So the demon got his will again--or did he. We will see. We are traveling in Wien to visit Aksinya's Uncle and Aunt.
They traveled a long while through the streets crowded with overhanging buildings and thick with people. Eventually, the people thinned and the streets widened. They gave way to more open parks, wooded areas, and estates. The buildings still sat next to the cobblestone streets and close enough to each other for easy visiting without carriages or horses. Still, the afternoon callers took their carriages visiting—that was the style. They eventually came to a magnificent house whose façade was stone and glass. Heavy colonnades gave it a classical feel, but the yellow brick and stone made it seem very modern for the times. When they pulled up to the front, a servant came running. They arrived late for an afternoon call but early for supper.
Aksinya’s cheeks were rosy and she was cold. She was angry, but her anger didn’t seem to warm her at all. She just felt cross and sad, very sad.
The servant who greeted them was dressed like their driver in the classic Austrian livery used for attending aristocracy. It was slightly over the top for a house in Moscow, certainly much more than anyone would expect or normally aspire to in war torn Austria. Immediately, Aksinya realized everything the demon said about her uncle was true. She knew it before, but this reminder cast all her childish memories and knowledge in focus. The servant offered his hand first to Aksinya and she climbed from the carriage. The servant’s hand was cold. He must have been waiting outside for a long time. Aksinya addressed him, “Where you expecting us?”
The man bowed. “Yes, countess, since your telegram last evening.”
Aksinya’s brow rose.
Natalya took her place next to Aksinya. The demon followed. As he passed Aksinya, he whispered, “The telegram I sent yesterday. You uncle is expecting you for supper.”
Aksinya didn’t say a word. The servant bowed, “If you will please follow me.”
They followed the man and behind them Aksinya heard the carriage move away. The sound of the horses’ hooves was loud on the cobbled drive.
I hope you didn't miss it, the demon sent the telegram. He has planned events ahead with great foresight. He planned each piece in identifying, bringing out, tempting, and contracting Natalya to Aksinya. You know he has done the same in this circumstance. The question at this point is what has he done and what has he planned. The demon works through weakness. The weakness of the Bockmanns is stature and the aristocracy. We will see them tomorrow.