Once, Lieutenant Repin returned from the command post, very agitated, and without undressing, approached Nomokonov. For a minute he looked at his soldier with admiration, smiled, and shook his head.
- What, Lieutenant?
“I am happy,” said Repin. - It turns out that you attacked the big Hitler goose. Congratulations! October 25 14 hours 35, in the sixteenth square, a bullet in the head you hit Hitler's Major General, inspecting the front line troops.
- Who said?
“Now everything is accurate,” the lieutenant sat down on the bench. - Our scouts led officer. He knows Russian well, and we talked to him. Specially called me.
He came, he said, that day the general made a noise, shouted at everyone and decided to find out for himself why the heroes of the eastern march stopped in front of the swamp. Bravely paced the general to the forefront, quickly!
“That's right,” said Nomokonov. - Fat was like a boar, and quickly moved.
“The fat was the general,” Repin confirmed, “is true. Important, self-confident, with a beaver collar on his overcoat. I am saying that we will assign the Siberian rifle division! But I did not manage to dispose of it either - a piece of lead clicked him right in the forehead. The prisoner said that it was like lightning on a winter day. No one expected: many different ranks went to the grove on the day of the first snow. And the Germans roamed the trench, protruding. It was quiet. In general, it is true: the "pantach" was overwhelmed. And those that went along with the general were colonels. These are gone.
“Nimble ones,” Nomokonov remembered. - So-so ... In the bushes darted. Colonels, speak? It would be necessary and these. A fat man, right ... He hit his head so that he would not recover. Look what turned out to be!
“The Germans pounded their general in a coffin and sent it to Germany,” said Repin. - conquered. The interesting thing is this: the nazis knew exactly who killed the “pantach”. The prisoner said so: in this area, the Russians have a Tungus sniper — sly as the old lisovin and cruel as Genghis Khan. The Germans know that his name is Nomokonov. They know that this sniper smokes the “tube of death”.
“You are joking, Ivan Vasilyevich,” smiled Nomokonov.
“Listen further, Semyon Danilovich,” continued Repin. “The officer said that behind the head of the“ taiga shaman, ”who at night, like a ghost, wanders through the valley and leaves an animal trail in the snow, the best arrows and scouts hunt. Especially accurate soldiers send the Nazis to your square - some of them also won back. The first night after Christmas, the German scouts attacked your trail, walked along it for a long time, but ran into fire. Now the hunt continues.
Nomokonov realized that the lieutenant was telling the truth, and thought.
On a frosty Christmas day, he became very angry with the Nazis. Having shot down the “butchers” who appeared behind alien prey, Nomokonov and Sanzhiev hid. The Germans fired several volleys at our firing point, from where they hit the machine gun, uprooted several stumps in the neutral zone, fired on the bumps in the snow, showered a bulky tank with bullets. Until the evening, the enemies did not approach the elks, and when the twilight fell, Nomokonov gave way to the insistent request of a restless comrade who demanded "go for the meat."
No one appeared near the moose. The partner was loaded with tightly packed backpacks and machine guns, taken from the killed German soldiers, and Nomokonov was able to separate the back from the male. Crawled back, dragging prey, and already far behind heard an alarming whistle. Immediately rocket shot up, but everything went well. That same evening, at the red-hot iron stove, on which delicious meat was cooked, Nomokonov began to heave his new valenki with elk skin.
“You don’t wear out to Berlin now,” comrades joked.
And the soldier worked for himself and, puffing on his pipe, explained why the German sniper finished his calculations with life: it was given by creaky snow. Nomokonov hemmed the skin to the felt boots with the fur outside, in some places, so as not to slip, cut it, and the hairs hanging from the edge of the soles did not cut off. Do not laugh, guys. They do this in the taiga: the hunter’s steps become very soft and the human smell is less. Wonderful traces are obtained? It's nothing, let ... A bear-rod wanders through the snow, it scares the fear at everyone.
Shortly after Christmas, Nomokonov went to the night search. At night, on the edge of the lake, from somewhere among the snow-covered reeds, a German rocketman was constantly shooting at nights. Taiga tutsan volunteered to sneak close to the enemy and destroy it with a bullet. Surprised, Lieutenant Repin, asked the soldier to take him with him on an unusual hunt.
- Well, once it is necessary for sniper science. Just do not bother me, commander, crawl away - the art of hiding the beast on the salt licks does not immediately come, not overnight. What are you doing? You can hit the beast and the dark night - on the cod branches, on the barely perceptible noise of steps. Although from the side, at least from the approach. German will not hear, Nomokonov was sneaking up close to grazing red deer.
Did not prevent the platoon commander. In the night, the silhouettes of German skiers suddenly grew in front of him, and the lieutenant shot them twice. Alarmed, the Germans lit up with rockets. A Hitlerite with a “cracker” in his hand, to which the “taiga shaman” was sneaking up, jumped out of the shelter and became clearly visible. He shot Nomokonov, threw the rifle over his shoulder, and slowly went to the dugout. And in the morning everyone saw the corpses: a rocket pilot who fell on a snowdrift, and at a distance - a skier in a white camouflage mask. This at point-blank was struck by Lieutenant Repin.
Successful night front hunting! The battalion commander called Nomokonov's classic shot. Did the enemies discover the “bestial” footprint of a soldier? How did they know that he had killed the “pantach”?
“Probably, the front-line newspaper came to them,” Repin suggested. - Intelligence from the Germans, too, does not sleep. They analyzed some of the events in this sector of the front, learned something.
On the advice of Lieutenant Nomokonov at the time changed the "handwriting".
A stereotype glass will smash someone's well-aimed bullet, remove a German sniper of an observer or a careless machine gunner - Nomokonov hurries to the scene. He appeared in the trenches and on the firing points - small, unhurried and a little ridiculous in his strange gear. A rifle, binoculars, several helmets in hand, a bunch of slingshot with mirrors, ropes and cords in a belt. The soldiers smiled, looked curiously at the "shaman" hung with amulets.
Here, very close to each other, two bullets dug into the log. So, they flew to the right ... Here are traces of blood, a rising soldier was killed for a moment at this place ... And now don't laugh, guys. No random bullet hit your mate. On the right flank of the shooter took refuge, which in vain does not spend ammo. "Professor of War" sniper! Silently laid out Nomokonov his belongings and began to "shaman". A helmet will raise over the parapet, its hat or slingshot with a pocket mirror. With the sound of a bell, knocked helmets rolled into a trench, shards of glass flew far away.
Sniper! But only he is impatient, careless, overwhelmed with anger and thirst for revenge ...
Nomokonov's eyes lit up, hard little cheeks puffed up on his weathered cheekbones. He asked the soldiers to "play a little more" with a helmet, and he pressed himself to the loophole or cautiously, merging with the ground, crawled out onto the parapet. One shot, rarely two ... Nomokonov rolled into a trench, said that the soldiers, when night fell, pulled the war professor from under the snag and brought his sniper rifle into the platoon of Lieutenant Repin. And then, puffing on his pipe, he slowly went to the others — small, in large felt boots with shreds of fur on the soles.
And one of the fights occurred in front of the division commander, Major General Andreev. Once, together with a group of senior officers, he made his way along the message to an observation post located near the first trench. In the din of an artillery fire, no one heard the rifle shots. The adjutant general clutched at his head, the commander of the second rifle battalion collapsed. The German sniper saw some movement in the forefront of the Russians and guessed that he was lining up Russian commanders. The barrage of machine-gun fire did not harm the German. For a while he waited, and then fired again. There were many goals: restless, hot people, worrying about the division commander, were protruding from the trench. The German sniper understood that the Russian commanders would call the most skilful shooters, and the damned "taiga shaman" would probably fight with him. And, indeed, caused by an alarm, Nomokonov came to cross his weapon with a dangerous enemy.
The fight, which was later reported in the front-line newspaper, lasted no more than a quarter of an hour. After examining the corpses of the dead, Nomokonov understood where the German had fired from, and asked that everyone stop the fire and not interfere with him. The soldier cautiously crawled out on a knoll. A trench, a steep descent to the lake, a wire fence on the shore, a strip of sparkling ice ... The opposite shore, pitted with craters ... Where would you choose Nomokonov's position if he were in the place of a German sniper? On the hill, beyond the lake, of course. There are big craters, stumps, broken trees. A Russian trench is clearly visible from the hill.
You can well consider going to the trench of people, perhaps, from the roof of the building. Was the shed once set near a lake, a fishing hut or a winter hut? Burnt, in sight of our artillery, and it seems to be not suitable for a sniper. Seven hundred meters to the hut - no less. Several times Nomokonov lifted a hat on a spear, already shot through in many places, but the German “did not peck”. Then the “shaman” in a roundabout way slid into his trench and out of the corner of his eye examined the terrain in front of her.
On the right, about fifteen meters away, on the slope of the mound, there was a large funnel formed from the rupture of a heavy projectile. It was necessary to attract the attention of the German sniper. At the request of Nomokonov, the soldiers took out two short logs from under the parapets of the niche, put on their padded jackets, fastened them and, on command, rolled them down in different places. The German did not have time to shoot at the man, who rolled to the funnel at the same time with the stuffed animals, but he undoubtedly saw him.
- Now shoot, fascist! - fell Nomokonov.
Having rested, he crawled away to the edge of the pit and quickly installed his rifle there. The butt rested on solid ground, the cord was with him, and the peg was found. The soldier crawled away to the other end of the crater, slightly raised himself, put the binoculars on the roof of the shed and pulled the cord.
At the same moment, tiny lightning flashed on the roof of the attic. She lit up just where there was not enough several boards. The German answered with a shot at the shot: near the muzzle of the rifle, a lump of earth began to smoke, smoked with light dust.
“Gotcha,” Nomokonov said to himself in satisfaction. “Okay, you shoot, but you have no patience ...”
After waiting a minute, he gently pulled the cord, pulled the rifle towards him and, putting a cold tube in his mouth, lay down for a while. Now everything was solved by one shot, and it was necessary to calm the heartbeat.
Slowly, centimeter by centimeter, he began to push his Nomokonov rifle. You could shoot. Mushka closed half of the black opening on the roof of the attic, froze. Suddenly something stupidly struck in the face, stunned. Nomokonov fell to the ground, felt his cheek, crawled to the bottom of the funnel.
Marked and attentive was German - instead of a pipe in his mouth a short piece of a mouthpiece was sticking out. Ringing in the ears, blood oozing from the mouth. Nomokonov spat out the rest of the tube, pulled back a little, instantly raised himself and, pointing the front sight at the opening in the attic, fired.
The bullet mortally wounded the enemy. Clinging to the boards, he appeared in the opening, stood upright, let go of the rifle, and in full view of everyone who watched the fight, fell down. Nomokonov fired a German sniper twice for fidelity and lowered his head to the cold ground.
The muscles relaxed, the tension disappeared, the hoops holding down the body in moments of a short duel. One less fascist. But there is no pipe - an invaluable fatherly gift. Danila Nomokonov, a hunter-trail, from a sturdy, stone-like root of the tree, sharpened it. Then, already on the collective farm, when the hunting brigade was dismissed, the old man went to the taiga to live the rest of his days there. It was then that he came to his son for the last time:
- Maybe you, Simon, and learn to walk behind the plow, drive a tractor, and it's too late for me. In the taiga was born, hunting and die. Take my phone, keep it - happy ...
Out with shotgun. And he died in the winter in the plague, which he set in a remote tract. Ten of three squirrels were a seventy-year old man and sable skin. With honor, Danila Ivanovich finished the last hunting season.
The pipe turned by the hands of the father ... Semyon Nomokonov kept her treasure in a treasured place as treasure. And I went to the front - I took it with me, I smoked it ... And then with splinters it sprinkled in different directions. “Siberian Accounting” disappeared, as Lieutenant Repin sometimes said ...
The soldier got up, shook his fist in the direction of the German front edge and, no longer fearing a bullet from a well-aimed enemy, went to his trench.