"Yes, In hear it," answered Levin, reluctantly breaking the
stillness with his voice, which sounded disagreeable to himself.
"Now it's coming!"
Stepan Arkadyevitch's figure again went behind the bush, and
Levin saw nothing but the bright flash of a match, followed by
the red glow and blue smoke of a cigarette.
"Tchk! tchk!" came the snapping sound of Stepan Arkadyevitch
cocking his gun.
"What's that cry?" asked Oblonsky, drawing Levin's attention to
a prolonged cry, as though a colt were whinnying in a high voice,
"Oh, don't you know it? That's the hare. But enough talking!
Listen, it's flying!" almost shrieked Levin, cocking his gun.
They heard a shrill whistle in the distance, and in the exact
time, so well known to the sportsman, two seconds later--
another, a third, and after the third whistle the hoarse,
guttural cry could be heard.
Levin looked about him to right and to left, and there, just
facing him against the dusky blue sky above the confused mass of
tender shoots of the aspens, he saw the flying bird. It was
flying straight towards him; the guttural cry, like the even
tearing of some strong stuff, sounded close to his ear; the long
beak and neck of the bird could be seen, and at the very
instant when Levin was taking aim, behind the bush where Oblonsky
stood, there was a flash of red lightning: the bird dropped like
an arrow, and darted upwards again. Again came the red flash and
the sound of a blow, and fluttering its wings as though trying to
keep up in the air, the bird halted, stopped still and instant,
and fell with a heavy splash on the slushy ground.
"Can I have missed it?" shouted Stepan Arkadyevitch, who could
not see for the smoke.
"Here it is!" said Levin, pointing to Laska, who with one ear
raised, wagging the end of her shaggy tail, came slowly back as
though she would prolong the pleasure, and as it were smiling,
brought the dead bird to her master. "Well, I'm glad you were
successful," said Levin, who, at the same time, had a sense of
envy that he had not succeeded in shooting the snipe.