Date Read: 15 January 2009
Word Count: 1539
Briefly: Piano tuner Murkin, suffering intolerable ills with his rheumatism, goes in search of Semyon, the waiter who has inadvertently misplaced his boots. Semyon admits to the mistake and sends Murkin on a hunt to retrieve his boots, but it doesn’t prove as easy as it may sound.
Afterthoughts: ‘Chekhov chuckles’ abound in this delightful little tale. A comedic exchange in the first half gives way to an unexpected ending, and one that’s thoroughly entertaining. I really enjoyed this one.
Notable Quote: “Where can they be, the damned things?” Semyon brought out. “I fancy I cleaned them in the evening and put them here. . . . H’m! . . . Yesterday, I must own, I had a drop. . . . I must have put them in another room, I suppose. That must be it, Afanasy Yegoritch, they are in another room! There are lots of boots, and how the devil is one to know them apart when one is drunk and does not know what one is doing?. . . I must have taken them in to the lady that’s next door . . . the actress. . . .”
*Story read as part of my Checkin’ Off The Chekhov Shorts reading challenge.