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War And Peace 440


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large crowd to the barn and sent word that they would not let her leave the village: that there was an order not to move, and that they would unharness the horses. Alpatych had gone out to admonish them, but was told (it was chiefly Karp who did the talking, Dron not showing himself in the crowd) that they could not let the princess go, that there was an order to the contrary, but that if she stayed they would serve her as before and obey her in everything. At the moment when Rostov and Ilyin were galloping along the road, Princess Mary, despite the dissuasions of Alpatych, her nurse, and the maids, had given orders to harness and intended to start, but when the cavalrymen were espied they were taken for Frenchmen, the coachman ran away, and the women in the house began to wail. "Father! Benefactor! God has sent you!" exclaimed deeply moved voices as Rostov passed through the anteroom. Princess Mary was sitting helpless and bewildered in the large sitting room, when Rostov was shown in. She could not grasp who he was and why he had come, or what was happening to her. When she saw his Russian face, and by his walk and the first words he uttered recognized him as a man of her own class, she glanced at him with her deep radiant look and began speaking in a voice that faltered and trembled with emotion. This meeting immediately struck Rostov as a romantic event. "A helpless girl overwhelmed with grief, left to the mercy of coarse, rioting peasants! And what a strange fate sent me here! What gentleness and nobility there are in her features and expression!" thought he as he looked at her and listened to her timid story. When she began to tell him that all this had happened the day after her fathers funeral, her voiced trembled. She turned away, and then, as if fearing he might take her words as meant to move him to pity, looked at him with an apprehensive glance of inquiry. There were tears in Rostovs eyes. Princess Mary noticed this and glanced gratefully at him with that radiant look which caused the plainness of her face to be forgotten. "I cannot express, Princess, how glad I am that I happened to ride here and am able to show my readiness to serve you," said Rostov, rising. "Go when you please, and I give you my word of honor that no one shall dare to cause you annoyance if only you will allow me to act as your escort." And bowing respectfully, as if to a lady of royal blood, he moved toward the door. Rostovs deferential tone seemed to indicate that though he would consider himself happy to be acquainted with her, he did not wish to take advantage of her misfortunes to intrude upon her. Princess Mary understood this and appreciated his delicacy. "I am very, very grateful to you," she said in French, "but I hope it was all a misunderstanding and that no one is to blame for it." She suddenly began to cry. "Excuse me!" she said. Rostov, knitting his brows, left the room with another low bow. CHAPTER XIV "Well, is she pretty? Ah, friend--my pink one is delicious; her name is Dunyasha...." But on glancing at Rostovs face Ilyin stopped short. He saw that his hero and commander was following quite a different train of thought. Rostov glanced angrily at Ilyin and without replying strode off with rapid steps to the village. "Ill show them; Ill give it to them, the brigands!" said he to himself. Alpatych at a gliding trot, only just managing not to run, kept up with him with difficulty. "What decision have you been pleased to come to?" said he. Rostov stopped and, clenching his fists, suddenly and sternly turned on Alpatych. "Decision? What decision? Old dotard!..." cried he. "What have you been about? Eh? The peasants are rioting, and you cant manage them? Youre a traitor yourself! I know you. Ill flay you all alive!..." And as if afraid of wasting his store of anger, he left Alpatych and went rapidly forward. Alpatych, mastering his offended feelings, kept pace with Rostov at a gliding gait and continued to impart his views. He said the peasants were obdurate and that at the present moment it would be imprudent to "overresist" them without an armed force, and would it not be better first to send for the military? "Ill give them armed force... Ill overresist them!" uttered Rostov meaninglessly, breathless with irrational animal fury and the need to vent

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