Has Lushkoff become a beggar by circumstance or by choice ?
He became a beggar by choice. He never asked for work. He always asked for alms. He would say that he was hungry for many days and had nothing to eat. He never looked for work. Thus he became a beggar by choice.
What reason does he give to Sergei for his telling lies ?
He says that nobody gives him anything if he tells the truth. So he tells lies to get some money as help.
Is Lushkoff a willing worker ? Why, then, does he agree to chop wood for Sergei ?
Lushkoff was not a willing worker. He agreed because he was trapped by his own words. He had said that he would not refuse to chop wood if he could get such a work.
Sergei says, ‘‘I am happy that my words have taken effect.’’ Why does he say so ? Is he right in saying this ?
Sergei thinks that his scolding has brought about a change in Lushkoff. He thinks that it was because of him that Lushkoff has started working instead of begging. But Sergei is not right in what he says. It was Olga, the cook, not Sergei, whose words had an effect on Lushkoff. There was a touch of love and sympathy in Olga’s scolding. She saw that no energy was left in Lushkoff because of his drinking. So she would herself chop the wood for him. She would keep goading him to give up his habit of drinking. Lushkoff himself says, ‘‘Owing to her words and noble deeds, a change took place in my heart. She set me right and I shall never forget it.’’
Lushkoff is earning thirty-five roubles a month. How is he obliged to Sergei for this ?
It was Sergei who had sent Lushkoff to a friend and got him the job of copying. Lushkoff worked hard and became a notary. Now he earned thirty-five roubles a month. Thus Lushkoff was in a way obliged to Sergei.
During their conversation, Lushkoff reveals that Sergei’s cook, Olga, is responsible for the positive change in him. How has Olga saved Lushkoff ?
Olga saw that Lushkoff had little energy left in him due to his drinking. So she would chop the wood for him and thus get him some money. But she would also scold him for his drinking. Olga’s sympathy and her nobility brought about a total change in Lushkoff. He gave up begging and drinking. He started working hard. He became a notary. Now he earned thirty-five roubles a month. Thus Olga saved Lushkoff.
Why was Sergei a bit ashamed of treating Lushkoff harshly ?
Lushkoff was a sick and weak man. He used to drink too much. Therefore, his health had run down. Sergei was making Lushkoff work hard in the cold. So he was a bit ashamed.
Why did the carters make fun of Lushkoff ?
Sergei was moving into another house. He gave Lushkoff the work of packing and carrying the
But Lushkoff did nothing. The carters made fun of his idleness.
Where did Sergei send Lushkoff ? What advice did he give him ?
Sergei sent Lushkoff to his friend. There he was to get the work of making copies. He advised him to work hard.
How did Olga save Lushkoff ?
Olga would chop all the wood for Lushkoff. Her kindness brought a change in Lushkoff. He stopped drinking. He started working hard to earn his living.
How did Sergei come to remember that he had met the beggar before ?
The beggar’s face looked familiar to Sergei. Suddenly, his eyes fell on the beggar’s shoes. One shoe was higher than the other. Now he remembered where he had seen him earlier.
Sergei gave work to the beggar. Was the beggar fit for any work ?
The beggar was not fit for any work. Formerly, he used to sing in a Russian choir. He was sent away from there because of his drinking habit. His health had run down due to excessive drinking. He had become very weak and could not toil hard. While chopping wood, he used to tap it feebly with the axe. He was too weak to hit the billet of wood hard. He did not have the strength to help in the hauling of furniture. He only shivered in the cold. He could become a notary only when he gave up drinking.
What inspired Lushkoff to change his ways ?
Lushkoff was a sick and weak man. Excessive drinking had ruined his health. He would come to Sergei’s house to chop wood. Olga, the cook, scolded and cursed him. She used to say that there was nothing but ruin in Lushkoff ’s life. She used to grow sad and wept for him. She called him a drunkard. She suffered deeply for him. She used to chop all the wood for Lushkoff. Lushkoff had not chopped a single log of wood for Sergei. Olga’s words and noble deeds changed his heart. He gave up drinking and came to the right path.
Describe how the beggar appeared when Sergei met him.
The beggar wore a ragged, fawn-coloured overcoat. He had dull, drunken eyes. He had a red spot on either cheek. On seeing the beggar, Sergei felt he had seen the man somewhere else earlier also.