But they might say what they liked, he knew now that all was
over. He stood in the next room, his head leaning against the
door post, and heard shrieks, howls such as he had never heard
before, and he knew that what had been Kitty was uttering these
shrieks. He had long ago ceased to wish for the child. By now
he loathed this child. He did not even wish for her life now,
all he longed for was the end of this awful anguish.
"Doctor! what is it? What is it? By God!" he said, snatching at
the doctor's hand as he came up.
"It's the end," said the doctor. And the doctor's face was so
grave as he said it that Levin took THE END as meaning her death.
Beside himself, he ran into the bedroom. The first thing he saw
was the face of Lizaveta Petrovna. It was even more frowning and
stern. Kitty's face he did not know. In the place where it had
been was something that was fearful in its strained distortion
and in the sounds that came from it. He fell down with his head
on the wooden framework of the bed, feeling that his heart was
bursting. The awful scream never paused, it became still more
awful, and as though it had reached the utmost limit of terror,
suddenly it ceased. Levin could not believe his ears, but there
could be no doubt; the scream had ceased and he heard a subdued
stir and bustle, and hurried breathing, and her voice, gasping,
alive, tender, and blissful, uttered softly, "It's over!"
He lifted his head. With her hands hanging exhausted on the
quilt, looking extraordinarily lovely and serene, she looked at
him in silence and tried to smile, and could not.
And suddenly, from the mysterious and awful far-away world in
which he had been living for the last twenty-two hours, Levin
felt himself all in an instant borne back to the old every-day
world, glorified though now, by such a radiance of happiness that
he could not bear it. The strained chords snapped, sobs and
tears of joy which he had never foreseen rose up with such
violence that his whole body shook, that for long they prevented
him from speaking.