- Coulehan, Jack
- Date of entry: Apr-28-2004
At a flower sale on Count N.'s estate, the head gardener tells the story of Thomson, a doctor who lived in a certain village and who was such a good man that no one could conceive of wishing him harm. Even the bandits held him in such high esteem that they wouldn't rob him.
One day Thomson was found dead in a ravine. Even though it looked like murder--he was stabbed--the people thought he must have died in a strange accident because no one would be evil enough to kill the doctor. Later, a vagrant was caught trying to sell Thomson's snuffbox. The police found the doctor's bloody shirt under his bed.
Thus, the vagrant was put on trial for the doctor's murder. At the last minute, however, the judge acquitted him because, "I cannot admit the thought that there exists a man who would dare to murder our friend the doctor."
The Tales of Chekhov, Vol.9: The Schoolmistress and Other Stories