Few people know that the writer Yevgeny Petrov, the one with Ilya Ilf wrote "The Twelve Chairs" and "Golden Calf", had a very strange and unusual hobby: throughout his life he collected the envelopes from their own letters.
And he did so - wrote a letter to some countries on false address, a fictional destination and after a while he had a letter back with a bunch of different foreign stamps and indication of "Destination not found" or something like that. But it turned out to be an interesting hobby once a mystical ...
In April 1939 Evgeny Petrov decided to disturb the post office in New Zealand. In their scheme, he came up with a town called "Haydberdvill" and the street "Raytbich" house "7" and the destination "Merrill Odzhina Ueyzli".
In a letter he wrote in English: "Dear Merrill! Please accept my sincere condolences on the death of his uncle Pete. Be strong, man. I'm sorry I have not written for a long time. I hope that Ingrid's all right. Kiss my daughter from me. It is probably quite large. Your Eugene ".
From the moment of sending a letter has been more than two months, but a letter to a corresponding mark is not refundable. The writer decided that it was lost, and began to forget about it. But then I came August and a letter arrived. Much to our surprise, it was the writer's reply letter.
At first, Peter decided that someone made fun of him in his same spirit. But when he read the return address, he was not joking. On the envelope was written: "New Zealand, Haydberdvill, Raytbich, 7, Merrill Odzhin Ueyzli." All this confirms a blue stamp "New Zealand-mail Haydberdvill"!
Text of the letter read: "Dear Eugene! Thank you for your condolences. Absurd death of Uncle Pete's knocked us off balance for six months. I hope you'll forgive the delay of writing. We Ingrid often recall those two days, you've been with us. Gloria quite large and autumn go in the 2nd class. She still keeps the bear, whom you brought it from Russia ".
Peter never went to New Zealand, so it was all the more amazed to see the photograph powerfully built man who hugged him, Petrov! On the back of the picture it was written: "October 9, 1938".
Here the writer a little bad not done - because it is the day he was taken to hospital unconscious with severe pneumonia. Then, within a few days the doctors fought for his life, not hiding from his family that chances of survival had almost none.
To deal with these either a misunderstanding, or mysticism, Peter wrote another letter to New Zealand, but the answer has not waited: the Second World War. Petrov from the first days of the war became a war correspondent "Truth" and "News". Colleagues did not recognize him - he became withdrawn, thoughtful and even stopped to joke.
End of the story is not quite so funny.
In 1942, Yevgeny Petrov flew by plane from Sebastopol to the capital, and the plane was shot down by the Germans in the Rostov region. Mystic - but on the same day when it became known about the crash, home to the writer received a letter from New Zealand.
In the letter, Meryl Weasley admired by Soviet soldiers and worried for his life Petrova. Among other things, the letter had been here the following lines: "You know, Eugene, I was scared when you began to swim in the lake. The water was very cold. But you said that you are destined to break the plane, but not drown. I beg you, be careful - to fly as little as possible. "
On motives of the story was recently filmed "envelope" with Kevin Spacey in the title role.