She spoke very simply and naturally, but too much and too fast.
She was the more aware of this from noticing in the inquisitive
look Mihail Vassilievitch turned on her that he was, as it were,
keeping watch on her.
Mihail Vassilievitch promptly went out on the terrace.
She sat down beside her husband.
"You don't look quite well," she said.
"Yes," he said; "the doctor's been with me today and wasted an
hour of my time. I feel that some one of our friends must have
sent him: my health's so precious, it seems."
"No; what did he say?"
she questioned him about his health and what he had been doing,
and tried to persuade him to take a rest and come out to her.
All this she said brightly, rapidly, and with a peculiar
brilliance in her eyes. But Alexey Alexandrovitch did not now
attach any special significance to this tone of hers. He heard
only her words and gave them only the direct sense they bore.
And he answered simply, though jestingly. There was nothing
remarkable in all this conversation, but never after could Anna
recall this brief scene without an agonizing pang of shame.
Seryozha came in preceded by his governess. If Alexey
Alexandrovitch had allowed himself to observe he would have
noticed the timid and bewildered eyes with which Seryozha glanced
first at his father and then at his mother. But he would not see
anything, and he did not see it.
"Ah, the young man! He's grown. Really, he's getting quite a
man. How are you, young man?"
And he gave his hand to the scared child. Seryozha had been shy
of his father before, and now, ever since Alexey Alexandrovitch
had taken to calling him young man, and since that insoluble
question had occurred to him whether Vronsky were a friend or a
foe, he avoided his father. He looked round towards his mother
as though seeking shelter. It was only with his mother that he
was at ease. Meanwhile, Alexey Alexandrovitch was holding his
son by the shoulder while he was speaking to the governess, and
Seryozha was so miserably uncomfortable that Anna saw he was on
the point of tears.