Lieutenant Schmidt’s Ideal Lady
1. The Lady at the Kiev Racecourse
A new century not long begun: a young man, unhappily married and between trains, is at a loose end on a sultry Kiev afternoon.
He goes to the races: sees a lady in the crowd, the most beautiful lady imaginable. Her black eyes, her hair,
He thinks she might be Spanish; he pictures her on a warm shore he has only seen from the deck of his ship. She is swept away on the tide of racegoers; he never meets her,
never hears her voice. This does not displease him: he is a man who lives in fancy and will simply love her for ever. That night, he takes the train to Sevastopol.
2. The Lady on the Night Train to Sevastopol
Now you must know, the train was lit by candles held in lanterns, as the manner was, and they swayed so with the wheels’ rocking,