BOOK SEVEN: 1810 - 11
4. CHAPTER IV
"Good morning, Uncle!" said Nicholas, when the old man drew near.
"That's it. Come on!... I was sure of it," began "Uncle." (He was
a distant relative of the Rostovs', a man of small means, and their
neighbor.) "I knew you wouldn't be able to resist it and it's a good
thing you're going. That's it! Come on! (This was "Uncle's" favorite
expression.) "Take the covert at once, for my Girchik says the Ilagins
are at Korniki with their hounds. That's it. Come on!... They'll
take the cubs from under your very nose."
"That's where I'm going. Shall we join up our packs?" asked
The hounds were joined into one pack, and "Uncle" and Nicholas
rode on side by side. Natasha, muffled up in shawls which did not hide
her eager face and shining eyes, galloped up to them. She was followed
by Petya who always kept close to her, by Michael, a huntsman, and
by a groom appointed to look after her. Petya, who was laughing,
whipped and pulled at his horse. Natasha sat easily and confidently on
her black Arabchik and reined him in without effort with a firm hand.
"Uncle" looked round disapprovingly at Petya and Natasha. He did not
like to combine frivolity with the serious business of hunting.
"Good morning, Uncle! We are going too!" shouted Petya.
"Good morning, good morning! But don't go overriding the hounds,"
said "Uncle" sternly.
"Nicholas, what a fine dog Trunila is! He knew me," said Natasha,
referring to her favorite hound.
"In the first place, Trunila is not a 'dog,' but a harrier," thought
Nicholas, and looked sternly at his sister, trying to make her feel
the distance that ought to separate them at that moment. Natasha
"You mustn't think we'll be in anyone's way, Uncle," she said.
"We'll go to our places and won't budge."