In the provincial town of S. lives the educated and talented, according to local residents, the Turkin family. The head of the family, Ivan Petrovich Turkin, “a full, handsome brunette with beacons, arranged amateur theatricals for a charitable purpose, played the old generals himself and at the same time he coughed very funny.” He knew many anecdotes, charades, sayings, liked to joke and joke and always had there was such an expression that it was impossible to understand whether he was joking or serious. ” His family also has his talents: his wife, Vera Iosifovna, writes novels, and her daughter, Ekaterina Ivanovna, plays the piano. All Turks willingly show their talents to numerous guests. Appointed to the city for the service of doctor Dmitry Ionovich Startsev also visits the Turks. At the reception, Vera Iosifovna read aloud her novel “about something that never happens in life, and still listen was nice, convenient… “Then Ekaterina Ivanovna, Kotik, as her parents call it, performs a complicated musical work, full of long difficult passages:” Startsev, listening, drew himself how stones poured from a high mountain, and they all pour in, and he wanted them to stop pouring off quickly, and at the same time Catherine Ivanovna, pink with tension, strong, energetic, with a curl that fell on her forehead, liked him very much. “From Vera Iosifovna Startsev learns that Kotik studied at home to avoid bad influences gymnasium or institute.