By the time he reached home it was getting dark. Eight persons of different kinds were waiting on him that evening. A secretary of a committee, the colonel of his battalion of militia, his steward, his bailiff, and other persons with petitions. All of them had business matters with Pierre, which he had to settle. He had no understanding of their questions, nor interest in them, and answered them with the sole object of getting rid of these people. At last he was left alone, and he broke open and read his wife’s letter.

They—the soldiers on the battery, Prince Andrey killed … the old man.… Simplicity is submission to God’s will. One has to suffer…the significance of the whole…one must harness all together…my wife is going to be married.… One must forget and understand …” And, without undressing, he threw himself on his bed and at once fell asleep.

When he waked up next morning his steward came in to announce that a police official was below, sent expressly by Count Rastoptchin to find out whether Count Bezuhov had gone, or was going away.

A dozen different people were waiting in the drawing-room to see Pierre on business. Pierre dressed in haste, and instead of going down to see them, he ran down the back staircase and out by the back entry to the gates.

From that moment till the occupation of Moscow was over, no one of Bezuhov’s household saw him again, nor could discover his whereabouts, in spite of every effort to track him down.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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