Anna karenina, p.216
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       Anna Karenina, p.216

           graf Leo Tolstoy
 

  Chapter 27

  "He has gone! It is over!" Anna said to herself, standing at the window;and in answer to this statement the impression of the darkness when thecandle had flickered out, and of her fearful dream mingling into one,filled her heart with cold terror.

  "No, that cannot be!" she cried, and crossing the room she rang thebell. She was so afraid now of being alone, that without waiting for theservant to come in, she went out to meet him.

  "Inquire where the count has gone," she said. The servant answered thatthe count had gone to the stable.

  "His honor left word that if you cared to drive out, the carriage wouldbe back immediately."

  "Very good. Wait a minute. I'll write a note at once. Send Mihail withthe note to the stables. Make haste."

  She sat down and wrote:

  "I was wrong. Come back home; I must explain. For God's sake come! I'mafraid."

  She sealed it up and gave it to the servant.

  She was afraid of being left alone now; she followed the servant out ofthe room, and went to the nursery.

  "Why, this isn't it, this isn't he! Where are his blue eyes, his sweet,shy smile?" was her first thought when she saw her chubby, rosy littlegirl with her black, curly hair instead of Seryozha, whom in the tangleof her ideas she had expected to see in the nursery. The little girlsitting at the table was obstinately and violently battering on it witha cork, and staring aimlessly at her mother with her pitch-black eyes.Answering the English nurse that she was quite well, and that she wasgoing to the country tomorrow, Anna sat down by the little girl andbegan spinning the cork to show her. But the child's loud, ringinglaugh, and the motion of her eyebrows, recalled Vronsky so vividly thatshe got up hurriedly, restraining her sobs, and went away. "Can it beall over? No, it cannot be!" she thought. "He will come back. But howcan he explain that smile, that excitement after he had been talking toher? But even if he doesn't explain, I will believe. If I don't believe,there's only one thing left for me, and I can't."

  She looked at her watch. Twenty minutes had passed. "By now he hasreceived the note and is coming back. Not long, ten minutes more.... Butwhat if he doesn't come? No, that cannot be. He mustn't see me withtear-stained eyes. I'll go and wash. Yes, yes; did I do my hair or not?"she asked herself. And she could not remember. She felt her head withher hand. "Yes, my hair has been done, but when I did it I can't in theleast remember." She could not believe the evidence of her hand, andwent up to the pier glass to see whether she really had done her hair.She certainly had, but she could not think when she had done it. "Who'sthat?" she thought, looking in the looking glass at the swollen facewith strangely glittering eyes, that looked in a scared way at her."Why, it's I!" she suddenly understood, and looking round, she seemedall at once to feel his kisses on her, and twitched her shoulders,shuddering. Then she lifted her hand to her lips and kissed it.

  "What is it? Why, I'm going out of my mind!" and she went into herbedroom, where Annushka was tidying the room.

  "Annushka," she said, coming to a standstill before her, and she staredat the maid, not knowing what to say to her.

  "You meant to go and see Darya Alexandrovna," said the girl, as thoughshe understood.

  "Darya Alexandrovna? Yes, I'll go."

  "Fifteen minutes there, fifteen minutes back. He's coming, he'll be heresoon." She took out her watch and looked at it. "But how could he goaway, leaving me in such a state? How can he live, without making it upwith me?" She went to the window and began looking into the street.Judging by the time, he might be back now. But her calculations might bewrong, and she began once more to recall when he had started and tocount the minutes.

  At the moment when she had moved away to the big clock to compare itwith her watch, someone drove up. Glancing out of the window, she sawhis carriage. But no one came upstairs, and voices could be heard below.It was the messenger who had come back in the carriage. She went down tohim.

  "We didn't catch the count. The count had driven off on the lower cityroad."

  "What do you say? What!..." she said to the rosy, good-humored Mihail,as he handed her back her note.

  "Why, then, he has never received it!" she thought.

  "Go with this note to Countess Vronskaya's place, you know? and bring ananswer back immediately," she said to the messenger.

  "And I, what am I going to do?" she thought. "Yes, I'm going to Dolly's,that's true or else I shall go out of my mind. Yes, and I can telegraph,too." And she wrote a telegram. "I absolutely must talk to you; come atonce." After sending off the telegram, she went to dress. When she wasdressed and in her hat, she glanced again into the eyes of the plump,comfortable-looking Annushka. There was unmistakable sympathy in thosegood-natured little gray eyes.

  "Annushka, dear, what am I to do?" said Anna, sobbing and sinkinghelplessly into a chair.

  "Why fret yourself so, Anna Arkadyevna? Why, there's nothing out of theway. You drive out a little, and it'll cheer you up," said the maid.

  "Yes, I'm going," said Anna, rousing herself and getting up. "And ifthere's a telegram while I'm away, send it on to Darya Alexandrovna's... but no, I shall be back myself."

  "Yes, I mustn't think, I must do something, drive somewhere, and most ofall, get out of this house," she said, feeling with terror the strangeturmoil going on in her own heart, and she made haste to go out and getinto the carriage.

  "Where to?" asked Pyotr before getting onto the box.

  "To Znamenka, the Oblonskys'."

 
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