Part 2, Chapter 16 Summary
On the way back from their hunting trip, Levin hears all the particulars of Kitty’s illness from Stepan Arkadyevitch, and though he should have been ashamed to admit it, he is somewhat glad at what he hears. Kitty is still available, but she has also experienced some of the same suffering she inflicted on him. When Stepan Arkadyevitch mentions Vronsky’s name as part of the cause for Kitty’s illness, Levin stops him.
The forest Stepan Arkadyevitch came to the country to sell has been sold at a price he is quite happy with, though Levin says it is worth almost five times what is to be paid for it. Stepan Arkadyevitch is dismissive of that claim, saying Levin has been too long in the country to know effective business dealings; however, Levin tells him that he has spent too little time in the country to know what does and does not have value. He assures his guest that the buyer has certainly counted every tree on the property and Stepan Arkadyevitch is being duped by a shrewd businessman.
When they return to the house, the merchant Ryabinin is waiting for them with a smile and a handshake. He is dismissive of their catch, as though snipe is not worth the time and effort to hunt. By now Levin is morose, but he offers the men his study in which they can conduct their business.
Once in the study, Ryabinin is as dismissive and disapproving of the books and room as he was about the snipe. He has not brought any money, but Ryabinin says the down payment will not be a problem—though the price must come down a bit. Levin has put his gun away and is leaving the room when he hears the merchant. Levin stops and tells the man that Stepan Arkadyevitch is already losing a great deal of money on this deal and he would have fixed a better price for his friend if he had known sooner about their deal.
(The entire section is 514 words.)