god sees the truth but waits summary

God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo Tolstoy Summary in English Class 11

This short story “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” is a heart-touching tragic story which has been written by a Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. This story is about a young merchant named Ivan Dimitrich Aksionov who lived in Vladimir, a town of Russia. This story has presented the imprisonment of this main character for murder which he hadn’t committed. According to this plot, Aksionov was quite a handsome man who had two shops and a house. He was so jovial and very fond of singing. Before marriage, he used to drink much and even become riotous. 

After marriage, he drinks much and even become riotous. After marriage, he gave up much drinking. He had a wife with small kids. Once, during summer, Aksionov planned to go to Nizhny fair to sell his goods. Before setting off, his wife stopped him going to fair. She informed him about a nightmare which she had dreamt. She related that nightmare saying that he returned town with grey hair. Aksionov laughed and even interpreted the dream as a sign of luck. On the halfway, Aksionov met a merchant from Ryazan with whom he drank and spent his night at an inn. Both of them slept in adjoining rooms. 


Next day, before dawn, he set off with his horses and coachman while the air was cool. When he had gone about 25 miles, he stopped to feed his horses. He ordered samovar and started playing his guitar. 


At the meantime, two soldiers and a district officer came to him and questioned him a lot of questions related to the merchant with whom Aksionov had spent his last night. They informed Aksionov about the merchant’s murder. The dead body of merchant had been found at an inn’s room with his throat cut. They took Aksionov back to inn’s room and searched his luggage. They found a blood-stained knife in his luggage. Aksionov trembled with fear. 

He was charged for murdering the merchant and even robbing twenty-thousand roubles from him. Aksionov was arrested and sent in prison. His wife came there to meet him along with her small kids. She got permission to meet her husband from the official after begging much. She fainted to see her husband among the criminals and thieves in criminal’s dress. Later on, she informed her husband about the rejection of the petition to the Czar. 


Aksionov wept when his own wife raised a suspicious question to him. Aksionov said good-bye to his family for the last time. For him, God was the only one to expect for mercy. He was tortured severely there. Aksionov was sent to a Siberian prison for twenty- six years to work in the mines. His hair and beard turned white and grey. He walked slowly, spoke very little and never laughed. He learnt to make boots and earned money. He bought a book named “The Lives of the Saints”. He used to read the chapter in the dim light of the cell and every Sunday he used to read and sing the chapter at the church. 


His fellow prisoners respected him and called him Grandfather or the Saint. Prisoners would go to him for justice if there were fights in the prison. He spent his every single day in God’s devotion and on the way of truth. One day, a gang of new prisoners came to the prison. Among those prisoners, one was Makar Semyonich. He was a tall, strong man of about sixty with grey hair. He related his story to others about his arrest in horse stealing case. He was also from Vladimir. When he got known about Aksiono’ds story, he kept on laughing shamelessly. 

Aksionov couldn’t get to sleep that night after hearing Makar’s words. He felt sure that Makar was the person who killed the merchant. He kept on thinking about his family, his long time sufferings and so on. After months of knowing each other, Aksionov discovered that Makar is the one who killed the merchant from Ryazan. He was quite angry with Makar but didn’t speak a word about it. One night, Aksionov discovered Makar digging a tunnel under his sleeping shelf. Makar threatened him not to tell a word otherwise he would kill him. Aksionov didn’t bother about Makar’s threatful words. 


Next day, soldiers discovered the tunnel. The governor arrived to question the prisoners but no one spoke a word about the tunnel. When Aksionov was asked about the tunnel, he also denied saying about Semyonich. 

That night Makar quietly came to Aksionov. Makar begged for forgiveness. He confessed the truth about the murder of the merchant and also about the fact of a hidden knife. Aksionov remained silent. Makar knelt upon the ground and again asked for forgiveness. He admitted confessing his crime to the governor. Makar didn’t rise, bent his head on the floor and wept for his forgiveness. Aksionov even wept along with Makar. Aksionov felt his heart lighter. He longed to stay and die in prison. 


At last, when Makar confessed and the order of Aksionov’s release came, Aksionov was already dead.

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