“What is not that?” asked Varenka in bewilderment.
“Everything. I can’t act except from the heart, and you act from principle. I liked you simply, but you most likely only wanted to save me, to improve me.”
“You are unjust,” said Varenka.
“But I’m not speaking of other people, I’m speaking of myself.”
“Kitty,” they heard her mother’s voice, “come here, show papa your necklace.”
Kitty, with a haughty air, without making peace with her friend, took the necklace in a little box from the table and went to her mother.
“What’s the matter? Why are you so red?” her mother and father said to her with one voice.
“Nothing,” she answered. “I’ll be back directly,” and she ran back.
“She’s still here,” she thought. “What am I to say to her? Oh, dear! what have I done, what have I said? Why was I rude to her? What am I to do? What am I to say to her?” thought Kitty, and she stopped in the doorway.
Varenka in her hat and with the parasol in her hands was sitting at the table examining the spring which Kitty had broken. She lifted her head.
“Varenka, forgive me, do forgive me,” whispered Kitty, going up to her. “I don’t remember what I said. I...”
“I really didn’t mean to hurt you,” said Varenka, smiling.
Peace was made. But with her father’s coming all the world in which she had been living was transformed for Kitty. She did not give up everything she had learned, but she became aware that she had deceived herself in supposing she could be what she wanted to be. Her eyes were, it seemed, opened; she felt all the difficulty of maintaining herself without hypocrisy and self-conceit on the pinnacle to which she had wished to mount. Moreover, she became aware of all the dreariness of the world of sorrow, of sick and dying people, in which she had been living. The efforts she had made to like it seemed to her intolerable, and she felt a longing to get back quickly into the fresh air, to Russia, to Ergushovo, where, as she knew from letters, her sister Dolly had already gone with her children.
But her affection for Varenka did not wane. As she said good-bye, Kitty begged her to come to them in Russia.
“I’ll come when you get married,” said Varenka.
“I shall never marry.”
“Well, then, I shall never come.”
“Well, then, I shall be married simply for that. Mind now, remember your promise,” said Kitty.
The doctor’s prediction was fulfilled. Kitty returned home to Russia cured. She was not so gay and thoughtless as before, but she was serene. Her Moscow troubles had become a memory to her.