Friday, October 22, 2010

Karachay: Part 3

Friday, May 19th, 1967
Dear Lyov,
I am glad to find you well. It seems, then, that your village is isolated from this world. We may have more pressing concerns than politics, however. The recent high winds have made farming very unfavorable. Many a villager has asked me to cure a rather nasty cough, an obvious side effect of swallowing too much dust. These farmers are tireless and for the moment they’re all I have to deal with. Let us pray nothing more comes my way.
Ah, a wager. I see you’ve remembered that I am a gambling man. I will accept, for you’ve lost one too many a card game to me, and I can see that you’re trying to make it up. What is the opinion of your farmers of this drought? I cannot say that we’ve had anyone here call it an apocalypse; most of these farmers see it as just another cycle.
I’m glad that these letters hold your interest; I was beginning to believe they might bore you. There hasn’t been anything of medical significance here since you left, so I worried that my lack of scientific data was disappointing. However, our friend Mikhail, the barkeep, was recently vindicated. Over the winter he got into a scuffle with one of his customers who was later found dead. It turns out that it was just suicide; how any detective could make this mistake I do not know, but once they called me in and I examined the body, I knew right away.
I’ve just briefly examined your notes of the flu, and it seems to me a rather odd combination of symptoms. I would appreciate it if you continued to send your medical reports; there is little in this town that holds my interest now that you’re gone.
Your brother,

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