With the whirlwind pace of this short tale, Chekhov's narrator finds himself quickly transformed from an ordinary man to one that is now loved by his estranged brother, embraced cheerily by his mother, rejoiced in by his sweetheart, and befriended by many--even Z.N. Kazusov; that is, as long as he can find the money to support all these changed hearts. At one point, Kuzmich admits that he
took three hundred rubles out of the cash box. Why not take it, when you know you are going to put it back as soon as you receive your salary?
Unfortunately, he cannot repay all that he borrows, and Gregory Kuzmich finds himself arrested, and sentenced for the theft of company money.
Just as quickly as they changed in the beginning, so, too, do the relationships which Kuzmich has enjoyed with people change at the end as they abandon him. While Kuzmich makes his confession--"I got caught"--he does not state where he is, nor does the author indicate. However, the reader can presume that he is in jail after the inspection when auditors have scrutinized the accounting books.