Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/219

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SMOKE

'At seven o'clock this evening.'

'Ah! at seven o'clock! And you have come to say good-bye?'

'Yes, Irina Pavlovna, to say good-bye.'

Irina was silent for a little.

'I ought to thank you, Grigory Mihalitch, it was probably not easy for you to come here.'

'No, Irina Pavlovna, it was anything but easy.'

'Life is not generally easy, Grigory Mihalitch; what do you think about it?'

'It depends, Irina Pavlovna.'

Irina was silent again for a little; she seemed sunk in thought.

'You have proved your affection for me by coming,' she said at last, 'I thank you. And I fully approve of your decision to put an end to everything as soon as possible . . . because any delay . . . because . . . because I, even I whom you have reproached as a flirt, called an actress . . . that, I think, was what you called meĀ ? . . .'

Irina got up swiftly, and, sitting down in another chair, stooped down and pressed her face and arms on the edge of the table.

'Because I love you . . .' she whispered between her clasped fingers.

Litvinov staggered, as though some one had dealt him a blow in the chest. Irina turned her

head dejectedly away from him, as though she

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