This literary debut, became a bestseller WORLDWIDE — NOW AND IN RUSSIAN.
At the beginning were bells. And the three of them cast from bent shovels, rakes and hoes, cracked boilers blunt plowshares, a rusty furnace — and in each of the gold coins. They were black and rough, other than silver lip on which my mother inflicted millions clappers strikes. Growth it was small, and it was difficult to dance beneath the belfry. When she was waving her feet came off the smooth wooden floorboards, so that after the impact of the mallet bell ringing was coming from most of his crown to the tips of her toes.
They were the loudest bells in the land — so said all urnertsy, although now I know the bell is much more powerful, but the location of these bells in the sky above the valley of Uri, making them truly loud sound. He is echoed by the waters of Lake Lucerne to the Gotthard Pass snow. He welcomed the traders on their way from Italy. He made the Swiss soldiers clamped hands over his ears, as they marched along the road column Uri. Barely heard the bell ringing, ox herd refused to move on. At the most obese men from the womb shake lose the desire to eat the food. Cows are grazed on nearby pastures, long ago became deaf. Even the youngest of underherdsman were deaf as an old man, though hid in their huts in the morning, day and night, when my mother called to their bells.
In this bell tower over the tiny church I was born. There’s a mother breast-fed me. There we slept when it was warm. When the mother is not knocking his clappers, we turn into a ball under the bells and lay windswept. She covered me with his body and stroked his forehead. And although none of us said a word to each other, the mother stared at my lips when I started to babble his first baby sounds. Sometimes, she tickled me, and I laughed. When I learned to crawl, she held my leg, so I do not accidentally crawled to the edge, not slid down and fell to his death on the rocks. When it came time to take the first steps, I held her index fingers, and she took me along the edge of the bell tower, round and round, maybe a hundred times a day. If we talk about space, our bell tower was very small world; Many would even say that it was a prison for the little boy. But as for the sound, it was a huge house on the land. All sounds have ever been born, were made in the metal of the bells, and in that moment, when my mother inflicted on them a blow, she let out into the world all their beauty. How many ears heard wafting through the mountains echoes resounding peal. They hated him, or inspired by his power, or spellbound, watched with unseeing eyes to the sky, or crying when their hearts were filled with sadness. But they did not find it beautiful. They simply could not. All the beauty of the bells meant only my mother and me.
How I would like this to be the beginning: my mother and these bells, Eve and Adam my voice, my joys and sorrows. But of course, all this is not so. I have a father; and my mother, too, was he. And the bells — the bells have also had a father. Richard Kilhmar that one night in 1725 stood unsteadily on the table — he was so drunk that instead of one seen two moons.
He closed one eye and severely narrowed the other to two moons gathered in one blur. I looked around: Altdorfskaya Square — the central square of the city, located (and it was especially proud of the citizens) in the heart of the Swiss Confederation, -was filled with two hundred people merry. Reasons for the festival was enough: and the end of the harvest, and accession to the throne of the new Pope, and a warm summer night. Two hundred men stood ankle-deep in mud soaked in urine. Two hundred men from the circles in which lapped very strong schnapps brewed from pears Uri valley. Two hundred men as drunk as Richard himself Kilhmar.
— Quiet! — He shouted into the night, which seemed to him the same warm and clear, like the thoughts in his head. — I will talk!
— Speak! — They screamed.
All fell silent. High above in the moonlight shone Alps as the teeth in the black, rotting gums.
— All Protestants — dog! — He shouted, raising his glass, and almost fell off the table.
They greeted him in unison and began to curse the dogs from Zurich who were rich. And then cursed dogs from Bern, who had guns and the army, and who, if they had one wanted to, could climb the mountain and win Uri. And they cursed the dogs in the German lands, which have been further north and have never heard of Uri. They hated Protestants for what they did not like the music, reviled Mary, and for the fact that they wanted to rewrite the Bible.
These curses, for two hundred years as a plain-old in all European capitals, pierced heart Kilhmara. They are brought tears to the eyes — the people standing in front of him were his brothers! But what could he tell them? What could he promise them? So a little bit! He could not build them a fort with cannons. And he could not give the army, even though he was one of the richest people in Uri. He could not comfort them and their wisdom, because he was a man of few words.
And then they heard it — a silent response to his plea. Ting, who forced them to uplift to heaven bleary eyes. Someone climbed the church tower and scored in the church bell. It was the most beautiful, the most heart-rending sounds only heard Richard Kilhmaru. They reflected on the walls of houses. Echo responded in the mountains. This chimes tickled his inflated belly. And when he stopped, the silence was as warm and wet, the tears that Kilhmar wiped from their eyes.
He nodded to the crowd. And he nodded in response to two hundred heads.
— I’ll give you a bell — he whispered. He raised his glass to the midnight sky. And his voice rose to a shout: «I will build a church where they will find their refuge high in the mountains, so that the sound of them echoed in every inch of land Uri! And they will be the loudest and most beautiful bells for ever and ever! «
And they screamed even louder than before. Rejoicing, he raised his hands toward the heavens. Schnapps wrinkles on his forehead. And he plunged his gaze, like every man on the square, at the bottom of the cup and drained it to the dregs, cementing it as a seal, Kilhmarovu oath.
And after drinking the last drop, I staggered Kilhmar, stumbled and fell. And I spent the rest of the night lying in the mud and dreaming of their bells. When he woke up hung over him a circle of blue sky framed by twelve pious rye.
— Lead us! — They cried.
They seemed enthusiastic reverence lifted him to his feet and making sips of six, and even eight of their jars, he felt himself altogether weightless. And soon found himself on his horse at the head of the procession — to fifty men on horseback, and the women on several wagons, which were worn around the kids with dogs. Where they lead? Even yesterday, the mountains were for him dangerous and hostile, and today he led the people on the road from Uri to Italy, to the Pope, to the snowy plains, brilliant in the sunlight, and then, when inspiration seized him, pulled it out of the way and began climbing .
They climbed higher and higher and climbed almost to the cliffs with snowy peaks. Kilhmar conducted for a five hundred urnertsev, and they went after him until they reached a rocky hill, looked at from the plain that stretched before them, and the River Race, a thin white thread sews it.
— Here, — he whispered. — Here.
— Here — they echoed. -Here.
And then he turned to look at the tiny hamlet below them, seemingly out of no more than a handful of wretched little houses. Tiny villagers, grazing cows, staring in awe at the crowd of people at the top.
This tiny, emaciated by famine village, about which I am writing, called Nebelmat. In this village I was born (yes, it burned to the ground, and it will cover an avalanche).
Construction Kilhmarovoy church was completed in 1727, and she was built on the tears and sweat, but on the rocks Uri, so in the winter months, no matter how much wood or burns in her oven, remained as cold as the stones on which to stand. The church was squat and form somewhat resembled boots. Bishop was sent a petition about the priest, who is not afraid to harsh conditions and remoteness of the parish. A few days later he showed up at the door Kilhmara gloomy young priest — scientist father, Carl Victor Fonderah.
Now the church with a dozen rough benches and the roof is almost not to miss the rain, the owner came, but it was not there that promised Kilhmar. There were no bells in it. And then he prepared Kilhmar his wagon, kissed his wife and said that he will take a hike to St. Gallen in order to find the greatest Masters of the bell in the Catholic world. Under patriotic shouts he rumbled in his cart somewhere toward the north, and more Kilhmara in Uri has not been seen.
Construction of the church ruin him.
So, a year after the last piece of tile has been laid on the roof, in the bell tower of the church, ready to be a haven for the beautiful bells forever, not even a cow hanging bot.
Urnertsy — proud and resourceful people. «How hard is it to cast a bell?» — They thought. Clay forms a little molten metal, some beams to hang the bell cast — and nothing more. Perhaps the Lord has sent them Kilhmara to guide them to the path of righteousness.
«The Lord needs your hardware — there was a cry. — Bring Him your copper and tin. «
Blunt shovels, hoes broken, corroded rusty knives, cracked boilers — drop everything in a pile, which has grown quickly on Altdorfskoy Square, at the very spot where three years ago Kilhmar to seal his oath. The crowd screams greeted each new offering. A man dragged the stove, which was to keep it from the cold cruel winter. «Bless her heart» — the crowd murmured when the old widow threw in a bunch of your jewelry. And the tears flowed from the eyes of the townspeople, when three respected family donated three gold coins. Ten ox harnesses needed to drive the metal in the village.
In over a dozen masters of the end of life remained the scars from burns received on the very day when they poured white-hot broth into molds. The first bell has turned round like a fat turkey, under the second could hide a medium-sized goat, and the third, an amazing third bell went as high as a man, and took sixteen horses to pick it up in the bell tower.
Then subdued crowd turned and began to look like seven cousins Kilhmarovyh decisive step directed to the church — one to ring the small bell, and two, to ring the bell middle, and four, to call in the largest bell. And many in that crowd held their breath when the bell tower began to sway three huge bells.
And then the loudest and most beautiful forever bell rang.
Mountain air shuddered. The ringing filled the plain. And he pitched like the creak of rusty hinges, and rumbling, like an avalanche, and heartbreaking as their voice and soothing as the whisper of the mother. And then everyone screamed and winced as if in pain and clutched his hands over her ears. And all moved back. Father Karl Victor cracked glass in the window frames. And so much grit my teeth my people, that they begin to crumble. In their ears they burst eardrums. A cow, two goats and a women suddenly started labor pains.
When hushed echo in the distant mountain tops, silence descended on the ground. And everyone turned his gaze to his church, expecting that it will collapse in a moment of this. Then the door opened and she fell out of the crowd Kilhmarovy cousins, holding hands ruined ears. And they looked at the crowd, like thieves, hidden in their stockings treasure.
And then the cry of joy went up. And all raised their hands to heaven. And shook their fists. And the tears flowed from the eyes of many. They did it! We rang the loudest bells forever!
Not lost the kingdom of God on earth!
Slow down a crowd down the hill. Suddenly someone shouted, «rang in them yet!» — And all shriveled and began fleeing the great men and women, children, dogs and cows-all fled oskalzyvalis, and slid down the muddy hill and hid behind shabby their houses, as if trying to escape from the avalanche. Again there was silence. He leaned out of the house of the head, eyes staring at the church. But where now they find, cousins Kilhmarovyh? To tell the truth, two hundred paces from the church was nobody. Not one brave man was found who would dare to ring the bell again.
Or was this? Whispers went up in the air. Children became fingers point to the dirty brown stain, floating up the hill, like a tuft of hay under the breath of the breeze. No man? The child — a small girl — in dirty rags.
But the fact was that among the many treasures in this village there was a blind girl, fool. And she had a strange habit: take yes and stared at the villagers stare watchful and angry as if he knew all the secret sins that people are trying to hide; why then doused her with buckets of dirty water when closely approached. And the blind girl, is to climb the hill, eyes from the campanile did not take because they heard the bell, too, but not lifeless ears, and how good people feel the sanctity of-its insides flutter.
Everyone watched as she climbs up the hill, because it knows it was that the Lord had sent him to the fool, just as the Lord has sent them Kilhmara and stone to build the church and the metal to cast the bell.
A little girl looked up at the bell tower, and it seemed as if she wanted to take off.
— Go — they whispered. — Go.
But she does not hear their compulsion. The memory of the bell ringing at the door pulls, and then inside the church, where previously it was not possible to happen. On the floor are pieces of glass — broken windows, and it leaves a trail of blood, climbing the narrow stairs in the vestibule. The first tier of the bell tower through the ceiling hang three pitches. But she knows the ropes, and she also knows that the magic is not in them, that they do it on the top; it continues to climb the stairs and lifts his head manhole cover. Openings in the walls does not fenced, and fall out easily, but on all four sides opened her different kinds: rock ‘head to the left; Valley in front of her; right — the snow-covered passes Susten Pass; and when she crawls through the hole to the next stage, then, looking back, he sees people who swarmed around their homes as larvae in a piece of rotting meat.
She comes to the biggest of the bells and looks inside, in the twilight. His body was black and rough. She reaches out and slaps him. He does not move. She did not hear any sound. In the corner are two copper knockers. She picks up one, and has the largest bell.
First, she feels it in her womb — like the warm touch of his hands. Many, many years no one touched her. She closes her eyes and feel the warmth that goes down into her thighs. It passes through intercostal space. She sighs. Beats the bell again, struggling and heat sinks even lower, snake encircles the back, lifted to the shoulders. It seems that it lifts her and she bathed in the sound. Again and again she hits the bell and the sound is getting warmer.