BOOK ONE: 1805
13. CHAPTER XIII
When Natasha ran out of the drawing room she only went as far as the
conservatory. There she paused and stood listening to the conversation
in the drawing room, waiting for Boris to come out. She was already
growing impatient, and stamped her foot, ready to cry at his not
coming at once, when she heard the young man's discreet steps
approaching neither quickly nor slowly. At this Natasha dashed swiftly
among the flower tubs and hid there.
Boris paused in the middle of the room, looked round, brushed a
little dust from the sleeve of his uniform, and going up to a mirror
examined his handsome face. Natasha, very still, peered out from her
ambush, waiting to see what he would do. He stood a little while
before the glass, smiled, and walked toward the other door. Natasha
was about to call him but changed her mind. "Let him look for me,"
thought she. Hardly had Boris gone than Sonya, flushed, in tears,
and muttering angrily, came in at the other door. Natasha checked
her first impulse to run out to her, and remained in her hiding place,
watching- as under an invisible cap- to see what went on in the world.
She was experiencing a new and peculiar pleasure. Sonya, muttering
to herself, kept looking round toward the drawing-room door. It opened
and Nicholas came in.
"Sonya, what is the matter with you? How can you?" said he,
running up to her.
"It's nothing, nothing; leave me alone!" sobbed Sonya.
"Ah, I know what it is."
"Well, if you do, so much the better, and you can go back to her!"
"So-o-onya! Look here! How can you torture me and yourself like
that, for a mere fancy?" said Nicholas taking her hand.
Sonya did not pull it away, and left off crying. Natasha, not
stirring and scarcely breathing, watched from her ambush with
sparkling eyes. "What will happen now?" thought she.
"Sonya! What is anyone in the world to me? You alone are
everything!" said Nicholas. "And I will prove it to you."