On the terrace were assembled all the ladies of the party. They
always liked sitting there after dinner, and that day they had
work to do there too. Besides the sewing and knitting of
baby clothes, with which all of them were busy, that afternoon
jam was being made on the terrace by a method new to Agafea
Mihalovna, without the addition of water. Kitty had introduced
this new method, which had been in use in her home. Agafea
Mihalovna, to whom the task of jam-making had always been
intrusted, considering that what had been done in the Levin
household could not be amiss, had nevertheless put water with the
strawberries, maintaining that the jam could not be made without
it. She had been caught in the act, and was now making jam
before everyone, and it was to be proved to her conclusively that
jam could be very well made without water.
Agafea Mihalovna, her face heated and angry, her hair untidy, and
her thin arms bare to the elbows, was turning the preserving-pan
over the charcoal stove, looking darkly at the raspberries and
devoutly hoping they would stick and not cook properly. The
princess, conscious that Agafea Mihalovna's wrath must be chiefly
directed against her, as the person responsible for the raspberry
jam-making, tried to appear to be absorbed in other things and
not interested in the jam, talked of other matters, but cast
stealthy glances in the direction of the stove.
"I always buy my maids' dresses myself, of some cheap material,"
the princess said, continuing the previous conversation. "Isn't
it time to skim it, my dear?" she added, addressing Agafea
Mihalovna. "There's not the slightest need for you to do it, and
it's hot for you," she said, stopping Kitty.
"I'll do it," said Dolly, and getting up, she carefully passed
the spoon over the frothing sugar, and from time to time shook
off the clinging jam from the spoon by knocking it on a plate
that was covered with yellow-red scum and blood-colored syrup.
"How they'll enjoy this at tea-time!" she thought of her
children, remembering how she herself as a child had wondered how
it was the grown-up people did not eat what was best of all--the
scum of the jam.