'There 's no need of that . . . wait a little, though, you will understand. But you will promise?'
'I have said yes already.'
'Thanks. You see I am used to believe you. I shall expect you to-day, to-morrow, I will not go out of the house. And now I must leave you. The Grand Duchess is coming along the avenue. . . . She 's caught sight of me, and I can't avoid going up to speak to her. . . . Good-bye till we meet. . . . Give me your hand, vite, vite. Till we meet.'
And warmly pressing Litvinov's hand, Irina walked towards a middle-aged person of dignified appearance, who was coming slowly along the sandy path, escorted by two other ladies, and a strikingly handsome groom in livery.
'Eh bonjour, chère Madame', said the personage, while Irina curtseyed respectfully to her. 'Comment allez-vous aujourd'hui? Venez un peu avec moi.'
'Votre Altesse a trop de bonté,' Irina's insinuating voice was heard in reply.