Prince Yuri Lubovedsky

Passing in front of a shop, he looked round and, when he was sure that nobody was watching him, he quickly snatched a Jerusalem artichoke from a sack standing there and set off at a run, and when I returned home I found a Jerusalem artichoke in the usual place.

I will describe one more feature of the psyche of this astonishing dog. Usually, when I left home and did not take him with me, he lay outside my door and awaited my return. In my absence anyone who wished could enter my room, but he would not allow anyone to leave it. If anyone did wish to leave my room while I was away, this huge dog would begin growling and baring his teeth, which was quite enough to make any stranger’s heart sink into his boots.

I will tell for example about an incident, connected with my late really genuine friend Philos, which also took place in New Bukhara. The day before this incident a certain Pole, who was what was then called a travelling cinematographer, came to me, on the advice of local inhabitants who knew me as the only specialist in this work, with an order to repair one of his two containers for acetylene gas, by means of which these strolling artists projected their cinematographic pictures. I had promised this Pole to call soon in my spare time and repair his container.

But it turned out that the very day after our conversation, the Polish cinematographer noticed that the gas was beginning to escape from the other container also, and, fearing that his entire next show would break down, he decided not to wait for me to come, but to bring me the container himself. When he learned that I was not at home but that my room was open, he decided not to carry back the heavy container but to leave it in my room.

That morning I had gone to Old Bukhara, where I intended to visit a certain mosque, and since it is considered a great desecration, particularly among the followers of the Mohammedan religion, for dogs to enter temples or their adjacent courts, I was obliged to leave Philos at home, and as usual he was lying outside the door waiting for my return.

And so, as was his custom, Philos allowed the travelling cinematographer to enter the room, but to leave it—not on your life! And after several vain attempts to leave, this poor Pole had to resign himself to sitting on the floor of my room, without food or drink, fretting all the time, until I returned late in the evening.