• Professor Timofey Pnin is on a train intending to reach the town of Cremona to deliver a lecture.
• Pnin is Russian-born and is a professor of Russian at Waindell College in America.
• The Russian program at Waindell College is small and Pnin only has a few students.
• Pnin is a humble man and teacher.
• Pnin is content to teach the Russian language and nothing else.
• Pnin is a very humorous man especially when he drinks.
• Pnin speaks English well, but not enough to hide that it is not his first language.
• Pnin is utterly dependent on his prepared text for making his speech.
• Pnin is horrified at the prospect of losing his suitcase that contains his speech.
• Pnin is left to himself on the train.
• Pnin does not realize that he is not on the correct train.
• Instead of taking the train he was told to...
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