Agafea Mihalovna went out on tiptoe; the nurse let down the
blind, chased a fly out from under the muslin canopy of the crib,
and a bumblebee struggling on the window-frame, and sat down
waving a faded branch of birch over the mother and the baby.
"How hot it is! if God would send a drop of rain," she said.
"Yes, yes, sh--sh--sh--" was all Kitty answered, rocking a
little, and tenderly squeezing the plump little arm, with rolls
of fat at the wrist, which Mitya still waved feebly as he opened
and shut his eyes. That hand worried Kitty; she longed to kiss
the little hand, but was afraid to for fear of waking the baby.
At last the little hand ceased waving, and the eyes closed. Only
from time to time, as he went on sucking, the baby raised his
long, curly eyelashes and peeped at his mother with wet eyes,
that looked black in the twilight. The nurse had left off
fanning, and was dozing. From above came the peals of the old
prince's voice, and the chuckle of Katavasov.
"They have got into talk without me," thought Kitty, "but still
it's vexing that Kostya's out. He's sure to have gone to the
bee house again. Though it's a pity he's there so often, still
I'm glad. It distracts his mind. He's become altogether happier
and better now than in the spring. He used to be so gloomy and
worried that I felt frightened for him. And how absurd he is!"
she whispered, smiling.
She knew what worried her husband. It was his unbelief.
Although, if she had been asked whether she supposed that in the
future life, if he did not believe, he would be damned, she would
have had to admit that he would be damned, his unbelief did not
cause her unhappiness. And she, confessing that for an
unbeliever there can be no salvation, and loving her husband's
soul more than anything in the world, thought with a smile of his
unbelief, and told herself that he was absurd.