The pallid moon in the morning sky resembles a fugitive piece of ungleaming snow from distant mountains.
Wagrum was dolled up in a faddy outfit with a red-and-white scarf loosely thrown around his neck, smart gray suit and a pair of black gloves.
'The reds are on the run', declared he resting his buttocks on his desk with we'll-beat-everybody puffs at his cigarette.
Soviet Army soldiers were leaving the huge gray Block of the CPSU District Committee—cheek by jowl with the drab Editorial House.
On the wide square in front of the CPSU Block loomed a phedayee PHEDAYEE —
(Armenian borrowing from Greek) "freedom fighter". CAMAZ-truck with no number plates, as is their custom.
A pensive lad in a black sheepskin coat hanged around with a sub-machine gun in his arms.
Three more phedayees PHEDAYEE —
(Armenian borrowing from Greek) "freedom fighter". , unarmed but in combat uniform, stood apart in a businesslike jaw-jaw.
Beno, a crony of Sashic's, was among them looking very brave in his khaki cap.
A cagey drove of old women and shifty youngsters neared the District Committee Block from the rear. They penetrated it through a ground floor window and embarked on looting the quarters left by the withdrawn garrison.
A dozen iron cots floated out of the window and up the lane – one wooden chair and three empty cognac bottles diversified the spoil.
A small group of Soviet Army soldiers did their best to look another way, waiting, between the Block's and Editorial House' corners, for a vehicle to pick them up.
At last an army jeep pulled up in the side street between the Hotel and Editorial House. A helmeted officer got out and staggered to the awaiting group strangely resembling in his motions a khakied automaton, inhumane and eyeless.
Becoming aware of the civilian looters, he leveled at them his sub-machine gun, clicked it and, slightly rolling from his toes to heels, barked out:
'Get away with you!'
At this point a squad of native policemen arrived to the scene in black sheepskin coats, with Kalashnikov guns, and only their commander in a uniform coat carried no visible weapon.
The looting dried up, a policeman was posted at the broken window. The army jeep whizzed away.
A couple minutes later the unarmed police officer came to the Renderers', took off his coat and got seated at Lenic's desk (who was out dictating his renderings at the Typists').
The man drank tea with jam laid on by Stella both for him and Arcadic and Wagrum (I, a poor mixer, declined the treat).
And he heartily laughed with glossy gold teeth in his mouth at Arcadic's story about his and his contender's joint meeting with the electorate of their constituency:
The candidates are being presented. Arcadic sits modestly, like a well-bred bridegroom, while his silver-tongued assistant puts across all the peddlable rarities of everyone's dearest friend – Arcadic.
The excellent oration ends with cheers from the audience.
And now that brazen yokel of his rival gets up and declares:
'Well, folks, there is no telling as to how much of all that has to do with our Arcadic, but everything you've just heard and approved is the very picture of me!'
During that tea party, I had a keen flash of second sight feeling as they call it in the Highlands.
Then, I rendered three articles, mended Stella's heater and attended a general meeting at the Boss'. According to Boss:
- the Soviet Army's troops (except for the primordial regiment) got orders to pull out from the region;
- our self-proclaimed Republic starts general mobilization (men up to forty);
- the day before phedayees PHEDAYEE —
(Armenian borrowing from Greek) "freedom fighter". laid hands on the armory of the withdrawing troops;
- our paper changes its name to The Free Artsakh.
At home I whetted the saw from the tool-kit recently bought at the Department Store.
Tomorrow will see the X-Tree manufacturing.
Sashic brought a sack of flour to our place.
Valyo followed the suit with four bottles of milk.
It's a quarter-to-eleven p.m. now.
The females of the family have gone to Underground.
Ahshaut is sleeping home.
The hangfire shooting outdoors ticks over under an ominously looking moon.