And going over the events of the last few days, it seemed to her
that she saw in everything a confirmation of this terrible idea.
The fact that he had not dined at home yesterday, and the fact
that he had insisted on their taking separate sets of rooms in
Petersburg, and that even now he was not coming to her alone, as
though he were trying to avoid meeting her face to face.
"But he ought to tell me so. I must know that it is so. If I
knew it, then I know what I should do," she said to herself,
utterly unable to picture to herself the position she would be in
if she were convinced of his not caring for her. She thought he
had ceased to love her, she felt close upon despair, and
consequently she felt exceptionally alert. She rang for her maid
and went to her dressing room. As she dressed, she took more
care over her appearance than she had done all those days, as
though he might, if he had grown cold to her, fall in love with
her again because she had dressed and arranged her hair in the
way most becoming to her.
She heard the bell ring before she was ready. When she went into
the drawing room it was not he, but Yashvin, who met her eyes.
Vronsky was looking through the photographs of her son, which she
had forgotten on the table, and he made no haste to look round at
"We have met already," she said, putting her little hand into the
huge hand of Yashvin, whose bashfulness was so queerly out of
keeping with his immense frame and coarse face. "We met last
year at the races. Give them to me," she said, with a rapid
movement snatching from Vronsky the photographs of her son, and
glancing significantly at him with flashing eyes. "Were the
races good this year? Instead of them I saw the races in the
Corso in Rome. But you don't care for life abroad," she said
with a cordial smile. "I know you and all your tastes, though I
have seen so little of you."
"I'm awfully sorry for that, for my tastes are mostly bad," said
Yashvin, gnawing at his left mustache.