KING OF THE KING'S CABIN
(a Brief synopsis.)
Part I. “THE RAFTERMAN”. The trapper arrives at his hunting ground, travelling along a wide Siberian river with his laikas and winter gear. He negotiates dangers on his way: descends a waterfall, goes under the water, and laughs at himself as he is thoroughly soaked. He meets another trapper, an old man from the local tribe. He and the Wise Man of the Forest have a philosophical conversation. They confess to each other that they have a passion of collecting. The young trapper collects the hearts of young girls. The old trapper announces triumphantly that he has the largest ever collection of tins; he collects tins that have been dumped into the woods and onto the seashore. After promising that they will examine each other's collections they fall asleep by the fireside.
II “THE COLOURS OF SILENCE”. This is a novel within a novel.
Being lost in the woods, the trapper comes across a cabin which lies at the shores of a forest lake. The trapper's dogs are first met by the local dogs who snarl and fight with them…
Until the trapper goes to separate them and comes face to face with a young woman.
“ You are not going to be part of my collection,” says the trapper. Suddenly both of them realise that they are “the halves that make a whole”. For a couple of hours their passion and love bind them together like a high court sentence which is not subject to appeal. But even the happiest moments will come to an end, and it is time to go ahead, it is time for them to leave. However, it turns out that the young woman has an invalid husband who has lost both of his feet in the bear's trap. The husband is coarse and bad-tempered, the woman does not love him, she even despises him, hates him. But when the husband arrives…
the woman goes to meet him and helps him get out of the boat. So, biting his lip, the trapper leaves the cabin. He knows and feels that his collection will never be complete, that one heart will be missing, always.
Part III. “KING OF THE KING'S CABIN”. This is the title story. As the final part it describes how the trapper arrives at his hunting ground and settles down in his cabin.. The aim has been accomplished: he has found his inner peace, he is the KING OF THE KING'S CABIN.
(An excerpt from the story:)
THE KING'S CABIN lay at the foot of a high cliff on the north bank of the river. This was an ancient reddish rock with moss in the cracks and eroded so that it resembled a bird with folded wings. On the berth in the KING'S CABIN, his face turned to the ceiling, where the resin drops cling to the fresh logs, in his moose skin sleeping bag with a saliva dripping from his mouth, the KING himself is asleep. The King of the KING'S CABIN.
There is another living creature in the King's Cabin and it is a tiny red-sided mouse, like a thumb, if a mouse could be as tiny as that.
“Eh, cutie,” he says, waking up and catching the mouse from between his chin and neck. Holding the mouse tight in his closed palm, he tries to heave himself out of the sleeping bag. The mouse struggles and produces a tiny squeak. “Oh, you, my little alarm clock,” he says in a sleepy voice and smiles at the tiny mouse just as he would probably have smiled at a large mouse.
Baturin's debut novel KING OF THE KING'S CABIN is well received: five favourable reviews and a citation in the annual literary overview and survey.
/Luule Epner, literary scholar/
Baturin's is the myth of a Northern trapper. Its link with ancient human history is obvious…”
/Aivo Lõhmus, literary critic/