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War And Peace 387


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to the general mood of courting Mary Hendrikhovna. She, seeing herself surrounded by such brilliant and polite young men, beamed with satisfaction, try as she might to hide it, and perturbed as she evidently was each time her husband moved in his sleep behind her. There was only one spoon, sugar was more plentiful than anything else, but it took too long to dissolve, so it was decided that Mary Hendrikhovna should stir the sugar for everyone in turn. Rostov received his tumbler, and adding some rum to it asked Mary Hendrikhovna to stir it. "But you take it without sugar?" she said, smiling all the time, as if everything she said and everything the others said was very amusing and had a double meaning. "It is not the sugar I want, but only that your little hand should stir my tea." Mary Hendrikhovna assented and began looking for the spoon which someone meanwhile had pounced on. "Use your finger, Mary Hendrikhovna, it will be still nicer," said Rostov. "Too hot!" she replied, blushing with pleasure. Ilyin put a few drops of rum into the bucket of water and brought it to Mary Hendrikhovna, asking her to stir it with her finger. "This is my cup," said he. "Only dip your finger in it and Ill drink it all up." When they had emptied the samovar, Rostov took a pack of cards and proposed that they should play "Kings" with Mary Hendrikhovna. They drew lots to settle who should make up her set. At Rostovs suggestion it was agreed that whoever became "King" should have the right to kiss Mary Hendrikhovnas hand, and that the "Booby" should go to refill and reheat the samovar for the doctor when the latter awoke. "Well, but supposing Mary Hendrikhovna is King?" asked Ilyin. "As it is, she is Queen, and her word is law!" They had hardly begun to play before the doctors disheveled head suddenly appeared from behind Mary Hendrikhovna. He had been awake for some time, listening to what was being said, and evidently found nothing entertaining or amusing in what was going on. His face was sad and depressed. Without greeting the officers, he scratched himself and asked to be allowed to pass as they were blocking the way. As soon as he had left the room all the officers burst into loud laughter and Mary Hendrikhovna blushed till her eyes filled with tears and thereby became still more attractive to them. Returning from the yard, the doctor told his wife (who had ceased to smile so happily, and looked at him in alarm, awaiting her sentence) that the rain had ceased and they must go to sleep in their covered cart, or everything in it would be stolen. "But Ill send an orderly.... Two of them!" said Rostov. "What an idea, doctor!" "Ill stand guard on it myself!" said Ilyin. "No, gentlemen, you have had your sleep, but I have not slept for two nights," replied the doctor, and he sat down morosely beside his wife, waiting for the game to end. Seeing his gloomy face as he frowned at his wife, the officers grew still merrier, and some of them could not refrain from laughter, for which they hurriedly sought plausible pretexts. When he had gone, taking his wife with him, and had settled down with her in their covered cart, the officers lay down in the tavern, covering themselves with their wet cloaks, but they did not sleep for a long time; now they exchanged remarks, recalling the doctors uneasiness and his wifes delight, now they ran out into the porch and reported what was taking place in the covered trap. Several times Rostov, covering his head, tried to go to sleep, but some remark would arouse him and conversation would be resumed, to the accompaniment of unreasoning, merry, childlike laughter. CHAPTER XIV It was nearly three oclock but no one was yet asleep, when the quartermaster appeared with an order to move on to the little town of Ostrovna. Still laughing and talking, the officers began hurriedly getting ready and again boiled some muddy water in the samovar. But Rostov went off to his squadron without waiting for tea. Day was breaking, the rain had ceased, and the clouds were dispersing. It felt damp and cold, especially in clothes that were still moist. As they left the tavern in the twilight of the dawn, Rostov and Ilyin both glanced under the wet and glistening leather hood of the doctors cart, from under the apron of which his feet were sticking out, and in the middle of which his wifes nightcap

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