“What at night?” Rita’s mama feels some uneasiness. Such a
toad, but just look at her talk, and hasn’t it been said that
now and then from a child’s mouth God Himself chooses to
“Shut up!” Rita’s mama exclaims.
Zatknis, dura gerevennaya –
shut up you stupid country
bumpkin!” Maya translates for Dusya.
Laura recognizes the power of cards over people. She
remembers how in front of Madalina people used to grow
silent. How the desire to know one’s future made people
shake and tremble as if in front of the greatest power. In
front of Madalina, whose legs had frozen off in the deadly
cold, the comrade wife of the
shivered in her
skunk fur coat. Buka’s fur coat, Laura’s grandmother,
which, as luck would have it, had been brought along from
Latvia and exchanged for a sack of peas.
Laura brings to the table and applies Madalina’s words and
“Cut the deck in half. Don’t whatever you do raise the cards
toward you! No!” Laura yells out in horrendous fright,
because Rita’s mama is ready to do precisely that. Rita’s