Alexey Alexandrovitch stroked his son's hair, answered the
governess's inquiries about his wife, and asked what the doctor
had said of the baby.
"The doctor said it was nothing serious, and he ordered a bath,
"But she is still in pain," said Alexey Alexandrovitch, listening
to the baby's screaming in the next room.
"I think it's the wet-nurse, sir," the Englishwoman said firmly.
"What makes you think so?" he asked, stopping short.
"It's just as it was at Countess Paul's, sir. They gave the baby
medicine, and it turned out that the baby was simply hungry: the
nurse had no milk, sir."
Alexey Alexandrovitch pondered, and after standing still a few
seconds he went in at the other door. The baby was lying with
its head thrown back, stiffening itself in the nurse's arms, and
would not take the plump breast offered it; and it never ceased
screaming in spite of the double hushing of the wet-nurse and the
other nurse, who was bending over her.
"Still no better?" said Alexey Alexandrovitch.
"She's very restless," answered the nurse in a whisper.
"Miss Edwarde says that perhaps the wet-nurse has no milk," he
"I think so too, Alexey Alexandrovitch."
"Then why didn't you say so?"
"Who's one to say it to? Anna Arkadyevna still ill..." said the
The nurse was an old servant of the family. And in her simple
words there seemed to Alexey Alexandrovitch an allusion to his
The baby screamed louder than ever, struggling and sobbing. The
nurse, with a gesture of despair, went to it, took it from the
wet-nurse's arms, and began walking up and down, rocking it.