Mary Hendrikhovna was the wife of the regimental doctor, a pretty young German woman he had married in Poland.
Mary Hendrikhovna, a plump little blonde German, in a dressing jacket and nightcap, was sitting on a broad bench in the front corner.
Mary Hendrikhovna obliged them with the loan of a petticoat to be used as a curtain, and behind that screen Rostov and Ilyin, helped by Lavrushka who had brought their kits, changed their wet things for dry ones.
A board was found, fixed on two saddles and covered with a horsecloth, a small samovar was produced and a cellaret and half a bottle of rum, and having asked Mary Hendrikhovna to preside, they all crowded round her.
"Leave him alone," said Mary Hendrikhovna, smiling timidly and happily.
"Oh, no, Mary Hendrikhovna," replied the officer, "one must look after the doctor.
There was only one spoon, sugar was more plentiful than anything else, but it took too long to dissolve, so it was decided that Mary Hendrikhovna should stir the sugar for everyone in turn.
Rostov received his tumbler, and adding some rum to it asked Mary Hendrikhovna to stir it.
Mary Hendrikhovna assented and began looking for the spoon which someone meanwhile had pounced on.
"Use your finger, Mary Hendrikhovna, it will be still nicer," said Rostov.
Ilyin put a few drops of rum into the bucket of water and brought it to Mary Hendrikhovna, asking her to stir it with her finger.
"Well, but supposing Mary Hendrikhovna is 'King'?" asked Ilyin.
As soon as he had left the room all the officers burst into loud laughter and Mary Hendrikhovna blushed till her eyes filled with tears and thereby became still more attractive to them.