Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
they moved the more
tightly she grasped his hand.
"With you I should soon learn; I somehow feel confidence in you,"
she said to him.
"And I have confidence in myself when you are leaning on me," he
said, but was at once panic-stricken at what he had said, and
blushed. And indeed, no sooner had he uttered these words, when
all at once, like the sun going behind a cloud, her face lost all
its friendliness, and Levin detected the familiar change in her
expression that denoted the working of thought; a crease showed
on her smooth brow.
"Is there anything troubling you?--though Ive no right to ask
such a question," he added hurriedly.
"Oh, why so?.... No, I have nothing to trouble me," she
responded coldly; and she added immediately: "You havent seen
Mlle. Linon, have you?"
"Go and speak to her, she likes you so much."
"Whats wrong? I have offended her. Lord help me!" thought
Levin, and he flew towards the old Frenchwoman with the gray
ringlets, who was sitting on a bench. Smiling and showing her
false teeth, she greeted him as an old friend.
"Yes, you see were growing up," she said to him, glancing
towards Kitty, "and growing old. _Tiny bear_ has grown big now!"
pursued the Frenchwoman, laughing, and she reminded him of his
joke about the three young ladies whom he had compared to the
three bears in the English nursery tale. "Do you remember thats
what you used to call them?"
He remembered absolutely nothing, but she had been laughing at
the joke for ten years now, and was fond of it.
"Now, go and skate, go and skate. Our Kitty has learned to skate
nicely, hasnt she?"
When Levin darted up to Kitty her face was no longer stern; her
eyes looked at him with the same sincerity and friendliness, but
Levin fancied that in her friendliness there was a certain note
of deliberate composure. And he felt depressed. After talking a
little of her old governess and her peculiarities, she questioned
him about his life.
"Surely you must be dull in the country in the winter, arent
you?" she said.
"No, Im not dull, I am very busy," he said, feeling that she was
holding him in check by her composed tone, which he would not
have the force to break through, just as it had been at the
beginning of the winter.
"Are you going to stay in town long?" Kitty questioned him.
"I dont know," he answered, not thinking of what he was saying.
The thought that if he were held in check by her tone of quiet
friendliness he would end by going back again without deciding
anything came into his mind, and he resolved to make a struggle
"How is it you dont know?"
"I dont know. It depends upon you," he said, and was
immediately horror-stricken at his own words.
Whether it was that she had heard his words, or that she did not
want to hear them, she made a sort of stumble, twice struck out,
and hurriedly skated away from him. She skated up to Mlle.
Linon, said something to her, and went towards the pavilion where
the ladies took off their skates.
"My God! what have I done! Merciful God! help me, guide me,"
said Levin, praying inwardly, and at the same time, feeling a
need of violent exercise, he skated about describing inner and
At that moment one of the young men, the best of the skaters of
the day, came out of the coffee-house in his skates, with a
cigarette in his mouth. Taking a run, he dashed down the steps
in his skates, crashing and bounding up and down. He flew down,
and without even changing the position of his hands, skated away
over the ice.
"Ah, thats a new trick!" said Levin, and he promptly ran up to
the top to do this new trick.
"Dont break your neck! it needs practice!" Nikolay Shtcherbatsky
shouted after him.
Levin went to the steps, took a run from above as best he could,
and dashed down, preserving his balance in this unwonted movement
with his hands. On the last step he stumbled, but barely
touching the ice with his hand, with a violent effort recovered
himself, and skated off, laughing.
"How splendid, how nice he is!" Kitty was thinking at that time,
as she came out of the pavilion with Mlle. Linon, and looked
towards him with a smile of quiet affection, as though
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