Part 3 section 17: Anna arrives at Betsy's and then remembers that Vronsky had said that he would not be going there since she said she was not going. Anna tells Betsy that she cannot stay long as she must go and visit the Countess Vrede as she had promised to. She finds it easy to lie now. Realizing Anna is upset, Betsy writes a note to Vronsky and asks Anna to send it, knowing that she could then add a note of her own. Anna writes to Vronsky that she must see him and to meet her at six in the Vrede's garden.
Part 3 section 18: The other guests arrive at Betsy's, including the beautiful Lisa Merkalova. Anna and she are introduced and get along, happy to finally meet each other. Anna has to take her leave to go and meet Vronsky.
Part 3 section 19: Every so often Vronsky takes time to organize his financial affairs. He does that this morning, and realizes he is quite in debt, because his mother has not sent him his allowance this year because she is displeased with his relationship with Anna. Vronsky has also given much of his yearly allowance to his brother, as his brother is married. It is understood that Vronsky will want it again when he is married, but now that Vronsky is in this relationship with Anna, he realizes he may need it when he is not married.
Part 3 section 20: Vronsky has a code of rules that he lives by, but recently these rules have been broken as his relationship with Anna progressed, and especially now that she is pregnant. He is worried that Anna will take him up on his offer to leave together, as he would have to leave the army and does not have any money. He had passed on a promotion earlier, trying to show his independence, but it has backfired on him, and he has since been passed over for other positions. Serpukhovskoy, an old friend of his and the same year as himself, has progressed much further in his career than has Vronsky, and Vronsky tries not to be envious.
Part 3 section 21: Petrisky comes for Vronsky and they go to the Commanding Officer, as Serpukhovskoy has arrived. They all laugh and drink a great deal at the party, and Vronsky and Serpukhovskoy talk about their future. He tells Vronsky that the chief stumbling block in a man's career is women, as he seems to know about Anna. A man brings Vronsky Betsy and Anna's note, and he leaves.
Part 3 section 22: Vronsky meets Anna in the garden and she tells him that she told Karenin and that he wants her to return home and pretend everything is fine. Anna will run off with him if he passionately asks her to now, but he does not. He says that he is glad of it, as he knows that things cannot return to how they were and that there must be change. He is actually thinking of the duel that he thinks is inevitable. Anna says that she will go back to Petersburg on Tuesday, and Vronsky says that he will try to arrange something for them.
Part 3 section 23: On Monday the Committee meets, and Karenin proposes his considerations on the question of the settlement of the native races. His opponents jump to cut him off, but in the end Karenin is successful and three new committees are formed. On Tuesday Anna arrives back home, and Karenin does not go to see her. She finally goes in to see him, and she tells him that things will not change. He says that he will ignore everything as long as his name is not dishonored and that Vronsky does not come to the house. She tries to tell him that she cannot be his wife in that way, and he says that that is not what he wants at all.
Part 3 section 24: That night Levin spent out in the village changes his outlook on his work. He now clearly sees that the opposition between he and his laborers is hindering his work and profits and that things must change. Many things are going wrong on Levin's farm. Dolly sends a letter to ask for a sidesaddle for Kitty, and she wants him to bring it. Levin tries to write back, but cannot think what to say, so just sends the saddle with no letter. Levin decides to go see his friend Sviyazhsky for a bit.
Part 3 section 25: Halfway to Sviyazhsky's house Levin stops at a peasant's house to feed his horses. He talks to the peasants and gets the history of their farm and thinks about them often on his way to his friend's.
Part 3 section 26: It is obvious that Sviyazhsky and his wife want Levin to marry the wife's sister, but Levin is not interested in her at all. Some landowners come over, and Levin goes to talk to them so that he can get away from the sister and her low cut dress that is making him uncomfortable.
Part 3 section 27: They talk about the problems with the laborers, and one talks about how much better things were under serfdom. Levin cannot stop thinking about his dissatisfaction with the way things are going on his farm and finding a solution.
Part 3 section 28: That night Levin goes to borrow books from Sviyazhsky. They discuss whether peasants should be educated or not, and Levin cannot find a connection between his friend's thoughts and his life. Levin reads the books and has an idea for how to reverse his methods of farming. He leaves early the next day even though he said he would stay.