Find today’s 1643 word story here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/128.html
This is a tale of a matchmaker and a client who have found each other and will live happily ever after… or will they? Had Chekhov end the story with Lyubov Grigoryevna, tears in her eyes, assenting to Stytchkin proposal, the story would indeed be a happy ending. But there are two extra paragraphs where the head guard “expound[s] to his bride-elect his views on domestic life and a wife’s duties.” His final line, “And I desire that my wife should be strict also, and should understand that to her I am a benefactor and the foremost person in the world.” He had already listed a few qualities such as an educated woman without a high opinion of herself who can still sew buttons. And “[a]bove all, she must have respect for me and feel that I have made her happiness.” I imagine as a guard he has had time to consider what he wants in woman and when he calculated Lyubov’s earnings, she became attractive to him for the first time. The good news of that even with the rules he plans to lay down as her future husband, it seems like Lyubov will continue be a matchmaker. And having a husband as a guard probably means that she’ll have time on her own… regardless of the rules.