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After sitting in on a heated argument between Pestsov and Koznyshev, Levin chats with Kitty. Their communication is clear and almost wordless.
The two of them go over to a card table. Kitty draws on the table with chalk.
Kitty and Levin continue the conversation about women's rights, and without even finishing her sentence, Kitty convinces Levin of Pestsov's point of view regarding women working.
Kitty gets up to leave.
Levin asks her not to go, saying that he's been meaning to ask her something.
On the table, he writes a series of letters in chalk. He's sure that she won't be able to decipher what it means, but Kitty is so in touch with Levin that she realizes it stands for: "When you answered me: "that cannot be," did it mean never or then?"
Levin and Kitty are so attuned to each other that they can keep their conversation to these chalk initials and significant glances. They know instantly what the other person is trying to say. In response to Levin's initials, Kitty writes t, i, c, g, n, o, a. Levin looks at this a long time and then realizes it stands for: "Then I could give no other answer."
With just a look, Levin asks, "Only then?" and Kitty answers, "Yes."
Levin asks aloud, "And n... now?" And Kitty replies with the initial letters: t, y, c, f, a, f, w, h. "That you could forgive and forget what happened." Levin replies with initials that mean, "I have nothing to forgive and forget, I have never stopped loving you."
Kitty has declared her love to Levin. Levin should call on her family in the morning.