The Visitor (Bunin)

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The Visitor
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A mysterious man visited a house, had a brief encounter with the cook, and left, promising to return. The cook was left in anticipation, but he never returned.

A visitor arrived at a house and was greeted by a short, sturdy woman who smelled of kitchen fumes.

The Cook (Sasha) — short, sturdy woman with dull hair, cheap turquoise earrings, and a Finnish face covered in ginger freckles; works in the kitchen; naive, submissive, and hopeful.

The visitor was thin, swarthy, with big teeth, a coarse black beard and piercing eyes.

The Visitor (Adam Adamych) — thin, swarthy man with big teeth, a coarse black beard and piercing eyes; wears a grey silk-lined overcoat and a grey hat; quick, demanding, and cheerful.

He was annoyed that Sasha took so long to answer the door, suspecting she was in the kitchen with a boyfriend.

Why on earth don’t you open up? Asleep, were you?

He learned that the homeowners were not present; the man was at the newspaper and the woman was at Sunday school on Vasilyevsky Island. The visitor, who introduced himself as Adam Adamych, said he would return the next day.

Suddenly, Adam Adamych threw his coat onto a stand and pushed Sasha onto a chest, lifting her skirt. Despite her protests and pleas, he assaulted her and then left.

Sir! For God’s sake… I’m a virgin!

Sasha cried and sobbed until she got the hiccups, right up until lunch when the mistress of the house returned. When asked if anyone had called, Sasha mentioned Adam Adamych but did not relay his message. She blamed her tear-stained face on onions.

It’s the onions…

That night, Sasha fell asleep in the kitchen, hoping that Adam Adamych would return the next day and that the homeowners would once again be absent. However, the next day, the master of the house informed his wife that Adam had left for Moscow.