CHAPTER III

THREE days passed in incessant conversations with Sofya and Nikolay. The mother continued to recount tales of the past, which stubbornly arose from the depths of her awakened soul, and disturbed even herself. Her past demanded an explanation. The attention with which the brother and sister listened to her opened her heart more and more widely, freeing her from the narrow, dark cage of her former life.

On the fourth day, early in the morning, she and Sofya appeared before Nikolay as burgher women, poorly clad in worn chintz skirts and blouses, with birchbark sacks on their shoulders, and canes in their hands. This costume reduced Sofya’s height and gave a yet sterner appearance to her pale face.

“You look as if you had walked about monasteries all your life,” observed Nikolay on taking leave of his sister, and pressed her hand warmly. The mother again remarked the simplicity and calmness of their relation to each other. It was hard for her to get used to it. No kissing, no affectionate words passed between them; but they behaved so sincerely, so amicably and solicitously toward each other. In the life she had been accustomed to, people kissed a great deal and uttered many sentimental words, but always bit at one another like hungry dogs.

The women walked down the street in silence,

-271-

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Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • List of Illustrations xvii
  • Part I 1
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 11
  • Chapter III 24
  • Chapter IV 41
  • Chapter V 50
  • Chapter VI 62
  • Chapter VII 71
  • Chapter VIII 80
  • Chapter IX 93
  • Chapter X 102
  • Chapter XI 114
  • Chapter XII 125
  • Chapter XIII 131
  • Chapter XIV 155
  • Chapter XV 166
  • Chapter XVI 179
  • Chapter XVII 192
  • Chapter XVIII 205
  • Chapter XIX 217
  • Chapter XX 225
  • Part II 237
  • Chapter I 239
  • Chapter II 252
  • Chapter III 271
  • Chapter IV 287
  • Chapter V 300
  • Chapter VI 309
  • Chapter VII 323
  • Chapter VIII 332
  • Chapter IX 341
  • Chapter X 355
  • Chapter XI 371
  • Chapter XII 392
  • Chapter XIII 404
  • Chapter XIV 421
  • Chapter XV 435
  • Chapter XVI 456
  • Chapter XVII 469
  • Chapter XVIII 477
  • Chapter XIX 489
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