A few days later Azamat comes to the fort and Pechorin, engaging him in conversation steers the subject onto Karagyoz, Kazbich's horse, eventually getting Azamat to promise to bring him Bela in return for Pechorin getting him the horse. That same night Azamat and Pechorin steal Bela and bring her back to the fort, and the next day when Kazbich comes to the fort to try to sell some rams, Azamat steals Karagyoz and gallops off, presumably to join some guerrilla band, while Kazbich is talking to Maxim.

Pechorin keeps Bela in his rooms at the fort and at first she is very homesick and sad, but soon she grows very fond of Pechorin. Meanwhile, one night while the old chief is out looking for his daughter Bela, Kazbich - who believes the former to have connived with Azamat in stealing his horse - jumps on him and kills him before getting away.

At this point Maxim's story is interrupted as the narrator and him move on from the hut, it being the next morning and the weather having cleared. The next few pages are taken up by the narrator's description of the beautiful mountain landscape the travellers are passing through, but then the weather closes in again, the group is once again forced to take shelter, and Maxim continues his story.

He takes it up again three or four months later, when it seems that Pechorin has begun to lose interest in Bela and often goes off hunting on his own for days. One day, when Maxim is sitting on the fort's ramparts and trying to console the neglected Bela, they spot Kazbich in the distance mounted on Bela's father's horse. Maxim gets a sentry to try to pick him off with his rifle, but the man misses. Shortly afterwards Pechorin returns, and that evening Maxim takes him aside to talk to him about his treatment of Bela. Pechorin explains himself by describing how whatever life offers him he soon becomes bored of it, whether it be high society, the rush of battle or the love of a Circassian princess, and goes on to say that the only thing left for him is to travel, hopefully dying along the way.

One day Pechorin and Maxim go boar hunting and returning to the fortress and hearing a shot they hasten on to see Kazbich carrying off Bela on his horse. Pechorin gives chase and shoots the leg of Kazbich's mount, which collapses. Kazbich then stabs Bela in the back and gets away up a crag before Pechorin and Maxim can reload.

After much agony, Bela dies a couple of days later and Maxim is astonished by the lack of emotion that Pechorin shows. Maxim then tells how Pechorin left the fort about three months later and that he has not heard any definite news of him since.

"Bela" ends with the narrator and Maxim Maximych parting at Kobi, from where the narrator is travelling by post-chaise, whereas Maxim is not and therefore cannot keep pace with him.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.