Master and Man
by Leo Tolstoy
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The avaricious Vasili Andreevich Brekhunov is impatient to set out on a business
venture. Defying common sense, he drags his servant, Nikita, along with him into the
bitter cold of a Russian blizzard. Brekhunov and Nikita lose themselves in the forest;
in a matter of minutes, the master shifts from discomfort to panic and from irritation to
desperation. Both his life and that of his servant are in his hands. Master and Man
shares the startlingly precise insight into human nature that characterizes all of Tolstoy’s
work. Passionate and rich in imagery, the short story has enchanted readers with its
message of selfless love.