Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/293

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SMOKE

it will not be changed. That I agree to . . . What was it you said? . . . to all or nothing . . . what more would you have? Let us be free! Why these mutual chains? We are alone together now, you love me. I love you; is it possible we have nothing to do but wringing our thoughts out of each other? Look at me, I don't want to talk about mvself, I have never by one word hinted that for me perhaps it was not so easy to set at nought my duty as a wife . . . and, of course, I don't deceive myself, I know I am a criminal, and that he has a right to kill me. Well, what of it? Let us be free, I say. To-day is ours—a life-time 's ours.'

She got up from the arm-chair and looked at Litvinov with her head thrown back, faintly smiling and moving her eyebrows, while with one arm bare to the elbow she pushed back from her face a long tress on which a few tears glistened. A rich scarf slipped from the table and fell on the floor at Irina's feet. She trampled contemptuously on it. 'Or don't you like me, to-day? Have I grown ugly since yesterday? Tell me, have you often seen a prettier hand? And this hair? Tell me, do you love me?'

She clasped him in both arms, held his head close to her bosom, her comb fell out with a ringing sound, and her falling hair wrapped him in a soft flood of fragrance.

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