`Fifteen minutes there, fifteen minutes back. He's coming, he'll be here soon.' She took out her watch and looked at it. `But how could he go away, leaving me in such a state? How can he live, without making it up with me?' She went to the window and began looking into the street. Judging by the time, he might be back now. But her calculations might be wrong, and she began once more to recall when he had started and to count the minutes.

At the moment when she had moved away to the big clock to compare it with her watch, someone drove up. Glancing out of the window, she saw his carriage. But no one came upstairs, and voices could be heard below. It was the messenger who had come back in the carriage. She went down to him.

`We didn't catch the Count. The Count had driven off on the Nizhny-Novgorod line.'

`What do you say? What!...' she said to the rosy, good-humored Mikhail, as he handed her back her note.

`Why, then, he has never received it!' she thought.

`Go with this note to Countess Vronsky's place in the country - do you know where it is? And bring an answer back immediately,' she said to the messenger.

`And I - what am I going to do?' she thought. `Yes, I'm going to Dolly's - that's best, or else I shall go out of my mind. Yes, and I can telegraph, too.' And she wrote a telegram:

`I absolutely must talk to you; come at once.'

After sending off the telegram, she went to dress. When she was dressed and in her hat, she glanced again into the eyes of the plump, comfortable-looking Annushka. There was unmistakable sympathy in those good-natured little gray eyes.

`Annushka, dear, what am I to do?' said Anna, sobbing and sinking helplessly into a chair.

`Why fret yourself so, Anna Arkadyevna? Why, there's nothing out of the way. You drive out a little, and it'll cheer you up,' said the maid.

`Yes, I'm going,' said Anna, rousing herself and getting up. `And if there's a telegram while I'm away, send it on to Darya Alexandrovna's.... But no, I shall be back myself.'

`Yes, I mustn't think; I must do something, drive somewhere, and, most of all, get out of this house,' she said, feeling with terror the strange turmoil going on in her own heart, and she made haste to go out, and get into the carriage.

`Where to?' asked Piotr before getting on the box.

`The Znamenka - the Oblonskys'.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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