It was, incidentally, the same kindly but touchy Avidov (mentioned in many racy memoirs of the time) who once catapulted with an uppercut an unfortunate English tourist into the porter's lodge for his jokingly remarking how clever it was to drop the first letter of one's name in order to use it as a particule, at the Gritz, in Venezia Rossa. (1.36)
In Aldanov's novel Peshchera ("The Cave," 1932) two Englishmen discuss uppercuts at a boxing match:
Средний англичанин убеждал младшего, что uppercut в Адамово яблоко действительнее uppercut’a в подбородок. «Какая гадость!» — с искренним отвращением подумал дон Педро, смутно себе представляя оба эти uppercut’a. «Очевидно, какой-то род мордобоя. Ну, хорошо, два идиота бьют друг друга по морде, но они хоть деньги получают. А эти что?..» (Part Two, Chapter VIII) 
Don Pedro who sits beside the Englishmen hears their talk with disgust. Don Pedro (the penname of Musya's friend Alfred Isaevich, a Russian journalist and movie man in Paris) is a namesake of Pedro, a young Latin actor and a lover of Marina.
The actor, who quite likely would run into somebody's fist in a forthcoming scene, made a filthy remark in broken French.
'Du sollst nicht zuhören,' murmured Ada to German Dack before putting him back in Marina's lap under the 'accursed children.' 'On ne parle pas comme ça devant un chien,' added Ada, not deigning to glance at Pedro, who nevertheless got up, reconstructed his crotch, and beat her to the pool with a Nurjinski leap. (1.32).
Mlle Larivière's novel Les Enfants Maudits ("The Accursed Children") is about to be filmed by G. A. Vronsky, a movie man and Marina's former lover.
Baron Klim Avidov who gave Van, Ada and Lucette a set of Flavita (Russian Scrabble) is another former lover of Marina:
The set our three children received in 1884 from an old friend of the family (as Marina's former lovers were known), Baron Klim Avidov, consisted of a large folding board of saffian and a boxful of weighty rectangles of ebony inlaid with platinum letters, only one of which was a Roman one, namely the letter J on the two joker blocks (as thrilling to get as a blank check signed by Jupiter or Jurojin). (1.36)
"The Cave" is the third novel of Aldanov's trilogy Klyuch ("The Key," 1929), Begstvo ("The Flight," 1930) and Peshchera. It was reviewed by VN in Sovremennye Zapiski, 1936, # 61:
Всё "письмо из России" великолепно, и особенно описaние, кaк Ленин с шaйкой "снимaлся для потомствa". "Зa его стулом стояли Троцкий во френче и Зиновьев в кaкой-то блузе или толстовке". "...Кaкие Люциферовы чувствa они должны испытывaть к нежно любимому Ильичу..." "А ведь, если б в тaком-то году, нa тaком-то съезде, голосовaть не тaк, a инaче, дa нa тaкую-то брошюру ответить вот тaк, то ведь не он, a я сидел бы "Дaвыдычем" нa стуле, a он стоял бы у меня зa спиной с доброй, товaрищески-верноподдaнической улыбкой!" Это звучит приговором окончaтельным, вечным, тем приговором, который вынесут будущие временa. In his letter to Musya (quoted by VN in his review) Grigoriy Ivanovich (a friend and colleague of Musya's late father) describes the taking of a group photograph in Kremlin ("The Cave," Part Two, Chapter VI).
In a game of Flavita Lucette's letters form the word "Kremlin" (that does not exist in Russian):
'Je ne peux rien faire,' wailed Lucette, 'mais rien - with my idiotic Buchstaben, REMNILK, LINKREM...'
'Look,' whispered Van, 'c'est tout simple, shift those two syllables and you get a fortress in ancient Muscovy.'
'Oh, no,' said Ada, wagging her finger at the height of her temple in a way she had. 'Oh, no. That pretty word does not exist in Russian. A Frenchman invented it. There is no second syllable.' (1.36)
The Flavita board has 225 squares. Of these, 24 were brown, 12 black, 16 orange, 8 red, and the rest golden-yellow (i.e., flavid, in concession to the game's original name). (1.36)
The name of the main character in Aldanov's trilogy, Braun, corresponds to English "Brown." At the end of Peshchera Braun commits suicide:
Смерть Брaунa безукоризненнa. Холодок пробегaет, когдa он ищет "бессмертие" в энциклопедическом словaре.
According to VN, "Brown's death is impeccable. It gives the reader the chills, when Brown looks up 'immortality' in the encyclopaedia."
Lucette + fire = Lucifer + tête (Fr., head)
According to the author of the letter (quoted by VN in his review of Aldanov's novel), Trotsky and Zinoviev who stand behind Lenin must experience Lyutsiferovy chuvstva (Lucifer's feelings) toward tenderly loved Ilyich. "Davydych" (a form of Davidovich, Trotsky's patronymic) clearly corresponds to Davidov (Baron Klim Avidov's real name, as imagined by Walter C. Keyway, Esq., "the unfortunate English tourist"). Zinoviev's tolstovka (long belted blouse) brings to mind Van's bayronka (open shirt) on a photo taken by Kim Beauharnais (2.7). 
Alexey Sklyarenko
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