The story begins with a description of a terrible fight between the Orlovs in their apartment, which is located in the basement of the old and dirty house of the merchant Petunnikov. Behind the fight watches the whole yard led by Senka Chizhik – pupil of the painter – a mischievous boy of 12 years old. Senka is a “passionate lover of all sorts of incidents,” “half-child, half-adult, lively and impressionable, like a sponge of moisture, greedily absorbs the dirt of his life, he already has a fine wrinkle on his forehead, a sign that Senka Chizhik is thinking.”
Although these Saturday fights spouse shoemakers all the inhabitants of the house have become accustomed to, still resorting to gaze. Gregory (husband) always defeated Matryona (wife) and went
They were married for four years, they had a child, but they died, they hoped that they would have more children, but they were all gone. They lived very monotonously, got up in the morning, drank tea, worked together, Grigory did a clean job, demanding the hands of the master, Matryona did the job easier. Sometimes they sang, sometimes they swore. “Both of them – young and healthy people – loved each other and were proud of each other.” Grishka was so strong, hot and handsome, and Matryona was white, full, with a spark in her gray eyes, “a vigorous woman,” They loved each other, but they were bored to live, they had no impressions and interests that could give them an opportunity to relax from each other, satisfy the natural need of a person to worry, think, to live. ” The Orlovs had no purpose in life, so it was difficult to live with.
Once this monotony was broken. Early in the morning, a medical
And the next day there was the first victim of cholera in Petunnikov’s house – the harmonious Mitry. Grigory was friends with him, they drank together in a tavern on Saturdays. Gregory always liked the harmony of his cheerfulness, optimism, carelessness. He was a merry fellow and handsome, dressed adorably, in general, very fond of life. Grigory was one of the first to come to him and did not recognize him. It was no longer a man, but rather a corpse. This sharp contrast greatly impressed Gregory, he led the student, and the harmonica was taken away.
Grigory decides to go to the sanitarar in a cholera barracks “straight into the mouth of the mouth – swallow, and I’ll kick my legs,” he says of cholera. After some deliberation, Matryona decided to go along with him. The first day on duty was difficult, they were both very tired, then it became easier, because they were used to it.