"Patti? You suggest the idea to me. I would go if it were
possible to get a box."
"I can get one," Tushkevitch offered his services.
"I should be very, very grateful to you," said Anna. "But won't
you dine with us?"
Vronsky gave a hardly perceptible shrug. He was at a complete
loss to understand what Anna was about. What had she brought the
old Princess Oblonskaya home for, what had she made Tushkevitch
stay to dinner for, and, most amazing of all, why was she sending
him for a box? Could she possibly think in her position of going
to Patti's benefit, where all the circle of her acquaintances
would be? He looked at her with serious eyes, but she responded
with that defiant, half-mirthful, half-desperate look, the
meaning of which he could not comprehend. At dinner Anna was in
aggressively high spirits--she almost flirted both with
Tushkevitch and with Yashvin. When they got up from dinner and
Tushkevitch had gone to get a box at the opera, Yashvin went to
smoke, and Vronsky went down with him to his own rooms. After
sitting there for some time he ran upstairs. Anna was already
dressed in a low-necked gown of light silk and velvet that she
had had made in Paris, and with costly white lace on her head,
framing her face, and particularly becoming, showing up her
"Are you really going to the theater?" he said, trying not to
look at her.
"Why do you ask with such alarm?" she said, wounded again at his
not looking at her. "Why shouldn't I go?"
She appeared not to understand the motive of his words.
"Oh, of course, there's no reason whatever," he said, frowning.
"That's just what I say," she said, willfully refusing to see the
irony of his tone, and quietly turning back her long, perfumed
"Anna, for God's sake! what is the matter with you?" he said,
appealing to her exactly as once her husband had done.