Only now did Nadya begin to cry. Only now did she realize that she was actually leaving – even when she had said goodbye to Grandmother and looked at her mother she still hadn’t believed it. Farewell, dear old town! Suddenly she remembered everything: Andrey, his father, the new house, the naked lady with the vase. None of these things frightened or oppressed her any more – it all seemed so mindless and trivial, and was receding ever further into the past. When they climbed into the carriage and the train moved off, all that past existence which had seemed so large, so serious, now dwindled into insignificance, and a vast, broad future opened out before her, a future she had hardly dreamt of. The rain beat against the carriage windows and all she could see was green fields, with glimpses of telegraph poles and birds on the wires. Suddenly she gasped for joy: she remembered that she was travelling to freedom, that she was going to study – it was exactly the same as running away to join the Cossacks, as it was called long, long ago. She laughed, she wept, she prayed.
‘Don’t worry!’ Sasha said, grinning. ‘Everything’s going to be all right!’