BOOK SEVEN: 1810 - 11
12. CHAPTER XII
When they all drove back from Pelageya Danilovna's, Natasha, who
always saw and noticed everything, arranged that she and Madame Schoss
should go back in the sleigh with Dimmler, and Sonya with Nicholas and
On the way back Nicholas drove at a steady pace instead of racing
and kept peering by that fantastic all-transforming light into Sonya's
face and searching beneath the eyebrows and mustache for his former
and his present Sonya from whom he had resolved never to be parted
again. He looked and recognizing in her both the old and the new
Sonya, and being reminded by the smell of burnt cork of the
sensation of her kiss, inhaled the frosty air with a full breast
and, looking at the ground flying beneath him and at the sparkling
sky, felt himself again in fairyland.
"Sonya, is it well with thee?" he asked from time to time.
"Yes!" she replied. "And with thee?"
When halfway home Nicholas handed the reins to the coachman and
ran for a moment to Natasha's sleigh and stood on its wing.
"Natasha!" he whispered in French, "do you know I have made up my
mind about Sonya?"
"Have you told her?" asked Natasha, suddenly beaming all over with
"Oh, how strange you are with that mustache and those eyebrows!...
Natasha- are you glad?"
"I am so glad, so glad! I was beginning to be vexed with you. I
did not tell you, but you have been treating her badly. What a heart
she has, Nicholas! I am horrid sometimes, but I was ashamed to be
happy while Sonya was not," continued Natasha. "Now I am so glad!
Well, run back to her."
"No, wait a bit.... Oh, how funny you look!" cried Nicholas, peering
into her face and finding in his sister too something new, unusual,
and bewitchingly tender that he had not seen in her before.
"Natasha, it's magical, isn't it?"