Stepan Arkadyevitch was about to go away when Korney came in to
"Who's Sergey Alexyevitch?" Stepan Arkadyevitch was beginning,
but he remembered immediately.
"Ah, Seryozha!" he said aloud. "Sergey Alexeitch! I thought it
was the director of a department. Anna asked me to see him too,"
And he recalled the timid, piteous expression with which Anna had
said to him at parting: "Anyway, you will see him. Find out
exactly where he is, who is looking after him. And Stiva...if
it were possible! Could it be possible?" Stepan Arkadyevitch
knew what was meant by that "if it were possible,"--if it were
possible to arrange the divorce so as to let her have her son....
Stepan Arkadyevitch saw now that it was no good to dream of that,
but still he was glad to see his nephew.
Alexey Alexandrovitch reminded his brother-in-law that they never
spoke to the boy of his mother, and he begged him not to mention
a single word about her.
"He was very ill after that interview with his mother, which we
had not foreseen," said Alexey Alexandrovitch. "Ideed, we
feared for his life. But with rational treatment, and
sea-bathing in the summer, he regained his strength, and now, by
the doctor's advice, I have let him go to school. And certainly
the companionship of school has had a good effect on him, and he
is perfectly well, and making good progress."
"What a fine fellow he's grown! He's not Seryozha now, but quite
full-fledged Sergey Alexeitch!" said Stepan Arkadyevitch,
smiling, as he looked at the handsome, broad-shouldered lad in
blue coat and long trousers, who walked in alertly and
confidently. The boy looked healthy and good-humored. He bowed
to his uncle as to a stranger, but recognizing him, he blushed
and turned hurriedly away from him, as though offended and
irritated at something. The boy went up to his father and handed
him a note of the marks he had gained in school.
"Well, that's very fair," said his father, "you can go."