and the wife weren't absolutely happy in the marriage. Akgul didn't give the husband that joy which could warm him in the afternoon of his life - they had no children. But for the sake of the wife's composure Yergazy petted and pretended that he loved her son Arman from the first marriage like his own one. In reality he felt no inclination toward this rowdy dowdy boy at all.
Watching like a barometer the spirit of his chief Peilzhan perfectly understood tumult of his feeling and used this. Exactly at the moment when Yergazy was satisfied with nobody and nothing Peilzhan appeared in his office.
Where have you disappeared? I haven't seen you for a long time, my dear! - Yergazy joyfully greeted Peilzhan.
I have been working hard for the whole week. The matter is that Daniel, Kuntuar's son, has written a historical novel. Knowing that I learn this epoch the publishing house has sent me the review copy. That's why I have been reading this scribble for the whole week.
Well, how about it? What is it about?
Saki again...
Pah, what youth we have today! If they are not satisfied with up-to-dateness they get into olden times! 
I wish they would leave this passion for old people, but no... What is there, in the novel?
The father's influence is obvious... The work turned out to be not bad.
Have you said, not bad? To my mind, it is not in our interests! Even if the work is perfect all the same it must be bad! - Yergazy suddenly boiled over. - What can he, a puppy, know about Saki and about this most ancient period of history? This can be available only for us, the greatest investigators!  Do you hear? For us, us! It's our epoch, we are the owners of its secrets! Do you hear? - And after calming down a bit he busily asked: - Stop, what publishing rights does he have? Can your review decide anything?
It can decide not less: if it is negative the book will not be published. It's enough just to have my name and my authority in this branch to bar its way.
In such a case...
Yergazy began to think. The priority of the young writer in the solving of this problem at which Yergazy worked as a scientist couldn't really be acknowledged! Daniel was Kuntuar's son. These two persons were mentally very close. When Zhannat had left Daniel Kuntuar had heavily experienced the betrayal. That's why any bullet directed in the son would surely wound the father too.
Yergazy advised Peilzhan to write... a negative review. Besides, all the same the Saki period was still a white sport in the investigation of Kazakhstan history. Only the monuments of "the animals' style" were studied relatively well but many disputable and just unknown things remained still in the social order and the life pattern of Saki. That's why each ignoramus shall not carry on his or her own affairs and not become concerned with these difficult problems. "Write negative! - He almost ordered. - Who will be able to prove that you are not right?"
Perhaps injustice and cunning are usually born from the light hand of such peilzhans and yergazas!
The publishing house thought necessary to become familiar with the negative review for the novel and for Kuntuar as a specialist on the problem and... a human close to the author.  Of course,  the authorship secrecy had been kept at this but without many words Kuntuar clearly knew who had done this. And the question: "What do you want, Yergazy?" - appeared in his mind again.
In his work Kuntuar was guided by the golden rule - not to hurry with conclusions. No matter how he was attracted by the external gilding of the ornaments on the ancient monuments he always tried to see something more substantial under it. The investigator understood that archeology is such a science where just only detail or only marking can give a thread in the hands from the inextricable tangle of the lost in time historical events. You should just be persistent, logical and scrupulous.  He didn't hurry personally to say his word in science and he didn't allow hurrying his son too. 
But the youth is always impatient. And Daniel was hurrying because he wished his novel would be published as if its content could become old.
After becoming familiar with the review and coming home Kuntuar read the son's work from the first up to the last page again. For two-three days he had been thinking about something and finally invited Daniel to visit him:
- You have written a good book. It contains not only the history of our lands past but also many things are connected well with nowadays. Exactly this makes the novel interesting for the modern reader. That's why, my dear, first of all you should know the price of the created by you thing and don't be quick to suffer because of this so named closed review. The review is "closed" but its author speaks openly. At first it is clearly a man knows the Saki's epoch very well. At second, he behaves unfriendly not only relative to you but, most likely, to me too. At third, we, the specialists on this problem, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. It's not also the secret who my opponents are. That's why think a bit. However, now I don't want to speak to you about this.
- What about then? I am listening to, say! - Daniel cheered the father up.
- If you are listening to I advise you then to understand one important truth: No one of great persons did discoveries and created their works in short terms. They devoted to this long decades and some time even all their lives. Remember, for example, Isaac Newton. For twenty years long he was bearing in his wisest head the famous "Mathematical Basis of the Naturalistic Philosophy". Charles Darwin wrote his only work for all his life long. And of course, you know that as a result - the scientist made a revolution in the views on the nature! But the work was published only after the death of its genius creator. It is written in this book, - Kuntuar stood up and took one book from the shelf of the stand as long as the wall of the study, - that Darwin, having found out the law and created the classification of the evolutional development of the animal life was afraid to mention even some words about this in his small essay. He was controlled and stopped to do this by the same thought: "I wish not to mistake!" The test of time is the strictest one but at the same time it is the only right one for all really new and valuable things. I am a living witness of your hard work at the novel. I know how many sleepless nights and bitter doubts you have experienced and remember how you both went to the far away expedition and studied the works of many scientists too. However, in spite of everything not anybody else but I ask you: work at the manuscript for some more time. Its problems demand a careful approach, serious and deep thoughts, realizing in time in spite of the fact that your book is already priceless today!
Koke, - Daniel addressed with emotion to the father. - No doubt, you are right. You are one thousand times right in everything you have said. But you shouldn't also forget about the fact that any work of great artists is born by inspiration! Balzac, Jack London, Turgenev wrote quickly and with inspiration. And as is known their works didn't lose because of this. No, to create a book isn't absolutely the same than, for example, to build a house: here is the foundation, here are the windows and this is the roof over the head. 
Undoubtedly, my son, everything is so. Novels, stories, poems, - all works of a master-artist are born by his or her creative impulse. But before this holy fire flashes in a writer's heart for many years long he bears his creation in the soul up to its full maturity.  The time bears its reader who is a contemporary of the author. And perhaps, your reader-contemporary has been waiting for the book from you match their thoughts and deeds already for a long time.  Remember that a reader and a writer are two closest persons who feel with one another the events described in the work. The reader will never forgive his or her writer any of falsely sounding faint note. That's why if you have decided to bring your book out for public judgment you should think over everything well. That is the purpose of a writer.
Well, well, I've understood you.
- I would like to make clear one more thing in addition - where from have you taken the events with the participation of Arkhar, Katergep and Anruk? Do you remember, that place in the novel where Kederey accuses Arkhar? He sees the cause of his own treacherous intentions exactly in Arkhar's instigation. I remember these lines well.  The ruler drives Arkhar away and that one dies in the desert from thirst. Let's think that this all happened at those times. Arkhar meets with his deserts. Betrayers and envious persons always have just one lot. I think the other facts are truthful too. We have already had a talk with you that this line in the novel has a great interest...
- I work at the art work. And this recompenses a specified author's imagination although the novel is devoted to the history. However, today's life is the main material for a writer. And you personally always say me about this. That's why I have used this line too. I had the only aim in order to the reader would heartlessly blame him after guessing in his or her contemporary at least one negative feature described by me.
Ye-e-es. And do you really think after this that such a person like Peilzhan won't scribble a negative review for your manuscript?
Who could know that the novel would be given exactly him for review?
Well, let's think that you have known! Would you really waive the truth of life for this purpose?
I don't know.
And imagine another thing now. Let's think that you were afraid that an inhabitant against whom you write in the book would recognize you, make you harm and - you deleted the sharp places.  Where will the difference be then between this very inhabitant and you? Exactly for the fact that you are not afraid and write bravely many people will say you "thank you". I am the first one among them.
The son felt his father's excitement. Daniel looked at Kuntuar with gratitude and love:
Eh, why don't all people reason so rightly and deeply too? Are they the same peilzhans and armans? How much grief and tears could people avoid then?
Kuntuar understood the son. He understood not only the facts he had said aloud but also those ones he was keeping silent about and had hidden in his soul.
Last time I saw Arman with Zhannat in the theater. Forgive me, but happy people don't look so...
Daniel didn't answer at once
  - Yes, - he finally pronounced being deep in thoughts. - Happiness is a special thing. Is a person really able to catch, buy or sell it?

All Akgul's care was just about the happiness of her only son - Arman. The boy had lost the father early. Being blinded with the love to the baby the mother forgave him any tricks. The years passed by and the son from a teenager turned into a young man. He had enough time to understand that his mother felt insuperable weakness to him and he began to use this. As if revenging for her blind love the son grew up and became an alcoholic and a card-player.
Being selfish and light-minded he behaved thoughtlessly as if all the world and all people on the earth were born to fulfill his wishes.
As often happens the mother understood last how tragic everything was that happened with her son.  "Perhaps the fate has punished me, - the woman was distressed, - because I have forgotten the ancestors' prayer: "Oh, Allah! Give me a child and gift him or her with brain and diligence!" Akgul was ready to refuse everything terrestrial. She just wished the life would be mercy and give wealth and well-being to her son.
But it is impossible to say that the fate was absolutely heartless to Akgul. As a consolation for her endurance and the maternal love she gave her a wonderful daughter-in-law. And since Zhannat came into their house the mother dreamed about the daughter-in-law would be able to change much in the life of her son to better. And she consoled herself: "A good wife always has a good husband". This belief strengthened once and for all when two clear-eyed grandchildren appeared in the family. It seemed that a black stone had fallen down off Akgul's shoulders.
... There approached a birthday of the host of the house - Yergazy. Already for a long time Akgul was preparing to her husband's birthday. She had a lot of cares, every day counted. But today she understood that she wouldn't be able to do much. Akgul felt bad.
The day was grey and dank. It was the end of November but the ground was bare and not cosy. By the November holidays it was about to snow much but it already melted in two days. The town was covered by heavy threatening clouds. And it started raining.
On the last few days Akgul was twice in the hospital: the heart was giving noticeable out. Today she could breathe with difficult too. She was thinking about the coming celebration, about the son and about the daughter-in-law.
Zhannat had just bathed the babies and was dressing them in her room. Suddenly there heard a ring in the hall. Akgul didn't want to trouble the daughter-in-law and went to the door by herself. An unknown, lean and decently dressed woman was standing at the threshold. 
- I'm sorry. Does Professor Yergazy Ayupov live here? - She asked.
Akgul was standing having pressed the hands against her breast.
Here, come in.
Aren't you his wife? - The woman spoke as if she excused. - If you let me. I have to talk to you.
- What about then? - Akgul started suddenly worrying. - Come in, it's not good to stay at the threshold. It is a bad sign.
The woman slowly came in after Akgul in the hall and sat down on the sofa.
Do you... have a sick heart? - The unknown woman asked. Akgul nodded and heavily sighed.
In such weather each one suffers from something. What has led you to our house?
The woman was confused and tried to find some words for starting the conversation. Then she decided:
I am a mother and I have come to you as a mother to a mother. I beg you to listen to me. Just forgive me in advance...
- What are you speaking about? Say clearly then!
Now... All facts as they actually happened... Understand me right. I am a widow. My husband was killed in the front when I was twenty. I didn't marry any more. All my strength, all my life I have given to my only son - Zhagypar. - The woman was telling without paying attention to the tears that were running thick and fast over her face. - The boy was only one when his father was killed. We suffered from need. I had no education and I didn't have enough time to get a specialty before the war. Till I could I worked at the plant, then I went to work as a cleaner to school. My son finished the ten-years school, got his certificate and went to learn to Almaty . Five years passed. Zhagypar returned to his native aul as a teacher. He brought a beauty-wife along. Her name is Bibi. But she had only external beauty. Perhaps, being well off in excess the parents spoilt their only child. I understood at once - I didn't think that Bibi would honour my son as her husband. And like having looked into the water! We moved here, to Kairakty. The daughter-in-law got a job in the palace of culture. Since that time my Zhagypar started losing weight before my eyes as if he was ill for consumption. However, you know if a mother doesn't see with her own eyes she feels everything with her heart. I understood that my son had a grief in his heart. And the relations with my daughter-in-law weren't the same which they had had first time. I asked what had happened but he just waved away: "Nothing, mum!" But he sighed and sighed and kept silent. But then it turned out that our daughter-in-law... with your son... with Arman...
Having collected all her strength Akgul cried out:
It is impossible! You have mistaken!
I begged the god that it was not the case. But all the same, it is the truth... Today the daughter-in-law has personally informed us: "I married you son by chance. Thanks God, I have understood it in time. Tomorrow I will go away to Arman"...
Oh, my god... What are you speaking about? Arman has the family: a wife and two sons.
Now we have another youth... Many of them don't want even to know either love or respect. - The woman started crying. - I didn't want to come to your place, but now you see I couldn't restrain myself. My Zhagypar loves this good-for-nothing. It's terrible to watch how he is suffering. I live in fear: if she goes away he can do much harm to himself. Then I thought - you are a mother too. You don't also wish any harm for your son!
- Yapyrmai, I wish at least Zhannat wouldn't hear about this... - Akgul was almost whispering and having no strength left she dropped on the sofa.
Having seen this the unknown woman bent over her being in a cold sweat:
My dear, my dear, don't do this! I didn't want this...
Zhannat came into the room leading Saken and Daulet by the hands. The clean kids with rosy cheeks after the bathing were perplexedly looking around. Zhannat ran headlong to the mother-in-law who had helplessly hidden the face in the pillow of the sofa.
What's up? What's the matter with you! - She asked being worried very much.
The unknown woman was sitting and keeping silent nearby with the pale almost lifeless face.
Zhannat knew about the sick heart of her mother-in-law. Having understood that it was the next attack she rushed to call for an "ambulance". Then she gave her some heart drops. She didn't know what else to do and ran up to the phone again and informed somebody about the grief.
Some neighbours came in whom the elder of the boys - Daulet - had called. They also were taken aback and just splashed with the hands and repeated all the time: "What to do, what to do, yapyrmai?"
When the ambulance arrived Akgul's pulse was obscured very badly. The young doctor made the necessary injection. They had to help the unknown woman too. Moreover, it was impossible to leave her like Akgul at home and the doctor ordered to bring two stretchers.
Akgul came to herself in the hospital. Soon she knew that the unknown woman felt worse and worse. Any efforts of the doctors and the nurses and any medicines didn't help her.
In three days or so Akgul felt better a bit and she was allowed seeing her relatives. Yergazy and Zhannat came. The doctor asked them not to tire and not to worry the patient with excessive conversations. But Yergazy couldn't restrain himself and declared as if joking:
What on earth made you get to the hospital exactly before my anniversary?
Don't worry, I'll recover!
Hurry up then, otherwise we will celebrate the holiday without you. Don't blame your own faults on others then if you are left with nothing.
Zhannat was even surprised. It seemed to her that she hadn't noticed before that Yergazy had said such sharp words to his wife.  But today... What's the matter with him? She seemed that he tried to annoy her on purpose. And he had found such sharp words...
Akgul tried to ease tension again and pronounced with a sad smile:
Let there be as you want! I'll make a present for you - I'll recover by your birthday!
Zhannat wasn't gladdened by these words. Being sad she was sitting nearby the patient and suddenly proposed:
Perhaps it will be better if we cast aside the celebration! At first you should recover and then...
But Yergazy interrupted her and firmly pronounced addressing to Akgul:
We have already paid the full sum of money for the banquet in the restaurant. And the guests are invited too.
Akgul quickly matched her husband:
Of course, of course, you shouldn't cast the celebration aside. And as for me, thanks God, I am almost healthy. They will surely discharge me from the hospital by the celebration.
What for to risk so much? - Zhannat addressed to her. - It's clear that it's not time for you to leave the hospital now. Last time you didn't complete your cure too and hurried home. You see it turned into the next attack. You shouldn't trifle with your heart... - Zhannat kept silent for some time and asked then wishing to change the theme of their conversation: - How did all this happen? You were upset, am I right? And who was that strange woman?
Akgul pitied Zhannat and sad in response:
- We grew up together with that woman. We haven't seen each other for many years long. That's why we were sitting and remembering our childhood and relatives. There were a lot of causes to be upset about...
- I have already said you shouldn't worry.  And you are hurrying home in addition, - Zhannat pronounced smoothing the hair lock got out from under the kerchief.
She wished the mother-in-law would recover as soon as possible, said that she would come to visit her with Arman the next day and came out together with Yergazy from the ward. Akgul was absolutely upset. "Just gold but not a human! Can the grief really take away my favourite daughter-in-law?" She quietly cried and it brought her relief. "It is impossible. I don't believe that Arman is able to do such a thing... Tomorrow, as soon as he comes to me, I'll personally try to find everything out. It's time to have a serious talk with him..." And having calmed down a bit she started waiting for the coming of her son.
Akgul thought that she had informed her daughter-in-law the holy untruth about her companion in this misfortune. But these words had been appropriate. Her new friend started really recovering. Her own son helped in this very much. As soon as Zhagypar learnt that his mother had been brought to the hospital he thought and experienced a lot and then day and night he kept vigil over the sick mother.  When the mother came to herself her first question was: "How are you doing, dear?"
To say the truth Zhagypar had absolute discord with Bibi. But he pronounced with a smile:
Everything is all right, mum. Do you worry because of Bibi, of course? All the time she is busying herself with housework and is going to visit you. The mother searchingly looked at the son:
Why are you so sad then?
How can I have fun if you are ill so much? And as for Bibi we have found everything out. She just took offence against me. That's why she talked a lot of nonsense.  When you get well a little she will come and ask for your forgiveness...
A glimmer of hope flashed in the nearly dimmed eyes of the mother.
Well, I hope! I wish you both will be happy...
The mother believed her son because she knew he hadn't lied her since his childhood.
But Akgul was still in none too good a plight. As she had promised next day Zhannat came to the mother together with Arman.  That one asked at the end of the meeting: "You should go, Zhannat, the children are waiting for you but I stay still here for some time".
Mum, - Arman said as soon as they remained face to face, - let me say you one thing.
Say. Who do I have to listen to if not you?
Don't be angry with me for the fact you will hear. I cannot be with Zhannat any more and I have decided to leave her.
To leave her? What do you mean "to leave"? Is she just a thing for you?
I beg you, don't be angry. I've found my happiness.
You have found again and your happiness in addition! You haven't been happy all this time, have you?
- Yes, I haven't been happy. I myself didn't just know about this. But now I am happy. I have met a woman... her name is Bibi. We love each other.
- What are you speaking about, my dear? Come to your sense! What will you do with those two ones who are sweeter than honey and dearer than the apples of our eyes? Are you really able to do such an outrage and leave Saken and Daulet?
Well, if they are so much dear for you I'll leave them for you...
Akgul choked with indignation. She couldn't pronounce a word any more and just groaned silently.
The nurse on duty ran in and showed Arman the door.
Zhannat came next day. Not suspecting about the misfortune that had hung over her head the daughter-in-law was telling long about the preparations for the celebration. Listening to her the mother-in-law wasn't able to find strength and inform her the bitter news. At parting she pronounced: "I see, the holiday will turn out well. I centre my hopes only on you, my dear". But she started worrying again: "What will be with them, with my poor children and grandchildren? I wish Arman would come to his sense! I wish this Bibi would find just a glimmer of human's pity in her heart and wouldn't take away the father from the children..."
Zhannat came away but Akgul just as was lying not moving a muscle so she remained to lie in the same pose. 
Arman didn't come any more. But Zhannat and the children were often at the mother's bed. They spoke about the same thing: how it will be better to celebrate Yergazy's anniversary. But now Akgul was hurrying to be discharged from the hospital already not for the sake of the celebration but to prevent the misfortune which threatened her family. "Ward off disaster, ward off disaster!" - This thought didn't give her rest even for a minute.
Without any words, praise cheers a person up. It is a good support in the work of each person. Each talent also needs support. Though it can happen, ambition of a person can serve as an incentive for his or her inspiration.  Exactly the ambition, the wish to be fame and respectable, the wish to be the first among first people at any cost controlled the actions of Yergazy now.  Not without a distant sight he decided at any cost to celebrate his anniversary in the grand style. And nothing could draw him away from this idea, even the heavy illness of his wife who had shared devotedly with him both joy and grief for many years long. In expectation of the looking forward toasts he imagined how people would say after the celebration: "Just look, Yergazy is already sixty but how good he looks!" Finally came the day of the celebration. It was held in the palace of culture. People threw on the shoulders of the person celebrating his jubilee one by one expensive dressing gowns with edging and lace. They presented tape-recorders, transistors and radios. In the greeting speeches one could hear complimentary addressings to Yergazy, such as, for example: "the encyclopedia of knowledge" or "tulpar of science". It was underscored: "for the following quantity of people he gave start in science", "the following quantity of people have defended their dissertations under his direction". All eulogy epithets and metaphors were used.  All virues of the person celebrating the anniversary as big as a pin's head became unreasonably swollen. Two old friends who some time Yergazy had fired, being deeply touched embraced and kissed him.
The person celebrating the anniversary realized that all words were mere. But step by step they did their part. At some moment Yergazy thought: "But why, strictly speaking, mere?" Suddenly he felt how much he had risen in his own eyes. He straightened and looked the gathered people around as if he wished to say:  "So I am!"
After each next greeting to his address Yergazy raised himself and respectfully bowed somebody in the hall. It turned out that in such a way he showed: "It's your turn to speak".
Next day the holiday banquet was held in the restaurant too. And the praise to the address of the birthday man that had been pronounced the day before faded in the comparison with that one which was heard here.
The long tables covered with show-white starched cloths were laden with food. There was everything somebody could only wish! Kazakh dishes - kazy, karta, chuzak, smoked liver. And rosy Almaty Oporto apples mixed with amber-coloured pineapples, both lemons-oranges and bananas-pineapples!  And drinks - to the taste of each one!
Zhannat with friends was meeting the guests. Two-three Arman's friends accepted presents for Yergazy. The birthday man personally was sitting in a comfortable armchair. He was dressed in a snow-white shirt and a new suit.
Even here in his own birthday party he examined the people who had come to greet him with his critical apprising look. "Yapyrmai, this sharp-nosed Sarsen looks fully like an owl, if nothing else but to send him to catch mice at night. And who is that one, long and lean? Perhaps I am growing old if I haven't recognized my old friend Sikymbai. It is even impossible to recognize - he is dressed like a goldfinch. Pah, why didn't I notice before that his nose is exactly like a fox's one? If to add a pair of sharp ears on the sides of his bald spot one could be able to muddle him up with a corsac! I wonder who is that one who has stretched like a heron on one foot!.."
At this time Kuntuar came into the hall. His wavy hair that had been as black as ink  some time was grey now but, in general, he looked the same as before:  straight and stately as if he wasn't touched by time.  From time to time he sparkled with the glasses of his spectacles in the golden frame.  Zhannat confusedly toke away her look from Kuntuar because she couldn't withstand his direct look. Zhannat's friends went towards the archaeologist, took him by the arms and led forward. Yergazy changed his strategy: he didn't wait as for all other ones when he would come up and greet but he personally hurried towards the guest.
-  I am sorry that I am late for the official part, - Kuntuar said after he had embraced and greeted Yergazy in a friendly way. On this big day he threw aside all doubts and offences. - My plane was detained for six hours in Almaty because of the non-flying weather.
It doesn't matter, the main thing that you have finally come! - Yergazy joyfully answered. - I was afraid that you wouldn't come at all.
Don't say so, don't say! How can I miss such a laid table! - Kuntuar joked as usual in such events. And with a soft smile he greeted the youth who had already gathered around him. - At the anniversaries I prefer to visit not the first but the second part.
The joke of the old archaeologist was supported by the amicable sonorous laugh. It seemed that with the coming of this kind and cheerful man who was sharp for words and had a virile mind everything became brighter around as if somebody had lit some additional lights in the hall. And suddenly Yergazy drooped and became sad.
"This Kuntuar is so lucky! He has just come and received everybody's attention at once. The youth climbs out of the skins, they are ready to eat out of his hands and catch each his word inflight. What has he charmed them with?
With Kuntuar's coming everybody as if on command started sitting at the tables.  Not to meet even with the look of Daniel's father Zhannat made her way to the farthest end of the hall and sat there. Arman found himself opposite Kuntuar.
The armchair of the anniversary commission, one of the most honorable guests - Syzdyk, who had been holding the yesterday's celebration, exacted a promise without hesitation today too.
- My dear friends! - He began straightening without embarrassment the tie with one hand. - We have gathered here today to continue the celebration in the name of our dear friend, one of the most famous scientists of Kazakh lands, our honorable Yergazy. His services are great for our motherland... - And Syzdyk repeated everything he had said yesterday. He finished the speech with the toast in honour of his director: - We wish you successes, our dear Yergazy, and many years of life! - The speaker dashingly drank a glass of cognac.
In the same tone he pronounced some more toasts. Kuntuar was asked to speak the last word.
- At each age a person has his own joys, - he said with a quiet but loud enough voice. - Life generously opens its secrets before the pressing and impudence of the youth. A young man is called to a heroic deed by dream to say the world something nobody has said yet. At the middle age a person is proud because he or she realizes that he or she has the life beyond devoted to honest labour and fight for the light tomorrow of his or her native nation. And this is the main price of the lived life. But there is one more measure - clean honour and conscience of a person sullied neither by betrayal nor by lie. Isn't it a proud for him or her? - Kuntuar adhered to the popular wisdom: if you wish to help your friend in grief just advise him what you personally would do in such a situation. - My dear old friend Yergazy! Today in our presence, in the presence of your age-mates, in the presence of all who have gathered here to greet you today you can be proud exactly of this. Exactly because of this I have flown here reckoning neither with my busy time nor with the distance. I sincerely wish you happiness and many years of life! I propose to drink to Yergazy's health!
Looking down in the floor the birthday man contritely thought: "Oh, my god! Doesn't Kuntuar really know about my real relation to him?  Or he just pretends that he is such a benevolent man! But perhaps? For sure. Exactly now and here he has decided to put me to shame and humiliate me in such a manner".
But meanwhile without a mark of shade and, as people say, without hiding a stone in the bosom Kuntuar went on speaking: 
- However, we should admit the weakness of old man before the youth. When a person is young his or her children are little too. As soon as they are grown-up it's just the time to live and live for their parents but here old age comes! Often our sons and daughters don't wish to follow us and choose their own ways. And as a rule they prefer greenways in the life. Joy of your children turns into your own pleasure, your children's misfortunes - into your grief. And there cannot be even a happier person at the old age who has given his son-nestling strong wings, light brain and a hot heart! Thanks Allah, and here, my dear friend Yergazy, you can be proud too. That's why I wish to drink to your family too, to your faithful wife, the friend of your long life! Unfortunately, I have been said that she is seriously ill and cannot share our general rejoicing... I also propose the toast to your son who protects and cherishes your old age! And to the health of your daughter-in-law... - Kuntuar stopped short. He was looking with the eyes for Zhannat. Finally he found her. Everybody who knew the story of Zhannat and Daniel pricked up their ears. "Something will happen now!" However, Kuntuar was looking warmly and friendly at Zhannat.  - To your health, Zhannat, - he quietly pronounced and drank.
Exactly at this time there heard some noise at the entrance. Some bright company who the people on duty didn't want to let come in anyhow at the door simply broke through in the hall.
The company was clearly directed to the holiday tables. A girl a bright-red wig bravely stepped in the head. A red jacket fitted tightly her slim enough figure. A pullover set off her long neck and the feminity of her shoulders and arms. She had golden ear-rings in the ears. Without any difficulty Zhannat recognized Bibi who she had seen before.
Behind Bibi's back but already not so bravely her friend was approaching to the table. That one looked more decently. Some more women came in together with them. Arman jumped, ran up and bowed scraping his feet inviting the company to the table. Zhannat's heart sank. She felt her defencelessness and... unavoidable misfortune - in such a way a lark knows about approaching of a storm feeling a slightest breath of wind in the clear sky. "No, no! - Zhannat tried to calm herself down. - It is impossible!"
Already before Zhannat had noticed that Arman had been sitting and looking from time to time at the entrance doors. "What's up with him? Who is he waiting for?" - She tried to guess. Now it was clear. However, Zhannat tried to show the people around with the whole her appearance that nothing special had happened. So to say she lulled the present people's vigilance. But as for her she could hardly restrain herself not to begin to cry.
The banquet had thundered with plenty of dishes, toasts and compliments. Everything responded to the appeal of everybody and the most people thought when going away:  "The celebration turned out very well". Only unhappy Zhannat returned home being killed with the misfortune: Arman went to see off Bibi.
She was lying with open eyes because she couldn't fall asleep. At some moment she couldn't restrain herself any more and started crying. Having hidden the face in the pillow she was silently sobbing being afraid to awake the children. At dawn she heard Arman's steps. He came in having opened the door with his key and silently laid on the sofa in the hall. It became the custom already long ago. When the husband returned so at dawn Zhannat thought: "He has just played too long cards with his friends..." Any other thoughts hadn't even come to her mind. She didn't even have time for thinking in addition. As soon as the first born had grown up from napkins she bore the second child. Every day she had much care, care about her children. Only sometimes and almost with fear Zhannat asked herself: "Has my love to Arman really changed fully into the love to the sons?" It seemed that for the time past being busy about the house and with ill Akgul and the father's-in-law banquet Zhannat had forgotten at all that she had the husband. Not a single time she had a wish to reproach him in the fact that he came home very late. Why did everything revolt in her heart today then?  Jealousy. Yes. Zhannat realized that she loved the husband as on the first day of their meeting.
The mother-in-law phoned in the morning. She questioned who they had held the anniversary. Zhannat answered with as a cheerful and even voice as she could.  But she begged to herself: "I wish she would learn nothing! Otherwise, she, a poor one, will not be able to rally from the illness".  However, a mother's heart always feels her children's misfortunes. In spite of all Zhannat's efforts Akgul understood that the daughter-in-law was sad because of something. And it was enough to make the poor woman sure: "I cannot stay in the hospital any more. I should return home! Without fail!" She was able to persuade the doctors and she was let go home from the hospital "to see the grandchildren".
But at home exactly at the same time her son was speaking addressing to the wife:
- I shall inform you... I ask you; don't be upset when you learn everything. The point is that... I leave you. For ever...
The husband's words responded with pain in Zhannat's heart. But she had enough strength to restrain herself and she quietly answered:
I see.
I leave you the room and the furniture. Zhannat mournfully grinned:
Are you so mercy and leave me my sons too or are you going to take them along? - And she turned away Arman not to be able to see tears in her eyes.
The phone rang. The ring was persistent. Zhannat slowly hooked up the receiver.
With an excited voice Akgul informed that she had missed the grandchildren and asked Zhannat to come and bring her home. Then as if she bethought Akgul asked:
And where is Arman?
Here, he is standing with the suitcase in the hands and is about to go away.
- You'd better to know about this from him personally,
- Zhannat pronounced through tears.
Akgul realized that the fatal thing had happened.
Call Arman to the phone.
When the son took the receiver the mother almost ordered:
Don't go away till my return!
Well, - Arman answered. - I wait. He spoke as if he did his mother a favour. Even twenty minutes didn't pass when Akgul was already standing at the threshold.
My son, - she spoke taking hardly her breath, - if you think that I am still your mother, fulfill then my will - don't make your children and the wife cry.
No, mum. I cannot fulfill your will. Because of me Bibi has got divorced from her husband. Now it's my turn to sacrifice...
- Be mercy, come to your sense! If you speak to me, your mother, in such a manner I will never forget to myself that I have born and brought up such a person like you. In spite of the fact that you are my only son in the life I damn you! - And Akgul slowly began to sink down, then she fell on her back and fainted.
She didn't come to herself any more. However much the doctors tried but they were not able to help her - the heart didn't withstand such a strong emotional upset.
And now - cry, Arman, lament, Zhannat, grieve, Yergazy! It was impossible either to change or to return nothing. The death is heartless and always comes not in time even if you live for one hundred years long. If the death had a soul it would be ashamed of those damnations which are sent by the humanity to it. But however long a person can live his or her might-have-been dreams always remain after him or her... That is why in the nation memory the life of each one is estimated not with the lived years but with the deeds done by them.
Arman realized only now that the mother had given him all her life up to the last breath. Earlier he hadn't been able even to imagine in the thoughts that everything could happen so.... He wished he would be able to suggest, just to know!
A human cannot have a heaviest punishment than the confession of his or her own crime. There isn't any more terrible judgment than the judgment of his or her own conscience. It is impossible to go away or hide from it.
Zhannat was also suffering very much because of the death of her favourite mother-in-law. Only Yergazy was externally self-restrained though it was terrible to look at him too. Tear just as had welled in his eyes so it seemed that they had frozen in them. It seemed that he had turned to stone. These his crying grandchildren, Arman embraced them with the torpid arms, peoplein mourning... Everything was strange. It was another, not his world. And he was here just a detached onlooker of somebody else's suffering.
The youngest brother-in-law of Akgul through the line of her first husband who had urgently flown to the funeral from the far away district was speaking the valedictory speech. He, Zhakyp, had grown up in Akgul's arms and liked her like the son. The sobbing squeezed his throat, the eyes were covered with tears...
Zhenge, you have changed my mother for me, nursed and brought me up. I wasn't able to listen to your parting words and sit at you nearby, seriously ill... And I will be grieve about this up to my own death. Good bye!
Kuntuar was asked to speak.
- My dear... relatives, - he slowly started, - if there are such ones like swans among the birds, white marals among the animals then Akgul was a decoration of the world among the women. But the death doesn't know any compassion! It is impossible to return Akgul. And we should take courage in our general grief. Dear Yergazy! However much you could take a hold of yourself we all understand how endless your grief is and we share it with you. Be a reliable support for your children. You should learn to be able as Akgul could do this to support, gladden and calm them down in time. I wish the memory about Akgul would not only be crowned  with some grey granite but also would settle in your heart for ever...
Meanwhile the remembering table was laid in Yergazy's house. However deep Zhannat's grief was but after returning from the cemetery she had to restrain her tears and accept people. And suddenly at this moment... she saw the very women coming in the house who had appeared uninvited in the anniversary. They were approaching to Arman stressing with all their appearance that they had come to express their condolences. All of them were in mourning. Bibi was again in the head.
Zhannat lingered a bit and resolutely stepped then toward the arrived ones.
  - Get out of here! - She cried angrily out. - Get out!

When Kuntuar first came to work to the research institute he was surprised with the poor equipment of the scientific base. However, at those times before the Patriotic War many institutes didn't have even a laboratory. And, in general, these institutes could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Kuntuar remembered how many real patriots and true talents had come then in science. These people were afraid neither life troubles nor hard work. Now much changed in the research institutes. The material base grew stronger. The whole collectives were working at the most important themes for the development of the national economy. Of course, such a method for the organization of investigations couldn't prevent an individual research. You know, sometimes the intuition leads the scientist to his discovery. Or it can happen that the today's discovery is just the beginning for the series of other ones, just a connecting gangway to some more serious results.
But... it can happen in science too when an investigator has spent all his life for the solution of the problem but hasn't achieved the wished aim. That one who comes in science must be ready for such a sacrifice too.
But everybody knows that the aim of science is to find out some general laws of the development and the nature. Such laws are the base for the future discoveries. Of course, it doesn't mean that one shouldn’t work at the problems necessary for the national  economy, for the economics of the country today, now. However, today not everything new can live.  Often hasty discoveries become old already tomorrow. And the fame easy got by you fades soon together with your obsolete discovery.
Of course, it is impossible to do some great advances every day. It is also naturally that even the most progressive and leading epoch can give tens of thousands of academicians and professors but... no one Galua, Lobachevskiy or Chockan. First of all, science needs a talent. A real one. Not just knowledge. It is possible to obtain them but as for talent one should be born talented.
Any science is like the waters of a fast river. Fighting with its waves not each one can reach the opposite bank. Other ones begin to go down stream after coming in the river.
The same things can happen in archeology too - the most ancient one of the sciences. However, just five thousand years ago people could already open the tomb after burying their diseased first pharaoh in the golden tomb under the arches of the first pyramid. Archeology was conceived and lives since those times. Moreover, even the methods and means of an archaeologist's work haven't changed too: the aim and the plans are born in the head of a scientist and only then people begin to use a pick and a shovel. But to say the truth during the excavations of big barrows people recently began to use bulldozers and excavators and archaeologists trust the equipment with a great care, watch with fear each movement of a machine being afraid that the valuable finds can be damaged.
And a lot of burial places and sites of ancient settlements were discovered exactly with the help of these simple pick and shovel. The world has learnt so many ancient epochs and civilizations! Plus to this all - the manuscripts of Ancient Egypt, of the nations of Maya, Aztecs and Sumers.  The archaeologists told people about the secrets of the great culture of ancient Greeks, zheikhuns and koshans...
Kuntuar Kudaibergenov belonged to the group of real scientists, enthusiasts and people who were ready to sacrifice both the health and the life for the sake of the affair and the science.  He was sixty now. Just an odd fellow! Other one if he or she were him would begin to worry: he says, what's up with you, my relatives, my age-mates and my colleagues? I see, I should do justice! Another one would organize, like Yergazy, a gaud in advance and with it together - the praising of his own person.
Kuntuar acted in another way. He simply invited his old friends to come and have just cup of tea at his place. They will sit long - from the evening up to the late night. They will remember their youth, sing their favourite songs which they sang some time.
Sixty!.. Kuntuar felt sad. So much had happened during these years, so much he had experienced! He had had both joys and misfortunes. The most annoying was the fact that having chosen archeology he had hoped to achieve much. Archeology had seemed to him to be living and understandable. Ah, the inexperienced adolescence! 
But all the same he underscored his investigations and had published not one book about them. And yesterday he had brought everything to the scientific council having processed all as a master's thesis.
But most of all he was sorry about the fact that the Kairaktinskiy expedition for which he had spent the best years of his life hadn't brought any wished results yet. And the bitter thoughts about the same thing again: "It is impossible... It is impossible that nobody lived on the territory of Kazakhstan at the bronze age and earlier. Let's think it is so. Let's think that Saki and Cimmerians were the progenitors of the first culture on the lands of modern Kazakhs since the times of their origin.  But where did they come from? Where did their high culture come to them from too? They were just nomads. Could they, who were busy all the time with the movements from one place into another, really create the monuments of bronze and iron in "the animals' style"? He didn't have the answer to this question.
But to say the truth some finds could shed light upon the past of the Kazakh lands. In such a way the bone of a hazar mammoth was found on the bank of the Ishim. Last year two teeth of an elephant had been found already here, in the Kairaktinskiy expedition. According to these finds it was possible to suppose, that at ancient times both the banks of the Ishim and the banks of the Zhaksart had been covered with forests. It was impossible to say more yet.
During his arrival - to Akgul's funeral - he had visited the expedition again. But he hadn't found anything consolatory again. Only at the depth of two meters (the period of anthropogen) they had found some bones of a wild ox. Kuntuar had ordered them to send to the naturalists' museum of the Zoology institute in the Academy of Sciences.
If this year they find nothing the Kairaktinskiy expedition will be really closed.
Being deep in such thoughts the scientist was sitting in his large study now. Somebody knocked at the door.
Come in, - Kuntuar invited. Mikhailov came in. For the time past he was the head of the excavation works in the expedition. In the hands Vasily had two huge worldly-wise rucksacks which he carefully, like babies, brought into the room. 
I greet you, Kuntuar Kudaibergenov, - Mikhailov said carefully dropping his burden in the center of the room. - Here this is, please.
- What is it?
In stead of the answer Vasily busily began to untie the rucksacks.
On the second day after your departure, - he started speaking, - we came across the burial place that was put round with some stones. We started digging. We dug out the walls. Then we noticed that one corner was higher than other ones. It looked like a grand welcome with a magic kingdom! We have found this. - He slowly pulled out and accurately placed some circles cast of unknown metal. Kuntuar jumped up from his chair and quickly came up to the finds.
What does it mean? How you could... by yourselves! Why haven't you informed me?
At first we decided to do this but then we changed our minds. What for to worry a person before the time? - And Vasily began to pull out the rest of the things found during the excavations - the quadrangular plates covered with drawings up and down.
These are either letters, - he went on, - or a game, some kind of our dominoes. I don't know, but to say the truth we have found a lot of them.
Kuntuar put the cup which he was holding in the hands and rushed to the plates.  Having dropped on the knees he took one, the second, the third... Now he brought them into a line, then traded their places, connected them in some fanciful patterns and brought them in some order unknown for Vasily.  His hands were shuddering a bit showing his huge excitement.
Yapyrmai... - Kuntuar quietly said as if he was afraid to frighten somebody or something away. He carefully rose from the knees examining the placed plates. One could see joy on his face, his eyes were sparkling in a smile. - What would you like to get for the suyunshi?
I wish your joy will be this present for me!
Do you realize what news you have brought me? And but for your persistence we wouldn't have anything in our hands now!
After the recent trip to Kairakty Kuntuar had lost courage at all. After learning that they hadn't had any new results he had been about to scale down the excavation works. Exactly then Mikhailov had shown his persistence: he had asked for the permission to dig up to autumn at least. "It's not good to fire the workers until the expiration date of the agreement with them", - he had explained. Kuntuar had agreed.
There are a lot of such stones there, - Vasily said showing that his personal merit wasn't very great here.
If my thoughts prove true that these stones are the monuments of the beginning of the bronze epoch or of even earlier time we will be the witnesses of a great discovery! It means that a highest culture existed here long before Sakis. No, why are we standing them? Let's go! Are you by car? Let's go!
They were stopped by the phone call. Kuntuar hooked up the receiver.
Speak, - he joyfully answered not being able still to restrain his joy. - Hello!  I haven't understood. - One could hear some surprise in his voice. - Repeat, please!
We have got your certification of a personal pensioner, - the soft woman's voice was kindly pronouncing on that end of the wire. - Yergazy Mejunovich appointed a special scientific council for tomorrow where he personally hands it you over with circumstance. 
Kuntuar recognized: this was Yergazy's secretary who Yergazy had recently employed. One of the dzhigits- jokers had learnt her to call her chief not Mejnunovich by the name of Yergazy's father but Mejunovich what meant "a fool's one" And now the woman said exactly so:
Yergazy Mejunovich asked you to come at eleven o'clock.
Kuntuar started shuddering with anger caught all his creature. He could just say through his teeth:
What pension are you speaking about? Did I ask him for pension? Who will get into shape the Kairaktinskiy monuments then?
Having understood nothing the woman started speaking even kindlier:
Perhaps, he by himself. I don't know about this. I have received just an order to call you to the council by eleven o'clock for tomorrow.
Kuntuar threw the receiver down in a fit of anger. A moment ago he was joyful and his eyes were shining. And suddenly he drooped: He stopped speaking and helplessly dropped in the armchair. He was sitting for some time having covered the eyes with the hand and not changing the pose and silently pronounced then:
- Yergazy has pensioned me. He calls me to his office and wants to hand me over the certification of a pensioner.
In his intentions Yergazy looked like a perdue cat and in the same manner he - stealthily and on the quiet - had done his black business.
The director of the branch understood that there was no use to fight openly against his former friend. That's why he had used the possibility to send the archaeologist to... the deserved rest. He thought Kuntuar personally wouldn't be able to find any words of reproach because everything was according to the law.
In general, it wasn't easy for Yergazy to decide Kuntuar's fate. He was thinking long enough before to begin to gather the documents of the archaeologist for pension. And most of all he was afraid that the papers could get into the hands of academician Verginskiy. It was a secret for nobody that Verginskiy highly appreciated Kuntuar's services in archeology and him personally as a human. It was naturally that the academician wouldn't let dismiss the famous investigator without his own wish. That's why, in order nobody to suspect him in bias Yergazy decided to arrange for Kuntuar not a simple but a personal pension. To win the affair for sure he began to wait for a proper case.
And soon there appeared such a case. Soon Verginskiy went to a long business trip abroad for six months or so. Next day Yergazy took the prepared papers and went to the deputy of Verginskiy. He explained his eagerness in the following way:
- I am troubling about the personal pension for Kuntuar Kudaibergenov. Of course, it is not an easy affair. In spite of the fact that he is both talented and famous in science but all his life he has been working just as a worker. In a word, I don't know what to do. I have absolutely eaten my heart out. It is a secret for nobody - he is my best friend. And unfortunately, he is already sixty now... He worked long in our institute, directed the expeditions from time to time and wrote several books. Of course, I know the laws and understand that officially we don't have a right to ask for a personal... Perhaps, it would be better if the academician personally will sign the documents but I haven't had enough time to prepare everything before his departure.  That's why I have come with this request to you. Please, don't refuse me...
The deputy began to think.
Perhaps, all the same it would be better if Verginskiy personally signs. - He said. - I think we shouldn't hurry. Let's wait for his arrival.
You don't have less authority, - Yergazy tried to redress the situation. - Kuntuar is well-known in addition. Not anybody else but him the personal pension will be allowed.
Being in thoughts the deputy pronounced:
Just look, the person is sixty but he is so bright and cheerful!  Isn't it early for him to ask for pension?
- Don't say so, don't say! Of course, not early. Archeology is such a science where people become quickly worn out. In summer a person basks in the sun, in winter he or she feels cold in frost. And to dig the ground isn't to write something at the table. Kuntuar just has a young-looking appearance. But in reality this poor one doesn't have even a healthy place...
Really? Then we will ask for pension but he personally must decide to work him or not, - the deputy finished.
It had happened long ago. Now, thanks to the tireless troubles of Yergazy the certification of a personal pensioner was finally got too. After hearing then the words "he personally must decide to work him or not" from the deputy Yergazy had been afraid that his idea could be a complete failure.  And to feel more safety he hadn't conducted any talks with Kuntuar. "It's better, - he decided, - to call the council and hold him over the certification of a pensioner before the assembled people. It is impossible that Kuntuar will say: "I won't take it... and I want to be retired". He will be ashamed of the gathered people!" - Yergazy thought so and wanted this. - And to do everything openly will mean less suspicion to my private interest and participation.  Everything is honour to where honour is due". For this special reason he ordered a golden folder for "a personal pensioner" and prepared some presents... But... Yergazy feared in the soul and was a prey to doubts: "Have I really hurried up, perhaps? I haven't finished my own affair yet..."
He had the cause for such thoughts. Half a month ago there had been announced the elections in the Academy. In archeology - a vacant place of a member-correspondent. Once Yergazy had been a candidate but he hadn't got it. Now it seemed to him that he didn't have any opponents. But... Peilzhan who had become a Doctor of Philosophy a year ago. His favourite student will also put his candidature in the elections. It meant that they both wished to get the same vacancy. The voices will divide and it can happen that Yergazy won't get this job again. Peilzhan should be shy to compete with him, his benefactor. Exactly Yergazy had done so much for him during the defence of his master's thesis and especially - of thesis for a doctor's degree.
Together with this the benefactor personally perfectly knew the character and the habits of the newly made doctor of philosophy. "Why have I hurried up to make him a doctor? I should have waited a little, up to the elections at least..." - He was depressed now. Thinking that now it was his turn to become an academician Yergazy decided to speak to Peilzhan. That one having crossed the hands on the breast assured him on oath that he didn't have any intentions to stand for election.  "Am I crazy? My older brother is standing on the way to Torus and I will get there over his head! No. Now it's your turn. After you, of course, - mine".
And when Yergazy's candidature was proposed by the Kairaktinskiy branch of the institute Peilzhan - the "favourite learner", a like-minded person and a follower of his teacher - supported it and... proposed his own candidature on the same place at the same time, only from other scientific establishment!..  Yergazy was absolutely upset. However he weighed up but he would have to speak to Peilzhan again and more seriously in addition. If he doesn't recall his candidature then...
But exactly because Yergazy knew his disciple very well he, after weighing all "for" and "against", continued to doubt in the positive result of the forethought affair.
The today’s' scientific council that was devoted to the ceremonial Kuntuar's retiring with a sense of a job well done upset a bit the course of the main events.  And nobody else but he, Yergazy, must both open and direct this meeting into the required course. It can last too long - each one will try to say some warm words before the retiring of the scientist. It will turn out that one is his friend, the other one - an admirer of his talent... But now he could do nothing, the meeting was appointed, the people were invited and... prepared. Perhaps he will be able to do this all at a moment. And here these elections! Of course, because of them he lingered with Kuntuar's retiring and didn't choose any time up to now yet to set the monument on Akgul's grave...
Yergazy resolutely pressed the button of the ring. The secretary with shining blue eyes came into the room. Her hair was dyed in grey. No, she didn't come but floated in. Having glanced over the chief she asked without hiding the coquetry:
- Have you invited me?
Yergazy unwillingly fixed the look at the secretary admiring her regal bearing.
Did you phone Kudaibergenov yesterday? - He asked trying to hide his pleased smile.
Of course.
What did he answer?
I wrote everything down... He said they could take the council as long they want. - She looked into the note book. - He remembered Einstein.  And he said in addition: "Sixty isn't thirty, every minute counts". I said him: some man are even in sixty better than some young ones. - The woman knowingly looked at her chief again.
Then? What then?
"I cannot come to the meeting, - the secretary was reading. - I urgently go to Kairakty. There discovered some wonderful finds.
What else?
"I will not return to Almaty until I finish my investigations". And he recommended in addition not to hurry with the paper work for his retiring. And if, he says, they hurry up they should write an order without any unnecessary procrastination.
Ooh! - Yergazy took his breath as if he loaded off his mind. The fate personally warns him: he shouldn't pension off Kuntuar now. It's better not to poison the atmosphere...
I see you have overworked yourself and are tired. - The secretary said with care.
No, don't say so! I am just glad that Kuntuar cannot go to the meeting and that we can remit the council now... - Yergazy smiled: - I am glad to see you.
You are joking still!
No, without jokes... Stay here after the work today!
Why? - The woman fondly smiled.
Well, well... I should really explain you... 
Just look then... If somebody notices this there will be hell to gossip.
We should do everything very carefully and wisely, - Yergazy tutorially said entering into the role of her protector.
The secretary floated out from the room in the same manner as she had come in. Looking after her Yergazy thought: "All the same, life is a wonderful thing! Just we don't always value it. Now work, then other troubles and there you realize that death is near at hand. Only a look, just a smile of such a woman counts for a lot!
At this time the secretary appeared again.
A person has come to you, - she pronounced the same coquettishly as before. 
Your friend. This... a doctor... how to call him I've forgotten... a long one...
Ah, do you mean Peilzhan?
Invite, let him come in.
The real love is such feeling, such an alliance that neither time nor life troubles are able to destroy. Even if it is without reciprocity even then love gives a person great strengths for life and helps to overcome and experience a grief.
Exactly the love, the love to Zhannat led Daniel along the difficult untrodden way of creative work when he was creating his book.
Enough much time already passed since he had read Peilzhan's review for his manuscript. Having listened to the father's advices he made it over and over. Finally he brought the novel to the publishing house. There people became familiar with the book and agreed to publish it.
I read with a great excitement and pleasure, - one of the leading critics said the author. - I just wish that the narration would be closer connected with our time. It would strengthen the novel very much.
The demonstration of the reality... In the direct sense of this word I didn't wish to include this in my creative concepts, - Daniel answered. - The reader should see in the book not only the written facts but also read its underlying theme. Let's take, for example, love lines. Is it really possible to speak here about some kind of archaism in the relations? For the long time past many things have changed in the world. Only this feeling remains eternal. And a heart of a fallen in love young man speaks and trembles in the same as thousands years ago.
I agree with you in the fact that love raises a human in the same manner as thousands years ago. But you shouldn't forget about another thing - a human personally becomes absolutely different. We have different ideals... I thought what a whole-hearted love Kozy-Korpesh and Bayan had.
Yes, of course, today the base of relations is absolutely different too. Today love is an alliance of free people. The class contradictions don't stand like a barrier between them.
Don't you think that today love is not as whole-hearted and self-sacrificing as before?
It is enough unexpected turn.  But all the same I think that the power of love is in its clearness and its eternity.
I speak about the same. Some time Sparetra endlessly loved her husband. But can we always see such examples now? Constancy... Inconstancy in love... Why does it happen?
Daniel began to think. And again - about Zhannat. "She left me... What is the real cause for this? Was she called by love or did she just yield to Arman's temptation?  But perhaps, all the same me... I wasn't nearby and didn't protect her from the misfortune with my love. Let's think, I..." And again always troubling question: "Does it mean that she didn't love... me? Does it mean that sooner or later she would betray me?"
Everything revolted against this conclusion in the soul and in the brain of Daniel "No, perhaps the cause lies in the fact how everything began between us since our childhood. Zhannat just became accustomed to me from the childhood and then when she was already grown up she easily called this all "love". And she herself sincerely believed in the incorruptibility of her feeling. But here came the real love and the way... Arman barred... No, Zhannat wasn't false! Is it really possible to say her: "Love me but not Arman?" Not anybody else's but your love cannot be forced. I know, know that Zhannat doesn't love me but all the same I cannot forget her!"
This all flashed like a lightning in Daniel's head while he was sitting being deeply in thoughts and keeping silent before the critic who was turning over the pages of his manuscript. Then he pronounced:
- Today love is as living and strong as before. Just we, writers, cannot, are not able yet to say about it with the required strength and passion.  And we should write about real and all-conquering love, write oftener and more... 
- That's just the point Have you understood me now? But we are carried away. Without any words, it's interesting to read about Saki times. However, you shouldn't forget about our conversation...
So wonderful a person is constructed! When Daniel remembered about Zhannat or heard her name in the morning his heart began to beat and was beating all in a fluster up to late night. Didn't it really live according to the laws of the same love as at the times of the heroes of the ancient epos? Is there only one way out from a grief - death? However, life exists too! It is given to a person for a fight for its triumph and poetry which are the most valuable in the world.
Meanwhile the friends were repeating over and over again in eager rivalry. "That's enough to suffer, Daniel. There are as many girls in life as flowers in a field. There are not only big-eyed golden daisies but also both tender lilies of the valley and violets, and forget-me-nots, and steppe tulips! Just choose..." Once he was even persuaded to meet with one young singer. The girl was beautiful and its voice was clear and tender.
How do you like her? - The guys asked him then.
- Without any words, she is beautiful! - Daniel sincerely said after visiting the concert of his new friend.
Does the matter, of course, depend on wedding now?
Who to marry? Her or her songs? I don't absolutely know this person and I don't have any wish to know her at all.
Another time one rising star of the young ballet found him by herself.  After several meetings she directly asked:
Do you like me?
Of course. Do you know a person who doesn't like you? But one other girl responds to my appeal more than you.- The young writer answered.
You are not Hemingway! - The "star" started laughing.
Days passed by, the work at the new novel about Zhannat,  about life and love quickly moved forward... Only the letters coming from his father could prevent Daniel from working. The letters gave him new thoughts, made him think and brought him some inexplicable, light and high joy.
Today he got a letter too. The father informed: "I live among many archaeological monuments. Are they these witnesses of the history which I dream to bring to life? I don't know yet. Only one thing is clear: the finds have relation to another, not Saki's culture. It is pity that these mysterious strangers from another world have fallen into my hands only now but not on the days of my youth. Will the time given me by the fate be enough for their clue? Not everybody wishes it in addition. Some people hurry up to shelve me and retire. However, they are deeply mistaking. Even then I will look for the answer to the question interesting for me. Even if these monuments don't speak to me - all the same, I won't go away, most likely I'll die among them..."
On one hand, Daniel was glad that his father was in such optimistic spirit. On the other hand the actions of these "some ones" dispirited and offended him.
He was exactly in such spirit when once he suddenly met Peilzhan. They greeted each other. And Peilzhan said as if nothing had happened between them:
I have heard that your novel will be published. I am glad to congratulate you! I have read the last variant and saw that you had taken into account all my remarks. And, in general, even if you hadn't taken into account all the same your novel could be published.
Why have you insisted on them if these were the inessential remarks?
Well, my old friend! It's clear - I wished to help you as much as I could. In addition, not only I thought at this but I advised with one wise person.
What is he, this person, who can think in stead of others? Where was your own head then?
Mine - on my neck, - Peilzhan started laughing. - But only that one influential person turned it a bit and tilted the balance to his advantage.
Well, I see you have such a neck that one can turn your head where he or she wants. What to do?!..
Daniel was surprised with the false compliance and obedience of Peilzhan.  "What is the cause here? Where is he leading? What has he intended? What does he wants from me? As far I know he is not such a person who will open himself so easily in the presence of other ones".
In general, there is not a secret here, - Peilzhan started speaking again. - You personally know this person. He is the enemy number one of your father.
My father has enemies neither under the first nor under the second or under the third number. He has hurt nobody during his life.
Do you really think that a person can have enemies only when he or she hurts anybody? Evil often goes from people with a narrow soul. Well, haven't you understood yet? I say directly: Yergazy is an enemy of your father. Exactly he wants to retire Kuntuar and shelve him.
Retire? But does it really mean that Yergazy does a hostile work? And, in general, I don't think that he is able for a mean action.
What is a mean action to your mind then?
When at somebody's instigation a person slanders another one.
Peilzhan was ingenuously laughing: 
What a dzhigit! You are still angry with my review! Never mind,your book will be published, you will become kinder and forgive your real friends their misses too.
- Of course! If to answer for evil with evil then what for to live?
- In this you are right. I have done a good deed for your father too.
- What?
- Don't fume, just listen to at first! One of these days we have elections in the Academy. Yergazy has proposed his candidature for the position of a member-correspondent. You see, to cool him a bit down I achieved the proposition of my candidature for the same position too. Of course, I don't hope very much that I will be elected. But then Yergazy will not be elected too because the voices are divided.
- Are you joking? Do you really think that if Yergazy becomes an academician, then shanrak1 of my father will turn over?
- Ah, you can say everything you want! But I am sure that your father thinks differently.
- Well, let's think that everything is so you say. Only one thing isn't clear. Why do you worry about my father?

1A hole for smoke on the top of a yourt.

That's a question! I am not an enemy for your father!
Your words are not the words of a friend.
You can interpret it as you want. But just think by yourself where the logic is: I treat against the enemy of you father. Who am I personally for him then?
Whatever you may do but the thing you do is a real meanness.
I let even these words pass by my ears, we will learn it then. But now I wish to say you the following... One of these days I met Yereke. He asked me to recall my candidature. I said that I wouldn't do this. In short, we had a serious talk and now we are at odds.
Daniel couldn't understand still what Peilzhan wanted from him. "Oh, my god! Why does he show all his cards as during a confession at a mullah's? No, such his obsequiousness is not for good. Peilzhan is not a simple person". Daniel being busy with his thoughts was listening to his cushioned voice as in a doze:
I have absolutely made sure in Yergazy's negligibility. I know that in due time I have brought many troubles for your father too. I beg, talk to him. I wish he will forgive me for everything, - Peilzhan repented. - And he shouldn't calm down. It is possible that Yergazy can become an academician. He is supported by many influential persons.
Trying still to guess the hidden intentions of his interlocutor Daniel asked:
You have said that my father shouldn't calm down. How to understand this?
He shouldn't sit still doing nothing. He should write somewhere... Your father knows what to do. I am sure his opinion will be taken anywhere into account! 
At last... At last he clearly understood Peilzhan's perfidious plan. Is it possible not to be terrified with such meanness? Even the sweat stood out on forehead with excitement. It seemed to him that he also had art and part in the dirty affairs.
- It's even strange how deep a person can sink into dirt! - Daniel was almost whispering with anger.

Up to now Arman didn't think about his life. He just lived and lived... Everything was at his service. When he was a burden on learning he put the books aside. When the threat to stay for the second year hung over - the parents rushed for help at once. The mother persuaded, begged the teacher and promised that the son would "improve, catch up with the rest and learn". And Arman moved up from one form in the next one.
Akgul and Yergazy did everything in power their son would pass the entrance examinations in the institute.  They used all possibilities: authority, influential people, services... Even in his student years, if it happened that their son had flunked an exam the parents "passed it by themselves". Not without their participation he stayed to work in Almaty after receiving the diploma of higher education with great difficulty.
Then he began to work in Kuntuar's expedition. By this time he didn't notice even by himself that he had become enthusiastic about drinks and playing cards. When the parents understood this and took alarm they sincerely wished nothing else but Arman's marriage as soon as possible. Exactly here he met Zhannat. But could a marriage really make staid such a rake? No, his thoughts were just about to sit in a restaurant or spend a night playing cards. However, if Arman was going out in the evening but Zhannat started frowning the poor mother stood up for his son at once. "Let him have fun while he is young, - she said. - When he is grown up he will realize everything. Forgive him this, please".
On the last days Arman revised each his step, revalued every his action, sorted out in mind everything since he remembered himself and... up to the funeral of his mother. He was terrified how aimlessly and light-heartedly he had spent the years: "Up to what I have brought the mother and me personally, my family!'
... Arman couldn't quietly lie on the sofa, he tossed and turned now and again. "I cannot live so any more. If to look into - I have killed my own mother who was guilty in nothing". For the fact him to become a human only Zhannat could fight now. As soon as he remembered about the wife another figure appeared nearby - Bibi. "No, no! That's enough to joke. I have my own family: Zhannat, two sons".
Up to this time the word "family" meant for him nothing. Everything was on the shoulder of the parents. Yergazy supported the family. And Zhannat never addressed to the husband with the request like this one: "We don't have this. Could you get it?" Only now Arman began to realize that all these years long he had been just a moth who had been warming the wings at somebody else's fire.
Now when the grief made him remember about the family he was taken aback: What shall I do? He remembered the situations which he had read from books or seen in films...  Of course, he should work. But where to work? What is he able to do? And what does he want to do? For a person who is not accustomed to any duties any labour is everywhere a burden. Any skills or knowledge, at least minimum persistence in overcoming of the first difficulties - Arman had nothing of this. He took service with one, the second, the third establishment... But he stayed nowhere for a long time. He withdrew voluntary. Once he remembered that before the very death of the mother he had worked at the plant. And he went there again.
The shop foreman, Akhmetkali, met Arman. He attentively listened to him. After learning about the grief he said with sympathy:
Yes, with the death, brother, it can't be helped.  It both comes when you don't wait for and takes away who it wishes. The following thing can happen sometimes: the better a person is the sooner he or she dies. Even if you break into pieces: you can cry, grieve, lament - nothing will help. So that, guy, you are grown-up. Keep your pecker up! And as for work we will find it for you, - the foreman added wiping the hands with the apron made of linen. - I don't know just what? You are a person shirking rough or dirty work. I'll take you today but tomorrow you will get drunk.
I have finished with this already long ago...
- Well, guy, take yourself in hand. Go and set to work.
 Arman tried. He was concentrated, self-contained and kept silent. On the first day up to the lunch he was dragging up marble to the cutter.  He was sitting in the shade all the break under the tent. "Let's go to the canteen!" - Some guys from the brigade cried his out. He didn't go. After the break he started cutting stone but there was a hitch somewhere. He was working with frenzy, almost unconsciously. At least for some time he wished to get rid of the mother's image that was standing before him all the time. 
Without success.
And so for ten days long.
Akhmetkali didn't almost speak to Arman. He just came up, looked how that one as if was raging at a piece of grey marble and went aside again. What did Arman want to cut from this huge stone as high as a human's height? At first the foreman hadn't understood and was already about to say: "Why do you bugger about? Be engaged!". Then he remembered what a man Arman was, remembered his condition and said nothing again and didn't reproach him: why aren't you busy with the scheduled work?
At first Akhmetkali thought that his new worker just spent the days in vain. Keeping silent and without any reason he put file-hard steel of the edge of the chisel against the stone and tirelessly beat against its handle with the hammer. But since a human's face started appearing on the surface of the grey marble the foreman noticed that Arman began to work like one possessed at all, ten-twelve hours a day but not seven as it was required. He spent nights in the plant too. A day wasn't enough for him! Now he didn't leave open his closet in the workshop and hung a lock on the door... 
If Akhmetkali had come to visit Arman before now he didn't do this any more. The old fellow was unwell. In general, the guys from the workshop already knew that he was working at the sculpture of a human and didn't touch him with unnecessary questions.
Akhmetkali recovered in ten days or so. After coming to work first of all he went to Arman. He was shocked when he saw how that one was bustling about the sculpture of a woman.
Oh, my god, - Akhmetkali said carefully touching the marble. - Both rather like and unlike deceased Akgul. Her grief is rather like.
I wanted to show how much she had suffered and been defenseless before the death.. - Arman answered the foreman's words.
I'm sorry, brother, but up to now I cannot understand. What has led her to the sudden death?
The mother wasn't able to withstand the death of her only son before her eyes...
How you've said! I cannot understand you at all. You were her only son. You are... living. How can it be?
Arman was almost crying with a bitter sigh:
I wish I would die than live! The shop foreman didn't ask about anything any more.  Shaking contritely with the head he went aside.
After returning from the leave the director of the plant Kasymov ordered to make a monument for one diseased famous scientific figure of the grey marble which he personally had brought from Kirghizia. The order was urgent and demanded immediate performance. After receiving the order Akhmetkali began to think. Then he went to the director and started directly speaking:
We don't have this grey marble. Kasymov was surprised:
And where is it?
The director was not a man to be trifled with. He was a hot-tempered and sharp person. Of course, Akhmetkali remembered that Arman had started hammering marble without permit. However, this time he decided to take the responsibility on himself.
We have used it for a good thing, - the foreman said as friendly as possible as if he tried to suggest the director the same feeling.
What a good thing? - Kasymov boiled over in reply.
Akhmetkali tried to remain calm.
Perhaps, you remember, - he started from afar. - In spring we took a guy by name Arman as a stonecutter...
Are you speaking about that lazy bone whose father is a professor?
Yes, about him. And so... It turned out that he was the only son in the family.
The director didn't let him finish the phrase and interrupted sharply:
I know... he wastes time, is a drunkard and a gambler. You took him in vain. I don't think that he is a good worker.
That's true, of course. But... it is still possible to make a human from the young man. He is not so hopeless as you think.
I doubt. And why are you talking profusely about this all here at all? How is it related to the subject?
- You see... The professor is just his step-father. And as for the mother of the fellow she died soon after your departure.
And what then? Eternal memory for her...
We gave the stone to Arman, he asked... Of it the fellow himself has cut the sculpture of his mother.
What do you mean "cut"? - Kasymov began to shout. - He is a sculptor, am I right? Why does he work then as a simple worker?
- To say the truth he didn't know by himself that he is able to cut a sculpture...
Ah, only devil can realize you! Has he paid any money for marble at least?
What are we speaking about then? Have you presented him this marble, am I right? Do you realize at all, your old head, what damage you have caused for the plant? 
I think the damage is not small... But what a monument at the same time!
Here Kasymov lost his patience:
Hey, do tell! What are we? A gravestone co-operative? I don't need your sentimentalism! I cannot file them to the plan! We are a state plant...
Just look, look what he has been able to create, this Arman! - Akhmetkali was speaking not yielding to the director's spirit. - The monument isn't finished yet but already now it is a creature of an artist. We all will think how to bring it on charge and where to get money.
Kasymov stood up from his armchair. This was a person who considered each his action of the work from the standpoint of the fulfillment of the plant plan. And when somebody prevented him to fulfill the plan this "somebody" became the enemy number one for him. Even if this was his own son. Even him he would immediately set on the right path...
Kasymov didn't see any symbolism or any artistic skill in the sculpture. The stone remained for him just a stone. But all the same, trying to be objective, he went around the block for more several times. Having examined everything in an exacting manner he slowly turned his eyes to Arman frozen aside:
Have you done it from nature or how?
No. From my mind... It's a sculpture of my mother... - Arman said.
Of your mother? Oh, right... My condolences. How old was she?
She was fifty.
Did she have any more children, except you?
Perhaps, Kasymov didn't know what to say Arman any more. He didn't also know what he should do with this very monument. He went round it for two times or so and touched it by the hands...
- I dragged this stone almost on my back from there, - the director began to worry again.
Akhmetkali realized: he won't pity Arman too now and will attack him then.  That's why he started speaking indifferently and earnestly again: 
Here is your "thank you very much"! But what a monument he has created at the same time!
What a monument has he created at the same time?
Wonderful! Beautiful! A real one.
I don't see both anything wonderful or beautiful. The old foreman regretfully shrugged: it is up to you or someone else.
- You haven't examined it well! Just look at it better! - He insisted.
- How do I look at, to your mind? You have wasted so much perfect rock in vain! If you cannot by yourself why haven't you ordered it in a workshop of a funeral facility? - He addressed to Arman. - Now we have neither marble nor the monument.
We have the monument. Only a blind one is not able to see it! - Akhmetkali noticed gloomily and almost quietly.
The director went on without paying attention to him:
Now, when you all are such know-alls, say me then who will pay the forfeit to the plant? Just count: payment for the pit, transportation... Ah, that's just it. What else can I say here? We shall bring you to court, immediately to court. This will be right!
Arman who had been silently standing aside up to now pronounced:
I'll pay you money.
But the director didn't listened to him. After turning sharply on the heels he resolutely directed to his office. There he found the brigade tables for the just ended month and was surprised even more: Arman wasn't registered in them. Kasymov called the bookkeeper at once:
Did you pay Arman his salary?
Yes, we did, - the bookkeeper answered.
What for did you run payroll calculations if the fellow didn't work even a day in a stone saw?
You see, he was registered in the work card in the stone saw.
Who closed the work card?
As is right and proper, foreman Akhmetkali.
The farther into the forest, the thicker the trees! I can't understand just one thing at all, - the angry director went on speaking. - Why does this nothing-for-good from the professor's family win such brigade workers' compassion? Does he really need a financial support?
- The point doesn't lie in money here, - Akhmetkali who had appeared at the doors explained. - After the mother's death Arman was on his last legs. He himself was about to die and walked around the plant like a lost one. That's why we all decided: he may do everything he wants, either draw or paint, or cut the stone. We just wished he would come to sense! Otherwise he might start drinking or think out something else, worse for all I know. The Arman's month norm
the members of the brigade took upon themselves. All these days they worked for one hour longer. You know that they over-fulfilled the plan.
Will you, perhaps, pay me my salary too? Then I'll cut even a better "monument" for you! Akhmetkali began to laugh with all the heart:
I agree! Do it then! The guys will withstand, they have strong necks!
I don't want to waste my time, otherwise I would prove you... - The director suddenly thought - it's not good to allow familiarity! Trying to stress each his word he looked at Akhmetkali again: - You are an old head! Don't you know: we should immediately fulfill the plan in our stone saw! But your machine stands idle. How can I understand it, to your mind?
He is about to finish the sculpture and then we'll see.
I'll drive you out! I'll drive you both out! - Kasymov started attacking Akhmetkali. - And I wish he will immediately pay money for this marble to the state! Otherwise... - Kasymov was choking with anger. - And I, tomorrow I will order to fire him. We will find real workers on the place of this lazy bone!
Will it be right? - Akhmetkali imperturbably asked. - I think you shouldn't hurry. We wish... to stand up for the fellow.
The director perfectly knew Akhmetkali - he was calm and patient by sight but stubborn - Lord forbid! If he resolved something he would obviously achieve this!
Well, - Kasymov gave up as hopeless and sat down in his armchair.
In several days Arman finished his work at the monument. Of course, it was impossible to say that he had created a real work of art. However, it was impossible too just to pass by without stopping and looking at it. Looking at Akgul's imagine memorized in the marble Akhmetkali begged the fate the sparkle awoken in Arman's breast not to bunt but save him. Akhmetkali personally was ready to do everything for the sake of this.
Next day Arman started working at his machine again. They cut grey sandstone brought from the banks of the Ili. Every day the fellow fulfilled the norm but at this he didn't feel any excitement as before any more. As if a wound-up routine robot he thoughtlessly looked at the uniform surface of the stone.  And he was cutting, cutting and cutting. Without a thought, without any inspiration. Soon the work began to oppress him with its monotony. Watching Arman from aside Akhmetkali understood his condition. He saw: if not to help the fellow now that one will easily be off the wagon and go downhill. And once in the evening having met him as if by chance on the bus stop the foreman asked: 
Well, how are you going? Aren't you tired?
Arman indifferently answered:
Is it really possible to be tired performing such a work? Not me but the machine cuts stone. My business is just to come in the morning and go away in the evening.
- I'm sorry but I look at you and think: it seems to me that you don't like to cut this very stone.
Arman slackened the pace a bit:
And why do you ask about this?
Because I see, I am not blind. When you were cutting the monument for your mother - you burnt out when you worked. But now such indifference...
And what was I then?
How to say you... Usually a person absolutely changes when he or she receives satisfaction from labour. You came earlier and went away later than others then. It seemed that you had practised witchcraft but not worked. But now everything is in another way.
Arman answered:
- Then the aim was different too.
No, I saw that you were moved not only by the son's feeling but also by the feeling of a human who had suddenly found himself. Am not I right?
Of course, you are right, - Arman answered with all the heart. - I am not interested in the work which I do now at all. Not to work at all? It's shame. And at home everything is difficult too. Until my step-father doesn't have a new wife he helps me still. But already now one can see that one of these days he will bring a new hostess in the house.  Then my family and I won't have even a roof over our heads.
Akhmetkali was sad but he liked the young man's reasonableness. He thought to himself: "It's well, well that he has understood the main thing. You will become a human if you don't betray yourself". And he pronounced aloud:
Yes, it's difficult to fulfill the work which you don't like at all. I felt the same before. Unloved work - it's a torment, I can even say - suffering. But you have a talent. - The foreman friendly looked at Arman's face. - Will it, perhaps, better for you to become a sculptor? 
Are you laughing? Who will take me?
What do you mean "who"? I am sure: each one who will see the monument will be interested in you too.
All the same they won't take me to work in a sculpture workshop without a special education. I must finish an art school.
It is impossible to do anything in life at once, my son. It's not late to learn for you yet. And perhaps, they need some students there...
I don't know what to say you. Even if to learn again it's difficult to do for me now. My family...
Akhmetkali insisted:
Doesn't your wife work? You may live more unpretentiously until you get a specialty.
Arman was keeping silent. After the mother's death he didn’t even talk seriously to Zhannat. And in spite of the fact that he promised to himself not to meet with Bibi any more her face and smile stood before his eyes. The work at the monument pushed for some time the reminiscences aside. But when he got free a little his imagination raised Bibi in his mind again. Now it suddenly seemed to Arman that the old foreman’s piece of advice was exactly that straw which a drowning man usually tries to catch. And almost happily he agreed:
- Perhaps, you are right, it’s a way out! I wish I would just manage it…
Akhmetkali promised to help him find a sculptor who would agree to take Arman as his apprentice.
- And then, perhaps, you will be able to enter a specialized school with time, - the foreman dreamily said.
But fate had decreed otherwise and his wish didn’t come true. On the same day Arman met in the street his former fellow Zhaksybai.
No, Zhaksybai was neither a gambler nor a drunkard. But he liked to spend time in a restaurant. Some time he had been supposed a talented man. He liked to write verses. Some songs were sung to his words by radio. Zhaksybai personally performed them not badly accompanying himself on a dombra. He had a gentle and nice voice. His character was open and kind. Only two more features got along together in this man and prevented him to be on sure ground in the life.
First Zhaksybai liked, as he personally said, good living. Under this he meant – to dress fashionable, bright as a button and have endless fun in restaurants. Secondly, he couldn’t live without love. Women were his second misfortune. One love changed the other one… He was already forty but all the same he didn’t find any time to settle down in the life. Although… he had married three times for love. And for three times he had divorced with joyful heart because of the fact that everything had been already behind. At this he didn’t hold a grudge against anybody and did evil nobody too. But as for poetry so… He didn’t even notice when he had lost any interest in it. For the time past nobody knew what Zhaksybai was occupied with. Several performances by radio, some songs to his words – this was all. But to say the truth sometimes he went to collective or state farms and read his some time written verses in village clubs. But people told the most absurd gossips about these Zhaksybai’s trips as if even there the poet behaved, to put it mildly, thoughtlessly. With unusual easiness he struck up acquaintances, dated girls and left a heartthrob the same easily and without thinking much about.   
Exactly after such next parting Zhaksybai met Arman today. Could a person really look more extravagant – sky-blue trousers, a white jacket, cream shoes on four finger high heels! His hair was shining and smelling sweet. No, it was impossible to notice even a shade of sadness because of parting with his beloved one. It seemed that he had just freed himself off a heavy obligation and was joyfully smiling to passers-by. Having seen Arman already from afar Zhaksybai cried out:
- My dear! It turns out that you are living! We haven’t seen each other for such long time! Exactly this is the main disadvantage of a family man. He forgets about his friends. That’s why I don’t want to marry.
- How can it be? Just last year I was present at your wedding! – Arman was surprised. – Or you have already left your wife!
- No, this time my wife has left me, - Zhaksybai joked being pleased with himself. – She says, I cannot stand you any more knowing about all your adventures!
- What your adventures can she reproach you with? 
- Don't you know? A bird likes the sky, a poet - freedom! A woman will never understand this.
- Yes, you are right, - Arman confirmed having remembered the condition of his own family. - They all are similar.
Why are you so sad? - Zhaksybai bethought at once. - I am sorry, I have absolutely forgotten. I have just returned from my business trip. There I learnt about the death of your mother from newspapers. My sincere condolences. Yes, here we both are unlucky. My mother was also a perfect human. She died before my second marriage...
"Did she die because of your tricks?" - Arman was about to ask.
- Never mind, - Zhaksybai went on about his own thing. - We all are potential dead people in this world.
You are right, an immortal person hasn't been born yet, - Arman sadly supported the bitter joke. - Of course, it's a pity that she died so early. I will be always indebted to her cherished memory.
Having realized that Arman was in the power of his inescapable grief Zhaksybai changed at once. Now he was in a sad spirit too.
- Yes, mother is a special person in the life of each one. She bore, brought us up, rejoiced and grieved with us. And we who have killed her with our own lack of understanding are inconsolably grieving now. So this happens on the earth from time immemorial.
"We who have killed her". Arman's heart was pierced by these words. It came out as if Zhaksybai knew about his guilt before his own mother. Or had he said about this by chance? However, people say the truth if somebody wants to tread on your foot he or she will obviously tread on your pet corn. Meanwhile Zhaksybai went on:
What for to suffer? No one of died people has revived yet. A living person must think about a living one. - And he took Arman with care by the elbow.  - Let's go to this dwelling-place. Let's disperse our common grief.
Only now Arman saw that they were standing in front of the restaurant. And he cheered up:
Let's go! - He began first quickly to mount the wide stairway.
The restaurant was opened only half an hour ago, that's why there were a few people.
For the beginning we would like to order a bottle of "extra", - without sitting even down Zhaksybai asked the waitress appeared already there . At once the woman put two bottles before them: one - with "extra", the second one - with mineral water. 
Arman was still in the power of Zhaksybai's words. Having a hope to dull the pain with the help of vodka at least he quickly filled in two big glasses standing before them.
- To our meeting! - And he drank up to the end, without a stop. Zhaksybai just took a mouthful.
Arman drank the first time since he had begun to work in Akhmetkali's workshop.  Now he felt strong drunkenness at one.
- What else will we order, Arman?
- I don't care, - that one indifferently pronounced and lifted the glass with mineral water then. As if from afar, he was looking at Zhaksybai who was ordering something by the waitress who was accurately writing everything down into a small note book.
Arman hadn't drunk so, at one draught before. He usually liked to prolong the pleasure and had a hot and long talk with his companions. He didn't stand when somebody contradicted him. Otherwise he used his fists. Once Zhaksybai had been "lucky" to experience their strength.
And now, when he noticed the clearly unkind look of his fellow he started worrying very much. Being afraid that this time his fellow could do a queer too he pulled his glass aside and put a small liqueur-glass nearby.
I won't drink any more, - Arman assured him.
Zhaksybai himself wished this but all the same he pronounced aloud:
That won't do. I don't drink alone. You must support me at least.
Suddenly Arman remembered Kuntuar's words which that one had said at the grave of his mother and... began to repeat them aloud. Zhaksybai tried to understand what this man was muttering under his breathe. But having understood nothing he was afraid even more: "He is absolutely drunk!"
The waitress brought some cold dishes. Arman drank one more glass and then - one more. And suddenly he unexpectedly sharply grasped Zhaksybai's boards of the jacket, pulled his face to his own and asked piercing him though with the look: 
What have you recently said about the son who has killed his own mother?
Zhaksybai didn't understand. He just thought: "He is really drunk like a pig" - and he was about to stand up.
It seems to me that I haven't said anything offensive to you...
No, I don't take offence. But I seem you have said: "The son who has killed his own mother..."
Ah! These are not my words, - Zhaksybai remembered the conversation in the beginning of their meeting. - I have read them somewhere. - He had a habit always to leave somebody holding the bag and did the same now. - If you haven't forgotten there is such an aphorism: "When children are born a mother rejoiced. When a mother dies her children grieve".
It is said well... - Arman mumbled. - Yes, yes, it's just. Of course, when a child is born - it's a great joy! But when a mother dies it's incurable grief!  - Arman's eyes started shining with angry fire again. As at the first time he was ready to attack Zhaksybai. - But say me, can it be possible to the contrary: when a child is born his or her mother is sad; when a mother dies her children rejoice?
Why not? Of course, it is possible in life too. Are there few mothers who refuse from their babies? There are also children who are pleased very much when their mother dies. "Finally, - they think, - the property is mine at last!" Just remember, for example, the foreign film about this...
But these are fo-reign! But we, even if we have such then... we mustn't have such ones!
We can have such ones too.
We mustn't have such!
But we have!
Unnoticeable for themselves the both got angry. Suddenly Arman flapped his palm against the table.
It is impossible! - He cried out having stared like a stuck pig at his fellow. - Even if we can have such children then they are not humans!
Zhaksybai suddenly remembered and began forcedly to laugh.
Of course, of course, - he said friendly. - What to speak here about! - And suddenly all his creature started shining: - Look, just look what a bird! She is looking fixedly at us!
Being still angry Arman turned his head into the direction where Zhaksybai was pointing. He started almost trembling with surprise. Some young men in starched shirts and known for him company of women were sitting at the table in the middle of the hall. Among them - Bibi. Having noticed that Arman had recognized her Bibi stood up and slowly as if unwillingly came up to him attracting to her own person the attention of all people around.
- Hello, Armash! — She roughly greeted him, pulled the chair closer and sat down without waiting for the invitation. — I share your grief with you. I came to your place and wanted to support you in that difficult for you minute. But... you have the angry hostess. She attacked and drove me out.
I know. There are many things that a person can do in grief.
She is in grief and I am rejoicing, do you really think so? In any case a person must be able to restrain the feeling.
The music began to play.
Let's dance! - Bibi offered.
He felt that he was drunk, - he shouldn't go to dance and then... this Bibi... But the woman already grasped him by the arm and led in the middle of the hall.  He didn't resist.
I am so unhappy,— she quietly said.
What do you mean "why"? When Zhagypar's mother learnt about the death of your mother she hardly died from a heart attack too. Her son blamed me in everything and demanded divorce of me. After the judgment he took his old one along and went somewhere away. Just imagine, somebody has a sick heart and I am guilty in this... 
The orchestra was playing some sentimental melody.  Shaking in this slow rhythm Bibi went on repeating in whisper in time with the smooth step:
I am so unhappy... I have remained absolutely alone in the whole world!
Arman was keeping silent slightly pressing her hands. He didn't know at all what to say and how to console Bibi. His own grief that hadn't melted in the breast yet pressed his heart...
Of course, - Bibi billed and cooed meanwhile, - if to think I am not unhappy so much. - She looked into his eyes and caught his gaze.  - I have my Arman. Am I right? And I... Only because of you I have divorced with Zhagypar... 
They left the restaurant together. Neither next day nor the day after tomorrow Arman came either home or to work.

Kazakhs say: "What a nestling sees in its nest the same it will do when it leaves it". This popular wisdom appeared not in vain. An example of older people is catching. A good example - children grow up healthy in mind and body, a bad example - know that they will go through their lives, as people say, with dislocation in the soul.  Character, habits of older people, their views on life - kids soak up everything with greediness. And being already grown-ups they make their conclusions and assess the actions of their parents. 
After Akgul's death Kuntuar came twice to visit Yergazy. In spite of their former relations he thought: "I should visit him and disperse his grief..." But... he found Yergazy at home not a single time. And here he met one of his old friends. They spoke about everything. They remembered poor Akgul and pitied her prematurely widowed husband. Being some confused and worried the old man informed Kuntuar:
People say that he doesn't suffer about the deceased wife very much... It turns out that almost after the funeral at once he began to spend time at his new secretary's place!
Ah, people like to confuse, mess up an issue. - Kuntuar answered. - If you realize it is not easy for him to stay in the house where everything remembers him his beloved wife so much.
Why do you think so? - The friend insisted on the justice of his words. - Yergazy doesn't leave the house and doesn't go to my or your place. And this woman isn't a relative or a close one for him! What has he forgotten at her place?
Leave it, this all is just gossip! - Kuntuar said shortly. However, on the same day he heard how much their other mutual acquaintances were shocked with Yergazy's indecent behaviour.  He felt hurt and offence for Akgul up to pain in the heart.
"It turns out that this Yergazy is really a very cruel person! He says about one thing but does absolutely another one. It seems that he has a mask on his face. How can it be that already for forty years long I haven't been able to make out what he has there, under the mask? What else to say: a good example for his sonny. That, a poor one, - it's just the word that he is a person with higher education. In fact he has grown up being poorly adopted to anything and a drunkard. I should speak to the young man, for the sake of the memory about his mother at least. And Zhannat has grown up before my eyes, she is almost a daughter for me. I shouldn't forget about them".
But on the next day after making this decision Kuntuar urgently went away to the expedition.  He had too important cause: Mikhailov informed that they had found some new archaeological finds.
He spent three months in Kairakty. During the time that was the most difficult for the young family they didn't have a true older friend nearby and this one could become Kuntuar.
Kuntuar worried not in vain. Soon after Akgul's death Yergazy called Arman and Zhannat.
- My children, - he addressed softly enough, - all this time when we lived together I have grudged nothing for you. Either I earned little or much - everything was yours. Akgul gathered and united all of us in this house. Now she died... - He kept silent for some time as if he couldn't speak because of bitter emotional experience. - The fate has brought dissension in our house. Even if it happens between a husband and a wife they leave each other. And I haven't been able, Arman, to become for you a real father and you - a son for me... - Yergazy stopped speaking again as if he couldn't overcome the difficulty fallen to his lot. - In general, - he started speaking more resolutely, - I have still a hope to have my own children and a warm hearth. I have decided to marry. And if we have different pots our interests will be different too. I think you should live independently. That's enough, I have helped you... now you must go. I think you will find a flat. And you shall take from the house...
Arman was sitting having dropped down the head and replied nohow to the words of his step-father. And what, in general, he could contradict or say when he didn't even imagine what difficulties could wait for them in the future. 
On the same day as soon as Arman and Zhannat had left the house with the children Yergazy led the secretary with her eight-years-old daughter.
- You should give your daughter to a boarding school. - He said his young wife. - It's time just to live... For ourselves...
Dry and hot days were in Kairakty when Kuntuar arrived here. The southern stifling wind was blowing but the archaeologist noticed this nothing. After getting out from the car and having forgotten about the tiredness after his journey he cheerfully walked after Mikhailov. The place where the new monuments had been found was situated some to the south from the camp. This not high barrow had attracted Kuntuar's attention before too. Each time passing it by he said to himself: "I should investigate everything here very carefully too". At the same time he supposed that as the barrow wasn't big the most what it could mean that it belonged to the bronze epoch. But the scientist was interested in the earlier period.
However, Mikhailov was a good human! He had dug through a trench around the hill and found out a huge hip-deep stone. Two stone steles were situated on the both sides of it.  Without doubt, these were the witnesses of the world which had existed before Saki. Between the stone and the steles the time had swept on windy days together this hill on the flatland. Kuntuar had seen such barrow stones before too. They were not rarity in the Saryarka, especially on the banks of the Ishim and Tobol. According to the historians' suppositions the most part of them belonged to the epoch of kipchacks and usunis. Some scientists thought that these monuments belonged even to the tribe chud.  Of course, it's difficult to assert that some time this nation lived in Kazakh lands. But if the monuments really belong to the tribe chud then their culture can be significantly higher than all neighbouring with them tribes had.
It is known from the legends that chud lived in the lands of Arka in the neighbourhood of the Siberia. How could these finds that were similar their monuments very much be found here, on the banks of the Syrdaria? If to suppose that chud lived from the banks of the Yesil  and the Tobol up to the very Syrdaria it could mean that it had been a very numerous nation. And another mystery again. If the nation was numerous and, it can be supposed, tenacious of life then it couldn't leave after it just these symbolic stones. Its other monuments must be present here too.
Or could another one nation relative to chud and with a close to them culture live in these places too?
Most likely these were nomad tribes. Where are their burial places and cemeteries then? Or did they, like ancient Mongols, leave their old people to die on the tops of the mountains or in the desert? Or could they worship the fire and cremate dead bodies and then scatter the ashes? 
Kuntuar examined long with interest the stone sculptured figure. But now they were keeping silent not opening their many centuries long mystery... The scientist logically developed each new thought. Together with this he doubted in many things, threw something away and caught then a suggestion hardly flashed in the depth of his consciousness: "We know that chud is a progressive for its time nation. Did they, these far away ancestors who left us as a heritage their eternal monuments, think about the future and about their descendants? Or are these monuments just a fortuity?"
Mikhailov interrupted Kuntuar's reasoning.
Here is an interesting place that is covered with a quadrangular stone, - he informed. - I have found it by chance. I just began to dig and heard how my shovel bumped against a stone. I have masked everything and covered nobody to find it till your arrival. Perhaps, there is some king of a well below or a hidden treasure.
Vasily quickly threw out with the shovel the crushed rock and the sand and a reddish stone appeared below. It wasn't continuous and consisted of four regular shaped parts.
Didn't you try to lift the plate?
I tried. It didn't even move. And in the clay nearby the stone it is impossible to put in neither a shovel nor even a crow-bar. Most likely a river flew here. The clay cemented.
Then you should begin to dig this one lot. If it is difficult to dig with a shovel or a crow-bar here too be very careful then not to break the stone and blast off the soul for the depth of half a meter here...
They went aside and sat down not far from the barrow. Mikhail's face bronze because of sunburn was shining in the sun now. Vasily was happily smiling putting his breast against the hot wind as if this angry dry wind could really bring the wished coolness. Kuntuar threw his jacket nearby and unbuttoned the collar of his shirt too.
Do I understand right that in two years a dam will be constructed on this place and all environs will be flooded with water?
- Yes, a huge building is planned here, - the scientist answered. - Then people will be able to assimilate these endless steppes and deserts, raise the economics of the districts bordering on the Syrdaria.  That's why it's very important to
finish the archaeological investigations of this lands as soon as possible. Otherwise we personally won't know what we have buried on the bottom of the hand-made sea.
Mikhailov was looking at Kuntuar with admiration. Every day he was interested more and more in the profession of archaeologist- investigator and didn't stop admiring its value for the nation. Now he was deeply assured in the fact that people should certainly know about their past. That's why he liked very much to talk to Kuntuar about archeology. Vasily who hadn't got any education in the youth listened to the scientist's stories about the fights and the defeats, about the destructions and the ancient civilizations. His views on the life and reasonings noticeably changed under the influence of these talks. Even his character became different.
Kuntuar keenly caught all the changes that happened with the young man. And with even more pleasure he read the peculiar and easy to understand lectures for his thankful listener. 
Now they started a conversation too.
Of course, it is great to find and remain some monuments of the ancient times for the descendants. - Vasily said. - But if we had such a science that would be able to help people learn not only about the facts that took place five thousand years ago but also about the facts that will take place in one hundred, one thousand years at least...  Exactly this will be a favour for the progress!
Kuntuar was smiling to some his own thoughts musing upon a distant scene on that side of the river.  Some time passed by before he pronounced:
Perhaps, you don't know, the young man, but such a science already exists in the world. It is called metallogeny. Scientists study what metals were found in this region of the land in the past, where they can be found now, foresee where they can be extracted in the future. In the same manner - knowing the past and the present of this nation it is possible to foresee almost without a mistake its future too. It is possible to plan in advance even all treasures of the human's brain, energy and happiness of people... The science proved that the future of the humanity is communism. Communists are in the first rows of the fighters for this future. We should never forget about the connection with time in our fight. Today's day and the past of a nation - these are the connected with each other epochs.
The important word rests here with the archeology. Let's take, for example, Asia. From the ancient times people thought that for the first time a human society and culture had appeared here, in the south-east, in the eastern and central part of the continent.  According to the historical and geographic conditions people who lived here couldn't get into the northern part of Asia, for example, in the Far East and in the Siberia. However, not further than in 1951 in the Far East the scientists discovered some archaeological monuments which proved that a human had already existed there one hundred-one hundred fifty thousand years ago! Here they made a fire, lived and hunted!
It is impossible! How could they learn?
You remember I said some time that the banks of the rivers are the first helpers of the archaeologists. Here through the deposits of soils, through the minerals and cuts of ravines an investigator can always read about the past as if from a book. For example, it is possible to learn what climate was here one thousand years ago - dry or wet, was here a flood or a fire, cold or heat. And here in the Far East at village Philimoshkino, taking into account the fresh caving-ins of the bank of the river the archaeologists determined that some time settlements of an ancient human had been situated on this place. They began to dig and soon discovered some objects of the Stone Age times! Then some similar finds were made on the coasts of the Amur and in the Altai mountains. In short, the scientists conclusively proved that a human had lived in the Siberia and in the Far East already at the times of palaeolith. No, what ever you can say but an archaeologist has about one thousand of ways to the ancient epoch.
Today, for example, nobody disputes about the fact yet that the descendants of American Indians in the epoch of palaeolith were the emigrants from the coasts of our Baikal. At those far away times the American continent was connected through some dry land with Asia in the region of the modern Bering Strait. People communicated with each other through this natural bridge between two continents. Ancient inhabitants came to America from the coasts of Baikal. This fact was proved by the modern ethnographic and anthropological investigations. The sculls found during the anthropological excavations prove that the aboriginals of America were Mongoloids. Now we know that the culture of the tribes who lived on the coasts of the Amur, the Lena, the Angara, the Zeya wasn't inferior to the culture of such states developed at those times as Japan, China or Mongolia.  The sculptural monuments of these ancient nations, masks, ornaments on dishes, the found imagine of a Nanaian girl say about the fact that the culture of these lands didn't come from China but is more ancient one. It means that Chinese took the culture of these Siberian nations highly developed at those times.
Kuntuar stopped speaking and was sitting long being deep in his thoughts. Mikhailov tried not to interrupt his thoughts. Finally he waited till the minute when the scientist started speaking again:
- If to sort, for example, the monuments of different epoch according the time of their appearance then it is easy to notice that the connection of the times has never broken in the development of the nations both in the Siberia and in the Far East. At this the birth of the ancient art of the nations who lived here leads to the Stone Age. In general, now the scientists are inclined to affirm that a primitive man lived in the north of Asia already one hundred - one hundred fifty years ago. But what was, for example, in the very Western Siberia or southwards in Kazakh lends at this time? Now we know only enough superficial information about the nations who lived there just five thousand years ago. We make some suppositions about the culture that we ascribe to them. But what was in these places before? What was after the Ice Age at once? We can say with certainty that here the Stone Age was changed with the Bronze Epoch. But can it really be that here existed an absolutely unknown for us culture? My dream is to answer people of the present and the future to one of these questions at least. But will I have enough time for this?..
Why do you say so? - Mikhailov asked. - Because they will flood the territory?!
No - Kuntuar answered. - The point is that the time passes by. My only son hasn't followed my footsteps. And it's not enough to live just one life to finish the forethought thing. Of course, other scientists will step on my way and finish the search. But each investigator has his or her own dreams not opened for the world. All my life long I strive to make my dream true in spite of the fact that it appears very indistinctly with a very slightly hope. I always do the same, just wander after it the steppes of Kazakhstan.  Difficulties, troubles, failures... There are a lot of them on the way to the truth but each one must overcome and withstand them...
I would withstand! I would surely withstand! - Mikhailov cried out.
Kuntuar joyfully looked at the young man.
About for ten days long Mikhailov and four workers in addition chiseled the solid like cement soil between two guards of the ancient times - the stone steles.  Finally they opened the plate that consisted of four red stones. Then the things went more quickly. They found a quadrangular well under the plate. About in two meters on the southern wall of the well they came across a stone masonry. They needed two days to destroy this stone masonry made of close fitting and glued with some grey solution stone. They found a skeleton of a human behind the stones. The bones of the arms and the legs were lying separate, in front.  There was a stone ax and two vessels of the same stone in the head. 
Kuntuar went down to the grave and carefully examined everything there. He was very surprised - the scientist had never seen a burial place of such a kind before.
They already knew three kinds of a human's burial before the Scythians' times: straight graves, when the body was sunk down in the standing position in deep wells; catacombs-niches where the weapon of the deceased, which he or she would use in the next world and treasures for pacification of the angels of Death were placed nearby the dead body. And finally the third kind of burial: the graves were fixed with some logs, so to say, they built a real house, placed the dead body facedown and the head - in the northern direction.
Saki placed the deceased on the back and with the head in the western direction.
Kuntuar had seen a lot of burial places of ancient Saki. But in them the deceased ones were never placed facedown as in wooden graves which they met on the banks of the Dnieper and the Dniester. And they were never placed on the left side. Kuntuar was especially surprised with this stone ax made of nephritis. The ax was unusually sharp with a beautiful trimming on the back edge. Of course, this thing was made at the times of the Stone Age. Archaeologists found axes made of nephritis in the Far East among Condom's monuments. But ornaments and the form were different there. Besides, it was clearly set that a Condom's ax had been made of nephritis from the coasts of Baikal. Where was this one made? Kuntuar knew very well about the fact that nephritis wasn't and had never been present on the banks of the Syrdaria.
Could these new monuments really be the evidences of the culture unknown for the world still and opened only now?   What time did it belong to? Though there were no doubts that the ax and the vessels belonged to the Stone Age. But the type of the burial looked like the graves of Cimmerian tribes that had lived in the beginning of the Bronze age. But the position in which the deceased had been buried could be met only in the wooden graves that were typical for the middle of the Bronze epoch. What did it mean? Were there gathered some monuments of different epochs together beginning with the Stone Age (five-six thousand years ago) and finishing with the Scythian times? It seemed that somebody had joked at the old archaeologist for some reason. As if somebody had given him one more opportunity to make sure in the correctness of the thoughts about the connection of the times which he liked to repeat very much.
Kuntuar ordered to measure the square of the burial place and make pictures of everything on their places: both the skeleton and the ax, and the nephritis bowls. They sent the remains of the ancient human to the central anthropological museum. The finds made him think deeply about again. was it really possible that Saki as their relative tribes of Argippaei had changed into Kipchaks and then - into Kazakhs? But what evidences did he have for this all?  He had too few evidence still. However, some reasons were serious enough. For example, up to now Kazakhs bury their deceased ones in the same manner as western Saki, - in niches of grave walls. And burials are commonly supposed in science one of the typical forms of a nation culture. The art of these nations are close according to their styles too. Saki had the "animals' style", Kazakhs - sheep's horns or "arkhars' style". Who can prove that one kind of art didn't give birth to another one? Imagines of people, animals, golden and silver sculptures in the Kazakh steppes are not met beginning with the seventh century. But this says about nothing yet. Most likely, Islamic religion that had forbidden to paint people and animals influenced this all here. Where from did the imagine of proud Teke  appear on the gold bar then? From the ancient times he was remembered in the fairy tales. He needed still numerous evidences. He should address to the documents, the authors' works beginning with Herodotus and look for new archaeological monuments. Kazakhs have many words with the root "sak". He should examine some dictionaries well too. Could this all really shed some additional light for the facts?
While Kuntuar was investigating the new finds Mikhailov with the group of workers was carefully cleaning out the burial place from the ground.
Perhaps, Vasily himself wasn't able to explain why he first came here at dawn. He had a longing for the excavations. Up to the late night again he touched, struck and cleaned with the hands each millimeter of the dug out pit. It was possible to think from aside that he had lost something very valuable and was seeking for it now. But Vasily seemed that the walls were keeping an important secret: "What for is the grave equipped with these black plates? A human is not able to lift any of them. Everything is covered with the cemented soil from above again. Why is the grave covered with stones so safely and immured from above? Is it possible that here the leader of the tribe is buried? In order to know... But these stone walls shout about this as it is".
Mikhailov had already checked all walls of the grave. He went down in the niche and began to beat the bottom with the crow-bar. A beat, the second, the third one and... the crow-bar began to gnash against a metal object. Vasily threw the crow-bar aside and started digging out the ground with the hands - the good thing that the ground was soft. About in a half an hour he found a new, even deeper niche... Some golden things were shining inside it! Being very excited the young man cover a little the deepening with some ground again and quickly rushed to Kuntuar
After a while they extracted several daggers, bowl and other golden and silver things from the grave. But no one of them was made in the "animals' style" and belonged to the Saki epoch. The unpolished gold bar as big as an egg called a storm of Kuntuar's thoughts and feelings. If the Saki leader had been buried in the grave the gold bar would surely have been decorated with some ornaments in the same "animals' style". But ancient people placed the gold bar in its natural form. Why? Kuntuar took it in the hands and started speaking with a smile:
- Now neither Yergazy nor his henchmen will say that we bring no use for the state. - And he thankfully looked at Mikhailov. — You will become a real archaeologist, Vasily Ivanovich. My congratulations from the bottom of my heart! Today you have disproved the opinion of an average man that gold can lead astray even an angel. Today you see in this gold bar something more valuable than gold - service for science. Thank you very much, my dear friend!
When his first excitement calmed a bit down Kuntuar thoughtfully pronounced:
- Not gold is valuable in archeology but the facts about which it tells the world. To all appearances it turns out that one more culture similar at first sight existed here in the Bronze epoch. Of course, the next investigations will make everything clear. Only one fact is indisputable now: the burial belongs to the first centuries of the Bronze epoch.
Where from are the vessels and the stone ax here, in this case? Aren't they evidences of the Stone age?
That's true, of course, - Kuntuar answered. - There are a lot of mysteries. But I believe we will solve them.

Arman stayed at Bibi's place since the very night when he came to her house. The parents had just sent their daughter the next sum of money. And not being afraid of the tomorrow's day the young people lived very joyfully. 
I want you to be dispelled a bit, - Bibi said embracing Arman. With her long fingers she parted his hair that fell down on the forehead. - For the time past the terrible things have happened with us... We should forget about everything once and for all. If to keep this all in the heart it is possible to go mad!
The woman took a bottle of cognac from the bedside-table and poured some in small wine-glasses for Arman and herself. Then she took a bite of a chocolate candy and playfully winked:
This half is for you!
You are my charm! - Arman tenderly embraced her and pulled to himself.
No, you are my recompense for all my sufferings! - Bibi archly billed and cooed. 
About a week passed so. Careless and joyful. On the eighth day Bibi proposed:
Let's go away from here. Otherwise everything will remember us about the past here. My 'rents will be very glad to accept you!
Arman's light-minded character got the best. Drinks and fun, embraces of the woman who he had dreamed so much about - everything carried him away from his grief and gave him an opportunity to forget about the bitter days. Arman was afraid even to remember about those misfortunes which he had recently come across. It seemed to him that the troubles about the family, his work in the stone cutting workshop had been a real hell.  However much he could be drunk but having remembered about this he grew sober at once.
Bibi's proposal seemed to his that only way which could free him from all experienced events. And Arman quickly agreed to go away from Kairakty.
And when Arman hadn't come home Zhannat understood at once where he could be. What did she have to do? To run to him? To look for? To ask to return? No, she didn't do this herself and asked nobody about this too. "Well, he may do everything he wants, he can!.." - Zhannat thought.
Once one of her friends-women visited her and informed: 
I have heard that your Arman with this one... are going away. They are sitting with suitcases in the airport now.
It's very great! I wish they go away. I won't see them any more at least, - Zhannat answered and it seemed that she had calmed down externally for some time.
But some days passed and she suddenly thought: perhaps, I should have gone to the airport and led him home by the hand! He is weak-willed...
Yes, this can often happen. A loving heart is not able to forgive at the most critical minute. It is touchy and doesn't give an opportunity to a person sensibly to think.
As Bibi had said her parents received the new son-in-law with open arms.  The mother said: "Thanks god, our things have come right too. Finally our daughter has become happy too". And after she learnt that Arman was the son of professor Yergazy she cheered up at all. Before she had bitterly sighed each time after remembering about her only daughter who was her close picture and who had married a simple "aul teacher"... Now she thought that her daughter had obtained a reliable support in her life.
But to say the truth from time to time her usually quiet husband was indignant at the fact that his daughter had married twice during the year. The woman angrily asked:
- Whose character does she have? - Isn't it yours, my dear?
The husband contritely turned away and silently mumbled:
I have married just one time.
Are Bibizhan guilty that she didn't like her first husband, to your mind? - The mother asked acock standing with her hands on her hips with sleeves rolled up to the elbows in the middle of the room. It seemed that she was about to attack hand to hand to defend "her only one" from the enemy the most vicious in the world.
Why did she marry him if she didn't like?
You have forgotten about one thing: Bibizhan is just a naive child still. Do you know a person who hasn't mistaken at her age? How could we know that she married a bad person? What to say about her? Could even I, a poor one, really know in my twenty that after marrying you I would be sorry about this all my life long? 
However, you hasn't... left me!
The wife gave in a bit in her stubbornness:
Pray the god that you were born so happy!
At this their dispute was over.
About two months long Bibi and Arman didn't look for a work and just had a rest. As if they had come not from Kairakty where hundreds of the same young people lived and worked at the big building but from a forced exile. As if mosquitoes and all kinds of horseflies and other bloodsucking insects had bitten them up to bumps, the sand storms hadn't let them open the eyes, the winds had knocked them down and the heat had burnt to ashes their souls... Bibi's mother lost the step bringing on the plates now one then another. "You will have still time. You will have tired yourselves out working!  Work isn't a camel. It doesn't run away to the steppe! You will experience your suffering enough still! - She said.
Each day they had guests at home. Now somebody had a birthday, then meeting with class-mates or holidays.
Once after an hour long grumbling of the father the mother asked:
Are you registered in the registry office, my dear child?
What's that got to do with the registry office, mum? - The daughter asked in surprise with superiority of a person who realizes the sense of life. - We love each other and this is the main thing.
It seemed that the words sounded convincingly enough but all the same they sowed doubt and anxiety in the mother's heart. She even tried to contradict:
Of course, you are right. But all the same you should legalize your matrimony!
Calm down. The registry office is like a job, it has nowhere to go away. We shall first know better, know better one another. We will register our relations only when we finally make sure in our love. You know, this paper isn't everything for us. I listened to your advice and went to the very registry office with Zhagypar. And what do we have now? Just troubles. I could hardly get the divorce of him.
The mother should rebel and object here: "Can young people really know each other better before the marriage?' But for this, perhaps, we need the presence of another mother now. This another one would not only rebel but also would be terrified: "Where from do you have this all?!"
Bibi's mother thought only about the fact that each man would like her daughter's appearance. Not this one - then another, not another - then the third one... No, her daughter will never be lost, she will always be able to stand for herself! And she quietly answered:
- Yes, perhaps, it's right too. Your father and I knew no registry offices too. But thanks God, we have lived more than twenty years long together. Just recently some kind people advised; "Don't you think about the fact that something can happen with your husband and he will suddenly die?! You will stay without pension because you personally have never worked". Only then we registered.
Strangely enough but Arman was tired of idleness and every day drinking-bout. In two months after "the rest" he tried to get a job. However, soon he was tired to work too. He began to receive absences from work which became more frequent. Arman started visiting restaurants more often than his work. A drunkard always has his own company. And Arman quickly found some friends for drinking together. Finally he decided: "This work is not for me" - and he went to work to the plant. At first the directors of the enterprise thought that the newly appeared "young staff" needed some correctional education. And they used all their stores of influence: they warned, admonished and discussed a new worker with a diploma of higher education... Being tired of everything and, perhaps, ashamed that they had wasted so much efforts in vain they drove Arman out from the plant.
About half a month he lounged along again and then Bibi's father jobbed him into a post in the museum. However, he didn't stay there long too. He seemed that it was unnatural to be fixed to the same occupation from morning up to evening. And rather than to specialize in the new work in the museum he simply stopped to go there at all. He knew that he was going down but he didn't have any strength to fight against himself.
Arman started drinking. No, Bibi didn't have any time for him at all. She had her own troubles, interests and entertainments.
Some more months passed by so. The parents' relation sharply changed to the young couple. Especially Bibi's mother became embittered against the son-in-law. What did Arman have to do? To ask the father-in-law for one more time: please, job me into a post again - I am ashamed. This all is in vain in addition - Arman realized. He was at the crossroads and wasn't able to help to himself. Exactly at this moment Bibi informed him as if she had decided already long ago:
- It's time to part. You hinder me to settle my life down. I have finally met a real man. - Not a muscle shuddered on her face. She quietly went on to spread cream over her face...
Amazingly! If Bibi had said this defiantly or with anger he would get worked up, perhaps.  But now he responded in the same manner like her. Neither anger nor excitement. As if he had already known and heard these words from her. Where was the love now which had been fluttering in their hearts only several months ago? Exactly because of this feeling he had left Zhannat, the sons and gone here after Bibi! Had this feeling really been false? Now he suddenly remembered how he had met Bibi for the first time, how he had decided that he had found in her not only a woman but also a friend and a like-minded person. They had had the same views on life... Of course, it was wrong that not a single time he had thought how much right these views on life had been. 
But all the same Arman didn't think that he would have to part with Bibi like so. He was keeping silent being puzzled with the commonness of the tone of his former beloved one.
I know you will suffer, - Bibi was saying meanwhile indifferently and almost apathetically.
Why do you think so? - He tried to object at least to something.
Well, you may say everything you want but all the same we loved each other... You have no money in addition. - Both the coquetry and the voice of a cooing darling disappeared. - My father will give you some money for the trip. I just wish you will sail away from here as soon as possible.
Arman's look dropped at the mirror and he didn't recognize himself. His face was dropsical after the many days long drinking. His shirt was not fresh and rumpled. And the dark-blue suit - just a shame... Just a name that it was a suit. He was glossy; there were some spots on the sleeves and the sides either from wine or from food... He remembered how his mother had been glad when they had bought this suit. How carefully - she had wished neither to burn it through nor spoil it - Zhannat had been ironing it...
He glanced with a cold look over the woman - a strange one now - standing nearby. According to her appearance it was even impossible to say that she was in grief because of the parting with the man whom only yesterday she had loved. Anger with himself and Bibi overfilled Arman's heart. He stood up from the place:
I don't need the help of your father! I'll get to Kairakty without your help. - He angrily spat and went out from this hateful house.
Fie, Armashka... - Bibi lazily pronounced. - You are so ill-mannered...
Arman borrowed some money by the friend of his father-in-law and flew by plane to Kairakty. As it was usual for early autumn in these lands the day was hot and close. Arman came to a bus stop and sat down on a bench. Some buses had already driven to the town but he missed them. He was sitting and thinking: "Where to go? Home?" But how will he appear at the threshold? Only his appearance counted for a lot and as for affairs - they were even worse.
Let's think that he will throw away the shame and come home having closed the eyes for everything. But what to do if Zhannat simply drives him out?! During all these long months she could have settled her life down and married!
"No-o, no, only not Zhannat!" He was senselessly looking at the ground, at the sky, at the elm over his head that were slightly rustling as if whispering him something. He couldn't find an answer. "Where can I really go? There is nothing else for it but to lie on this place and die!"
He was afraid of this his thought about death. "No, no, - he pronounced aloud as if he persuaded himself. - It's still early to die! I haven't lived yet at all! Pah, what a nonsense I have in my mind!' 
After sorting out all the variants and imagining their aftereffects Arman chose one - to go to Zhaksybai. As people say, birds of a feather flock together. He decided that the friend in the same boat would realize his actual condition best of all.
Zhaksybai was at home. He experienced that period when after divorcing with the next wife he hadn't found another girl-friend yet. The friend wasn't very pleased with the appearance in his house of rumpled and gone down Arman. Besides, the host determined at once that this drunkard had nothing else but wind in his pockets and was without a penny. That's why the first wish of Zhaksybai was to get rid of Arman at any cost. But... he couldn't say at once "go away!". They had something common after all. And Zhaksybai made tea, poured some vodka which was left after the yesterday's drinking-bout in Arman's wine-glass.
Arman thankfully took this all. Blissful warmth spread through all his body and he cheered up a bit. He had a burning need to tell his friend about everything had happened with him. At the end he shamefully asked:
Let me live at your place for some time till I look around and find a job.
You may live, - Zhaksybai unwillingly answered. - Only... let's come to an agreement. Don't appear at my place about in a day in the evening hours. You may walk where you want but don't come into the house. Do you agree with such a proposition?
- Well, - Arman obediently nodded realizing why he was turned out of doors in such a way according to the schedule.
Today you have to disappear too.
In the afternoon Zhaksybai wasn't at home. All day he was on the run, all in the work - he tirelessly scribbled some scenarios and montages for palaces of culture and clubs, composed libretti for dancing collectives, intermedias, sketches and others.  But as soon as he earned some money he found some acquainted girl at once and led her directly to a restaurant.
About for three days long Arman didn't leave Zhaksybai's house except the hours mentioned during their first meeting. He slept off and trimmed himself up. He tried not to drink - and Zhaksybai wasn't very generous in this relation in addition. Finally he began to think where to go to work.
And once when he was unwillingly walking along the streets, during the same mentioned evening hours Arman came face to face across... Akhmetkali. He was about to pass him by but the old worker recognized him at once:
- My dear! Is this really you, Armanzhan? - The foreman happily said.
"Armanzhan!" - echoed in the heart of the young man and it started aching. His mother had always called him so. Armanzhan... Now this warm tender addressing pronounced by the lips of old Akhmetkali raised from the dead the past again. And as if joyful birds flown out in a flock his careless happy days instantly flashed before Arman's eyes. Tears welled in his eyes He felt ashamed even to look at the old worker and only replied with a voice full of inconsolable suffering.
Yes, Akhmetkali-aga, it's me.
It turns out that you are living! Where are you? Where do you work? How are your children, your wife? Are they healthy? - The foreman bombarded him with the questions.
Looking down Arman was keeping silent.
What's up with you? Why have you become silent? - Akhmetkali started worrying.
The moon appeared through the breaks of the clouds and lit everything around.  Akhmetkali threw up his hands.
You are so lean, just hollow-cheeked. What's the matter with you!
The fate has cruelly punished me, - Arman answered with great difficulty not daring still to look at the foreman. 
Yes, my brother, I feel something is wrong with you. It is impossible even to recognize you. Say me. What's up with you?
They were slowly walking along the long street. And Arman trustfully told the old foreman about everything.
That is the thing that I have finally achieved. - He finished his confession.
My goodness, you have made such a mess of things, - Akhmetkali perplexedly said. And for a long time he was keeping silent having knit his brows with concentration. - Here it is impossible to find at once what to advise. As one old woman said: "If to damn - the only one, if not to damn - a bad one". It's pity even to blame you. Without it only shade has remained from you. Not to blame - my heart cannot withstand such your meanness... Here both to blame and damn you - everything is in vain if you don't get down to yourself. - Akhmetkali kept silent for some time again. - It turns out that you haven't realized how much the fate gave you in your life. You haven't learned to value it. But you could... You are talented... you could find your place in life. Each human must know his or her own place. It's not important are you a scientist or a worker. But if you know your business - you can already be proud of this. What an amazing sculpture you created lost time! What expressiveness! I decided that you had found your business. I thought that you would become a real specialist and a real human. But you... - Akhmetkali grievously waved with the hand and turn away. - Then, - he went on, - it's terrible: to leave so simply the wife for the sake of your own pleasure. And because of whom? Because of a painty doll, a parrot. You say, love. How did you marry Zhannat in this case, without love? If really not for love, why did you marry then? No, my dear, a family isn't just a cock's tail which you can direct where you want. I see, neither this nor that time you had your real love, and so... Then, - Akhmetkali looked with severe reproach at Arman, - how did you dare to leave your children?  Kazakhs say: children are the part of your heart. How could you leave them with the calm heart?
Arman was keeping silent but each Akhmetkali's word hit the mark and the young man was burning with shame. "He is right. This kind man says everything very right. Did I really think about my children? I didn't buy a toy for them; I took them in the arms not for a single time... I am not the father but their step-father. As my poor mother said I had made orphans from my own children while I am alive".
You should start everything from the very beginning. You should go to work and return to the family.
Who is waiting for me there... I don't think that Zhannat will agree for this. I haven't brought happiness for her.
For sure. But if Zhannat loves you she will forgive everything. - Akhmetkali cheered even up a bit. - You must be happy that such a young and beautiful woman hasn't married yet. Perhaps, all the same she loves you, nothing-for-good.
Arman was about to cry out because the foreman had answered the tormenting him question:
Hasn't she really married?
Akhmetkali understood how much Arman was glad. And he began to laugh:
Do you really think that all people are like you? Just catch each one who will take wing like a pigeon nearby you!
In three days Akhmetkali went away to the resort to the Crimea.  But however he fixed Arman up for a job before this. He was sure that this person had got a strong lesson from the life and now he would have a more conscientious relation to any affair. And that he will return to the family.
But the old foreman didn't know then that he had mistaken that time too... 
At first Arman was glad that he had been taken to the previous work. He decided to come to sense a bit and only then look for some ways of reconciliation with Zhannat. The young man persistently followed the set plan and tried not to drink. However in a month after the first salary Zhaksybai informed his roomer:
The Methodist of the palace of culture arrives for courses today.  She doesn't want to live in the hostel. That's why you should find another room for living.
There was nothing to be done. Arman dressed, went out and the same question appeared in his mind, where to go? To decide and finally go to Zhannat perhaps? No. What will he say her? He couldn't come as poor as a church mouse. To think everything quietly over he decided at first to have dinner in a restaurant. 
He was in the worse spirit than ever. To cheer himself up a little he ordered some beer at first and then... some vodka.
He didn't remember how long he had been sitting there. When the restaurant was about to be closed the night watchman led Arman out. The drunk man could hardly move his legs.
In an hour he met Zhannat who was returning home after the night shift.
When Zhannat learnt that Arman had really gone somewhere with Bibi she was about to die from grief. She grew lean and lost some weight. Of course - the husband had run away, the favourite mother-in-law had died, the father-in-law had led home a young wife and offered to go away.
And what was it possible to take from him, in addition? But where to go and with whom to advise? Only yesterday Zhannat hadn't thought about need and troubles but today thousands of troubles fell on her shoulders. She was about to be taken aback like a traveler in darkness who couldn't find any way out.
But at a specified moment the life demands from a human to make strenuous efforts. And the thing what Zhannat had recently seemed to be impossible easily obeyed her will and her mind. And the children didn't let her grieve long too. As usual they brought along not only troubles but also joys.
Once her friend invited her to visit the Palace of culture. She said that she had an extra ticket.  Zhannat wanted to refuse but then - she couldn't withstand. She asked the neighbour to look for and take the kids for the evening and went. The black dress which was decorated with her favourite necklace set off her pale face.
After the first act of drama "Kozy-Korpesh and Bayanslu" which had been staged by the local circle of amateur talent activities Zhannat and her friend went out into the foyer.
Let's go to the canteen. - The friend offered. - I want to buy something for my children. And you for your children too... - The women directed to the buffet tables.
You are right, they will fall asleep not for the world now. They will be waiting for us. - Zhannat supported and suddenly stopped talking as if she froze on the place she was standing on.
A young, slim and not tall man was going towards hem. It was Daniel. He was thinking about something looking down at the ground.
Danesh! - Zhannat cried out unexpectedly for herself.
Daniel raised the head. He was seized with heat.
Zhannat! - It seemed that he had choked with the caught him excitement.
It was their first meeting after the conversation in the expedition.
I share your grief, - Daniel started but suddenly thought: "She can think that I am sorry because of her divorce with the husband..." - And he hurried to add: - Akgul-apai was an especial human. Then I wanted to come very much but I didn't finally decide for this.
How much decisiveness did you need for this then? - Zhannat sadly pronounced. - How long are in our town?
I arrived three days ago...
Zhannat didn't know what else to speak to Daniel about. She couldn't speak about the things she wished. Now most of all she wished to learn if he had married. And if she were former Zhannat she would surely ask about this. And not former but another Zhannat was standing now in front.
When are you going away? - She asked only because she didn't find any other words.
I will stay here for some time. My first book about Saki has been published. I have brought it for my father. Now I am collecting some material for my second book and it all is in your parts.
Your book has been published! My congratulations! Could you present it me, perhaps? Please!
Of course, I will present.
If you let me I can bring it to your place.
Yes, of course, tomorrow in the afternoon I will be at home. Write down my address.
Daniel was confused a bit:
I have your address.
Where from can she know that he hasn't had anybody dearest except his Zhannat in the world yet? Last year when he was in the expedition with his father he learnt that Arman and his wife had got a flat. Daniel had a hope then to see Zhannat at least from afar and took her address by their mutual friends. About for two hours or so he was walking around the house but Zhannat didn't finally appear in the street. He didn't dare to come in the flat.
If you know my address you may come. I will be waiting for you. - Zhannat pronounced the same sadly. They said goodbye and went away.
Who is this? - The friend asked who was the witness of their conversation
This is one... Some time he fell in love with me.
Some time! He loves you even now! I have noticed: as soon as he saw you he turned pale like a cloth. And while he was speaking: he grew now white then red, a poor one.
Next day at the set time Daniel brought the promised book. But... the same woman with whom she had been in the Palace of culture in the evening was present at her place now. And they didn't have a chance to speak about they wanted. And he went away so. He just informed that soon he would go to the expedition of his father and would stay there about for a month or so. He promised to visit her again after returning. Zhannat promised that she would surely read his novel up to this time.
She sat down at the book at once as soon as Daniel went away. She wished to learn at least from the written by him about the things what this person was thinking about, what he was dreaming and worried most of all in his life about. The more she read the more the read facts caught her imagination.
The author was sorry and grieved about the outrage of the cleanest feeling of the youth - love. The figure of the main lyric character that connected the narration about the past with today's day stood up even more clearly from the pages of the book.  She saw the author personally in this character. Each word which he said Zhannat from the pages of the novel now found the hottest echo in her heart. She seemed that the author pulled her to himself and led after his thoughts and emotional experience.
In a month Daniel returned from the expedition. After having some rest in the hotel next day he hurried to Zhannat.
Well. Do you like my book?
A sure thing... of course, for sure... It can happen so not only in novels. But in life too...
She opened a new Daniel for herself and experienced a difficult feeling of shameful joy and grief at the same time. Once Zhannat had already received a strict lesson for her thoughtlessness and now reasonableness and calmness got the best. She couldn't decide to divorce officially with Arman. However much he offended and distressed her all the same it was impossible to find another father for the children. He was alive... And the poor woman tried not to give vent to her feeling to Daniel. What could she do if the heard hadn't finally ordered up to now: "You don't have your Arman any more!"
And exactly at the moment when Zhannat was as if between two fires she met her drunk husband in the street. And this decided everything once again: Zhannat pitied Arman... She knew: he will die if not to help him now. And she remembered the order of her mother-in-law: "Zhannat, I beg you, don't leave Arman without surveillance. You know about his lack of character. He will die without you, will die..."
Zhannat's heart was pierced with pity and grief. She seemed that she had never cried so bitterly before. In the morning she came up to him.
Arman was sitting having dropped down the head.
Forgive me, - he quietly said and turned away. Without any words Zhannat took a kerchief from the continental headboard and wiped the tears in the husband's eyes.
 I have to go to work, - she said. - But I have still some time to make tea.

"Fate plays with a human..." - not for one time Kuntuar heard these words. He didn't think about were they right or not. But he saw as sometimes almost from the very childhood a person dreamed to become great and famous. It seemed that he had both talent and persistence for this. But I dare say - a person doesn't achieve what he or she forethought. A person will achieve just a specified stage in the ranks and that's all. He or she should rise higher but a person could hardly hold the ground at this height. Another one who is far from all kinds of impudent pretensions just knows that to work with all his or her might. And then you see that the fate rewards him or her for the industry and shyness. If to look closer you see that this person has both not worse talent and not less persistence than that one, first. But it turns out that there is one more noticeable not for everybody feature - honesty. And the life has used this feature very just here.
Who could even think, for example, that shy worker Nurali would be able to rise from the ranks so much. Only yesterday he had been a chief of a small expedition lost in the sands, had been on run day and night about the dead desert in the search of water.  Today Nurali was the director of one of the biggest republic enterprises! Peilzhan remained just the deputy of the laboratory up to now.
Nurali hurried to share joyful news about his new appointment with Kuntuar.  That one just asked anxiously:
Have you already married?
Not yet, - the dzhigit answered. - I have, for example, one beauty. She learns in Almaty in a medical school. Now I will be nearby and I want to propose her to marry. But I cannot guaranty yet that I will receive her positive answer.
Kuntuar didn't question him any more. Why? It was great that his young friend wished to advise with him. And with all the heart Kuntuar shared with his thoughts.
The old archaeologist suddenly remembered Arman's tragic fate. "As soon as I arrive to Kairakty I will surely visit them. I have heard the things look absolutely blue there".
Enough time passed since Arman had returned from Bibi here, to Kairakty and since old worker Akhmetkali had given him first a helping hand. Arman was taken to work at the former plant and he was registered as a stone cutter again. But in the same manner as before he did everything mechanically without any wish.
Kind Akhmetkali attributed it to the difficult fate of Arman. He just hoped for the fact that labour would be able to help and change him. Labour has cured not such people of an illness. However, Arman's indifference to the business frightened Akhmetkali even more.
What did he seemingly wish from this young man? He was neither his brother nor his father. Another one would give up already long ago: he would say you can live as you want, die then, you yourself have come to this! But old worker Akhmetkali couldn't do this.
On the days of his youth he had experienced many difficult situations. And now when he saw that someone of the boys had mistaken in life he hurried for help. Akhmetkali supported and directed this mistaken one until he cured him of an illness.  The same was with Arman. Perhaps, the cause for this was the external attraction, politeness, openness and trustfulness of the young man. Akhmetkali thought and realized in the heart: it is still possible to help Arman. Once he said:
I look at you and see - you don't like your work. Will it be better for you, perhaps, to go to some another place?
I don't know...
- And who knows? You are grown-up. I remember I asked you to help in studying. And so, be ready. I have spoken to one sculptor, he wants to meet with you.
Arman felt how the heart started desperately beating in the breast. Yes, he was pleased with Akhmetkali's decision.
Next day the foreman called a taxi, fetched his friend-sculptor and drove him to the cemetery. There he showed the monument created by Arman. Well, - the sculptor said. - Of course, one can see at once that it's not the work of a skilled workman. But the young man should learn. But it will be difficult for a family man in the sense, that the scholarship is small in the specialized school. I could take him as an apprentice but... it is not supposed according to our staff register.  I have hardly achieved to have a helper for me.
This was a new task for Akhmetkali. He decided that he wouldn't stop to fight for Arman.
It was impossible to say that it was easy but the foreman achieved what he wished. Soon Arman was allowed taking on the work. Akhmetkali personally led him to the sculptor in the workshop.
Earlier giving a son for learning a Kazakh usually said mullah: "His meat is yours, bones are mine, just teach him read". I ask almost for the same: "Don't pity him, even if his hands are tired make him sculpture, even if his head is tired make him think. I just wish he would learn mastery".
Akhmetkali went on this almost ceremonial parting words but addressing already to Arman now: 
I repeat once more - your fate is in your hands. And will you be able to become a human depends on the fact how you will learn. But if you need me the doors of my house are always open for you.
Akhmetkali said good bye and went away.
The same day the sculptor and his apprentice got to work. Soon Arman understood what the peculiarity to work with this or that tool was, learnt the main kinds of cutting and chiselling of images on a stone. And each stone itself demanded fixed attention, in addition. "One, - the skilled workman explained, - you'd better to use for images of people on it, other one - for birds and animals. It is important to take into account the properties of the stone: is it brittle or firm, heat and cold resistant or not, what specific gravity it has, you should remember in what climatic zone it is better to use granite or marble". 
So Arman mastered the alphabet of the sculptor's work. Step by step he was carried away with the difficult art even more and more. He already wished to perform some task without assistance and with his own hands. The sculptor noticed the impatience of his apprentice.
- Don't hurry, my dzhigit, don't hurry. - He said to Arman. - Perhaps, soon you will be able to gladden us with your mastery too.
Once when they were working at a very important order a bearded man came in the workshop. His pale face was covered with the traces of small wrinkles. All his canvas trousers and the jacket threadbare on the shoulders were fully covered with many-colored spots from oil paints. The bearded man had a very old beret on the head.
- My greetings to my dear workers! - The man cheerfully lifted the hand.
The sculptor turned back:
- Our greetings too! I see you have come to work again.
There would seem to be so.
You have been kept too long in your Penates.
- Yes, I have healed one sickness but caught another one - radiculitis.
I know what radiculitis you have.
You can, maestro, qualify this as you want. The sculptor sadly pronounced:
- You will send yourself to the grave, mark my words...
The man aroused Arman's interest. And now he slyly squinted and pronounced: 
Eh, all the same to die.
The old foreman replied nothing on these words. He just proposed:
Well, make the acquaintance. I have got an apprentice. He promises to become a real specialist.
A-ah, so that's it... - For a moment the man's face changed and became glad and at once - like a wrinkled mask again.
- And I have thought that somebody else was taken on my place...
The sculptor began to laugh:
If you go on to drink the same much you will live till this day too.
The man started laughing too:
It's no use to argue with you. You are my direction! And people say direction always knows better.
Having answered nothing this time too the foreman addressed to Arman:
Now I can introduce you too. This is my helper Moses.
Don't mix, fellow! Not that holy Moses but... a drunkard and an unvalued fount of the talent.
The sculptor went aside from the figure which was been casting from gypsum and said wiping the hands:
If you have appeared in the work you should start. Take these drafts and finish the model. Join up Arman to the work too.  And I need to go on business to the town soviet.
Moses took a sheet of Whatman paper and started carefully examining the drafts humming something under the nose. Then he placed the drafts at the wall and asked Arman:
Do you know such sculptors as Michelangelo and Rodin?
Haven't you even seen there reproductions?
No, I haven't.
That's a wonder! - Moses was surprised. - He hasn't seen these great works and already dreams to become a skilled workman. Oh, poor art! Not even suspecting about your great mysteries each one who wishes thrusts him- or herself in skilled workmen. And such, if one may say so, a sculptor floods then parks, squares and streets with tennis-players with legs of an elephant and hips of a yedilbayevskiy sheep!
He angrily cried this all out and stopped talking the same quickly. He looked at Arman again and started joyfully laughing:
Never mind, if you haven't had an opportunity to see Michelangelo and Rodin you don't need this then.  In stead of them Moses personally is before you. It is useful for you, my brother, to learn something of his mastery too. The main thing is you to have some talent and ability to see and value the true beauty.
Moses put on his worldly-wise black coat, rolled up the sleeves and started working. His hands began to play, the gypsum became compliant.
Great! - Arman said spellbound.
What great? - Moses understood not exactly.
You are working great!
E-eh, my dear! If I didn't have my mastery would they keep me in this work?
During the days which followed Arman made sure even more that Moses was really a skilled workman with golden hands and a joker and a human with wide nature in addition. He said his apprentice:
The art can be mastered only by talented people. But it is impossible to receive a talent. A person must be born with it.
And to receive art?
Whatever you may do but if you don't have a god's sparkle in your soul then you will be able to become neither an artist nor a sculptor.
Once Moses worked with a special inspiration and when he finished he turned back on the chair and was sitting so as if he became old at a moment and lost any interest to everything around. Then, after coming to sense again he looked at Arman:
How old am I, you think?
Being still impressed by he had seen Arman tried sincerely to answer:
I think you are only forty.
The director of the workshop and Moses exchanged glances.
You have guessed! - Moses said through laugh. And then he seriously added: - Recently, my old friend, I am only twenty-eight.
Are you joking? Are you really just for one year older than me?
I know myself that I look old. It is because I am very clever.
Some clever man, - the director broke into. - Confess that the demon rum with whom you are not able to part has ruined you. If you had drunk less you would live for one hundred years long!
Who has said that drinking can make a human old? To my mind, even the medicine hasn't made such a conclusion.
The sculptor looked at Moses with trouble:
I don't know but it seems to me that it's just time for you to address to the medicine.
Do you mean if I give up drinking I will become immortal?
Why immortal? Nobody is immortal. But a human should die in a human's manner too.
A dead one is indifferent...
"That's right, - Arman thought. - If a person has died what's the difference how? Everything isn't indifferent when a human is living. It's not good to drink habitually. But if sometimes and for raising spirit?"
On the same day the sculptor called Arman aside and said:
I go to Moscow. Moses will be in stead of me.  Try to take his method of casting a model in gypsum for this time. Moses was a great expert.
Having felt free Moses himself started drinking in a week and pulled his apprentice along. It happened in the following manner.
On the day of salary Arman cast from gypsum his first model without assistance. Moses critically examined the work and said tapping patronizingly his person under care on the back:
It turns out that you have a real talent. We must wash your model it not to fall to pieces! Arman rejoiced the offer.
With a pleasure! - He gladly answered.
So it began...
Now they often met over a bottle. And almost always - at Moses' place. The guest often spent nights here too.
One of such days when the legs were not able to bring Arman home he dropped in the park to take a nap on a bench. And here he saw Daniel and... his wife who were walking along the alley. He felt angry jealousy. Wasn't it a cause "to dull the grief with vodka"?
...The mind got the best over Zhannat's heart. She restrained in the heart the feeling that had just flamed up to Daniel again. "I must do this, I must, - the woman persuaded herself. - Arman is the father of my children!"
Having met Daniel she explained him everything as she could. "I myself have led him home". Daniel was struck with these words. Indignation, pity and admiration - everything mixed in the descended upon him feeling to Zhannat. And the light of a hope that had just flashed up somewhere ahead went out again.
And Zhannat said her husband at home:
However dear my home and my family could be for me we will not be able to live together if...
I swear you, Zhannat, I won't do this any more!
Well, otherwise - you have only yourself to blame.
She wished, she wished with all her heart to believe him.
She tried to keep herself in check and not to think about Daniel. From morning till night she was busy about the house. Arman worked in the sculpture workshop and Zhannat hoped that, perhaps, everything would come right with time and that everything could be still improved.
However, soon Arman appeared being drunk in the house. With tear in the eyes Zhannat was looking at him:
If tomorrow again... the doors of the house will be closed for you... You must know about this.
And it happened not next day, but in two days. "What to do? Not to let him home, as I promised... But... the neighbours can see... - Zhannat was depressed. - Let sleep himself sober, I will seriously talk to him in the morning!"
She woke up early enough and went to the hall where the husband was sleeping. But she didn't find Arman there. Either shame or the wish to drink drove him out from the house already at dawn.
Arman now disappeared for three-four days then didn't appear for the whole weeks long. Zhannat thought even often about the fact that he would never stop and would never be a human. "Don't I really have any other way out except the divorce? But what will people say? And how to help him, how? Shall I go to his director, perhaps? But with what a face will I appear there? Don't they themselves know, perhaps, how to get rid of such a worker? They will catch hold of my claim... And they simply drive out Arman from the workshop. He will not be able to work in any other place himself... How to save him?"
Once Arman appeared at home after the next one week long absence. He spoke to nobody in the morning and drank tea keeping silent. Zhannat said:
What you have ahead then... just the death...
I know...
Or don't you pity your children? People received treatment for this damned vodka, there are some medicines...
I have heard. After such medicines... if you drink you will die.
Zhannat couldn't stand any more:
It's better to die than to live so!
Arman really decided to receive the treatment. However, he didn't want to hurry with this. And he delayed all the time: now he didn't process a document and without it he will not be taken then it turned out that there were not any vacant places in the hospital. When it was the term to go to the hospital he got drunk on that day and said at home: "It's the last time".
The spring came again. Warm tender beams streamed on the ground again - the sun generously presented its life-giving light. Thawed patches appeared on the hills and sonorous streams - in the lowlands again. The first snowdrops... And the first restless starlings were in their own troubles and cares...
Zhannat liked this time. The time of awakening of all living and renewal. She wished to live, work and love... She wished some happiness.
Exactly at such restless time, in spring, Daniel returned to Kairakty again to gather some new data for his book what he was working at. No, this time he didn't look for a meeting with Zhannat. She herself saw him in the street by chance. And she didn't recognize him at the first moment. What's up with him? Was he keen on sport? Or did the fame and honour after the publishing of his first novel bring him such internal satisfaction and confidence that Daniel had changed so much? He gained in strength and seemed even more slim and attractive. He even stepped in some different way - with more sure and more firmly.
Since that day Zhannat was involuntarily waiting for his phone call. She tried not to leave home once again and hoped: he is just on the point to let her know about him. But he didn't phone. "Of course, he has forgotten me. He has given his heart to another one..." - Zhannat tormented herself. People say the truth: if you want to value something you should lose this "something" first. Only now Zhannat completely realized what place Daniel had had in her life and heart. Finally she couldn't withstand any more and personally phoned him to the hotel. Daniel raised the receiver.
Hello. It's Kudaibergenov.
It's me, Zhannat...
And she couldn't pronounce a word any more. The voice stopped short. She hung up the receiver - tears ran out from the eyes.
In ten minutes or so the phone call made her hook up the receiver again.
Having recognized Daniel's voice she could hardly restrain the sobbing:
Yes... I...
Well, how are you doing? Haven't you phoned me right now?
What's up?
Nothing. - Zhannat could already restrain herself. And she added already more resolutely: - We haven't simply seen each other already for a long time. That's why I have phoned you.
I myself want to see you very much. I strove to call you but... I didn't wish to bother you.
Zhannat's heart started boomingly beating. She didn't wish to restrain her feeling any more and joyfully cried out:
Is it the truth?!
It is the truth!
They agreed to meet in the park. Daniel came there earlier the set time. And Zhannat... She was still hesitating: "Shall I or not to meet with him?" However, she was already going. Was going. And all the same: "Shall I or not?" And she surprised at once: where did the wish to see Daniel that had burnt her right then disappear?  She was as if frozen. But... as soon as she made the last step... the stupor disappeared.
Hello, Zhannym! - First for the last five years Zhannat called him as before and stretched the both hands.
He embraced her without any words.
The electrical lanterns lit in the park. Daniel and Zhannat were walking to the bench under the branchy oak.
Exactly at this time Arman noticed them. He was caught with difficult feeling of shame and offence. And he tried to leave the park being unnoticed.
I haven't seen you for ages, - Daniel pronounced meanwhile. - Tell me about everything in order.
And however hard Zhannat felt she told him, told about everything
Having listened to her bitter story to the end Daniel took her by the hands, pulled a bit closer and asked with excitement:
I understand, it's very painful for you... But what can I do? Do you personally see any way out?
All the same I should help him, I should fight for him. If I leave him he will die. But I have also realized that...
Daniel wished to cuddle and caress Zhannat. But he restrained himself.
Let's go, - she offered. - I am glad that we have met.
Let's go, - Daniel silently agreed.
"Will our love really finish so? - Zhannat thought. - Or? No, no! To stay with Daniel means to sin against Arman".
As if in the sleep she heard Daniel's words:
As before I... I love you very much. And it is the main thing what I can say now.
They both realized: Arman firmly stood between them and neither this nor that one could do anything to get rid of this barrier on the way of their love.
"To help Arman..." "To help..." They came to the following: when Daniel returns to Almaty he will take Arman along too. There he will send him to a hospital.
First time this thought had come to Arman's mind after he had confessed himself guilty in the death of his mother. Then he had thought about the same when Bibi had driven him out from the house and he hadn't known where to go. This thought had also come to his mind when Zhaksybai had shown him the door.  And now he couldn't leave it, persistent and obtrusive one.
Arman finally strengthened in the rightness of his decision when he saw Daniel and Zhannat in the park. He seemed: nobody else can be happier in the world now. His heart shrank. What was it - jealousy? May be... Arman realized that he loved Zhannat. He loved. But he didn't have enough strength yet to stand up for himself and for her. Whom to blame? Who needed him, such one? Should he live then?
And at home in addition - the son ran with cry, fell on the bad and turned his face to the wall...
What? What's up with you? - Zhannat didn't come away from him.
And pointing onto the father the boy cried out through tears:
Before all... before all he has ashamed us! There the pictures in the street... Under the glass... everybody can see!..
And this was the truth. However, in the morning Arman went to look at his own image. He was sitting at a puddle not far from the kindergarten and an empty bottle was standing nearby. Everything went dark before his eyes. However, he didn't suffer very long because of pangs of conscience. Now he drank because of "grief".
Once he turned to work and learnt that he had been fired already several days ago. The sculptor led him to his closet and said face to face:
You are, boy, not without a talent. I have already said you about this. But instead to be engaged in the business you are cutting your own throat! Now you have only yourself to blame. You personally are guilty. Well, if you come to sense and need my help come to me then...
Arman became as if dumb: he didn't expected such a turn. That's right, he drank but the thought settled down in his consciousness that the foreman had humbled with this somehow. And here - that it was.
Does it mean that you drive me out? - Arman asked almost whispering.
No. You drive yourself out. I took you even in violation of the financial discipline.  I persuaded all - we should support the man, we should help. People believe you, and I... I believe even now too - you are not a finished person, you have a taste for our business. Don't I really see? But the main thing depends on you personally.
Arman - again! - was sincerely remorseful and blamed himself.  Being about to cry he went out from the workshop and walked along the street.
The money which he had got by discharge was enough only for two days or so and nobody wanted to borrow him.
As if a beaten mongrel he dragged himself home moving the legs by force. He locked in his room and came out nowhere already for the second day long. Neither sleep nor rest. He had only one thought in his mind: "How to live? Why to live? He had no other way out: he was ruined and defeated. Everybody despised and hated him.
And suddenly like a recovery of sight, - the pictures from his childhood.
They with the mother just moved to Yergazy's house. The same friendly and warm spring was then too. Only he took it in an absolutely different way then.
It was amazingly how he could remember one of such days up to details.
He was taken in pioneers. He ran home shining and with the fly-away tie. He rushed to the mother and proudly boasted:
- I am a pioneer now!
My congratulations, my dear!
The step-father who was standing a little aside began to laugh:
A pioneer - it's good. But say then. What will you become when you are grown-up?
I will be a marshal, like Rockossovskiy!
The mother was completely deeply moved and began to kiss hotly the son:
You will be, will be both a general and a marshal.
But he became this one now... A drunkard! An alcoholic! He had lived almost thirty years long and... Who needed him now? Nobody.
- Nobody needs me! - The words suddenly broke aloud from his mouth. 
At this moment Zhannat went out to the kitchen. Helping the mother Daulet was placing the bowls on the table. Even two minutes didn't pass when from Arman's room there heard an unknown hoarse voice.
Zhannat's heart sank at once. She understood everything and dropped the kettle from the hands. Not paying attention to the fact that she had burnt her legs with boiling water she ran to the husband's room. Fainting she fell down there and then at the threshold. The last thing that she saw with the muddy look was Arman's bloody body on the floor at the window.
Saken looked in the room and ran back, to the street with cry. Exactly there Daniel met him. With quick step he came into the house. Having realized what had happened he rushed to the phone.
- Ah, why I have come so late! - He reproached himself dialing the number of "ambulance".
This day Daniel and his father just returned from the expedition in Kairakty. Having learnt about Arman's death Kuntuar was distressed too because he hadn't been able to come in time. 
Hard drinking... - Daniel said. - Too early he took to drink wine. Exactly alcohol has completely ruined the boy.
Not only this, - Kuntuar replied on the son's words. - This hard drinking itself was just the consequence of many causes. Deceased Akgul has been shuddering at him all her life long. She tried to hide everything bad he did and exaggerate everything good. Blind love. It has never led to a good end yet. The mother died and Arman wasn't able to withstand the first difficulties he met. He seemed that in vine he could find his rescue or relief of the suffering at least. The usual feeling of carelessness came then... That is where his tragedy was.
- Yes, if we returned here for one day earlier at least! I would take him along. We decided exactly this.

I have come to you to talk, - Kuntuar said sitting down in the soft armchair nearby the massive table opposite Yergazy. That one remained sitting, didn't even stand up and greet his old friend.
What about?
About everything by little. About the life, about us with you, about Arman...
- It's interesting. Will Arman really rise from the dead if we speak about him?
What for to talk nonsense? - Kuntuar cut short. - You are his father although not the own one. Even a cat licks a puppy put furtively to it.
Yergazy started laughing:
Well, well! Lay it out! I dare say the word "cat" you have said not in vain too. People say that all my enemies call me so behind my back.
... Arman's death saddened the old archaeologist so much that he could fall asleep for several nights. His mind traveled over his life all the time and the archaeologist made the conclusion that not only Arman had been guilty... Some friends-fellows were guilty in his death too. And Yergazy. Do you really think that the point is in the fact is he your own son or not? If he grew up in your arms it means that he is your own son. You are the first head who must be responsible for his fate.
Kuntuar knew about Yergazy's hard-hearted nature. And already then when at Akgul's grave he had addressed to him with the request: "Now you should become both the mother and the father for your children, their protector", - he had doubted that it would be so. And his doubts proved true.
He felt pain and confused because of Yergazy when he heard that that one had married almost at once after Akgul's death. He also heard about the fact that the step-father had refused Arman's family to stay in his house. 
Kuntuar himself lived each summer in the expedition without quitting the place and in winter - far away from Kairakty, in Almaty. And anyhow he couldn't meet with Arman in spite of the fact that he wished this very much.
But to say the truth, once he had a chance and visited them but it turned out that Arman had gone away with a woman to Almaty. When the archaeologist returned to Almaty and began to search for Arman he was informed there that he had gone back, to Kairakty!.. Such people like Arman need a strong hand in the life. Who else if not Yergazy had to give it in the first place?
And now Kuntuar couldn't stand it any more and he came to the old friend to talk face to face. "What do I mean then as a human if I don't remember my friend about his duty, conscience and honour?" - The old archaeologist thought.
The talk they had had was the beginning of their long conversation...
What surprising is there? Everybody says: you have habits like a cat. - Kuntuar answered. - But a cat has many good features too.
Of course, cats catch mice! I see, do you want to qualify exactly this as its services?
Why only this? Cats like their kittens. Protecting them they are ready to give their own lives. And you were quietly watching how your own son was going down, an absolutely healthy young man.
Arman isn't my son and you perfectly know about this. - Yergazy got angry. - I have never thought that he is my son and now I don't want to think so too, after his death!
The trouble lies exactly in this. But all the same, you brought him up!
He didn't fall under any upbringing! I have always known that only the grave will straighten Arman!
I think that is not the point: to bring up other people a person him- or herself must be well brought up. Look into your own inside at least once in your lifetime. Is it right to live not having done even one only step which wouldn't bring any use exactly for you personally?
Yergazy couldn't stand any more and interrupted Kuntuar:
Must I bring any use exactly for you, you mean? I see, the only thing that I have to do is just to write a master's thesis instead of you with which you will not be able to cope up to your old age!
Stop playing the fool. I have written neither a master's thesis nor a thesis for a doctor's degree. It's only my guilt. And I don't lump the blame onto anybody. But it can also happen that both a professor and a doctor are not able to say a necessary word in science or help to solve a difficult economic problem. But now we are speaking about another thing: parents' obligations, friends' duty, honour and conscience... About that generosity without which a person cannot live in the world. And finally - about envy.
Do you really think that I envy you, an unhappy one? - Yergazy bust out laughing.
No, I am not an unhappy one! My work is my happiness. Without a real occupation - it is really a miserable human.
I suspect. You are speaking about me again! Am I really a person without a talent to your mind?
I say directly. Some time I thought that you are talented. That's why I respected and thought highly of you. But all your talents you have spent for your own career and in such a way you have robbed yourself.  And not only yourself but also those ones who believed you.
Yergazy was fully covered with red spots with anger.
I wish your heart wouldn't ache because of me! I will go without your morals anyhow! - He was crying having jumped up from the place.
You have forgotten, Yergazy, about one truth. A real friend says the truth which makes cry, an enemy - lie that invokes a pleased smile. I think still that you are my friend. And I wish you just good.
If to listen to your advices it chances that I must be born again!
I forgave you everything. Both the advices which you gave Peilzhan about the libellous article against me and your attempts to close the expedition and blame me "in wasting of state money". I also forgave your efforts to pension me off before the results receiving of the work of my expedition and many other things. But Arman's death - I will never forgive you this.
At this moment one of Yergazy's colleagues resolutely came with a happy face in the room.
My congratulations! - He addressed to his director. - I have learnt right now: the presidium has allowed for voting during the elections of academicians two candidatures - Peilzhan's and yours!
Really the both?
Yes. It turned out that there was a vacant place in some other department. It was given at first to the social sciences and then - to our institute. The presidium's approval - it is an academician in petto! That's why, accept my congratulations!
That's it, the happiness! - Yergazy exclaimed. Kuntuar was smiling. Yes, for such a person like you the title is the main thing.
"Well, how do you feel, an unhappy one?" - Yergazy as if asked with all his appearance looking at Kuntuar but aloud he said:
The happiness - it is the achievement of the set aim.
Do you really think that the happiness is just to become a member-correspondent?
Never mind! I accept it in such a form too.
Kuntuar smiled again: "And how not to accept!" Yergazy's new secretary came in.
I'm sorry, comrade director, - the girl politely addressed to him. - I haven't completely understood. Somebody has phoned. He said that your wife had gone... flown away... - The girl was confused. - Take the receiver by yourself...
Is she mad? - Yergazy was shocked growing pale. And it wasn't clear whom he had asked about: about the secretary or about his wife. With trembling hands he grasped the receiver of the phone. - Professor Ayupov!
The voice from that end of the wire was clearly heard through the whole room.
I'm sorry - a man hoarsely said. - Your wife has flown away with one of our pilots to Leningrad. And she asked to say you... that she would never return.
When did she fly away? With whom?
Today in the morning. Don't you care now with whom? I fulfill only her request. I am sorry, I can say nothing any more.  - There heard short blasts in the phone.
For some time long Yergazy was sitting with the phone receiver in the hands and then started slowly sliding down from the armchair on the floor.
- Water! Quickly, water! - Kuntuar cried out to the secretary. And he rushed to support Yergazy. But that one quickly came to sense without assistance. He stood up on the atonic feet and carefully sat down on his place again. The secretary being hardly alive was standing nearby with the glass of water.
At this moment Kuntuar sincerely pitied his old friend.
The generous Almaty autumn came. The cool wind that had broken away from the ravine tore off yellow and red leaves from birches, aspens and maples. And it spread them under passers-by' feet like a golden dark-brown soft carpet. But here, nearby the house with an iron roof the leaves were lying untouched. And in the grown old garden the same harmony and the same cosiness was too. Silently, nobody was around.
But no, two persons appeared in the end of the long alley. They were slowly going to the house holding each other by the hands. One could see the quiet confidence in their step and movements. These two ones were Daniel and Zhannat.
The only way out for me was to go away, - Zhannat said. - It is impossible to raise Arman from the dead. He doesn't need me any more. You are here... How much time did you have to sit nearby Yergazy yet? Now he wished too we would go away as far as possible.
You have done very right! I myself was about to go and take you away. But what about Yergazy then? He was always notable for good health! What's happened with him?
Then, when he ousted us he got married to a young woman.  And she turned out a nice one: she left the child, took some valuables from Yereke's house and flew away with one pilot. The old man was shocked. I was afraid that he could die. He hardly found his feet when another news struck him again. He failed to elect as a member-correspondent.
Well, and what was then?
After Yereke didn't carry elections he moved to Kairakty at once. And... here soon he was struck down by apoplexy. 
The ambitions always come people exactly to this!
Yes, the life has punished him. He has never loved anybody except his own person. Now I realize how much Akgul suffered nearby him.
And then? How did your relations and the life develop after this?
He asked to find me. However much I felt offended but I couldn't refuse to help a human in such a condition. About for three months long I was sitting near his bed and looked after him as I could. Then he began to recover, started walking and drew up the documents to receive his pension. I felt that my children started hindering him. He could never stand the noise made by them. He proposed us to go somewhere to rest at least. He has a good pension...
Brick fine girl that you have decided to go to Almaty...
Thank you for your generosity, - Zhannat said with excitement. - The fate has punished me for all suffering which I brought you. Now I am ready to become your slave.
What a nonsense you are speaking about! - Daniel began to laugh. - I suffered so much without you that I personally am ready to become your slave! That's why, my dear, let's live for each other. I know our future must be happy. Too difficult we have come to it.
Is it really the finish of my tears?! - Zhannat emotionally said.
They were walking long still without saying a word.
- My father will be glad when he learns about our wedding.
- I wish very much it to be so but...
- What confuses you?
- I am not alone, I have two kids. And your father lived alone for many years long and perhaps he has already got accustomed to quietness and silence.
Having understood what troubled Zhannat he tried to explain her everything as quiet as possible:
- Don't worry about the fate of your children. Are they really guilty that they were born from the other father? Since today they are not only your but also my, our with you children. And the father will be only glad to see the kids in his house.
Zhannat got excited again:
- Thank you very much, my dear...
Kuntuar favoured the idea of getting married to Zhannat. Soon they celebrated the wedding. Now Kuntuar's large house with the green luxuriant garden that had been keeping its mysterious silence for many years long was filled with the voices and laugh of the children. And it seemed that the archaeologist himself grew younger too. All days long he spent at his writing table as never in the youth before, worked much and with inspiration.
Once these light days of his life were saddened again. Peilzhan was the cause of this again.
Unlike Yergazy his happiness was at the zenith now like a rising star. As for Yergazy that one liked to enjoy the luck alone and having hidden. But Peilzhan triumphed in the circle of like-minded persons who supported him in everything. If Yergazy more often believed only in his own strength and authority then this one always relied on the authoritative and powerful people. He grudged nothing for them. His self-interested and self-will nature Peilzhan showed only in those cases when he had to deal with the people who he thought to be weaker than him. He supported those ones who had a higher title or rank: even if they were not right he cried that their thoughts were deep and brilliant even when they were good-for-nothing in reality. Now he moved in the influential circles because he was both an academician and a member of the supreme certifying commission (SCC) for conferment of higher degrees.   Having used his rank Peilzhan wrote the negative conclusions for Kuntuar's dissertation. Yesterday exactly about this the old archaeologist learnt from one of his old friends.
At first Kuntuar was upset but then he took himself in hands: "Never mind, never mind... I should just work. What's this got to do with my master's thesis? "
And he worked. He worked like obsessed one not knowing yet that Peilzhan had brought suspicions upon his head because of the false attacks to his address and because of the false accusations.
When in Academy of Sciences people learnt about the conclusions against Kuntuar's dissertation Peilzhan's action was sharply denounced.  The conclusions didn't correspond to the real facts.
Some scientists under the direction of academician Verginskiy addressed to the SCC with the official letter about the works of Kuntuar Kudaibergenov.
Soon they received the answer. It was informed that the letter and the proposition expressed in it were considered by a special commission. The chairman of the commission asked to send him all books of the famous archaeologist.
Verginskiy didn't find some Kuntuar's works in his library. That's why he came to his place now.
As usually Kuntuar was sitting at the opened window in his study.
Where did you blow in from, my dear? - The host of the house stood up towards the friend.
I am not tumbleweed to be blown in by wind, - Verginskiy joked. - Just wait, you will pay one voice for your familiarity when you are elected in the academy.
Don't frighten me, - Kuntuar stopped him smiling. - Here I know exactly - you are not the creator of my fate.
What? Have you forgotten the saying: if the god wishes you can become bald already at the age of twenty? 
It's old but to make a human grow bald it is in the power of some of our mutual acquaintances.  Such one has remained any trace of not only hair on the head but also even the works which have been created during the period of thirty years long.
Who is so brave then?
Don't worry. Of course, it's not you.
You cannot even say. It's not a secret for me yet.
Where from have you learnt?
E-eh, only valuables cannot be visible at once, everything cheap always lies on the surface.
Verginskiy didn't call Peilzhan's name too.
The old friends were sitting till late at night in the pergola of the garden. They remembered their school years, the university and everything experienced by them.
Saying already good bye Verginskiy asked Kuntuar to present him several his books and named them.
But, perhaps, you have them. Give me a copy of each one.
What have you thought out so suddenly? Why do you need them? - Kuntuar asked him in his turn.
I want to look something through again.
One more year passed, to be exact - flew by. But it was distinguished not only with the promptitude of the time. The main thing was the results of the performed work.
This momentous year the endless loose sands in the very heart of which the Kairaktinskiy archaeological expedition had been working only yesterday were covered with waters of the endless sea. Today outboard-motor boats and cutters rushed here cutting off crests of white bow-waves. Sea gulls flew over them...
The guests arrived to see the start of Syrdarianskiy hydro-electro station were standing on the coast. Waters of the Syrdaria falling down from the dam into the sea will power the station. Academician Verginskiy was among the guests too. Amirbek was nearby him. Zharkyn was standing a little aside. He was appointed to the post of HES director. The yesterday's chief of the hydrogeologists' expedition Nurali was here too. Today he was already a director of a large enterprise in Almaty. Many other specialists were present here too.
Kuntuar also arrived here. Now he was a Doctor of Historical Sciences. In the elections of this year he had been chosen in academicians. Mikhailov, Daniel, Yergazy, young doctor Kunimzhan who had just finished the medical school and arrived here to work were standing nearby him. One year already passed by since the time when Yergazy had been retired. Kuntuar brought him here for some reason. He had his own cause for this...
However much Kuntuar was offended by his fried but after coming to Kairakty he decided to visit him and ask about his health. "Either friendship or enmity - everything has already passed by. Will we really be angry with each other up to the death?"
Yergazy also was glad to see Kuntuar. His health bettered and step by step he began to settle down to the work: he looked though the written before. "It turns out that for a person who got accustomed to work all his or her life long it's difficult to have nothing to do. - Yergazy said. - Sometimes I don't even know what to do without work. After having tea Kuntuar said:
It's a sin for me - to go to Kairakty and not to remember Akgul. Let's bring flowers on her grave. And Arman is there too...
I myself wished... one of these days... It's good that you have come. Let's go together, - Yergazy agreed. - Just wait for a minute. I call a taxi. 
A surprise was waiting for Kuntuar on the cemetery. At once he paid his attention to the monument which Arman had cut from grey marble for his mother.
Perhaps, Yergazy hadn't also seen this sculpture before. He slowly came up to Kuntuar. Long and fixedly he was examining the image.
It looks rather like her! - He could pronounce just this being surprised very much.
The far away days of the youth, the open look and Akgul's pretty face and... this boy for whom he hadn't finally become a father and hadn't supported him in time appeared in the mind.
He was crying silently, almost soundlessly in the cemetery. It was both strange and terrible to look at these shoulders shuddering from time to time but Kuntuar didn't stop him in spite of the fact that he sincerely pitied and shared his grief again: "I wish he would make easier his suffering with the help of tears". Then he came up and touched his shoulder:
We have to go... It's time...
You go, - Yergazy answered. - I wish to stay here for some more time.
But Kuntuar didn't leave Yergazy alone. In the same evening they had a long and quiet conversation. Kuntuar shared with his thoughts about the existence of a high culture before Saki.  And he invited Yergazy to work together.
Today he brought his friend along on the coast of the sea. Here he hoped to speak to academician Verginskiy about Yergazy's return to the work. He had good reasons - the person was healthy and full of strength.
Look, just look how beautiful it is around, - meanwhile Verginskiy said addressing to him. With the wide gesture of the arm he pointed to the sea distances that disappeared behind the horizon.
But Kuntuar was somewhere afar to share fully this delight. He sadly smiled in reply:
The water has covered not only the yesterday's life which we change for better. Who can warrant that any most valuable monuments or any another unknown culture haven't remained under the sea?..
The academician felt cheerfully with all the heart and he began to laugh:
Why on earth have we, to your mind, been keeping here your expedition almost for ten years long then? Without this you have proved much!
That's true. Thank you very much for this, of course. But all the same...
But you wish to dig out up to the very bottom all the same, don't you? But this sea isn't just our caprice. The desert that was staying dead for many centuries long has finally risen from the dead according to the requirements of the time and nation. 
Yes, it's a dictate of life.
... Now Kuntuar remembered his difficult way in science and about the fact how carefully and attentively Verginskiy had always related to him. It turned out that at its time after learning from Daniel that Yergazy had decided by himself to retire him Verginskiy had been indignant very much and ordered not to touch the talented scientist. After doctorating he had come to his house and congratulated him personally. Only after a long time Kuntuar learned that he had received his doctor's degree thanks to the application of the Kazakh scientists' group with the academician in the head.
With all the heart the archaeologist had thanked Verginskiy then and added at this:
Most of all I was glad to realize that there are still some people on the earth who remember about the fates of such ones... like me.
Stop pretending to be poorer than you are! - The old friend said him laughing. And then he added more seriously: - You are a real scientist. If to say the truth you are worth not only the doctor's degree but the title of an academician too.
Now Kuntuar started laughing.
Thank you for such a high appraisal but believe me, I don't want to be an academician!
Why so?
One can be a scientist even without this rank.
When in the elections Verginskiy proposed Kuntuar's candidature the gathered people voted unanimously for him. However, as before Kuntuar felt that he was just an average worker. But one detail, one fact remembered him all the time about his scientific growth - Peilzhan who tried to criticize all whom he wasn't afraid on the pages of periodicals started suddenly praising Kuntuar's works. 
Well, that's the genuine article! I am a real academician! - Kuntuar joked. - Would Peilzhan praise me otherwise?
... Now standing on the coast of the sea smacking of freshness and coolness Verginskiy habitually talked to Kuntuar in a humorous tone.
I want to calm you down, my old friend. Don't be upset because of the fact that some evidences of the ancient culture have been still remaining under water. Think better how quickly technique develops! I believe that very soon we will be able to lift monuments of the ancient times even from under water.
Yes, if we live up to this day...
We won't live - they will live. - The academician pointed to the direction of Daniel, Mikhailov, Nurali, Kunimzhan and Zharkyn standing nearby... - Or haven't you brought up a worthy change for you? - Verginskiy cheered up Kuntuar.
- Why haven't I brought up? Here he is, my most talented student. We have been working side by side for many years long. This year he has graduated the archeology an ethnography faculty in the Moscow university. A scientist who has just one such a learner like Vasily Mikhailov can think that he is happy...

It happened unexpectedly and that's why especially painfully.
All inhabitants of Kairakty came to his funeral Academician Verginskiy was saying at the grave:
- A perfect human, a talented scientist and a famous archaeologist, Kuntuar Kudaibergenov, died. All his life long up to the last breath he honestly served the science and tried to bring to the next generations the sweets of life of the world some time gone out in the native lands.
We see Kuntuar Kudaibergenov off in a far away trip. I didn't mistake when I said this. According to Kuntuar's words Saki didn't have the word "died" And when a human stopped breathing, stopped living Saki thought that this human departed to a very faraway journey.
Today we will say in the same manner too - our favourite Kuntuar didn't die, he set off for a very faraway traveling. But his numerous works, his wisdom, his generosity and kindness stayed with us... 
Daniel and Verginskiy set the monument over the grave of the famous archaeologist exactly here, on the coast of the hand-made sea. The inscription was short: "A human comes to this world and goes away from it. Only his or her immortal deeds remain living". The name and the surname, the dates of the birth and the death of the scientist were given below.


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