Alexey Alexandrovitch's departure made a great sensation, the
more so as just before he started he officially returned the
posting-fares allowed him for twelve horses, to drive to his
"I think it very noble," Betsy said about this to the Princess
Myakaya. "Why take money for posting-horses when everyone knows
that there are railways everywhere now?"
But Princess Myakaya did not agree, and the Princess Tverskaya's
opinion annoyed her indeed.
"It's all very well for you to talk," said she, "when you have I
don't know how many millions; but I am very glad when my husband
goes on a revising tour in the summer. It's very good for him
and pleasant traveling about, and it's a settled arrangement for
me to keep a carriage and coachman on the money."
On his way to the remote provinces Alexey Alexandrovitch stopped
for three days at Moscow.
The day after his arrival he was driving back from calling on the
governor-general. At the crossroads by Gazetoy Place, where
there are always crowds of carriages and sledges, Alexey
Alexandrovitch suddenly heard his name called out in such a loud
and cheerful voice that he could not help looking round. At the
corner of the pavement, in a short, stylish overcoat and a
low-crowned fashionable hat, jauntily askew, with a smile that
showed a gleam of white teeth and red lips, stood Stepan
Arkadyevitch, radiant, young, and beaming. He called him
vigorously and urgently, and insisted on his stopping. He had
one arm on the window of a carriage that was stopping at the
corner, and out of the window were thrust the heads of a lady in
a velvet hat, and two children. Stepan Arkadyevitch was smiling
and beckoning to his brother-in-law. The lady smiled a kindly
smile too, and she too waved her hand to Alexey Alexandrovitch.
It was Dolly with her children.
Alexey Alexandrovitch did not want to see anyone in Moscow, and
least of all his wife's brother. He raised his hat and would
have driven on, but Stepan Arkadyevitch told his coachman to
stop, and ran across the snow to him.