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War And Peace 343


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tender voice: "I cannot come to visit you but is it possible that I shall never see you? I love you madly. Can I never...?" and, blocking her path, he brought his face close to hers. His large, glittering, masculine eyes were so close to hers that she saw nothing but them. "Natalie?" he whispered inquiringly while she felt her hands being painfully pressed. "Natalie?" "I dont understand. I have nothing to say," her eyes replied. Burning lips were pressed to hers, and at the same instant she felt herself released, and Helenes footsteps and the rustle of her dress were heard in the room. Natasha looked round at her, and then, red and trembling, threw a frightened look of inquiry at Anatole and moved toward the door. "One word, just one, for Gods sake!" cried Anatole. She paused. She so wanted a word from him that would explain to her what had happened and to which she could find no answer. "Natalie, just a word, only one!" he kept repeating, evidently not knowing what to say and he repeated it till Helene came up to them. Helene returned with Natasha to the drawing room. The Rostovs went away without staying for supper. After reaching home Natasha did not sleep all night. She was tormented by the insoluble question whether she loved Anatole or Prince Andrew. She loved Prince Andrew--she remembered distinctly how deeply she loved him. But she also loved Anatole, of that there was no doubt. "Else how could all this have happened?" thought she. "If, after that, I could return his smile when saying good-by, if I was able to let it come to that, it means that I loved him from the first. It means that he is kind, noble, and splendid, and I could not help loving him. What am I to do if I love him and the other one too?" she asked herself, unable to find an answer to these terrible questions. CHAPTER XIV Morning came with its cares and bustle. Everyone got up and began to move about and talk, dressmakers came again. Marya Dmitrievna appeared, and they were called to breakfast. Natasha kept looking uneasily at everybody with wide-open eyes, as if wishing to intercept every glance directed toward her, and tried to appear the same as usual. After breakfast, which was her best time, Marya Dmitrievna sat down in her armchair and called Natasha and the count to her. "Well, friends, I have now thought the whole matter over and this is my advice," she began. "Yesterday, as you know, I went to see Prince Bolkonski. Well, I had a talk with him.... He took it into his head to begin shouting, but I am not one to be shouted down. I said what I had to say!" "Well, and he?" asked the count. "He? Hes crazy... he did not want to listen. But whats the use of talking? As it is we have worn the poor girl out," said Marya Dmitrievna. "My advice to you is finish your business and go back home to Otradnoe... and wait there." "Oh, no!" exclaimed Natasha. "Yes, go back," said Marya Dmitrievna, "and wait there. If your betrothed comes here now--there will be no avoiding a quarrel; but alone with the old man he will talk things over and then come on to you." Count Rostov approved of this suggestion, appreciating its reasonableness. If the old man came round it would be all the better to visit him in Moscow or at Bald Hills later on; and if not, the wedding, against his wishes, could only be arranged at Otradnoe. "That is perfectly true. And I am sorry I went to see him and took her," said the old count. "No, why be sorry? Being here, you had to pay your respects. But if he wont--thats his affair," said Marya Dmitrievna, looking for something in her reticule. "Besides, the trousseau is ready, so there is nothing to wait for; and what is not ready Ill send after you. Though I dont like letting you go, it is the best way. So go, with Gods blessing!" Having found what she was looking for in the reticule she handed it to Natasha. It was a letter from Princess Mary. "She has written to you. How she torments herself, poor thing! Shes afraid you might think that she does not like you." "But she doesnt like me," said Natasha. "Dont talk nonsense!" cried Marya Dmitrievna. "I shant believe anyone, I know she doesnt like me," replied Natasha boldly as she took the letter, and her face expressed a cold and angry resolution

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