The only young people remaining in the drawing room, not counting the young lady visitor and the countess' eldest daughter (who was four years older than her sister and behaved already like a grown-up person), were Nicholas and Sonya, the niece.
Sonya was a slender little brunette with a tender look in her eyes which were veiled by long lashes, thick black plaits coiling twice round her head, and a tawny tint in her complexion and especially in the color of her slender but graceful and muscular arms and neck.
As he spoke he kept glancing with the flirtatiousness of a handsome youth at Sonya and the young lady visitor.
Hardly had Boris gone than Sonya, flushed, in tears, and muttering angrily, came in at the other door.
Sonya, muttering to herself, kept looking round toward the drawing-room door.
Sonya, what is the matter with you?
Sonya did not pull it away, and left off crying.
"Oh, how nice," thought Natasha; and when Sonya and Nicholas had gone out of the conservatory she followed and called Boris to her.
Sonya was sitting close to Nicholas who was copying out some verses for her, the first he had ever written.
Sonya and Natasha looked at Vera with guilty, happy faces.
Nicholas sat at some distance from Sonya, beside Julie Karagina, to whom he was again talking with the same involuntary smile.
Sonya trembled all over and blushed to her ears and behind them and down to her neck and shoulders while Nicholas was speaking.
Sonya and fat little Petya doubled up with laughter.
Sonya tried to lift her head to answer but could not, and hid her face still deeper in the bed.
With an effort Sonya sat up and began wiping her eyes and explaining.
Sonya could not continue, and again hid her face in her hands and in the feather bed.
"Sonya," she suddenly exclaimed, as if she had guessed the true reason of her friend's sorrow, "I'm sure Vera has said something to you since dinner?
Sonya, don't believe her, darling!
"Don't you cry, Sonya, dear love, darling Sonya!" and she kissed her and laughed.
"Nicholas!" was all Sonya said, instantly turning white.
Natasha, seeing the impression the news of her brother's wound produced on Sonya, felt for the first time the sorrowful side of the news.
She rushed to Sonya, hugged her, and began to cry.
"Thank God!" said Sonya, crossing herself.
"No, Sonya, but do you remember so that you remember him perfectly, remember everything?" said Natasha, with an expressive gesture, evidently wishing to give her words a very definite meaning.
You don't remember Boris? asked Sonya in surprise.
Natasha looked at Sonya with wondering and inquisitive eyes, and said nothing.
She felt that Sonya was speaking the truth, that there was such love as Sonya was speaking of.
Vera, Natasha, Sonya, and Petya now entered the room, and the reading of the letter began.
When she heard this Sonya blushed so that tears came into her eyes and, unable to bear the looks turned upon her, ran away into the dancing hall, whirled round it at full speed with her dress puffed out like a balloon, and, flushed and smiling, plumped down on the floor.
Sonya, Natasha, Petya, Anna Mikhaylovna, Vera, and the old count were all hugging him, and the serfs, men and maids, flocked into the room, exclaiming and oh-ing and ah-ing.
Sonya too, all rosy red, clung to his arm and, radiant with bliss, looked eagerly toward his eyes, waiting for the look for which she longed.
Sonya now was sixteen and she was very pretty, especially at this moment of happy, rapturous excitement.
It was Natasha, Sonya, and Petya, who had come to see whether they were getting up.
Sonya, when he came in, was twirling round and was about to expand her dresses into a balloon and sit down.
Sonya ran away, but Natasha, taking her brother's arm, led him into the sitting room, where they began talking.
"Why did Sonya run away?" asked Rostov.
Besides, Sonya is so charming that only a fool would renounce such happiness.
Sonya had already struck him by her beauty on the preceding day.
When Rostov met Sonya in the drawing room, he reddened.
"How strange it is," said Vera, selecting a moment when all were silent, "that Sonya and Nicholas now say you to one another and meet like strangers."
Vera's remark was correct, as her remarks always were, but, like most of her observations, it made everyone feel uncomfortable, not only Sonya, Nicholas, and Natasha, but even the old countess, who--dreading this love affair which might hinder Nicholas from making a brilliant match-- blushed like a girl.
During Rostov's short stay in Moscow, before rejoining the army, he did not draw closer to Sonya, but rather drifted away from her.
And Sonya, though she would never have dared to say so, knew it and blushed scarlet every time Dolokhov appeared.
He was pointedly attentive to Sonya and looked at her in such a way that not only could she not bear his glances without coloring, but even the old countess and Natasha blushed when they saw his looks.
Rostov noticed something new in Dolokhov's relations with Sonya, but he did not explain to himself what these new relations were.
"They're always in love with someone," he thought of Sonya and Natasha.
But he was not as much at ease with Sonya and Dolokhov as before and was less frequently at home.
Sonya, Dolokhov, and the old countess were especially disturbed, and to a lesser degree Natasha.
Nicholas understood that something must have happened between Sonya and Dolokhov before dinner, and with the kindly sensitiveness natural to him was very gentle and wary with them both at dinner.
"Perhaps," coldly and angrily replied Dolokhov, glancing at Sonya, and, scowling, he gave Nicholas just such a look as he had given Pierre at the club dinner.
Little as Nicholas had occupied himself with Sonya of late, something seemed to give way within him at this news.
"Yes, my Sonya could not have done otherwise!" thought Nicholas.
What a darling Sonya is! he added with a smile.
A minute later Sonya came in with a frightened, guilty, and scared look.
"That is enough for me," said Sonya, blushing.
That evening, proud of Dolokhov's proposal, her refusal, and her explanation with Nicholas, Sonya twirled about before she left home so that the maid could hardly get her hair plaited, and she was transparently radiant with impulsive joy.
Nicholas could not refuse Iogel and asked Sonya to dance.
With a sinking heart he watched Dolokhov's hands and thought, "Now then, make haste and let me have this card and I'll take my cap and drive home to supper with Denisov, Natasha, and Sonya, and will certainly never touch a card again."
At that moment his home life, jokes with Petya, talks with Sonya, duets with Natasha, piquet with his father, and even his comfortable bed in the house on the Povarskaya rose before him with such vividness, clearness, and charm that it seemed as if it were all a lost and unappreciated bliss, long past.
Sonya was sitting at the clavichord, playing the prelude to Denisov's favorite barcarolle.
Sonya struck the first chord of the prelude.
"Now, Sonya!" she said, going to the very middle of the room, where she considered the resonance was best.
Sonya was more tender and devoted to him than ever.
Sonya! he again heard the first speaker.
Do wake up, Sonya! she said almost with tears in her voice.
Sonya made some reluctant reply.
Before Sonya and her mother, if Boris happened to be mentioned, she spoke quite freely of that episode as of some childish, long-forgotten matter that was not worth mentioning.
It seemed to her mother and Sonya that Natasha was in love with Boris as of old.
"Sonya?" she thought, glancing at that curled-up, sleeping little kitten with her enormous plait of hair.
Sonya and her mother put themselves entirely in her hands.
Sonya was finishing dressing and so was the countess, but Natasha, who had bustled about helping them all, was behindhand.
Sonya stood ready dressed in the middle of the room and, pressing the head of a pin till it hurt her dainty finger, was fixing on a last ribbon that squeaked as the pin went through it.
"That's not the way, that's not the way, Sonya!" cried Natasha turning her head and clutching with both hands at her hair which the maid who was dressing it had not time to release.
Sonya sat down and Natasha pinned the ribbon on differently.
When her hair was done, Natasha, in her short petticoat from under which her dancing shoes showed, and in her mother's dressing jacket, ran up to Sonya, scrutinized her, and then ran to her mother.
A third with pins in her mouth was running about between the countess and Sonya, and a fourth held the whole of the gossamer garment up high on one uplifted hand.
Sonya slammed the door to.
"Say what you like," exclaimed Sonya, in a despairing voice as she looked at Natasha, "say what you like, it's still too long."
She understood all that awaited her only when, after stepping over the red baize at the entrance, she entered the hall, took off her fur cloak, and, beside Sonya and in front of her mother, mounted the brightly illuminated stairs between the flowers.
She and the countess and Sonya were standing by themselves as in the depths of a forest amid that crowd of strangers, with no one interested in them and not wanted by anyone.
Natasha on one side was talking with Sonya and Boris, and Vera with a subtle smile was saying something to Prince Andrew.
Sonya was afraid to leave Natasha and afraid of being in the way when she was with them.
Sonya said that Natasha was in her bedroom.
He was talking to the countess, and Natasha sat down beside a little chess table with Sonya, thereby inviting Prince Andrew to come too.
Sonya was nearly twenty; she had stopped growing prettier and promised nothing more than she was already, but that was enough.
Sonya said you wouldn't go, but I knew that today is the sort of day when you couldn't help going.
Because Sonya is poor I must not love her," he thought, "must not respond to her faithful, devoted love?
If I love Sonya, that feeling is for me stronger and higher than all else.
Though she blamed herself for it, she could not refrain from grumbling at and worrying Sonya, often pulling her up without reason, addressing her stiffly as "my dear," and using the formal "you" instead of the intimate "thou" in speaking to her.
Sonya sat in the drawing room at the round table, copying a design for embroidery.
Natasha came into the room, went up to Sonya, glanced at what she was doing, and then went up to her mother and stood without speaking.
Sonya passed to the pantry with a glass in her hand.
Natasha glanced at her and at the crack in the pantry door, and it seemed to her that she remembered the light falling through that crack once before and Sonya passing with a glass in her hand.
"Sonya, what is this?" she cried, twanging a thick string.
"Oh, you are there!" said Sonya with a start, and came near and listened.
"Sonya, go and wake him," said Natasha.
After tea, Nicholas, Sonya, and Natasha went to the sitting room, to their favorite corner where their most intimate talks always began.
"Sonya, do you remember?" asked Nicholas.
"Yes, yes, I do remember something too," Sonya answered timidly.
Sonya, as always, did not quite keep pace with them, though they shared the same reminiscences.
Dimmler struck a chord and, turning to Natasha, Nicholas, and Sonya, remarked: "How quiet you young people are!"
"Do you know," said Natasha in a whisper, moving closer to Nicholas and Sonya, "that when one goes on and on recalling memories, one at last begins to remember what happened before one was in the world..."
"That is metempsychosis," said Sonya, who had always learned well, and remembered everything.
Sonya, as she listened, thought of the immense difference there was between herself and her friend, and how impossible it was for her to be anything like as bewitching as her cousin.
An hussar was Natasha, and a Circassian was Sonya with burnt-cork mustache and eyebrows.
It was decided that the count must not go, but that if Louisa Ivanovna (Madame Schoss) would go with them, the young ladies might go to the Melyukovs', Sonya, generally so timid and shy, more urgently than anyone begging Louisa Ivanovna not to refuse.
Nicholas glanced round at Sonya, and bent down to see her face closer.
"That used to be Sonya," thought he, and looked at her closer and smiled.
And really, that evening, Sonya was brighter, more animated, and prettier than Nicholas had ever seen her before.
Sonya went out into the passage to go to the barn.
He knew Sonya would pass that way.
Sonya came along, wrapped in her cloak.
Sonya kissed him full on the lips, and disengaging her little hands pressed them to his cheeks.
"Sonya!... Nicholas!"... was all they said.
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 the maids.
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.
I will never let anyone say anything bad of Sonya, for there is nothing but good in her.
Sonya sat down before the glasses, got the right position, and began looking.
"Now, Miss Sonya is sure to see something," whispered Dunyasha; "while you do nothing but laugh."
Sonya heard this and Natasha's whisper:
"Of course she will!" whispered Natasha, but did not finish... suddenly Sonya pushed away the glass she was holding and covered her eyes with her hand.
Sonya had not seen anything, she was just wanting to blink and to get up when she heard Natasha say, "Of course she will!"
Soon after the Christmas holidays Nicholas told his mother of his love for Sonya and of his firm resolve to marry her.
The father and mother did not speak of the matter to their son again, but a few days later the countess sent for Sonya and, with a cruelty neither of them expected, reproached her niece for trying to catch Nicholas and for ingratitude.
Sonya listened silently with downcast eyes to the countess' cruel words, without understanding what was required of her.
He first implored her to forgive him and Sonya and consent to their marriage, then he threatened that if she molested Sonya he would at once marry her secretly.
Natasha set to work to effect a reconciliation, and so far succeeded that Nicholas received a promise from his mother that Sonya should not be troubled, while he on his side promised not to undertake anything without his parents' knowledge.
Firmly resolved, after putting his affairs in order in the regiment, to retire from the army and return and marry Sonya, Nicholas, serious, sorrowful, and at variance with his parents, but, as it seemed to him, passionately in love, left at the beginning of January to rejoin his regiment.
Sonya was unhappy at the separation from Nicholas and still more so on account of the hostile tone the countess could not help adopting toward her.
So the countess remained in the country, and the count, taking Sonya and Natasha with him, went to Moscow at the end of January.
But we'll speak of that later on, she added, glancing at Sonya with a look that showed she did not want to speak of it in her presence.
Sonya stood beside her, kissing her hair.
"And how can Sonya love Nicholas so calmly and quietly and wait so long and so patiently?" thought she, looking at Sonya, who also came in quite ready, with a fan in her hand.
Natasha and Sonya, holding up their dresses, jumped out quickly.
Natasha, smoothing her gown, went in with Sonya and sat down, scanning the brilliant tiers of boxes opposite.
"Look, there's Alenina," said Sonya, "with her mother, isn't it?"
The count, laughing, nudged the blushing Sonya and pointed to her former adorer.
That's awful... and to escape from these dreadful thoughts she went to Sonya and began sorting patterns with her.
On returning late in the evening Sonya went to Natasha's room, and to her surprise found her still dressed and asleep on the sofa.
Sonya picked it up and read it.
Clutching her breast to keep herself from choking, Sonya, pale and trembling with fear and agitation, sat down in an armchair and burst into tears.
Sonya wiped away her tears and went up to Natasha, again scanning her face.
"Sonya, you've read that letter?" she demanded.
"Yes," answered Sonya softly.
"No, Sonya, I can't any longer!" she said.
Sonya, darling, he writes...
Sonya stared open-eyed at Natasha, unable to believe her ears.
"Ah, Sonya, if you only knew how happy I am!" cried Natasha.
Natasha looked at Sonya with wide-open eyes as if she could not grasp the question.
Sonya, wait a bit, sit here, and Natasha embraced and kissed her.
I shall tell! cried Sonya, bursting into tears.
When she saw Natasha's fright, Sonya shed tears of shame and pity for her friend.
Natasha looked at Sonya with astonishment.
Sonya sighed and shook her head incredulously.
Sonya, one can't doubt him!
I will write to him, and I will tell Papa! said Sonya resolutely.
Sonya burst into sobs and ran from the room.
On the day the count left, Sonya and Natasha were invited to a big dinner party at the Karagins', and Marya Dmitrievna took them there.
At that party Natasha again met Anatole, and Sonya noticed that she spoke to him, trying not to be overheard, and that all through dinner she was more agitated than ever.
When they got home Natasha was the first to begin the explanation Sonya expected.
Oh, Sonya, if you knew him as I do!
Wait a bit, Sonya, you'll understand everything.
Sonya did not succumb to the tender tone Natasha used toward her.
"Natasha!" moaned Sonya, aghast.
Natasha did not speak to Sonya again and avoided her.
Hard as it was for Sonya, she watched her friend and did not let her out of her sight.
The day before the count was to return, Sonya noticed that Natasha sat by the drawing-room window all the morning as if expecting something and that she made a sign to an officer who drove past, whom Sonya took to be Anatole.
Sonya began watching her friend still more attentively and noticed that at dinner and all that evening Natasha was in a strange and unnatural state.
After tea Sonya noticed a housemaid at Natasha's door timidly waiting to let her pass.
Then suddenly it became clear to Sonya that Natasha had some dreadful plan for that evening.
Sonya knocked at her door.
She cried as she said good-by to Uncle, Sonya remembered.
To tell Marya Dmitrievna who had such faith in Natasha seemed to Sonya terrible.
"Well, anyway," thought Sonya as she stood in the dark passage, "now or never I must prove that I remember the family's goodness to me and that I love Nicholas.
Marya Dmitrievna, having found Sonya weeping in the corridor, made her confess everything, and intercepting the note to Natasha she read it and went into Natasha's room with it in her hand.
Sonya was sitting sobbing in the corridor.
Both Marya Dmitrievna and Sonya were amazed when they saw how Natasha looked.
All that night she did not sleep or weep and did not speak to Sonya who got up and went to her several times.
From the pretense of illness, from his daughter's distress, and by the embarrassed faces of Sonya and Marya Dmitrievna, the count saw clearly that something had gone wrong during his absence, but it was so terrible for him to think that anything disgraceful had happened to his beloved daughter, and he so prized his own cheerful tranquillity, that he avoided inquiries and tried to assure himself that nothing particularly had happened; and he was only dissatisfied that her indisposition delayed their return to the country.
Sonya entered the room with an agitated face.
Sonya told Pierre this as she led him along the corridor to Natasha's room.
Pierre saw the distracted count, and Sonya, who had a tear-stained face, but he could not see Natasha.
Natasha was in bed, the count at the club, and Pierre, after giving the letters to Sonya, went to Marya Dmitrievna who was interested to know how Prince Andrew had taken the news.
Ten minutes later Sonya came to Marya Dmitrievna.
To Sonya he wrote separately.
When they prayed for those who love us, she prayed for the members of her own family, her father and mother and Sonya, realizing for the first time how wrongly she had acted toward them, and feeling all the strength of her love for them.
But Sonya, who had gone to look for the papers in the anteroom, had found them in Pierre's hat, where he had carefully tucked them under the lining.
After dinner the count settled himself comfortably in an easy chair and with a serious face asked Sonya, who was considered an excellent reader, to read the appeal.
Sonya read painstakingly in her high-pitched voice.
The presence of Sonya, of her beloved Natasha, or even of her husband irritated her.
Sonya alone directed the practical side of matters by getting things packed.
Sonya felt that this was true: that the only possibility of retrieving the Rostovs' affairs was by Nicholas marrying a rich woman, and that the princess was a good match.
Sonya was in the ballroom looking after the packing of the glass and china.
For a while she had stood beside Sonya while the china was being packed and tried to help, but soon gave it up and went to her room to pack her own things.
Sonya, owing to the count's contradictory orders, lost her head and did not know what to do.
"Sonya, wait a bit--we'll pack everything into these," said Natasha.
We'll get it all packed, urged Sonya reproachfully.
Sonya and Natasha slept in the sitting room without undressing.
From the anteroom Berg ran with smooth though impatient steps into the drawing room, where he embraced the count, kissed the hands of Natasha and Sonya, and hastened to inquire after "Mamma's" health.
Sonya too was busy all this time, but the aim of her efforts was quite different from Natasha's.
Sonya jumped out of the coach and ran to the countess.
"Mamma," said Sonya, "Prince Andrew is here, mortally wounded.
The countess put her arms around Sonya and began to cry.
Sonya embraced Natasha and kissed her.
Sonya sighed and made no reply.
Mamma, Sonya, look, it's he!
Sonya and Madame Schoss, who had not yet undressed, went out with him.
"Oh, how terrible," said Sonya returning from the yard chilled and frightened.
Sonya had cried and begged to be forgiven and now, as if trying to atone for her fault, paid unceasing attention to her cousin.
And as if in order not to offend Sonya and to get rid of her, she turned her face to the window, looked out in such a way that it was evident that she could not see anything, and again settled down in her former attitude.
Both the countess and Sonya understood that, naturally, neither Moscow nor the burning of Moscow nor anything else could seem of importance to Natasha.
The countess, Madame Schoss, and Sonya undressed hastily and lay down.
"I think she's asleep, Mamma," said Sonya softly.
Sonya, are you asleep?
You know Sonya, my cousin?
You know Sonya has nothing and you yourself say your Papa's affairs are in a very bad way.
And what sort of life would it be for Sonya--if she's a girl with a heart?
No, my dear, you and Sonya ought to understand that.
He knew that after his promise to Sonya it would be what he deemed base to declare his feelings to Princess Mary.
Reveries about Sonya had had something merry and playful in them, but to dream of Princess Mary was always difficult and a little frightening.
This unexpected and, as it seemed to Nicholas, quite voluntary letter from Sonya freed him from the knot that fettered him and from which there had seemed no escape.
Sonya and Natasha were nursing him.
But a few days before they left Moscow, moved and excited by all that was going on, she called Sonya to her and, instead of reproaching and making demands on her, tearfully implored her to sacrifice herself and repay all that the family had done for her by breaking off her engagement with Nicholas.
Sonya burst into hysterical tears and replied through her sobs that she would do anything and was prepared for anything, but gave no actual promise and could not bring herself to decide to do what was demanded of her.
And for the first time Sonya felt that out of her pure, quiet love for Nicholas a passionate feeling was beginning to grow up which was stronger than principle, virtue, or religion.
Sonya was there too, tormented by curiosity as to what Prince Andrew and Natasha were talking about.
Not noticing the monk, who had risen to greet her and was drawing back the wide sleeve on his right arm, she went up to Sonya and took her hand.
"Sonya, will he live?" she asked.
Sonya, dovey, everything is as it used to be.
Sonya was not less agitated than her friend by the latter's fear and grief and by her own personal feelings which she shared with no one.
Natasha opened it cautiously and glanced into the room, Sonya standing beside her at the half-open door.
Sonya suddenly almost screamed, catching her companion's arm and stepping back from the door.
"You remember," said Sonya with a solemn and frightened expression.
"Yes, yes!" cried Natasha opening her eyes wide, and vaguely recalling that Sonya had told her something about Prince Andrew whom she had seen lying down.
"Oh, I don't know, it is all so strange," replied Sonya, clutching at her head.
A few minutes later Prince Andrew rang and Natasha went to him, but Sonya, feeling unusually excited and touched, remained at the window thinking about the strangeness of what had occurred.
"Sonya!" said the countess, raising her eyes from her letter as her niece passed, "Sonya, won't you write to Nicholas?"
She spoke in a soft, tremulous voice, and in the weary eyes that looked over her spectacles Sonya read all that the countess meant to convey with these words.
Sonya went up to the countess and, kneeling down, kissed her hand.
Sonya was softened, excited, and touched by all that had occurred that day, especially by the mysterious fulfillment she had just seen of her vision.
The countess took Princess Mary into the drawing room, where Sonya was talking to Mademoiselle Bourienne.
"This is my niece," said the count, introducing Sonya--"You don't know her, Princess?"
Natasha is with him, answered Sonya, flushing.
Sonya was sitting by the table.
The countess and Sonya cried from pity for Natasha and because he was no more.
Sonya and the maids were holding her arms.
Sonya and the count tried to replace Natasha but could not.
Then suddenly Sonya told me he was traveling with us.
"Oh, Nicholas, how can you talk like that?" cried Sonya, hardly able to conceal her delight.
From the time of his marriage Sonya had lived in his house.
Before that, Nicholas had told his wife all that had passed between himself and Sonya, blaming himself and commending her.
She could not find fault with Sonya in any way and tried to be fond of her, but often felt ill-will toward her which she could not overcome.
Once she had a talk with her friend Natasha about Sonya and about her own injustice toward her.
It really seemed that Sonya did not feel her position trying, and had grown quite reconciled to her lot as a sterile flower.
At that table were his mother, his mother's old lady companion Belova, his wife, their three children with their governess and tutor, his wife's nephew with his tutor, Sonya, Denisov, Natasha, her three children, their governess, and old Michael Ivanovich, the late prince's architect, who was living on in retirement at Bald Hills.
Nicholas and his wife lived together so happily that even Sonya and the old countess, who felt jealous and would have liked them to disagree, could find nothing to reproach them with; but even they had their moments of antagonism.
And everything annoyed her--Denisov's shouting and laughter, Natasha's talk, and especially a quick glance Sonya gave her.
Sonya was always the first excuse Countess Mary found for feeling irritated.
"Mary, dear, I think he is asleep--he was so tired," said Sonya, meeting her in the large sitting room (it seemed to Countess Mary that she crossed her path everywhere).
Countess Mary looked round, saw little Andrew following her, felt that Sonya was right, and for that very reason flushed and with evident difficulty refrained from saying something harsh.
She made no reply, but to avoid obeying Sonya beckoned to Andrew to follow her quietly and went to the door.
Sonya went away by another door.
Natasha was sad and irritable all that time, especially when her mother, her brother, Sonya, or Countess Mary in their efforts to console her tried to excuse Pierre and suggested reasons for his delay in returning.
All the grown-up members of the family were assembled near the round tea table at which Sonya presided beside the samovar.
Nicholas and Denisov rose, asked for their pipes, smoked, went to fetch more tea from Sonya--who sat weary but resolute at the samovar--and questioned Pierre.