Page:The Novels of Ivan Turgenev (volume V).djvu/97

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

to escape from this sordidness! How get out of this squalor!'

Litvinov did not know what to say, and slightly turned away from her.

All at once Irina jumped up from her chair, and laid both her hands on his shoulders.

'But you love me, Grisha? You love me?' she murmured, putting her face close to him, and her eyes, still filled with tears, sparkled with the light of happiness, 'You love me, dear, even in this horrid dress?'

Litvinov flung himself on his knees before her.

'Ah, love me, love me, my sweet, my saviour,' she whispered, bending over him.

So the days flew, the weeks passed, and though as yet there had been no formal declaration, though Litvinov still deferred his demand for her hand, not, certainly, at his own desire, but awaiting directions from Irina (she remarked sometimes that they were both ridiculously young, and they must add at least a few weeks more to their years), still everything was moving to a conclusion, and the future as it came nearer grew more and more clearly defined, when suddenly an event occurred, which scattered all their dreams and plans like light roadside dust.