NN, a middle-aged man of the world, recalls the story that happened when he was about twenty-five years old. NN then traveled without a purpose and without a plan and on his way stopped in a quiet German town of N. Once NN, coming to a student’s party, met in a crowd with two Russian – a young artist, who called himself Gagin, and his sister Anna, which Gagin called Asya. NN avoided Russians abroad, but he liked the new acquaintance right away. Gagin invited NN to his home, to the apartment where they stayed with their sister. NN was fascinated by his new friends. Asya first learned from NN, but soon she herself began to talk to him. It was evening, it was time to go home. Leaving the Gagins, NN felt happy.
Many days passed. Asya’s pranks
NN spent several days on nature avoiding the Gagins. But a few days later he found a note at home from Gagin, who asked him to come. Gagin met NN in a friendly way, but Asya saw the guest and laughed and fled. Then Gagin told the friend the story of his sister.
Gagin’s parents lived in their village. After the death of Gagin’s mother, his father brought up his son himself. But one day Uncle Gagin arrived, who decided that the boy should study in Petersburg. Father resisted, but yielded, and Gagin went to school, and then to the Guards regiment. Gagin often came and once, at the age of twenty, saw in his house a little girl Asya, but did not pay any attention to her, having heard from her father that she was an orphan and was taken by him “for food”.
After the story of Gagin, NN became easy. Asya, who met them in the room, suddenly asked Gagin to play a waltz for them, and NN and Asya danced for a long time. Asya waltzed perfectly, and NN for a long time later recalled this dance.
The next day Gagin, NN and Asya were together and had fun as children, but the next day Asya was pale, she said that she was thinking about her death. Everyone except Gagin was sad.
Once NN brought a note from Asya, in which she asked him to come. Soon Gagin came to NN and said that Asya was in love with NN. Yesterday the fever beat her all evening, she ate nothing, cried and confessed that she loved NN She wanted to leave…
NN told a friend about the note that Asya sent him. Gagin understood that his friend would not marry Ace, so they agreed that NN would honestly explain it, and Gagin would stay at home and not pretend that he knew about the note.
Gagin left, and NN’s head was spinning. Another note informed NN about the change of their place with Asya’s meeting. Arriving at the appointed place, he saw the mistress, Frau Louise, who took him to the room where Asya was waiting.
Asya was trembling. NN embraced her, but immediately remembered Gagina and began to accuse Asya of having told her everything to her brother. Asya listened to his speeches and suddenly sobbed. NN was confused, but she rushed to the door and disappeared.
N. N. rushed around the city in search of Asya. He was gnawed at himself. After thinking, he went to the house of the Gagins. Gagin came out to meet him, worried that Asya was not there. N. N. searched Asya throughout the city, he said a hundred times that he loved her, but could not find her anywhere. However, coming to the house of the Gagins, he saw a light in the Asina room and calmed down. He made a firm decision – to go tomorrow and ask Asina’s hands. NN was again happy.
The next day, NN saw a servant at the house, who said that the owners had left, and gave him a note of Gagin, where he wrote that he was convinced of the need for separation. When NN walked past the house of Frau Louise, she handed him a note from Asya, where she wrote that if NN had said one word, she would have stayed. But, it seems, it’s better…
NN everywhere looking for the Gagins, but did not find. He knew many women, but the feeling Asya awakened in him did not happen again. Yearning for her remained with NN for life.