Anna Karenina eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,033 pages of information about Anna Karenina.
and ran to the big glass doors.  The doctor was not even now getting up, and the footman, busy now in putting down the rugs, refused to wake him.  Levin deliberately took out a ten rouble note, and, careful to speak slowly, though losing no time over the business, he handed him the note, and explained that Pyotr Dmitrievitch (what a great and important personage he seemed to Levin now, this Pyotr Dmitrievitch, who had been of so little consequence in his eyes before!) had promised to come at any time; that he would certainly not be angry! and that he must therefore wake him at once.

The footman agreed, and went upstairs, taking Levin into the waiting room.

Levin could hear through the door the doctor coughing, moving about, washing, and saying something.  Three minutes passed; it seemed to Levin that more than an hour had gone by.  He could not wait any longer.

“Pyotr Dmitrievitch, Pyotr Dmitrievitch!” he said in an imploring voice at the open door.  “For God’s sake, forgive me!  See me as you are.  It’s been going on more than two hours already.”

“In a minute; in a minute!” answered a voice, and to his amazement Levin heard that the doctor was smiling as he spoke.

“For one instant.”

“In a minute.”

Two minutes more passed while the doctor was putting on his boots, and two minutes more while the doctor put on his coat and combed his hair.

“Pyotr Dmitrievitch!” Levin was beginning again in a plaintive voice, just as the doctor came in dressed and ready.  “These people have no conscience,” thought Levin.  “Combing his hair, while we’re dying!”

“Good morning!” the doctor said to him, shaking hands, and, as it were, teasing him with his composure.  “There’s no hurry.  Well now?”

Trying to be as accurate as possible, Levin began to tell him every unnecessary detail of his wife’s condition, interrupting his account repeatedly with entreaties that the doctor would come with him at once.

“Oh, you needn’t be in any hurry.  You don’t understand, you know.  I’m certain I’m not wanted, still I’ve promised, and if you like, I’ll come.  But there’s no hurry.  Please sit down; won’t you have some coffee?”

Levin stared at him with eyes that asked whether he was laughing at him; but the doctor had no notion of making fun of him.

“I know, I know,” the doctor said, smiling; “I’m a married man myself; and at these moments we husbands are very much to be pitied.  I’ve a patient whose husband always takes refuge in the stables on such occasions.”

“But what do you think, Pyotr Dmitrievitch?  Do you suppose it may go all right?”

“Everything points to a favorable issue.”

“So you’ll come immediately?” said Levin, looking wrathfully at the servant who was bringing in the coffee.

“In an hour’s time.”

“Oh, for mercy’s sake!”

“Well, let me drink my coffee, anyway.”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Anna Karenina from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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