Man only imagines that he is boundlessly dominating things. Sometimes the most nondescript thing wipes into life, twirl it and turn the whole fate in the wrong direction, where it should go.
Olga Rozova was an honest wife of an honest man for three years. She had a quiet, shy nature, did not climb on her eyes, loved her husband faithfully, was content with a modest life.
But then somehow she went to Gostiny Dvor, and looking at the window of the manufactory shop, she saw a starchy ladies’ collar, with a yellow ribbon strung into it.
As an honest woman, she first thought: “What else was invented!” Then she went in and bought it.
Tried on at home in front of the mirror. It turned out that if a yellow ribbon is tied off not at the front, but at the side, then something will turn out to be inexplicable, which, however, is rather good than bad.
But the collar demanded a new blouse. Of the old, none approached him.
Olga was tormented all night, and in the morning she went to Gostiny Dvor and bought a blouse from household money. Tried it all together. It was good, but the skirt spoiled the whole style. The collar clearly and definitely demanded a round skirt with deep pleats.
There was no free money anymore. But do not stop halfway?
Olga has laid silver and bracelet. She was restless and creepy at heart, and when the collar demanded new shoes, she went to bed and cried all evening.
The next day she went without a watch, but in those shoes that ordered a collar.
In the evening, pale and confused, she stammered and said to her grandmother:
– I just ran for a minute. Husband is very sick. He was told by the doctor to rub himself with brandy every day, and this is so expensive.
Grandmother was kind, and the next morning Olga was able to buy a hat, belt and gloves, suitable for the nature of the collar.
The following days were even harder.
She ran around all the family and friends, lied and begged for money, and then bought an ugly striped sofa, from which she and her honest husband, and the old thieving cook, but the collar had been insistently demanding for several days, were nauseous.
She began to lead a strange life. Not yours. Collar life. And the collar was of some obscure, confused style, and Olga, pleasing him, was completely confused.
– If you are English and demand that I eat soy, then why is there a yellow bow on you? Why is this lewdness, which I cannot understand and which pushes me on an inclined plane?
As a creature weak and spineless, she soon lowered her hands and swam with the stream, which was deftly ruled by a vile collar.
She cut her hair, began to smoke, and laughed out loud if she heard any ambiguity.
Somewhere, in the depths of her soul, the consciousness of the entire horror of her position still glimmered in her, and sometimes, at night or even in the daytime, when the collar was washing, she sobbed and prayed, but could not find a way out.
Once she even decided to open everything to her husband, but the honest little one thought that she was just foolishly joking, and, wishing to flatter herself, laughed for a long time.
So things went worse and worse.
You may ask why she didn’t guess she simply threw starch rubbish out of the window?
She could not. This is not strange. All psychiatrists know that, for nervous and weak people, some suffering, in spite of all their torment, becomes necessary, And they will not exchange this sweet meal for a healthy peace of mind for nothing in the world.
So, Olga has weakened more and more in this fight, and the collar became stronger and dominated.
Once she was invited to the evening.
Previously, she had never been anywhere, but now the collar was fixed on her neck and went to visit. There, he behaved freely and indecently and turned her head to the right and left.
At dinner, a student, Olechkin’s neighbor, shook her leg under the table.
Olga was all flushed with indignation, but the collar for her answered:
Olga with shame and horror listened and thought:
– Lord! Where did I go ?!
After dinner, the student volunteered to take her home. The collar thanked and happily agreed before Olga could figure out what was the matter.
Barely sat on the cabman, as the student whispered passionately:
And the collar went giggling in response.
Then the student hugged Olya and kissed him on the lips. His mustache was wet, and the whole kiss breathed marinated smelt, which was served at dinner.
Olechka almost cried with shame and resentment, and the collar of her brilliant head turned her head and giggled again:
Then the student with the collar went to the restaurant, to listen to the Romanians. Let’s go to the office.
– Why, there is no music here! – Olga was indignant.
But the student with the collar did not pay any attention to her. They drank liquor, spoke vulgarity and kissed.
Olga returned home in the morning. Doors she opened himself an honest husband.
He was pale and held in his hands lombard receipts, pulled out of the Olechkina table.
– Where have you been? I did not sleep all night! Where have you been? Her whole soul trembled, but the collar deftly led its line.
– Where have you been? With a student hanging out! Honest husband stumbled.
– Olya! Olya! What’s the matter! Tell me why did you pledge things? Why did she borrow from Satov and Yanin? Where did you put the money?
And, putting her hands in her pockets, she whistled loudly, which she never knew how. Yes, and did she know this stupid word – “profoundly”? Did she say that?
An honest husband left her and transferred to another city.
But what is the worst of all is that on the very next day after his departure the collar was lost in the wash.
Meek Olga serves in the bank.
She is so modest that she blushes even with the word “omnibus” because it looks like “hugging.”
– Where is the collar? – you ask.
“And how much I know,” I will answer. – He was given to the laundress, and ask her.