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New Left Review I/3, May-June 1960

V. Dudintsev

The Bandit’s Story

once upon a time, in a far-away kingdom—well, actually this curious incident happened in our town, a few years’ ago. On a Sunday afternoon, near a wellprotected spot in our Park of Culture some sixty, or maybe even a hundred, well-dressed gentlemen met for some kind of discourse which they had decided to hold in the open air. Later it became known that in our park a sort of symposium had been held of bandits and thieves who belonged to what they call their ‘establishment’. These people have their strict rules. Any infringement is punished with death. To join the ‘establishment’ an applicant has to be recommended by two guarantors. A new member’s chest is tattooed with a slogan: a few words only, just to make sure he is immediately recognised as belonging to the group . . .

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V. Dudintsev, ‘The Bandit’s Story’, NLR I/3: £3

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