Ivan Aksionov wanted to go to a spree that day but his wife warned him of a bad dream she had. That he will be coming home with grey hair. Nevertheless, Ivan still went saying it was only a dream.
As he travelled half-way, he met a merchant whom he knew, and they put up at the same inn for the night. They went to bed in adjoining rooms.
Aksionov leaves at dawn to continue his travel early but was interrogated by the police asking where he spent the night, who he's with and why he left the inn at dawn. They said the merchant was murdered so they search him and find the knife with blood on it. They took him.
The trial came on: he was charged with murdering a merchant from Ryazán, and robbing him of twenty thousand roubles. His wife didn't believe he was innocent and he spent 26 years in jail. But he continued to pray to God, believing that it was only him who knows the truth.
One day a new prisoner named Makar came and he turned out to be the murderer 26 years ago. At first, Ivan was furious with the man but at the end remained kind and believed that God put him there for his sins and whatever it was, he deserved it.
Maker, after being shown kindness by Ivan, apologized. Ivan said God will forgive him and that he has nowhere to go now even if he confessed. Maker still confessed his guilt but when Askionov's release papers came, he was already dead.