Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/244

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He stooped down all in a tremble to kiss her hands. Irina gazed at his bent head.

'Then let me say,'she said, 'that I too am ready for anything, that I too will consider no one, and nothing. As you decide, so it shall be. I, too, am for ever yours . . . yours.'

Some one tapped warily at the door. Irina stooped, whispered once more, 'Yours . . . good-bye!' Litvinov felt her breath on his hair, the touch of her lips. When he stood up, she was no longer in the room, but her dress was rustling in the corridor, and from the distance came the voice of Ratmirov: ' Eh bien? Vous ne venez pas? '

Litvinov sat down on a high chest, and hid his face. A feminine fragrance, fresh and delicate, clung about him. . . . Irina had held his hand in her hands. 'It 's too much, too much,' was his thought. The little girl came into the room, and smiling again in response to his agitated glance, said:

'Kindly come, now——'

He got up, and went out of the hotel. It was no good even to think of returning home: he had to regain his balance first. His heart was beating heavily and unevenly; the earth seemed faintly reeling under his feet. Litvinov turned again along the Lichtenthaler Allee. He realised that the decisive moment had come,