Part 2 section 16: On their way back to the house Levin and Oblonsky argue about the sale of the forest, as Levin thinks that he is basically giving it away. When they arrive back the dealer is there and tries to buy it for even less, but when Levin says that he will buy it himself, the dealer says they already had a deal and pays the original price.
Part 2 section 17: Levin is quite annoyed that Oblonsky let the dealer swindle him out of the forest like that. He tells Oblonsky that one of problems with the higher classes is that they are impoverishing themselves by making bad deals. Oblonsky asks Levin why he left Moscow and did not propose to Kitty. Levin tells him that he did and was refused and that it is a humiliating memory for him. They decide that they will go shooting in the early morning and then Oblonsky will return home.
Part 2 section 18: Vronsky's external life goes on as it had before, but his internal life is full of Anna. He does not speak to his friends in the regiment about his relationship with her, but they all know. Most young women had waited for the majority to turn against Anna and then they did as well. Vronsky's mother was happy with her son's relationship with a woman like Anna before, but when he turns down a promotion so that he can stay near her, she changes her mind. His elder brother is also against the affair. Vronsky's other interest is horses, and he is to take part in an officers' steeplechase.
Part 2 section 19: The day of the races Vronsky decides to ride out to the Karenins' country house to see Anna. First he sees Yashvin, his best friend in the regiment, and spends some time with him. Vronsky feels that he is the only one who would understand his relationship with Anna.
Part 2 section 20: The two of them go to Vronsky's cottage and see Petritsky there. Vronsky tells them that he has to go to the stables and then to see Bryansky about the horses. Petritsky tells Vronsky that his brother stopped by and gives him a letter and a note that he left for him. Vronsky knows that both the letter and note will tell him they disapprove of his relationship with Anna.
Part 2 section 21: Vronsky goes to the stables and sees the English trainer and Frou-Frou, the mare he is to ride. She is quite nervous. Vronsky tells the trainer that he will be back, and the trainer tells him to stay calm before the race, as if he knows where he is going. Vronsky is irritated at everyone's interference with his affair with Anna. He thinks about the shame Anna feels at the deception and lying they must do and realizes that things must change.
Part 2 section 22: Vronsky arrives at the house. He realizes that he had forgotten about Anna's son, and does not want to run into him. The boy does not know what to think of Vronsky, as his father and all of the servants dislike him, but he is his mother's best friend. He was not at home though, because he had gone for a walk. Vronsky finds Anna and sees that she is very upset. She finally tells him that she is pregnant. He tells her that she must end her relationship with her husband so that they can unite their lives.
Part 2 section 23: He tells her to tell her husband everything and leave him. She tells him that he would not allow his name to be dishonored like that and would take measures to prevent it. She does not mention her son, and Vronsky does not realize that he is the main obstacle to the plan. She asks him not to speak of it again. Her son approaches and Vronsky leaves, saying he will return at one that night.
Part 2 section 24: Vronsky continues on to Bryansky's not realizing how little time he has. He does not stay with Bryansky long and rushes to the stables. All are wondering where he has been, and he barely makes it to his horse on time. Vronsky's brother Alexander comes up to him and asks if he got his note. Vronsky says that he did, and that it is none of his business. Oblonsky then arrives and they make a plan to meet the next day. The riders mount, and Vronsky is irritated when Makhotin, his main rival in the race, gallops by on his horse Gladiator.
Part 2 section 25: There are nine obstacles in the race, and when the race starts Frou-Frou is behind at least three horses. She soon overcomes them and it is just Gladiator in front of them. Vronsky gets the lead, and there is just one major obstacle ahead of them. Vronsky thinks that he will overcome it and win the race but he makes a horrible mistake. He had been dropping back in the saddle and pulling on Frou-Frou's head, and before he can realize what is happening, he and his horse fall and Gladiator rushes by. He is unhurt, but the mare's back is broken and it is decided that she must be shot. Vronsky rushes off and Yashvin follows him. The memory of this race long remains one of the most painful memories of Vronsky's life.
Part 2 section 26: Externally Karenin's relationship with his wife remains the same, except that this year he never stays the night at the country house but remains in Petersburg. He is rather colder to her and to their son. He does not wish to think about his wife's conduct and does not want to see what is going on. The Countess Lydia tries to warn him about it, but he does not want to hear it. Without admitting it to himself though, he knows he is a wronged husband. The day of the races Karenin stops by the country house.
Part 2 section 27: Karenin arrives at the country house and Anna is sorry to see him but tries to be civil towards him. Serezha, her son, seems to be scared of his father. She tells Karenin that she is going to the race with Betsy, and when she arrives, they all leave.