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was true that Vronsky was not killed. Was it of him they were speaking when they said the rider was unhurt, but the horse had broken its back? She merely smiled with a pretense of irony when he finished, and made no reply, because she had not heard what he said. Alexey Alexandrovitch had begun to speak boldly, but as he realized plainly what he was speaking of, the dismay she was feeling infected him too. He saw the smile, and a strange misapprehension came over him. "She is smiling at my suspicions. Yes, she will tell me directly what she told me before; that there is no foundation for my suspicions, that its absurd." At that moment, when the revelation of everything was hanging over him, there was nothing he expected so much as that she would answer mockingly as before that his suspicions were absurd and utterly groundless. So terrible to him was what he knew that now he was ready to believe anything. But the expression of her face, scared and gloomy, did not now promise even deception. "Possibly I was mistaken," said he. "If so, I beg your pardon." "No, you were not mistaken," she said deliberately, looking desperately into his cold face. "You were not mistaken. I was, and I could not help being in despair. I hear you, but I am thinking of him. I love him, I am his mistress; I cant bear you; Im afraid of you, and I hate you.... You can do what you like to me." And dropping back into the corner of the carriage, she broke into sobs, hiding her face in her hands. Alexey Alexandrovitch did not stir, and kept looking straight before him. But his whole face suddenly bore the solemn rigidity of the dead, and his expression did not change during the whole time of the drive home. On reaching the house he turned his head to her, still with the same expression. "Very well! But I expect a strict observance of the external forms of propriety till such time"--his voice shook--"as I may take measures to secure my honor and communicate them to you." He got out first and helped her to get out. Before the servants he pressed her hand, took his seat in the carriage, and drove back to Petersburg. Immediately afterwards a footman came from Princess Betsy and brought Anna a note. "I sent to Alexey to find out how he is, and he writes me he is quite well and unhurt, but in despair." "So _he_ will be here," she thought. "What a good thing I told him all!" She glanced at her watch. She had still three hours to wait, and the memories of their last meeting set her blood in flame. "My God, how light it is! Its dreadful, but I do love to see his face, and I do love this fantastic light.... My husband! Oh! yes.... Well, thank God! everythings over with him." Chapter 30 In the little German watering-place to which the Shtcherbatskys had betaken themselves, as in all places indeed where people are gathered together, the usual process, as it were, of the crystallization of society went on, assigning to each member of that society a definite and unalterable place. Just as the particle of water in frost, definitely and unalterably, takes the special form of the crystal of snow, so each new person that arrived at the springs was at once placed in his special place. _Fuerst_ Shtcherbatsky, _sammt Gemahlin und Tochter_, by the apartments they took, and from their name and from the friends they made, were immediately crystallized into a definite place marked out for them. There was visiting the watering-place that year a real German Fuerstin, in consequence of which the crystallizing process went on more vigorously than ever. Princess Shtcherbatskaya wished, above everything, to present her daughter to this German princess, and the day after their arrival she duly performed this rite. Kitty made a low and graceful curtsey in the _very simple_, that is to say, very elegant frock that had been ordered her from Paris. The German princess said, "I hope the roses will soon come back to this pretty little face," and for the Shtcherbatskys certain definite lines of existence were at once laid down from which there was no departing. The Shtcherbatskys made the acquaintance too of the family of an English Lady Somebody, and of a German countess

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