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War And Peace 520

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War And Peace

which jolted as it passed out of the yard onto the uneven roadway; the other vehicles jolted in their turn, and the procession of carriages moved up the street. In the carriages, the caleche, and the phaeton, all crossed themselves as they passed the church opposite the house. Those who were to remain in Moscow walked on either side of the vehicles seeing the travelers off. Rarely had Natasha experienced so joyful a feeling as now, sitting in the carriage beside the countess and gazing at the slowly receding walls of forsaken, agitated Moscow. Occasionally she leaned out of the carriage window and looked back and then forward at the long train of wounded in front of them. Almost at the head of the line she could see the raised hood of Prince Andrews caleche. She did not know who was in it, but each time she looked at the procession her eyes sought that caleche. She knew it was right in front. In Kudrino, from the Nikitski, Presnya, and Podnovinsk Streets came several other trains of vehicles similar to the Rostovs, and as they passed along the Sadovaya Street the carriages and carts formed two rows abreast. As they were going round the Sukharev water tower Natasha, who was inquisitively and alertly scrutinizing the people driving or walking past, suddenly cried out in joyful surprise: "Dear me! Mamma, Sonya, look, its he!" "Who? Who?" "Look! Yes, on my word, its Bezukhov!" said Natasha, putting her head out of the carriage and staring at a tall, stout man in a coachmans long coat, who from his manner of walking and moving was evidently a gentleman in disguise, and who was passing under the arch of the Sukharev tower accompanied by a small, sallow-faced, beardless old man in a frieze coat. "Yes, it really is Bezukhov in a coachmans coat, with a queer-looking old boy. Really," said Natasha, "look, look!" "No, its not he. How can you talk such nonsense?" "Mamma," screamed Natasha, "Ill stake my head its he! I assure you! Stop, stop!" she cried to the coachman. But the coachman could not stop, for from the Meshchanski Street came more carts and carriages, and the Rostovs were being shouted at to move on and not block the way. In fact, however, though now much farther off than before, the Rostovs all saw Pierre--or someone extraordinarily like him--in a coachmans coat, going down the street with head bent and a serious face beside a small, beardless old man who looked like a footman. That old man noticed a face thrust out of the carriage window gazing at them, and respectfully touching Pierres elbow said something to him and pointed to the carriage. Pierre, evidently engrossed in thought, could not at first understand him. At length when he had understood and looked in the direction the old man indicated, he recognized Natasha, and following his first impulse stepped instantly and rapidly toward the coach. But having taken a dozen steps he seemed to remember something and stopped. Natashas face, leaning out of the window, beamed with quizzical kindliness. "Peter Kirilovich, come here! We have recognized you! This is wonderful!" she cried, holding out her hand to him. "What are you doing? Why are you like this?" Pierre took her outstretched hand and kissed it awkwardly as he walked along beside her while the coach still moved on. "What is the matter, Count?" asked the countess in a surprised and commiserating tone. "What? What? Why? Dont ask me," said Pierre, and looked round at Natasha whose radiant, happy expression--of which he was conscious without looking at her--filled him with enchantment. "Are you remaining in Moscow, then?" Pierre hesitated. "In Moscow?" he said in a questioning tone. "Yes, in Moscow. Good-by!" "Ah, if only I were a man? Id certainly stay with you. How splendid!" said Natasha. "Mamma, if youll let me, Ill stay!" Pierre glanced absently at Natasha and was about to say something, but the countess interrupted him. "You were at the battle, we heard." "Yes, I was," Pierre answered. "There will be another battle tomorrow..." he began, but Natasha interrupted him. "But what is the matter with you, Count? You are not like yourself...." "Oh, dont ask me, dont ask me! I dont know myself. Tomorrow... But no! Good-by, good-by!" he muttered. "Its an awful time!" and dropping behind the carriage he stepped onto the pavement. Natasha continued to lean out of the window for a long time, beaming at him with her kindly, slightly quizzical, happy smile. CHAPTER XVIII For the last two days, ever since leaving home, Pierre had been living in the empty house of his deceased benefactor,

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