Mr. X or Captain Pogossian

And then something occurred to which the explanations of contemporary people are absolutely inapplicable. Suddenly the sky became covered with clouds, and before the people had time to reach the town there was such a downpour that everyone was drenched to the skin.

In explanation of this phenomenon, as of others similar to it, one might of course use the stereotyped word ‘coincidence’, which is such a favourite word among our so-­called thinking people; but it cannot be denied that this coincidence was almost too remarkable.


The third incident occurred in Alexandropol, when my family had returned there for a short period and we were living again in our old house. Next door to us was my aunt’s house. One of the lodgings in her house had been let to a Tartar who worked for the local district government either as a clerk or a secretary. He lived with his old mother and his little sister and had recently married a handsome girl, a Tartar from the neighbouring village of Karadagh.

Everything went well at first. Forty days after her marriage the young wife, according to the Tartar custom, went to visit her parents. But there, either she caught cold or something else happened to her, for when she returned she did not feel well, had to go to bed, and gradually became very ill.

They gave her the best of care, but in spite of being treated by several doctors, among whom, I remember, were the town doctor, Resnik, and the former army doctor Keeltchevsky, the condition of the sick woman went from bad to worse. An acquaintance of mine, a doctor’s assistant, went every morning, by order of Dr. Resnik, to give her an injection. This doctor’s assistant, whose name I do not remember—I only remember that he was unbelievably tall—often dropped in to see us when I was at home.

One morning he came in while my mother and I were drinking tea. We invited him to join us at the table and in the course of the conversation I asked him, among other things, how our neighbour was getting on.