expression. On his upper lip there were already signs of a black moustache coming, and his whole face expressed impulsiveness and enthusiasm. Nikolay flushed red as he came into the drawing-room. He was unmistakably trying to find something to say, and unable to find anything. Boris, on the contrary, was at home immediately and talked easily and playfully of the doll Mimi, saying that he had known her as a young girl before her nose was broken, and she had grown older during the five years he remembered her, and how her head was cracked right across the skull. As he said this he looked at Natasha. Natasha turned away from him, glanced at her younger brother, who, with a scowl on his face, was shaking with noiseless laughter, and unable to restrain herself, she skipped up and flew out of the room as quickly as her swift little legs could carry her. Boris did not laugh.

“You were meaning to go out, mamma, weren’t you? Do you want the carriage?” he said, addressing his mother with a smile.

“Yes, go along and tell them to get it ready,” she said, smiling. Boris walked slowly to the door and went after Natasha. The stout boy ran wrathfully after them, as though resenting the interruption of his pursuits.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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