A Slav Soul (Kuprin)

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A Slav Soul
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A proud, enigmatic servant named Yasha lived a life of devotion to his master, but his mysterious actions and eventual suicide left a lasting impression on those who knew him.

Yasha was a proud and eccentric man who worked as a servant for a doctor's family in a small Jewish village. He was known for his deliberate slowness in speech and actions, and his solemn demeanor. He had a deep respect for the doctor, but showed a slight condescension towards the rest of the family and their friends.

Yasha — narrator's servant; proud, enigmatic, and devoted; thin, shaven face, and solemn expression.

Yasha had a horse named Matsko and a dog named Bouton, both of whom were his loyal companions. Yasha was very particular about his duties and took great pride in maintaining the cleanliness and order of the house. However, he had a habit of getting drunk a few times a year, which caused great distress to the family. During these times, he would sell his belongings in a drunken auction, only to be scolded and forgiven by the doctor later.

Master! My own dear master! See what they've done to me!

One day, Yasha decided to marry a ragged, drunken woman, much to the shock of the family. The doctor talked him out of it, and Yasha never attempted to marry again. Later, a well-dressed young man hanged himself at the local railway station, and Yasha went to see the body. He returned home and laughed about the man's bulging eyes and protruding tongue.

Not long after, Yasha hanged himself in the attic of the house. The cook reported that he had been acting strangely, pressing his hands around his neck and making his face turn red.

He stood before the looking-glass and pressed his hands so tightly round his neck that his face went quite red and his tongue stuck out and his eyes bulged.

The coroner ruled his death as suicide while in a state of unsound mind. Yasha was buried in a ravine, and his faithful dog Bouton disappeared, never to be seen again.