Vardan remembered the eyes of a new acquaintance — lively, attentive and very inviting. This is probably why my hero agreed to meet with Alexei in a more relaxed atmosphere. They met, then again and imperceptibly became friends.
Introducing himself to the new head of the department, Petr Grigoryevich Vinogradov, Vardan explained that diplomatic work prevented him from completing his dissertation on time and that he was going to pass the master’s examinations necessary for this. The head of the department warned Vardan that a lot had changed over the years. Now master’s examinations are taken within four days, and on the first three — for each of the subjects provided for this category, on the fourth day a detailed essay is written on the topic proposed by the examination committee. To prepare for the exams, Vinogradov gave Vardan a list of necessary scientific literature and recommended that he use the funds of the Rumyantsev Library. Thanking the professor, Vardan warned
Leaving Feodosia, Vardan took with him the address of the Khristenko spouses. I wanted to see him, and besides, the news of Vladimir Pavlovich’s illness seriously disturbed him. I got on a steam tram that ran to Petrovsko-Razumovskoye from Butyrskaya Zastava along Butyrskaya Street and further through forests, fields and experimental forest dachas to the Petrovsky Agricultural Academy, and, remembering the stories of Olga Vasilievna, easily found their house.