Chapter 6

The Mashkin Upland was mown, the last swaths finished, the peasants had put on their coats and were gaily trudging home. Levin got on his horse, and, parting regretfully from the peasants, rode homeward. On the hillside he looked back; he could not see them in the mist that had risen from the valley; he could only hear their rough, good-humored voices, their laughter, and the sound of clanking scythes.

Sergei Ivanovich had long ago finished dinner, and was drinking iced lemonade in his own room, looking through the reviews and papers which he had just received by post, when Levin rushed into the room, talking merrily, with his wet and matted hair sticking to his forehead, and his back and chest grimed and moist.

`We mowed the whole meadow! Oh, it is fine, wonderful! And how have you been getting on?' said Levin, completely forgetting the disagreeable conversation of the previous day.

`Dear me! What you look like!' said Sergei Ivanovich, for the first moment looking round with some dissatisfaction. `And the door - do shut the door!' he cried. `You must have let in a dozen at least.'

Sergei Ivanovich could not endure flies, and in his own room he never opened the window except at night, and carefully kept the door shut.

`Not one, on my honor. But if I have, I'll catch them. You wouldn't believe what a pleasure mowing is! How have you spent the day?'

`Very well. But have you really been mowing the whole day? I expect you're as hungry as a wolf. Kouzma has got everything ready for you.'

`No, I don't feel hungry even. I had something to eat there. But I'll go and wash.'

`Yes, go along, go along, and I'll come to you directly,' said Sergei Ivanovich, shaking his head as he looked at his brother. `Go along, make haste,' he added smiling, and, gathering up his books, he prepared to go too. He, too, felt suddenly good-humored and disinclined to leave his brother's side. `But what did you do while it was raining?'

`Rain? Why, there was scarcely a drop. I'll come directly. So you had a good day too? That's first-rate.' And Levin went off to change his clothes.

Five minutes later the brothers met in the dining room. Although it seemed to Levin that he was not hungry, and he sat down to dinner simply so as not to hurt Kouzma's feelings, yet when he began to eat the dinner struck him as extraordinarily good. Sergei Ivanovich watched him with a smile.

`Oh, by the way, there's a letter for you,' said he. `Kouzma, bring it from below, please. And mind you shut the doors.'

The letter was from Oblonsky. Levin read it aloud. Oblonsky wrote to him from Peterburg: `I have had a letter from Dolly; she's at Ergushovo, and everything seems going wrong there. Do ride over and see her, please; help her with advice; you know all about it. She will be so glad to see you. She's quite alone, poor thing. My mother-in-law and all of them are still abroad.'

`That's capital! I will certainly ride over to her,' said Levin. `Or we'll go together. She's such a good woman, isn't she?'

`They're not far from here, then?'

`Thirty verstas. Or perhaps forty. But a capital road. It will be a capital drive.'

`I shall be delighted,' said Sergei Ivanovich, still smiling.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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