Part 6, Chapter 10 Summary
Veslovsky drove too fast and they arrive at the marsh too early, for it is still hot. This is their primary hunting ground for the day, and Levin considers how he can free himself of Veslovsky. Stepan Arkadyevitch is thinking the same thing; and when Levin explains that they must split into two parties, he quickly says with apparent carelessness that he will go to one side and Levin and Veslovsky can go to the other. Veslovsky is excited, and Levin can do nothing but agree.
Levin is familiar with his dog’s hunting habits and tells Veslovsky to walk beside him rather than splashing through the water behind him. Since the accidental shot in the carriage, Levin feels a distinct interest in where the man’s gun is pointed, but Veslovsky insists he will not get in the way and tells Levin not to bother about him. That is impossible for Levin, and he suddenly remembers his wife’s warning that they take care not to shoot one another.
The two dogs are working the marsh when suddenly there is a loud bang almost in Levin’s ear. Veslovsky has shot at a flock of ducks far out of range, and nearly a dozen snipes rise out of the marsh. Stepan Arkadyevitch shoots deliberately and fells two birds; Levin is not so lucky and misses twice. While these two are reloading, Veslovsky sends two charges of small-shot into the water. Stepan Arkadyevitch picks up his snipe and with sparkling eyes looks at Levin and says now they must separate. Holding his gun at the ready and whistling to his dog, Stepan Arkadyevitch walks off in the opposite direction.
Generally when Levin’s first shots of the day are bad, he gets out of sorts and his entire day of hunting is bad. That is true today. There are plenty of birds and Levin could have redeemed himself, but he finds himself getting disgraced before his guest. Veslovsky, on the other hand, shoots merrily and indiscriminately; he kills nothing and is not at all ashamed. Laska senses his master’s mood and becomes lethargic in...
(The entire section is 546 words.)