Anna karenina, p.170
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       Anna Karenina, p.170

           graf Leo Tolstoy
 

  Chapter 13

  The sportsman's saying, that if the first beast or the first bird is notmissed, the day will be lucky, turned out correct.

  At ten o'clock Levin, weary, hungry, and happy after a tramp of twentymiles, returned to his night's lodging with nineteen head of fine gameand one duck, which he tied to his belt, as it would not go into thegame bag. His companions had long been awake, and had had time to gethungry and have breakfast.

  "Wait a bit, wait a bit, I know there are nineteen," said Levin,counting a second time over the grouse and snipe, that looked so muchless important now, bent and dry and bloodstained, with heads crookedaside, than they did when they were flying.

  The number was verified, and Stepan Arkadyevitch's envy pleased Levin.He was pleased too on returning to find the man sent by Kitty with anote was already there.

  "I am perfectly well and happy. If you were uneasy about me, you canfeel easier than ever. I've a new bodyguard, Marya Vlasyevna,"--this wasthe midwife, a new and important personage in Levin's domestic life."She has come to have a look at me. She found me perfectly well, and wehave kept her till you are back. All are happy and well, and please,don't be in a hurry to come back, but, if the sport is good, stayanother day."

  These two pleasures, his lucky shooting and the letter from his wife,were so great that two slightly disagreeable incidents passed lightlyover Levin. One was that the chestnut trace horse, who had beenunmistakably overworked on the previous day, was off his feed and out ofsorts. The coachman said he was "Overdriven yesterday, KonstantinDmitrievitch. Yes, indeed! driven ten miles with no sense!"

  The other unpleasant incident, which for the first minute destroyed hisgood humor, though later he laughed at it a great deal, was to find thatof all the provisions Kitty had provided in such abundance that onewould have thought there was enough for a week, nothing was left. On hisway back, tired and hungry from shooting, Levin had so distinct a visionof meat-pies that as he approached the hut he seemed to smell and tastethem, as Laska had smelt the game, and he immediately told Philip togive him some. It appeared that there were no pies left, nor even anychicken.

  "Well, this fellow's appetite!" said Stepan Arkadyevitch, laughing andpointing at Vassenka Veslovsky. "I never suffer from loss of appetite,but he's really marvelous!..."

  "Well, it can't be helped," said Levin, looking gloomily at Veslovsky."Well, Philip, give me some beef, then."

  "The beef's been eaten, and the bones given to the dogs," answeredPhilip.

  Levin was so hurt that he said, in a tone of vexation, "You might haveleft me something!" and he felt ready to cry.

  "Then put away the game," he said in a shaking voice to Philip, tryingnot to look at Vassenka, "and cover them with some nettles. And youmight at least ask for some milk for me."

  But when he had drunk some milk, he felt ashamed immediately at havingshown his annoyance to a stranger, and he began to laugh at his hungrymortification.

  In the evening they went shooting again, and Veslovsky had severalsuccessful shots, and in the night they drove home.

  Their homeward journey was as lively as their drive out had been.Veslovsky sang songs and related with enjoyment his adventures with thepeasants, who had regaled him with vodka, and said to him, "Excuse ourhomely ways," and his night's adventures with kiss-in-the-ring and theservant-girl and the peasant, who had asked him was he married, and onlearning that he was not, said to him, "Well, mind you don't run afterother men's wives--you'd better get one of your own." These words hadparticularly amused Veslovsky.

  "Altogether, I've enjoyed our outing awfully. And you, Levin?"

  "I have, very much," Levin said quite sincerely. It was particularlydelightful to him to have got rid of the hostility he had been feelingtowards Vassenka Veslovsky at home, and to feel instead the mostfriendly disposition to him.

 
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