The challenge was accepted; two native seconds were chosen; the Baron plumped for swords; and after a certain amount of good blood (Polish and Irish - a kind of American 'Gory Mary' in barroom parlance) had bespattered two hairy torsoes, the whitewashed terrace, the flight of steps leading backward to the walled garden in an amusing Douglas d'Artagnan arrangement, the apron of a quite accidental milkmaid, and the shirtsleeves of both seconds, charming Monsieur de Pastrouil and Colonel St Alin, a scoundrel, the latter gentlemen separated the panting combatants, and Skonky died, not 'of his wounds' (as it was viciously rumored) but of a gangrenous afterthought on the part of the least of them, possibly self-inflicted, a sting in the groin, which caused circulatory trouble, notwithstanding quite a few surgical interventions during two or three years of protracted stays at the Aardvark Hospital in Boston - a city where, incidentally, he married in 1869 our friend the Bohemian lady, now keeper of Glass Biota at the local museum. (1.2)
D'Artagnan is the main character in Dumas's "The Three Musketeers." In Kuprin's story "Staff-Captain Rybnikov" a trio of inseparable reporters (whose names, Kodlubtsev, Ryazhkin and Popov, form a iambic line) is compared to the three musketeers:
Здесь в кабинете были все знаменитости петербургского репортажа. Три мушкетёра - Кодлубцев, Ряжкин и Попов. Их никогда не видали иначе, как вместе, даже их фамилии, произнесенные рядом, особенно ловко укладывались в четырёхстопный ямб. (chapter 2)
"Kodlubtsev, Ryazhkin and Popov" could be a line in Pushkin's Eugene Onegin:
И кормят в номере клопов
Кодлубцев, Ряжкин и Попов.
And in a hotel room the bed bugs bite
Kodlubtsev, Ryazhkin and Popov.
The name Rybnikov comes from ryba (fish). The Bohemian lady wanted Demon's recommendation for a job in the Glass Fish-and-Flower department in a Boston museum:
Next day Demon was having tea at his favorite hotel with a Bohemian lady whom he had never seen before and was never to see again (she desired his recommendation for a job in the Glass Fish-and-Flower department in a Boston museum) when she interrupted her voluble self to indicate Marina and Aqua, blankly slinking across the hall in modish sullenness and bluish furs with Dan Veen and a dackel behind, and said:
'Curious how that appalling actress resembles "Eve on the Clepsydrophone" in Parmigianino's famous picture.'
'It is anything but famous,' said Demon quietly, 'and you can't have seen it. I don't envy you,' he added; 'the naive stranger who realizes that he or she has stepped into the mud of an alien life must experience a pretty sickening feeling. Did you get that small-talk information directly from a fellow named d'Onsky or through a friend of a friend of his?'
'Friend of his,' replied the hapless Bohemian lady. (1.2)
In Pushkin's EO (Three: XXXVII: 12-14) Tatiana, before she meets Onegin in the garden, writes with her charming finger on the bemisted glass the cherished monogram: an O and E.
Ada is set on Demonia or Antiterra, Earth's twin planet.
'Anyway,' he said, 'it's fun to be two secret agents in an alien country. Marina has gone upstairs. Your hair is wet.'
'Spies from Terra? You believe, you believe in the existence of Terra? Oh, you do! You accept it. I know you!' (1.38)
In Kuprin's stroy Rybnikov (the Japanese spy) seems to Shchavinski a creature from another planet:
Что-то чрезвычайно знакомое, но такое, чего никак нельзя было ухватить, чувствовалось в этих узеньких, зорких, ярко-кофейных глазках с разрезом наискось,  в тревожном изгибе чёрных бровей, идущих от переносья кверху, в энергичной сухости кожи, крепко обтягивавшей мощные скулы, а главное, в общем выражении этого лица - злобного, насмешливого, умного, пожалуй, даже высокомерного, но не человеческого, а скорее звериного, а ещё вернее  -  лица, принадлежащего существу с другой планеты. (chapter 2)
During their first separation Van visits Ada in Brownhill (Ada's school for girls):
Van braced himself to see Ada thus, hoping to use his magic wand for transforming whatever young spinster came along into a spoon or a turnip. Those 'dates' had to be approved by the victim's mother at least a fortnight in advance. Soft-toned Miss Cleft, the headmistress, rang up Marina who told her that Ada could not possibly need a chaperone to go out with a cousin who had been her sole companion on day-long rambles throughout the summer. 'That's exactly it,' Cleft rejoined, 'two young ramblers are exceptionally prone to intertwine, and a thorn is always close to a bud.'
'But they are practically brother and sister,' ejaculated Marina, thinking as many stupid people do that 'practically' works both ways - reducing the truth of a statement and making a truism sound like the truth. 'Which only increases the peril,' said soft Cleft. 'Anyway, I'll compromise, and tell dear Cordula de Prey to make a third: she admires Ivan and adores Ada - consequently can only add zest to the zipper' (stale slang - stale even then).
'Gracious, what figli-migli' (mimsey-fimsey), said Marina, after having hung up. (1.27)
In Kuprin's story Lyon'ka (a police sleuth who arrests Rybnikov) uses the slang phrase figeli-migeli, as he describes his adventures to the prostitutes in a brothel:
"А - так ты так-то! Я до сих пор гуманно щадил тебя. А теперь пеняй на себя. Позвать сюда Арсентия Блоху". Был у нас такой арестант, до слёз этого Саньку ненавидел. Я, брат, уж тонко знаю ихние взаимные фигель-мигели. (chapter 6)
Alexey Sklyarenko
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