The Frenchman was asleep, or pretending to be asleep, with his
head on the back of his chair, and his moist hand, as it lay on
his knee, made faint movements, as though trying to catch
something. Alexey Alexandrovitch got up, tried to move
carefully, but stumbled against the table, went up and laid his
hand in the Frenchman's hand. Stepan Arkadyevitch got up too,
and opening his eyes wide, trying to wake himself up if he were
asleep, he looked first at one and then at the other. It was all
real. Stepan Arkadyevitch felt that his head was getting worse
"Que la personne qui est arrivee la derniere, celle qui demande,
qu'elle sorte! Qu'elle sorte!" articulated the Frenchman,
without opening his eyes.
"Vous m'excuserez, mais vous voyez.... Revenez vers dix heures,
encore mieux demain."
"Qu'elle sorte!" repeated the Frenchman impatiently.
"C'est moi, n'est-ce pas?" And receiving an answer in the
affirmative, Stepan Arkadyevitch, forgetting the favor he had
meant to ask of Lidia Ivanovna, and forgetting his sister's
affairs, caring for nothing, but filled with the sole desire to
get away as soon as possible, went out on tiptoe and ran out into
the street as though from a plague-stricken house. For a long
while he chatted and joked with his cab-driver, trying to recover
At the French theater where he arrived for the last act, and
afterwards at the Tatar restaurant after his champagne, Stepan
Arkadyevitch felt a little refreshed in the atmosphere he was
used to. But still he felt quite unlike himself all that
On getting home to Pyotr Oblonsky's, where he was staying, Stepan
Arkadyevitch found a note from Betsy. She wrote to him that she
was very anxious to finish their interrupted conversation, and
begged him to come next day. He had scarcely read this note, and
frowned at its contents, when he heard below the ponderous tramp
of the servants, carrying something heavy.