rug was laid by the bedside. On the table stood medicine bottles and decanters tidily arranged, and the linen needed was folded up there, and Kitty's broderie anglaise. On the other table by the patient's bed there were candles, and drink, and powders. The sick man himself, washed and combed, lay in clean sheets on high raised pillows, in a clean nightshirt with a white collar about his astoundingly thin neck, and, with a new expression of hope, was looking fixedly at Kitty.

The doctor brought by Levin, and found by him at the club, was not the one who had been attending Nikolai Levin, and whom he disliked. The new doctor took up a stethoscope and sounded the patient, shook his head, prescribed medicine, and with extreme minuteness explained first how to take the medicine and then what diet was to be adhered to. He advised eggs, raw or hardly cooked, and Seltzer water, with new milk at a certain temperature. When the doctor had gone away the sick man said something to his brother, of which Levin could distinguish only the last words: `Your Katia.' By the expression with which he gazed at her, Levin saw that he was praising her. He beckoned to him Katia, as he called her.

`I'm much better already,' he said. `Why, with you I should have got well long ago. How fine everything is!' He took her hand and drew it toward his lips, but, as though afraid she would dislike it, he changed his mind, let it go, and only stroked it. Kitty took his hand in both of hers and squeezed it.

`Now turn me over on the left side and go to bed,' he said.

No one could make out what he said but Kitty; she alone understood. She understood because she was all the while mentally keeping watch on what he needed.

`On the other side,' she said to her husband, `he always sleeps on that side. Turn him over - it's so disagreeable calling the servants. I'm not strong enough. Can you?' she said to Marya Nikolaevna.

`I'm afraid....' answered Marya Nikolaevna.

Terrible as it was to Levin to put his arms round that terrible body, to take hold, under the quilt, of that of which he preferred to know nothing, under his wife's influence he made his resolute face that she knew so well, and, putting his arms into the bed took hold of the body, but in spite of his own strength, he was struck by the strange heaviness of those powerless limbs. While he was turning him over, conscious of the huge emaciated arm about his neck, Kitty swiftly and noiselessly turned the pillow, beat it up, and settled in it the sick man's head, smoothing back his hair, which was sticking again to his moist brow.

The sick man kept his brother's hand in his own. Levin felt that he meant to do something with his hand and was pulling it somewhere. Levin yielded with a sinking heart: yes, he drew it to his mouth and kissed it. Levin, shaking with sobs and unable to articulate a word, went out of the room.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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