Styopa (Bunin)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A young merchant, caught in a storm, sought shelter at an inn. He seduced the innkeeper's daughter and promised to marry her, but left for another city instead.

A young merchant named Krasilschikov was caught in a thunderstorm while on his way to Chern. He sought shelter at a coaching inn owned by a widower named Pronin.

Krasilschikov — young merchant; educated, energetic, enjoys rural life; manipulative and self-satisfied.

However, only Pronin's daughter, Styopa, was present at the inn.

Styopa — innkeeper's daughter; young, naive, and innocent; deeply affected by Krasilschikov's actions.

Krasilschikov and Styopa ended up having an intimate encounter. Afterwards, Krasilschikov left the inn to tend to his horse. He returned to find Styopa asleep. He stayed awake, contemplating the consequences of their actions.

Vasil Lixeyich… for Christ’s sake… for the sake of the King of Heaven Himself, take me in marriage! I’ll be your very meanest slave!

When morning came, he decided to leave. Styopa woke up and begged him to marry her. Krasilschikov promised to return and propose to her father.

In a few days’ time I’ll come and see your father and tell him I’m marrying you. Do you hear?

Upon returning home, Krasilschikov immediately began preparations for his journey to Kislovodsk. He left for the railway in a troika two days later.