Yevreinov (9) arrived. In an ordinary white collar. From the Black Sea on his way to Petersburg.
There used to be such a city in the north.
Does it still exist? The writer laughs and assures us that it does. But it takes a long time to get there. Three years in a goods van. My tired eyes feasted for a whole evening on his white collar. And for a whole evening I listened to tales of adventure.
Brother writers, your vocation... (10) He hadn't got a penny. His luggage had been stolen...
...On another evening at Slyozkin's, the last, Nikolai Nikolayevich sat at the piano in the smoke-filled drawing-room provided by the landlady. He endured the torment of inspection with iron stamina. Four poets, a poetess and a painter (workshop) devoured him decorously with their eyes.
Within ten minutes the workshop was totally incapacitated. It no longer sat decorously, but rolled about hysterically with much waving of hands and groaning...
...The man with the lively eyes went away. No more grimaces!
A sudden gust of wind blew through, and they were swept away like leaves. One from Kerch to Vologda, another from Vologda to Kerch. A rumpled Osip appears with a suitcase, complaining angrily:
"We'll never get there, and that's that!" Of course you won't get there, if you don't know where you're going!
Yesterday Riurik Ivnev (11) appeared. On his way from Tiflis to Moscow.
"It's better in Moscow."
He travelled so much that one day he just lay down in a ditch.
Tired eyes. Hollow voice. Gave a talk in the workshop.
"Remember Tolstoy's kerchief on a stick. It keeps catching, then fluttering again. As if it were alive... I once wrote an anti-drink label for a vodka bottle. Jotted down a phrase. Crossed one word out and put another over it. Thought a bit, then crossed that one out too. And so on several times. But the phrase came out pat. Now they write... They write in a funny way! You pick it up. Read it through. No! Can't understand it. You have another try — still no luck. So you put it to one side..."