Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
and in such detail
that they seemed now present, now past, and now future.
She vividly recalled the moment when he had his first stroke and was
being dragged along by his armpits through the garden at Bald Hills,
muttering something with his helpless tongue, twitching his gray
eyebrows and looking uneasily and timidly at her.
"Even then he wanted to tell me what he told me the day he died,"
she thought. "He had always thought what he said then." And she
recalled in all its detail the night at Bald Hills before he had the
last stroke, when with a foreboding of disaster she had remained at
home against his will. She had not slept and had stolen downstairs
on tiptoe, and going to the door of the conservatory where he slept
that night had listened at the door. In a suffering and weary voice he
was saying something to Tikhon, speaking of the Crimea and its warm
nights and of the Empress. Evidently he had wanted to talk. "And why
didnt he call me? Why didnt he let me be there instead of Tikhon?"
Princess Mary had thought and thought again now. "Now he will never
tell anyone what he had in his soul. Never will that moment return for
him or for me when he might have said all he longed to say, and not
Tikhon but I might have heard and understood him. Why didnt I enter
the room?" she thought. "Perhaps he would then have said to me what he
said the day he died. While talking to Tikhon he asked about me twice.
He wanted to see me, and I was standing close by, outside the door. It
was sad and painful for him to talk to Tikhon who did not understand
him. I remember how he began speaking to him about Lise as if she were
alive--he had forgotten she was dead--and Tikhon reminded him that she
was no more, and he shouted, Fool! He was greatly depressed. From
behind the door I heard how he lay down on his bed groaning and loudly
exclaimed, My God! Why didnt I go in then? What could he have
done to me? What could I have lost? And perhaps he would then have
been comforted and would have said that word to me." And Princess Mary
uttered aloud the caressing word he had said to her on the day of
his death. "Dear-est!" she repeated, and began sobbing, with tears
that relieved her soul. She now saw his face before her. And not the
face she had known ever since she could remember and had always seen
at a distance, but the timid, feeble face she had seen for the first
time quite closely, with all its wrinkles and details, when she
stooped near to his mouth to catch what he said.
"Dear-est!" she repeated again.
"What was he thinking when he uttered that word? What is he thinking
now?" This question suddenly presented itself to her, and in answer
she saw him before her with the expression that was on his face as
he lay in his coffin with his chin bound up with a white handkerchief.
And the horror that had seized her when she touched him and
convinced herself that that was not he, but something mysterious and
horrible, seized her again. She tried to think of something else and
to pray, but could do neither. With wide-open eyes she gazed at the
moonlight and the shadows, expecting every moment to see his dead
face, and she felt that the silence brooding over the house and within
it held her fast.
"Dunyasha," she whispered. "Dunyasha!" she screamed wildly, and
tearing herself out of this silence she ran to the servants
quarters to meet her old nurse and the maidservants who came running
On the seventeenth of August Rostov and Ilyin, accompanied by
Lavrushka who had just returned from captivity and by an hussar
orderly, left their quarters at Yankovo, ten miles from Bogucharovo,
and went for a ride--to try a new horse Ilyin had bought and to find
out whether there was any hay to be had in the villages.
For the last three days Bogucharovo had lain between the two hostile
armies, so that it was as easy for the Russian rearguard to get to
it as for the French vanguard; Rostov, as a careful squadron
commander, wished to take such provisions as remained at Bogucharovo
before the French could get them.
Rostov and Ilyin were in the merriest of moods.
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