"Well, how is Annie?" he said timidly from below, looking up to
Anna as she ran down to him.
He was sitting on a chair, and a footman was pulling off his warm
"Oh, she is better."
"And you?" he said, shaking himself.
she took his hand in both of hers, and drew it to her waist,
never taking her eyes off him.
"Well, I'm glad," he said, coldly scanning her, her hair, her
dress, which he knew she had put on for him. All was charming,
but how many times it had charmed him! And the stern, stony
expression that she so dreaded settled upon his face.
"Well, I'm glad. And are you well?" he said, wiping his damp
beard with his handkerchief and kissing her hand.
"Never mind," she thought, "only let him be here, and so long as
he's here he cannot, he dare not, cease to love me."
The evening was spent happily and gaily in the presence of
Princess Varvara, who complained to him that Anna had been taking
morphine in his absence.
"What am I to do? I couldn't sleep.... My thoughts prevented
me. When he's here I never take it--hardly ever."
He told her about the election, and Anna knew how by adroit
questions to bring him to what gave him most pleasure--his own
success. She told him of everything that interested him at home;
and all that she told him was of the most cheerful description.
But late in the evening, when they were alone, Anna, seeing that
she had regained complete possession of him, wanted to erase the
painful impression of the glance he had given her for her letter.
"Tell me frankly, you were vexed at getting my letter, and you
didn't believe me?"