Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
over the hemp patch in the direction of the marsh.  The path led straight to the marsh.  The marsh could be recognized by the mist which rose from it, thicker in one place and thinner in another, so that the reeds and willow bushes swayed like islands in this mist.  At the edge of the marsh and the road, peasant boys and men, who had been herding for the night, were lying, and in the dawn all were asleep under their coats.  Not far from them were three hobbled horses.  One of them clanked a chain.  Laska walked beside her master, pressing a little forward and looking round.  Passing the sleeping peasants and reaching the first reeds, Levin examined his pistols and let his dog off.  One of the horses, a sleek, dark-brown three-year-old, seeing the dog, started away, switched its tail and snorted.  The other horses too were frightened, and splashing through the water with their hobbled legs, and drawing their hoofs out of the thick mud with a squelching sound, they bounded out of the marsh.  Laska stopped, looking ironically at the horses and inquiringly at Levin.  Levin patted Laska, and whistled as a sign that she might begin.

Laska ran joyfully and anxiously through the slush that swayed under her.

Running into the marsh among the familiar scents of roots, marsh plants, and slime, and the extraneous smell of horse dung, Laska detected at once a smell that pervaded the whole marsh, the scent of that strong-smelling bird that always excited her more than any other.  Here and there among the moss and marsh plants this scent was very strong, but it was impossible to determine in which direction it grew stronger or fainter.  To find the direction, she had to go farther away from the wind.  Not feeling the motion of her legs, Laska bounded with a stiff gallop, so that at each bound she could stop short, to the right, away from the wind that blew from the east before sunrise, and turned facing the wind.  Sniffing in the air with dilated nostrils, she felt at once that not their tracks only but they themselves were here before her, and not one, but many.  Laska slackened her speed.  They were here, but where precisely she could not yet determine.  To find the very spot, she began to make a circle, when suddenly her master’s voice drew her off.  “Laska! here?” he asked, pointing her to a different direction.  She stopped, asking him if she had better not go on doing as she had begun.  But he repeated his command in an angry voice, pointing to a spot covered with water, where there could not be anything.  She obeyed him, pretending she was looking, so as to please him, went round it, and went back to her former position, and was at once aware of the scent again.  Now when he was not hindering her, she knew what to do, and without looking at what was under her feet, and to her vexation stumbling over a high stump into the water, but righting herself with her strong, supple legs, she began making the circle which

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Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.