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before her nose was broken; how she had aged during the five years he had known her, and how her head had cracked right across the skull. Having said this he glanced at Natasha. She turned away from him and glanced at her younger brother, who was screwing up his eyes and shaking with suppressed laughter, and unable to control herself any longer, she jumped up and rushed from the room as fast as her nimble little feet would carry her. Boris did not laugh. "You were meaning to go out, werent you, Mamma? Do you want the carriage?" he asked his mother with a smile. "Yes, yes, go and tell them to get it ready," she answered, returning his smile. Boris quietly left the room and went in search of Natasha. The plump boy ran after them angrily, as if vexed that their program had been disturbed.
CHAPTER XII
The only young people remaining in the drawing room, not counting the young lady visitor and the countess eldest daughter (who was four years older than her sister and behaved already like a grown-up person), were Nicholas and Sonya, the niece. Sonya was a slender little brunette with a tender look in her eyes which were veiled by long lashes, thick black plaits coiling twice round her head, and a tawny tint in her complexion and especially in the color of her slender but graceful and muscular arms and neck. By the grace of her movements, by the softness and flexibility of her small limbs, and by a certain coyness and reserve of manner, she reminded one of a pretty, half-grown kitten which promises to become a beautiful little cat. She evidently considered it proper to show an interest in the general conversation by smiling, but in spite of herself her eyes under their thick long lashes watched her cousin who was going to join the army, with such passionate girlish adoration that her smile could not for a single instant impose upon anyone, and it was clear that the kitten had settled down only to spring up with more energy and again play with her cousin as soon as they too could, like Natasha and Boris, escape from the drawing room. "Ah yes, my dear," said the count, addressing the visitor and pointing to Nicholas, "his friend Boris has become an officer, and so for friendships sake he is leaving the university and me, his old father, and entering the military service, my dear. And there was a place and everything waiting for him in the Archives Department! Isnt that friendship?" remarked the count in an inquiring tone. "But they say that war has been declared," replied the visitor. "Theyve been saying so a long while," said the count, "and theyll say so again and again, and that will be the end of it. My dear, theres friendship for you," he repeated. "Hes joining the hussars." The visitor, not knowing what to say, shook her head. "Its not at all from friendship," declared Nicholas, flaring up and turning away as if from a shameful aspersion. "It is not from friendship at all; I simply feel that the army is my vocation." He glanced at his cousin and the young lady visitor; and they were both regarding him with a smile of approbation. "Schubert, the colonel of the Pavlograd Hussars, is dining with us today. He has been here on leave and is taking Nicholas back with him. It cant be helped!" said the count, shrugging his shoulders and speaking playfully of a matter that evidently distressed him. "I have already told you, Papa," said his son, "that if you dont wish to let me go, Ill stay. But I know I am no use anywhere except in the army; I am not a diplomat or a government clerk.--I dont know how to hide what I feel." As he spoke he kept glancing with the flirtatiousness of a handsome youth at Sonya and the young lady visitor. The little kitten, feasting her eyes on him, seemed ready at any moment to start her gambols again and display her kittenish nature. "All right, all right!" said the old count. "He always flares up! This Buonaparte has turned all their heads; they all think of how he rose from an ensign and became Emperor. Well, well, God grant it," he added, not noticing his visitors sarcastic smile. The elders began talking about Bonaparte. Julie Karagina turned to young Rostov. "What a pity you werent at the Arkharovs on Thursday. It was so dull without you," said she, giving him a tender

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