Father Gregor was summoned by Josef Bazhaev to pray over the burial of Josef's brother, Oleg, who had been secretly shot to death by their father Sergei. The priest, unaware of the murder, arrived and spoke with Sergei and knew immediately that something was amiss. Sergei asked him to perform the proper rituals, and when Father Gregor told him that he needed more time and a proper burial location, Sergei interrupted. He said that Oleg must be buried now, and given the honor due to a soldier. The priest again resisted but went to work when Sergei persisted.