The old people Afanasy Ivanovich Tovstogub and his wife Pulcheria Ivanovna live alone in one of the remote villages, called Old Rus in the Little Russia. Their life is so quiet that a guest who has unexpectedly come to a low bar-house, buried in the greenery of the garden, the passions and unsettling worries of the outside world seem to not exist at all. The small rooms of the house are filled with all sorts of things, the doors are sung in different ways, the storerooms are filled with supplies, the preparation of which is constantly occupied by courtyards run by Pulcheria Ivanovna. Despite the fact that the farm is stealing from the clerks and lackeys, the blessed land produces only so much that Afanasy Ivanovich and Pulcheria Ivanovna do not notice theft at all.
The old people
A sad event changes forever the life of this peaceful corner. Pulcheria Ivanovna’s favorite cat,
Pulcheria Ivanovna is dying. At the funeral, Athanasius Ivanovich looks strange, as if he does not understand all the wildness of what happened. When he returns to his house and sees how empty his room has become, he weeps heavily and inconsolably, and tears, like a river, flow from his dim eyes.
Five years have passed since that time. The house is decrepit without its mistress, Athanasius Ivanovich is weakened and doubled up against the former. But his longing does not fade with time. In all the objects surrounding him, he sees the deceased, tries to pronounce her name, but in half the word cramps twist his face, and the cry of a child breaks out from an already chilling heart.
Strange, but the circumstances of the death of Athanasius Ivanovich are similar to the death of his beloved wife. When he slowly walks along the path of the garden, suddenly he hears someone behind say in a clear voice: “Athanasius Ivanovich!” For a moment his face is quickened, and he says: “This Pulcheria Ivanovna is calling me!” This is his conviction, he obeys the will of an obedient child. “Put me near Pulcheria Ivanovna” – that’s all he says before his death. Desire fulfilled it. The lordly house was emptied, the goods were robbed by the peasants and finally brought into the wind by a distant relative who was heir.