For the first moment only, Vronsky was startled after the
impression of a quite different world that he had brought with
him from Moscow. But immediately as though slipping his feet
into old slippers, he dropped back into the light-hearted,
pleasant world he had always lived in.
The coffee was never really made, but spluttered over every one,
and boiled away, doing just what was required of it--that is,
providing much cause for much noise and laughter, and spoiling a
costly rug and the baroness's gown.
"Well now, good-bye, or you'll never get washed, and I shall have
on my conscience the worst sin a gentleman can commit. So you
would advise a knife to his throat?"
"To be sure, and manage that your hand may not be far from his
lips. He'll kiss your hand, and all will end satisfactorily,"
"So at the Francais!" and, with a rustle of her skirts, she
Kamerovsky got up too, and Vronsky, not waiting for him to go,
shook hands and went off to his dressing room.
While he was washing, Petritsky described to him in brief
outlines his position, as far as it had changed since Vronsky had
left Petersburg. No money at all. His father said he wouldn't
give him any and pay his debts. His tailor was trying to get him
locked up, and another fellow, too, was threatening to get him
locked up. The colonel of the regiment had announced that if
these scandals did not cease he would have to leave. As for the
baroness, he was sick to death of her, especially since she'd
taken to offering continually to lend him money. But he had
found a girl--he'd show her to Vronsky--a marvel, exquisite, in
the strict Oriental style, "genre of the slave Rebecca, don't
you know." He'd had a row, too, with Berkoshov, and was going to
send seconds to him, but of course it would come to nothing.
Altogether everything was supremely amusing and jolly. And, not
letting his comrade enter into further details of his position,
Petritsky proceeded to tell him all the interesting news. As he
listened to Petritsky's familiar stories in the familiar setting
of the rooms he had spent the last three years in, Vronsky felt a
delightful sense of coming back to the careless Petersburg life
that he was used to.