Dolly looked coldly at Anna; she was waiting now for hypocritically sympathetic phrases, but Anna said nothing of the sort.
`Dolly, darling,' she said, `I don't want to intercede for him, nor to try to comfort you - that's impossible. But, my dearest, I'm simply sorry, sorry from my heart for you!'
Under the thick lashes of her shining eyes tears suddenly glittered. She moved nearer to her sister-in-law and took her hand in her own, vigorous and little. Dolly did not shrink away, but her face did not lose its frigid expression. She said:
`To comfort me is impossible. Everything's lost after what has happened, everything's over!'
And directly she had said this, her face suddenly softened. Anna lifted the wasted, thin hand of Dolly, kissed it and said:
`But, Dolly, what's to be done, what's to be done? How is it best to act in this awful position - that's what you must think of.'
`All's over, and there's nothing more,' said Dolly. `And the worst of it all is, you see, that I can't cast him off: there are the children - my hands are tied. And I can't live with him! It's a torture for me to see him.'
`Dolly, darling, he has spoken to me, but I want to hear it from you: tell me all about it.'