“He’s coming!” said he; “now for trouble!”

Rostov glanced out of the window and saw Denisov returning home. Denisov was a little man with a red face, sparkling black eyes, tousled black whiskers and hair. He was wearing an unbuttoned tunic, wide breeches that fell in folds, and on the back of his head a crushed hussar’s cap. Gloomily, with downcast head, he drew near the steps.

“Lavrushka,” he shouted, loudly and angrily, lisping the r, “come, take it off, blockhead!”

“Well, I am taking it off,” answered Lavrushka’s voice.

“Ah! you are up already,” said Denisov, coming into the room.

“Long ago,” said Rostov; “I’ve been out already after hay, and I have seen Fräulein Mathilde.”

“Really? And I’ve been losing, my boy, all night, like the son of a dog,” cried Denisov, not pronouncing his r’s. “Such ill-luck! such ill-luck! …As soon as you left, my luck was gone. Hey, tea?”

Denisov, puckering up his face as though he were smiling, and showing his short, strong teeth, began with his short-fingered hands ruffling up his thick, black hair, that was tangled like a forest.

“The devil was in me to go to that rat” (the nickname of an officer), he said, rubbing his brow and face with both hands. “Only fancy, he didn’t deal me one card, not one, not one card!” Denisov took the lighted pipe that was handed to him, gripped it in his fist, and scattering sparks, he tapped it on the floor, still shouting.

“He lets me have the simple, and beats the parole; lets me get the simple, and beats the parole.”

He scattered the sparks, broke the pipe, and threw it away. Then Denisov paused, and all at once he glanced brightly at Rostov with his gleaming black eyes.

“If there were only women. But here, except drinking, there’s nothing to do. If only we could get to fighting soon.… Hey, who’s there?” he called towards the door, catching the sounds of thick boots and clanking spurs that came to a stop, and of a respectful cough.

“The sergeant!” said Lavrushka. Denisov puckered up his face more than ever.

“That’s a nuisance,” he said, flinging down a purse with several gold coins in it. “Rostov, count, there’s a dear boy, how much is left, and put the purse under the pillow,” he said, and he went out to the sergeant. Rostov took the money and mechanically sorting and arranging in heaps the old and new gold, he began counting it over.

“Ah, Telyanin! Good-morning! I was cleaned out last night,” he heard Denisov’s voice saying from the other room.

“Where was that? At Bykov’s? At the rat’s? … I knew it,” said a thin voice, and thereupon there walked into the room Lieutenant Telyanin, a little officer in the same squadron.

Rostov put the purse under the pillow, and shook the damp little hand that was offered him. Telyanin had for some reason been transferred from the guards just before the regiment set out. He had behaved very well in the regiment, but he was not liked, and Rostov, in particular, could not endure him, and could not conceal his groundless aversion for this officer.

“Well, young cavalryman, how is my Rook doing for you?” (Rook was a riding-horse Telyanin had sold to Rostov.) The lieutenant never looked the person he was speaking to in the face. His eyes were continually flitting from one object to another. “I saw you riding today …”

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