A military doctor and his friend were dining at a bustling restaurant in Prague, reminiscing about the State Duma and enjoying the spring night.
The doctor, feeling melancholic, began to share a memory from his past. He recalled a day, twenty years prior, when he was walking through a town on the Volga. He noticed a young woman rushing towards a church.
Intrigued, he followed her and watched as she prayed fervently before leaving abruptly.
Later that evening, he unexpectedly encountered the same woman at a riverside inn. She was in the company of a disreputable man, a known drunkard and libertine. Outraged, the doctor confronted them and demanded that the woman leave with him. She complied, and they left the inn together. On their way home, she defended the man's character and asked to be let go.
I never saw her again, and I still don’t know to this day who she was, what she was…
The doctor never saw her again and remained ignorant of her identity.
Reflecting on this memory, the doctor expressed regret for his interference.
But why, permit me to ask, did I interfere? Isn’t it all the same what makes a person happy and how?
He pondered the nature of happiness and the lasting impact of memories, particularly those of joyous times.