Two maidservants walking along the platform turned their heads,
staring at her and making some remarks about her dress. "Real,"
they said of the lace she was wearing. The young men would not
leave her in peace. Again they passed by, peering into her face,
and with a laugh shouting something in an unnatural voice. The
station-master coming up asked her whether she was going by
train. A boy selling kvas never took his eyes off her. "My God!
where am I to go?" she thought, going farther and farther along
the platform. At the end she stopped. Some ladies and children,
who had come to meet a gentleman in spectacles, paused in their
loud laughter and talking, and stared at her as she reached them.
She quickened her pace and walked away from them to the edge of
the platform. A luggage train was coming in. The platform began
to sway, and she fancied she was in the train again.
And all at once she thought of the man crushed by the train the
day she had first met Vronsky, and she knew what she had to do.
With a rapid, light step she went down the steps that led from
the tank to the rails and stopped quite near the approaching
She looked at the lower part of the carriages, at the screws and
chains and the tall cast-iron wheel of the first carriage slowly
moving up, and trying to measure the middle between the front and
back wheels, and the very minute when that middle point would be
"There," she said to herself, looking into the shadow of the
carriage, at the sand and coal dust which covered the sleepers--
"there, in the very middle, and I will punish him and escape
from everyone and from myself."