It was one of those beautiful summer Sunday evenings when every person, forced by the unbearable heat of the day, to stay locked in the house, goes out to breathe a little free air.
The sun had already set.
A young lady was walking on the balcony of one of the beautiful houses in Tiflis, overlooking a large street. He could not have been considered more than seventeen years of age, unless he was unusually tall for his age. She had all the signs of perfect beauty, but from her somewhat thin and pale face, which had a kind of melancholy expression, one could at once guess that some mental pain was wearing away her tender womanly heart. And his gait, the attractive features of his face, and his modest, but highly intelligent, penetrating gaze had an inexplicable effect on the beholder.
With his hands folded and his head bowed, he paced the balcony. It seemed that he was lost in deep thought, and as if he did not hear at all below – the voices of groups of people passing by in the street and the rumble of carriages. He stood by one of the slender iron pillars of the balcony, leaned his beautiful head against it, and cast his large, black eyes far into the horizon, illuminated by the setting sun. Still for a long time, and quite motionless as a statue, he gazed unblinkingly into the distance, as if willing to penetrate, to see what was going on beyond the horizon, when suddenly two large drops of tears burst from his eyes, down his pale cheeks. they rolled, and at the same time a very faint sigh escaped from her breast, she drew the snow-white handkerchief to her eyes, and slowly sat down on the chair placed there. Tears choked her, but she controlled herself.
“It’s hard, it’s hard…” she finally whispered, and tears gushed out of her eyes like a stream. She pressed her handkerchief tightly to her eyes, and for a long time her suppressed, muffled sobs could still be heard. he even forgot that there could be people paying attention to him on the street. Finally, she wiped away her tears, calmed down a little and, resting her beautiful head on her hands, again plunged into deep thought.
At that moment, the balcony door suddenly opened, and a stout man appeared on the threshold. It was a man of about fifty years of age, of medium height, with a short mustache and hair. Some severity and carelessness was visible in his sharp gaze. His full red cheeks showed that instead of water he was served “head wine” and his protruding fat belly seemed to say: “Do you know, gentlemen, at the cost of the sweat and tears of how many innocents and poor peasants I have become so fat?” The heat had forced him to undo the buttons of his black-satin jacket, under which his white, starched shirt was visible. His puffy eyes showed that he had just woken up from a peaceful and full sleep.
This was the girl’s father, Agha Yagor Bugdanich.
“Are you going to sleep, Nino?” he said with a slow yawn. The girl, who had not heard his appearance, suddenly woke up at that voice and immediately got up.
“Yes, father,” she said in a very low voice and turned her face to the street so that her father would not see that she had cried.
“Why didn’t you go with your grandmother to buy the bagh?” asked Agha Yagor Bugdanich gravely and pronouncing the words clearly and distinctly, as is typical of the Tbilisi merchant class in general.
“I didn’t want to, father…”
“Ah… don gidis, Vurti,” continued the stout man. “You are not doing well, where your grandmother opposes me,” he added after looking down at the street from the balcony, “because of so many problems, beg, you sleep and don’t go.” .
“Dad, you know that I’m sick… my head hurts… and, besides, I don’t really like to go for a walk,” the girl justified herself.
– Yes՜. That’s the way it is, you won’t forget it soon…” Agha Yagor Bugdanich didn’t finish what he had to say and suddenly changed his words, “you won’t get out of my kartum and otakhemed vuchch day… Too much kartam, Vurti, ok no… it’s also damage to the groin.
The young lady did not answer anything, she went to the other end of the balcony, and Agha Yagor Bugdanich, turning his back to the girl, sat down heavily on the chair, the chair creaked from his weight.
“What a chichlipito skamik gidin you vukht,” he muttered and in a completely nonchalant manner began to whisper some kind of tune, followed by a Georgian “Gamo, mzeo, gamigone” in a low voice. At that time, the young lady drew a very cold look at him and began to look down at the crowd on the street.
“I’m prime,” called Agha Yagor Bugdanich, suddenly interrupting the song.
Imerel’s servant immediately appeared on the balcony.
“Ra gnebamt, batono (what do you want, sir?”) he threw the words over each other,
— Ghvino (wine).
Imerel did not hesitate and appeared after a few minutes with a large silver glass filled to the brim with dark red wine. Agha Yagor Bugdanich took the glass from his hand, and after drinking half of it in one breath, he breathed “Okhay!” and wiped his mustache, although there was nothing on them. He raised the glass to his lips a second time and was about to drink the rest of the wine, when suddenly behind him there was a loud scream and a muffled sound of falling down.