grown! What fascination, what power in her fresh, woman's body! And no rouge, no touching up, no powder, nothing false on that fresh pure face. . . Yes, this was a beautiful woman. A mood of musing came upon Litvinov. . . . He was still looking at her, but his thoughts were far away. . . . Irina perceived it.
'Well, that is excellent,' she said aloud; ' now my conscience is at rest then, and I can satisfy my curiosity.'
'Curiosity,' repeated Litvinov, as though puzzled.
'Yes, yes. . . . I want above all things to know what you have been doing all this time, what plans you have; I want to know all, how, what, when . . . all, all. And you will have to tell me the truth, for I must warn you, I have not lost sight of you ... so far as I could.'
'You did not lose sight of me, you . . . there . . . in Petersburg?'
'In the midst of the splendour which surrounded me, as you expressed it just now. Positively, yes, I did not. As for that splendour we will talk about that again; but now you must tell me, you must tell me so much, at such length, no one will disturb us. Ah, how delightful it will be,' added Irina, gaily sitting down and arranging herself at her ease in an armchair. 'Come, begin.'