They [the Robinsons] invited Lucette to a Coke with them - proselytical teetotalists - in their cabin, which was small and stuffy and badly insulated, one could hear every word and whine of two children being put to bed by a silent seasick nurse, so late, so late - no, not children, but probably very young, very much disappointed honeymooners. (Ada, 3.5)
Robinson's Sweet Shop is mentioned in Ilf and Petrov's The Golden Calf (Chapter Five, "The Underground Kingdom"): И с улыбкой превосходства он глядел на одиноких нэпманов, догнивающих под вывесками: "Торговля товарами камвольного треста Б. А. Лейбедев", "Парча и утварь для церквей и клубов" или "Бакалейная лавка X. Робинзон и М. Пьятница". (And he [Koreiko] smiled blissfully as he looked at the lonely NEP-men, rotting under their signs: Trade in Combed Woolen Goods, B. A. Leibedev, Brocade and Ceremonial Vessels For Clubs and Churches, or H. Robinson and M. Friday Sweet Shop). Robinson's partner is P'yatnitsa, an Ilfopetrovian name combining pyatnitsa (Friday) with p'yanitsa (drunkard).
"Teetotalists" (instead of "teetotallers") seems to hint at totalitarianism. Ilf and Petrov are the authors of Kak sozdavalsya Robinzon (How the 'Soviet' Robinson Crusoe was Written, 1933).
On their way to Chernomorsk the members of the Antelope Gnu crew meet two American tourists who are searching for a good recipe of samogon ("moonshine," the USA being under Prohibition at the time). Incidentally, in his article Samogon krovi (The Unauthorized Spilling of Blood, 1919) Max Voloshin (the poet whom VN met in the Crimea) attempts to prove that the bloodshed in the Civil War in Russia was caused by the abolition of capital punishment after the February Revolution. samogon krovi + on = mnogo vina skoro (on - Russ., he; mnogo vina skoro - Russ., a lot of vodka soon)
The bad insulation in Robinsons's cabin brings to mind thin veneer partitions in the "Brother Berthold Schwartz" hostel where we also find a fire-proof safe and a spiral staircase (reminiscent of the night of the Burning Barn and the spiral stairs leading to the library in Ardis Hall):
The partners wound their way up a spiral staircase to the large attic,
which was divided by plyboard partitions into long slices five feet wide.
The rooms were like pencil boxes, the only difference being that besides
pens and pencils they contained people and primus stoves as well.
     "Are you there, Nicky?" Ostap asked quietly, stopping at a central
     The response was an immediate stirring and chattering in all five
pencil boxes.
     "Yes," came the answer from behind the door.
     "That fool's guests have arrived too early again!" whispered a woman's
voice in the last box on the left.
     "Let a fellow sleep, can't you!" growled box no. 2.
     There was a delighted hissing from the third box.
     "It's the militia to see Nicky about that window he smashed yesterday."
     No one spoke in the fifth pencil box; instead came the hum of a primus
and the sound of kissing. (The Twelve Chairs, chapter XVI)
Alexey Sklyarenko
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