Just before the race, Anna is getting ready, and she is surprised to see Karenin appear at the country house. Anna asks Karenin to spend the night, although she doesn’t want him to. Karenin tells her about his visit with the doctor, and Anna urges him to stay in the country, but they both know that she doesn’t mean it. She shudders after he kisses her on the hand.
Karenin’s surprise appearance throws off Anna’s plans, as she has plotted a rendezvous with Vronsky for that night. Out of guilt, she immediately asks Karenin to spend the night at the country house, and she urges him to stay, although his ill health is the last of her concerns, as they both know.