Smirnov had to wait for Popova because she was not in the mood to see anyone. She was still mourning her husband, Nicolai Mihaiovitch, and wanted to express her enduring love for her husband by living a reclusive life. Smirnov had arrived at Popova’s home seeking a settlement of his debt. He claimed that Popova’s husband died in his debt which he incurred after he sold him oats. Popova informed Smirnov that he had no money at hand to pay him but she would instruct her steward to make payments a day later. She further claimed she was not in a “state of mind” to deal with financial issues 7 months after her husband’s death. However, Smirnov was adamant that he needed the money on that particular day in order to make payments to his creditors before they reposed his estate.