We first meet Dmitri Gurov, a married middle aged man with children, who has been unfaithful to his wife many times. He has a great contempt for women and refers to them as "the lower race". But strangely can't get enough of them, " It seemed to him that he had been so schooled by bitter experience that he might call them what he liked, and yet he could not get on for two days together without the lower race". He is a player, a playboy. He doesn't feel comfortable around men so he focuses his energies on the ladies, "In the society of men he was bored and not himself, with them he was cold and uncommunicative; but when he was in the company of women he felt free, and knew what to say to them and how to behave; and he was at ease with them even when he was silent". He tells women what they want to hear so he can get them to bed, " In his appearance, in his character, in his whole nature, there was something attractive and elusive which allured women and disposed then in his favour; he knew that, and some force seemed to draw him, too, to them." This keeps life simple for him.
Anna Sergeyevna is a young woman alone on vacation with her dog. We know she is married but the author doesn't go into her character a great deal, at least not to the extent of Dmitri. Perhaps it's not important.
They met while dinning alone at the same place, and spent the rest of the evening walking and talking. At the end of the evening while back in his room, Dmitri thought about her there and was confident that she would get there. " Afterwards he thought about her in his room at the hotel though she would certainly meet him next day; it... [continues]
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