The Holy Drinker

When Maximov-the-Drinker collapses on his settee after a five-day binge, visions of his first love and glimpses of life as it once was, and can never be again, flood his mind. A horrible sense of sadness and regret overwhelms him – he has wasted his youthful years on drink. When his housekeeper enters the room the next morning, she finds in place of her master, and the settee on which he slept, a vat of ruby-red wine. The local priest, captain of the military garrison and Chernov-the-Moneylender, visit the house. Awed by such a strange and compelling sight, they agree to keep the discovery between themselves until a military delegation arrives from Petersburg.