Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy
Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude
Master and Man
It happened in the 'seventies in winter, on the day after St.
Nicholas's Day. There was a fete in the parish and the
innkeeper, Vasili Andreevich Brekhunov, a Second Guild
merchant, being a church elder had to go to church, and had
also to entertain his relatives and friends at home.
But when the last of them had gone he at once began to prepare
to drive over to see a neighbouring proprietor about a grove
which he had been bargaining over for a long time. He was now
in a hurry to start, lest buyers from the town might forestall
him in making a profitable purchase.
The youthful landowner was asking ten thousand rubles for the
grove simply because Vasili Andreevich was offering seven
thousand. Seven thousand was, however, only a third of its
real value. Vasili Andreevich might perhaps have got it down
to his own price, for the woods were in his district and he had