The rain was descending in torrents, and Rostov, with a young officer named Ilyin, his protege, was sitting in a hastily constructed shelter.
Rostov, smoking his pipe and turning his head about as the water trickled down his neck, listened inattentively, with an occasional glance at Ilyin, who was pressing close to him.
Ilyin tried to imitate Rostov in everything and adored him as a girl might have done.
I would not have taken my brother Petya there, or even Ilyin, who's a stranger to me but a nice lad, but would have tried to put them somewhere under cover, Nicholas continued to think, as he listened to Zdrzhinski.
"I can't stand this any more," said Ilyin, noticing that Rostov did not relish Zdrzhinski's conversation.
Ilyin went out and Zdrzhinski rode away.
Five minutes later Ilyin, splashing through the mud, came running back to the shanty.
Rostov threw his cloak over his shoulders, shouted to Lavrushka to follow with the things, and--now slipping in the mud, now splashing right through it--set off with Ilyin in the lessening rain and the darkness that was occasionally rent by distant lightning.
Rostov and Ilyin, on entering the room, were welcomed with merry shouts and laughter.
Rostov and Ilyin hastened to find a corner where they could change into dry clothes without offending Mary Hendrikhovna's modesty.
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.
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.
As they left the tavern in the twilight of the dawn, Rostov and Ilyin both glanced under the wet and glistening leather hood of the doctor's cart, from under the apron of which his feet were sticking out, and in the middle of which his wife's nightcap was visible and her sleepy breathing audible.
"She really is a dear little thing," said Rostov to Ilyin, who was following him.
Rostov, always closely followed by Ilyin, rode along the side of the road between two rows of birch trees.
Now he rode beside Ilyin under the birch trees, occasionally plucking leaves from a branch that met his hand, sometimes touching his horse's side with his foot, or, without turning round, handing a pipe he had finished to an hussar riding behind him, with as calm and careless an air as though he were merely out for a ride.
He glanced with pity at the excited face of Ilyin, who talked much and in great agitation.
Rostov was just mounting to go for a ride round the neighboring villages with Ilyin; he let Lavrushka have another horse and took him along with him.
On the seventeenth of August Rostov and Ilyin, accompanied by Lavrushka who had just returned from captivity and by an hussar orderly, left their quarters at Yankovo, ten miles from Bogucharovo, and went for a ride--to try a new horse Ilyin had bought and to find out whether there was any hay to be had in the villages.
Rostov and Ilyin were in the merriest of moods.
Rostov and Ilyin gave rein to their horses for a last race along the incline before reaching Bogucharovo, and Rostov, outstripping Ilyin, was the first to gallop into the village street.
"You're first!" cried Ilyin, flushed.
"The French," replied Ilyin jestingly, "and here is Napoleon himself"-- and he pointed to Lavrushka.
"The one in pink is mine, so keep off!" said Ilyin on seeing Dunyasha running resolutely toward him.
"She'll be ours!" said Lavrushka to Ilyin, winking.
"What do you want, my pretty?" said Ilyin with a smile.
"Co-o-om-pa-ny!" roared the tipsy peasant with a beatific smile as he looked at Ilyin talking to the girl.
At the moment when Rostov and Ilyin were galloping along the road, Princess Mary, despite the dissuasions of Alpatych, her nurse, and the maids, had given orders to harness and intended to start, but when the cavalrymen were espied they were taken for Frenchmen, the coachman ran away, and the women in the house began to wail.
But on glancing at Rostov's face Ilyin stopped short.
Rostov glanced angrily at Ilyin and without replying strode off with rapid steps to the village.
As soon as Rostov, followed by Ilyin, Lavrushka, and Alpatych, came up to the crowd, Karp, thrusting his fingers into his belt and smiling a little, walked to the front.