Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/202

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SMOKE

'Well, in reference to this same Mr. Litvlnov; since there 's no doubt now that you take a great interest in him.'

Irina lifted the hand in which she was holding the candlestick, till the flame was brought on a level with her husband's face, and attentively, almost with curiosity, looking him straight in the face, she suddenly burst into laughter.

'What is it?' asked Ratmirov scowling.

Irina went on laughing.

'Well, what is it?' he repeated, and he stamped his foot.

He felt insulted, wounded, and at the same time against his will he was impressed by the beauty of this woman, standing so lightly and boldly before him . . . she was tormenting him. He saw everything, all her charms—even the pink reflection of the delicate nails on her slender finger-tips, as they tightly clasped the dark bronze of the heavy candlestick—even that did not escape him . . . while the insult cut deeper and deeper into his heart. And still Irina laughed.

'What? you? you jealous?' she brought out at last, and turning her back on her husband she went out of the room. 'He 's jealous!' he heard outside the door, and again came the sound of her laugh.

Ratmirov looked moodily after his wife; he

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