"My God! shall I myself really have to say it to him?" she
thought. "Can I tell him I don't love him? That will be a lie.
What am I to say to him? That I love someone else? No, that's
impossible. I'm going away, I'm going away."
She had reached the door, when she heard his step. "No! it's not
honest. What have I to be afraid of? I have done nothing wrong.
What is to be, will be! I'll tell the truth. And with him one
can't be ill at ease. Here he is," she said to herself, seeing
his powerful, shy figure, with his shining eyes fixed on her.
She looked straight into his face, as thought imploring him to
spare her, and gave her hand.
"It's not time yet; I think I'm too early," he said glancing
round the empty drawing room. When he saw that his expectations
were realized, that there was nothing to prevent him from
speaking, his face became gloomy.
"Oh, no," said Kitty, and sat down at the table.
"But this was just what I wanted, to find you alone," be began,
not sitting down, and not looking at her, so as not to lose
"Mamma will be down directly. She was very much tired....
She talked on, not knowing what her lips were uttering, and not
taking her supplicating and caressing eyes off him.
He glanced at her; she blushed, and ceased speaking.
"I told you I did not know whether I should be here long...that
it depended on you..."
She dropped her head lower and lower, not knowing herself what
answer she should make to what was coming.
"That it depended on you," he repeated. "I meant to say...I
meant to say...I came for this...to be my wife!" he brought out,
not knowing what he was saying; but feeling that the most
terrible thing was said, he stopped short and looked at her...