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At Nikolskoye, Katya and Arkady sit in the garden, petting the dog Fifi. "They were both silent; but the way in which they were silent, the way in which they were sitting together, spoke eloquently of the trustful intimacy between them" (25.1).
Arkady says that the Russian word for ash-tree, yusen (meaning lucent or clear), is a good one. When Katya agrees, Arkady notes that, unlike Bazarov, she doesn't reproach him for fancy talk.
Speaking of the author Heine, Katya says that she only likes him "when his mood is pensive and melancholy" (25.4).
Arkady says he only prefers Heine's jokes, and Katya says "That's an old mark of your satirical turn of mind" (25.6).
She thinks that Arkady, like her sister, fell under Bazarov's influence. She expects that they will be able to transform him.
Arkady mentions that Katya never liked Bazarov, and she says that she is in no position to pass judgment on him. When Arkady suggests that is just a cop-out, she says that the truth is just that she, like Arkady, has nothing in common with him.
When Arkady asks what she means, she says, "He's a wild beast, while you and I are domestic animals" (25.20).
Arkady is offended, but Katya says that's simply the way people are. She says that though Bazarov had an influence on Anna Sergeyevna, it didn't last long because above all she values her independence.
At the same time, both of them wonder why they're discussing Anna Sergeyevna.
Arkady asks Katya to confess that she is a bit afraid of her sister. He admits that he is too.
Katya thinks it strange that Arkady is afraid of Anna Sergeyevna. She says her sister is much friendlier to him now than when he first came.
Arkady thinks that it is because he brought over her mother's letters, but Katya says that there are other reasons.
Arkady observes that Katya is a very thoughtful and distrustful person, that she keeps everyone at a distance.
He says "people in your position, I mean with your fortune, don't often have that facility; it is as hard for them as it is for emperors to get at the truth" (25.53).
When Katya protests that she is not actually wealthy, Arkady realizes for the first time that all this wealth is her sister's.
Arkady observes that she sounded very pretty when she said that the wealth was not hers. He thinks that she harbors "a grain of the vanity" of those who recognize that they are poor (25.60).
Katya claims she doesn't know what he's talking about. To prove his point, Arkady asks if she would marry a rich man, and she admits that she would not.
Katya says what scares her about it is the idea of "a mere subordinate existence" (25.67).
Arkady begins to compare Katya to her sister. He thinks that she is just as observant and intelligent and possesses perhaps even more character.
Katya asks him not to compare them, and says that he in particular should not be doing so.
There is a pause and Katya begins throwing crumbs to the birds. Then Arkady says, "It may be all the same to you but I should like you to know that I wouldn't exchange you for your sister or for any one else in the world either" (25.79).
Arkady is surprised by his exclamation and promptly gets up and walks away. Katya sits there unsmiling and, with time, develops a slight blush.
Anna Sergeyevna approaches and asks where Arkady is. When she sees that Katya is alone she worries that they have quarreled, but Katya says that they have not.
Anna Sergeyevna says that she was going to ask the two of them to go on a walk. Looking at Katya's feet, she tells her to change her boots more often so as to take care of her pretty little feet.
As the two of them begin walking, Katya thinks "Pretty little feet, you say... Well, before long he shall be kneeling at them" (25.93).
She immediately feels ashamed of the thought.
Meanwhile, Arkady is making his way up to his room when he hears that Bazarov has come to see him.
Arkady immediately worries that something is wrong at home. Yet when he goes to his room and sees how calm Bazarov looks, he is reassured and embraces him.
He asks how everyone is doing at home, and Bazarov says that everyone is doing fine, though Arkady's uncle is not in good health.
Bazarov tells Arkady what happened in his typically terse manner. He re-assures Arkady that his uncle is alright, and concludes that this is what "comes of living with these feudal barons" (25.102).
Bazarov says that it is time for them to part, and Arkady is taken aback. Bazarov says that they have grown apart already and asks how his affair with Anna Sergeyevna is coming along. Arkady insists that Bazarov is mistaken.
Bazarov goes on, "A romantic would say, 'I feel our paths are beginning to diverge,' but I will simply say that we are tired of each other" (25.109).
Arkady says to never mind him, that Bazarov must stop and say hello to Anna Sergeyevna since that is the real reason he has come to visit.
Bazarov doubts that she wants to see him, but Arkady persists, and it turns out that he is right.
Anna Sergeyevna receives Bazarov in the drawing room, and looks incredibly tense when he enters. Bazarov reassures her that he has come to his senses, that he simply wants to be sure that she doesn't think of him with repugnance.
Anna Sergeyevna is immensely relieved. She says she was partly to blame, and dismisses what happened between them as a dream. She hopes that they can return to being friends.
As they dismiss their love, the author wonders "Was the truth, the whole truth, to be found in their words?" (25.125).
When Anna Sergeyevna asks what Bazarov has been up to at the Kirsanovs' he decides not to tell her about the duel and simply says he has been working.
She admits that she went into a fit of depression after he left and almost went abroad. It was not until Arkady came that she regained control of herself.
Anna Sergeyevna admits that at first she thought Arkady rather insignificant and didn't understand why Bazarov was friends with him.
When Bazarov asks if Arkady is still shy with her, she is confused. Thinking back, she supposes that she avoided him at first since he was more Katya's friend.
After a moment, Bazarov asks if she really didn't notice that Arkady was in love with her.
Anna Sergeyevna denies it several times, and closes the subject by saying that Bazarov is exaggerating.
Though Anna Sergeyevna tells Bazarov that the past is forgotten, she realizes that she still is not comfortable around him.
The narrator compares it to the way "people on a steamer talk and laugh light-heartedly, for all the world as if they were on dry land; but let the smallest hitch occur, at the faintest hint of something unusual, and their faces instantly express a peculiar anxiety, betraying the unceasing awareness of unceasing danger" (25.140).
After their talk, Anna Sergeyevna sends a servant looking for Arkady. The servant finds him in a reflective pose out in the farthest corner of the garden.
Though Arkady knows that Bazarov is inside with Anna Sergeyevna, he no longer feels jealous. Instead, he feels elated, and thinks that he is on the verge of making a decision.