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Having made his bow to the General, Nekhludoff drove to thepostoffice, feeling himself in an extremely animated andenergetic frame of mind.

She said just what he had been telling himself a few momentsbefore, but he no longer thought so now and felt verydifferently. He was not only ashamed, but felt sorry to lose allhe was losing with her. "I did not expect this," he said.

The dismal prison house, with its sentinel and lamp burning underthe gateway, produced an even more dismal impression, with itslong row of lighted windows, than it had done in the morning, inspite of the white covering that now lay over everythingtheporch, the roof and the walls.

The nurse rose and bowed. The mother stooped over the first cot,in which a twoyearold little girl lay peacefully sleeping withher little mouth open and her long, curly hair tumbled over thepillow.

Directly," replied Nekhludoff and asked her about Kryltzoff.

The Englishman had a trap of his own, and Nekhludoff, having toldthe coachman to drive to the prison, called his isvostchik andgot in with the heavy sense of having to fulfil an unpleasantduty, and followed the Englishman over the soft snow, throughwhich the wheels turned with difficulty.

Nekhludoff thanked his hostess for the enjoyment that he had beendeprived of for so long, and was about to say goodbye and go whenthe daughter of the house came up to him with a determined lookand said, with a blush, "You asked about my children. Would youlike to see them?"

He has not set foot here for a fortnight," muttered a voice.

One of two things," thought he. "Either she loves Simonson anddoes not in the least require the sacrifice I imagined I wasbringing her, or she still loves me and refuses me for my ownsake, and is burning her ships by uniting her fate withSimonson." And Nekhludoff felt ashamed and knew that he wasblushing.

The Englishman had a trap of his own, and Nekhludoff, having toldthe coachman to drive to the prison, called his isvostchik andgot in with the heavy sense of having to fulfil an unpleasantduty, and followed the Englishman over the soft snow, throughwhich the wheels turned with difficulty.

Nekhludoff thanked his hostess for the enjoyment that he had beendeprived of for so long, and was about to say goodbye and go whenthe daughter of the house came up to him with a determined lookand said, with a blush, "You asked about my children. Would youlike to see them?"

How many persons is the prison built to hold?" the Englishmanasked. "How many are confined in it? How many men? How manywomen? Children? How many sentenced to the mines? How manyexiles? How many sick persons?"

She pressed his hand, turned quickly and left the room.

He has not set foot here for a fortnight," muttered a voice.

Having made his bow to the General, Nekhludoff drove to thepostoffice, feeling himself in an extremely animated andenergetic frame of mind.

One of two things," thought he. "Either she loves Simonson anddoes not in the least require the sacrifice I imagined I wasbringing her, or she still loves me and refuses me for my ownsake, and is burning her ships by uniting her fate withSimonson." And Nekhludoff felt ashamed and knew that he wasblushing.

And this is Vasiuk, as 'grandpapa' calls him. Quite a differenttype. A Siberian, is he not?"

Nekhludoff looked up and was surprised to find himself where hewas. The Englishman had finished his notes and expressed a wishto see the cells.

She said just what he had been telling himself a few momentsbefore, but he no longer thought so now and felt verydifferently. He was not only ashamed, but felt sorry to lose allhe was losing with her. "I did not expect this," he said.

Forgive me," she said so low that he could hardly hear her.Their eyes met, and Nekhludoff knew by the strange look of hersquinting eyes and the pathetic smile with which she said not"Goodbye" but "Forgive me," that of the two reasons that mighthave led to her resolution, the second was the real one. Sheloved him, and thought that by uniting herself to him she wouldbe spoiling his life. By going with Simonson she thought shewould be setting Nekhludoff free, and felt glad that she had donewhat she meant to do, and yet she suffered at parting from him.

Yes, of course," Nekhludoff began. "He is a splendid man, and Ithink"

Forgive me," she said so low that he could hardly hear her.Their eyes met, and Nekhludoff knew by the strange look of hersquinting eyes and the pathetic smile with which she said not"Goodbye" but "Forgive me," that of the two reasons that mighthave led to her resolution, the second was the real one. Sheloved him, and thought that by uniting herself to him she wouldbe spoiling his life. By going with Simonson she thought shewould be setting Nekhludoff free, and felt glad that she had donewhat she meant to do, and yet she suffered at parting from him.

Bytheway, where are you staying?" asked the General as he wastaking leave of Nekhludoff. "At Duke's? Well, it's horrid enoughthere. Come and dine with us at five o'clock. You speak English?

Well, would you like to look round the cells now?" the inspectorasked.

THE SENTENCE COMMUTED.

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