When an old watch stopped?
These hours - ancient, Pavel Bure`s firms. Before revolution they were carried on a hand by rather poor Petersburger. But who is he there was also what history of hours till terrible December, 1941 - it is unknown.
Their modern history began in the worst time of blockade - time of the tiniest rations, most hard frosts and the biggest mortality. Time when were absent electricity, water and firewood for heating of houses. Time of continuous bombardments at night, firings by day and never-ending fights around the city.
But approach of fascists stopped. They were fixed on positions and tightened to the city more and more heavy long-range artillery pieces. Art batteries were not mobile, and marked them and destroyed backfire. Each of shells which were done at plants of Leningrad by women and teenagers was worth its weight in gold. Everyone had to hit the mark. Therefore it were required for gunners accuracy in calculations and very accurate maps. Military topographers were engaged in drawing up cards.
There were few topographers, but losses among them were much higher, than in other types of military forces. Their work was in that, constantly moving on the region of the front as it is possible to approach closer enemy batteries and most precisely to define an arrangement of weapon emplacements of the opponent. Often soldiers, knowing that they are doomed to death, rose and went to attack that during fight the topographer could approach observed object. Simple shooting of the district cost much - at the price of many lives.
When several batteries were photographed, the topographer went to a way: under bombardments and firing on foot through all city - to Smolny where there was a staff. There in a domestic extension for intelligence agents the room was equipped. As it was a little of them, and they met seldom, the short time spent alone in this room was similar to stay in paradise.
There was an electricity, a stove bench with bed linen, water to be washed from trench dirt, and the furnace with a stock of dry birch firewood. But most important: they sent were attached to the canteen of Smolny, and in it - fed with LUNCHES moreover to tea gave a sugar piece that was inconceivable luxury. These pieces, evening and morning, zanachivatsya carefully, and in their hungry trench nights it was possible to put on language and to support forces not to freeze to death.
It was necessary to hand over in the morning the report therefore almost all night long they drew cards. No, drew. Ah, what cards they drew! Works of art where were designated each bend of a stream, each tree, each imperceptible skyscraper. Worked with ink and pencils which were thinner than the thinnest needles, with the tips ground to invisibility.
One night the young topographer sat at a table and worked as suddenly felt what from a door pakhnut cold. Having looked back, he saw the old woman hunched and wrapped up in scarfs. It, without coming off, looked at a table, and he began to worry because there cards with a signature stamp " lay; especially confidentially “ and it was unclear how this woman got on the object which is most protected in the city. And she looked at a table where in light circle from a lamp the small unfinished piece of bread lay. He understood it later. For now he thought that with it to do, hand over to protection or to expel, she exorcized, got hoarse, silently and distinctly. She told: “ Give me, please, three a poleshka. My two children freeze “.
He suggested it to approach to get warm at an oven and on light made out: she was the young woman, scary thin and emaciated, because and similar to the old woman. The pointed nose, hollow cheeks, unnaturally pale pergament skin, and around the become hollow eyes - black contours. It was shocked because for the first time realized that occurs in the city - cold to bones, hunger and a hopelessness. It is worse, than at the front. At the front there was a ration, hot wish-wash, alcohol and adrenaline, and here - horror of slow dying. And horror from a type of the dying children.
He feverishly until nobody entered, tied up a rope logs, then grabbed unfinished bread, turned in a piece of paper, remembered sugar, put this tiny piece there, put it in a coat pocket because her hands were already occupied with firewood. Looked out to the yard - darkly and quietly, showed it: go. And suddenly understood that gave it too much firewood: it will not drag - a sheaf big, but it, having even more stooped under weight, slipped in darkness. Forever.
When he returned to continue work, saw a rag on a chair. Seized her to run for the woman, but hours fell out of a rag. It stiffened, struck: it PAID for firewood. It, the resident of Leningrad perishing from cold and hunger with the children could not just take and leave, the principles and education did not allow to make by it it.
He wound watch, and they went. After that they always were in its holdall. And in fields at Pulkovsky heights. And in kupchinsky hell.
In Kupchino on the bank of the quiet small river there was an ancient church with which the district was looked through on many kilometers around that for topographers invaluably. Beat church over open sights, and around it stacked shells kvadratno - a nested method. The eternity, meaning of life and work those days merged for two topographers together and depended on correctness of the choice. Pedantic Germans did not concentrate on one thing twice therefore it was necessary to choose fresh, still the hot and smoking funnel and to hide in it. Already every day on a mnoga of hours in succession, every time choosing, as in the last.
The fighting officers who passed the Finnish war held on also in Kupchino like grim death. But one did not sustain and one night went crazy. And another alone continued shooting, but in couple of days made the wrong choice. Deafened him by a blast wave, threw the person into the earth, and from above covered with metal heavy rain.
For some reason at night he dug out, for some reason carried to hospital. Though the people consisting half of the earth and metal were buried right there, without understanding, it is live or not. For some reason he survived and when in several months, before an exit from hospital sorted a holdall, found at the bottom hours. Hours died. Explosion was such force that gentle castors were scattered, and thin strelochka came off. He put hours back in a bag, for many years went round and bypassed the half-world, without leaving them, and then stored houses as invaluable treasure. They are also invaluable treasure - memory of sufferings of people and of their desire to live.
When in our area on holidays in the beautiful palace bring together blockade survivors and children of blockade, I represent that among these cheeful grandmothers the successor of the stopped hours sits. That at least one child of that woman yes escaped... Everyone happens, but not to learn it any more...]