When Levin and Stepan Arkadyevitch reached the peasant's hut
where Levin always used to stay, Veslovsky was already there. He
was sitting in the middle of the hut, clinging with both hands to
the bench from which he was being pulled by a soldier, the
brother of the peasant's wife, who was helping him off with his
miry boots. Veslovsky was laughing his infectious, good-humored
"I've only just come. Ils ont ete charmants. Just fancy, they
gave me drink, fed me! Such bread, it was exquisite! Delicieux!
And the vodka, I never tasted any better. And they would not
take a penny for anything. And they kept saying: 'Excuse our
"What should they take anything for? They were entertaining you,
to be sure. Do you suppose they keep vodka for sale?" said the
soldier, succeeding at last in pulling the soaked boot off the
In spite of the dirtiness of the hut, which was all muddied by
their boots and the filthy dogs licking themselves clean, and the
smell of marsh mud and powder that filled the room, and the
absence of knives and forks, the party drank their tea and ate
their supper with a relish only known to sportsmen. Washed and
clean, they went into a hay-barn swept ready for them, where the
coachman had been making up beds for the gentlemen.
Though it was dusk, not one of them wanted to go to sleep.
After wavering among reminiscences and anecdotes of guns, of
dogs, and of former shooting parties, the conversation rested on
a topic that interested all of them. After Vassenka had several
times over expressed his appreciation of this delightful
sleeping place among the fragrant hay, this delightful broken
cart (he supposed it to be broken because the shafts had been
taken out), of the good nature of the peasants that had treated
him to vodka, of the dogs who lay at the feet of their respective
masters, Oblonsky began telling them of a delightful shooting
party at Malthus's, where he had stayed the previous summer.