Vronsky was at the head of the race, just as he wanted to be and
as Cord had advised, and now he felt sure of being the winner.
His excitement, his delight, and his tenderness for Frou-Frou
grew keener and keener. He longed to look round again, but he
did not dare do this, and tried to be cool and not to urge on his
mare so to keep the same reserve of force in her as he felt that
Gladiator still kept. There remained only one obstacle, the most
difficult; if he could cross it ahead of the others he would come
in first. He was flying towards the Irish barricade, Frou-Frou
and he both together saw the barricade in the distance, and both
the man and the mare had a moment's hesitation. He saw the
uncertainty in the mare's ears and lifted the whip, but at the
same time felt that his fears were groundless; the mare knew what
was wanted. She quickened her pace and rose smoothly, just as he
had fancied she would, and as she left the ground gave herself up
to the force of her rush, which carried her far beyond the ditch;
and with the same rhythm, without effort, with the same leg
forward, Frou-Frou fell back into her pace again.
"Bravo, Vronsky!" he heard shouts from a knot of men--he knew
they were his friends in the regiment--who were standing at the
obstacle. He could not fail to recognize Yashvin's voice though
he did not see him.