avlivro - 46 Chapter III.IV

Pharqraut, using the same characters of the great Irish playwright, forced them to act according to his plot. According to the plan of the future American inspector, When James Vane disembarks from a ship in an English port, he is immediately recruited into the headquarters of the revolutionaries, who, in order to test sailor's abilities, give him the task of killing Dorian Gray - who, as stated in the original work, had the reputation of a famous hedonist among young people. As in the original, James Vane is accidentally killed by the bullet of Sir Geoffrey Clouston - brother of Duchess Monmouth. But what followed this moment had a rather strange continuation, which was completely inconsistent with the events that took place on the pages of the original work. Death of Sibyl Vane's brother does not get away with Sir Geoffrey Clouston, as it was planned by the classic of English literature. In the reworking of the American student, this, on the contrary, causes a strong reaction among those who recruited James Vane.

As Pharqraut wrote, the workers organize an ambush on the road along which brother of Duchess Monmouth was travelling to his misfortune. The revolutionaries attack Sir Geoffrey Clouston's carriage and, having killed the owner, going to London. This news quickly reaches the English aristocrats, who, realizing that this is a "The Omen of Uprising" from the proletarian class, decide to unleash the entire police force on the rioters. Meanwhile, the ringleaders of the rebellion are already arriving in the metropolis and going to the working-class neighbourhoods, where they call on people to take to the streets and go to the main square. Soon all the labor of London are heading there in an avalanche, simultaneously burning everything in their path with the fire of revolution. Pharqraut ended his story with the fact that Dorian Gray, looking at how the capital was burning in flames, decides that he does not want to die at the hands of the workers and, as in the original work, runs to the attic, where he sticks a knife into the portrait and dies.

Galbraith was then amazed that how his friend even think of finding revolutionary overtones in the novel, which was essentially a hymn to hedonism. Pharqraut responded that the teachers at the University of Portland were also at a loss when he presented them with the manuscript of this story for credit. Only their surprise resulted in the fact that the next day the student was expelled from the alma mater in disgrace under the pretext that his work was propaganda of communism. Pharqraut said that with his story he wanted to convey the idea of when the death of some inconspicuous person - in his case, the unfortunate sailor James Vane - leads to something global. But alas, in the heads of the teachers, as the future inspector bitterly noted, there seemed to be only thoughts about looking for subtext associated with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics even where it actually does not exist. Galbraith involuntarily remembered that in 1981 (when he actually entered the police academy), the Soviet Union was still a serious threat to the rest of the world, and the feeling that the next day would not come due to a possible nuclear strike sometimes haunted a man in those early days...

The inspector was still lying in bed, his legs thrown over the headboard. Despite the fact that he had intended to read the papers on the Pharqraut's case, he couldn't help but think about their author himself. "Yes", Galbraith thought, "I'm only thirty-one years old, but sclerosis is already progressing..." Suddenly he felt a sharp feeling of hunger. The last time he ate - if a sip of tea can be called a meal - still in America, at Portland International Airport. The policeman, with some reluctance, lowered his feet to the floor and, sitting on the bed, accidentally dropped the sheets of paper on the floor. "I've become a total wreck", he thought to himself again. Galbraith sank to the floor - the papers, which, not being fastened together, scattered in all directions. He began to collect them, but since he did not know their order, he simply took one sheet after another and, having collected them all in one pile, put it on the desk. At the end of this task, he exhaled - it was not very easy for him to climb on the floor for papers - and headed to the window, curtained with tulle curtains. Moving them aside, Galbraith came close to the window sill and began to look at the urban landscape spread out under the window.

He looked at the cars passing on the road. In the morning sun they looked as if they were cast from some shiny material - the inspector couldn't even find words, he was so fascinated by this spectacle. He couldn't understand why this ordinary sight attracted him so much, it was probably because the cars he saw in Portland bore little resemblance to those driving on the streets of London. Looking at the traffic, Galbraith suddenly caught himself thinking that he had involuntarily perceived the street as a toy table, and the figures of cars - for toys that drive at the will of an invisible child who switches the buttons on the radio remote control. Perhaps the reason could be that the policeman had not yet fully woken up, and the movements of the cars, too fast for his sleepy eyes, looked ragged, without the smoothness usual for the real world. He eventually witnessed a truck crash into a red convertible.

- That's it, kid, your car is broken, now you'll have to beg your dad to buy you a new toy, - said Galbraith, as if addressing a child.

The wrong meaning of his own words only dawned on him when the truck cab door suddenly opened and the driver jumped out - Only at this moment did Galbraith come to his senses from his trance and realized that what was in front of his eyes was not a simulation, but the real world, and that a real accident had actually happened below, not game with toy cars. "Yes", Galbraith thought, "I'll develop a God Complex if I treat what's happening around me like that". On the other hand, what does he care about this accident? Yes, he is a servant of law and order, but of a completely different country - in London, he is essentially just an ordinary tourist, who has even fewer rights than any native Englishman.

Galbraith hurriedly moved away from the window - It's one thing when cars are driving peacefully outside, and quite another when a tragedy unfolds on the road - as he remembered, the truck had destroyed almost the entire front part of the convertible, so Galbraith had great doubts that the poor fellow had managed to survive. The inspector got dressed and left the room into the corridor. He remembered that he had booked as Room Only, so willy-nilly he would have to eat in some restaurant. Not a big deal, Galbraith thought as he walked down the stairs - in this "Stait of Snow Lake" hotel he had already seen so many things that went beyond the norm that the mere thought that he would also try local food made him feel disgusted.

Having gone downstairs, he left the hotel and, turning up the collar of his jacket - for, despite the sun, a cold wind was blowing here - he walked forward, not really understanding where the narrow streets of this quarter would lead him. The inspector noted with unpleasant surprise that a walk through the streets of London was a real test for his eardrums. The fact is that Galbraith was used to the fact that there weren't very many cars on the streets of Portland, and therefore the streets there were quite quiet. Here, it seemed, the air was simply filled with noise - and even in the alleys, where no major roads were visible, the sound of cars did not subside. He began to suspect that some kind of turbines were buried under the asphalt, because what else could be the source of the hum - not radiation, after all...

As he wandered through the streets, he couldn't help thinking fondly about his room in that terrible hotel - for at least there he was in quiet. Galbraith was hungry, so he was in no hurry to go back, but after the streets of London the wretched room in the "Stait of Snow Lake" seemed to him in different colours. "I'll come back", he thought, "And will enjoy the silence". Suddenly Galbraith felt small drops begin to fall on him. He looked up and was involuntarily surprised - he did not expect at all that during the time he spent on his morning walk, clouds had already appeared in the sun. "I need some shelter from the rain", the inspector thought, and in connection with this he involuntarily remembered how in Portland he got drunk in a bar to celebrate and then stood like a statue in the pouring rain. No, now getting wet in the rain was absolutely not an option - after all, he was at home there, but here is an unfamiliar country, plus the hotel does not inspire respect...

With these thoughts, Galbraith, not really understanding where his feet were taking him, entered the first door he came across. He managed to see the neon sign - it was written there "Orcinus Orca Osteria". Looking at these thin pink letters, he noticed a lucky coincidence that just when it started to rain, he came across an establishment where he could have a bite to eat. The room where Galbraith went to hide from the rain was twilight. But this did not look like a deliberate stylistic decision by the owner of the osteria - a much more likely explanation for this darkness was the banal laziness of the proprietor to replace long-burnt out light bulbs. The inspector stopped at the threshold to look around. Suddenly the silence was broken by someone's very impudent voice:

- Who is that has come upon us? - clearly, as if in a public speaking course, said a man invisible to Galbraith.

The inspector involuntarily shuddered. He turned his head in the direction where this indiscreet question came from. The source of these words turned out to be some middle-aged man with a beer belly - Galbraith involuntarily winced when he saw his torn jeans and green jacket stained with white paint stains. Fatso lounged on a chair, and, leaning his right hand on the table, brought his free hand to his eyes to adjust his glasses, which, against the background of his fat face, looked frankly odd - like they were on a pig and not a human.

- Somebody turn on the lights! I do not see who is that has come! - the bespectacled boar continued in the same tone.

Galbraith was disgusted to hear this, he had a stupid feeling as if he had stepped onto the podium for this impartial person. He, barely restraining himself from breaking into this impudent guy, approached him and asked:

- Are you enjoying watching me? - he tried to speak as calmly as possible, although inside he was seething with rage.

Instead of answering, the man jumped up from his seat with unexpected agility for such a corpulent.

- Whoa-whoa, take it easy, - Galbraith said calmly, as if giving a command to an animal.

- Hey, have you gone nuts? - the fatso slowly backed away, streams of sweat running down his face.

- Why are you shouting at visitors like crazy? - the inspector asked him, continuing to approach.

- I can do that, I'm the director of this establishment! - the bespectacled boar said bravely.

Galbraith heard footsteps behind him and immediately turned around. Behind him stood a mustachioed, middle-aged, thin waiter, whose eyes darted furtively around. He recoiled involuntarily as the stern-faced policeman stared straight at him.

- Enough of that, stop! - the fatso yelled. - I certainly don't need for you to waste us all!

- Well, you're right, - the inspector readily agreed with him.

Galbraith relaxed and sat down at the table where the director had previously sat.

- What'll it be, sir? - the waiter said in a bleating voice.

- So, what's good here? - Galbraith answered a question with a question.

He immediately did not like the unctuous notes of this old man, whom he was looking at with suspicion at that moment. Instead of answering, the waiter threw a menu on the table - the guest immediately thought that the service here was clearly not so good. But he did not leave the establishment - at the moment his stomach was dominated on his brain. Having opened the menu, the inspector began to carefully study it while the waiter continued to looking over his shoulder.

While Galbraith was running his eyes over the list of dishes, two people entered the room of "Orcinus Orca Osteria" - a man and a woman. The inspector caught them out of the corner of his eye, but, being busy drawing up an order, did not particularly concentrate his attention on them. But he could not help but ignore the fact that both of these guests looked extremely unsightly - they both had messy long hair and their dirty black clothes looked like they were a couple sizes too big. Standing on the threshold, they, like mongrels, began to shake furiously all over their bodies, and drops of rainwater hanging on their clothes flew to the sides.

By that time, Galbraith had already made his choice - he wanted something liquid and also something with meat. In the end, he settled on cream soup of fresh champignons and fettuccine with chicken and tomato. It's not that these were his favourite culinary preferences, he just decided that these were the most high-calorie dishes on the menu of this establishment. Galbraith told the waiter his order, and he nodded slightly and finally moved away from his table. The inspector wanted to breathe a sigh of relief, but then a couple of beggars suddenly made themselves known. They approached the bar, behind which stood the cashier - a man in the prime of his life with red sideburns on his cheeks.

- Gimme proceeds! - said a man with a puffy face and long black hair brazenly.

- You will receive a reward for alms! - bleated his girlfriend, dressed in such a large dress that it seemed as if she was wrapped in a shroud.

Galbraith was disgusted to see this - but he couldn't help but become interested. "After all, there was a time when people looked at freaks", he thought...

- You're so brave, - the cashier smiled. - Come on, get it!

Wherein he made a strange hand gesture, as if he had an invisible wad of bills in his hand. The beggars repeated their request again, only this time the woman flirtatiously twirled her whole body in front of the cashier. "That's the last thing I'm need here", thought Galbraith. He had already begun to regret coming here, but he had to wait for the order, so he had no choice but to sit in the hall of "Orcinus Orca Osteria", where some kind of circus of madmen was happening before his eyes.

- We're having socks! - the beggar maid suddenly shouted high.

- No doubt, but what of that? - the cashier asked her in a flirtatious tone.

- She wants sell sox to you! - the pauper with a puffy face blurted out loudly, as if addressing a dumb kid. 

"Well", thought the inspector, looking at this, "Selling clothes under the counter, probably also stolen"... He was curious what next action the cashier with the red sideburns would take. Deep down, he hoped that he would going to knock their out of there..

- Okay, I'm on it. Show me the goods, - said the cashier, scratching his prickly cheek.

- And you gimme leg, your leg! - the beggar maid croaked.

- Wait, what's this for? - asked the cashier, but from his tone it seemed like he didn't really mind.

- She needs to understand what size you are! - the pauper muttered again in an explanatory tone.

While this scene was playing out at the counter, a waiter approached Galbraith. He placed a plate of cream soup of fresh champignons in front of the inspector and, nodding mockingly, left. Galbraith took the spoon and started eating. Not bad, he thought, not a culinary masterpiece, but not some kind of sandwich either.... He ate and continued to watch the circus that was happening not far from his table. Man with red sideburns had already raised his leg straight up on the bar. The pauper told him to take off his shoe, and the cashier completely disappeared behind the counter - apparently, he actually bent down to take off his shoes. "What nonsense", Galbraith thought, having almost finished the soup.

- Here's your second order, - he heard the waiter's voice.

With these words, he placed a new dish in front of the inspector. Galbraith pushed away the now empty bowl of soup and, looking at what they brought him, stared at the waiter, who continued to stand nearby.

- What did you bring me? - the inspector asked sternly, without a hint of a smile.

- Your order, what else? - mumbled the mustachioed man, whose eyes were spinning feverishly in their sockets.

- I ordered the fettuccine with chicken and tomato. And what did you give me? - Galbraith continued without changing his tone.

The plate that stood in front of him contained regular spaghetti, topped with tomato paste. There was no chicken visible there - although who knows, if he picked this dish with a fork, maybe he found a tiny piece of chicken skin at the very bottom...

- Please enter the venue! - the waiter began in a vile, unctuous tone, whose eyes began to spin even faster

- I don't care... - the inspector began, but the waiter did not let him finish.

- The owner's son is now cooking in the kitchen, a wonderful boy, he is studying at culinary college, - the thin man spoke hurriedly, almost drooling.

- ...who makes my food there... - Galbraith tried to get the word out.

- And so I ask you to be merciful to the boy, because this is his first day at work! - it seemed like the waiter was about to fall to his knees.

- I paid you for this, - the inspector pointed his finger at the plate, - About fifty pounds sterling! And I want to get what I ordered, not some sludge by relative of the owner of your establishment! - Galbraith said firmly, glaring at the waiter with a stern look

With these words he stood up from the table and, glancing at the counter - where the cashier showed off to the beggars his leg, covered with mycosis blisters - resolutely moved towards the door. The waiter did not remain in debt, he scurried after Galbraith, like a cowardly jackal after a brave tiger.

- You that, did not like? - the waiter said in a fawning tone.

- YES! - the inspector said loudly and firmly and pulled the door towards him.

- Wait, I get it know! - yelled a man with shifty eyes.

Already standing on the street, Galbraith turned around. He saw how the waiter, loudly stamping his feet, ran deeper into the room. Meanwhile, the cashier with red sideburns was returning the socks to the beggars - apparently, he really tried them on, but they turned out to be the wrong size for him. "God's with them, these poor cruel folk", thought Galbraith, although he was a little interested, what the waiter - who meanwhile had already disappeared into the kitchen - was going to know...

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