"Kitty! Kitty, whom Vronsky was in love with!" thought Anna,
"the girl he thinks of with love. He's sorry he didn't marry
her. But me he thinks of with hatred, and is sorry he had
anything to do with me."
The sisters were having a consultation about nursing when Anna
called. Dolly went down alone to see the visitor who had
interrupted their conversation.
"Well, so you've not gone away yet? I meant to have come to
you," she said; "I had a letter from Stiva today."
"We had a telegram too," answered Anna, looking round for Kitty.
"He writes that he can't make out quite what Alexey
Alexandrovitch wants, but he won't go away without a decisive
"I thought you had someone with you. Can I see the letter?"
"Yes; Kitty," said Dolly, embarrassed. "She stayed in the
nursery. She has been very ill."
"So I heard. May I see the letter?"
"I'll get it directly. But he doesn't refuse; on the contrary,
Stiva has hopes," said Dolly, stopping in the doorway.
"I haven't, and indeed I don't wish it," said Anna.
"What's this? Does Kitty consider it degrading to meet me?"
thought Anna when she was alone. "Perhaps she's right, too. But
it's not for her, the girl who was in love with Vronsky, it's not
for her to show me that, even if it is true. I know that in my
position I can't be received by any decent woman. I knew that
from the first moment I sacrificed everything to him. And this
is my reward! Oh, how I hate him! And what did I come here for?
I'm worse here, more miserable." She heard from the next room
the sisters' voices in consultation. "And what am I going to say
to Dolly now? Amuse Kitty by the sight of my wretchedness,
submit to her patronizing? No; and besides, Dolly wouldn't
understand. And it would be no good my telling her. It would
only be interesting to see Kitty, to show her how I despise
everyone and everything, how nothing matters to me now."