After the ball, early next morning, Anna Arkadyevna sent her husband a telegram
that she was leaving Moscow the same day.
"No, I must go, I must go"; she explained to her sister-in-law the change in her
plans in a tone that suggested that she had to remember so many things that
there was no enumerating them: "no, it had really better be today!"
Stepan Arkadyevitch was not dining at home, but he promised to come and see
his sister off at seven o'clock.
Kitty, too, did not come, sending a note that she had a headache. Dolly and Anna
dined alone with the children and the English governess. Whether it was that the
children were fickle, or that they had acute senses, and felt that Anna was quite
different that day from what she had been when they had taken such a fancy to
her, that she was not now interested in them,--but they had abruptly dropped
their play with their aunt, and their love for her, and were quite indifferent that she
was going away. Anna was absorbed the whole morning in preparations for her
departure. She wrote notes to her Moscow acquaintances, put down her
accounts, and packed. Altogether Dolly fancied she was not in a placid state of
mind, but in that worried mood, which Dolly knew well with herself, and which
does not come without cause, and for the most part covers dissatisfaction with
self. After dinner, Anna went up to her room to dress, and Dolly followed her.
"How queer you are today!" Dolly said to her.
"I? Do you think so? I'm not queer, but I'm nasty. I am like that sometimes. I keep
feeling as if I could cry. It's very stupid, but it'll pass off," said Anna quickly, and
she bent her flushed face over a tiny bag in which she was packing a nightcap
and some cambric handkerchiefs. Her eyes were particulary bright, and were
continually swimming with tears. "In the same way I didn't want to leave
Petersburg, and now I don't want to go away from here."
"You came here and did a good deed," said Dolly, looking intently at her.
Anna looked at her with eyes wet with tears.
"Don't say that, Dolly. I've done nothing, and could do nothing. I often wonder
why people are all in league to spoil me. What have I done, and what could I do?
In your heart there was found love enough to forgive..."
"If it had not been for you, God knows what would have happened! How happy
you are, Anna!" said Dolly. "Everything is clear and good in your heart."