The colonel was followed by Serpuhovskoy, who came out onto the
steps smiling, with a glass in his hand.
"You always get younger, Bondarenko," he said to the
rosy-checked, smart-looking quartermaster standing just before
him, still youngish looking though doing his second term of
It was three years since Vronsky had seen Serpuhovskoy. He
looked more robust, had let his whiskers grow, but was still the
same graceful creature, whose face and figure were even more
striking from their softness and nobility than their beauty. The
only change Vronsky detected in him was that subdued, continual
radiance of beaming content which settles on the faces of men who
are successful and are sure of the recognition of their success
by everyone. Vronsky knew that radiant air, and immediately
observed it in Serpuhovskoy.
As Serpuhovskoy came down the steps he saw Vronsky. A smile of
pleasure lighted up his face. He tossed his head upwards and
waved the glass in his hand, greeting Vronsky, and showing him by
the gesture that he could not come to him before the
quartermaster, who stood craning forward his lips ready to be
"Here he is!" shouted the colonel. "Yashvin told me you were in
one of your gloomy tempers."
Serpuhovskoy kissed the moist, fresh lips of the gallant-looking
quartermaster, and wiping his mouth with his handkerchief, went
up to Vronsky.
"How glad I am!" he said, squeezing his hand and drawing him on
"You look after him," the colonel shouted to Yashvin, pointing to
Vronsky; and he went down below to the soldiers.
"Why weren't you at the races yesterday? I expected to see you
there," said Vronsky, scrutinizing Serpuhovskoy.
"I did go, but late. I beg your pardon," he added, and he
turned to the adjutant: "Please have this divided from me, each
man as much as it runs to." And he hurriedly took notes for
three hundred roubles from his pocketbook, blushing a little.