A macabre tale this, with Gothic overtoned and elements of hauntings...During the Russian civil war on the Steppe on a very hot day, the unidentified ""I"" of the tale, a boy of sixteen at the time, is shot at while riding his horse. Umbarmed, he dismounts and shoots back at what turns out to be one Alexander Wolf. Believing him dead, he leaves the body -- evades the war -- and eventually goes to Paris to take up free lance journalism. Strange events begin to manifest themselves. He reads a book, purporting to be by Wolf and describing the Steppe incident in its entirety. He meets a friend of Wolf in a cafe. He encounters the one-time mistress of Wolf, and falls in love with her. And eventually, he confronts the blond, glassy-eyed Wolf himself. Distraught at the schizoid tendencies within himself and seeing it as a battle between atavism and intellectualism, he re-kills Wolf, and emerges a presumably integrated human being. Not easy reading, but those who seek novels of the poltergeist school will find it absorbing.