“Oh,” laughed Tanya, “you will forget about us in two days. We are humble people and you are a great man.”
“No; let us talk in earnest!” he said. “I shall take you with me, Tanya. Yes? Will you come with me? Will you be mine?”
“Come,” said Tanya, and tried to laugh again, but the laugh would not come, and patches of colour came into her face.
She began breathing quickly and walked very quickly, but not to the house, but further into the park.
“I was not thinking of it . . . I was not thinking of it,” she said, wringing her hands in despair.
And Kovrin followed her and went on talking, with the same radiant, enthusiastic face:
“I want a love that will dominate me altogether; and that love only you, Tanya, can give me. I am happy! I am happy!”
She was overwhelmed, and huddling and shrinking together, seemed ten years older all at once, while he thought her beautiful and expressed his rapture aloud:
“How lovely she is!”
Learning from Kovrin that not only a romance had been got up, but that there would even be a wedding, Yegor Semyonitch spent a long time in pacing from one corner of the room to the other, trying to conceal his agitation. His hands began trembling, his neck swelled and turned purple, he ordered his racing droshky and drove off somewhere. Tanya, seeing how he lashed the horse, and seeing how he pulled his cap over his ears, understood what he was feeling, shut herself up in her room, and cried the whole day.
In the hot-houses the peaches and plums were already ripe; the packing and sending off of these tender and fragile goods to Moscow took a great deal of care, work, and trouble. Owing to the fact that the summer was very hot and dry, it was necessary to water every tree, and a great deal of time and labour was spent on doing it. Numbers of caterpillars made their appearance, which, to Kovrin’s disgust, the labourers and even Yegor Semyonitch and Tanya squashed with their fingers. In spite of all that, they had already to book autumn orders for fruit and trees, and to carry on a great deal of correspondence. And at the very busiest time, when no one seemed to have a free moment, the work of the fields carried off more than half their labourers from the garden. Yegor Semyonitch, sunburnt, exhausted, ill-humoured, galloped from the fields to the garden and back again; cried that he was being torn to pieces, and that he should put a bullet through his brains.