Arkady Gaydar: Marusya


The spy waded through the bog, put on a Red Army soldier’s uniform, and walked out on the road.
A girl was collecting cornflowers in a wheat field. She walked up to him and asked for a knife to level the flowers.
He gave her the knife, asked her name, and, having been informed that people in the Soviet Union live happily, he started laughing and singing songs for no apparent reason.
“Don’t you recognize me?” the girl asked, surprised. “I am Marusya, Lieutenant Egorov’s daughter. And these flowers are meant for my father.”
She patted the flowers tenderly, her eyes filled with tears.
The spy put the knife back in his pocket, and walked off without saying a word.
At the checkpoint, Marusya told the soldiers, “I met a soldier of the Red Army. I told him what my name was and it was so strange, that in response he began singing songs and laughing.”
The commander then frowned and called for an officer on duty, ordering him to send a patrol after the “fun-loving man.”
The horsemen left, and Marusya went to the steep river bank, to put the flowers on her father’s grave. He was shot in a crossfire yesterday.

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