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ON THE SCREEN a scene at Kursk station in Moscow. A bright April day of 1902. A group of friends, who came to see Zinaida Krutitsky and her mOther off to the Crimea, stand on the platform by the sleeping-car. Among them Ivan Osokin, a young man about twentysix. Osokin is visibly agitated although he tries not to show it. Zinaida is talking to her brOther, Michail, Osokins friend, a young officer in the uniform of one of the Moscow Grenadier regiments, and two girls. Then she turns to Osokin and walks aside with him. “I am going to miss you very much,” she says. “Its a pity you cannot come with us. Though it seems to me that you dont particularly want to, Otherwise you would come. You dont want to do anything for me. Your staying behind now makes all our talks ridiculous and futile. But I am tired of arguing with you. You must do as you like.” Ivan Osokin becomes more and more troubled, but he tries to control himself and says with an effort: “I cant come at present, but I shall come later, I promise you. You cannot imagine how hard it is for me to stay here.” “No, I cannot imagine it and I dont believe it,” says Zinaida quickly. “When a man wants anything as strongly as you say you do, he acts. I am sure you are in love with one of your pupils here—some nice, poetical girl who studies fencing. Confess!” She laughs.

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