Very Short Summary
Two landlords, Troekurov and Andrei Gavrilovich, were long-time pals. Troekurov was rich and Andrei Gavrilovich was poor, but they were friends on equal terms.
One day Troekurov's servant was rude to Andrei Gavrilovich. Offended, the latter demanded that the servant be given out to be punished. Troekurov's self-esteem was hurt: he believed that only he himself had the right to punish his servants, and he refused. Enmity has begun between the former friends. Bribing the judge, Troekurov deprives Andrei Gavrilovich of his estate, which makes the old man insane.
His son Vladimir Dubrovsky comes to his sick father.
Shortly after his son's arrival, Andrei Gavrilovich died. Vladimir Dubrovsky of the peasants formed a gang and began robbing everyone except Troekurov.
Troekurov was spared by the robber, because he was in love with his daughter Masha, whom he once saw from a distance.
In order to get close to the girl, Dubrovsky sneaks into Troekurov's house under the guise of a French teacher. Soon Masha, too, fell in love with Dubrovsky.
One day Troekurov arranged a feast with many guests. Dubrovsky robbed one of them, and everyone found out who was hiding under the mask of a Frenchman. The robber had to flee. Since then, he and Masha have met several times and corresponded in secret.
An old rich man moved next door to Troekurov. He fell in love with Masha, and Troekurov forced his daughter into marriage. Dubrovsky did not have time to save his beloved. He stopped the young couple's carriage, but Masha refused to go with him, since she had already been married. The rich man wounded the robber in the shoulder.
The tsar's troops tried to capture Dubrovsky in his forest hideout, but he managed to fight back. After that the noble outlaw fled abroad.
Detailed chapter-by-chapter retelling
The chapter titles are tentative. The original is divided into two volumes: the second volume begins with chapter 9.
Chapters 1-2. Friendship of landlords, quarrel, trial
Troekurov was rich, noble, and had extensive connections. His neighbors trembled at his mere name, his house in the village of Pokrovskoe was always full of guests, ready to "amuse his baronial idleness."
Troekurov "showed all the vices of an uneducated man," he did not limit himself in anything and even kept a small harem. The peasants suffered from their baron's frivolous character, but they were still proud of his wealth. He respected only Andrei Gavrilovich.
They had once served together. Completely impoverished Andrei Gavrilovich had to retire, and Troekurov was promoted to general. Returning to Pokrovskoye, Troekurov resumed his friendship with Andrei Gavrilovich, offering him help, but he preferred to remain poor but independent, and thus earned the respect of his rich friend.
Both were widowers. Andrei Gavrilovich's son "was brought up in St. Petersburg," Troekurov's daughter grew up with her father. Troekurov proposed to marry the children, but Andrei Gavrilovich thought otherwise.
It is better for a poor nobleman, as he is, to marry a poor noblewoman and be the head of the house, than to become a clerk of a pampered woman.
Everyone envied such an equal relationship between Troekurov and Andrei Gavrilovich, but this idyll soon ended.
Troekurov was a passionate lover of canine hunting. There was a huge kennel in Pokrovskoye, and Troekurov liked to brag about his dogs.
Andrey Gavrilovich, also a great lover of canine hunting, could "keep only two hounds and one pack of greyhounds". Coming one day to Troekurov's kennel, Andrei Gavrilovich became a little jealous and frowned. Troekurov saw this and asked why his friend was frowning: was it because he did not like the kennel? Gavrilovich answered that the kennel is luxurious and other peasants live worse than the dogs here.
The impertinent lapdog intervened and said that the peasants were not complaining of their lives, but that the dogs really lived well and that any other nobleman would be nicer and warmer in such a kennel than on his own estate. Andrei Gavrilovich took these words personally, became offended, and left. The next day he sent Troekurov a letter demanding that the impudent dog-sitter be sent to him for punishment.
Troekurov became furious: no one dares punish his men but himself. A feud begins between former friends. One day, Andrei Gavrilovich discovered peasants from Pokrovskoe stealing wood in his forest. Andrei Gavrilovich flogged the thieves and took their horses for himself.
Having learned about this, Troekurov became even more angry, and at first wanted to burn down the village of Andrei Gavrilovich, Kistenevka, but then decided to take revenge in another way and hired Shabashkin, so that he could take away his neighbor's village through the court.
Kistenevka had once been bought by Troekurov's father, and then sold it to Andrei Gavrilovich's father, but the documents confirming it burned in a fire. Having learned about it, Shabashkin proved through the court that Troekurov's father had not sold the village, and Andrey Gavrilovich owned it illegally.
Chapter 3. Meeting Vladimir Dubrovsky, his arrival home
After the trial Andrei Gavrilovich's mind became clouded, which poisoned Troekurov's triumph. Andrei Gavrilovich fell ill, became weak, and did not leave home. Vladimir Dubrovsky learned of his father's illness from a letter from his old nanny.
He managed to become a cornet of the Guards, was ambitious and profligate, dreaming of a rich bride. He loved and respected his father, so he took leave and rushed to Kistenevka.
Chapters 4-7. Dubrovsky loses his father and becomes an outlaw
Soon Andrei Gavrilovich falls into childhood. He could not tell his son the circumstances of the case; the appeal was not brought in time, and Kistenovka is lost to Troekurov. The latter was not happy about his victory, and he decided to make up with Andrei Gavrilovich, to give him back his village, and went to Kistenevka.
Andrei Gavrilovich, seeing Troekurov through the window, tried to get up and fell dead from confusion, horror, and anger. Dubrovsky chased Troekurov away. Immediately after the funeral bailiffs and Shabashkin and the chief of police came to Kistenevka. They announced to the peasants that from now on they belonged to Troekurov. The peasants were devoted to the young baron and almost revolted, but Dubrovsky managed to stop them.
Shabashkin and the others spent the night in the baron's house. At night Dubrovsky and some peasants set fire to the house. He told the blacksmith to leave the door open, but he locked it, and the uninvited guests burned alive. Together with the lord's house the whole Kistenevka burned down.
Dubrovsky took the most loyal people with him, but he let the others go. Soon a bandit gang appeared in the district. Everyone talked about the clever, brave and generous ataman Vladimir Dubrovsky, who robbed and burned everyone but Troekurov.
Chapter 8. The French gouverneur Deforge
A little later Troekurov hired a French governess for his son Sasha.
The governess Deforge was young and brave - he killed the tame bear, which Troekurov had jokingly set upon his guests, and thus earned the baron's respect.
Troekurov loved his daughter Masha, but treated her with his usual despotism.
The girl did not trust her father and was very lonely. Deforge's action stunned Masha, who had been brought up on French novels. She began to treat him respectfully, although she had not noticed the "young Frenchman, brought up in aristocratic prejudice" before.
Soon Deforge began giving Masha music lessons, and gradually she fell in love with him.
Chapters 9-12. A Holiday in Pokrovskoe. Debrazh the Robber Dubrovsky
Many guests come to Troekurov's house at a church feast. At the table they talked about the robber Dubrovsky. One of the guests, Anton Spitsyn, was especially afraid of the robber.
During the litigation between Andrei Gavrilovich and Troekurov, he testified that Kistenovka rightfully belonged to Troekurov, and was now so afraid of Dubrovsky's revenge that he carried all his capital on his chest under his shirt in a leather bag.
Then Troekurov told the guests of the courage of Deforge, who sat beside Sasha with an unperturbed face: he did not understand a word of Russian. Spitsyn was so impressed by Deforge's bravery that he decided to spend the night in his room, hoping for protection from the robber. At night, the Frenchman woke Spitsyn up, called himself Vladimir Dubrovsky, took away his bag of money and told him to be quiet.
The explanation was simple. Wishing to take revenge, Dubrovsky began wandering around Troekurov's house, saw Masha and fell in love. Then at an inn he meets the real Deforge, buys his documents and references for a large sum of money and presents himself with them to Troekurov in order to be nearer to his beloved.
...No one suspected that in the humble young Frenchman lurked a formidable outlaw, whose name terrified all the surrounding owners.
Upon learning that Spitsyn had helped to take Kistenevka, Dubrovsky could not resist and decided to take his revenge.
The next morning the frightened Spitsyn left without giving Dubrovsky up. A few days later Deforge appointed a secret meeting with Masha, during which he admitted that he was the outlaw Dubrovsky and that he had to leave immediately. He says he has forgiven Troekurov and will not take revenge on him because he loves Masha.
Immediately afterwards a police chief comes to Troekurov with the news that the governess, who turns out to be the robber Dubrovsky, has robbed Spitsyn. Troekurov believed it when he learned that Deforge had disappeared.
Chapters 13-17. Troekurov forces his daughter into marriage
The next summer the master, Prince Vereisky, came to the rich estate next door to Pokrovsky.
In his village of Arbatovo, the prince had never been to his village before, very quickly became bored and decided to visit his neighbor. Seeing Masha, the prince was struck by her beauty and began to court her strenuously.
Soon the Prince asked Troekurov for his daughter's hand. The flattered Troekurov agreed and immediately declared his will to Masha. In vain the girl cried and begged not to marry her off to the old man: her father was adamant.
On the same day Masha received a note from Dubrovsky, in which he appointed a date for her. The girl decided that she would rather become a robber's wife than marry the old man, and announced this to Dubrovsky. He gave her his ring - if her father does not soften, she must put the ring in the hollow, and Dubrovsky will come to the rescue.
Masha began to beg her father again, and then threatened that she would ask the robber Dubrovsky for help. Then she wrote to Vereisky that she did not love him, but he showed the letter to Troekurov. Seeing her daughter's resistance, Troekurov locked her in a room and decided to speed up the wedding. Masha understood that there was no other way out, handed Sasha the ring through the window and asked her to put it in the hollow.
The main thing for her was to get rid of the hated marriage; the fate of the robber's wife seemed to her a paradise in comparison to the lot that was prepared for her.
The boy complied with his beloved sister's request and was about to run to her, when suddenly the boy sent by Dubrovsky appeared and put his hand into the hollow. Sasha did not let him take it, put up a fight and attracted the attention of Troekurov. The boy has been detained, but he has confessed nothing, and he had to be released.
Chapters 18-19. Masha's Wedding. Dubrovsky leaves forever
Troekurov understood that Dubrovsky was involved in this strange occurrence. The next morning poor Masha is forcibly married to Vereisky.
On the way to Arbatovo, the newlyweds were stopped by robbers led by Dubrovsky, whom Vereisky had managed to wound in the shoulder with a pistol. Masha refused to go with Dubrovsky, since she had already been married to the Prince.
The robbers took the wounded Dubrovsky to a shelter in the middle of a dense forest. Soon they were surrounded by the Tsar's troops. The brigands managed to fight back. After the battle, Dubrovsky announced to his men that he was leaving them forever, and advised them to change their way of life, although he doubted that the peasants accustomed to robbery would do so.
Dubrovsky disappeared, and the roads became free and safe. It soon became known that he had fled abroad.
The retelling is based on an edition of the novel from Pushkin's Collected Works in 10 Volumes (1960).