Elemoont/Chapter 34

tells how pirates and penguins freed themselves from illusions.

So, the Elemoont waved his trunk forgetting that he held in it the magic wand and…"And again that ‘and’," exclaimed the Cat. "It bothers me!"

And he gave an order, "Stand still!"

The Elemoont had stood still and nothing took place. "It's very good," contentedly remarked the Cat, "If there are too many surprises, you begin to get tired. I'll consider tiger–mice as an example. If you meet one tiger–mouse, it will be a pleasant surprise…"

"And if you will meet two tiger–mice?" asked the Computer that was very fond of operating with digits.

"Then it will be two pleasant surprises."

"And if three?"

"And three, and four, and five, and ten!

"And eleven?"

"Eleven? No! It will be too many mice. Eleven tiger–mice can tear any tiger–cat!"

"Then, eleven tiger–mice…

"It's unpleasant surprise, and you begin to get tired from all those things."

"Well. It's the example of the transformation of quantity into quality," said the Computer with satisfaction.

"Oh!" exclaimed Crocomuzzle, "What do you reason about? Mice…Quantity–quality…You think about us!

"Wait a little. Let me think about tiger–mice," protested the Cat but then he pitied the pirates and said, "Well, I'll think about tiger–mice next time."

"Of course, next time!" exclaimed Tusk, "And now you should think about us!"

"About the astrologer," refined Box, "We must solve the problem about four balls. The astrologer has to apportion balls between two caskets so that the executor will take out preferably a white ball."

"And we invented nothing," added Crocomuzzle.

"It's very simply!" said the Computer. "I'll consider the probabilities at the present moment. Let me think a little."

"Dear Computer!" cried the pirates. "Sweetheart! Help us out of a difficulty!"

"Well," said the Computer, "assume that the astrologer will put one white ball and one black ball into each casket. Then it's all the same to which casket will come the executor. He will take out a white ball of any casket with the probability equal a half. Is it right?"

"Yes!" exclaimed the pirates.

"What's that thing ‘the probability equal a half’?" asked the Cat.

"Fifty–fifty," answered Tusk, "Don't interrupt!"

"Then the probability of escape will be equal also a half and for the astrologer," continued reasoning the Computer, "The same probability will be if the astrologer put into the first casket two black balls and into the second casket two white balls. The executor may come to any casket with equal probability."

"Yes," said Tusk, "all executors are very thoughtless people."

"If he is caught by us, we'll make him to eat up all black and all white balls!" added Crocomuzzle.

"Please, let me think!" interrupted them the Computer, "You are like small children! It's an abstract executor and he'll eat up nothing!"

"He'll eat up!" gloomily promised Crocomuzzle.

"And if…" began to think further the Computer, "if the astrologer lays the white ball into the first casket and two black and one white balls into the second casket? Then if the executor comes up to the first casket, the astrologer will be saved. If he comes up to the second casket the probability of the astrologer's saving will be equal one third. Since the probability of coming up to any casket is a half, then the full saving probability may be estimated as follows:

(1/2 * 1) + (1/2 *1/3) = 2/3"

"Be estimated as follows…Oh!" said the Cat and looked at the Computer with respect. Here the bottle burst with a ring and fell apart into molecules (so as not to soil the outer space with its fragments).

"We are free! We are free!" cried the pirates and began to dance away their pirates' dance throwing their top hats far above their heads. Suddenly Box stopped and asked, "And if he put one black ball into the first casket and the rest balls into the second one, what's then?"

"Then the probability of saving will be the least," said the Computer. "It will be

(1/2 * 0) + (1/2 * 2/3) = 1/3"

"What a clever boy!" the pirates exclaimed with tenderness. "And how can you calculate so neatly?"

"I simply examine the variants," modestly answered the Computer. "If you give up plundering people and learn the multiplication–table, you also can calculate something."

"We'll give up it and learn by heart the multiplication–table without fail," assumed him Crocomuzzle, "We had promised!"

"We shan't get in any bottle one day!" supported his friend Tusk, "Do I say rightly?"

"Yes!' cried the pirates, "We'll give up to rob people and learn the multiplication–table!"

Here the Elemoont got sick of standing motionless, dropped his trunk down, and…(Here it is!) a refrigerator had flown out of the depth of cosmos.

"What's it?" was astonished the Cat.

"It's a refrigerator," said the Elemoont.

"But why is it here?"

"I don't know. It appeared just after I dropped down the magic wand."

"Then," the Cat said, "then it is not an ordinary refrigerator."

"Of course," agreed the Elemoont, "Refrigerators don't fly in the outer space quite ordinary. It's interesting what things are inside it?"

"Maybe it will be yogurt?" got upset the pirates, "Then we must take it by storm!"

"But you promised never take by storm anything again," reproached them the cat.

"Oh! We said it from merely habit," was embarrassed pirates, and Crocomuzzle said, "What must we take by storm this refrigerator for? We may simply open it," and he opened the door of the refrigerator. All were very surprised: the penguins were sitting in it!

"Hello!" said Crocomuzzle.

"The pirates are here again!" were aroused the penguins.

"Don't fear! I'm not a pirate any longer," calmed them Crocomuzzle, "I sent in my retirement. And now I'll learn a multiplication–table."

"And we'll do the same!" chattered loudly the pirates.

"It's very strange!" said the penguins.

"There is no strange thing," remarked the Elemoont, "Simply the pirates were reformed. But you…Why do you found yourselves in the refrigerator?"

"We got into it to warm ourselves," answered the penguins, "The Big Cosmogrunt grunted so that we were thrown to the border of the Universe and got frozen there. At that moment, a refrigerator flew past. We thought it would warmer inside it and got into it, but the door was immediately shut by somebody and…"

"All right!" said the Elemoont. "It was no a refrigerator. It was a mirage–trap for penguins." He turned his magic wand to the refrigerator and it disappeared as if it did not exist in general. Penguins were left.

"I want to ask you for ages," was interested Crocomuzzle, "What things attract you in the outer space?

"We flew to the Moon," answered the penguins.

"But what for?"

"The Moon is made of ice–cream," said the penguins, "and we like it."

"The Moon is made of ice–cream?!" was astonished the Elemoont. "Alas! It's delusion. There is no any ice–cream on the Moon."

"Hmm…We must make sure that it is so," were stubborn the penguins.

Suddenly something flashed in the distance and all around was illuminated with flickering reddish light.

"The Hare have made a fire at last," whispered the Cat to the Elemoont, "But he is late. The top hat already does not exist…"

"Look!" said the Elemoont, and all had seen the Sun and the planets that are running around it along their orbits.

"And that's all," solemnly said the Elemoont. "We are at home!"