FictionForest

PART SEVEN : Chapter 27

Leo TolstoyAug 25, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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“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 the candle 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 the bell. 
She was so afraid now of being alone, that without
waiting for the servant to come in, she went out to
meet him.

“Inquire where the count has
gone,” she said.  The servant answered
that the count had gone to the stable.

“His honor left word that if
you cared to drive out, the carriage would be back
immediately.”

“Very good.  Wait a minute. 
I’ll write a note at once.  Send Mihail
with the 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’m afraid.”

She sealed it up and gave it to the servant.

She was afraid of being left alone
now; she followed the servant out of the 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 little girl with her black,
curly hair instead of Seryozha, whom in the tangle
of her ideas she had expected to see in the nursery. 
The little girl sitting at the table was obstinately
and violently battering on it with a cork, and staring
aimlessly at her mother with her pitch-black eyes. 
Answering the English nurse that she was quite well,
and that she was going to the country tomorrow, Anna
sat down by the little girl and began spinning the
cork to show her.  But the child’s loud,
ringing laugh, and the motion of her eyebrows, recalled
Vronsky so vividly that she got up hurriedly, restraining
her sobs, and went away.  “Can it be all
over?  No, it cannot be!” she thought. 
“He will come back.  But how can he explain
that smile, that excitement after he had been talking
to her?  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 has received
the note and is coming back.  Not long, ten minutes
more….  But what if he doesn’t come? 
No, that cannot be.  He mustn’t see me
with tear-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 with her hand.  “Yes, my hair
has been done, but when I did it I can’t in the
least remember.”  She could not believe
the evidence of her hand, and went 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’s that?”
she thought, looking in the looking glass at the swollen
face with strangely glittering eyes, that looked in
a scared way at her.  “Why, it’s
I!” she suddenly understood, and looking round,
she seemed all 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 her
bedroom, where Annushka was tidying the room.

“Annushka,” she said,
coming to a standstill before her, and she stared
at the maid, not knowing what to say to her.

“You meant to go and see Darya
Alexandrovna,” said the girl, as though she
understood.

“Darya Alexandrovna?  Yes, I’ll go.”

“Fifteen minutes there, fifteen
minutes back.  He’s coming, he’ll
be here soon.”  She took out her watch and
looked at it.  “But how could he go away,
leaving me in such a state?  How can he live,
without making it up with 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 be wrong, and she began once more to recall
when he had started and to count the minutes.

At the moment when she had moved away
to the big clock to compare it with her watch, someone
drove up.  Glancing out of the window, she saw
his 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
to him.

“We didn’t catch the count. 
The count had driven off on the lower city road.”

“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 an answer
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 at once.”  After
sending off the telegram, she went to dress. 
When she was dressed and in her hat, she glanced
again into the eyes of the plump, comfortable-looking
Annushka.  There was unmistakable sympathy in
those good-natured little gray eyes.

“Annushka, dear, what am I to
do?” said Anna, sobbing and sinking helplessly
into a chair.

“Why fret yourself so, Anna
Arkadyevna?  Why, there’s nothing out of
the way.  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
if there’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 of
all, get out of this house,” she said, feeling
with terror the strange turmoil going on in her own
heart, and she made haste to go out and get into the
carriage.

“Where to?” asked Pyotr before getting
onto the box.

“To Znamenka, the Oblonskys’.”

 

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