"Who entered?" asked Anany in a hoarse and angry voice, without lifting his head. "I. How do you do, Anany Savvich?" The old man raised his head slowly and, winking his large eyes, looked at Foma. "Ignat's son, is that right?" "The same." "Well, come over here, sit down by the window. Let me see how you've grown up. Will you not have a glass of tea with me?" "I wouldn't mind."
Since that time Anany began to grow rich. One day his bathhouse burned down, and in the ashes they discovered the corpse of a man with a fractured skull. There was a rumour in the village that Shchurov himself had killed his workman killed and then burned him.
While toiling, you find no time for sin, but having a machine you have freedom. Freedom kills a man, even as the sunbeams kill the worm, the dweller of the depth of earth. Freedom kills man!" And pronouncing his words distinctly and positively, the old Anany struck the table four times with his finger.
"Well," said Foma, softly, "they were leading depraved lives and drinking just as much in former days as now, I suppose." "Do you know it? You should keep silence!" cried Anany, flashing his eyes sternly. "In former days man had more strength, and the sins were according to his strength. While you, of today, have less strength, and more sins, and your sins are more disgusting.
A rouble is like a good pigeon it goes up in the air, you turn around and see it has brought a whole flock with it into the pigeon-house." "But how can we help paying it now, if he demands it?" "Let him cry and ask for it and you roar but don't give it to him." "I'll go up there soon." Anany Savvich Shchurov was a rich lumber-dealer, had a big saw-mill, built barges and ran rafts.
"And she is repenting. It is hard to tell whether she does it purposely, in order to hide from justice, or whether her heart is really aching. 'Who, but the Lord, says he, 'is to judge me? That's how it is." It seemed to Foma that he envied Anany, and the youth hastened to recall Shchurov's attempts to swindle him.
The coffin is already waiting for us old people. Ye-es! It may be that about fifty years hence, no one will believe that I lived in this world. I, Anany, the son of Savva, by the surname of Shchurov. So! And that I, Anany, feared no one, save God.
"And where have I seen him before? Or does he resemble some acquaintance of mine?" Suddenly it somehow struck Foma with particular vividness that the humble preacher before him was no other than the son of old Anany Shchurov. Stunned by this conjecture, he walked up to the pilgrim and seating himself by his side, inquired freely: "Are you from Irgiz, father?"
"Whoever gives freedom to his body, kills his soul!" said Anany, looking at Foma so strangely as if he saw behind him somebody, who was grieved and frightened by his words; and whose fear and pain delighted him. "All you people of today will perish through freedom. The devil has captured you he has taken toil away from you, and slipped machines and telegrams into your hands.
And when his mistress-daughter-in-law had passed away, Shchurov took into his house a dumb beggar-girl, who was living with him to this day, and who had recently borne him a dead child. On his way to the hotel, where Anany stayed, Foma involuntarily recalled all this, and felt that Shchurov had become strangely interesting to him.