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Meanwhile, that same morning, Collegiate Assessor Kovalev wakes up and discovers that his nose is totally gone off his face.
There's no wound or scar or anything, just a flat piece of skin where the nose used to be. We're thinking kind of like this guy, except without the freaky slits.
His general response? Mostly just embarrassment. Like, what are people at work going to think? Um, maybe that you're some kind of zombie ghoul? No? Ok, then.
It turns out that Kovalev is a pretty ambitious guy, who is all about his civil service title. You know, he's one of those guys who parades his high-ranking friends around to show off to everyone else how big-time he is.
He leaves for his office with a handkerchief over his face but then decides to pop into a restaurant to check whether the nose is still missing. Yup, still gone.
Back outside, he suddenly catches a super-fancy high ranking dude come out of a carriage and go into a mansion. But it's not just some dude—it's his nose!
Kovalev realizes that his nose is now living a separate life and has in fact become a higher-ranking official than its owner. Which is for sure enough to make anyone feel like a slacker. We guess it's like how your teachers are always comparing you to your superstar older brother, except worse.
He wants to confront it, but can't bring himself to talk to someone so much higher ranking.
Finally, he comes out with the whole dude-you're-my-nose thing, but the nose just denies it.
Just then a bunch of cute girls walk by, and Kovalev immediately gets into romance mode… until he realizes that he doesn't have a nose, and so can't flirt with the ladies. Obviously. Because he can't snort stuff like all the other dudes do.
Meanwhile, the nose has run off.
Kovalev tries to follow it, but no luck.
Instead, he decides to put an ad in the paper about the missing nose. The editor of the classifieds section is totally unimpressed with his story. Ok, actually, at first he doesn't even get the story—he assumes that what Kovalev is trying to say is that a man named Mr. Nose stole some money from him or something.
Finally, Kovalev shows him his face, and the editor is all, huh. Still, he refuses to put the ad in the paper because he's worried that the paper's reputation will go down the tubes because of the nonsense.
He tells Kovalev to get himself to a doctor instead. Then he offers him some snuff. Which Kovalev can't take. Because he has no nose. Duh.
Kovalev takes this as the final insult and goes off to the police station.
There, the police inspector lays into him, mostly because it's dinner time and the guy just wants to eat his food, ok?
Kovalev goes home and wallows in self-pity. Mostly he's upset that he didn't get injured in some awesome way—like in a cool way or at least in a cool fight.
Then he starts getting paranoid and decides that all of this is probably being caused by Madame Podtochina, who is the mother of a girl Kovalev's been leading on but not actually proposing to.
Just then, a cop shows up. He has the nose! It was intercepted leaving for the city of Riga and now the cop has it in his pocket. Also, the cop reveals, the barber is totally in on the whole thing!
Kovalev is super psyched, but when he tries to shove it back onto his face? No dice. The thing won't stick. Maybe try a needle and thread?
He calls for his doctor neighbor, but when that guy shows up, he's all, no, the nose thing isn't happening. Better get used to it.
Then he offers to buy it.
Kovalev never looks at the doctor's face, which is too bad because then he would see that actually that's no doctor at all… it's his nose! Making its escape!
Finally, Kovalev decides to write an accusatory letter to Madame Podtochina, yelling at her for doing some voodoo or something to make his nose go away.
She writes back that she has no idea what he's talking about, but she doesn't know anyone named Mr. Nose, and that Kovalev is totally welcome to marry her daughter.
He realizes that she's innocent and decides to marry the girl.
Hey, a man with no nose has to take what he can get.
News starts spreading throughout the city about the nose's adventures. It's seen here and there and becomes a minor celebrity around town.
Again, the story suddenly gets interrupted with the thing about no one knowing what happened next.