The old prince too had come in from his study after the doctor's
departure, and after presenting his cheek to Dolly, and saying a
few words to her, he turned to his wife:
"How have you settled it? you're going? Well, and what do you
mean to do with me?"
"I suppose you had better stay here, Alexander," said his wife.
"That's as you like."
"Mamma, why shouldn't father come with us?" said Kitty. "It
would be nicer for him and for us too."
The old prince got up and stroked Kitty's hair. She lifted her
head and looked at them with a forced smile. It always seemed to
her that he understood her better than anyone in the family,
though he did not say much about her. Being the youngest, she
was her father's favorite, and she fancied that his love gave him
insight. When now her glance meet his blue kindly eyes looking
intently at her, it seemed to her that he saw right through her,
and understood all that was not good that was passing within her.
Reddening, she stretched out towards him expecting a kiss, but he
only patted her hair and said:
"These stupid chignons! There's no getting at the real daughter.
One simply strokes the bristles of dead women. Well, Dolinka,"
he turned to his elder daughter, "what's your young buck about,
"Nothing, father," answered Dolly, understanding that her husband
was meant. "He's always out; I scarcely ever see him," she could
not resist adding with a sarcastic smile.
"Why, hasn't he gone into the country yet--to see about selling
"No, he's still getting ready for the journey."