"How we built a dugout"

We brought the stove with us in the trunk of the car. Further, she was already rolling herself on smooth ice, driven by the strong kicks of Vova Sapozhnikov. The first ice was clear, like the cheeks of Leva Shamanov. Before fishing, for some reason, he always shaved and freshened up the Nivea fo man, as if in front of an intimate rendez-vous or getting ready for the last trip. Vovka, on the contrary, was overgrown with wool even thicker, and was freshened only with beer.

The sun was squinting and winking through the tattered birch forest. The crows screamed loudly. And they came out of the canal to the cleanliness, and even Vovka almost shed a tear. Before us lay an immaculate-virgin expanse, bathed in the sun.

Until we reached the island, it was already too late to build something solid, and we decided to build a wigwam to begin with, as a friend of the steppes and prairies Chingachguk-Big Snake once did. Vovka Sapozhnikov was left on the ice: to catch live bait fish and to place the girders, and Leva Shamanov and I took up construction. They broke it, sawed dry birches, threw them onto a hillock and thought about it. Since the treacherous Iroquois and proud Comanche lived in places where there were more deer and other cattle than mice on our island, it is natural that they wrapped their housing in the skins of these dead animals. We, the unfortunate children of civilization, limited ourselves to putting together something like low bunks for three, stuck a stove nearby and enclosed it all in a circle with somehow fitted poles, tying them on top in a bundle. The cracks choked with dry reeds and stunted spruce branches. For lack of skins, they wrapped the housing in polyethylene. We had barely finished finishing work when a crack was heard in the forest.

- Guys! - Vovka started yelling even from afar. - Pike fool rushing! One hooked, I can’t lift it!

We rushed to the ice. Flags “burned” around. My heart skipped a beat and fell somewhere under my arm. Here it is, El Dorado! We have long been waiting for such a pike zhora.

- Where's healthy ">

Looks Vovka Sapozhnikov, then - I. Below, swaying on a crimson, hangs a dull driftwood, green from old age. We drop this zergel and run to the rest, where the raised flags are reddened. Hefty perches planted by Vovka beat on tees, unwinding fishing line on reels. They reluctantly come off the bottom. Some were overwhelmed by the firewoods. Only cut fishing line.

After significant silence, Leva Shamanov finally asks:

- Is that you, live bait?
“Live bait, ” Vovka innocently answers, ruffling the fur on the smirking face.
- Was he focused on the American mascinong or on a sand dolphin?
“So to the pike, ” Vovka mechanically answers, and then explodes: “Do I know which bait is needed?” Maybe I’m catching zergirls for the first time. What bite, then set.
“You said you ate more than one dog in this business ...”
- He spoke, said ...
“And the fish is measured, ” Leva thoughtfully looks at Vovkin’s perches. - In the morning we’ll try on a spoon. By the way, these live bait, as you call them, flags and raised.

Our wigwam turned out to be an overnight stay - full of “figs to you, ” as the famous Sharik from Prostokvashino put it. The stove choked on wood and instead of heat choked us with acrid smoke. The engineer Leva, following the rules, supplied the potbelly stove from the inside with a bent iron sheet. This is so that the thermal kilocalories do not immediately fly out into the pipe, but move along a tricky move in the form of the letter “ZU”, heating the sides of the stove. What, they say, in vain to warm the sky? But either the welder was hangover, or the smoke was mixed up with heat, but soon we looked like the black Aboriginal Ouagadougou, though with a difference in climate.

We spent the night by the fire, gradually burning the walls of the disassembled wigwam. In the morning we washed off the blackness with hot water from the pot and began digging a foundation pit under the dugout, in turn, on duty at the barns. Pike took sluggishly. By noon there were only four rises. I got two pike, a little more than a kilogram, and a perch with a pound. Perch grabbed perches from the palm. Surprised Vovka Sapozhnikov. Having left for the next duty, he soon returned with a packet of large perches and a pencil pencil.

“This is not a zerichny one, ” the comrade grins.
- Did you catch something with your hands? - Leva does not believe.
“They grip the gum as if they were enraged, ” Vovka takes out a tiny vibro-tail with a torn tail from his pocket. - On a mormyshka fastened in an experiment. And now .. - he points to a bunch of fish.

We frantically rummage in boxes of gear and run on the ice.

- And who will dig ?! - Vovka screams after us, but we pretend that we don’t hear him, and only the wind whistles in our ears and boughs crack under our feet.

On ice, we go through the holes and a strip of vibro-tails on mormyshka. Not a bite ...

“Fooled the boot, ” Leva sighs. - It was necessary to dig up dynamite before fishing. They say it pecks flawlessly.

Tuk! - Suddenly hit the fishing rod. I hook and pull out only a piece of fishing line. Leva has the same thing.

“The tweezers, you see, went hunting.” They dispersed the perch, - Leva wonders.
- Looks like…

We are not lucky. Shamanov and I and the two of us do not catch as many fish as Vovka pulled for half an hour. We come back and replace the tired and evil comrade.

The evening crawled windy and hazy, with low blue clouds, from which spiky snow fell. It was as if squeezed a scarlet strip of sunset, pressed against a heavy sky, then it completely went out in the swirling dusk. The lights of distant villages flashed. He pulled an even night wind along the channel, rustling with dry snow.

In a hurry, we make bunks in a foundation pit, walls made of dry poles, floors. We install the stove, tearing out of it a somewhat unfortunate iron sheet. (The welder was definitely having a hangover). But they did not have time to lay the roof. We decided to temporarily pull the polyethylene removed from the already mentioned wigwam, and we release the pipe at the junction of two pieces of film. We red-hot the “potbelly stove” and roll on the bunks, with pleasure spreading the buzzing legs and arms. Warm, comfortable ...

“It's good, ” Leva Shamanov bleats. Vovka wants to say something to him, apparently in the tone of Levina’s enthusiasm, as his woolen face spreads out in a satisfied smile. But then a crack is heard, and now we are already lying on the ground.
“Racks are weak, ” Leva professionally remarks.
- And who did ?! Growls Vovka. “I told you, let's cut the oak tree, and you are the chiki-chiki ... Lapad!”

We settle down near the stove on birch poles. This is all that remains of the Nar. But next to the potbelly stove it’s warm, the sides flush with heat, filled with shimmering redness. And I quietly fall asleep.

In a series of incoherent fragmentary leads and muddy images, a fabulously colored sandy landscape suddenly appears, where steep-hip mulattos of coffee color walk around. Dress code - topless. And for others, only coral necklaces hang on the chocolate breasts of the sixth number. Either local homeless people, or monkeys, knocking down nuts for some reason in the form of bottles are swinging on palm trees. The sun is burning in the azure sky more and more. Now it became red-hot, and its heat became unbearable. Oh! .. I wake up with a burning sensation in my side. My camouflage pea jacket smolders and spills with burnt cotton. I rush out of the pit and dance the English jig on my outer clothes, like a shaman, gorging on fly agarics. Pea jacket hisses, but does not give up. Nasty smoke is pouring from him. And from the pit, laughter, moans and the roar of admiration of faithful friends are heard. We all went through this already, and from the side, my dances look, probably, quite funny. The only thing that calms me is that my partners burned more than once, and they probably will burn even today, since they also press on the stove. Maybe I’ll laugh ... But fate decreed otherwise ... The polyethylene roof, heavy with fresh snow, falls down on the comrades with noise, and from under it, as if from a crushed bath, puffs of steam are thrown along with bad words, interjections, commas, and then and with my friends smoking and howling like Chinese firecrackers ...

We meet a gray morning near a merrily buzzing stove, the smoke of which goes straight into the sky, hung with cloudy clouds.