The crop of clover coming up in the stubble was magnificent. It
had survived everything, and stood up vividly green through the
broken stalks of last year's wheat. The horse sank in up to
the pasterns, and he drew each hoof with a sucking sound out of
the half-thawed ground. Over the ploughland riding was utterly
impossible; the horse could only keep a foothold where there was
ice, and in the thawing furrows he sank deep in at each step.
The ploughland was in splendid condition; in a couple of days it
would be fit for harrowing and sowing. Everything was capital,
everything was cheering. Levin rode back across the streams,
hoping the water would have gone down. And he did in fact get
across, and startled two ducks. "There must be snipe too," he
thought, and just as he reached the turning homewards he met the
forest keeper, who confirmed his theory about the snipe.
Levin went home at a trot, so as to have time to eat his dinner
and get his gun ready for the evening.