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Chapter 27


"He has gone! It is over!" Anna said to herself, standing at the
window; and in answer to this statement the impression of the
darkness when the candle had flickered out, and of her fearful
dream mingling into one, filled her heart with cold terror.

"No, that cannot be!" she cried, and crossing the room she rang
the bell. She was so afraid now of being alone, that without
waiting for the servant to come in, she went out to meet him.

"Iquire where the count has gone," she said. The servant
answered that the count had gone to the stable.

"His honor left word that if you cared to drive out, the carriage
would be back immediately."

"Very good. Wait a minute. I'll write a note at once. Send
Mihail with the note to the stables. Make haste."

She sat down and wrote:

"I was wrong. Come back home; I must explain. For God's sake
come! I'm afraid."

She sealed it up and gave it to the servant.

She was afraid of being left alone now; she followed the servant
out of the room, and went to the nursery.

"Why, this isn't it, this isn't he! Where are his blue eyes, his
sweet, shy smile?" was her first thought when she saw her chubby
rosy little girl with her black, curly hair instead of Seryozha,
whom in the tangle of her ideas she had expected to see in the
nursery. The little girl sitting at the table was obstinately
and violently battering on it with a cork, and staring aimlessly
at her mother with her pitch-black eyes. Answering the English
nurse that she was quite well, and that she was going to the
country tomorrow, Anna sat down by the little girl and began
spinning the cork to show her. But the child's loud, ringing
laugh, and the motion of her eyebrows, recalled Vronsky so
vividly that she got up hurriedly, restraining her sobs, and went
away. "Can it be all over? No, it cannot be!" she thought. "He
will come back. But how can he explain that smile, that
excitement after he had been talking to her? But even if he
doesn't explain, I will believe. If I don't believe, there's
only one thing left for me, and I can't."

She looked at her watch. Twenty minutes had passed. "By now he
has received the note and is coming back. Not long, ten minutes
more.... But what if he doesn't come? No, that cannot be. He
mustn't see me with tear-stained eyes. I'll go and wash. Yes,
yes; did I do my hair or not?" she asked herself. And she could
not remember. She felt her head with her hand. "Yes, my hair
has been done, but when I did it I can't in the least remember."
She could not believe the evidence of her hand, and went up to
the pier glass to see whether she really had done her hair. She
certainly had, but she could not think when she had done it.
"Who's that?" she thought, looking in the looking glass at the
swollen face with strangely glittering eyes, that looked in a
scared way at her. "Why, it's I!" she suddenly understood, and
looking round, she seemed all at once to feel his kisses on her,
and twitched her shoulders, shuddering. Then she lifted her hand
to her lips and kissed it.

"What is it? Why, I'm going out of my mind!" and she went into
her bedroom, where Annushka was tidying the room.

"Annushka," she said, coming to a standstill before her, and she
stared at the maid, not knowing what to say to her.

"You meant to go and see Darya Alexandrovna," said the girl, as
though she understood.

"Darya Alexandrovna? Yes, I'll go."

"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
lower city road."

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

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

"Go with this note to Countess Vronskaya's place, you know? 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 true 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 Pyotr before getting onto the bow

"To Znamenka, the Oblonskys'."



Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Category:
Fiction - Russian literature
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