BOOK SEVEN: 1810 - 11
3. CHAPTER III
Five minutes later Daniel and Uvarka were standing in Nicholas'
big study. Though Daniel was not a big man, to see him in a room was
like seeing a horse or a bear on the floor among the furniture and
surroundings of human life. Daniel himself felt this, and as usual
stood just inside the door, trying to speak softly and not move, for
fear of breaking something in the master's apartment, and he
hastened to say all that was necessary so as to get from under that
ceiling, out into the open under the sky once more.
Having finished his inquiries and extorted from Daniel an opinion
that the hounds were fit (Daniel himself wished to go hunting),
Nicholas ordered the horses to be saddled. But just as Daniel was
about to go Natasha came in with rapid steps, not having done up her
hair or finished dressing and with her old nurse's big shawl wrapped
round her. Petya ran in at the same time.
"You are going?" asked Natasha. "I knew you would! Sonya said you
wouldn't go, but I knew that today is the sort of day when you
couldn't help going."
"Yes, we are going," replied Nicholas reluctantly, for today, as
he intended to hunt seriously, he did not want to take Natasha and
Petya. "We are going, but only wolf hunting: it would be dull for
"You know it is my greatest pleasure," said Natasha. "It's not fair;
you are going by yourself, are having the horses saddled and said
nothing to us about it."
"'No barrier bars a Russian's path'- we'll go!" shouted Petya.
"But you can't. Mamma said you mustn't," said Nicholas to Natasha.
"Yes, I'll go. I shall certainly go," said Natasha decisively.
"Daniel, tell them to saddle for us, and Michael must come with my
dogs," she added to the huntsman.
It seemed to Daniel irksome and improper to be in a room at all, but
to have anything to do with a young lady seemed to him impossible.
He cast down his eyes and hurried out as if it were none of his
business, careful as he went not to inflict any accidental injury on
the young lady.