“The Shot” is a short story that takes place in Russia.It talks about an Officer, a civilian, a Count , and a Countess. Each of which have a story to tell about their duels with one another, along with souvenirs to go with them.
With each chapter a story is revealed to the Officer.Chapter one starts off in the military town of N–. The point of view is through a well known Officer in the military. The town is filled with soldiers with only one civilian called Silvio. He was a 35 year old man, who used to serve in the Hassars. Silvio was well known for his dinners, where he served two or three dishes with plenty of champagne to several soldiers every night.
He was also recognised for his incredible shooting skills that he used in the duels that would be brought up during the dinners. One time about 10 soldiers went to the dinner, it was as usual but decided to play a game of Faro, using duelets for pay in gambling. The punter in the game scored a point to many and Silvio noted this as he did with all of the times he’s played. The punter got mad at this action with the wine, play, and laughing from the other soldiers, so he threw a candlestick at him out of anger. Silvio didn’t do anything though in turn having all the soldiers go back to the barracks. After that night everyone saw Silvio as a coward, but there was more to why he didn’t fight back than others knew. The Narrator later on asked Silvio why he didn’t duel the man like tradition says.
For Silvio to tell him he had to talk about a story in his past. Six years ago Silvio got into a fight with a young arrogant man, because of this altercation Silvio demanded for a duel. The duel took place with the young man the next day, where Silvio had to fire first, but his hand was shaking so much that he passed the first shot to his opponent. Who shot right through a red cap, that Silvio keeps as a souvenir. Now being Silvio’s turn he got ready to aim but noticed the boy didn’t care if he were to die, so he withdrew from the due.
Leaving with his red cap now seeking revenge, finding out the young man’s whereabouts, he then set off to find him.Chapter two is set up five years later, the narrator is now in the town of M– an agriculture town run by the Count and Countess, whom which own the estate. The narrator now a days is a farmer who talks to few people only wishing to not become a drunkard. When the Count and Countess do arrive for the summer it is a very big deal to the townsfolk, because they bring drama and gossip. Since the Count and Countess are his employers he decides to pay his respects to them. When he arrives the lackey lets him into the Count’s study, awaiting for the Count’s arrival.
They began talking in a friendly manner until it got a bit awkward, but the Countess came to the rescue with that. Until, the narrator spotted a painting on the wall with one bullet hole right on top of another. The Count talk about the shot with the narrator and in the conversation he mentions Silvio to the count not knowing that he was the young man from Silvio’s story. This brought the Count to telling him about what happened between them after Silvio had left.
It was a month after the Count and Countess got married. The Count was arriving home, while the Countess was still out, to find Silvio in his study with a gun. The Count asked Silvio to kill him before his wife returned, but Silvio refused because he wouldn’t fight an unarmed man. Doing this Silvio declared another duel where the Count got the first shot. The Count fired hitting the painting far away from Silvio. Silvio was about to shoot until the Countess came in begging him to not kill the Count.
To cover up what was going on the Count told her that they were just joking around, Silvio noticing that the Count actually has something to live for he plays along with the story. With a farewell until he fired a shot right above where the Count had shot, to prove that Silvio could have killed him if he wanted to.The chapter wraps up with the silence of the Count and Countess, so that the narrator can process what he had just discovered. Remembering the whereabouts of Silvio where he died in battle. Ending the chapter with many questions.