That day the monastery was joyously greeting the ikon. For two months the "Lady" had been traveling from place to place and now she was returning home. First in their three-horse coaches came the priests who had accompanied her and who were now bringing back to the monastery the treasure which they had collected on their travels. They looked healthy, well-fed, and satisfied. They were followed by the motley bands of pilgrims. These came in greater and greater numbers out of the forest, until at last the climax was reached with the gilded covering of the ikon flashing in the sunlight above the heads of the marchers. Bells pealed forth; banners gleamed and waved; the singing of the choir and the tramping of thousands of men, like an onrushing river, filled the quiet neighborhood of the monastery with uproar and confusion. The place awoke. In the church hymns of thanksgiving were sung. On the square merchants and market women called out their wares from under their linen curtains; from the "institution" came the sounds of harmonicas and cymbals; in the huts of the village one set of pilgrims kept replacing another at the tables on which steamed enormous samovars. Towards evening a hard rain suddenly came up and drove the crowds and the merchants from the bazaar. The square and the streets became quiet and no sound was to be heard save the splashing of the huge drops in the puddles and the flapping and blowing of the wet curtains, as they were tossed by the storm wind. Yes, and in the church the harmonious singing still continued and the yellow lights of the candles still flickered on. When the clouds suddenly lifted and streamed off to the east, carrying with them the veil of mist which had hung over the fields and woods, the sun reappeared in the west and with its parting rays it tenderly caressed the windows of the village and the crosses of the monastery. But the earlier bustle did not return to the square of the bazaar. The pilgrims all had a quiet thirst for rest after their hard journey and the day ended with the last notes of the concluding service in the church. Even the cymbals behind the wall of the "institution" clashed weakly and dully. The service was ended. Within the church the candles burned out one after the other. The pilgrims scattered. Little groups of men and women stood at the door of the guest-house of the monastery, until the guest-master should grant admission to those who desired lodging. A fat monk and two lay brothers came out on the porch and began to divide the sheep from the goats. The sheep entered the door; the goats were driven off and, muttering, made their way to the gates. At the end of this operation, there remained by the entrance a group of Mordvin women and a wanderer. Apparently, their fate had already been decided by the guest-master who reëntered the building.