The novel shifts back in time and spends a few pages with Grigory Vasilievich and his wife Marfa, Fyodor's servants. Grigory is a pious man who, as was mentioned before, took care of Fyodor's sons when his wives died.
Grigory's one child with Marfa was a great disappointment because the child was born with six fingers. Grigory thought the child must be a dragon and only reluctantly had the child baptized. The child died a couple of weeks later, but on the night they buried their child, Marfa woke to hear the cries of a newborn.
The two of them went out to the bathhouse in the garden, where they discovered the village holy fool, Stinking Lizaveta, who had just given birth to a son.