1. I am writing to you in reply to your letter, which you are intending to write to me in reply to my letter which I wrote to you.
2. A certain violinist bought himself a magnet and was taking it home. On the way some hooligans attacked the violinist and knocked his cap off. The wind caught his cap and carried it along the street.
3. The violinist put his magnet down and ran off after his cap. The cap landed in a puddle of nitric acid, where it decomposed.
4. And the hooligans had, by that time, grabbed the magnet and made off.
5. The violinist returned home without his coat and without his cap, because the cap had decomposed in the nitric acid and the violinist, distressed by the loss of his cap, had forgotten his coat on the tram.
6. The conductor of the tram in question took the coat to a second-hand shop and there he exchanged it for some sour cream, groats and tomatoes.
7. The conductor's father-in-law stuffed himself on the tomatoes and died. The conductor's father-in-law's body was placed in the morgue, but then things got mixed up and, instead of the conductor's father-in-law, they buried some old woman.
8. On the old woman's grave they placed a white post with the inscription: 'Anton Sergeyevich Kondrat'ev'.
9. Eleven years later, this post fell down, eaten through by worms. And the cemetery watchman sawed the post into four pieces and burned it in his stove. And the cemetery watchman's wife cooked cauliflower soup over this fire.
10. But, when the soup was just ready, the clock fell off the wall right into the saucepan full of soup. They got the clock out of the soup, but these had been bedbugs in the clock and now they were in the soup. They gave the soup to Timofey the beggar.
11. Timofey the beggar ate the soup, bugs and all, and told Nikolay the beggar of the cemetery watchman's generosity.
12. The next day Nikolay the beggar went to the cemetery watchman and started asking him for alms. But the cemetery watchman didn't give Nikolay the beggar anything and chased him away.
13. Nikolay the beggar took this very badly and burned down the house of the cemetery watchman.
14. The fire went from the house to the church and the church burned down.
15. A lengthy investigation took place, but the cause of the fire could not be established.
16. On the spot where the church had stood they built a club and on the club's opening day a concert was arranged at which performed the violinist who, fourteen years before, had lost his coat.
17. And amid the audience there sat the son of one of those hooligans who, fourteen years before, had knocked the cap off this violinist.
18. After the concert they travelled home in the same tram. But, in the tram which was following theirs, the tram-driver was that very conductor who had once sold the violinist's coat at the second-hand shop.
19. And so there they are, travelling across the city in the late evening: in front are the violinist and the hooligan's son, and behind them the tram-driver and former conductor.
20. They travel on and are not aware of what the connection is between them and this they will never learn until their dying day.