Source: "Aleksandrovsk - Sakhalin"
Real name - Sheyndlya - Sura Leybova Solomoshak - Blyuvstein the Inventive thief, the speculator, capable to reincarnate in the woman of fashion, the nun or the simple servant. Her called "a devil in a skirt", "the demonic beauty which eyes fascinate and hypnotize".
The XIX century popular in the end the journalist Vlas Doroshevich called the legendary adventurer "All-Russian, almost European well-known" And Chekhov paid her attention in the book "Sakhalin".
Sofya Blyuvstein, in Sheyndl's girlhood - Sura Leybova Solomoniak, lived at liberty not too long - hardly years forty. But as began the little girl with small thefts - I didn't stop to the Sakhalin. In game it reached perfection. And the talent, beauty, finesse and absolute immorality made this young provincial the genius of swindle, the legendary adventurer.
The gold Handle was engaged generally in thefts in hotels, jewelry stores, traded in trains, driving about across Russia and Europe. Smartly dressed, with someone else's passport, it appeared in the best hotels of Moscow, Petersburg, Odessa, Warsaw, carefully studied an arrangement of rooms, entrances, exits, corridors. Sonka invented a method of hotel thefts under the name "гутен morgen". She put on felt shoes the footwear and, silently moving along corridors, early in the morning got into someone else's number. Under a sound pre-dawn sleep of the owner silently I "cleaned" his cash. If the owner unexpectedly woke up - the elegant lady in expensive jewelry, as though without noticing "stranger", started undressing, as though having by mistake taken number for the... All came to an end skillfully played confusion and mutual rassharkivaniye. Here to such manners there was Sonka in number of provincial hotel. Having looked round, she noticed the sleeping young man, pale as a cloth, with the exhausted person. It was struck not so much by expression of extreme suffering, how many surprising similarity of the young man to Wolf - which ostrenky face never anything close to a true moral flour could represent.
On a table the revolver and a fan of letters lay. Sonka read one - to mother. The son wrote about theft of public money:loss is found, and suicide - the only way to avoid dishonor, - ill-fated Werther notified the mother. Sonka put five hundred rubles over envelopes, pressed them a revolver and as silently I left the room.
Good deeds weren't alien to generous Sonkiny nature - if her whimsical thought these minutes addressed to those whom she loved. Who as not her own far daughters, got up before eyes when Sonka learned from newspapers that clean robed the unfortunate widow, mother of two girls. These 5000 stolen rubles were a lump sum on death of her husband, the petty official. Sonka not long deliberated: mail I sent to the widow five thousand and small письмецо. "Mercy государыня! I read in newspapers about the grief which has comprehended you of which I was the cause on the unbridled passion to money, I send you your 5000 rubles and I advise from now on more deeply money to hide. Once again I apologize at you, I send bow to your poor orphans".
Once the police found her original dress sewed specially for thefts in shops on Sonki's Odessa apartment. It, in effect, represented a bag where it was possible to hide even a small roll of Expensive fabric. Sonka showed special skill in jewelry stores. In the presence of many buyers and by means of "agents" who dexterously distracted attention of salesmen, she imperceptibly hid jewels under specially grown long nails, replacing кольцаа with brilliants false, hid stolen in a pot with flowers standing on a counter next day to come and take away the stolen.
The special page in her life is occupied by thefts in trains - separate first class compartments. Bankers, foreign businessmen, large landowners, even generals - at Frolov became victims of the swindler, for example, on the Nizhny Novgorod railroad she stole 213 000 rubles.
Elegantly dressed, Sonka settled down in a compartment, playing a role of the marchioness, the countess or the rich widow. Having gained fellow travelers and pretending that gives in to their courtings, the marchioness - a samozvanka spoke much, laughed and coquetted, expecting when the victim will start driving at a dream. However, keen on appearance and sexual appeals of the thoughtless aristocrat, rich misters long didn't fall asleep. And then Sonka used sleeping pill - stupefying spirits with special substance, opium in wine or tobacco, small bottles with chloroform etc.At one Siberian merchant Sonk I stole three hundred thousand rubles (huge money for those times).
She liked to happen at the well-known Nizhny Novgorod fair, but often left and to Europe, Paris, Nice, preferred the German-speaking countries: Germany, Avstro - Hungary, rented magnificent apartments in Vienna, Budapest, Leipzig, Berlin.
Sonka didn't differ beauty. I was small growth, but I had a graceful figure, regular features; eyes radiated it sexually - a hypnotic attraction. Vlas Doroshevich talking - with the adventurer on Sakhalin, noticed that her eyes were "strange, infinitely nice, soft, velvet... also said so that could even lie perfectly".
Sonka constantly used a make-up, false eyebrows, wigs, carried expensive Parisian hats, original fur capes, mantillas, decorated itself with jewelry for which had a soft corner in the heart. Vein in a big way. The Crimea, Pyatigorsk and the foreign resort of Marienbad where it gave out herself for the titled person were favourite places of her rest, the benefit it had a set of different cards. It didn't count money, didn't save for rainy day. So, having arrived to Vienna in the summer of 1872, I pawned some of the things stolen by it and, having received on the security of 15 thousand rubles, I spent in a flash.
Gradually to it bored to work with one. It hammered together gang from relatives, ex-husbands, the thief in law Berezina and Swedish - the Norwegian subject Martin Jacobson Members of gang unconditionally submitted to the Gold Handle.
... Mikhail Osipovich Dinkevich, the father of family, respectable mister, after 25 years of model service in Saratov was dismissed by the director of a man's gymnasium. Mikhail Osipovich solved together with the daughter, the son-in-law and three grandsons to move home, to Moscow. Динкевичи sold the house, added savings, 125 thousand on the small house in the capital were gained.
Walking across Petersburg, the retired director wrapped in a candy store _ and in the doorway nearly сшиб the elegant beauty, from surprise dropped an umbrella. Dinkevich involuntarily noted that before him not simply Petersburg beauty, and the woman of exclusively noble breed dressed with that simplicity what is reached only by very dear tailors One its hat cost annual earnings of the teacher of a gymnasium.
Ten minutes later they drank behind a coffee little table with cream, the beauty pinched from time to time a biscuit, Dinkevich расхрабрился on a liqueur shot glass. The beautiful stranger answered a question of a name:
"Countess Timrot, Sofya Ivanovna"
"Oh, what name you after all from Moscow Timrotov, isn't it?"
"Ah, Sofya Ivanovna if you knew how to Moscow - that pulls'"
And Mikhail Osipovich, having had suddenly faith inflow, I stated to the countess the need - both about pension, and about the modest capital, and about a dream about Moscow not the smartest, but worthy a good family a residence...
"And you know that, kind Mikhail Osipovich... - after multiple thought the countess decided, - we after all with the husband look for the reliable buyer. The count was given assignment to Paris, the ambassador of his Majesty... "
"But countess! Yes I and your attic won't master! You after all have an attic? "
"Is available, - Timrot grinned. - Much that is available for us. But my husband - a yard steward of the household. Whether to us to bargain? You, I see, the person noble, educated, skilled. I also didn't wish other owner for бебу - a tovsky nest... "
"So your father - the general Bebutov, the Caucasian hero? ! " - Dinkevich took alarm.
"Vasily Osipovich - my grandfather, - Sofya Ivanovna modestly corrected and rose from - for a table. - So when you will desire to look at the house? "
Agreed to meet in five days in the train where Dinkevich will sit down in Klin.
Sonka well remembered this town, or rather small station as from all city only the police station was familiar to it. Sonka remembered the first adventure always with pleasure. During that time by it it wasn't executed also to twenty, with a small growth and grace I looked on sixteen. It in six its years began to call the Gold Handle when Shay - ндля Solomoniak, the daughter of the small usurer from the Warsaw district, became famous as the think-tank and financial god of "raspberry" of the international scope. And then it had only talent, irresistible charm and school "patrimonial nest" of which she was proud not less, than the countess Timrot, Nests not general, but criminal where it grew among usurers, buyers of stolen property, thieves and smugglers. I ran errands for them, easily learning their languages: Yiddish, Polish, Russian, German. I watched them. And as true artistic nature, became impregnated with spirit of adventure and ruthless risk.
Well and then, in 1866 - m, she was the modest thief "on trust" on the railroad. By this time Sonka already managed to run away, by the way, from the first husband, the dealer Rozenbad, having taken on a path not so much - five hundred rubles. Where - that "at people" her little daughter grew.
So, approaching to Klin, in the car of the third class where it traded on a trifle, Sonka noticed the handsome of the cadet. I sat down, I bowed, I flattered it with "colonel" and so ingenuously in all eyes (which force Already knew well) I examined his cockarde, sparkling boots and a small suitcase near them that the young military immediately felt the rush peculiar to all men, meeting on the Sonkiny way: to protect and sponsor this girl with the person of a fallen angel - whenever possible for the rest of the natural.
Klin it already could send the subdued cadet to stations - WELL, let us assume, behind lemonade.
It was the first and last time when Sonka was taken red-handed But also here managed to get out. In a site she burst out crying, and everything, including облапо - Shenny and Mischa Gorozhansky who has lagged behind the train, believed that the girl took a suitcase of the fellow traveler by mistake, having mixed with the. Besides, in the protocol there was "Sima Rubenstein's" statement for loss at it three hundred rubles.
Some years later Sonka went to Maly Theatre. And in brilliant Glumov recognized suddenly Klin "client". Mikhail Gorozhansky in full accordance with a pseudonym - Reshimov - gave up military career for the sake of theater and became the leading actor Malogo. Sonka bought a huge bouquet of roses, enclosed there a witty note: "From his first teacher" - also I was going to send to the great actor the prime minister. But on the road I didn't keep and I added to a gift a gold watch from the next pocket. Still young Mikhail Reshimov so never also didn't understand who played him and why on a cover of expensive souvenir it was engraved: "The general - аншефу N for special merits before the fatherland in day of the seventieth anniversary".
But we will return to "countess" Sofya Timrot. In its Moscow as it is necessary, I met smart departure: the driver all in white, sparkling a patent leather and the magnificent coats of arms a two-wheeled cart and classical couple of bay. Came for Dinkevich's family on Arbat - and soon buyers, as though without daring to enter, crowded at gate of an iron casting behind which the palace on a stone socle with the promised attic rose.
With bated breath, Dinkevichi examined bronze lamps, Pavlovsk chairs, mahogany, invaluable library, carpets, oak panels, the Venetian windows... The house was on sale with a situation, a garden, economic constructions, a pond - and for only 125 thousand, including mirror carps! Dinkevich's daughter was on the verge of a faint.Mikhail Osipovich was ready to kiss handles not that at the countess, but also at the monumental butler in a pudreny wig, as if specially urged to complete moral defeat of provincials.
The servant with bow handed over to the countess the telegram on a silver tray, and that, having short-sightedly closed the eyes partly, asked Dinkevich to read it aloud: "The next few days representation to the king delivery of credentials тчк according to the protocol together the spouse тчк urgently sell the house leave тчк I expect impatience Wednesday Grigory".
"Countess" and the buyer went to notary office on Lenivka. When Dinkevich after Sonka stepped in a darkish reception, the obliging fat man quickly jumped them towards, having opened embraces.
It was Itska Rozenbad, Sonki's first husband and the father of her daughter. Now he was buyer of stolen property and specialized on stones and hours. Cheerful Itska adored брегеты with a ring and at itself always had Bure's two darlings: gold, with the engraved scene of hunting on a cover, and platinum, with a portrait of the sovereign of the emperor in an enamel medallion. On these hours Itska arranged in due time inexperienced Kishinev щипача almost for three hundred rubles. On pleasures it left both брегета to itself(himself) and liked to open them at the same time, verifying time and listening attentively to a gentle disparate of a ring. Rozenbad didn't harbor malice against Sonka, five hundred rubles forgave it davny - long ago especially as on her aimings I received already time in hundred more. To the woman who raised his girl, I paid generously and I visited the daughter often, unlike Sonke (Though later, having already two daughters, Sonka became the most gentle mother, I didn't stint their education and education - in Russia, then in France. However adult daughters renounced it. )
Having met years through two after escape of the young wife, the former spouses of work steel together. Itska, with his cheerful nature and artistic Warsaw chic, often gave Sonke invaluable help.
So, the notary, he is Itska, losing points rushed to Sonka. "Countess! - he exclaimed. - What честь1 Such star in my pathetic заведении1"
In five minutes the young assistant notary issued graceful handwriting the bill of sale. Mister director in resignation handed over to the countess Timrot, nee Bebutova, all to kopek of accumulation of the respectable life. 125 thousand rubles. And in two weeks to become stupid with happiness Dinkevicham two suntanned misters welcomed. It were brothers Artemyev, the fashionable architects who have leased the house for rent for the period of travel across Italy.Dinke - HIV was hung up in cheap numbers.
Sonki's chief assistants in this case were in a couple of years seized. Itska Rozenbad and Michel Bluewstein (butler) went to prisoner companies, Hunja Goldstein (driver) - for three years in prison, and then - abroad "with a prohibition to come back to borders of the Russian state". Sonka liked to work with relatives and ex-husbands. All three weren't exceptions: not only варшавянин Itska, but also both "rumynskopoddannykh" consisted in due time with "mother" in a legal marriage.
It came across more than once to Sonk judged in Warsaw, Petersburg, Kiev, Kharkov, but she always managed or to escape dexterously from police part, or to achieve a justification However, the police and many cities of Western Europe hunted for it. We will tell, in Budapest according to the order of Royal trial chamber all its things were arrested; the Leipzig police in 1871 transferred Sonka under supervision of the Russian Embassy. It escaped and this time, however was soon detained by the Vienna police which has confiscated from it a chest with stolen things
So the period of failures her name often began appeared in the press, in police stations its photos were hung out. Everything became more difficult to be dissolved by Sonke in crowd, to keep freedom by means of bribes
She shone in happy times of the star career in Europe, but Odessa was the city of good luck and love for it...
Wolf Bromberg, the twenty-year-old sharper and the robber, known as Vladimir Kochubchik, had the inexplicable power over Sonka. It extorted from it the large sums of money. Sonka more often than before, took the unjustified risk, became greedy, irritable, fell even before pocket thefts. Not too beautiful, from the category of "pretty" men with the short moustaches trimmed in a thread, narrow in a bone, with bright eyes and masterly hands - it only risked once to set up Sonka In day of her angel, on September 30, Wolf decorated a neck of the mistress barkhotky with blue diamond which was taken on the security from one Odessa jeweler. Pledge was the mortgage on part of the house on Lanzherona. House cost on four thousand exceeded stone cost - and the jeweler paid a difference cash Every other day Wolf unexpectedly returned diamond, having declared that the gift wasn't to the taste to the lady. In half an hour the jeweler found a fake, and in an hour established, as the house any on Lanzherona isn't present and wasn't.When it broke into Bromberg's rooms on the Moldavian, Wolf "admitted" that Sonka Gave the copy of a stone to it and it cooked up a false mortgage. To Sonka the jeweler went not one, and with an uryadnik.
The trial of it went from December 10 to December 19, 1880 in the Moscow district court. Playing noble indignation, Sonka desperately struggled with judicial Officials, without recognizing neither charges, nor the produced material evidence. In spite of the fact that witnesses identified it according to the photo, Sonka declared that the Gold Handle - absolutely other woman, and it lived on the husband, familiar admirers thrown by it on the apartment police revolutionary leaflets In a word, Especially revolted Sonka behaved so that subsequently the barrister A Shmakov, remembering this process, called her the woman capable "to outdo kind one hundred men".
And still by a court decision she received a severe sentence: "The Warsaw bourgeois Sheyndlya - Sura to Leybov Rozenbad, she is Rubenstein, it the School student, Brenner and Blyuvstein, nee Solomoniak, having deprived of all rights of a state, to banish on the settlement in otdalenneyshy places of Siberia".
Luzhki's remote village of the Irkutsk province became a place of the link, from where in the summer of 1885 Sonka made escape, but in five months was grabbed with police. For escape from Siberia her sentenced to three years of a hard labor and 40 blows плетьми. However and in prison Sonka didn't linger" it got to fall in love tall with magnificent moustaches of the warden an unter - the officer Mikhaylov. That gave to the passion a civil dress and on the night of June 30, 1886 brought it to will. But only four months Sonka enjoyed freedom. After new arrest it appeared in the Nizhny Novgorod prison lock. Now it should serve the unbearable sentence of N and Sakhalin.
Without man it couldn't in any way and at a stage met with the companion on an unbearable share, the courageous, burned elderly thief and the murderer Blokhoy.
On Sakhalin Sonka, as well as all women, lived in the beginning as the free inhabitant Privykshaya to expensive "luxury" of the European class, to fine linen and the cooled champagne, Sonka put kopek to the guard soldier that let it in a dark barrack-type outer entrance hall where it met the Flea. During Sonk's these short appointments and her experienced cohabitant developed the plan of escape
It is necessary to tell that was to run from Sakhalin not such a complex challenge.Flea ran not the first time and I knew that from a taiga where three tens people work under supervision of one soldier to make the way among hills to the North, to the bottleneck of Strait of Tartary between capes Pogobi and Lazareva - is possible. And there - a deficiency, it is possible to hammer together a raft and to get over on the continent. But Sonka who and here didn't get rid of the passion to the dramatized adventures, and besides was rather afraid multi-day голодухи, thought up the option. They will go a path hozheny and rendered habitable, but won't hide, and will play an unbearable raskomandirovka: Sonka in a soldier's dress will "escort" to Bloch. The recidivist killed guard, in his clothes Sonka changed clothes.
The first caught to Bloch. Sonka continuing a way one, got lost and came to a cordon. But this time she was lucky. Doctors of Aleksandrovsky infirmary insisted on removal from the Gold Handle of corporal punishment: it appeared Bloch's pregnant woman received forty lashes and was chained in manual and foot shackles. When it секли, he shouted: "For good reason me, your high-nobleness' Let's get down to work! So also is necessary to me! "
Sonki's pregnancy of the Gold Handle ended with an abortion. Its further Sakhalin imprisonment reminded a crazy dream. Sonka accused of fraud, it was attracted - as the head - on the case of murder of the settler - the shopkeeper Nikitin.
At last, in 1891 for secondary escape her transferred to the terrible Sakhalin executioner Komlev. Stripped naked, surrounded in hundred prisoners, under their incentive rappberry the executioner struck it fifteen blows with a lash. The sound wasn't uttered by Sonka the Gold Handle Crawled to the room and Sonka fell down plank beds Two years and eight months carried manual shackles and contained in a crude solitary confinement with the dim tiny window closed by a frequent lattice.
Chekhov so described it in the book "Sakhalin", "the little, thin, already turning gray woman with the rumpled old-womanish person... It goes on the camera up and down, and it seems that it all the time smells air, as a mouse in a mousetrap, and a look at it mouse. " By the time of events described by Chekhov, that is in 1891, Sofya Blyuvstein was only forty five years old...
Sonka the Gold Handle was visited by writers, journalists, foreigners. For a payment it was allowed to have a talk with it. She didn't like to speak, said lies much, was confused in memoirs. Fans of exotic were photographed with it in composition:the katorzhanka, the smith, the supervisor is was called "Zakovka in the well-known Sonka's manual shackles of the Gold Handle". One of such pictures, sent to Chekhov Innokenti Ignatyevich Pavlovsky, the Sakhalin photographer, is stored in the State Literary Museum.
Having stayed term, Sonka had to remain on Sakhalin as the free settler. She became a hostess local "to cafe - шантана" where cooked kvass, traded from - under floors in vodka and gave cheerful parties with dances. Then I met with the cruel recidivist Nikolay Bogdanov, but life with him was worse than penal servitude. The patient who has become hardened, she decided on new escape and left Aleksandrovsk. I passed about two versts and, having lost forces, I fell. It was found by escorts. In some days the Gold Handle died.