Ippolit Matveyevich looked ruefully at the red-cheeked old man.
"Yes, sir," said the old man, "a very unusual club; there ain't another
"And what's so unusual about it?" asked Ippolit Matveyevich, trying to
gather his wits.
The little old man beamed at Vorobyaninov. The story of the unusual
club seemed to please him, and he liked to retell it.
"Well, it's like this," began the old man, "I've been a watchman here
for more'n ten years, and nothing like that ever happened. Listen, soldier
boy! Well, there used to be a club here, you know the one, for workers in
the first transportation division. I used to be the watchman. A no-good club
it was. They heated and heated and couldn't do anythin'. Then Comrade
Krasilnikov comes to me and asks, 'Where's all that firewood goin'?' Did he
think I was eatin' it or somethin"? Comrade Krasilnikov had a job with that
club, he did. They asked for five years' credit for a new club, but I don't
know what became of it. They didn't allow the credit. Then, in the spring,
Comrade Krasilnikov bought a new chair for the stage, a good soft'n."
With his whole body close to the watchman's, Ippolit Matveyevich
listened. He was only half conscious, as the watchman, cackling with
laughter, told how he had once clambered on to the chair to put in a new
bulb and missed his footing.
"I slipped off the chair and the coverin' was torn off. So I look round
and see bits of glass and beads on a string come pouring out."
"Beads?" repeated Ippolit Matveyevich.
"Beads!" hooted the old man with delight. "And I look, soldier boy, and
there are all sorts of little boxes. I didn't touch 'em. I went straight to
Comrade Krasilnikov and reported it. And that's what I told the committee
afterwards. I didn't touch the boxes, I didn't. And a good thing I didn't,
soldier boy. Because jewellery was found in 'em, hidden by the bourgeois. .
"Where are the jewels?" cried the marshal.
"Where, where?" the watchman imitated him. "Here they are, soldier boy,
use your imagination! Here they are."
"Here they are!" cried the ruddy-faced old man, enjoying the effect.
"Wipe your eyes. The club was built with them, soldier boy. You see? It's
the club. Central heating, draughts with timing-clocks, a buffet, theatre;
you aren't allowed inside in your galoshes."
Ippolit Matveyevich stiffened and, without moving, ran his eyes over
So that was where it was. Madame Petukhov's treasure. There. All of it.
A hundred and fifty thousand roubles, zero zero kopeks, as Ostap Suleiman
Bertha Maria Bender used to say.
The jewels had turned into a solid frontage of glass and ferroconcrete
floors. Cool gymnasiums had been made from the pearls. The diamond diadem
had become a theatre-auditorium with a revolving stage; the ruby pendants
had grown into chandeliers; the serpent bracelets had been transformed into
a beautiful library, and the clasp had metamorphosed into a creche, a glider
workshop, a chess and billiards room.
The treasures remained; it had been preserved and had even grown. It
could be touched with the hand, though not taken away. It had gone into the
service of new people. Ippolit Matveyevich felt the granite facing. The
coldness of the stone penetrated deep into his heart.
And he gave a cry.
It was an insane, impassioned wild cry-the cry of a vixen shot through
the body-it flew into the centre of the square, streaked under the bridge,
and, rebuffed everywhere by the sounds of the waking city, began fading and
died away in a moment. A marvellous autumn morning slipped from the wet
roof-tops into the Moscow streets. The city set off on its daily routine.
India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent and lies atop the minor Indian tectonic plate, which in turn belongs to the Indo-Australian Plate. India's defining geological processes commenced 75 million years ago when the Indian subcontinent, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a north-eastward drift across the then-unformed Indian Ocean that lasted fifty million years. The subcontinent's subsequent collision with, and subduction under, the Eurasian Plate bore aloft the planet's highest mountains, the Himalayas. They abut India in the north and the north-east. In the former seabed immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough that has gradually filled with river-borne sediment; it now forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain. To the west lies the Thar Desert, which is cut off by the Aravalli Range.
The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India, which is the oldest and geologically most stable part of India; it extends as far north as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India. These parallel chains run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east. To the south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the west and east by coastal ranges known as the Western and Eastern Ghats; the plateau contains the nation's oldest rock formations, some of them over one billion years old. Constituted in such fashion, India lies to the north of the equator between 6° 44' and 35° 30' north latitude[e] and 68° 7' and 97° 25' east longitude.
The Kedar Range of the Greater Himalayas rises behind Kedarnath Temple, which is one of the twelve jyotirlinga shrines.
Shola highlands are found in Kudremukh National Park, which is part of the Western Ghats.
India's coastline measures 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi) in length; of this distance, 5,423 kilometres (3,400 mi) belong to peninsular India and 2,094 kilometres (1,300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep island chains. According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coastline consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches; 11% rocky shores, including cliffs; and 46% mudflats or marshy shores.
Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi; the latter's extremely low gradient often leads to severe floods and course changes. Major peninsular rivers, whose steeper gradients prevent their waters from flooding, include the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also drain into the Bay of Bengal; and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea. Coastal features include the marshy Rann of Kutch of western India and the alluvial Sundarbans delta of eastern India; the latter is shared with Bangladesh. India has two archipelagos: the Lakshadweep, coral atolls off India's south-western coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain in the Andaman Sea.
The Indian climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the economically and culturally pivotal summer and winter monsoons. The Himalayas prevent cold Central Asian katabatic winds from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes. The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the moisture-laden south-west summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall. Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane.