Part 3, Chapter 11 Summary
It is the middle of July, and Levin is paid a visit by the elder of the village nearest his sister’s estate, fifteen miles away from Pokrovskoe, Levin's own estate. He has come to give a report on how things are going at the sister's estate, particularly the progress of the hay mowing. The primary source of income from Levin’s sister’s estate is haying the meadows. Years before, the peasants bought the hay on three acres of land for a mere twenty roubles. When Levin began managing the estate, he determined this price to be too low and increased the price to twenty-five roubles.
The peasants refused to pay and kept other buyers from purchasing the hay, so Levin made other arrangements to have the hay cut. Again, there was great opposition; however, the task was completed and Levin doubled his profit. Since several years passed with Levin's doing business this way, the peasants' resistance eventually diminished. This year the peasants are doing the mowing for a third of the hay crop, and now the village elder has arrived to deliver some unusual news.
The elder tells Levin that the hay has been cut, and because of the threat of rain, it has already been divided. The peasants asked the counting-clerk to oversee the dividing process. Levin's share, the elder informs him, is eleven stacks of hay. When Levin questions the elder about how much hay was cut, why the counting process was so hurried, and why he was not consulted, the elder’s answers are vague. Levin knows that something is not right. He rides to the village to look into the matter himself.
Arriving at the village, Levin stops at the home of Parmenitch, an old friend, to ask him the truth about the...
(The entire section is 451 words.)