Chapter 2

`Do go then, please, and call on the Bols,' Kitty said to her husband, when he came in to see her at eleven o'clock before going out. `I know you are dining at the club; papa put down your name. But what are you going to do in the morning?'

`I am only going to Katavassov,' answered Levin.

`Why so early?'

`He promised to introduce me to Metrov. I wanted to talk to him about my work. He's a distinguished savant from Peterburg,' said Levin.

`Yes; wasn't it his article you were praising so? Well, and after that?' said Kitty.

`I shall go to the court, perhaps, about my sister's business.'

`And the concert?' she queried.

`I shan't go there all alone.'

`No? Do go; there are going to be some new things.... That used to interest you so. I should certainly go.'

`Well, anyway, I shall come home before dinner,' he said, looking at his watch.

`Put on your frock coat, so that you can go straight to call on Countess Bol.'

`But is it absolutely necessary?'

`Oh, absolutely! He has been to see us. Come, what is it? You go in, sit down, talk for five minutes of the weather, get up, and go away.'

`Oh, you wouldn't believe it! I've got so out of the way of all this that it makes me feel positively ashamed. It's such a horrible thing to do! A complete outsider walks in, sits down, stays on with nothing to do, wastes their time and upsets himself, and then goes away!'

Kitty laughed.

`Why, I suppose you used to pay calls before you were married, didn't you?'

`Yes, I did, but I always felt ashamed, and now I'm so unaccustomed to it that, by God, I'd sooner go two days running without my dinner than pay this call! One's so ashamed! I feel all the while that they're annoyed, that they're saying: What has he come for?'

`No, they won't. I'll answer for that,' said Kitty, looking into his face with a laugh. She took his hand. `Well, good-by.... Do go, please.'

He was just going out after kissing his wife's hand, when she stopped him.

`Kostia, do you know I've only fifty roubles left?'

`Oh, all right, I'll go to the bank and get some. How much?' he said, with the expression of dissatisfaction she knew so well.

`No, wait a minute.' She held his hand. `Let's talk about it, it worries me. I seem to spend nothing unnecessarily, but money seems simply to fly away. We don't manage well, somehow.'

`Not at all,' he said with a little cough, looking at her from under his brows.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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