It was a wet day; it had been raining all the morning, and the
invalids, with their parasols, had flocked into the arcades.
Kitty was walking there with her mother and the Moscow colonel,
smart and jaunty in his European coat, bought ready-made at
Frankfort. They were walking on one side of the arcade, trying
to avoid Levin, who was walking on the other side. Varenka, in
her dark dress, in a black hat with a turndown brim, was walking
up and down the whole length of the arcade with a blind
Frenchwoman, and, every time she met Kitty, they exchanged
"Mamma, couldn't I speak to her?" said Kitty, watching her
unknown friend, and noticing that she was going up to the spring,
and that they might come there together.
"Oh, if you want to so much, I'll find out about her first and
make her acquaintance myself," answered her mother. "What do you
see in her out of the way? A companion, she must be. If you
like, I'll make acquaintance with Madame Stahl; I used to know
her belle-seur," added the princess, lifting her head haughtily.
Kitty knew that the princess was offended that Madame Stahl had
seemed to avoid making her acquaintance. Kitty did not insist.
"How wonderfully sweet she is!" she said, gazing at Varenka just
as she handed a glass to the Frenchwoman. "Look how natural and
sweet it all is."
"It's so funny to see your engouements," said the princess. "No,
we'd better go back," she added, noticing Levin coming towards
them with his companion and a German doctor, to whom he was
talking very noisily and angrily.
They turned to go back, when suddenly they heard, not noisy talk,
but shouting. Levin, stopping short, was shouting at the doctor,
and the doctor, too, was excited. A crowd gathered about them.
The princess and Kitty beat a hasty retreat, while the colonel
joined the crowd to find out what was the matter.
A few minutes later the colonel overtook them.