Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
never lost his
self-possession), Vronsky drove to the sheds. From the sheds he
could see a perfect sea of carriages, and people on foot,
soldiers surrounding the race course, and pavilions swarming with
people. The second race was apparently going on, for just as he
went into the sheds he heard a bell ringing. Going towards the
stable, he met the white-legged chestnut, Mahotins Gladiator,
being led to the race-course in a blue forage horsecloth, with
what looked like huge ears edged with blue.
"Wheres Cord?" he asked the stable-boy.
"In the stable, putting on the saddle."
In the open horse-box stood Frou-Frou, saddled ready. They were
just going to lead her out.
"Im not too late?"
"All right! All right!" said the Englishman; "dont upset
Vronsky once more took in in one glance the exquisite lines of
his favorite mare; who was quivering all over, and with an effort
he tore himself from the sight of her, and went out of the
stable. He went towards the pavilions at the most favorable
moment for escaping attention. The mile-and-a-half race was just
finishing, and all eyes were fixed on the horse-guard in front
and the light hussar behind, urging their horses on with a last
effort close to the winning post. From the center and outside of
the ring all were crowding to the winning post, and a group of
soldiers and officers of the horse-guards were shouting loudly
their delight at the expected triumph of their officer and
comrade. Vronsky moved into the middle of the crowd unnoticed,
almost at the very moment when the bell rang at the finish of the
race, and the tall, mudspattered horse-guard who came in first,
bending over the saddle, let go the reins of his panting gray
horse that looked dark with sweat.
The horse, stiffening out its legs, with an effort stopped its
rapid course, and the officer of the horse-guards looked round
him like a man waking up from a heavy sleep, and just managed to
smile. A crowd of friends and outsiders pressed round him.
Vronsky intentionally avoided that select crowd of the upper
world, which was moving and talking with discreet freedom before
the pavilions. He knew that Madame Karenina was there, and
Betsy, and his brothers wife, and he purposely did not go near
them for fear of something distracting his attention. But he was
continually met and stopped by acquaintances, who told him about
the previous races, and kept asking him why he was so late.
At the time when the racers had to go to the pavilion to receive
the prizes, and all attention was directed to that point,
Vronskys elder brother, Alexander, a colonel with heavy fringed
epaulets, came up to him. He was not tall, though as broadly
built as Alexey, and handsomer and rosier than he; he had a red
nose, and an open, drunken-looking face.
"Did you get my note?" he said. "Theres never any finding you."
Alexander Vronsky, in spite of the dissolute life, and in
especial the drunken habits, for which he was notorious, was
quite one of the court circle.
Now, as he talked to his brother of a matter bound to be
exceedingly disagreeable to him, knowing that the eyes of many
people might be fixed upon him, he kept a smiling countenance, as
though he were jesting with his brother about something of little
"I got it, and I really cant make out what _you_ are worrying
yourself about," said Alexey.
"Im worrying myself because the remark has just been made to me
that you werent here, and that you were seen in Peterhof on
"There are matters which only concern those directly interested
in them, and the matter you are so worried about is..."
"Yes, but if so, you may as well cut the service...."
"I beg you not to meddle, and thats all I have to say."
Alexey Vronskys frowning face turned white, and his prominent
lower jaw quivered, which happened rarely with him. Being a man
of very warm heart, he was seldom angry; but when he was angry,
and when his chin quivered, then, as Alexander Vronsky knew, he
was dangerous. Alexander Vronsky smiled gaily.
"I only wanted to give you Mothers letter. Answer it, and dont
worry about anything just before the race. Bonne chance," he
added, smiling and he moved away from him. But after him another
friendly greeting brought Vronsky to a standstill.
"So you wont recognize your friends! How are you,
Anna Karenina page 109 Anna Karenina page 111