Abandoned part 1


Sholom Asch (1880—1957)

Sholom Asch (or Ash) was born in Poland, and is to-day regarded as one of the most gifted of recent Yiddish writers. He was the writer of plays (The God Of Vengeance was produced in English and censored in New York), novels, and short stories. Like Peretz and certain others, he began writing in Hebrew, but, finding that there was only a small public he could reach by that medium, he soon turned to the Yiddish.

Abandoned is a story characteristic of the nervous style of this writer, brief, highly dramatic, and of compelling interest.

This story is reprinted from the Pagan magazine, the editor of which has authorized its inclusion in the present collection.


When Burih awoke he heard the baby crying, so with eyes still closed he called to his wife: “Golda! the brat is bawling.”

Golda did not answer. He looked around and noticed that she wasn`t in the house. He was rather surprised, but he thought: She must have {?one to wash herself. He took a piece of linen and stuck it into the infant`s mouth to stop its wailing. Then he started to dress.
While thus occupied, he began to figure how much he`d be able to “land” for the silver candlesticks he had “lifted” from the Zhobliner house. On the impulse of the moment he climbed up into the attic to examine “the goods.” They were gone! He rummaged about everywhere … Gone!

Quickly clambering down again he hastened over to where his wife`s things hung, and tore away the sheet covering them. They too were gone!… Only then did it begin to dawn on him that she had run cares?” he said to himself with forced unconcern, spitting on the walls. “That`s a nice how do they do!… Ha-ha-ha-ha…”

He glanced at the baby.

“But what`s to be done with the damned brat?” he murmured to himself reflectively. “If I only knew where she is I`d leave it right in front of her door… Take it!… It`s yours!”

An evil thought suddenly flashed through his mind, causing him to grow pale, and bite his upper lip, while his hands trembled. He approached the infant, which lay uncovered, its dirty rag of a blanket kicked aside, its hands stuffed into its mouth, smiling vaguely into empty space… The shape of its mouth reminded him of some one… was it an old acquaintance?… He couldn`t rightly remember…

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