Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,311 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
was to make all clear to her.  The scent of them reached her, stronger and stronger, and more and more defined, and all at once it became perfectly clear to her that one of them was here, behind this tuft of reeds, five paces in front of her; she stopped, and her whole body was still and rigid.  On her short legs she could see nothing in front of her, but by the scent she knew it was sitting not more than five paces off.  She stood still, feeling more and more conscious of it, and enjoying it in anticipation.  Her tail was stretched straight and tense, and only wagging at the extreme end.  Her mouth was slightly open, her ears raised.  One ear had been turned wrong side out as she ran up, and she breathed heavily but warily, and still more warily looked round, but more with her eyes than her head, to her master.  He was coming along with the face she knew so well, though the eyes were always terrible to her.  He stumbled over the stump as he came, and moved, as she thought, extraordinarily slowly.  She thought he came slowly, but he was running.

Noticing Laska’s special attitude as she crouched on the ground, as it were, scratching big prints with her hind paws, and with her mouth slightly open, Levin knew she was pointing at grouse, and with an inward prayer for luck, especially with the first bird, he ran up to her.  Coming quite close up to her, he could from his height look beyond her, and he saw with his eyes what she was seeing with her nose.  In a space between two little thickets, at a couple of yards’ distance, he could see a grouse.  Turning its head, it was listening.  Then lightly preening and folding its wings, it disappeared round a corner with a clumsy wag of its tail.

“Fetch it, fetch it!” shouted Levin, giving Laska a shove from behind.

“But I can’t go,” thought Laska.  “Where am I to go?  From here I feel them, but if I move forward I shall know nothing of where they are or who they are.”  But then he shoved her with his knee, and in an excited whisper said, “Fetch it, Laska.”

“Well, if that’s what he wishes, I’ll do it, but I can’t answer for myself now,” she thought, and darted forward as fast as her legs would carry her between the thick bushes.  She scented nothing now; she could only see and hear, without understanding anything.

Ten paces from her former place a grouse rose with a guttural cry and the peculiar round sound of its wings.  And immediately after the shot it splashed heavily with its white breast on the wet mire.  Another bird did not linger, but rose behind Levin without the dog.  When Levin turned towards it, it was already some way off.  But his shot caught it.  Flying twenty paces further, the second grouse rose upwards, and whirling round like a ball, dropped heavily on a dry place.

“Come, this is going to be some good!” thought Levin, packing the warm and fat grouse into his game bag.  “Eh, Laska, will it be good?”

Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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