Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/75

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and killed her. However, she had succeeded in biting Tolstoy, and had torn off a piece of skin. He was bandaged on the spot, and the wound soon healed. He described this incident in a story called "The Wish is Stronger than Bondage," published in school reading-books.

During the winter in Moscow he was giving much time to gymnastics, which at that period began to be fashionable in Russia. These physical exercises he continued also in Yasnaya Polyana. Here we give a humorous description, by his brother Nicolas, of these gymnastics:

"Leo desires to take up all, not to miss anything—not even gymnastics. Now he has erected a bar outside his window. Of course, if we put aside prejudice, against which he is always fighting, he is quite right: gymnastics do not interfere with the management of the estate. But the bailiff looks somewhat differently on the matter. 'I come to the master,' he says, 'to get orders, and the master, in a short red jacket, swings with one leg over the bar, head down, his face red, hair hanging down and flying about. I wonder, must I wait for orders or look at him!'"

These practices did not interfere with his management. Already at that time, in the summer, he was working in the fields, ploughing,