“Caps off, traitors!” shouted Rostov’s full-blooded voice. “Where is the elder?” he roared furiously.

“The elder, the elder’s wanted. Dron Zaharitch, he calls you,” voices were heard saying, hurriedly subservient, and caps were taken off.

“We can’t be said to be unruly; we’re following the orders,” declared Karp. And several voices at the back began at the same instant:

“It’s as the elders settle; there are too many of you giving orders …”

“Talking? … Mutiny! … Scoundrels! Traitors!” Rostov shouted, without thinking, in a voice unlike his own, as he seized Karp by the collar. “Bind him, bind him!” he shouted, though there was no one to bind him but Lavrushka and Alpatitch.

Lavrushka, however, ran up to Karp and seized his arms from behind.

“Shall I call our fellows from below the hill, your honour?” he shouted.

Alpatitch turned to the peasants, calling upon two of them by name to bind Karp. The peasants obediently stepped out of the crowd and began undoing their belts.

“Where’s the village elder?” shouted Rostov.

Dron with a pale and frowning face, stepped out of the crowd.

“Are you the elder? Bind him, Lavrushka,” shouted Rostov, as though the order could meet with no sort of opposition. And in fact two peasants did begin binding Dron, who took off his sash, and gave it them as though to assist in the operation.

“And all of you, listen to me,” Rostov turned to the peasants. “March straight to your homes this minute, and don’t let me hear your voices again.”

“Why, we haven’t done any harm. It was all, do you see, through foolishness. Only a bit of nonsense … I always said that it wasn’t the right thing,” said voices, blaming one another.

“Didn’t I tell you?” said Alpatitch, resuming his rightful position. “You’ve done wrong, lads.”

“It was our foolishness, Yakov Alpatitch,” answered voices, and the crowd at once began to break up and to disperse about the village.

The two peasants who were bound they took to the manor-house. The two drunken peasants followed them.

“Ay, now look at you!” said one of them, addressing Karp.

“Do you suppose you can talk to the gentry like that? What were you thinking about? You are a fool,” put in the other; “a regular fool.”

Within two hours the horses and carts required were standing in the courtyard of the Bogutcharovo house. The peasants were eagerly hurrying out and packing in the carts their owners’ goods; and Dron, who had at Princess Marya’s desire, been released from the lumber-room, where they had shut him up, was standing in the yard, giving directions to the men.

“Don’t pack it so carelessly,” said one of the peasants, a tall man with a round, smiling face, taking a casket out of a housemaid’s hands. “It’s worth money too, you may be sure. Why, if you fling it down like that or put it under the cord, it will get scratched. I don’t like to see things done so. Let everything

  By PanEris using Melati.

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