The Path through the Gravey
文章来源：未知 文章作者：enread 发布时间：2016-06-30 07:58 字体： [大 中 小] 进入论坛
Ivan was a timid little man---so timid that the villages called him "pigeon" or mocked him with the title "Ivan the terrible."
Every night ivan stopped in at the tavern1 which was one the edge of the village graveyard2. Ivan never crossed the graveyard to get to his lonely shack3 on the other side. That path would save many minutes, but he had never taken it---not even in the full light of noon.
Late one winter's night, when bitter wind and snow beat against the tavern, customers took up the familiar mockery. Ivan's mother was scared by a canary when she carried him in her womb. "Ivan the terrible---Ivan the timid one."
Ivan's weak protest only encouraged them, and they jeered4 cruelly when the cossack captain flung his horrid5 challenge at their victim.
"You are a pigeon, Ivan. you'll walk around the graveyard in this cold---but you dare not cross it." Ivan murmured, "the graveyard is nothing to cross, captain. It is nothing but earth, like all the other earth."
The captain cried, "a challenge, then! Cross the graveyard tonight, Ivan, and I'll give you five rubles---five gold rubles!"
Perhaps it was the vodka. Perhaps it was the temptation of the five gold rubles. No one knew why. Ivan, moistening his lips, said suddenly: "Yes, captain, I'll cross the graveyard." The tavern echoed with their disbelief. The captain winked6 to the men and unbuckled his sword.
"Here, Ivan. When you get to the center of the graveyard, in front of the biggest tomb, stick the sword into the ground. In the morning we shall go there. If the sword is in the ground---five rubles to you!" Ivan took the sword. The men drank a toast: "to ivan the terrible!" They roared laughing.
The wind howled around ivan