As the mazurka began, Boris saw that Adjutant General Balashev, one of those in closest attendance on the Emperor, went up to him and contrary to court etiquette stood near him while he was talking to a Polish lady.
Knowing that Denisov had a reputation even in Poland for the masterly way in which he danced the mazurka, Nicholas ran up to Natasha:
Only on horse back and in the mazurka was Denisov's short stature not noticeable and he looked the fine fellow he felt himself to be.
Denisov, flushed after the mazurka and mopping himself with his handkerchief, sat down by Natasha and did not leave her for the rest of the evening.
Helene, not having a suitable partner, herself offered to dance the mazurka with Boris.
All the time Boris was going through the figures of the mazurka, he was worried by the question of what news Balashev had brought and how he could find it out before others.