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<p>her usual tact and naturalness, and indeed she did so with actual
enjoyment, as Darya Alexandrovna observed. The conversation
began about the row Tushkevitch and Veslovsky had taken alone
together in the boat, and Tushkevitch began describing the last
boat races in Petersburg at the Yacht Club. But Anna, seizing
the first pause, at once turned to the architect to draw him out
of his silence.
"Nikolay Ivanitch was struck," she said, meaning Sviazhsky, "at
the progress the new building had made since he was here last;
but I am there every day, and every day I wonder at the rate at
which it grows."
"It's first-rate working with his excellency," said the architect
with a smile (he was respectful and composed, though with a sense
of his own dignity). "It's a very different matter to have to do
with the district authorities. Where one would have to write out
sheaves of papers, here I call upon the count, and in three words
we settle the business."
"The American way of doing business," said Sviazhsky, with a
"Yes, there they build in a rational fashion..."
The conversation passed to the misuse of political power in the
United States, but Anna quickly brought it round to another
topic, so as to draw the steward into talk.
"Have you ever seen a reaping machine?" she said, addressing</p>
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