They gave her chloroform during the operation. When she came to again, the pain was still there and insufferable. It was night. And Olga Mihalovna remembered that there had been just such a night with the stillness, the lamp, with the midwife sitting motionless by the bed, with the drawers of the chest pulled out, with Pyotr Dmitritch standing by the window, but some time very, very long ago. . . .
“I am not dead . . .” thought Olga Mihalovna when she began to understand her surroundings again, and when the pain was over.
A bright summer day looked in at the widely open windows; in the garden below the windows, the sparrows and the magpies never ceased chattering for one instant.
The drawers were shut now, her husband’s bed had been made. There was no sign of the midwife or of the maid, or of Varvara in the room, only Pyotr Dmitritch was standing, as before, motionless by the window looking into the garden. There was no sound of a child’s crying, no one was congratulating her or rejoicing, it was evident that the little creature had not been born alive.
Olga Mihalovna called to her husband.
Pyotr Dmitritch looked round. It seemed as though a long time must have passed since the last guest had departed and Olga Mihalovna had insulted her husband, for Pyotr Dmitritch was perceptibly thinner and hollow-eyed.
“What is it?” he asked, coming up to the bed.
He looked away, moved his lips and smiled with childlike helplessness.
“Is it all over?” asked Olga Mihalovna.
Pyotr Dmitritch tried to make some answer, but his lips quivered and his mouth worked like a toothless old man’s, like Uncle Nikolay Nikolaitch’s.
“Olya,” he said, wringing his hands; big tears suddenly dropping from his eyes. “Olya, I don’t care about your property qualification, nor the Circuit Courts . . .” (he gave a sob) “nor particular views, nor those visitors, nor your fortune. . . . I don’t care about anything! Why didn’t we take care of our child? Oh, it’s no good talking!”
With a despairing gesture he went out of the bedroom.
But nothing mattered to Olga Mihalovna now, there was a mistiness in her brain from the chloroform, an emptiness in her soul. . . . The dull indifference to life which had overcome her when the two doctors were performing the operation still had possession of her.
My Friend’s Story
Dmitri Petrovitch Silin had taken his degree and entered the government service in Petersburg, but at thirty he gave up his post and went in for agriculture. His farming was fairly successful, and yet it always seemed to me that he was not in his proper place, and that he would do well to go back to Petersburg. When sunburnt, grey with dust, exhausted with toil, he met me near the gates