Vronsky mentioned the names of the guests. "The dinner was
first rate, and the boat race, and it was all pleasant enough,
but in Moscow they can never do anything without something
ridicule. A lady of a sort appeared on the scene, teacher of
swimming to the Queen of Sweden, and gave us an exhibition of her
"How? did she swim?" asked Anna, frowning.
"In an absurd red costume de natation; she was old and hideous
too. So when shall we go?"
"What an absurd fancy! Why, did she swim in some special way,
then?" said Anna, not answering.
"There was absolutely nothing in it. That's just what I say, it
was awfully stupid. Well, then, when do you think of going?"
Anna shook her head as though trying to drive away some
"When? Why, the sooner the better! By tomorrow we shan't be
ready. The day after tomorrow."
"Yes...oh, no, wait a minute! The day after to-morrow's Sunday,
I have to be at maman's," said Vronsky, embarrassed, because as
soon as he uttered his mother's name he was aware of her intent,
suspicious eyes. His embarrassment confirmed her suspicion. She
flushed hotly and drew away from him. It was now not the Queen
of Sweden's swimming-mistress who filled Anna's imagination, but
the young Princess Sorokina. She was staying in a village near
Moscow with Countess Vronskaya.
"Can't you go tomorrow?" she said.
"Well, no! The deeds and the money for the business I'm going
there for I can't get by tomorrow," he answered.
"If so, we won't go at all."
"But why so?"
"I shall not go later. Monday or never!"