'It was impossible at first; and afterwards when I was married———'
'Have you been married long?'
'Have you no children?'
'No,' she answered drily.
Litvinov was silent for a little.
'And did you go on living at that, what was his name, Count Reisenbach's, till your marriage?'
Irina looked steadily at him, as though she were trying to make up her mind why he asked that question.
'No,' . . . was her answer at last.
'I suppose, your parents. . . . By the way, I haven't asked after them. Are they——'
'They are both well.'
'And living at Moscow as before?'
'At Moscow as before.'
'And your brothers and sisters?'
'They are all right; I have provided for all of them.'
'Ah!' Litvinov glanced up from under his brows at Irina. 'In reality, Irina Pavlovna, it 's not I who ought to tell my story, but you, if only——' He suddenly felt embarrassed and stopped.
Irina raised her hands to her face and turned her wedding-ring round upon her finger.