While the train was stopping at the provincial town, Sergey
Ivanovitch did not go to the refreshment room, but walked up and
down the platform.
The first time he passed Vronsky's compartment he noticed that
the curtain was drawn over the window; but as he passed it the
second time he saw the old countess at the window. She beckoned
"I'm going, you see, taking him as far as Kursk," she said.
"Yes, so I heard," said Sergey Ivanovitch, standing at her window
and peeping in. "What a noble act on his part!" he added,
noticing that Vronsky was not in the compartment.
"Yes, after his misfortune, what was there for him to do?"
"What a terrible thing it was!" said Sergey Ivanovitch.
"Ah, what I have been through! But do get in.... Ah, what I
have been through!" she repeated, when Sergey Ivanovitch had got
in and sat down beside her. "You can't conceive it! For six
weeks he did not speak to anyone, and would not touch food
except when I implored him. And not for one minute could we
leave him alone. We took away everything he could have used
against himself. We lived on the ground floor, but there was no
reckoning on anything. You know, of course, that he had shot
himself once already on her account," she said, and the old
lady's eyelashes twitched at the recollection. "Yes, hers was
the fitting end for such a woman. Even the death she chose was
low and vulgar."
"It's not for us to judge, countess," said Sergey Ivanovitch;
"but I can understand that it has been very hard for you."