After visiting Moscow, on May 9, 1841, Lermontov arrived to Stavropol, introduced himself to general Grabbe and asked for permission to stay in the town. Then, on a whim, he changed his course, found himself in Pyatigorsk and sent his seniors a letter informing them of his having fallen ill. The regiment's special commission recommended him treatment at Mineralnye Vody. What he did instead was embark upon the several weeks» spree. «In the mornings he was writing, but the more he worked, the more need he felt to unwind in the evenings,» Skabichevsky wrote. «I feel I'm left with very little of my life,» the poet confessed to his friend A.Merinsky on July 8, a week before his death.
In Pyatigorsk Lermontov enjoyed himself, feeding on his notoriety of a social misfit, his fame of a poet second only to Pushkin and his success with A Hero of Our Time. Meanwhile, in the same salons his Cadet school friend Nikolai Martynov, dressed as a native Circassian, wore a long sword, affected the manners of a romantic hero not unlike Lermontov's Grushnitsky character. Lermontov teased Martynov mercilessly until the latter couldn't stand it anymore. On July 25, 1841 Martynov challenged his offender to a duel. The fight took place two days later at the foot of Mashuk mountain. Lermontov allegedly made it known that he was going to shoot into the air. Martynov was the first to shoot and he aimed straight into the heart, killing his opponent on the spot. On July 30 Lermontov was buried, without military honours, thousands of people attending the ceremony.
Tourist information centre in Stavropol region/ stavtourism.ru
|Address:||Russia, Stavropol region, Pyatigorsk city, Kalinin St, the North-Western slope of mount|