Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/101

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SMOKE

lovely and stately beyond what was natural to her years. 'Yes, she has grown up since this morning!' he thought, 'and how she holds herself! That's what race does!' Irina stood before him, her hands hanging loose, without smiles or affectation, and looked resolutely, almost boldly, not at him, but away into the distance straight before her.

'You are just like a princess in a story book,' said Litvinov at last. 'You are like a warrior before the battle, before victory. . . . You did not allow me to go to this ball,' he went on, while she remained motionless as before, not because she was not listening to him, but because she was following another inner voice, 'but you will not refuse to accept and take with you these flowers?'

He offered her a bunch of heliotrope. She looked quickly at Litvinov, stretched out her hand, and suddenly seizing the end of the spray which decorated her hair, she said:

'Do you wish it, Grisha? Only say the word, and I will tear off all this, and stop at home.'

Litvinov's heart seemed fairly bursting. Irina's hand had already snatched the spray. . . .

'No, no, what for?' he interposed hurriedly, in a rush of generous and magnanimous feeling, 'I am not an egoist. . . . Why should I

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