9. CHAPTER IX.
ARRIVED at her house, Lizabetha Prokofievna paused in the first
room. She could go no farther, and subsided on to a couch quite
exhausted; too feeble to remember so much as to ask the prince to
take a seat. This was a large reception-room, full of flowers,
and with a glass door leading into the garden.
Alexandra and Adelaida came in almost immediately, and looked
inquiringly at the prince and their mother.
The girls generally rose at about nine in the morning in the
country; Aglaya, of late, had been in the habit of getting up
rather earlier and having a walk in the garden, but not at seven
o'clock; about eight or a little later was her usual time.
Lizabetha Prokofievna, who really had not slept all night, rose
at about eight on purpose to meet Aglaya in the garden and walk
with her; but she could not find her either in the garden or in
her own room.
This agitated the old lady considerably; and she awoke her other
daughters. Next, she learned from the maid that Aglaya had gone
into the park before seven o'clock. The sisters made a joke of
Aglaya's last freak, and told their mother that if she went into
the park to look for her, Aglaya would probably be very angry
with her, and that she was pretty sure to be sitting reading on
the green bench that she had talked of two or three days since,
and about which she had nearly quarrelled with Prince S., who did
not see anything particularly lovely in it.
Arrived at the rendezvous of the prince and her daughter, and
hearing the strange words of the latter, Lizabetha Prokofievna
had been dreadfully alarmed, for many reasons. However, now that
she had dragged the prince home with her, she began to feel a
little frightened at what she had undertaken. Why should not
Aglaya meet the prince in the park and have a talk with him, even
if such a meeting should be by appointment?
"Don't suppose, prince," she began, bracing herself up for the
effort, "don't suppose that I have brought you here to ask
questions. After last night, I assure you, I am not so
exceedingly anxious to see you at all; I could have postponed the
pleasure for a long while." She paused.