"How glad I am you have come," Dolly said with a frightened
smile, meeting him in the outer drawing room. "I must talk to
you. Let's sit here."
Alexey Alexandrovitch, with the same expression of indifference,
given him by his lifted eyebrows, sat down beside Darya
Alexandrovna, and smiled affectedly.
"It's fortunate," said he, "especially as I was meaning to ask
you to excuse me, and to be taking leave. I have to start
Darya Alexandrovna was firmly convinced of Anna's innocence, and
she felt herself growing pale and her lips quivering with anger
at this frigid, unfeeling man, who was so calmly intending to
ruin her innocent friend.
"Alexey Alexandrovitch," she said, with desperate resolution
looking him in the face, "I asked you about Anna, you made me no
answer. How is she?"
"She is, I believe, quite well, Darya Alexandrovna," replied
Alexey Alexandrovitch, not looking at her.
"Alexey Alexandrovitch, forgive me, I have no right...but I
love Anna as a sister, and esteem her; I beg, I beseech you to
tell me what is wrong between you? what fault do you find with
Alexey Alexandrovitch frowned, and almost closing his eyes,
dropped his head.
"I presume that your husband has told you the grounds on which I
consider it necessary to change my attitude to Anna Arkadyevna?"
he said, not looking her in the face, but eyeing with displeasure
Shtcherbatsky, who was walking across the drawing room.
"I don't believe it, I don't believe it, I can't believe it!"
Dolly said, clasping her bony hands before her with a vigorous
gesture. She rose quickly, and laid her hand on Alexey
Alexandrovitch's sleeve. "We shall be disturbed here. Come this
Dolly's agitation had an effect on Alexey Alexandrovitch. He got
up and submissively followed her to the schoolroom. They sat
down to a table covered with an oilcloth cut in slits by