had given some direction superseding his orders; and the servants came to Natasha to ask whether a cart was packed full enough and whether the loads were to be tied on. The packing went on fast now, thanks to Natasha’s supervision; everything useless was left behind, and the most valuable goods were packed as compactly as possible.

But with all their exertions, even late at night everything was not ready. The countess had fallen asleep, and the count put off their departure till morning and went to bed.

Sonya and Natasha slept in the divan-room, without undressing.

That night another wounded officer was driven along Povarsky Street, and Mavra Kuzminishna, who was standing at the gate, had him brought into the Rostovs’ yard. The wounded officer must, Mavra Kuzminishna thought, be a man of very great consequence. He was in a coach with the hood let down and a carriage apron completely covering it. An old man, a most respectable-looking valet, was sitting on the box with the driver. A doctor and two soldiers followed the carriage in another conveyance.

“Come into our house, come in. The masters are going away, the whole house is empty,” said the old woman, addressing the old servant.

“Well,” answered the valet, sighing, “and indeed we have no hope of getting him home alive! We have a house of our own in Moscow, but it is a long way further, and there’s no one living in it either.”

“Pray come in, our masters have plenty of everything, and you are welcome,” said Mavra Kuzminishna. “Is the gentleman very bad, then?” she asked.

“There’s no hope! I must ask the doctor.” And the valet got down and went to the vehicle behind.

“Very good,” said the doctor.

The valet went up to the coach again, peeped into it, shook his head, told the coachman to turn into the yard, and stood still beside Mavra Kuzminishna.

“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy!” she murmured.

Mavra Kuzminishna suggested the wounded man being carried into the house.

“The masters won’t say anything …” said she.

But they had to avoid lifting him up the steps, and so they carried the wounded man to the lodge, and put him in the room that had been Madame Schoss’s. This wounded officer was Prince Andrey Bolkonsky.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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