Andrei Vasilievich Kovrin, Master, falls ill with a breakdown of nerves. On the advice of a friend, the doctor decides to go to the village. This decision coincides with the invitation to visit from a childhood friend Tanya Pesotskaya, who lives with her father, Yegor Semyonitch, on the estate Borisovka. April. Description of a huge collapsing house Pesotsky with an old park in English manners. Yegor Semyonitch is a passionate gardener who dedicated his life to his garden and does not know who to transfer his farm before his death. The night when Kovrin arrives, Yegor Semyonitch and Tanya are sleeping in turn: they are watching the workers who save the trees from frost. Kovrin and Tanya go to the garden, they remember their childhood. From the conversation it’s easy to guess that Tanya is not indifferent to Kovrin and that she is bored with her father, who does not want to know anything except the garden, and turned her into a submissive assistant. Tanya also likes Kovrin,
the village he leads the same nervous life as in the city: he reads a lot, writes, sleeps little, often smokes and drinks wine. He is extremely impressed. One day he tells Tanya a legend that he has not heard, not read, or dreamed. A thousand years ago dressed in a black monk walked through the desert in Syria or Arabia. For a few miles the fishermen saw another black monk – a mirage that moved along the surface of the lake. Then he was seen in Africa, in Spain, in India, even in the Far North… Finally he came out of the earth’s atmosphere and now wanders in the universe, he is possibly seen on Mars or on some star of the Southern Cross. The meaning of the legend is that a thousand years after the first appearance the monk must again appear on the ground, and this time has come… After a conversation with Tanya, Kovrin goes to the garden and suddenly sees a black monk, arising from a vortex from earth to sky. He flies past Kovrin; It seems to him that the monk smiles at him affectionately and slyly. Without trying to explain the strange phenomenon, Kovrin returns to the house. It covers the fun.
He sings, dances, and everyone finds that he has a special, inspired face.
In the evening of the same day, Yegor Semyonitch comes to Kovrin’s room. He starts a conversation, from which it is clear that he dreams of marrying Tanya to Kovrin. to be confident in the future of their economy. “If you had a son with Tanya, I would make a gardener out of him.” Tanya and father often quarrel. Comforting Tanya, Kovrin once realizes that he has no closer people than she and Yegor Semyonitch in the whole world. Soon he is visited again by a black monk, and between them there is a conversation in which the monk confesses that he exists only in Kovrin’s imagination. “You are one of the few who are rightly called the elect of God.” You serve the eternal truth. ” All this is very nice to listen to Kovrin, but he is afraid that he is mentally ill. To this monk he objects that all ingenious people are sick. “My friend,
There is a preparation for the wedding. Kovrin works a lot, not noticing the turmoil. He is happy. Once or twice a week he meets with a black monk and talks for a long time. He was convinced of his own genius. After the wedding, Tanya and Kovrin move to the city. One night, Kovrin again visits a black monk, they talk. Tanya finds her husband talking to an invisible interlocutor. She is frightened, like Yegor Semyonovich, a guest in their house. Tanya persuades Kovrin to be treated, he agrees in awe. He realizes that he has gone mad.
Kovrin was treated and almost recovered. Together with Tanya, she spent the summer at her father-in-law in the village. Works a little, does not drink wine and does not smoke. He’s bored. He quarrels with Tanya and accuses her of forcing him to be treated. “I was crazy, I had a megalomania, but I was cheerful, cheerful and even happy, I was interesting and original…”
He gets an independent chair. But on the day of the first lecture he announces with a telegram that he will not be reading due to illness. His throat is bleeding. He already lives not with Tanya, but with another woman, older than him for two years – Varvara Nikolaevna, who cares for him, like a child. They go to the Crimea and stop on their way to Sevastopol. At home, an hour before his departure, he received a letter from Tanya, but read it only in Sevastopol. Tanya announces the death of his father, accuses him of this death and curses. He is seized with “anxiety similar to fear.” He clearly understands that he is mediocrity. Leaves on the balcony and sees a black monk. “Why did not you believe me?” He asked reproachfully, looking affectionately at Kovrin: “If you believed me then that you are a genius, then these two years you would not have been so sad and scanty.” Kovrin again believes, that he is the chosen one of God, a genius, not noticing that blood comes from the throat. He calls Tanya, falls and dies: “a blissful smile froze on his face.”