“Only when will that be? I’m so afraid it never will be.…It would be too happy!” said Natasha, getting up and going to the looking-glasses.

“Sit down, Natasha, perhaps you will see him,” said Sonya.

Natasha lighted the candles and sat down. “I do see some one with a moustache,” said Natasha, seeing her own face.

“You mustn’t laugh, miss,” said Dunyasha.

With the assistance of Sonya and the maid, Natasha got the mirrors into the correct position. Her face took a serious expression, and she was silent. For a long while she went on sitting, watching the series of retreating candles reflected in the looking-glasses, and expecting (in accordance with the tales she had heard) at one minute to see a coffin, at the next to see him, Prince Andrey, in the furthest, dimmest, indistinct square. But ready as she was to accept the slightest blur as the form of a man or of a coffin, she saw nothing. She began to blink, and moved away from the looking-glass.

“Why is it other people see things and I never see anything?” she said. “Come, you sit down, Sonya; to- day you really must. Only look for me … I feel so full of dread to-day!”

Sonya sat down to the looking-glass, got the correct position, and began looking.

“You will see, Sonya Alexandrovna will be sure to see something,” whispered Dunyasha, “you always laugh.”

Sonya heard these words, and heard Natasha say in a whisper: “Yes, I know she’ll see something; she saw something last year too.” For three minutes all were mute.

“Sure to!” whispered Natasha, and did not finish.… All at once Sonya drew back from the glass she was holding and put her hand over her eyes. “O Natasha!” she said. “Seen something? Seen something? What did you see?” cried Natasha, supporting the looking-glass. Sonya had seen nothing. She was just meaning to blink and to get up, when she heard Natasha’s voice say: “Sure to!” … She did not want to deceive either Dunyasha or Natasha, and was weary of sitting there. She did not know herself how and why that exclamation had broken from her as she covered her eyes.

“Did you see him?” asked Natasha, clutching her by the hand.

“Yes. Wait a bit.… I … did see him,” Sonya could not help saying, not yet sure whether by him Natasha meant Nikolay or Andrey. “Why not say I saw something? Other people see things! And who can tell whether I have or have not?” flashed through Sonya’s mind.

“Yes, I saw him,” she said.

“How was it? How? Standing or lying down?”

“No, I saw … At first there was nothing; then I saw him lying down.”

“Andrey lying down? Is he ill?” Natasha asked, fixing eyes of terror on her friend.

“No, on the contrary—on the contrary, his face was cheerful, and he turned to me”; and at the moment she was saying this, it seemed to herself that she really had seen what she described.

“Well, and then, Sonya? …”

“Then I could make out more; something blue and red.…”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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