When both the women were seated in the carriage, a sudden embarrassment came over both of them. Anna was disconcerted by the intent look of inquiry Dolly fixed upon her. Dolly was embarrassed because after Sviazhsky’s phrase about “this vehicle,” she could not help feeling ashamed of the dirty old carriage in which Anna was sitting with her. The coachman Philip and the counting house clerk were experiencing the same sensation. The counting house clerk, to conceal his confusion, busied himself settling the ladies, but Philip the coachman became sullen, and was bracing himself not to be overawed in future by this external superiority. He smiled ironically, looking at the raven horse, and was already deciding in his own mind that this smart trotter in the char-a-banc was only good for promenade, and wouldn’t do thirty miles straight off in the heat.
The peasants had all got up from the cart and were inquisitively and mirthfully staring at the meeting of the friends, making their comments on it.
“They’re pleased, too; haven’t seen each other for a long while,” said the curly-headed old man with the bast round his hair.
“I say, Uncle Gerasim, if we could take that raven horse now, to cart the corn, that ’ud be quick work!”
“Look-ee! Is that a woman in breeches?” said one of them, pointing to Vassenka Veslovsky sitting in a side saddle.
“Nay, a man! See how smartly he’s going it!”
“Eh, lads! seems we’re not going to sleep, then?”
“What chance of sleep today!” said the old man, with a sidelong look at the sun. “Midday’s past, look-ee! Get your hooks, and come along!”
Anna looked at Dolly’s thin, care-worn face, with its wrinkles filled with dust from the road, and she was on the point of saying what she was thinking, that is, that Dolly had got thinner. But, conscious that she herself had grown handsomer, and that Dolly’s eyes were telling her so, she sighed and began to speak about herself.