Chapter 17

ANATOLE went out of the room, and a few minutes later he came back wearing a fur pelisse, girt with a silver belt, and a sable cap, jauntily stuck on one side, and very becoming to his handsome face. Looking at himself in the looking-glass, and then standing before Dolohov in the same attitude he had taken before the looking-glass, he took a glass of wine.

“Well, Fedya, farewell; thanks for everything, and farewell,” said Anatole. “Come, comrades, friends …”—he grew pensive—“of my youth … farewell,” he turned to Makarin and the others.

Although they were all going with him, Anatole evidently wanted to make a touching and solemn ceremony of this address to his comrades. He spoke in a loud, deliberate voice, squaring his chest and swinging one leg.

“All take glasses; you too, Balaga. Well, lads, friends of my youth, we have had jolly sprees together. Eh? Now, when shall we meet again? I’m going abroad! We’ve had a good time, and farewell, lads. Here’s to our health! Hurrah! …” he said, tossing off his glass, and flinging it on the floor.

“To your health!” said Balaga. He, too, emptied his glass and wiped his lips with his handkerchief.

Makarin embraced Anatole with tears in his eyes.

“Ah, prince, how it grieves my heart to part from you,” he said.

“Start! start!” shouted Anatole.

Balaga was going out of the room.

“No; stay,” said Anatole. “Shut the door; we must sit down. Like this.” They shut the door and all sat down.

“Well, now, quick, march, lads!” said Anatole, getting up.

The valet, Joseph, gave Anatole his knapsack and sword, and they all went out into the vestibule.

“But where’s a fur cloak?” said Dolohov. “Hey, Ignatka! Run in to Matryona Matveyevna, and ask her for the sable cloak. I’ve heard what elopements are like,” said Dolohov, winking. “She’ll come skipping out more dead than alive just in the things she had on indoors; the slightest delay and then there are tears, and dear papa and dear mamma, and she’s frozen in a minute and for going back again—you wrap her up in a cloak at once and carry her to the sledge.”

The valet brought a woman’s fox-lined pelisse.

“Fool, I told you the sable. Hey, Matryoshka, the sable,” he shouted, so that his voice rang out through the rooms.

A handsome, thin, and pale gypsy woman, with shining black eyes and curly black hair, with a bluish shade in it, ran out, wearing a red shawl and holding a sable cloak on her arm.

“Here, I don’t grudge it; take it,” she said, in visible fear of her lord and regretful at losing the cloak.

Dolohov, making her no answer, took the cloak, flung it about Matryosha, and wrapped her up in it.

“That’s the way,” said Dolohov. “And then this is the way,” he said and he turned the collar up round her head, leaving it only a little open before the face. “And then this is the way, do you see?” and he moved Anatole’s head forward to meet the open space left by the collar, from which Matryosha’s flashing smile peeped out.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.