Summary of Alexander Pushkin's The Shot
This modern translation by Peter Campbell brings out the full mastery of Pushkin's tale which will grip readers young and old alike.
However, Silvio soon learns that his former opponent is engaged to be married, and so may now no longer be indifferent towards life. This is the moment Silvio has been waiting for, and he leaves to get his revenge. After several years, the narrator leaves active duty on his parents' death and leaves for his country estate (exactly as we are told Belkin himself did in the preface). After a while, his neighbors arrive, in particular a pretty young countess, and the narrator visits them soon after. On the wall he notices a painting of a Swiss landscape with two bullet holes very close together. The narrator, seeing this, tells his neighbor about a man he knew in the army who was an extraordinary shot, and tells the count of Silvio. The count is overcome with fear, and informs the narrator that he was Silvio's opponent, and shortly after his wedding Silvio claimed his right to a duel. The neighbor draws the right to shoot first, but misses, and the bullet ends up in the painting. As Silvio aims to shoot, the neighbor's bride enters the room. Silvio takes pity on her and then without aiming, shoots the painting in almost exactly the same spot as the count, thereby both sparing the count's life and demonstrating how easily he could have ended it. Silvio, honor satisfied, leaves the couple, and is later, we are informed, killed leading a regiment in battle. The narrator never meets him again.