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War And Peace 433


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that no horses could be had even for the carriages, much less for the carting. Alpatych looked intently at Dron and frowned. Just as Dron was a model village Elder, so Alpatych had not managed the princes estates for twenty years in vain. He was a model steward, possessing in the highest degree the faculty of divining the needs and instincts of those he dealt with. Having glanced at Dron he at once understood that his answers did not express his personal views but the general mood of the Bogucharovo commune, by which the Elder had already been carried away. But he also knew that Dron, who had acquired property and was hated by the commune, must be hesitating between the two camps: the masters and the serfs. He noticed this hesitation in Drons look and therefore frowned and moved closer up to him. "Now just listen, Dronushka," said he. "Dont talk nonsense to me. His excellency Prince Andrew himself gave me orders to move all the people away and not leave them with the enemy, and there is an order from the Tsar about it too. Anyone who stays is a traitor to the Tsar. Do you hear?" "I hear," Dron answered without lifting his eyes. Alpatych was not satisfied with this reply. "Eh, Dron, it will turn out badly!" he said, shaking his head. "The power is in your hands," Dron rejoined sadly. "Eh, Dron, drop it!" Alpatych repeated, withdrawing his hand from his bosom and solemnly pointing to the floor at Drons feet. "I can see through you and three yards into the ground under you," he continued, gazing at the floor in front of Dron. Dron was disconcerted, glanced furtively at Alpatych and again lowered his eyes. "You drop this nonsense and tell the people to get ready to leave their homes and go to Moscow and to get carts ready for tomorrow morning for the princess things. And dont go to any meeting yourself, do you hear?" Dron suddenly fell on his knees. "Yakov Alpatych, discharge me! Take the keys from me and discharge me, for Christs sake!" "Stop that!" cried Alpatych sternly. "I see through you and three yards under you," he repeated, knowing that his skill in beekeeping, his knowledge of the right time to sow the oats, and the fact that he had been able to retain the old princes favor for twenty years had long since gained him the reputation of being a wizard, and that the power of seeing three yards under a man is considered an attribute of wizards. Dron got up and was about to say something, but Alpatych interrupted him. "What is it you have got into your heads, eh?... What are you thinking of, eh?" "What am I to do with the people?" said Dron. "Theyre quite beside themselves; I have already told them..." "Told them, I dare say!" said Alpatych. "Are they drinking?" he asked abruptly. "Quite beside themselves, Yakov Alpatych; theyve fetched another barrel." "Well, then, listen! Ill go to the police officer, and you tell them so, and that they must stop this and the carts must be got ready." "I understand." Alpatych did not insist further. He had managed people for a long time and knew that the chief way to make them obey is to show no suspicion that they can possibly disobey. Having wrung a submissive "I understand" from Dron, Alpatych contented himself with that, though he not only doubted but felt almost certain that without the help of troops the carts would not be forthcoming. And so it was, for when evening came no carts had been provided. In the village, outside the drink shop, another meeting was being held, which decided that the horses should be driven out into the woods and the carts should not be provided. Without saying anything of this to the princess, Alpatych had his own belongings taken out of the carts which had arrived from Bald Hills and had those horses got ready for the princess carriages. Meanwhile he went himself to the police authorities. CHAPTER X After her fathers funeral Princess Mary shut herself up in her room and did not admit anyone. A maid came to the door to say that Alpatych was asking for orders about their departure. (This was before his talk with Dron.) Princess Mary raised herself on the sofa on which she had been lying and replied through the closed door that she did not mean to go away and begged to be left in peace. The windows of the room in which she was lying looked westward. She lay on the sofa with her

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