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playing cards from sheer dulness, not knowing what to do with ourselves . . . but now you 've come.'

'If you would care to hear the evening music,' observed Litvinov, 'I should be delighted to take you.'

Kapitolina Markovna looked at her niece.

'Let us go, aunt, I am ready,' she said, 'but wouldn't it be better to stay at home?'

'To be sure! Let us have tea in our own old Moscow way, with the samovar, and have a good chat. We 've not had a proper gossip yet.'

Litvinov ordered tea to be sent up, but the good chat did not come off. He felt a continual gnawing of conscience; whatever he said, it always seemed to him that he was telling lies and Tatyana was seeing through it. Meanwhile there was no change to be observed in her; she behaved just as unconstrainedly . . . only her look never once rested upon Litvinov, but with a kind of indulgent timorousness glided over him, and she was paler than usual.

Kapitolina Markovna asked her whether she had not a headache.

Tatyana was at first about to say no, but after a moment's thought, she said, 'Yes, a little'