That cough she knew well. It was a sign of intense dissatisfaction, not with her, but with himself. He certainly was displeased, not at so much money being spent, but at being reminded of what he, knowing something was unsatisfactory, wanted to forget.
`I have told Sokolov to sell the wheat, and to borrow an advance on the mill. We shall have money enough in any case.'
`Yes, but I'm afraid that altogether it's too much....'
`Not at all, not at all,' he repeated. `Well, good-by, darling.'
`No, I'm really sorry sometimes that I listened to mamma. How nice it would have been in the country! As it is, I'm worrying you all, and we're wasting our money.'
`Not at all, not at all. Not once since I've been married have I said that things could have been better than they are....'
`Truly?' she said, looking into his eyes.
He had said it without thinking, simply to console her. But when he glanced at her and saw those sweet truthful eyes fastened questioningly on him, he repeated it with his whole heart. `I was positively forgetting her,' he thought. And he remembered what was before them, so soon to come.
`Will it be soon? How do you feel?' he whispered, taking her two hands.
`I have so often thought so, that now I don't think about it, or know anything about it.'
`And you're not frightened?'
She smiled contemptuously.
`Not the least little bit,' she said.
`Well, if anything happens, I shall be at Katavassov's.'
`No, nothing will happen, and don't think about it. I'm going for a walk on the boulevard with papa. We're going to see Dolly. I shall expect you before dinner. Oh, yes! Do you know that Dolly's position is becoming utterly impossible? She's in debt all round; she hasn't a penny. We were talking yesterday with mamma and Arsenii' (this was her sister's husband, Lvov), `and we determined to send you with him to talk to Stiva. It's really unbearable. One can't speak to papa about it.... But if you and he...'
`Why, what can we do?' said Levin.
`You'll be at Arsenii's, anyway; talk to him - he will tell you what we decided.'
`Oh, I agree to everything Arsenii thinks beforehand. I'll go and see him. By the way, if I do go to the concert, I'll go with Natalie. Well, good-by.'
On the steps Levin was stopped by his old servant Kouzma, who had been with him before his marriage, and now looked after their household in town.
`Little Adonis' (that was the left shaft horse brought up from the country) `has been shod anew, but she is still lame,' he said. `What does Your Honor wish to be done?'
During the first part of their stay in Moscow, Levin had used his own horses brought up from the country. He had tried to arrange this part of their expenses in the best and cheapest way possible; but it appeared that their own horses came dearer than hired horses, and they still hired additional horses.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|