Chapter 25

Feeling that the reconciliation was complete, Anna set eagerly to work in the morning preparing for their departure. Though it was not settled whether they should go on Monday or Tuesday, as they had each given way to the other, Anna packed busily, feeling absolutely indifferent whether they went a day earlier or later. She was standing in her room over an open box, taking things out of it, when he came in to see her earlier than usual, dressed to go out.

`I'm going off at once to see maman; she can send me the money by Iegorov. And I shall be ready to go tomorrow,' he said.

Though she was in such a good mood, the mention of his visit to his mother's gave her a pang.

`No, I shan't be ready by then myself,' she said; and at once reflected, `so then it was possible to arrange to do as I wished.' - `No, do as you meant to do. Go into the dining room, I'm coming directly. It's only to turn out those things that aren't wanted,' she said, putting something more on the heap of frippery that lay in Annushka's arms.

Vronsky was eating his beefsteak when she came into the dining room.

`You wouldn't believe how distasteful these rooms have become to me,' she said, sitting down beside him to her coffee. `There's nothing more awful than these chambres garnies. There's no individuality in them, no soul. These clocks, and curtains, and, worst of all, the wallpapers - they're a nightmare. I think of Vozdvizhenskoe as the promised land. You're not sending the horses off yet?'

`No, they will come after us. Where are you going to?'

`I wanted to go to Wilson's to take some dresses to her. So it's really to be tomorrow?' she said in a cheerful voice; but suddenly her face changed.

Vronsky's valet came in to ask him to sign a receipt for a telegram from Peterburg. There was nothing out of the way in Vronsky's getting a telegram, but he said, as though anxious to conceal something from her, that the receipt was in his study, and he turned hurriedly to her.

`By tomorrow, without fail, I will finish it all.'

`From whom is the telegram?' she asked, not hearing him.

`From Stiva,' he answered reluctantly.

`Why didn't you show it to me? What secret can there be between Stiva and me?'

Vronsky called the valet back, and told him to bring the telegram.

`I didn't want to show it to you, because Stiva has such a passion for telegraphing: why telegraph when nothing is settled?'

`About the divorce?'

`Yes; but he says he has not been able to come at anything yet. He has promised a decisive answer in a day or two. But here it is; read it.'

With trembling hands Anna took the telegram, and read what Vronsky had told her. At the end was added: `little hope; but I will do everything possible and impossible.'

`I said yesterday that it's absolutely nothing to me when I get a divorce, or whether I never get it,' she said, flushing crimson. `There was not the slightest necessity to hide it from me.' - `So he may hide, and does hide, his correspondence with women from me,' she thought.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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