The lyrical digression of the author about station wardens, his reflections on this estate. Meet the narrator at one of the post stations with station warden Samson Vyrin and his daughter Dunya. A new meeting between the narrator and Samson Vyrin. The story told by the caretaker: the arrival of the hussar, his imaginary illness; the disappearance of Dunya; the search for Dunya in St. Petersburg, an unpleasant discovery – his daughter lives on the maintenance of a hussar; The hussar expels his father, he seeks a meeting with his daughter; daughter frightened by the appearance of his father, the hussar forbade him to seek a new meeting; father, abandoning the further struggle for his daughter, leaves back. On his last visit, the traveler learns that the old caretaker has
The story begins with the narrator’s account of the destiny of the station warden. “Who did not cursed them, who did not quarrel with them?” What is a stationmaster? A true martyr of the fourteenth grade, fenced by his rank only from beating. ” All the troubles accumulated during a boring ride, the traveler seeks to get out on the caretaker. Entering his dwelling, the rider looks at him as an enemy, and woe – if there are no horses to be found. The narrator notes that for twenty years he traveled through Russia in all directions and postal paths, knew many coachmen in the face, and was in friendship with many station supervisors. He assures us that these are modest people, helpful, not too ambitious and inclined towards a hostel. And it is very unfortunate that many travelers neglect communication with them.
In May 1816, the narrator drove on business on the buggies along the tract, now destroyed. The day was hot. Three versts from one station began to drip, and in a minute the traveler was wet to the skin. Upon arrival at the station, he had two worries – to change and ask himself tea. The supervisor called his daughter Dunya to put the samovar and go for cream. The beauty of
Dunya returned with a samovar. A small coquette at the second glance noticed the impression produced by her. Then, without any timidity, she entered with a visitor to the conversation, answering the questions of interest to him. The narrator remembers that he offered the attendant a glass of punch, and Dunya a cup of tea, and soon all three of them already talked like old acquaintances.
The horses were ready for a long time, but he did not want to part with the caretaker and his beautiful daughter. At last he nevertheless set off, and Dunya accompanied him to the cart. The narrator asked permission from Dunya to kiss her and for a long time recalled this kiss as one of the most enjoyable in her life.
A few years later, the circumstances brought the narrator back to the same places. He remembered the daughter of the old caretaker and was glad to see her again. At the same time he was worried that during this time everything could change: the caretaker could be replaced, and the daughter – to be already married. The traveler approached the station with a sad foreboding.
Entering the room, he saw a completely different picture. It seems that the situation is the same, but there were no flowers on the windows, and everything around was showing dilapidation and neglect. The caretaker slept under the sheepskin coat, the arrival of the next driver was awakened. It was he, Samson Vyrin, but very old. Three or four years have turned a cheerful man into a frail old man. All attempts to find out the fate of Dunya led to nothing, his father kept silent, or at all pretended that he had not heard the question. Only after a glass of rum the inspector became more talkative and told about his grief…
Dunya, his daughter, a clever girl, all just praised. The ladies gave her gifts, and many travelers stopped, apparently, in order to have dinner, but in fact – to look at it. Sometimes, the most angry gentleman at her calmed down and graciously talked with the superintendent. On Dunia, the whole house stood. And her very father, how he loved! But what can be, that can not be avoided. Three years ago, on the winter evening, a troika drove up, and a traveler in a Circassian hat and military overcoat entered the room, demanding horses. There were no horses, and, as usual, the traveler raised his voice. Dunya, accustomed to such scenes, ran out to the noise. When she appeared, the anger of the passer-by passed, he ordered dinner for himself. Taking off his overcoat and hat, sat down at the table, the traveler appeared as a young slender hussar with black antennae. Then the free horses arrived, and the inspector ordered them to be harnessed into the carriage of the passer-by, but departure was impossible. Samson Vyrin found the young man lying on the bench without any memory.
The inspector gave up his bed to the hussar, deciding, if tomorrow it will not be better for him, to send to the city for a doctor.
The next morning the road became worse. The healer arrived. Dunya did not leave the patient. Hussar spoke with the doctor in German, after which the latter declared in Russian that the patient needed peace of mind and that his departure was impossible. After that, I had dinner with a hussar and received money for a visit.
A day later the young man completely recovered and prepared for his departure. The day was Sunday, Dunia was going to mass. The Hussar said goodbye to the caretaker, generously rewarding him for his time and food, and offered to give Dunya a lift to the church. She stood in confusion, but her father said that there was nothing to be afraid of. Dunya sat down in the tent and the horses galloped off.
The poor caretaker did not understand how he could allow his Duna to go with the hussar. Within half an hour his heart began to ache so that he could not restrain himself and went to the church himself. The service was over, but Duni was not there. The deacon answered that she had not come to mass. Father hoped that her daughter went to the next station where her godmother lived. But a couple of days later the coachman who was driving the hussar came back and reported that Dunya had gone with the newcomer further.
Now the superintendent, comparing all the circumstances, understood that the hussar’s illness was feigned. The old man immediately fell ill from the disorder, getting sick with fever. Was treated by Samson Vyrin the same doctor. He admitted that the young man was completely healthy. The truth was spoken by the German or cunning – it is not known, but the grief-stricken father did not at all console him.
Hardly recovering from the illness, the caretaker decided to go on foot for his daughter. From the roadside, he knew that the hussar was Captain Minsky, and was driving from Smolensk to Petersburg. The driver, who drove the hussar, said that Dunya cried all the way. Vyrin hoped to return his errant lamb home.
Arriving in St. Petersburg, the inspector stopped at the Izmaylovsky regiment with his old colleague. Soon he learned that captain Minsky in Petersburg and lives in Demutovy tavern. The attendant immediately decided to go to him.
Early in the morning he came to Minsk’s house, and asked the servant to report that the old soldier was asking to see him. The servant replied that the gentleman did not accept eleven hours beforehand. At the appointed time, the captain came to him in a dressing gown and asked what the old man needed. Vyrin’s heart began to boil, and he asked, with tears in his eyes, to return his daughter, not to ruin in vain, the hussar had plenty of it. Minsk in confusion replied that he was really to blame, but Dunya would not give it up. She loves him and will be happy with him. In addition, Dunia managed to get out of her old life. With these words, the captain put the old man by the sleeve and put him outside.
On the street the inspector stood motionless, then came to his senses and saw money at the cuff of his sleeve. He threw them on the pavement in indignation, but then regretted it. However, it was too late – the money was picked up by a young man who promptly caught a cab and disappeared from view.
The caretaker decided not to go home until he saw Dunya. I wanted to meet the captain again, but the servant pushed him out the door. Still, he found the apartment in which his daughter lived, and tried to get to her. A young maid opened the door and asked why he needed Avdotya Samsonovna. The inspector, without saying anything, went into the hall. In a beautifully decorated room, he saw his daughter dressed in the latest fashion. In the chair sat a hussar, and Dunya, sitting on the back of the chair, wound his black curls on his fingers.
Dunya asked who came and, without receiving an answer, raised her head. Seeing her father, she fell to the carpet with a cry. Frightened, Minsky rushed to pick it up, but when he saw the inspector, he approached him, trembling with anger. Gritting his teeth, he asked that it was he who was stalking him everywhere, whether he wanted to kill or not. After that, he pushed the old man onto the stairs.
A friend advised Vyrin to complain, but the caretaker decided to give up. He returned home and two days later took up his post again.
For the third year after the described events, Vyrin lives alone, without Dunya, without any news from her.
The inspector finished his sad story with reflections that “a lot of them, young fools, in St. Petersburg today in silks and in the atlas walks, and tomorrow they sweep the street.”
Vyrin’s story touched the heart of the interlocutor. After parting with him, the traveler for a long time could not forget this sad history and thought about the poor Dunya.
After a while the narrator again found himself in the same places. No one knew if the old caretaker was alive or not, so he decided to visit the village in which Samson Vyrin’s station was located.
Arriving at the post house, the traveler stopped. A fat woman came out of the passage and said that the caretaker had already died a year and was drinking. The master’s son accompanied the traveler to the cemetery and pointed to the grave of Vyrin.
On the way the boy said that one day a beautiful lady with three small barchats came to visit them. When she was told that the old superintendent had died, the lady burst into tears, then told the children to sit still, and she went to the cemetery. I lay down on the grave of the inspector and lay for a long time. Then she called a priest, gave him money and went, and gave the boy a nickle in silver – a glorious lady!
The traveler also gave the boy a piglet and did not regret any longer about the trip, or about the money spent on the road.