The Beggar – Summary

The Beggar has been written by Anton Chekhov. The beggar in this story used to tell fake stories to evoke sympathy in his listeners to take money from them. Generosity and kindness changed his heart as well as his life for ever.

Summary

Advocate Sergei was detained by a beggar one day. The beggar was crying for pity and told him he had been a school teacher but had lost his position.

The beggar was in rags. He had dull, sunken cheeks and red spots on either cheek. He wore one high shoe and one low shoe.

Sergei recognised the beggar and told him he had met him in Sadovya Street. Then he had called himself a student. Sergei warned that he would inform the police.

The beggar admitted the truth and asked for work. Sergei asked him to chop wood. The beggar agreed, though unwillingly. The beggar was taken by Sergei’s servant Olga to the shed where he had to chop the wood.

Olga gave the beggar the axe. Sergei seeing a drunken and a spoiled man at work in the cold, felt sorry for him and went away.

The beggar would cut wood on the first of every month. He would also shovel snow, beat the dust out of the rugs and mattresses and put the wood-shed in order. When Sergei moved into another house, the beggar packed and carried the furniture.

Lushkoff, the beggar was now offered other work. Sergei asked him to go to his friends. They gave him some copying work as he could write. Sergei was happy he had put the man on the right track.

Two years went by. One evening standing at a ticket window of a theatre Sergei saw the man again. Lushkoff told him that he was a notary and was paid thirty-five roubles a month. He thanked Sergei for what he had done for him. He said that if he had not helped him he would still have been telling lies.

He asked Sergei to thank Olga, the cook. Lushkoff told Sergei that Olga would rebuke, call him names then she would sit opposite him and weep. Then she would chop the wood for him. Due to Olga’s actions, he had a change of heart. He was set right by Olga and would never forget her.

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