The second number

The second number

sunny morning on July 21 at number 12 on the street Tempelgasse bell rang.

- Who brought it? Hold me seven! Fima, is that you ?! - surprise said the man who opened the door.

- What do you rustle, like a mountain waterfall? Hi, Adam!

Twin brothers patted each other on the back, and Fima went into the house. Adam's apartment was furnished though and inferior, but with a touch of elegance, as befits a dwelling rabbi. Throwing his hat on the table, uninvited Fima sat in a chair by the fire and invited to take a seat across from Adam.

- Rabbi! - started a guest, but was immediately stopped by a gesture of Adam.

- My brother, come without these arrivals - we are not in the synagogue.

- Good!

Fima poorzal in a chair, and began again:

- I have a few words to you, Adam. Ever since you left our difficult craft and moved to Chernovtsy, we began to see very rarely. Sharif's uncle, who will soon 80 - Give him the god of the same amount, goes to prostitutes more often than we meet. You become a rabbi, a famous and respected man, eat lunch at the mayor, live happily, like a louse on Passover, and about his younger brother had completely forgotten. No one helps the poor Fime!

- Fima, listen to me ears, not tuhesom! You yourself are to blame for all their troubles. Our mother appears to me the first light, and you came later. And you've always been number two. With delicate hands and a good head, you would have had the good fortune, as a Jew in Switzerland. But you, like a beech roshinsky not have any hands, not his head. You're always trailed behind me as lame Rokel, and did not have time. Tell me why you called in my room? I am a good person and I can do good things, but ... - If you do not help me, I'll kill you, - interrupted Adam's younger brother.

- Oh drayman!

- Let's not talk loud! Whom you yourself were 15 years ago, the Holy Father? To remind you how we took jewelers and other honest speculators?

After a pause, Fima continued:

- My grief has no edge, and I need your help. After that you have never see Aunt Sima escaped her husband.

- you eat my heart! What do you want?

- If you die, on your funeral will gather all the respectable Jews from all over the city: Zimmerman, Plitskery, Groys, Arntgolts and others. All jewelers will close shop and come to honor the memory of dear Rebbe. And at this time the stage will Fima Hasler and takes a couple of stores to get hold of a little bit of happiness and money. I've already made arrangements with the smugglers. These serious people are waiting for me tomorrow night at the bridge in Zalishchyky. With my money, they will forward me to Poland, where I will have everything you might just want a Jewish soul. It only remains to resolve the issue with you.

- You still want to make my life end, brother Cain?

- We have two options. A good option: today you are like one-legged aunt Haza, all day sitting at home and do not come to the door. And tomorrow and 11 am you, too, will not be put out. At 11 you open the door and wilt perform their healthy and it is currently still alive tear-stained face of his parishioners. You do the surprised eyes, and everyone is happy. Bad option: do not want to hurt you, but if you do not like the first version, I'm going to have to make you a few grams heavier rabbi. Fima pulled out a revolver and looked at Adam. Adam smiled.

- And how do you tell me about my death all over the city?

- Such news travels fast. In the evening, I'll let you know about it in the newspapers that come out early in the morning - this will help you to all of Chernivtsi Jews gathered under your windows already by 10 o'clock. And there they will find you, or living or nonliving.

- I prefer to still live.

- So, we have agreed to, brother?

- Let me not live to old age, if you do not agree!

- Good!

Fima stood up and swung the gun on the head of Adam.

- I'm sorry, Adam, for this style, but I'm better insure.

Fima fumbled on the bedside table, found some rope and tied the hands of his brother. Slamming the door behind him, Fima disappeared.

When he awoke on the floor, the man after some time could come loose. After sitting a little in his chair, he went to the mirror, looked at his bearded face and reached for the razor.

The morning of July 22, was rich in events. The Jewish community was stunned by the news of that late last night died rabbi Adam Hasler. All major newspapers were full of obituaries already in three languages, the rebbe's death was the main topic of conversation in the markets. Turning trade, closing stores and shops, Jewish families came in droves to Tempelgasse. To the surprise of the first arrived, the house was locked, and at the door scurried police. The time was the beginning of the eleventh.

Meanwhile, in another part of the city there were no less interesting things. Fima, who came with a revolver in the pocket of the street Herrengasse, was surprised to find that the jewelry store Madame Eisenberg someone has robbed. An unpleasant chill ran down his back hijacker. A little thought, Fima turned onto another street, where there was a pawnshop hardhead Zimmerman. When he saw the broken glass and in this place, Fima was not myself. It was not yet ten, and for as much as two salon someone had to rob him. Unbelievable!

Suddenly Fima heard the sound of gunfire. Hiding behind a chestnut tree, robber peered at the beginning of the street. Because of the house fell bloodied man and firing from the chase, ran toward Fima. Fima stepped out from behind a tree and grabbed a fugitive and dragged him through the gate. Police officers sped past.

- Bah! What a meeting, Pin! What a kipish circle?

Pin blankly stared at Hasler.

- You Th, Fima? You were at a gathering yesterday.

- What gathering?

- Khasya who's injured, you or I? You yesterday he gathered a gathering, they say, all the respect and honor, gentlemen, Monsieur, in the morning you can take all yuvelirki bare hands - the owners will be at the funeral, the police will be there as well. We all shared the streets and shops to each other not to interfere with, your best kosher places left ... Hey, can you hear me?

By furious cries from the rooftops Fima posduvalo all sparrows. Throwing pins Fima rushed to the hall, where the milled cabs. Here and there we could hear the shouts and whistles of the police - it is returned to their looted shops Jews who have not seen their beloved rabbi - house number 12 on Tempelgasse the street was empty. Fima changed several crews until reached Zalishchyky. It was already late at night, when Fima, stumbling in the tall grass, down to the bridge. Smugglers were gone and in their place the parking lay some suitcase. Peering into the darkness, Fima saw the boat moves away. The man sitting on the edge of the boat, he saw Fima stood up and waved to him.

- Hell-ah-am! I'm going to kill you-th-th-th! - that is urine Fima yelled and unloaded the entire reel in the figure of his brother.

In response came the laughter.

Fima threw the empty gun into the water, his head in his hands and sat down on the trunk. After sitting a little bit, Fima stood up and looked into his belly. The suitcase lay rabbi's clothes, a hat, some ridiculous beards on a string, the Torah and the envelope. Tearing open the envelope, Fima glared at the note.

"These things are for you. Now Rabbi Adam - it's you. Go back to Chernivtsi, the second number. "

Foggy silence was broken roar of Fima.