He did not know whether it was late or early. The candles had
all burned out. Dolly had just been in the study and had
suggested to the doctor that he should lie down. Levin sat
listening to the doctor's stories of a quack mesmerizer and
looking at the ashes of his cigarette. There had been a period
of repose, and he had sunk into oblivion. He had completely
forgotten what was going on now. He heard the doctor's chat and
understood it. Suddenly there came an unearthly shriek. The
shriek was so awful that Levin did not even jump up, but holding
his breath, gazed in terrified inquiry at the doctor. The doctor
put his head on one side, listened, and smiled approvingly.
Everything was so extraordinary that nothing could strike Levin
as strange. "I suppose it must be so," he thought, and still sat
where he was. Whose scream was this? He jumped up, ran on
tiptoe to the bedroom, edged round Lizaveta Petrovna and the
princess, and took up his position at Kitty's pillow. The scream
had subsided, but there was some change now. What it was he did
not see and did not comprehend, and he had no wish to see or
comprehend. But he saw it by the face of Lizaveta Petrovna.
Lizaveta Petrovna's face was stern and pale, and still as
resolute, though her jaws were twitching, and her eyes were fixed
intently on Kitty. Kitty's swollen and agonized face, a tress of
hair clinging to her moist brow, was turned to him and sought his
eyes. Her lifted hands asked for his hands. Clutching his chill
hands in her moist ones, she began squeezing them to her face.
"Don't go, don't go! I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid!" she said
rapidly. "Mamma, take my earrings. They bother me. You're not
afraid? Quick, quick, Lizaveta Petrovna..."
She spoke quickly, very quickly, and tried to smile. But
suddenly her face was drawn, she pushed him away.
"Oh, this is awful! I'm dying, I'm dying! Go away!" she
shrieked, and again he heard that unearthly scream.
Levin clutched at his head and ran out of the room.
"It's nothing, it's nothing, it's all right," Dolly called after