The Darling and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 267 pages of information about The Darling and Other Stories.

“That’s true,” said the student in confusion; “but Anyuta has had no time to-day to tidy up; she’s been busy all the while.”

When Anyuta and the artist had gone out Klotchkov lay down on the sofa and began learning, lying down; then he accidentally dropped asleep, and waking up an hour later, propped his head on his fists and sank into gloomy reflection.  He recalled the artist’s words that an educated man was in duty bound to have taste, and his surroundings actually struck him now as loathsome and revolting.  He saw, as it were in his mind’s eye, his own future, when he would see his patients in his consulting-room, drink tea in a large dining-room in the company of his wife, a real lady.  And now that slop-pail in which the cigarette ends were swimming looked incredibly disgusting.  Anyuta, too, rose before his imagination—­a plain, slovenly, pitiful figure . . . and he made up his mind to part with her at once, at all costs.

When, on coming back from the artist’s, she took off her coat, he got up and said to her seriously: 

“Look here, my good girl . . . sit down and listen.  We must part!  The fact is, I don’t want to live with you any longer.”

Anyuta had come back from the artist’s worn out and exhausted.  Standing so long as a model had made her face look thin and sunken, and her chin sharper than ever.  She said nothing in answer to the student’s words, only her lips began to tremble.

“You know we should have to part sooner or later, anyway,” said the student.  “You’re a nice, good girl, and not a fool; you’ll understand. . . .”

Anyuta put on her coat again, in silence wrapped up her embroidery in paper, gathered together her needles and thread:  she found the screw of paper with the four lumps of sugar in the window, and laid it on the table by the books.

“That’s . . . your sugar . . .” she said softly, and turned away to conceal her tears.

“Why are you crying?” asked Klotchkov.

He walked about the room in confusion, and said: 

“You are a strange girl, really. . . .  Why, you know we shall have to part.  We can’t stay together for ever.”

She had gathered together all her belongings, and turned to say good-bye to him, and he felt sorry for her.

“Shall I let her stay on here another week?” he thought.  “She really may as well stay, and I’ll tell her to go in a week;” and vexed at his own weakness, he shouted to her roughly: 

“Come, why are you standing there?  If you are going, go; and if you don’t want to, take off your coat and stay!  You can stay!”

Anyuta took off her coat, silently, stealthily, then blew her nose also stealthily, sighed, and noiselessly returned to her invariable position on her stool by the window.

The student drew his textbook to him and began again pacing from corner to corner.  “The right lung consists of three parts,” he repeated; “the upper part, on anterior wall of thorax, reaches the fourth or fifth rib . . . .”

Project Gutenberg
The Darling and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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