shame, and humiliation, and that it was not her fault that her face accidentally expressed dignity and severity.

“What! get married?” cried Pierre at Marya Dmitryevna’s words. “He can’t get married; he is married.”

“Worse and worse,” said Marya Dmitryevna. “He’s a nice youth. A perfect scoundrel. And she’s expecting him; she’s been expecting him these two days. We must tell her; at least she will leave off expecting him.”

After learning from Pierre the details of Anatole’s marriage, and pouring out her wrath against him in abusive epithets, Marya Dmitryevna informed Pierre of her object in sending for him. Marya Dmitryevna was afraid that the count or Bolkonsky, who might arrive any moment, might hear of the affair, though she intended to conceal it from them, and might challenge Kuragin, and she therefore begged Pierre to bid his brother-in-law from her to leave Moscow and not to dare to show himself in her presence. Pierre promised to do as she desired him, only then grasping the danger menacing the old count, and Nikolay, and Prince Andrey. After briefly and precisely explaining to him her wishes, she let him go to the drawing-room.

“Mind, the count knows nothing of it. You behave as though you know nothing,” she said to him. “And I’ll go and tell her it’s no use for her to expect him! And stay to dinner, if you care to,” Marya Dmitryevna called after Pierre.

Pierre met the old count. He seemed upset and anxious. That morning Natasha had told him that she had broken off her engagement to Bolkonsky.

“I’m in trouble, in trouble, my dear fellow,” he said to Pierre, “with those girls without the mother. I do regret now that I came. I will be open with you. Have you heard she has broken off her engagement without a word to any one? I never did, I’ll admit, feel very much pleased at the marriage. He’s an excellent man, of course, but still there could be no happiness against a father’s will, and Natasha will never want for suitors. Still it had been going on so long, and then such a step, without her father’s or her mother’s knowledge! And now she’s ill, and God knows what it is. It’s a bad thing, count, a bad thing to have a daughter away from her mother.…” Pierre saw the count was greatly troubled, and tried to change the conversation to some other subject, but the count went back again to his troubles.

Sonya came into the drawing-room with an agitated face.

“Natasha is not very well; she is in her room and would like to see you. Marya Dmitryevna is with her and she asks you to come too.”

“Why, yes, you’re such a great friend of Bolkonsky’s; no doubt she wants to send him some message,” said the count. “Ah, my God, my God! How happy it all was!” And clutching at his sparse locks, the count went out of the room.

Marya Dmitryevna had told Natasha that Anatole was married. Natasha would not believe her, and insisted on the statement being confirmed by Pierre himself. Sonya told Pierre this as she led him across the corridor to Natasha’s room.

Natasha, pale and stern, was sitting beside Marya Dmitryevna, and she met Pierre at the door with eyes of feverish brilliance and inquiry. She did not smile nor nod to him. She simply looked hard at him, and that look asked him simply: was he a friend or an enemy like the rest, as regards Anatole? Pierre in himself had evidently no existence for her.

“He knows everything,” said Marya Dmitryevna, addressing Natasha. “Let him tell you whether I have spoken the truth.”

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