Dolly looked coldly at Anna; she was waiting now for phrases of
conventional sympathy, but Anna said nothing of the sort.
"Dolly, dear," she said, "I don't want to speak for him to you,
nor to try to comfort you; that's impossible. But, darling, I'm
simply sorry, sorry from my heart for you!"
Under the thick lashes of her shining eyes tears suddenly
glittered. She moved nearer to her sister-in-law and took her
hand in her vigorous little hand. Dolly did not shrink away, but
her face did not lose its frigid expression. She said:
"To comfort me's impossible. Everything's lost after what has
happened, everything's over!"
And directly she had said this, her face suddenly softened. Anna
lifted the wasted, thin hand of Dolly, kissed it and said:
"But, Dolly, what's to be done, what's to be done? How is it
best to act in this awful position--that's what you must think
"All's over, and there's nothing more," said Dolly. "And the
worst of all is, you see, that I can't cast him off: there are
the children, I am tied. And I can't live with him! it's a
torture to me to see him."
"Dolly, darling, he has spoken to me, but I want to hear it from
you: tell me about it."
Dolly looked at her inquiringly.
Sympathy and love unfeigned were visible on Anna's face.